Check out the signature models (and more) that Scott Ian, Jon Donais, and Frank Bello are rocking on the thrash masters’ 40th anniversary tour.
Anthrax went to church when they brought their Covid-delayed 40th anniversary tour to Nashville—the Mother Church of Country Music, that is, aka the Ryman Auditorium—on August 15. And PG’s Perry Bean was there to welcome the thrash metal royals and talk with guitarists Scott Ian and Jon Donais, and bassist Frank Bello. Some things have changed in their gear since our earlier Rundown, in 2012, but not Ian’s loyalty to Jackson, which makes the signature-model King V’s he loves to play. Donais is equally stoked on his Dean Exile signature axe, which he also used on the recent Shadows Fall reunion tour. And Bello shared his new signature Charvel bass and EMG pickups. Ian kicked things off, playing his V with a vintage-diner-tile-style finish, his current favorite. Check it out!
Brought to you byD’Addario XS Coated Strings.
The first axe Ian picks up for most Anthrax shows is this two-year-old signature model from the Jackson Custom Shop, sporting the company’s old-school logo, an FU-Tone Floyd Rose, Seymour Duncan JBs, and—key—Eddie-approved Iron Maiden wristbands holding his wireless packs.
The Green Machine
Avocado burst? Another of Ian’s favorites was about to get a little fine-tuning from Adam Reiver, who was going to meet the band in Philly to replace this guitar’s bridge with a more colored coordinated one from his FU-Tone catalog. Although, like his white No. 1, this 6-string has a 24.75" scale neck, a mahogany body, a 1-piece through-body maple neck, Seymours, a 12"-16" compound radius bound laurel fretboard, and 22 jumbo frets, he thinks “this one has a little more bottom end.”
Dio and Dimebag
Here’s a metal version of Mt. Rushmore. Ian plays this custom-painted Jackson Soloist—his previous signature model—during “In the End,” Anthrax’s tribute to Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrell, from 2011’s Worship Music album. These days, for lower tunings, Ian uses D’Addario .010–.052 sets. (At one point, he was using .012–.060 sets, but was brutalizing his hands.) For standard, he employs .009–.042s.
EVH and EL34
Ian says he’s gotten every EVH 5150 model since they debuted, and the EL34 tubes that stock his trio of heads provide his vision of the ultimate tone. “I mean, the first chord of the set, man, we hit that big E chord and go into ‘Among the Living’ … it makes me so happy,” he says of his hot-wired sound. “It sets the tone for the rest of the night. It’s literally pushing me in the back.” He plugs into the crunch channel, channel 2, and runs clean “but has that right amount of edge that makes it metal.”
Pedals x 3
Ian keeps his stomps simple: a Mooer Ninety Orange phaser, a One Control Sea Turquoise Delay, a One Control Little Copper Chorus, and a Kirk Hammett KH95 Signature Cry Baby wah. Plus, a Fortin Zuul noise gate tames the snakes.
On the verge of his 10th anniversary with Anthrax, Jon Donais is laying it down with his new Dean Markley signature Exile-style, with a mahogany body, Fishman Fluence Modern pickups, a 5-piece flame maple neck with a thin C profile, a USA Hipshot bridge, a quilted maple top, and 24 frets. For now, they’re only available by order from Dean’s Custom Shop, but Donais is hoping for a production model in 2023. His picks are Dunlop Tortex Sharps, and his strings are … surprising. For standard tuning, he uses DR .008 sets and DR 009s for E-flat standard.
Profiles in Heavy
Donais’ setup is streamlined. He uses only three stock Rivera and ENGL patches in his Kemper Profiler, plus a Fortin Zuul noise gate and an Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer “for just a little extra.”
Frank’s No. 1!
