I ordered it from AliExpress. It seems to be a copy of the Oktober version. I think Jerry & Doyle originally worked with Rand to build the guitars… then Oktober made a run but Doyle has publicly and often decried their quality. Word on the street is that Dean will be making a production model. Doyle’s have been made from wood, graphite, and metal… with bolt-on sides since he can be a bit rough on them.
Check out Empire Music if you want to see some really nice high-end Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor, & more guitars. Check out some of Aaron’s work on his Instagram, he gets to see some beautiful axes! If you’re in or around Pittsburgh, I highly recommend him for all your guitar repair, revision, and setup needs.
If 1999 me had been able to get a hold of this, I may have went down an entirely different path. I would have surely journeyed down some sort of horror punk and goth rabbit hole.
I have been a fan of the Misfits ever since a buddy of mine played a Collection I CD for me. I think we heard of them through Metallica and backwards from Danzig. When I started to play the guitar, I just gravitated towards the “Well, I could do this!” vibe of the stuff. The melodies. The campy lyrics. It takes itself way too seriously. I love it though. Doyle has been a huge influence on my in style and even stage presence. (Although my friend An-Die once remarked that when I stood next to Jerry Only & sang “I Turned Into a Martian” with my recently broken nose still in a cast… I had stage presence, and Jerry had stage presence, but they did not mix together well. I guess I will never know what that means unless video of that day at the Crowbar in Penn State surfaces!)
I dug the OG stuff, and I was a fan of the Misfits ’95 era stuff too. Those were some of the most memorable and entertaining live shows I have been to, and I saw a lot of them. AiXeLsyD & Gasoline Dion regularly covered “Dig Up Her Bones” and “I Turned Into a Martian” among others. I was even part of 2 different Misfits cover sets, the latter being captured on video in 2004.
Doyle has one of the coolest guitars that fits him perfectly. I look like a doofus with it no doubt. It elicits pure joy when I play it though. Doyle’s originals are one-of-a-kind. They have gone through several incarnations over the years. From graphite, wood, to bolt-on metal wings so they aren’t so easily destroyed. One of the original Rand Annihilator guitars was put back together with something that you’d find in a hardware store. There are many legends about the real thing that Jerry & Doyle crafted at Pro Edge. He has a unique rig for sure. BC Rich was going to make one I think? Ed Roman has one listed on their page, but only as a reference to the weird stuff they can make. Oktober Guitars did make some, but Doyle has stated publicly several times that he was not impressed with their quality and craftsmanship so they’re no longer a thing. It’s an open secret these days that Dean is next on the list to make a production model.
I knew I was getting a potential turd. I just wanted the shape. Luckily, I know a guy who has polished many of my proverbial turds (guiturds?) with great success, and he’s now at Empire Music. I feel a visit coming after I get some new pickups and maybe pots & other hardware.
I had issues with ordering in October of 2020, not getting it & cancelling by December. They kept sending photos of an unpainted guitar saying it was almost ready. I asked them to reach out when it was complete so I could reorder. They did in February 2021, and I had it in my hands by mid March,
The neck feels great. The guitars hangs perfectly. It could stand to have more heft, but a lot of people out there like light guitars. The action is HIGH.
I can hear it going out of tune as I play, but that may be my own ineptitude at the Floyd Rose system. Played through a Positive Grid Spark on the “Metal” setting with the bass all the way down and the treble cranked.
(Played a regular axe right after to make sure the amp wasn’t shitting out. 🤣 Also put it into the Orange Micro Terror and the sound did not jive. 🤣)
I have a quad-rail bought cheap online that I was itching to have dropped into something… but I feel like I need some real metal-y pickups in here. Do I get real Seymour Duncans? Who besides GFS does quality affordable pickups? Maybe I will just go with GFS. 🤷♂️
So, what kind of pickups should I have dropped into it?
Do you have an Annihilator? Do you want one? What’s next on your guitar list? What’s an axe that an influential player to you uses that you would also like to have? Is it crazy, or normal? Share in the comments!
I’m in a lot of guitar-related Facebook groups. I’m probably in a lot more guitar -related (and general music-related) Facebook groups that ought to be allowed. I see a lot of talk about guitars, and a lot of opinions about guitars. People are very strong and vocal about their opinions. (Did you see the guitar bingo cards?)
