Guitars

I’ve never been much of a guitar collector. I’m sure that what I do have looks very unimpressive but my philosophy has always been that I’d rather have a few guitars that I like really well than a bunch of stuff that I never use. Besides, I find more pleasure in modifying what I already got than to buy new.

Me with my Epiphone Les Paul Standard in Warsaw, Poland in May 2014 (photo by Grzegorz Szklarek).
Me with my Epiphone Les Paul Standard in Warsaw, Poland, May 24th 2014 (photo by Grzegorz Szklarek).

I started to play guitar when I was about thirteen years old. My first guitar was a cheap spanish acoustic that I bought from a friend. A year or so later I got an electric. An Ibanez Artist Les Paul model. With it I learned my first licks and solos playing along to Kiss and Black Sabbath and later on, Pink Floyd. My first Stratocaster was a mid 70s Japanese Asama, which was a really nice copy with mid 50s specs.

I was a teenager when I started to play and didn’t have the money to buy a US made Fender or Gibson. Japanese guitars had a really good reputation at the time and I still prefer them over US models.

I’m always looking for a guitar that plays well and that sounds good acoustically. I don’t really care what it says on the headstock or where it’s made. The first thing I always do is to replace the pickups, with something that I like better or perhaps need for a certain recording. I also perform minor mods like replacing plastic nuts with bone and any cheap electronics with better quality. This before I even begin to use the guitar.

Strat #1

I bought my main Stratocaster new in 1996 at a shop in my home town Oslo, Norway. It’s a ’96 Fender Made in Japan (MIJ) 50s Collectable. The forerunner to the now Mexican made Classic Series. Like most Japanese Strats it was a hybrid, with a ’54 reissue maple neck and ’62 contoured body. I’ve swapped the neck with a ’65 reissue rosewood from another CIJ that I have.

Bjørn Riis Black Strat

It’s not a light guitar but it feels very comfortable and it’s easy to play. The basswood body has, in my opinion, much more tone and character than both alder and ash. I don’t know if it’s the body alone but the guitar sounds huge and has a very high output. Almost as if there was a pair of P90s on it.

The current version of it is no doubt inspired by David Gilmour’s Black Strat but I strongly feel that it’s very much me and through the years it’s become a huge part of who I am as a guitarist. I play a certain way with this one. More relaxed and more expressive, I guess. The current specs are:

– Original 1962 reissue basswood body
– 1965 reissue soft C-shaped neck with rosewood fingerboard and binding, replaced the original maple neck in late 2010
– D Allen Voodoo 69 neck and middle pickups and S Duncan SSL5 bridge
– Gotho tuners
– Callaham Vintage S tremolo system with 5 1/4” arm, replaced original system in late 2007
– Inside cavity of the body covered with copper foil for better shielding and ground
– All original pots replaced for better quality 250k ones
– Custom 1-ply black pickguard, replaced original white pickguard in 2006
– Original plastic nut replaced with bone nut
– Original aged pickup covers and control knobs

Strat #2 (aka the EMG Strat)

Back in late 2009 I bought a Fender ’65 Crafted in Japan (CIJ) Stratocaster. This was the first guitar I bought unseen and only based on pictures and the reputation of the seller. I loved it from the minute I got it. One of the first things I did was to fit it with the EMG DG20 pickups set. I used the guitar on all our gigs in 2010 and it was also my main guitar during the recording of Airbag’s All Rights Removed.

Bjørn Riis EMG Stratocaster

I’ve experimented a lot with this one trying out different pickups, pots and bridge systems. It originally came with Fender CS Texas Specials but as mentioned I replaced these with the EMGs. Not so much for replicating David Gilmour’s tones but I wanted a guitar with a versatile setup that I could rely on delivering great tones on any amp. At one point during the summer of 2010 I had a full set of Fender CS 69s in it and did a few shows with that. For some reason it sounded a tad too bright so I went back to the EMGs, which is still the current setup. In late 2010 I also swapped the original rosewood neck with the ’54 reissue MIJ neck off my #1 Strat.