Frank Bello is Charvel’s first bass-playing signature artist, and had a blast showing off his new Pro-Mod So-Cal PJIV. The 4-string has a poplar body, a bolt-on maple neck, a 12"-16" compound radius, black block inlays, 20 jumbo nickel frets, a brass nut (for extra sustain), and a 34" scale, with a Charvel HiMass bridge and a pair of his signature EMG pickups. While Bello plays a custom shop model, a production version is also available. The mirrored pickguard is Bello’s tribute to Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott. And the pickups are a P/J setup, which has always been his preference. The controls are just two volumes, because, Bello says, “the tone should always be there.” His strings: D’Addario .045–.105 sets.
Bello rolls with a pair of Hartke LH1000s with matched aluminum-cone Hartke 4x12s. “I’ve been with them for a long time,” he says. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
State of Bello’s Stomps
That box with no markings? It’s Bello’s new pedal from Tech 21—still unnamed and still in development. “It’s like a SansAmp on steroids,” he says. Also aboard the ’board: a Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver, an EBS MultiComp and BassIQ Triple Envelope Filter, and switching devices.
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Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
The Generation Collection of acoustic guitars features the exclusive Gibson Player Port designed to offer a unique and immersive sonic experience.
The G-Bird, the newest addition to the Generation Collection--represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird colliding with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port to add a new dimension to the G-Bird sound. The Gibson Player Port allows players to hear more of themselves as the audience hears it. With a tone that is crisp and resonant, all of the Gibson Generation Collection acoustics are designed to be comfortable to hold and play for long periods of time. All Generation Collection guitars feature the Gibson Player Port, slim, lightweight bodies, a flatter fingerboard radius, Walnut back and sides, Sitka spruce tops, and a stunning Natural finish. Additionally, the new G-Bird, and the G-200 and G-Writer are equipped with LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup systems which amplify deep bass and crystal-clear highs.
The G-Bird represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port adding a new dimension to the G-Bird’s sound. The G-Bird features a stunning solid Sitka spruce top and solid walnut back and sides for the ultimate in crisp, resonant tone. This square-shoulder dreadnought delivers all the rich low end and well-balanced mids and highs the original Hummingbird is famous for. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with chrome Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning. The utile neck, with its easy-playing Advanced Response neck profile, is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Modeled after Gibson’s pioneering small-body parlor acoustic guitars from the 1930’s, the G-00 is a top choice for blues and fingerstyle guitar performances. Despite its more compact size, the G-00 achieves a full, balanced sound. The G-00 fills any room with rich tones-which players can hear like never before, with the exclusive Gibson Player Port. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-00 is handcrafted in Bozeman, Montana, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustic guitars. The G-00 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-00 parlor-sized body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-00 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
The G-45, a round-shouldered jumbo, adds the Gibson Player Port to its famous “Workhorse” J-45 style body, which is Gibson’s best-selling acoustic guitar of all time. On the G-45, players can now hear more clearly than ever how this beloved guitar responds to every style and technique of playing. Powerful one moment and soft the next, the G-45 delivers all sounds with incredible dynamic range in an elegant, medium body size. The G-45 is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-45 features a slightly thinner round shoulder body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-45 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Gibson’s impressive range of square-shouldered guitars have become an expressive standard for rock, pop, folk, and country artists. The G-Writer is known for its wide range of sounds, from gutsy and loud, to soft and sweet; they are superb for all styles and shine, whether strumming chords or fingering intricate solos. The G-Writer comes ready for the stage or studio with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system and the ear-opening Gibson Player Port. The G-Writer is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-Writer features a slightly thinner cutaway body, is more comfortable to play and provides effortless access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Writer is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
Gibson built its first “Super Jumbo” SJ-200 as a custom order for country and western singer and film star Ray Whitley, who desired a big, loud, and deep flat-top over which to croon. The SJ-200 quickly became a staple of cowboy singers and horseback troubadours, and then country music, 60’s folk stars, and onto every acoustic guitar genre that has followed. Ray would be proud to hear the booming sound from the Gibson Player Port on the new G-200, which comes ready for the stage or studio with a LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-200 is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. The G-200 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-200 cutaway jumbo body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and provides excellent access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-200 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
G-Bird | Generation Collection
For more information, please visit gibson.com.