NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars

2nd Feb 2012 | 16:30

NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
ESP Eclipse II w/ Duncans

Trying to pick just 10 of our most anticipated new arrivals after this year’s winter NAMM show is like picking a puppy from a shelter – we want to take them ALL home. Still, here’s a selection of some of our favourite electric guitars from NAMM 2012.

ESP Eclipse II w/ Duncans

MSRP: $2,882 (approx. £1,822)

They say:

“If you’re really into making a splash (and are into passive pickups), the new Eclipse-II w/ Duncans has an amazing new Silver Sparkle (SSP) finish that can’t help but draw everyone’s attention!”

We say:

Well, hello there Mr Sparkleboots! It’s not for everyone, but this Seymour Duncan-equipped Eclipse was one of the most eye-catching production-line axes on display this year. *Distracts with jazz hands and winning smile, while exiting stage left*

Essentials tech specs:

Mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, mahogany body (with a maple top), Seymour Duncan JB humbuckers, Gotoh Magnum Lock tuners, Gotoh TOM bridge, SSP finish.

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
Fender Blacktop Jaguar 90

Fender Blacktop Jaguar 90

MSRP: £646.80

They say:

“Those who prefer their big cats to purr rather than roar will love the alluring sound and lithe form of the Blacktop Jaguar 90.”

We say:

We love the rock ethic behind Fender’s Blacktop series, but swapping the high-powered humbuckers for P90s should give the Jag 90 more flexibility. We love the Three-color Sunburst finish, too. It’s the cat that you want to follow you home.

Essential tech specs:

Maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, alder body, Blacktop Jaguar 90 singlecoil pickups (neck and bridge), medium jumbo frets, Adjusto-Matic bridge with anchored tailpiece.

2012 Fender Blacktop gallery

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
PRS SE Dave Navarro

PRS SE Dave Navarro

MSRP: unconfirmed

They say:

“Navarro’s Maryland-made signature model has been one of PRS’s most popular artist guitars. The addition of the SE Dave Navarro instrument will make this model accessible to more fans and musicians.”

We say:

The Jane’s Addiction guitarist follows in the footsteps of Carlos Santana and Mark Tremonti as the third player in the firm’s history to be awarded both a signature model and an SE edition. We think this will find a home both among fans of the well-groomed rocker and those looking for PRS pizzazz on a budget.

Essential tech specs:

Maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, mahogany (back) and maple (top) body, SE HFS humbucker (neck), SE Vintage Bass humbucker (bridge), push/pull volume and tone pots, PRS Designed Tremolo bridge.

PRS SE Dave Navarro video

PRS Artist Guitars press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
Ibanez X Series XG307

Ibanez X Series XG307

MSRP: unconfirmed

They say:

“Just as the metamorphosis of heavy metal has never stopped, neither do the weapons of engagement. Designed in consultation with numerous artists, the Ibanez X-Series combines an originally designed body shape with killer tone and playability.”

We say:

We were wowed by the super-fast Wizard necks of Ibanez’s previous ‘none-more-metal’ X-Series and the no-frills plug in and play vibe of the XG307 could make this a fun beast to tame.

Essential tech specs:

Seven-string, maple Wizard III neck, rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body, jumbo frets, AH37 humbucker (neck), AH47 (bridge), through-body Full Tune III-7 bridge.

Ibanez X Series XG307 press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
Squier Jim Root Telecaster

Squier Jim Root Telecaster

MSRP: £406.80

They say:

“The Jim Root Telecaster signature model promises star-like vibe and tone at incredible Squier value.”

We say:

Slipknot’s massive and loyal following, the stripped-down controls and a highly agreeable price tag (expect it to come-in nearer £300 on the high street), could see this become the axe of choice for many first-time buyers.

Essential tech specs:

Maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body, Squier covered passive humbuckers (neck and bridge), jumbo frets, black tuners.

Squier Jim Root Telecaster press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
Peavey AT-200

Peavey AT-200

MSRP: unconfirmed

They say:

“The dawn of the new guitar revolution: the Peavey AT-200 guitar featuring Auto-Tune for Guitar, a new musical instrument that electronically self tunes and intonates continuously as you play.”

We say:

Deftly side-stepping the complex mechanics of other self-tuning guitars, the AT-200 is all about chipboards. How comfortable we’ll feel playing a guitar that is only simulating a correct tuning remains to be seen, but it is mind-blowing technology.

Essential tech specs:

Self-tunes and intonates using Antares Solid-Tune intonation system, software can be upgraded and controlled by midi devices.

Peavey AT-200 video

Peavey AT-200 press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
Epiphone Ace Frehley "Budokan" Les Paul Custom Outfit

Epiphone Ace Frehley "Budokan" Les Paul Custom Outfit

MSRP: £599

They say:

“Ace single-handedly inspired a generation of guitarists to pick up rock and roll's most powerful axe. Now, Epiphone makes this iconic guitar available to players everywhere.”

We say:

The DiMarzio PAF and Super Distortion humbuckers and SlimTaper neck are great of course, but it’s the small touches, like the ‘Budokan’-branded flight case and a replica “Eagle” sticker (supplied unattached) that will make this package for KISS fans.

Essential tech specs:

SlimTaper C-profile three-piece mahogany neck, mahogany and maple body, DiMarzio PAF humbucker (neck, middle), DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucker (bridge), includes certificate, branded hardcase, eagle sticker.

Epiphone Ace Frehley "Budokan" Les Paul Custom Outfit press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang

Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang

MSRP: £1,006.80

They say:

“It's with great pride then that Fender introduces the Kurt Cobain Mustang, which … gives an authentically crafted nod to one of the most unlikely guitars to ever find itself at the centre of a musical maelstrom.”

We say:

TG’s still reeling from the Kurt Cobain Jaguar, but this Mustang is also proving seriously desirable and comes in at 300 notes under the Jag price point. We can’t wait to put that direct-mounted Seymour Duncan JB humbucker through its paces either.

Essential tech specs:

Maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, alder body, Mustang singlecoil (neck), Seymour Duncan JB humbucker (bridge), pickup selector switch, in/out phase switch for each pickup.

Fender Kurt Cobain Mustang press release

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NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
Charvel Desolation Star DST-3 FR 1H

Charvel Desolation Star DST-3 FR 1H

MSRP: $666.65 (approx. £421)

They say:

“With a variety of features and finishes prized by discerning players everywhere, this deadly model delivers the devastating tone, killer looks and high-performance playability that separates the Desolation series from all others.”

We say:

Charvel’s revived the Star body for its Desolation series and the simple Floyd Rose-equipped set-up of the DST-3 FR 1H looks like it will represent seriously good value for money – even if it does lack the EMG85 pickups of its pricier siblings.

Essential tech specs:

Maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body, BooHeung BO-102JB humbucker, jumbo frets, Floyd Rose vibrato, black nickel hardware.

More NAMM 2012 news :: More TG galleries

NAMM 2012: 10 Of The Best Electric Guitars
Washburn HB36 Vintage

Washburn HB36 Vintage

MSRP: $1069.90 (approx. £676)

They say:

“This instrument is packed with modern features, yet aged and coupled with distressed hardware to give musicians the feeling of playing a guitar that is broken in and well played.”

We say:

Washburn has really nailed the ‘Crazy Heart’ corner of the market here and at a very reasonable price point too. If this guitar plays half as well as it looks, well, then it will play very indeed…

Essential tech specs:

Maple neck, ebony fingerboard, maple and spruce (top) body, Washburn 621 humbucker (neck), Washburn 623 humbucker (bridge), Tune-o-matic bridge, ebony pickguard and control knobs.

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