Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Guthrie Govan and Charvel Guitars

As you must have heard, Guthrie Govan has recently ended his professional relationship with Suhr Guitars.  This departure has caused a stir in his fan base; it has everyone wondering what guitar he is using instead of his Suhr models.

Govan recently posted on his Facebook explaining the whole situation.  He also touches on his collaboration with Charvel Guitars.  See below.

For those of you who might not know, Govan was on the cover of Guitar Player Magazine in July 2011 and here is an exerpt from the post, "[f]rom the virtuosic guitar work on his 2006 solo debut, Erotic Cakes [Cornford Records] to his playing in the studio and on stage with the revamped ’80s prog supergroup Asia (2001-2006) to the viral video smash in which he accurately emulates every guitarist from James Taylor and B.B. King to Steve Vai and Zakk Wylde (search YouTube for “Who’s Best Govan”), Govan stands out as one of the most versatile players the electric guitar has ever known."

Govan's Message about his collaboration with Charvel Guitars

Hello! Guthrie here, with a somewhat boring (but apparently necessary!) update… and a pretty picture ;-)
Well… the guitar I’ve been using lately has apparently caused something of a stir in certain sectors of the online community, so I figured it might be helpful if I explained what’s actually going on.
Just to clear things up:
1) I’m no longer affiliated with Suhr guitars, and Suhr’s product range will no longer include a GG signature model. This is really Not A Big Deal: the Suhr guys and yours truly simply reached a point where we couldn’t agree on the best way to develop our working relationship. The finer details are of no concern to anyone other than me and the Suhr company, but there’s certainly no animosity here: it was a mutual business-related decision, that’s all.
Contrary to certain “purple monkey dishwasher” rumours which seem to be in circulation, this has nothing to do with any alleged reliability issues: the Suhr company continues to make consistently world-class instruments, just as it always has done.
2) Just for the record, no company has ever paid me so much as a penny to use their guitars/amps/strings/pedals/whatever. I see no point in working with any gear company unless I have the utmost confidence in the quality of its work… and genuinely feel that its product is helping me in my ongoing quest to make pleasing noises.
3) I don’t currently have any guitar endorsement deal, and not every instrument I use in a public place should be presumed to be a signature model. (I’m aware that this contradicts certain assertions you may have read on Wikipedia but… where that particular source of information is concerned, it strikes me that you only get what you pay for!)
4) Having said all of the above… I have recently been working on some ideas with the good people at Charvel Guitars, and the results have been extremely encouraging!
Above, you’ll see a picture of the #1 prototype Charvel I used for the Aristocrats’ recent European tour. It sounds great, the neck pretty much plays itself and… to my way of thinking, it looks mighty fine, too ;-)
(Koa body, roasted/baked/caramelised maple neck, special Mystery Pickups designed by one of the Fender Custom Shop’s “mad scientists”, Gotoh 2-post trem with vintage-style saddles and Tremol-No as per usual… No “blower switch”, purely because I no longer feel the need for one: presumably my volume pedal chops have improved a little over the last few years?)
Unfortunately, the only current video footage out there seems to be a Greek interview (where I’m playing through a hired 100W Marshall at bedroom volume levels) and a TV broadcast from the Frankfurt Jazz Festival (where the sound guys somehow contrived to add a bizarre and very distracting short delay to the guitar signal) but… soon enough, I’m sure you’ll be able to hear this thing properly: its tone has a unique kind of snarl, which I’m liking a lot ;-)
If this guitar evolves into a full-on signature model/endorsement, I’ll certainly let you know (and I’m guessing that Charvel might have something to say about it, too!) but at this stage it’s just a “Mk1″ prototype. Let’s just see what happens from here…
In other news… the launch of the live Aristocrats DVD/CD package is just around the corner! Stay tuned – I promise that my next post will be more exciting and less verbose than this one ;-)


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