World Music Supply | DBZ Guitars

Hey guys, I know its been a long, long time, but Brian of the World Music Supply blog has made his return! I was finally able to move around things in my schedule to yet again reasonably accommodate the blog, so lets get down to business. I am here to today to talk about some awesome guitars we have right now from our good friends over at DBZ. We here at World Music Supply love DBZ Guitars. Its as simple as that. They are high quality guitars, made with high quality parts, with precision workmanship, what’s not to like?
DBZ BARFMPL-FR-NS Barchetta FM Plus Series Electric Guitar

First up on the block today are the Barchetta Plus FM Series, these guys are amazing. I’ve been a big fan of the Barchetta body style since I first saw them a year or so back, their sleek strat style body, with its futuristic carved top body, and the classic vibe of the 3×3 headstock. It all adds up to a very stunning looking guitar. Back in those days though, the only versions of this guitar that I had ever laid eyes on were red, black and gray. Don’t get me wrong, those guitars were beautiful, and they played like a dream, but these guitars though, with their abalone binding, deep flamed maple tops, and matching headstock, they’re just a whole other level.

now of course they still have all of the same appointments as their non flamed maple counterparts, the DBZ signature neck contour, the floyd rose, the DBZ signature pickups with a push pull knob, and that big metal badge on the headstock, all of it puts this guitar some where between a workhorse of a guitar, and a luxury art piece. Form and functionality in harmony.

DBZ BARFM-FR-TBK Barchetta FM Flamed Maple Top Electric Guitar

DBZ BARFM-FR-TBK Barchetta FM Flamed Maple Top Electric Guitar

Amplified, the flamed maple adds a tiny bit to the guitars overall tone, but the big difference in tone seems to come from the mahogany, as opposed to the alder bodies of the LT series I am so familiar with. The tone seemed to be a little thicker, with a much heavier lower midrange bark. Alder had a balanced and almost focused sound, but this guitar paired with its mahogany body and stunning flamed maple top, well… it really growls at you. Chording on it felt nice and smooth, with enough presence to make sure I was heard over even the most over the top of drummers, and single note lines had a ferocity to them, an attitude almost. Someone could make a career off of this guitar, carry it with them from day one, be the symbol their recognized for. That’s the kind of guitar this is, it’s a guitar that will leave an impression.

DBZ BARFMPL-FR-SF Barchetta FM Plus Series Electric Guitar

DBZ BARFMPL-FR-SF Barchetta FM Plus Series Electric Guitar

Overall score, easy 10 out of 10

Long time readers of the WMS Blog will know that when it comes to guitars I have two real weaknesses, Telecasters, and White Lespauls. I really don’t know why its these two guitar styles, but they’re really powerful to me. So when the DBZ Bolero Calavera made its way into the WMS offices I had to look at the thing. Just stare at it. Its just so flashy, with its stylized metal truss rod cover, the old DBZ signature tailpiece, and oh yea, the giant metal tramp stamp (that’s what they call it, not me) that’s anchored to the lower bout of the guitar.

DBZ BOLCAL-WH Bolero Calavera Series Single Cutaway Electric Guitar

DBZ BOLCAL-WH Bolero Calavera Series Single Cutaway Electric Guitar

Other than the unusual appointments at either end of the guitar, this is a fairly typical Bolero. Mahogany body, maple top, ebonized rosewood fretboard with 22 frets and their DBZB and DBZ5 Pickups. Their also given some cool Pearloid purfling around the body as well, which really makes this guitar stand out. It might feel like a normal Bolero, but when I was playing it felt so different, it was almost like the sheer attitude of the guitar, made it another guitar. Like when you listen to some really old classic rock, you know the guitarists really aren’t that good, but you can’t quit listening. Even though their entire education must have come from one or at the most two mel bay guitar method books, you’re just captured by that sheer attitude that is exuded from their guitar.

That’s how this guitar felt, I knew it sounded almost the same as the bolero, maybe a tiny, tiny bit different because of the chunks of metal on the guitar, but this guitar just made me want to play different. It made me really slam into the guitar, dig in with my pick. I was all power chords and grit, sure the clean sound is cool and jazzy, and the single note lines are fat and clear, but look at this thing, your likely never going to play a clean line on this guitar, and sure you might play a solo here and there, but most of the work on a guitar like this is going to be very power chord heavy.