This guitar usually sits in my home studio. Whenever I want that super punchy clean tone I pick it up and it never fails. The current specs are:

– Original 1965 reissue alder body
– 1954 reissue V-shaped maple neck, replaced the original rosewood neck in late 2010
– EMG SA pickups
– EMG SPC and EXG active tone controls
– Callaham vintage tuners
– Callaham Vintage S tremolo system with 5 1/4” arm, replaced original system in late 2009
– Inside cavity of the body covered with copper foil for better shielding and ground
– White 3-ply pickguard, replaced original mint-green aged pickguard
– Original plastic nut replaced with bone nut

Strat #3 (aka Sunburst Strat)

I bought a custom maple neck from Warmoth sometime in late 2011 and I had planned to fit it onto the ’65 body of my #2 but it didn’t quite feel right so I stashed it away. Then I remembered that I had tried a Fender 60s Road Worn a few months earlier and really liked the tone. Although a bit kitsch I got a stripped down body off EBay and fitted the neck onto it. It sounded great and I’ve been using the guitar quite a lot since. More recently it’s been my main Strat on stage as we have toured with the Greatest Show on Earth album.

Bjørn Riis Sunburst Strat

I fitted the guitar with a full set of D Allen Voodoo 69s and sometime last summer (2013) I replaced the bridge pickup with the Echoes tapped model also from Allen. It’s just an incredibly cool sounding guitar. Very vintage and very expressive. Its cleans are super scooped. Almost twangy. It can give me a bit of a struggle too as it tends to stay on the edge of feedback whenever I engage a high gain pedal. The current specs are:

– Fender MIM Road Worn 60s alder body
– Warmoth custom maple neck, with a thin C contour and bone nut
– D Allen Voodoo 69 neck and middle pickups
– D Allen Echoes tapped bridge pickup, with push/push tone pot
– Callaham vintage tuners
– Callaham Vintage S tremolo system with 5 1/4” arm
– Inside cavity of the body covered with copper foil for better shielding and ground
– Fender Road Worn aged pickup covers, controls knobs and pickguard

The Tele

This one is a Fender Crafted in Japan (CIJ) ’62 Telecaster Custom reissue that I bought new in late 2007. I owned several Tele’s prior to this one but I never felt comfortable with them so I always ended up selling them. I fell in love with the CIJ Custom the minute I got it and it’s still one of my favourites and one that I use regularly.

Bjørn Riis Telecaster Custom

Apart from the super cool look with the binding, the C-shaped neck is one of the best necks I’ve ever played. The guitar is pretty stock apart from some upgraded pots. It was originally loaded with Fender CS Texas Specials and I did use these for some time. In mid 2010 I hooked up with the Norwegian pickup company Cream T Pickups, who now are known for their Billy Gibbons signature pickups, and got them to wind a Tele version of the Duncan SSL5 bridge that I had in my #1 Strat. I also got a Cream T NoCaster for the neck, which is still in the guitar today.

The SSL5 in the bridge sounded amazing but it was very hard to tame when I cranked out heavier gains so I eventually replaced it with a less hot early 60s era model that I got custom wound from TTS Pickups. It’s got the warmth of the SSL5 but less mids and output.

The combo of the NoCaster in the neck and the considerably hotter bridge is unusual but I mainly use the bridge pickup anyway. The neck pickup is something I often use when I need something super clean and vintage sounding for a recording. The current specs are:

– 1962 reissue alder body
– 1962 reissue C-shaped maple neck, with rosewood fretboard
– Cream T NoCaster neck pickup
– TTS Pickups custom wound bridge pickup
– All original pots replaced for better quality ones

Radix Deluxe

This is an Indonesian hand made guitar very similar to the PRS. I’d never heard about these guitars but they have an impeccable reputation for putting out high quality stuff with a lot of dedication.

