Megadeth’s Chris Broderick Discusses His New
Jackson 6- and 7-String Signature Guitars
Chris Broderick onstage with a Jackson Custom Shop signature prototype that’s simultaneously futuristic and elegant looking, thanks to its subtly
carved, flamed-maple top with a semi-transparent finish that complements the black binding and white, body-mounted humbuckers.
How did you decide to take your signature
guitar ideas to the guys at Jackson?
I talked to a number of other companies
and Jackson was really willing to step up
to the plate and build me the guitar that
I envisioned. It was the idea that there
was no compromise in not only what they
would build for me, but also what they
would offer to the public.
What do you mean?
Stainless-steel frets are a big issue for a lot of
builders. With Jackson, it was no problem.
And Jackson really stepped it up on the
7-string guitar—they were able to get with
Floyd Rose and build the first ever 7-string,
low-profile version of the Floyd Rose tremolo.
That, to me, is phenomenal!
What other features did you want?
I really like a 12" fretboard radius all the
way across. They were able to do that when
other companies just wanted me to pick
out a model they already had and slap my
name on it. I also love the asymmetrical
offset body. I’ve always been a fan of that,
which is why I designed it that way. It also
serves a very ergonomic function: It takes
the balance of the guitar and makes it so
that you can angle the neck up. The neck
doesn’t want to drop down like on other
guitars. That was a huge plus for me.
We looked at everything from the lower
horn cutaway and the upper horn cutaway,
and those relief cuts that are on each side.
Then the placement of the Volume and
Tone controls, the jack for plugging in the
guitar cable, and how ergonomically that
fits in. Also, how the guitar sits against you,
and what angle it juts out at. We looked at
a lot of things in terms of its playability.
Are your new guitars pretty light or do
you like them fairly substantial?
My guitars are fairly heavy, but that’s
mainly because I like dense wood. It’s a
fairly typical combination of mahogany
and a plain maple top. The quality of the
wood that Jackson has is unbelievable. I
would love to play a guitar that’s half a
pound if you could make it, but I have
a feeling it wouldn’t sound that good,
tonally. The weight of the guitar is based
more on the quality of the tone than how
comfortable it is to wear.
What was it like working with Mike
He was absolutely horrible! [Laughs
No, he’s awesome. He’s so meticulous
about getting things right and making
sure they’re exact. The detail work that
he does with everything is so precise.
I’ve never seen work of that quality
before. When he takes on a project, he
makes it personal.