I loved this guitar, if not for the fact that it is a fantastic guitar just like the standard Bolero, but also because of its really heavy attitude. It made me play different, act different, it made me really want to crank up my amp, make my neighbors angry. That’s what this guitar felt like, it felt like what we all thought Rock & Roll was when we were little kids.

Overall score 9 out of 10. Because even though it is almost perfect, it is for a certain kind of guitarist, and that isn’t everyone.

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World Music Supply | ESP Guitars

Hey guys, it’s Brian from World Music Supply again, bringing your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews. Today I get to bring you a few gems from our friends over at ESP, what I love about ESP and LTD guitars are just how lead friendly they are. As someone who grew up playing metal guitar, and even though I have transitioned away from that style of playing and into less labor intensive styles of music, I still love the feel of a guitar with a thin neck, and nearly flat radius, and when it comes to big, thick metal lead tones, ESP has always been my go to brand. So think of the theme of today, as guitars crafted for metal, but with enough stylistic wiggle room to fit in well enough almost anywhere.

ESP Ltd M103FM See-Thru Black

ESP Ltd M103FM See-Thru Black

First up on the list for today is the M103FM-STBK, which is part of their Mirage series of guitars, which are your rather typical Super Strat affair. Shred friendly necks, nice flattened radius, bold sounding pickups, and of course that perfectly setup Floyd Rose Special tremolo. The LH-150 humbucking bridge pickup had a wonderfully full sound, with a rather nice low end to it, which is something I always look for in a bridge pickup, the LS-120 middle and neck pickups had a nice clarity to them, but still had a very full sound, more so than you typically find in single coil pickups.

To play this guitar is a thing of beauty, the neck is lighting fast, and the combination of a maple fretboard and a trans black flamed maple top is a true thing of beauty. The feel of the neck is perfect for those who need to play fast, with big tall frets, and a nice flattened out radius, not to mention the delivering big bends with the Floyd Rose. Clean this translates to a guitar that has a all of the spank and sparkle that you expect of a strat, but when you crank up the distortion this guitar becomes a thing of power! With fiery rhythm tones, that have all of the weight and girth you could ever need, and with enough punchy lead sounds, or if you switch to the neck pickup, glassy lead sounds to keep your lead work sounding fresh for years.

so what is the M103FM-STBK? Well to put it briefly, it’s a workhorse. This guitar has all of the tones you could ever need, a Floyd Rose, and a neck that is perfect for shred friendly guitarists, all at a price point that is more than accessible to the beginning metal guitarist, and this is why the M103FM-STBK earns itself a solid 10 out of 10.

EC1000FR-STBLK

EC1000FR-STBLK

Next up is something a little less conventional than a super strat, a super LP, the EC1000FR-STBLK. This isn’t your average LP, this guitar comes armed to the teeth with all the appointments of a modern metal machine. Covered in a trans black flamed maple top, with plenty of abalone appointments, and not to mention the delicious black nickel hardware and the really cool Earvana Compensated Nut.

First off, this guitar does still carry a lot of the already amazing specifications of a standard LP, Mahogany body, Flamed Maple top, nice Thin U Mahogany Neck, but this guitar is definitely hotrodded. This all starts with the 24 fret neck, with 24 big XJ sized frets which are just great for lighting fast legato runs. You also get an amazing set of EMG pickups, with an 80 in the bridge, and a 60 in the neck. These pickups have a very big, full tone to them, with plenty of smooth clean signal, and enough output to drive even the heaviest of metal. Next you get the obvious addition of the black nickel Floyd Rose 1000 tremolo, with an Earvana compensated locking nut.

My understanding of the Earvana system is it slightly offsets the scale length of each string to help keep each string in tune better, and help eliminate the inherent intonation issues of the guitar. What this translated to, while subtle, was an ability to play in tune perfectly next to very unforgiving instruments. What I mean by this, is when you are a guitarist who only plays with other guitarists, if you’re slightly out of tune, its not too easy to notice, as it almost creates a chorusing or doubling effect, which your brain will translate as musical rather than an out of tune note. But, if you’re like me, and often play guitar next to a synthesizer, you know that if you are out of tune, you can’t try and hide it, because the keyboard can’t really be slightly sharp or flat, and your guitar can be.  

