My stunning #1 - This Excalibur Ultra sat in a London shop years ago and I checked it out when I went to see Bumblefoot there. I fell in love with it right there and then, but couldn't afford a £2500 guitar as a student, so I would just head into the shop every few months to spend some time with her. Over a 3 year period noone took her home, and the strings got a little rusty and everyone forgot about it... myself included.
Skip to NAMM 2013 and I got the chance to meet the guys at Vigier, they were lovely guys and I thought that now might be the time to get a Vigier. I went online to show my girl my dream one and it was on sale. I won't tell you how much for, but It was enough for me to call them and tell them that I was flying back the next day, I'll be getting in a cab from the airport and going straight there - now she's mine.
I've modified it a little, I took out the EMGs and loaded in some Seymour Duncans, added a push pull coil tap on the tone pot and a push pull clean boost on the volume knob.
This guitar is simply incredible - aside from the obvious Vigier things like the 10-90 carbon neck (It's never moved when traveling or changing string gauge) and the zero fret, it's also a fixed bridge. I know that sounds funny, Vigier don't even offer it anymore, but I'm a tele or SG guy at heart. Without that huge chunk of wood cut out the back, it also just sounds incredible too.
This is strung up with D'Addario NYXL 10-52s and served as the main guitar on the album in drop D tuning
And those keen eyed gamers will spot that it's named after the Final Fantasy 7 super boss!
This guitar was picked up as a backup to Ruby, though the variation being that it's loaded with a tremolo system. I'm not a huge trem guy, but from time to time I need one (like on the intro to Leaving London).
It features the same pickup configuration and electrics, but it definitely sounds like a different monster. The wood cut out for the tremolo makes a huge difference, and it's not a bad difference, just a difference. It was used for a couple of solos on the album for this reason.
String wise this is strung up with D'Addario 10-46s and is in standard tuning. Due to the trem it's a pain to retune, so until I've picked up another tremol-no for it, it will stay there.
This was my first order from Vigier, and has seven strings! It's a beautiful piece of work, an absolutely stunning piece of wood featuring mineral swirls against the flames and a beautiful Mysterious Green paint job, matching headstock and rosewood board.
It's been a long wait, but she's now in my hands and features on the song Dark Times. While that's got a low B, I think I've decided I'm tuning the low string to an A which sits an octave below the 5th string. I'm finding that easy to integrate into my playing. String wise it's a custom gauge of 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 52, 66. Those thicker strings on the bottom end help keep tension at the 25.6" scale.
This features the new 2015 Vigier features like the segmented zero fret and string mute behind the teflon nut and the flex retainer string trees.
Aside from that, we've got Dimarzio Blaze 7 string pickups in (which blew me away) and a pretty meaty trem, though I've fitted it with a tremol-no system so I can lock it down when playing around with tunings. It also features a momentary killswitch. I don't really know what I'm going to do with that, or if I'll even use it, but it felt like mentioning!
Vigier Guitars - Surfretter Fretless
This beauty was purchased from my friend Tom Monda of Thank You Scientist, he used this on the first Thank You Scientist album on the tune "In The Company Of Worms" - when he mentioned he was selling it, my response was "name your price"
It's a really cool instrument, and obviously very hard to play. I shoudl devote more time to it, but it has made appearances, such as on the solo to "Hunter"
I keep it string with D'Addario 12-54s as the heavier the better on a fretless!
I don't know all that much about the guitar to be honest - it was made in 2000 and has had lots of mods over the years, from a new scratch plate to new electrics. I'm not sure what model pickups are in it, but they're Dimarzios. I'd love to put a sustanier pickup in it, but other things keep getting in the way!