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Microphone Month 4

Guitar of the Day

You have to admit that Zakk Wylde knows how to design a distinctive heavy metal guitar – one that is immediately recognizable as being just as unique as he is! According to urban legend, this beast – half SG, half Flying V – was actually designed on the back of a cocktail napkin. Whether that’s true or not is less important than the fact that the instrument eventually went intro production! With a solid mahogany body wrapped in an Ebony finish with a dark orange “buzzsaw” pattern, it’s clear that the Gibson Custom Zakk Wylde ZV Buzzsaw absolutely means business. The only concession to classic styling are the real mother-of-pearl position inlays on the 22-fret bound ebony fingerboard, which sits atop a maple neck with a comfortable rounded profile that’s similar to Zakk’s “Bullseye” Les Paul model. Only 100 of these guitars are going to be built – with a mere 75 reserved for the U.S. – making this a sure-fire collector’s item. This merging of two longtime Gibson classics could be just the instrument you need to start making your own musical statement (or to simply create some heavy metal mayhem).

This is one of only a small number of guitars that Gibson does not provide the pickups for (for bonus points, see if you can think of the other models). Wylde has always depended on a pair of flaming-hot EMG 81 and 85 pickups for his signature sound. Their simple styling (solid black, with a white silk-screened “EMG” logo) is deceptive, because within the heart of each pickup is a molten-hot core of tonal fury, ready to pour out from your amplifier of choice and hit the crowd with an over-the-top sonic assault! Simple black hardware (including the unmistakable metal “Flying V” tailpiece) complete the appointments. Way out on the far end of the fingerboard is what is clearly a Les Paul Custom headstock, with its split diamond and pearl inlay and multi-ply binding. Flip it over, though, and you see a silk-screened image of the guitar’s designer. The Gibson Custom Zakk Wylde ZV is strung with a vintage reissue 0.10 string set and includes a Custom Shop case, custom care kit, and a certificate of authenticity signed by Wylde himself. Naturally, this limited-run axe also includes free FedEx shipping right to your door.

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