Slant Eyed Fish Head has a unique background.
They own their own private recording facility with custom designed and built soundproofing and electrical needs.
They are currently recording an all original 8 song demo with a working title of "9 ball."
The Akai DPS24 with full PC capacity works in unison with a full digital 16 channel mixer.
You really cannot see, but to the right is the full rack with lots of stupid stuff from tube pre-amps to eq's, etc.
On the other side of the custom Sheffield polycarbonate windows, The 28'x15' room gets fairly full from time to time.
John just made a new purchase;
He figured with the sound improvement of the band and some of our new originals really taking shape,
It was time to really shape the drum sounds. He had been buying new cymbals for a while, then pulled the trigger.
A new made to order ProM 7 piece drum set from Mapex equipped with Evans heads and Zildjian K series cymbals.
Actually, I think it is a 6 piece with an extra included 13" Black Panther snare making it an even 7.
The pictures tell the tale. The thing is every bit a piece of furniture as it is a drum set.
Here is a new picture with it half set up in the studio.
The newest guitar, Legacy, is a labor of love.
The guitar was planned, then became a tribute guitar to two of my late boat racing friends, Dave Bryant and Lance Faulkner.
The mahogany body and slim maple top are bolted to thick maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard and jumbo stainless frets.
Stainless steel and carbon fiber rods run through the body and headstock of the guitar, adding depth and beef.
Dimarzio Andy Timmons and Eric Johnson pickups both are set up with individual volume knobs with coil splitting options.
The Ibanes Pro III Tremelo holds the Sfarzo strings in perfect tune through the lock nut and into the reverse hockey stick headstock.
The color was taken from the boats of Dave and Lance, who both paraded Canary yellow, Dick Vail paint jobs on their Biesemeyer boats.
The guitar sounds and plays just like the two of them drove. Articulate perfection!
The next of the new line of guitars is "Humpty".
This maple neck and ebony fretboard is fitted with 25 stainless frets and reverse Ibanez style headstock.
The Poplar body with carbon fiber re-enforcements hold Dimarzio Evolution pickups with full coil splitting capabilities.
The pickups are once again direct mounted to the body with foam rubber between the two.
Ibanez lo pro edge full floating tremelo keeps everything in tune with SEFH signature series Sfarzo strings.
The paint is a flame candy gold to candy orange over X-otic crystals over a pearl orange with black base.
This guitar is a dream to look at, to play and to listen to. Just amazing!
And then there was "Mel."
Mel is an effort to take the best of every Ibanez guitar and wrap it into one final package.
The custom AANJ neck is a maple neck with ebony fretboard and 25 stainless super jumbo frets. (Yes, 25! It has to be one louder, right?)
The bright neck from an ebony board and stainless frets was evened out with some beefy lows from a mahogany body.
Reverse headstock from the Paul Gilbert line (And such non Ibanez guitar heroes as Nuno, Lynch, and many others.)
Monkey grip, scalloped final five frets and Lion's claw grooved tremolo clearancing from the Steve Vai axes.
The voyager cutout, the pickups mouted directly to the body (and stainless frets) from the Reb Beach stuff.
Pickup selection and a slightly wider fingerboard from the John Petrucci series.
The Dimarzio Steve Special and the Air Norton have individual volume controls that both split coils independently.
The new Edge Pro tremolo system from the likes of Steve Vai and Satriani hold the Sfarzo SEFH signature series strings in tune.
Pickup mounting hardware even though the pickups are mounted to the body for the super clean finished Paul Gilbert look.
No tone knob like Petrucci pondered and Gilbert actually did.
Volume knobs and pickup switching out of the way for no accidental contact.
Chrome paint from the Satriani series stuff, but then candy blue and airbrush over the chrome. 82 total coats of paint!!
If you get a chance to see Mel in person, you will see it is an Ibanez style home run!
An Ash body cut out to RG specs with a monkey grip, tiger claw and other gem flairs.
An Ibanez RG neck finished with new stainless frets on the rosewood board and some unique tricks to really play great.
Wired with two independent volume knobs with coil tapping for the Dimarzio D-Sonic pickups.
X-otic Chrome finish with candy red and metalflake over the top looks good with the gold Ibanez Pro-Edge tremelo.
This is the first guitar I wired after coating every chamber with the Dimarzio copper shielding tape.
I will not do another without this, and some of the better guitars hanging around will be done this fall.
