Trivium frontman Matt Heafy partners with Epiphone to launch 6 and 7-string models with Fishman Fluence Custom Humbucker pickups and classic Les Paul cosmetics.
The Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom Origins Collection is available in 6 and 7-String versions, in both Ebony and Bone White, and each guitar is also available in right and left-handed versions. The Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom Origins and a Les Paul Custom Origins in 6 and 7-String models. Each guitar features a pair of Matt Heafy’s Fishman Fluence Custom Series Signature Humbucker pickups that deliver three distinct tones – two standard Modern voices, and one crystal clear single coil tone.
These tonal options are selected with push/pull volume and tone pots. The maple-capped mahogany body has modern weight relief for hours of comfortable play, and the mahogany neck has a fast-playing SpeedTaper D profile and a contoured heel for exceptional upper-fret access. Gold hardware, including locking Grover Rotomatic tuners with Tulip buttons, and classic Les Paul Custom cosmetics make this a standout guitar on-stage. Available in Ebony and Bone White gloss finishes, a custom hardshell case is included.
Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom Origins
The Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom Origins Collection guitars are available worldwide through authorized Epiphone dealers and via www.epiphone.com.
A certified chug machine that succeeds with more than just the target demo.
An incredible amount of gain. Very useful blend knob. Plenty of power.
Some modes are a bit subtle depending on your setup.
Walrus Audio Eras
The Eras from Walrus Audio is a take-no-prisoners chug machine that offers a few features that would even please the low-gain set. The core of the Eras is a 5-stage mode knob that offers a handful of different clipping options. They range from scooped and tight to compressed and smooth via combinations of LED and silicon clipping. In position 1, you have LED hard clipping, which creates a more focused low end that works great for Papa Hetfield-style rhythm playing. Position 2 uses silicon, and it becomes a bit more scooped (think early Pantera) and seems to be more compressed.
Ease of Use: 4
Walrus Audio Eras, walrusaudio.com
With the remaining three positions, you get a combo LED/silicon setting and slightly different EQs on standalone LED and silicon clipping. I was quite impressed with how the Eras handled single-coil and P-90 pickups, as both came across as possessed by the soul of a cranked-up humbucker. Along with bass, treble, volume, and gain controls, it also has a very handy blend knob that moves from a completely dry signal to totally effected. Dialing in a bit of your dry signal allows you to really sculpt the clarity in some of the more saturated settings. It was also big fun to add just a bit of high-gain fizz in the background of a mostly clean tone—almost like a distorted shimmer effect.
Walrus has a pretty-well-documented history of creating forward-thinking stomps that are more than just what you see on the surface. The Eras will catch the eye of the djent-and-chug crowd pretty easily, but I found just as much beauty in the lower (relatively speaking) gain settings. Overall, this is a pedal that delivers to more than just the target demo.
Test Gear: Fender Cory Wong Stratocaster, Schroeder Chopper TL, Fender Jaguar, Revv D20
Dig into the details of a pile of new gear from Steve Vai, MXR, Abasi Concepts, Dophix, b3, and more!
Martin Custom Guitar
Here's the 2,500,000th guitar to come through Martin’s factory and built by their team. The guitar was made from birdseye Belizean rosewood and heavy Sitka spruce. Display built by Jody Betz.
Positive Grid Spark Mini
At $199, Dreadbox’s Treminator goes way past trad-style trem. It offers five different wave shapes, fade in/out controls, tap tempo, and a handful of “secret” features when you hold down one of the footswitches. Think Minus the Bear in a box.
Do you love Teles and wigglesticks? VegaTrem just gave us a quick look a the VT-2, which takes there rock-solid trem technology and applies it to T-style setups. Installation isn’t invasive and the bar feels smooth as silk. Pricing is TBA, but look for them this fall.
Manhattan Prestige Basses Session One
Famed session legend Neil Jason founded a new instrument company called Manhattan Prestige Basses and brought their first model, the Session One, to NAMM. It’s an incredibly well-balanced instrument that sports an alder body, maple neck, Tusq nut, Luminay fret markers, and a Wilkinson bridge. A rock-solid workhorse that comes in at $999 street.
Imperial Electric: The Appetite
The Audient EVO16 is a fully featured recording solution that offers 8 inputs, phantom power, multiple headphone outputs, and an inventive Smart Gain feature that makes setting levels a snap. Will hit stores soon at $499.
Pro Co Lil' Rat
The classic tone of the Rat has been shrunk into a micro-sized enclosure. It has the exact same circuitry and clipping as the original, just smaller. In order to save space they took out the battery option, but it still sounds as gnarly as ever. And quite a deal at $79.
Blackstar St. James
Blackstar spent the last two years developing a new line of ultra-powerful and ultra-light amps. The St James series offers two different setups (6L6 and EL84) that include a full 3-band EQ, dual channels, reverb, reactive load options, and deep editing via an app. Heads are $1,199, combos are $1,299, and the 2x12 can is $749.
Martin D-28 Rich Robinson Guitar
Martin just released a new signature model from Rich Robinson that was patterned after his dad’s ‘50s model. It has rosewood back and sides, a chunky neck, Sitka spruce too, and is the first artist model that's aged to replicate the original. It will street for $6,999 and be out in late summer.
Ernie Ball Music Man Tosin Abasi Kaizen
Futuristic shredder Tosin Abasi just announced a new collaboration with Ernie Ball Music Man. The Kaizen is an immaculately designed 7-string that sports a mini humbucker in the neck, Steinberger tuners, a multiscale neck with floating trem, and much more. Should be out in late summer with a price TBA.
Steve Vai Hydra
One of the most incredible creations at this year’s show was Steve Vai’s Ibanez Hydra. It was prominently featured on Vai’s last album and the up-close details are amazing.
Tom Quayle Signature
Ibanez and fusion stylist Tom Quayle extended their partnership with a singlecut signature model that's loaded with a Seymour Duncan mini-humbucker in the neck and an Alnico Pro II in the bridge.
Abasi Concepts emi Series
Dophix Michelangelo Overdrive Plus
b3 Guitars Telstar
Gene Baker and b3 Guitars brought their mashed-up Telstar to the show. It pays obvious tribute to a pair of classic models, but this one features a 10(!)-way switch, Lollar pickups, a double graphite reinforced bolt-on neck, and a MannMade hybrid tremolo. They will be exclusively sold through The Music Emporium and will start at $5,200.
Gamechanger Audio Bigsby Pedal
Gamechanger Audio's new collaboration with Fender has resulted in a digital version of a seminal tremolo. The Bigsby pedal allows for both upward and downward polyphonic pitch bending in addition to adjusting the rate of the vibrato. It feels smooth and natural and makes the more extreme Bigsby moves much easier. It's available now for $379.
Black Volt Amplification Earthcaster
MXR and Third Man Hardware Double Down
The latest pedal collab from Jack White's Third Man Records is the Double Down. Inside, there are two of MXR's Micro Amp circuits in a single box. It has dual outputs with phase and buffer switches on the side. Should be out later this year.