With these kinds of appointments, you would expect this guitar to play like a dream, and you would not be disappointed. The neck was perfect, thin and quick enough for super fast lead work, but still with enough meat left on it that I didn’t feel weird playing chords on it. The Earvana nut was a subtle improvement, but it made playing chords sound just a little bit sweeter, and when I played next to a keyboard on a synth pad, I noticed my guitar sounded a little more “on” than usual, almost like there were more riffs that worked with the chord than usual. All of my lead work sounded a little more alive too, thanks to the EMGs distinctive sound, and I wanted to keep playing longer, just because this guitar is so cool to look at, I just didn’t want to put it down.

At the end of the day, what more could you ask for? This guitar is everything you love about a standard LP, but with a dozen or so amazing additions to it’s already genius design that make it so much more to cherish. For the simple fact that they took one of the greatest designs for a guitar in history, and turned it up to 11, the EC1000FR-STBLK earns itself a solid 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | The Washburn RX12 Series

Hey guys, Brian with World Music Supply here again, bringing you your typical dose of gear and guitar reviews, and today I get to bring you guys a review of a guitars that has just been flying off the shelves here at WMS, the Washburn RX12. The Washburn RX12 comes in two basic formats, the string thru version, which features chrome hardware and a vintage TOM style bridge, or the RX12 is also available in a Floyd Rose equipped version, which features black hardware.

The String Thru Washburn RX12 Electric Guitar

The String Thru Washburn RX12 Electric Guitar

The standard string thru model features Washburn designed humbuckers, a solid basswood body, a bolt on maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Although its features sound rather blasé, it actually sounds really good. The humbuckers are surprisingly powerful, on a clean setting I actually really dug the sound of the bridge pickup, as it wasn’t super bright, but it had enough cut to do its job, and the neck pickup was fluty and warm, almost jazzy in the right light. The neck was thin, but not too thin, with enough girth to it to keep the guitar toneful, and to make chording a breeze. Turning up the dirt this guitar really started to sing, with big bold tones that sustained for days, with plenty of midrange cut and bite to it.

The plus of having a string thru body is that the added mass attached at the strings anchor point increases not only the sustain, but also the harmonic content of the strings as they are connected to a much more solid, stable base. This means that the RX12 not only has sustain for days, but when you crank up the volume, and turn up the distortion, this guitar has a very rich complex sound, which lends itself to everything from classic rock chording, to modern soloing. The String thru version is also available in a lot more colors than the Floyd Rose model, as it comes in black, white, red, and sunburst all of which are very classy, and attractive.

The Floyd Rose Equipped Washburn RX12FRMB

The Floyd Rose Equipped Washburn RX12FRMB

The Floyd Rose model, the RX12FR on the other hand is available in only one color at the moment , Metallic Black, which I lovingly keep calling “bowling ball black” as it has tiny, star like flecks of reflective material in it, which reminds me of a bowling ball far more than say, a motor cycle paint job, which I find attractive. I honestly love this guitar, its simple, its straight forward, and it sounds great. Now granted I might be biased, because as of a week ago, I actually bought and own one of these bad boys. The floating trem is perfect for any kind of hard rock styling, from Steve Vai style warble, Satriani screams, Dimebag dive bombs, to anything you can dream up. The sound of this guitar is a tad different as there is less mass to the guitar, and the bridge is made of different densities of steel, and has more moving parts than the string thru variant. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t sound amazing, because it does!

Clean, this guitar still has that same fluty, clear tone as the string thru version, but with a broader, more even sound. The sustain is surprisingly good, I say surprising as I suspected it would be less so. What with all the extra moving parts and less mass in the overall design, but the sustain was at least comparable to the string thru version. The harmonic content was different however, where as the string thru guitar sounded fuller, this guitar sounded much more focused, with a sound that seems more suited to lead playing, where the string thru seems more suited to rhythm work, as the Floyd Rose guitar seems to leap out of the mix and the string thru seems to sit in the mix far better.