Bjørn Riis Radix

I bought the Deluxe from a friend in early 2011 and it’s been my main guitar ever since, together with the #1 Strat. It’s all over both The Greatest Show on Earth and Lullabies in a Car Crash and I’ve used used it on many of our recent gigs.

I’ve never really been into the PRS guitars but this one is really a dream to play. The neck is fast and the whole guitar is very light. It sounds open and dynamic and I can pretty much use it for anything I want. Originally it came with a pair of Tesla Plasma III S humbuckers, which were way too hot for my taste so I replaced them with a pair of Duncan Phat Cats, which are humbucker-sized P90s. Other than that, it’s all stock. The current specs are:

– Mahogany body, with maple top
– Mahogany 22 fret neck with rosewood fretboard
– Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P90 pickups
– Tune O Matic bridge

The Les Paul

Although I learned to play guitar on a Les Paul I’ve never quite felt comfortable with them. There’s been many over the years but I always end up selling them. In mid 2010 I came over this Epiphone Standard and it’s been one of my main recording guitars ever since. Recently I’ve also used it for our live shows.

Bjørn Riis Les Paul

I’ve always liked the Epiphones and once in awhile you come across a guitar that really stands out. For some reason this one’s got a thinner neck profile than any other standard that I’ve played, which suits me perfectly. It’s also a very light guitar, with an incredibly warm and open tone.

I’ve loaded it with a pair of custom wound TTS PAF style humbuckers for that vintage tone. The neck sounds very much like a hot Strat pickup or P90, while the bridge has a nice bite to it. Other than that the guitar is stock. The current specs are:

– Mahogany body, with maple flame top
– Mahogany neck, with 22 frets rosewood fretboard
– TTS custom wound PAF style humbuckers
– Cream humbucker rings
– All original pots replaced for better quality ones
– Original plastic nut replaced with bone nut

Setup-wise, on all my guitars I keep the strings fairly low but high enough for easy bends. The action on the Strat’s is set slightly higher to compensate for the vintage contoured necks. The Fenders are stringed with GHS Boomers 10-46, while both the Radix and Les Paul are stringed with Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom 10-52.

73 Replies to “Guitars”

  1. Hi Bjorn,

    It’s shaping up to be a great site!

    Like yourself I never felt ‘right’ with a Les Paul (though I must admit I only tried copies), last year I bought a Gretsch Pro Jet (in black of course lol), very nice guitar, unique tone from the low output Filtertron pup’s and a lot cheaper than DG’s Duo Jet!

    Best wishes mate, can’t wait for Lullabies! :@)

  2. You should try those steel pole ( p-90’s) that will pop right into that tele. I know you haven’t had much experience with Lindy’s pups, but you will get those Blues Specials, once you try a good set of Fralins, you’ll find, his Real PAFs, are as good as they get, wound on Gibson machines from the 50’s, and ONLY Lindy winds all of his Fender models by hand. But as for the tele shaped p-90 style pups, even Lindy ordered a thinline body, and c- shaped rosewood neck after hearing what they did to my Tele, and everyone in the shop had to take a turn playing it. With a neck at 8.5, and bridge of 10, they can scream, but with a turn of the volume pot, it calms right down to that great Tele vintage tone. I won’t stop until you realize that Lindy knows more about Fender, and just about any pickup than almost anyone on the planet. Ask Seymour about Lindy!
    KC

  3. I really shouldn’t keep pushing you so hard on the Fralins, and now the V2, and promise you that you will get the Fralins as soon as I find time to get over to his shop. And I finally read through a bunch of recording stuff, and watched the tutorial video I purchased for my Tascam. I learned a lot about the few routing issues I was stuggling with, and only need to watch the section on using outboard effects, and preamps so I can get the best out of the machine, so a clip is definitely coming very soon, and since all my guitars, except the 50th Anniversary Townshend SG have Fralins, you’ll hear both, as I plan on using the Thinline with the P-90s, that look like stock Tele pups for the clip. Once I aend you the clip, I’ll shut up about them, but I really believe you’ll love both the pickups, and the muff as much as I do!
    Peace, KC ,