"Flying perfection" started out as a simple guitar from a company in Las Vegas, but needed some flair.
I pulled out the never played frets and put in super jumbo stainless frets in the rosewood board.
The hockey stick headstock was a Buzzz Miller addition, as was the X-otic candy paint.
Dimarzio Super Distortion sits in the bridge position with a Dimarzio Eric Johnson EJ custom neck pickup.
Just the Eric Johnson has coil tapping features, but both have independent volume through a 3-way.
I was not sure if these pickups would work together at all. I was SHOCKED!
Both pickups have been solid mounted to the body with foam rubber packed between the mounts
The body has been weighted with stainless steel rods that run with the grain of the wood.
Flat black was painted and smoothed out, then painted with X-otic silver flakes.
Then six coats of a custom X-otic purple candy and 10 coats of clear.
This thing looks almost black until it hits lights. Then BOOM!
Here is an off the shelf Ibanez iceman. This was purchased because it had a reverse headstock and a neck through body.
Also something for Joe to play that can be dropped tuning without adjusting full floating tremelo systems.
This Ibanez prestige has been hacked, filed, sanded, painted, re-wired and all around abused.
Dimarzio Steve Special and Air Norton pickups have been custom wired for full coil tapping on individual push/pull volume pods. For sound and playing performance, I will put this guitar up against any guitar I have ever owned, or ever played. "This thing is like Budduh'"
The wood grain was maintained with the color change powder over the top and generous amounts of clear.
The ESP twin brothers of different mothers began life as simple ESP guitars.
The "Less Paul" is outfitted with EMG 81 bridge and an 85 in the neck.
Paul's reverse headstock strat style runs coil tapping Dimarzio Tone Zone and Air Norton. And both throw a little custom paint.
This may be the most versatile guitar for recording that we have.
The N series guitars from Washburn have been hacked, whacked and duplicated.
The newest is a carbon fiber body, with a monkey grip, and Dimarzio Evolution pickups with custom wiring.
The guitar was looking a little too perfect with the extra thick ebony fret board, custom headstock, and some fancy high dollar floyd rose style tremelo. So a finger painted Aborigine war paint flame job covered in pink candy with natural carbon showing through finished it all off.
This is just at my office to practice when stuff gets slow.
It is a really cool guitar for not a bad price. The Stevens extended cutaway design is really cool and allows for lots of thumb room up high. Rather than use the pad and the four standard bolts, five bolts radiused around the area for the thumb attach the body to the neck. For those who are unfamiliar with the Stevens, there is an up close picture.
The neck is really straight, and required nothing more than truss rods to get it close to perfection. This baby still has the factory pickups and wiring, but the nut was dropped, brought the proper distance from the first fret, (it was off from the factory about .021") and nut height set at my standard .013" and .009" E to E. I must say, I have two N4's and the one carbon N777, and this plays almost as good for 1/4 the money. It really needs the reverse headstock though. To really make it perfect, it could use a pick-up set.
Here are a few oldies, et goodies.
Washburn N4 that was originally the sea-foam teal color, so that was adjusted, and an Ibanez all customed up bass.
"And then there was ELLE"
An ESP body with a charvelle neck. A rare factory white Kahler tremelo and a Seymour Duncan SH-4.
It is painted in code 12 white with platinum pearls, and a nice pink Hawaiian flower. (go figure)
Even though the guitar looks flowery, it rocks pretty hard.
In fact, we use this guitar for 'drop D' stuff because of the thick and solid, yet tight sound.
I think the guitar was originally built by the guitar player for the 80's band Icon.
***Update. Elle has been stolen right out of Joe's home. If you see or hear of this guitar anywhere, please contact us immediately!***
Joe also has a Jackson Flying V. It has been completely stripped and just begun it's transformation to playing like it should. The pick-ups are not quite right, and the wiring is not stellar. Because of the body weight and shape, we are not sure what pickups will work, but we are going to be trying a few. The cosmetics of the guitar are not going to change, but the playing and sound sure will.
Here are the twin RG series Ibanez guitars. (I think they are 550s or 560s.) These babies are about as nice a guitar you can find out of the box, and not break the bank. You can pick them up for about $600 new and gently used for about $300. These have been adjusted, but are still awaiting pickups. The V7 and V8 are really quite nice for a standard pickup, but a good set of Dimarzio pickups really shapes the sound and adds depth galore. The only problem with these guitars is the volume knob is too close to where I rest my pinkie sometimes. So the volume knob will be moved about an inch and a half in the direction of the other knob when the pickups are installed and the guitars are painted. (When Ibanez does a Slant Eyed Fish Head signature model, it will be this exact with the volume knob moved for the low budget version, and this with a Steve Special in the bridge and an Air Norton or a PAF Pro in the neck. . . .and of course, a reverse headstock.)
