Gibson announces a faithful recreation of Frank Zappa''s SG that he used on the "Roxy" album.
Nashville, TN (May 8, 2013) -- Frank Zappa has long been hailed as one of the most inventive rock guitarists ever to have graced the stage and studio. The live performances with his band The Mothers at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood from December 1973 and after—documented in the album Roxy & Elsewhere and on subsequent DVD releases—are often considered to display the pinnacle of his unbridled invention.
The heavily modified SG Special used in those shows is an iconic instrument among Zappa fans, and now Gibson USA recreates that legendary SG in perfectly faithful detail to bring the Frank Zappa “Roxy” SG to anyone seeking an extremely versatile, and superbly playable modified-vintage SG Standard.
Zappa’s original SG Special was an early ’60s model with a fast, slim neck profile and the smaller pickguard characteristic of the era, which would have been made with P-90 pickups originally. While it reflects the heavily modified state of FZ’s guitar, the Frank Zappa “Roxy” SG still functions perfectly as a straight-up vintage-reissue SG when desired. But just flip either of the two mini-toggle switches to split the uncovered humbuckers’ coils, or to throw the pickups out of phase, and you leap into funky Zappa-certified tones—all aided by the highly functional Maestro-style vibrola with Lyre tailpiece. And with its natural neck and headstock, and a carefully color-matched rendition of FZ’s faded nitrocellulose Cherry finish, the Frank Zappa “Roxy” SG looks every bit as distinctive as it sounds.
Body and Neck
The Frank Zappa “Roxy” SG begins with the same time-tested tonewoods that helped to make the SG Standard legendary in the first place. The body is crafted from solid Grade-A mahogany in the iconic double-horned style with beveled edges for enhanced playing comfort. A solid, quarter-sawn, Grade-A mahogany neck is carved in the slim early ’60s profile that Zappa preferred, which measures 0.775” at the 1st fret and 0.910” at the 12th, for superb speed and comfort. It’s topped with a Grade-A rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays and 22 frets made from wire based on precise measurement of the jumbo frets on the original “Roxy” SG. Like FZ’s guitar, the neck is natural mahogany, and the headstock is white.
Pickups and Electronics
The modified electronics on FZ’s original “Roxy” SG were a big part of that guitar’s mojo, and Gibson USA goes all out to replicate that versatility in the Frank Zappa “Roxy” SG. Two enhanced ’57 Classics with four-conductor wiring replicate the same thick, juicy tone of the humbuckers Zappa added to his guitar. They are routed through a pair of mini-toggle switches mounted in a channel under the pickguard, to yield coil-splitting for single-coil tones, and out-of-phase tones, both of which were a big part of Zappa’s signature sound. The remaining control complement includes the traditional three-way toggle selector and an independent volume and tone control for each pickup.
Hardware and Plastics
Tremolo was a key part of FZ’s signature sound, and the Frank Zappa® “Roxy” SG is loaded with a Maestro-style vibrola with decorative Lyre tailpiece and flat bar handle to give the same creative kick to your own playing. A Tune-o-matic bridge offers precise intonation, while a set of Grover™ tuners with historic rounded buttons are both efficient, and true to the look of the original guitar. The guitar carries the smaller early ’60s five-ply SG pickguard with special dimensioned neck spacer to alter the position of the neck pickup to match FZ’s original guitar and a traditional black truss-rod cover.
For more information:
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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.