A Myriad of Washburn RX12 Electric Guitars

A Myriad of Washburn RX12 Electric Guitars

What ever your need, and what ever your style there is an RX12 for you, and they have never been as affordable as they are right now. Their design is simple, and attractive, their sound is complex and dynamic, and their price is unbelievable. For all of these reasons, I have to give the RX12 series a deserved 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Jackson Guitars

Hey guys it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again, sorry for the lack of a post Monday, but it was Labor day here in the good ol’ US of A and I had to spend it getting caught up on school work, so to all of our American readers, I hope you had a better Labor day than I, and to our foreign readers, I hope you had a pleasant Monday. Getting down to business, in today’s blog, I get to take a look at some cool guitars from our friends over at Jackson. As I’ve mentioned before, the formation of Jackson guitars is actually pretty weird, the company was formed by Grover Jackson shortly after he acquired Charvel Guitars. Jackson was initially a brand name applied to models that were so far from the norm, that he was worried releasing them under the Charvel name might damage the image of the brand. The First major guitar designed for the Jackson brand was the Concorde, which was designed in conjunction with one Randy Rhoads. This sleek revamp of the Flying V design was a radical departure for guitar design at the time (the very beginning of the 80s) and the redesign of many other older designs became a hallmark of Jackson guitars, and by association the majority of the guitar scene of the 1980s, with sleeker, more slender, and pointier versions of classic designs.

The Jackson RRXMG Rhoads Electric Guitar Snow White with Black Pin Stripes

The Jackson RRXMG Rhoads Electric Guitar Snow White with Black Pin Stripes

In today’s blog I get a chance to review a “proper” Randy Rhoads with the RRXMG in Snow White with Black Pin Stripes, and a more typical Jackson with the SLX Soloist in Kawasabi Green. First up is the RRXMG, which is a fairly liberal take on the classic Randy Rhoads Concorde, with the smaller modern Rhoads shape, and more modern details, like a compound radius fretboard, a Floyd Rose Special, and a set of EMG 81 and 85 pickups. This Rhoads is a sight to behold, its sleek white basswood and maple neck through body create an amazingly resonant and tuneful guitar.

Plugged in this guitar has that standard 81 85 speaking voice, with it’s darker clean sounds, with a warm, mellow attack and long singing sustain. The added body that the EMGs give to your clean tone are very noticeable on a guitar like this, as the neck through design adds plenty of body to the tone as well, resulting in a big, fat tone, even on the thinner sounding bridge pickup. Playing all of the neo-classical clean passages that Randy strategically placed throughout many famous Ozzy songs on a guitar like this really helps define why these modern modifications to a classic design are so useful. The addition of a modern compound radius means that all of those single notes runs and complex chords without worrying about your hand cramping up or fretting out during fast runs, and the fuller sounding active pickups add a clarity and body that normal humbucking pickups just couldn’t replicate.

Plugged into a Randall RT503H and its matching cabinet, this guitar has more than enough power to match those classic RR tones, with all of the punch and power that made the Rhoads guitar so infamous. Running through every Ozzy song I had memorized, this guitar pulled more than its weight, with tones that were as close to the record as I’ve ever heard them, and with more than enough power on hand to go far further thanks to the powerful EMG pickups. Switching out of Ozzy mode, I was able to comp some more modern metal tones from this guitar as well, simply by dropping the tuning a little, and letting the EMG pickups do what they do best, be as loud as absolutely possible. EMGs have the ability to stay tight no matter how high, or how low the tuning, with increased sustain and harmonic response thanks to their increased output.

In short the RRXMG is one powerful machine, with sustain for days, and a look and feel of one of the most famous guitars in metal history.  For all of these facts the RRXMG earns itself a much deserved 10 out of 10.

The Jackson SLX Soloist Electric Guitar Floyd Rose Special Kawasabi Green

The Jackson SLX Soloist Electric Guitar Floyd Rose Special Kawasabi Green

Next up is the SLX Soloist, which while I picked the rather distinctive Kawasabi Green for the review, it’s available in both Black and Snow White as well. The reason  I picked Kawasabi Green out of the other two colors is simply, because one, it is very distinct looking, and two, because Jackson Guitars was made famous by a handful of shredders back in the 80’s, and nothing says 80’s quite the same as a neon green guitar. This guitar comes outfitted with a through body maple neck, a Floyd Rose Special tremolo, a compound radius fretboard, and a set of Duncan Designed HB102 pickups.