  4. I was just thinking about it, and if you YouTube search Lindy Fralin, and find one of his videos, yiu can then check out his channel, and hear most of his pups. You may also see some of his phenominal blues, and Rockabilly playing on any clips marked The Bop Cats, his band of over 30 years. He is quite an accomplished guitarist, and plays Hendrix as well as anyone I’ve ever heard!!!
    Peace, KC

  5. Just ordered Lullabies….Own an Epiphone Joe Bonamasse Les Paul and several Gibson LP guitars. The Epiphone is outstanding. Great sound and feel. Nice to see you don’t care about brand or manufacturer. My main guitar is a cheap Farida sa16 mp (Model ES 335). Great sound and playability. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get the right tones. Can’t wait to hear Lullabies….

    1. Thanks for the support! I’ve been using Epi’s for a while now and love them. Always perform a little upgrade and can’t really see the need to buy a Gibson. Cheers!

  6. Hey, I was wondering what Pots and switches you use to replace in your strats. I want to upgrade mine but im not sure what pots, caps, ect. to get for an upgrade.

  7. Joshua, I suggest CTS 250K pots with a quality .047 capacitor. A new switchcraft jack, and Fender, or other quality five position selector switch are equally important. If you want a truly vintage, early Gilmour set up, it should be wired so the tones are for neck and Middle Pups, with no tone control on the bridge. Also, the guitars DG used until around late ’71 used a .1 uf capacitor. It darkens the tone a little, rolling off the highs much quicker on the tone pots, but adds a bit of bass, and mids. This works well with really treblelyvl amps like my Reeves. This is what Fender used between the early 60’s, until late ’68. Everything under the pickguard will change your tone, including the wire. I suggest the cloth covered vintage style wire, all of the above components can be purchased at Stew-Mac.com, (Stewarad McDonald), at great prices, and even; f you don’t want the do the work, you’ll save money if you purchace the components through Stew-Mac yourself. Others may know the best quality caps, many prefer paper and oil, while my luthier prefers metal cans. Hope that helps, if I screwed up anywhere, please correct me Bjorn :)

    Peace, Keith

    1. There is a slight delay on the vinyl. Expected date of delivery is November 17th. Retailers will have stock shortly after that.

  8. Got my signed copy of the cd this week. You did a fantastic job Bjorn. Start touring and don’t forget to come to Holland .love to see you live in action.

  9. Hi Bjørn, I`ve now been listening to your album for about a week and I think it`s great! As a (sloppy) guitar player myself must say that I am impressed by your tone, wow! Think you nailed it all right. Well, well, it was worth waiting for …the signed vinyl. Well done, be proud and keep gilmourizing!

  10. Hi Bjorn! I’m pleasantly surprised that you use an Epiphone Les Paul for some of your tones! My main guitar is an Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus which I bought before I knew anything about Gilmour style tones. I was hoping you could share some tips on getting nice Gilmourish tones out of my Les Paul? Like what pedals work well with it etc. I’m really intrigued on the tones you get out off your Epiphone!Thank you so much :)

    1. Hi Angus! I use the LP and humbuckers a lot for recording and mostly with the pedals I’d use with single coils. It depends on what tones you want. I tend to get a bit more into the rock and Marshall stuff when I strap on a LP and for both the Airbag albums and my solo album I used the Boss DS1 (AnalogMan) a lot. Other mid rangy pedals like the RAT, OCD, Buffalo Evolution also works great with LPs… at least for the tones I’m looking for. Personally I prefer the low output classic pickups like the PAFs or 59s.

