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Pros: Tons of low end, tight sound, perfect for metal.
Cons: Playing seated, the shape can be tough to get used to. Looks might not appeal to some.
Guitarists have been trying to get heavier sounds for decades, now Epiphone and Robb Flynn are taking the traditional baritone into the metal zone with his new signature V. Aesthetically this is a METAL guitar, with its skull graphics and inlays, never mind the fact it’s a Flying V. The shape balances nicely while using a strap, but like all V-shaped guitars, takes a bit of work to get used to in the sitting position. Fit and finish is great, no buzzing or any rattling of hardware, and our test instrument had a nice setup right out of the box. The neck shape is pretty easy to get used to, the only transition that might be odd is getting used a wound G string and the 27″ scale. It’s not ungainly, but can take some getting used to.
It’s pretty simple electronically; active EMG pickups, a 3-way toggle and a volume control. The pickups are nice and tight sounding, very important on a guitar with tons of low end. The 9v battery is accessible via a compartment on the back, no tools required.
Sound-wise, it’s rich, even unplugged. Open chords still have definition, without getting muddy. Clean sounds ring out with plenty of brightness, and when played through a distorted amp, it’s tight and punchy, while still maintaining tons of those lower frequencies. Keeping up with five or six string bassists should be no problem with this instrument.
This guitar is ideal for the metal player who wants low end without having to go to a 7-string. There will be some adjustment to playing technique, but the ability to go lower than a standard guitar opens up plenty of creative doors that are well worth the effort.