Plugged into a clean amp, the HB102 humbuckers are smooth and warm sounding, allowing for clean jazzy runs and slick chord tones, made all the more enjoyable thanks to the comfortable neck profile and the compound fretboard radius, which made it easier to chord on the low end of the neck, and play quick runs on the upper end, without ever feeling strange or inappropriate. The bridge pickup was just snappy enough to help me cut through, but not so brash as to make using it on its own painful or annoying to listen to, and the neck was warm and clear, without being too bass heavy or muddy sounding.

Plugged into the same Randall RT503H and matching Randall Cabinet, the SLX proved itself quite versatile, able to pull off everything from modern metal grind, with dropped chords having a big beefy low end to them without losing too much high end, and having just as much power when it came to playing more traditional styles of rock. Tuned up in standard, this guitar had no problem banging out classic 80’s riffs that range from two handed Van Halen style brashness, to Police style chordal runs. The comfortable radius of the neck made this all the better, allowing me to play more natural all along the neck, and the Floyd Rose made any style of dive bomb, swirling vibrato, and high flying trem arm acrobatics a breeze, always coming back to tune no matter what I threw at it.

The Soloist has been a hallmark of the Jackson line for decades, and playing this guitar I understand why. I think it’s easier to understand what a super-strat really is, and why that style of guitar ruled the market place for nearly 20 years when you play a guitar like this, with all of it’s amazing appointments and its sheer array of tones, the SLX Soloist earns itself an easy 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Jackson Guitars

            Hi guys, it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again, bringing you another dose of guitar and gear reviews, and today I have something for the metal head in all of us, today I get the chance to review some awesome guitars from none other than Jackson guitars. The formation of Jackson guitars is actually a pretty weird story of happenstance and hard work, the company was formed by Grover Jackson shortly after he acquired Charvel Guitars from Mr. Wayne Charvel. Jackson was initially a brand name applied to models that were so far from the standard California guitar formula of Stratocasters, and telecasters, that Grover Jackson decided to brand them with his own name. The First major guitar designed for the Jackson brand was the Concorde, which was designed in conjunction with Ozzy guitarist Randy Rhoads. This sleek revamp of the Flying V design was a radical departure for guitar design at the time (the very beginning of the 80s) the sleek revamp of older designs became a hallmark of Jackson guitars, and by association the majority of the guitar scene of the 1980s, with sleeker, more slender, and pointier versions of classic designs.

Today I will be reviewing some of these pointy guitars, the budget conscious JS23 Dinky, the JS32T Rhoads model, and the DK2S Pro model. So without further ado, first up is the JS23 which is a budget conscious version of the famous Jackson Dinky design. The Dinky is a smaller “dinkier” version of the equally famous soloist, by smaller I don’t mean scale lengh, I mean the size of the body, which has been slimmed down to help it feel more comfortable, and to help reduce weight. Even though it is only 7/8ths the size of a soloist, they really do feel like two different guitars. This one in particular, because this guitar is outfitted with an HSS setup, to help it have a much broader range of tones than your average two humbucker equipped metal guitars.

The Jackson JS23 Dinky Natural Finish Electric Guitar

The Jackson JS23 Dinky Natural Finish Electric Guitar

The body is a slab of beautifully figured Indian cedro wood, which has a nice smooth tone, but still has plenty of body to supply the right amount of bite and bark that heavier styles of guitar requires. The 2-point fulcrum trem unit is nice, and it works well although you do have to learn to work with it like you have to with most non-locking trem systems. Clean this guitar has a very strat style tone, which is to be expected, but it has a little bit of extra girth and body to it, giving it a fuller sound than your average strat arrangement. However, guitars like this wont spend much time on a clean channel, we all know that, even though its clean sound is sparkling and beautiful, but the point of a guitar with a big pointy headstock is to play fast, and loud.

So plugging into a Randall Rt503H, and cranking the OD1 channel this guitars speaking voice finally revealed itself, big, warm, and powerful. The bridge sound was great for big rythem tones, and dropping the tuning was no problem with this guitar, and it supplied all of the metal friendly tones that you would expect from a Jackson. The single coil tones were sparkly, and smooth, which is a great contrast to the big, barking humbucker at the bridge. This guitar would be a perfect first guitar, as it feels comfortable, and sounds great. The ability to play low down and dirty metal, all the way up to bright, jangly clean strat tones, is a fantastic ability that few guitars share nowadays, and its because of this that the Jackson JS23 gets a nice 8 out of 10, as it’s a great beginner guitar, or a nice guitar if you’re looking into getting into metal guitar.

