Premier Guitar magazine’s John Bohlinger caught up with Jake E Lee during Red Dragon Cartel’s recent tour for an episode of Rig Rundown, in which the axe fiend showed off his iconic Charvel signature guitars.
Lee’s signature models feature a unique HSS pickup configuration with a Seymour Duncan® JB Alnico II humbucking bridge and a pair of DiMarzio® SDS-1 single-coils mounted at a reverse slant.
“[The reverse slant] gives a little more bite to the bass strings and a little more depth to the treble strings,” added Lee, right before using Whitey to run through the myriad of tones on his pedal board.
Check out Lee in the full Rig Rundown interview below.
To say Angel Vivaldi knows a thing or two about guitar is an understatement. The axe genius has spent the better part of 17 years perfecting his craft to what it is today, and getting there meant overcoming several hurdles.
“I grew up with a lot of obstacles standing in my way of playing guitar, whether it was being very poor or having little-to-no support,” says Angel Vivaldi in an exclusive interview with Charvel. “Things like lessons and adequate gear were way out of the question. I spent a lot of time by myself just exploring the guitar, using my ear as a guide.”
Despite these setbacks, Vivaldi would soldier on and build an illustrious career in instrumental-prog rock with albums like Away With Words, Part 1 and Synapse. As his career blossomed, so did his need for an instrument that could keep up with his fiery fretwork.
“I remember playing with tons of different bands, some were in drop B and some were in drop C,” explains Vivaldi. “I couldn’t afford a guitar to play with each of these bands, so I figured if I had a 7-string I could cover all my bases. Sure enough, it did! Now it’s just become a huge part of how I riff and write.”
In early 2017, Charvel sent the guitarist a DK24 model to take for a spin. The guitar virtuoso immediately admired the classic-yet-unconventional approach Charvel took to crafting state-of-the-art instruments.
“I fell in love with the philosophy behind what Charvel does — breaking rules on traditional guitars,” says Vivaldi. “I found this philosophy really falls in line with my own philosophy of fusing modern-era guitar building with the blue prints of classic tradition.”
“To be honest, I didn’t expect to fall in love as much as I did,” continues Vivaldi grinning. “I was initially sent a 6-string DK24. The fact that I am a 7-string player who fell in love with a 6-string says a lot.”
This partnership would eventually spawn the Angel Vivaldi Signature DK24-7 Nova, an elegant 7-string guitar loaded with premium features and designed for an array of playing, from heavy metal riffs to articulate blues solos.
“The name Nova really represents so much of what I feel like this guitar stands for… which is driven innovation and creativity,” says Vivaldi of his signature model.
Watch the in-depth interview below, which includes a full rundown of the features on his signature axe as well as enticing playing snippets of his songs.
“If you’re like me and don’t want to play guitars that suck, you’re going to like these a lot because they’re the best-sounding, best-playing rock guitars,” promises Steel Panther guitarist Satchel in an exclusive new Charvel video about his Satchel Signature Pro-Mod DK models.
An ultimate rock machine, the Satchel Pro-Mod DK is locked and loaded with premium appointments including an alder Dinky™ body, rock-solid two-piece bolt-on maple neck, blazing 12”-16” compound radius maple fingerboard and Fishman® Fluence Classic bridge and neck humbucking pickups.
“I love the way they sound,” says Satchel. “They make it easy to rock, especially for heavy metal. When you’re looking for a high-gain, high-saturated tone, these pickups sound amazing.”
In his spec rundown (sometimes on point and sometimes totally false), Satchel also praises its Floyd Rose trem, calling it “one of the best systems ever made” and calls out the “huge benefit” of the heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel.
If you’re not sold on the specs alone, Satchel assures you that the brand-new Slime Green Bengal finish or more familiar Yellow Bengal dressing will emphatically seal the deal.
“Even if you’re not a good guitar player, hang them on your wall,” he says. “These guitars look great in houses and apartments. Hang these in your bathroom or living room — girls go crazy for them!”
Oh, and if you like skateboards, we’ve got one of those with Satchel’s Yellow Bengal print, too! Pester your local authorized Charvel dealers for one of those.
Watch Satchel’s lively interview below, and catch Steel Panther on tour here.