  11. That’s an awesome picture of you with the Epi Les Paul Bjorn! I’m surprised you use one, as you always say Strats with single coil pickups are the go for most Gilmour tones. Would your tones be that different if you were using the same pedals and amp but just switched from a strat to a Les Paul? I’m currently building my pedalboard and I’ve been using the Buyers Gear Guide on Gilmourish. However, my main axe is a Epi Les Paul Tribute Plus with Gibson Classic 57 pickups (I don’t own a strat). I was wondering do you still use the same pedals for your Gilmour tones when using the Les Paul as you would with your Strats? Just asking because I don’t want to buy a Muff or Overdrive or something that you’ve highly praised only to find out that it only works with Strats and not Les Pauls. Cheers mate :)

      1. Cool stuff! My Epi Les Paul has coil tap so I can get reasonably close to single sounds, do you think I could get in the ballpark of Gilmour’s tones? My amp is a Marshall DSL40C, even though it’s not a Hiwatt/Fender the clean channel is actually pretty good in Marshall’s standards. The cleans are fairly dark and works surprisingly well with my Big Muff w/Tone Wicker, though I think I’m going to sell it and get either a Vick Audio Ram’s Head or Jimi Hendrix Fuzz. I’ve seen you do demos using a Marshall amp before I think, they can’t be that bad for Gilmour tones then!

        I also have the Way Huge Aqua Puss, I’m not sure if you’ve tried it but damn it sounds great, highly recommended! Only 300 delay time but I’m not that concerned about that. I’m also going to purchase the Mooer Blues Mood as a booster since it has received such high praise from you.

        I hope all is well and I look forward to hearing more music from you in the future!

        1. Hi David! Thanks for your kind words! I’m not that familiar with the newer Marshalls. In general I think they sound a bit too modern but if you’re pleased with it then there’s no reason to replace it. The coil tapping on your LP should definitely get you close to classic Strat Tones… depending on how hot they are. The old PAFs or 57s and P90s will also do the trick. My old Marshall, which I regret selling, was a 5210 JCM800 solid state from the early 80s. It had a decent clean channel and one of the best sounding distortions I’ve heard.

          1. Yeah the LP has 57s and it works great! I’ve heard great things about those Marshall 5210’s, Marshall don’t make em like they used to. Does that mean you prefer Marshall tones over Gilmour tones? ;)

            1. I like both I guess. Obviously I’m very fond of David’s sounds, with the Hiwatt and all but I grew up on, and are still listening to, bands that are associated with the classic Marshall tone so I always come back to that and probably use it more in my Airbag and solo sounds that David’s tones.

  12. I just wanted to throw my two cents in here, having had many strats, but fir some reason could never get away from Gibson’s for gigging. In a reply about Gilmour tones, and Strats, DG usex many guitars for recording that many Gilmourish readers would be surprised to know, including Les Pauls, and P-90, as well as PAF’s and their varients. IMO, and I think Bjorn will agree, there’s nothing quite like the sound of a really great p90 style pickup,( enter small pitch here), I even have a Lindy Fralin specialty set of p90 style pickups,( he calls them steel pole Tele pickups) in my Thinline, semi hollow body Tele, and while they are truly p90s, I can still get a Tele twang, but a definie growl is also possible with the higher output, of 8.5 in the neck, and 10k in the bridge. I also have found great Gilmour tones from my 50th Anniversary Pete Townshend signature SG Special, that has the best sounding p90’s I’ve heard in a stock Gibson since the ’70s! There is definitely lots of room for more that Fenders in the Pink Floyd songbook!!
    Peace, Keith :)

  13. Hi Bjorn! Hope all is well :) I’m really enjoying my Les Paul > Wah > Tuner > Marshall setup at the moment. Works very well for playing Led Zeppelin, Gun’s n’ Roses, Gary Moore, Peter Green, Joe Bonamassa etc.

    For Gilmour tones I’ve been using the coil tap on my LP. I’ve found that it sounds the most like a strat with the pickups in the middle position with both pickups coil tapped. It really works great, I only need to add a bit more volume on my amp as they are slighter quieter compared to humbucker mode.