The Jackson JS32T Rhoads Electric Guitar Black

The Jackson JS32T Rhoads Electric Guitar Black

Next up is the Jackson JS32T Rhoads, which is designed after the second Guitar that Randy Rhoads had built by Jackson guitars, he decided that his Concorde guitar wasn’t different enough from a normal flying V, so he had the top point elongated to make it look more like a shark fin, and he had his normal tremolo tailpiece replaced with a string through design instead, for improved tuning stability. This evolved version of the Rhoads shape features a full 24 fret neck, and a nice set of high output Jackson CVR2 pickups.

Playing this guitar clean is oddly a treat, this guitar really has a very pleasant clean tone, which has a very acoustic character, with a lot of cut and bite, but still plenty of body and boldness. This is the type of thing you don’t expect on a guitar that is this sharp and pointy looking, I would actually be able to play this guitar and comp a good country tone from this guitar, although I’m not so sure a country audience would appreciate the look of this guitar.

Playing this guitar through the OD1 channel of the Randall RT503H is exactly what you would expect it to be, amazing. Playing all of the Ozzy riffs I know on this guitar just felt right, sure it might be a little cliché to play them on this guitar, but I don’t care, this is (more or less) what they were written on, and this is how they should sound. Full of biting rhythm sounds, and screaming lead tones this guitar is exactly what I had always wanted it to be. Sure Jackson makes some more expensive versions, but that’s not the point, the point of this guitar is the aesthetic, the power and the brawn that comes from a shape like this. It’s the shape, and the power of the tone alone that makes you feel like you could shred the fretboard in half, and play so fast your hands should rip off. This guitar just has that power, and that’s why this guitar is cemented in history, and that’s why this guitar gets a 10 out of 10. Because no one ever feels like they cant play guitar when they’re holding a flying V, because you always feel like a rock star, just look at yourself in a mirror with it on, and try and not feel awesome.

The Jackson DK2S Dinky Electric Guitar

The Jackson DK2S Dinky Electric Guitar

Last up on the list, is the DK2S which is a lot like the JS model mentioned earlier, except that this one is armed to the teeth with technology. You get a massive Floyd Rose trem that is fantastic for doing, well what a floyd is perfect for, which is diving and sliding all over the place and staying perfectly in tune the whole time. Couple that to the fact that this guitar is equipped with a Sustainiac pickup, and this guitar suddenly takes on a totally different meaning. This guitar is loaded with both sweet singing sustain, and loud roaring distortion.

Clean it was a great experiment to ring out the harmonic sustain, running it through a delay pedal this guitar was suddenly great at creating big sound-scapes, full of body and shimmering glory. Chords ring out great thanks to the compound radius which was great for playing chords at one end of the neck, and soloing at the other, this was a great feeling and in all honestly I don’t get why more guitars don’t feature a neck like this.

Distorted this guitar has a voice all its own, sure it has all of the big Seymour Duncan tones which are great for everything from chugging rhythm work, or soaring sustain, but this guitar has a sustainiac pickup, and as such this guitar takes you to places that a normal guitar just cant. Suddenly I was doing volume swells that actually sounded like a violin, harmonic sustain can evoke almost organ like tones which are just fantastic when used correctly. Playing power chords with the harmonic sustainer on is a fun experiment and its clear that using this guitar as your main guitar would definitely rewrite the way you play guitar.  

For its ability to do everything a working metal guitarist needs, and for being everything an experimental guitarist needs the DK2S easily snags the 10 out of 10 spot. Be for warned though, a Sustainiac is a beat all its own, it’s not your average pickup, and its sustain isn’t even across all of the strings, so it takes some getting used to. Learning when a note will and wont sustain is a puzzle at first, but after using one for a week or so, you learn where your attack should move to as to not effect the singing tone of the guitar.

