Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: New Guitar!! Yngwie Malmsteen Strat...

Friday, December 09, 2005

New Guitar!! Yngwie Malmsteen Strat...

Well, I just got another guitar! (number 15, or so) ;) It's a brand new Yngwie Malmsteen sig Strat, and it is awesome! I am so pleased with this guitar that I couldn't stop playing it. I must have played for more than 4 hours straight until I noticed that my wrist was about to fall off.

The first thing I did was plug it in and play a few licks and tune it up. Once it was fairly stable and staying in tune, I instantly began creating a patch for it on my Pod XT. I ended up with a variation on my main patch I use for my humbucking guitars that's called "Atomic Deity"... I renamed the new patch "Atomic Malmsteen". It's basically a Diezel amp model running through a Boogie cab with a touch of reverb and some light delay (about the only effects I ever use), but in order to get the Malmsteen Strat to sound as big and ballsy as my other guitars I changed the gain settings on my patch. The new Malmsteen patch has one very important difference... less gain on the amp model itself and the addition of the Tube Screamer distortion pedal model. This allowed me to take the gain up to an insane level so that the HS3 single coil pickup nearly matches my high-gain humbuckers in my other guitars. The tone is wonderful, and comes close to Malmsteen's (though, of course, not exactly).

I play my XT through Atomic Amps, which I love. In my opinion you can't get a better tone with any modeler than running through an Atomic. I have two of them, which I stack. They have a real tube preamp and power section in them running JJ EL84 tubes and one 12AX7 preamp tube. The sound is amazing... it adds the punch and natural tube compression back into the sound that the XT just can't replicate. I highly recommend these amps!

The Malmsteen is pretty much flawless. The most amazing thing is how well the tremolo stays in tune right out of the box. We are not talking EVH divebombs here, but a fairly aggressive moderately deep vibrato that would throw just about any brand new Fender American Standard or Deluxe right out of tune doesn't even knock this guitar even slightly out of tune. This stability will only get better with time. I can see this guitar improving to the point of handling divebombs and other "Floyd" tricks with ease. I will most likely be changing out the tuners with retro fit locking "vintage" tuners by Gotoh. These are a direct fit and won't require any drilling or other mods to the guitar. So I can always go back to stock if I want and there won't be any holes left over from using modern style tuners.

My next mission is to learn as much about the vintage tremolo as possible. I have never had one of these, and they are quite different than the 2 post fulcrum trems that I am accustomed to (be it a Floyd or Fender Standard or whatever). I am looking forward to getting familiarized with this tremolo and figuring out how to get the most from it and getting it to stay in perfect tune. I have already learned of some tricks that I can't wait to try.

I highly recommend this guitar! It is so awesome and plays so good. The scalloped neck makes fretting super easy... the action is higher on this guitar than any of my others, yet it doesn't seem like it is due to the scallops. This is great, because I can keep the action a little higher and, thus, avoid potential choking and fret buzz.

A quick word on the pickups and tone. I can't believe how ballsy and heavy this guitar can sound! I am a humbucker guy all the way, and I was worried about the bridge single coil (DiMarzio HS3) potentially being too thin or weak for my taste. I was wrong. With my new patch dialed in with more distortion, I am able to easily get a full, high gain metal tone from this guitar suitable for anything from Metallica to Yngwie's music itself. This pickup is amazing. It takes on the extra gain with a level of articulation that none of my humbucking guitars can touch. Every note in the chord rings out and the overtones and harmonics just jump out at you. DiMarzio dialed back the treble in the HS3 and the YJM pickups (middle and neck) to give the guitar a darker, less "thin" tone typically associated with vintage Strats. The result is a beautiful, singing thick tone that has to be played to be believed. :)

Ok, I have to go practice my Yngwie licks now. Later...


  1. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Awesome guitar, man! I love it!

  2. Actually, the HS-3 pickup is a humbucker (stacked).
    But yeah, with the right pedals/amp/settings it's suitable for anything.

  3. how do the scallops affect playing power chords i.e. sabbath type riffs on the lower part of the neck?

  4. Thanks for the review, man. As a side note, as you can check at DiMarzio website, those single coils can be considered "humbuckers" in some way, since they have two stacked coils (that's why they don't have the hum also).