One post I see quite often is someone who is buying a guitar for their kid, or even one for themselves. It usually contains no details or insight and boils down to “I am buying my kid a guitar, what should I get?” or “I want to try playing guitar, what is the best one to buy?”
The responses come in swiftly and are predictably all over the place. Guitarists who frequent guitar-related Facebook groups are a wild bunch. It’s hard to get a good feel when advice is all over the place.
I am certainly no guitar expert. Hell, I’m not even that great of a player. Ha ha. I have, however, played a very large variety of guitars over the years. I happen to own a wide variety of guitars and am a bottom-feeder of sorts… All of which I feel plays well into qualifying me to dole out advice on the matter of a starter guitar.
First, you need to ask yourself some questions. We need more to go one than “Which guitar should I buy?”
What’s your budget?
What kind of music do you listen to?
What guitarists (or musicians, bands, artists) do you enjoy?
What would you like to sound like?
If this is a GIFT guitar, this becomes tricky if you want it to remain a surprise. You’ve got to do some homework. If a kid is dreaming he wants and Explorer or a Jaguar and you get him a Stratocaster or an SG, there may be some disappointment or it sitting in the corner for a bit.
What do you see yourself or what does the recipient see themselves playing? What kind of noise is yearning to be made? Get an idea of a shape in mind, maybe even a color… or whatever is there sparking that interest.
Check local Facebook sale groups too. I help moderate one for my area and it is a FANTASTIC place to get great deals on gear, ask, & answer questions, etc. It’s also all invite-only so it’s relatively drama free.
I’m largely ignoring acoustics, but that may be what you want. They are so versatile and a great place to start learning.
Go to a music store and pour over the stuff. (I know things are different right now with a global Covid-19 pandemic, but I hope they will eventually return to a much more normal state of existence. Please follow the guidelines in a store or if meeting someone to purchase via an online ad.) Play it all. See what feels good.
Soon you’ll have a Pinterest board for beautiful, weird, ugly, and random guitars you find on the internet.
All the references I can think of for name-dropping for guitar players are ancient. But if you want to play like Slash and you get a John Mayer guitar, it’s not going to be as exciting, right?
Get your budget set. I personally stick to cheap guitars and I love them. You can get some really nice guitars for $300. One group I frequent calls anything $500 & under cheap. I can dig that. You can also get some great guitars for $100 if you’re looking in all the right places.
Used gear is a great place to start. Stuff depreciates rapidly. Stores pay pennies on the dollar for value so they’re able to make a profit, so the best bang-for-your-buck may be some sort of local online sale. Although, Music Go Round seems to have reasonable used prices in person.
Avoid any listings online that say “great for beginners” or “great for a first guitar” or “great for kids.” Loosely translated this means “this guitar is a steaming pile of poop.” Usually it has terrible action, won’t hold a tune or even intonate properly, or has some other hidden issues.
If anyone lists something online for free and says “Make an offer” they are the worst kind of person, so just keep scrolling.
Don’t pay over $50 for a used First Act unless it was one that came with a Volkswagen. They were $50 new at Walmart. Some brands with great budget axes can include Squier, Lotus, Hondo, Dean, Hamer, Schecter, Ibanez, New York Pro, Galveston, G&L, Peavy, Epiphone, Kramer, and so many more outside of the ones everyone seems to know like Fender and Gibson. Don’t pay too much attention to the headstock logo though.
I would also probably be wary of new “starter packs” that come with a tiny amp. Do your research & read reviews on that kind of stuff.
Stick to your budget & play everything that you can that resembles what you’re looking at online. You might like a heavy guitar or a light guitar. You might like a wide neck or a skinny neck. You might like a thin neck or a heavy one.
If you want a cheap new guitar and are not concerned with the logo on the headstock, I cannot recommend Agile or SX and Xaviere enough. I hear nothing but good things and they’re just great axes. I have heard mixed reviews on Hard Luck Kings.
Whatever you buy, I suggest, and a I cannot stress this enough, get a pro setup. Find local music shop… preferably from work of mouth or asking locals online. Find someone that recommends a tech or luthier that does great work. This person will ask you questions. Give honest answers. I suggest getting a lighter gauge pack of strings at first. Tell them you want 9’s. I would say $75 for a pro setup and a few bucks for a new pack of strings will make even the rattiest of guitars into beautiful machines. Figure it into your budget if you need to.