Randy Rhoads with his Concorde

Randy Rhoads with his Concorde

World Music Supply | DBZ Guitars

Hey everybody, it’s Brian here with World Music Supply, and I’m here to talk to you about some of the cool new stuff that we’re getting here at WMS. Today, I want to talk a little more about DBZ Guitars. As I’ve mentioned before, DBZ is the brain child of Dean B. Zelinsky, who parted ways with Dean Guitars in mid 2008. In order to give Mr. Zelinsky “personal control over design, direction and quality” he started DBZ guitars shortly after his parting ways with his former company. Since then he has been crafting a lot of sleek, beautiful guitars, a few of which I’m going to discuss in today’s blog.

The DBZ Bolero

The DBZ Bolero

First up is the Bolero, a tasteful new take on the classic LP single cut design. This guitar is just different enough to feel interesting and just familiar enough as to not be off putting, it features the iconic mahogany body with a maple top, and a comfortable soft V neck profile on its mahogany neck. It features the DBZB/DBZ5 that I reviewed so favorably on the barchettas a few posts back, and they don’t disappoint here either. They have the right mix of bright and dark from the bridge pickup to the neck pickup so you never run out of useful tones in this guitar, and with the inclusion of a coil split, you also have some decent strat and tele esc tones hidden away in this guitar too. With its more iconic wood combination, of a maple and mahogany body, and a mahogany neck, this guitar tends to sound a little warmer than the Barchetta LT, and a little rounder the fire breathing monsters in the bare bones line. Overall this is a nice choice for the guitarist who wants to have an LP style guitar, but doesn’t want to look like everyone else, with so many powerful tones, and such handsome looks, I give the Bolero a 10 out of 10 easy.

The DBZ Imperial in Cherry Sunburst

The DBZ Imperial in Cherry Sunburst

Next up on the chopping block is the Imperial line, a guitar that I am outright amazed by. It’s a relatively standard looking jazz guitar shape, like a semi hollow body, but without the hollow part, what amazes me is that the Imperial has such a thin body, and when I say thin I mean 5/8 of an inch at the edge thick, that is THIN. 

The DBZ Imperial

The DBZ Imperial

The body curves out a bit more in the middle, but by and large, this guitar is so thin, when you wear an Imperial, it almost doesn’t feel like it’s there, which is an interesting, and comfortable feeling. This guitar sounds a lot snappier than the Bolero thanks to this thinner body, it’s somewhere between a jazz box, and a telecaster, as it has a little bit more of a twangy edge when played clean and a little more presence in the mix when played distorted, but it also has that warm round bottom end that is reminiscent of big body jazz guitars. With the inclusion of the coil splitter this guitar can do basically anything, from twangy country licks, big bodied rock rhythms, and if you drop the tuning a little, it can even grind out some serious metal. The neck is the same as the Bolero, that soft V that fits your hand like a glove, making playing very long sessions so much more comfortable. For its plethora of awesome tones, and its unique razor thin body, the Imperial easily snags a 10 out of 10.

The DBZ Cavallo

The DBZ Cavallo

Then we have the Cavallo, which is a classic V style guitar, with the slight exception of having a heavily sculpted maple top. This carving seemed strange at first, but once you start playing it, you realize that it is thinned only around the controls, and where your arm would naturally either swing when playing standing up, or where your arm would rest when sitting down. The Cavallo is oddly comfortable, and the sounds are just as pleasing. The Cavallo has the same pickup combo as the rest of the guitars thus far in the review. Its tones are a little bit bolder than the Imperial, but not as defined as the Bolero, playing it through a little tube amp, the Cavallo gave me everything from bone dry clean tones, dirty AC/DC style drive, all the way to big hair metal style grind. All in all I like the Cavallo, and as far as V’s go, this one is easily in my top 3. I give the Cavallo a 9 out of 10, only because those carves in the top might be a little off putting to people who like a more traditional V.

