A versatile instrument that can rock hard
That is exactly where Michael Anderberg found his niche, applying the traditional approach to guitar building, and by doing so he’s created, in his own words, “a balls-out rock guitar that’s easy to play.” Not that this isn’t a highly versatile instrument, as I quickly discovered. The Anderberg Wille, named after his grandfather, is a 5-piece laminated neck-thru design, with mahogany neck and body. The top is hand-carved poplar with black lacquer finish and painted binding-style detail. The neck features a two-way adjustable truss rod with a 25” scale rosewood fretboard, 22 medium jumbo frets and a compound radius of 12” to 16”.
Anderberg modeled the Wille on a Les Paul. The main complaint he heard from guitarists about the LP was the weight. He addressed that issue with some unique routed chambers, which also give the Wille even more sustain and resonance then your average chambered electric. Playing the guitar unplugged, I could hear more body resonance, and it seemed louder than other electrics. Plugged in, the sustain is unbelievable. Built from mahogany, the Wille is not a light guitar by any means, but it’s not as heavy as a Les Paul. The bridge is a Schaller Tune-O-Matic with stop tailpiece and Grover tuners. It’s worth mentioning that the guitar arrived at PG in tune, and that I had no major tuning issues while playing this guitar.
Not just a rocker
When I plugged the Wille in, I ran it through a Sound City L120 and an Orange 4x12 cab using a Keeley Mod DS-1 distortion, and Ooh la la Soda-Meiser fuzz box. The Wille comes with Seymour Duncan pickups, a Distortion SH-6 in the bridge and a ‘59 SH-1 in the neck position. There is a 3-way toggle switch, and the single Volume and Tone knobs are both push-pull: the Volume knob splits the neck, and the Tone knob splits the bridge. The pickups Anderberg chose seem to be a magic combination that covers all the bases. Although it’s intended mainly as a rocker, I found it to be a highly versatile instrument for almost any musical genre. The bridge pickup screams with some highgain distortion, providing excellent clarity for shredding, and a tight mid-to-low bass response for rhythm—something any metalhead or rock guitarist will love. It’s not quite what the doctor ordered when it comes to playing clean, but that’s what the neck pickup is for… although if you back off the volume on the guitar a bit, you can get a “dirty clean” with lots of bite.
The mid-position using both pickups is my favorite setting. With the highs backed off a little here, I could achieve more tonal range, providing plenty of low-to-midrange. Without backing off on the guitar’s volume, this setting achieves some full sounding but clear and punchy clean tones that are not too thin. This position also responded admirably when coupled with either the distortion or the fuzz, providing excellent resonance and clarity without sounding too scoopy. In the neck position, the fuzz from the Soda-Meiser was my best friend on the dirty side of the equation, conjuring up rich fuzz tones with plenty of low end. There was a bit of break-up from the amp in this setting, but that may be attributable to the power of the Soda-Meiser because the DS-1 cleaned it up a bit more. Using just the neck pickup for distortion has never been my cup of tea anyway, so I may be a bit biased. As for the clean setting, the guitar really sounded the best in this position: warm tones and great clarity.
The overall sound of this guitar is very Gibson/PRS, especially the bridge position, which reminded me a lot of my old PRS CE24. The neck position has some of the same qualities as well, but had less breakup and better bass response than I ever remember getting out of my PRS. It also worth mentioning that this guitar has no background noise or unruly feedback even with the gain cranked, which I expect from a high-quality instrument. As for playability, SG fans will really love this guitar for its neck. But fans of Paul Reed Smith and Les Paul guitars will also love the Wille. And once again, Anderberg has improved upon them with a slim, symmetrical double cutaway design that allows easy access to all the frets, especially with a neck-thru body. The action is dialed in perfectly and the rosewood fretboard feels great. The smooth finish of the neck provides easy gliding up and down the neck.
I had the opportunity to use the Anderberg Wille in the studio. I used it mostly for some ambient clean parts with an EBow, allowing the resonance of the instrument to provide the bulk of the tone and sustain. I also used it for some heavy down-tuned parts and some harmonic leads. The Wille truly delivered. I actually hadn’t intend to use it so much, but I kept setting down my bari-Tele to pick up the Anderberg. And now I don’t want to give it back.
The Final Mojo
Anderberg currently offers six models, including two basses, and has a six- to eight-week turnaround time—and he will accommodate specific hardware requests. I was hard-pressed to find anything wrong with the Anderberg Wille, and was pretty bummed out when I had to return it. There is something truly wonderful about the Wille, and I can safely say I haven’t been this excited about a guitar since I picked up my first PRS over a decade ago. Now I just need to save some pennies up, so I can have Anderberg build one for me.
you’re looking for a highly versatile rocker that looks, plays and sounds great.
balls-out is a little too much rock for you.
MSRP $3200 - Anderberg Custom Guitars - anderberguitars.com
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Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.