Few guitar players of the world merit as much respect as Alex Skolnick. Originally gaining fame as the teenage phenomenon holding down guitar duties for Bay Area thrashers Testament, Alex has gone on to tackle multiple musical genres, including sophisticated jazz playing in his Alex Skolnick Trio. The AS-1FR takes Alex’s original design and adds a Floyd Rose bridge for expressive performances. This traditional shape belies its contemporary set of tools that include a set-thru, U-shaped three-piece maple neck for smooth access all the way up and down the fingerboard. Its sound is powered with an excellent set of Seymour Duncan ’59 (neck) and JB (bridge) pickups. Its flexible controls include individual volume knobs for each pickup, a tone control with push-pull access to spilt the pickup coils, and a pickup selector toggle. Other high-end components include Dunlop straplok and Grover tuners. The Alex Skolnick LTD AS-1 comes in Black Aqua Sunburst translucent finish over its figured flamed maple top.
SEYMOUR DUNCAN ’59
The ’59 Model neck pickup is one of their most popular pickups because it’s so versatile. It’s designed in the spirit of the original P.A.F. humbuckers of the 1950s, with sweet sustain, full-sounding chords, clear and bright attack, but they made a few refinements to slightly modernize the design and make it more adaptable to different styles. The ’59 has a full low end which is great for adding character to your clean sounds and sustain to your leads. The high end is slightly boosted for improved pick-attack clarity and the mids are a little scooped for an open, smooth sound that’s great for preserving the clarity of the individual notes in a chord. Play softly and the mids and highs seem to fade back, but pick hard and the note will be confident and clear. There isn’t a genre that the ’59 can’t work within.
SEYMOUR DUNCAN JB
The JB Model humbucker is their most popular pickup of all time. Blues, country, fusion, punk, hard rock, grunge, thrash; the JB has always sounded just right, even as new genres emerged around it. The low end is full and powerful, the highs are crisp and detailed and there’s an upper-midrange bump that adds crunch and chunk to heavy chords but translates to a singing, vocal-like quality when you play single notes or solos. Meanwhile the hot output pushes your amp just that little bit harder for more sustain and harmonics.
ESP Company, Limited is a Japanese guitar manufacturer, primarily focused on the production of electric guitars and basses. They are based in both Tokyo, Japan and Los Angeles, California, United States, with two distinct product lines for each respective market. ESP Company manufactures instruments under several names, including “ESP Standard”, “ESP Custom Shop”, “LTD Guitars and Basses”, “Navigator”, “Edwards Guitar and Basses”, and “Grassroots”. www.espguitars.com