The Floyd Rose Equipped DBZ Cavallo

The Floyd Rose Equipped DBZ Cavallo

However, stepping a little more away from the traditional V mold we do have a variant of the Cavallo which sports a locking floyd rose, a welcome change of pace. Now I was able to do light fluttery warbles in the clean setting, Van Halen style dive bombs when I had the amp dimed, and when I used some real distortion I got everything from Dimebag style squeals to Joe Satriani style screaming harmonics. Adding the agility that a floyd affords you to an already amazingly versatile guitar takes it from a 9 out of 10 to a solid 10 out of 10, who would have thought such a little change would bring out so much more potential in this guitar

The DBZ Venom

The DBZ Venom

Lastly in the line up is something way out of the traditional, but what we all honestly expected from DBZ guitars, a solid down to earth metal guitar. The Venom is a V style guitar that more closely resembles a battle axe than it does the 1950s era styling of its cousins. Along with the much more metal stylings, it comes in gun metal grey, and silver, both of which help to accentuate the battle axe feeling of this instrument. Unlike all the other guitars in this review, this guitar is equipped with different pickups, that’s right folks, the Venom is armed with a pair of USA made EMG 81/85s that just scream when you play this thing. Its clean tone is a tad darker than the rest of the DBZs as a result, but this isn’t a bad thing as these guitars probably wont spend much time in a clean, low gain setting. With a distorted tone, these guitars come alive, with full bodied tones that have more than enough output for any situation, and more than enough bark and bite to fulfill any hard rock or metal guitarists wildest dreams. With its Floyd rose trem, and its wickedly hot EMG pickups, this guitar deserves more than the 10 out of 10 I can award it. Lets just say this, if you are hunting for the cream of the crop of metal guitars, the Venom might just be it.

So there you have it folks, some amazingly versatile, and amazingly powerful new guitars from DBZ, all of them with a unique voice, and their own amazingly unique styling,  so how about you go on over to World Music Supply today and order your own DBZ today, and quit looking and sounding like everyone else out there, start being unique with a new DBZ!

World Music Supply | DBZ Barchetta

Hey guys, its Brian here with World Music Supply, and today, I want to talk a little about DBZ Guitars. DBZ is the brain child of Dean B. Zelinsky, who parted ways with Dean Guitars in mid 2008. In order to give Mr. Zelinsky “personal control over design, direction and quality” he started DBZ guitars shortly after parting ways with his former company.

DBZ Barchetta LT Premier Series in Red

DBZ Barchetta LT Premier Series in Red

We here at World Music Supply currently carry the DBZ Barchetta, a guitar with all the sonic fire power and visual flash a modern shredder could ask for. We carry the LT Premier series in both the string through hardtail, and the Floyd Rose Pro equipped versions. This series of guitars all feature a heavily carved top, the signature Dean Zelinsky neck profile that is neither too fat, or too skinny, and a set of great sounding DBZ humbucking pickups. We also carry the Absinthe which is a Barchetta style guitar with a special Absinthe graphic, Grover tuners, a Floyd Rose Special, an ebonized rosewood fretboard and special diamond inlays. Lastly we also carry the Bare Bones Series of DBZ guitars, which are Barchetta style guitars, which all feature sleek graphic finishes, a Floyd Rose Special Tremolo, Grover tuners, and a set neck with an ebonized rosewood fretboard with upgraded bare bones inlays.

DBZ Bare Bones Series Devil Graphics

DBZ Bare Bones Series Devil Graphics

Ive gotten the opportunity to test drive a few of these guitars, and was thoroughly impressed by them in every way. The body style looks far more impressive in person, and pictures just don’t do this guitar justice. It hung comfortably on a strap, and the body bevels made it just as comfortable to play. The tone of these guitars is thick, with no range of the guitar over powering another, and the Floyd Rose worked wonderfully, coming safely back to pitch no matter how far I pushed or pulled it. The ability to coil tap the pickups was a fun feature, and provided me a bit of spanky, single coil tone, which is a nice addition to an already nice guitar.

These were designed by DBZ to be metal and hard rock guitars, and while I understand they were designed to be the guitar equivalent of fire breathing monsters. With the gain turned down I was able to wrangle some rather respectable classic rock tones, and with a clean tone, and the coils split, these guitars even do a fairly impressive impersonation of a strat, so even though they’re marketed as metal guitars, these are very versatile instruments.

DBZ Barchetta FR LT Premier Series in Black

DBZ Barchetta FR LT Premier Series in Black

Because of this amazing versatility, in my book the Barchetta series a pure 10 out of 10, as they are stunning guitars at a jaw dropping price, with features and quality rarely found in a guitar in this price range. So why don’t you do yourself a favor, and head on over to Worldmusicsupply.com and snag yourself one of these fantastic guitars before they’re all gone.