    I don’t really play that much Gilmour anymore but, I’ve been super into the LP Marshall combo and creating different tones with my Les Paul’s volume and tone knobs. Since you are also a big fan of the classic Marshall sound may I ask what your favourite LP Marshall tone is? I love some of Slash’s tones of early Gun’s n’ Roses stuff and Peter Greens tone on Black Magic Woman. That tone is just something you can’t emulate with Strats and effects, so raw and powerful. That’s just my opinion of course, I’m only 18 so I still have much to learn :) As the old saying goes ” It’s not the arrow, it’s the Indian that shot it ” I look forward to hearing new music from you, digging the solo album tones!

    1. Hi Angus! Looks like you got a timeless setup :) There’s something about that combo that never seems to fail. Just like a Strat or Tele into a Bassman or Twin. Some of my fav Marshall tones are Bernie Marsden in 70’s Whitesnake, Brian Robertson with Lizzy, John Sykes with Whitesnake and Blue Murder, Zakk Wylde especially on No More Tears and with Pride and Glory, Billy Gibbons on Tres Hombres… I guess what’s common for all of these is that although they sound very different to each other, they all have a strong sense of tone.

  14. Hi Bjorn.
    Does the Callaham Vintage S tremolo system make a big diference? Do you really get a noticeable increased sustain with it? Or, why do you use it on all your strats?
    Thanks for your guitar pasion.
    David form Spain.

    1. The bigger block resonates more, which means that the guitar will sound fatter or fuller. It also adds to the sustain. The saddles and the string slots are also better designed, allowing minimal friction on the strings, which enhances both the sustain and keeps the guitar better in tune. I think it’s definitely worth it. – Bjorn]

      1. Thanks Bjorn for your reply.

        I have a Fender Stratocaster American Vintage 57. It has a big block on the bridge. Also, i don’t use the tremolo arm, and i have the bridge ajusted flat to the body (I don’t have problems keeping in tune). I wonder if just a saddles change for the Callaham ones, would enhance the sustain, keeping the original plate and block.

        What do you think?

        Also i wanted to ask you if you buyed the regular nicked saddles or the distressed ones.

        Thanks for all.

        David.

        1. Mine are the plain nickel ones. Not sure if you’d benefit from chaining the block but for me at least, changing the bridge plate AND the saddles, made a huge difference tuning wise. It also depends on your tuning keys and the neck saddle.

  15. Hi Bjorn! I have little query for you. As much as I love my Les Paul, I’m really wanting a Strat. I don’t want to fork out large amounts of cash for one, so I’m looking at the Squier range. My question is, if I was to get a cheap Squier Strat project guitar and upgrade the electronics, Pickups, Tremolo etc would it sound close enough to a Mexican Strat or perhaps even a American? Just asking because I want to know what I’m getting myself into haha. Cheers mate :)

    1. Hi David! Obviously, the Squier guitars are cheaper for a reason. They’re made in Asia, which means lowers labour costs but the wood selection, lacquer and hardware is also of a slightly less quality. That being said, Squier has come a long way and the Classic Vibe series are really cool. It’s a great guitar out of the box but if you replace the bridge and pickups for something better you’ll have a great guitar.

  16. Hey Bjorn, got some questions about your Epi Les Paul if you don’t mind :) Is the bridge a stock Locktone Tune-o-matic bridge? If so have you considered changing it? I might change mine for a Callaham ABR-1 or Gotoh Tonepros, still a little undecided. Also what pots did you put in your LP? I’m determined to get better ones as I use my volume/tone knobs for almost all my sounds, I’m also changing the modern wiring to 50s wiring so I don’t loose treble when I turn down the volume knob. I’m also about to replace my plastic nut for a bone one. Can’t wait for the end result. Hope all is well!

    1. Both the tuning keys and bridge are stock. I’ve had some Epiphones before where the keys in particular were really bad but this one seems to hold up. The pots are replaced but I didn’t do that myself so I don’t remember what brand or value. I think my tech just replaced the stock ones with similar of better quality and they also did a 50s mod.