The red guitar is the one that started it all. An Ibanez Roadstar II series that has been re-wired more times than I can count. Originally purchased in 1987 from Milano Music off of 19th Avenue, this baby stands the test of time again and again. The early edition EMG 81 absolutely screams. I can't find another 81 that will match this one. (Don't ask me why.) It could use a good fret job, but is still a standard around this shop. (O.K. so last weekend, it was re-fretted. This thing is rock solid. The most consistent guitar I have ever seen.)
This just in- one of the two RG's was finished this weekend. It may be outfitted with Mountain Dew decals before it is done. The cool candy green looks like a MtDew can in artificial light.
Oh yeah, like I stated, a Tone Zone and an Air Norton found their way into the new Dew axe.
We have quite a few amps and cabs laying around the various locations. Here is a mess of a tower when recording.
The bottom head is not much to look at and not a ton to listen to, but so unbelievably durable, it is hard to frown on. Plus, a few internal adjustments, re-working and re-wiring really improved the sound. It does make for a great power amp if you are running most of your sound through a board.
The amp above that is a Carvin, Steve Vai signature "Legacy" head that has been re-tubed with ruby 6L6's and some other modifications by Krank amps here in Phoenix. The thing is quite the workhorse, and generous in delivering a wide range of sounds. It is also so powerful, you really need to watch your hearing and your speakers to not bump the volume knob over about 3. (Even on the 50 watt, two tube setting.)
Then there is the Marshall of Bruce. I can't explain why, but some amps just work better than the twin right next to it. And this is one of those. It has been Bruce's mainstay for a quarter of a century now. The thing holds it's own with the biggest and baddest of the new amps, and keeps that standard Marshall vibe.
The head just above that one is a 120 watt wonder. Crate has made this head for decades, but only one run really had something special. Actually, there were two runs. But this is the only run without the red piping. Buzzz buys every one he can find. And just turning them on he can tell if it was one of the good run or not. When he finds that it was not the choice one, he sends it down the road to some kid needing a starter amp. He currently has five of these heads. Only three were the good run, and this is the best of the bunch. Drop this baby out of an airplane and it will still work just the same. Works great as a spare, or when a gig does not give much room for equipment. (I think you can even submerge it in a swimming pool and while sinking, still deliver that same brute force tone.
Here is Joe's new rig. a 50 watt little Randall screamer. Fitted with ruby 6l6's just like the Legacy.
Joe's main cabinets are an old Carvin with Celestion greenbacks, and his favorite is a 4x12 loaded with Eminence Texas Heats.
Besides those two 4x12, there are six other SEFH cabinets fitted with 12" monsters. Buzzz'z favorite speakers are the 12" Eminence Governors.
Other cabs include Vintage 30's, and various other combinations from Celestion and Eminence.
This bass is something else. Purchased off of eBay for $50. The body was broken in half, and the electronics were destroyed. (Well, O.K. not exactly in half. It was actually in three pieces. So more like 40%, 45% and 15%.) One of the people that sold it to me say they think the bass was run over by a truck, and I would believe that. I took the luthite body and sanded it way back down and started to bind it back together. Then over the top of that I put two layers of carbon fiber in the front and three layers in the back. Then some structure through the body at the neck joint. Chucked some paint on the beast with shattered ideals to represent the breaks in the original state. Then some work trying to find stuff to retrofit the electronics and pre-amps back together. This thing sounds like no other bass I have ever heard. The sound man has to have a complete other pre-set sound when this bass is picked up. It dwarfs every other bass we have. And we have a 4 string identical twin. Same model, same pickups, same electronics. Same exact stuff and they sound NOTHING alike. This dude is a bad MamboJambo!
If you are looking for the smoothest and most consistant guitar strings on the planet,
Look into the Sfarzo String line!
Check them out at Sfarzo.us
Try the Signature series string for ultra consistency and great feel.
Or try the SuperScreamers for great feel and animal bite.
They are about $4 a set. Try them. You may really be surprised. I know Slant Eyed Fish Head is.