If you’re close to Pittsburgh’s southern suburbs, I may even recommend the guy that has polished some of my proverbial turds and made them into rock n’ roll machines.
Amps? Well, amps are whole different animal. There are headphone amps, practice amps, and combo amps. It’s all in the budget/preference mix. Maybe that will need to be another blog post?
You (or the gift recipient) will fall in love with the guitar if you get the right one. Soon you’ll have GAS.
Don’t hesitate to ask me any specific advice here in the comments or with the contact form.
Feel free to add to my advice, or contradict it in the comments!
Is there a word for the internet version of window-shopping? I certainly have enough guitars. I really dig my oddball collection. But, I’m always looking. I made a wishlist before, so I thought I’d update it. Of course, this list is subject to change by the minute, and like a rodent with shiny objects I can be easily distracted.
Traveler Guitar Travelcaster – It’s no secret that I dig weird guitars. This is pretty neat. I love the idea, even if ESP had it first. Supposedly, the ESP ones were only made & sold in Japan. The Traveler Travelcasters look pretty snazzy, and Traveler makes some other really cool stuff. I bet it really would be useful in a travel capacity, & provide some fun on stage. I see these ads constantly.
Bohemian Guitars Oil Can Guitar – Who doesn’t want one? It’s like a cigar box guitar cranked up to 11. They look like a ton of fun, and they’re not really all that expensive. These Boho axes are real attention grabbers. I also see these ads constantly. The reviews appear to be fanrastic.
A Millennium Falcon Guitar – There have been various builders to create this to varying degrees of success. I’d love to get my scruffy nerf-herding paws on one. I even blogged about it before (check the comments). You know I have an appreciation of weird guitars and of Star Wars, so this is a natural. Bonus if it includes lights and sounds!
Peavey T-60 – These Peaveys seem like a sort of underground or unspoken holy grail, especially if you get the amp in a case. The T-30 and T-15 look cool to, but I dig humbuckers. so 60 may be the way to go. Hell, a Peavey Mantis would kick some butt too.
Gibson Reverse Flying V – I mean, I already have a Dewey Decibel FlipOut, so why not continue the trend? This one will probably never happen unless I win the lottery. I like my guitars cheap, and this one is not cheap. Epiphone, how about a limited run here? The hate for it online alone drives my want for it.
Archer Flying Cheese Wedge– This thing is absolutely ridiculous. I love it. If I ever found a cheap one, I would pounce. I mean, CHEESE. Who doesn’t like cheese (besides the lactose intolerant)? I think it has something to do with Wisconsin sportsball. I just like cheese. A lot.
Hello Kitty Squier Stratocaster – This is another gem sought after by a bunch of weirdos. The quality is the stuff of legend if you can snag it for the right price. They were cheap for a bit until someone let out the secret they they’re no joke.
Esteban Midnight Legacy Electric Guitar – These were going for $75-ish online for a bit, then they jumped up. Strat pickup configuration on a Les Paul shape? All black? “E” shaped headstock? Sign me up!
Gianni SG/Tele-style doubleneck – As with Bigfoot, some people refuse to believe that these even exist. The cries of “fake” and “photoshopped” abound with this type of axe online. It is ridiculous. Really, I don’t have a double-neck. I need one, right? I do have a 12 string… so a 6/12 would be boring. I would love to get one of these and make one neck a baritone or Bass VI scale. I mean, this is cool too if we’re getting really weird.
One of those goofy Zakk Wylde guitars – Any of the trifecta of insanity will do. The Gibson ZV, the Dean Split Tail, and the Wylde Audio Warhammer are all sort of the same shape. I don’t know the story behind the jumps from manufacturers, and I don’t really care. They are so metal, it hurts. I play so poorly for metal, it hurts. So, it’s a natural fit of pain. Right? Right? This may have trumped my old longing for a Transparent Green Lucite BC Rich.
Xaviere RTS_550SCE_BK Dreadnaught – This is all cosmetic. I just really dig the look. Plus, I really dig Guitar Fetish. I might even sell the 12-string to get this. Maybe? Anyone heard anything about the quality? I really like the look and sort of want to jump before they’re gone. I mean, if I sell the 12-string… that opens up my double-neck options. Right?
What’ on your list? Gimme something awesome in the comments, bonus points for sub-$300-ish. What haven’t I heard of yet? What am I forgetting? What need to I need to meet or gap do I need to fill? What is your holy grail guitar? Post some photo or links too!