  17. Hi Bjørn,

    Just wanted to say that I enjoyed every second of your gig last saturday in Helmond. I heard your album for the first time in a record store when I bought The Enless River and the salesman said that according to him your album was much better! And I really agree! After hearing Lullabies I was also interested in the Airbag material and I really love all 3 albums. So I really can’t wait seeing you again on stage or buying a new Airbag cd or a new solo album. Keep carrying on with making great music!!

  18. Hi Bjorn, firstly let me congratulate you on not only Airbag’s incredible music, but your own sounds…..I have been so inspired …… I play just for fun, I enjoy playing along with pretty much the same bands as you used to….I own a Les Paul Studio I call Huw after the great late Huw Lloyd Langton of Hawkwind fame…..however in two weeks time I am taking delivery of some new gear, Boss GT100, Blackstar HT5R and a fantastic black Fender American Classic HSS strat……oh I am going to have fun jamming along…..I would if you are cool about it, like to name my new guitar Bjorn……..yeah I know sounds silly…but I like the idea…..and you have as I said inspired me totally…….good luck with future ventures…. cheers….K

    1. Hi Karl! Thanks a lot for your kind words! Glad to hear that my music is inspiring. It means a lot to me :) Say hello to Bjorn for me and take care :)

  19. hi bjorn,
    I have a strat with a alder body and a maple neck, 2 single coils and 1 humbucker, what single coils and humbucker would you use together to play pink Floyd tones, most interested in what you say,
    thanks, bluesfloyd.

    1. Hi! Sorry for my late reply. I would perhaps go for some mid output single coils, like the Texas Specials or TexMex. They go well with humbuckers. You may want to look into either a Duncan Phat Cat P90 or a Gibson PAF for the bridge. Of course, there are many boutique versions of these.

  20. Hi Bjorn,
    I was so lucky to be in Indonesia last month, and I contacted Mohammed Iqbal of Radix. At the end I succeeded in buying a Radix de Luxe, exactly the same you have ( with the original Tesla pickups) It’s a Indonesian guitar, I bought it in Indonesia, so the price was absolutely ridiculous ( 220 EUR). First impression is that the guitar is a real beauty to see. It’s too early to say something about the sound.
    For me a fantastic souvenir, and I hope also a fantastic guitar.
    b.t.w. I’ve seen several great Radix LP models, maybe for a next visit :)

  21. Hi Bjorn!

    thanks for sharing all this things with us, love to read your web pages!

    In part motivated by you, I just bought from ebay a st57 reissue japanase fender (from 1987), in order to start my gilmour black strat project. By my surprise the neck has a std-57 mark, but the body has a std-54!!

    do you know if this is normal for japaneses? they just didnt care about be consequent? does the std-54 body fits a gilmour sound i like?

    thank you very much, I have learned a lot with both your pages,
    best regards
    Daniel

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Daniel! I’m no expert on Japanese Fenders, although I have a couple my self. Most of their stuff is really good and the 80s stuff in particular. I assume your’s is a Collectable and they did swap parts around. Some of the guitars were sold as a specific year reissue, while others where sold as a specific decade reissue, like the current Mexican Classic Series. I suspect yours is the latter. The idea, like with the Classic Series, is to provide a guitar with the most popular features from that decade.

  22. Hi Bjorn, I have been really into the All rights removed album and really like the tones on all of your solo’s on it. Did you use the Emg Dg20 pick ups for all the tracks, if not what other guitars did you use. I love the Overdrive/Distortion tones and your clean solo tones too. Love to know what you used.

    1. Hi Bernie! Thanks for your kind words :) I don’t remember much of the details but I did use the EMGs a lot on that album. There is some vintage single coils there are well – both Strat and Tele – and I think most of the rhythm stuff were done on a Les Paul with PAF humbuckers. I’d say that 90% of the lead tones and some rhythm stuff were done with the EMGs. The solos on the title track, Never Coming Home and Homesick, were recorded with my Reeves Custom 50 and a split to a Leslie 760.

