The Week In Guitar: NOTAKLÖN isn’t a Klon, Custom Colour SGs and more
Welcome to the Week In Guitar! Your rundown over the last seven days of guitar culture. This week: JHS goes a bit DIY, Gibson keeps up its custom colour series, and, oh yeah, it’s Black Friday! Let’s dive in – no soldering iron required.
READ MORE: Black Friday Deals 2023: top savings on guitars, effects and amps
The NOTAKLÖN clones the Klon
It’s been a good while since JHS last made a Klon Centaur replica. Over the years Josh Scott has deliberated over the prospect of bringing it back into the lineup, but many agreed: the market saturation of Klones meant JHS’ offering would have to offer something truly different.
So how’s “it’s an IKEA-parodying DIY kit, and it’s only $99” for “different”? Yes, the affordable NOTAKLÖN doesn’t arrive assembled – the box includes two PCBs, an enclosure, knobs, washers and a set of instructions that’ll be eerily familiar to anyone who likes affordable Swedish furniture. Because it’s solderless, the most intimidating part of the kit is probably snapping the PCBs apart like it’s an Airfix model. And, having not played one, my favourite part of the pedal is the little centaur IKEA guy. Literal design perfection, no notes.
Along with JHS’ signature slick marketing, this accessibility probably helped the launch be a resounding success – the 3,000 initial units were gone in hours! But unlike previous sudden releases from the brand, this one’s sticking around for the foreseeable – you can still order one, but as a preorder that’ll ship in January.
The Klon’s associated mythology – which Josh Scott has both participated in and gleefully taken the piss out of – is a phenomenon we’ve all bought into enough that the inclusion of a tube labelled “goop” in the box doesn’t feel weird. Well, maybe it does if you’re Bill Finnegan…
The SG gets all colourful like
Ever felt a bit uninspired by the bog-standard Heritage Cherry or gloss black SGs Gibson has on offer? Well, get ready to feel slightly more inspired, because Gibson is updating another guitar to have a much broader palette. While there’s no fuschia option this time (boo), finishes like Translucent Teal, Cardinal Red Burst and Pelham Blue Burst look decidedly more futuristic than the cherry options.
While some new finishes might not seem like the biggest guitar news on the planet, this is a possible indicator that Gibson’s experiment with custom-colour Les Pauls was a success. Plus, Gibson actively courting an audience that with more modern and colourful tastes is notable, given that for ages that was mostly the domain of the other big guitar brand. Yes, a slightly less pedestrian colour palette isn’t the whole story when it comes to competing directly with something like Fender’s ultra-modern Player series, but hey: it’s something.
It’s Black Friday next week
Look, we all love gear. But what’s better than new gear? Cheaper new gear. Black Friday will be upon us in just seven days, but really things start now: there are tons of early deals being revealed, and lots of savings to be had! Make sure head over to our hub to keep up to date, because, frankly, there are some crazy deals about. Taking the top spot still is the $600-ish you can save on an Acoustasonic Tele. For more of that, head to our hub.
The Booooom / Blast is back! This incredibly loud, incredibly insane pedal is
Well, your kids are gonna love it: Jason Isbell goes Back To The Future with a Chuck Berry performance in support of The Michael J. Fox Foundation, complete with an ES-345.
PRS gives the Silver Sky a new lease of life with the “Dead Spec” version, modelled after Jerry Garcia’s Alligator Strat sounds
Quote Of The Week
“The fact we didn’t get nominated for a Grammy is a fucking outrage,” he told the audience. “And the reason people don’t say that is ’cause it’s not a very tasteful thing to say. But I’m way past tasteful.”
This isn’t a good quote or anything, but if you want to understand how Matty Healy builds his self-admitted “character role of 21st Century rock star” up, this sweary rant at the recording academy for snubbing the 1975 is a good place to start. “Way past tasteful” is, perhaps, putting it mildly, but still, the rant did also give us another timeless Matty Healy quote: “Fuck off! Dickheads. What the fuck are they on about?” – a versatile phrase for any situation.
A less whimsical Encore this week: please watch Emily Harris from Get Offset addressing a particularly misogynistic commenter, because it goes far beyond “let’s all laugh at the sad troll.” If we’re going to move past this bullshit, we’re going to have to understand the culture that breeds it. But, also, yes, let’s laugh at least a little bit at the sad troll.
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