      1. Thanks bjorn i am also into the identity. Album did you use passive pickups and your strat on that album i love that clear transparency and charactor you seem to get with single coils

        1. A bit of both. I think I used a Les Paul with PAFs on Colours, No Escape and probably Feeling Less as well. The rest of the songs were mostly done on a Tele, with a Strat on some of the solos.

  23. Hi Bjørn! I don’t have much knowledge about guitars, never played one for real to be honest… but I love listening to music more than anything else in my life and when I discovered your music (in chronological order) I was lost for words. I still am. What you do is a dream come true for any prog fan and a hope builder for the future.

    Now I just bought another copy of Identity as a Christmas gift for my Dad and listening to it now, I must say one thing: I have no idea which guitar or effects you used on the final track, but Sounds That I Hear is the only song that can reduce me to tears, no matter the mood and the time of day. So sorry for not being technical here, I just wanted to let you know that your play touches my soul and reaches far beyond sheer listening pleasure.

    Thanks for your prog Lullabies, thumbs up for Airbag #4 and hope to see you again soon!

    Love from Poland,
    Kuba

    P.S. Love that photo from Progresja, Warsaw at the top of the page – I was there!

  24. SSL-5 OUT OF PHASE WITH FENDER 69’s.
    Hey Bjorn. Hope you’re well. I had setup my guitar with Fender 69’s in neck & middle and a Duncan SSL-5 in the bridge with the 7 pickup switch option, but for the life of me, it just didn’t sound good. The SSL-5 sounded so thin and shrill and I was totally confused by the hype. I decided to add the bridge to the middle tone to cut some highs but it still was a bad sound. I had nearly given up on the strat all together until last night, I decided to give my 57 reissue a good long setup. Did bridge, tremolo, intonation, saddles and I went to do the pickup height and started thinking maybe my pickups are out of phase. I pulled out the instructions for the SSL-5 and on the back where it had a wiring diagram for tapped pickups, it said to reverse wire my SSL-5 with black to selector and white to ground if using in conjunction with Fender pickups. Not knowing if that was just if you were tapping them, I decided to give it a go and after setting up pickup height, I plugged her in. What a world of difference. It was totally out of phase before. All 7 positions sounded perfectly balanced and SSL-5 sounded much better on its own. The tone knob reacted differently (in a good way) as well. Is this just a known fact to do that? Did you wire yours this way? I do say though, the SSL-5 sounds 100 times better but it seems to put out slightly less volume than the 69’s. That doesn’t seem to be correct as far as I know. Am I missing some detail here?

    1. Hi Dan, yes you need to reverse the wiring if you combine them with the CS69s :) The SSL5s has more output, so if you experience the oposite, then you might want to check the balance of your pickups. Keep in mind too, that while the CS69s has a very scooped tone, with a bright bell-like top, the SSL5s has lots of mid range and compression, which, on some amps, can sound darker but they do have more output.

  25. Bjorn,

    I just ordered your CD and I will look forward to hearing it. Your site has been extremely vital in my tone. The Pink Floyd tribute that I started here in Dallas will have it’s first show this Saturday, as we are the headliner for an all day music festival. Thank you for all you do on the Gilmourish site, as well as your music. Your Album as well as Airbag stay in constant rotation of my music. I think I have my wife talked in to flying across the pond to see you guys sometime in the near future!

    Thanks,
    Chad from Dallas

  26. Hi Bjorn,
    Out of curiosity, what do you happen to prefer these days, C or V necks? Thin or thick? I remember you said not liking the DG signature strat neck cause it was C but it looks like most of your guitars have a C neck today.
    Kind regards,
    Matthias

    1. I guess I prefer different kinds of C shapes. It’s just easier to play them. What I didn’t like about the DG Strat was mainy the laquer and how thick and greasy it was. The profile of the neck is fine.

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