Ibanez J Custom (J CRG-2 TB)
This is an Ibanez J Custom J CRG-2 TB, made in Japan in 2004. A very rare guitar, it features a 5-piece Maple/Wenge 17mm profile thru-neck, (same feel as the Wizard neck), with an Ebony fretboard and Hondura Mahogany body wings. Finished with a AAAA Flame Maple top in Trans Blue with matching headstock, and with Flame Maple binding around the body and neck. Low Pro Edge tremolo and Gotoh machine heads in Gold, set up with 6000 gauge fretwire, 9-46 gauge strings and a low action of around 0.8mm. For electrics, it has a DiMarzio Tone Zone in the bridge, DiMarzio Blue Velvet in the middle, and a DiMarzio Air Norton in the neck. This is the guitar that I usually record with for the Guitar Techniques magazine columns.
Ibanez RG 550 LTD / heavily modified by Ian Allerton.
This guitar was originally an RG 550 LTD (Black with mirror scratchplate, Hum-Single-Hum), made in 1994 at the Fuji-gen factory in Japan. The body is Basswood with a 1-piece Maple Wizard neck, bound Rosewood fretboard with shark inlays and set up with 9-46 gauge strings and 6000 gauge fretwire. It has the All Access Neck Joint (AANJ). The guitar was originally customised with The Simpsons, hand painted by award winning artist Sheila Wallis. Later I had it stripped down, with lids made for the middle pick-up/scratchplate cavities, and then re-topped with an AAAA grade Maple veneer complete with matching headstock. I had the tone control removed and the volume pot re-positioned so as not to interfere with the picking technique! It has a DiMarzio Tone-Zone in the bridge and a DiMarzio Air Norton in the neck and has been my main rock guitar since 1996. All modifications carried out by top UK guitar tech and luthier Ian Allerton.
Ibanez RG 565
This guitar is an original RG 565 in candy apple red, made in 1991 at the Fuji-gen factory in Japan. The body is made of very lightweight Basswood, with a 1-piece Maple Wizard neck and an “old school” square heel neck joint! I have it set up with 6000 gauge fretwire, 9-46 gauge strings and a low action of around 0.8mm. I’ve had the pick-ups replaced with a DiMarzio Super Distortion in the bridge, and a DiMarzio Chopper stacked humbucker in the neck.
Ian Allerton Custom 7
This guitar was built for me by top UK luthier Ian Allerton in 2003. The neck and non-angled headstock is 1-piece highly figured Birdseye Maple, with a bound un-marked 24 fret Ebony fretboard fitted with 6000 gauge fretwire. The body was made from a block of lightweight Alder and cut and contoured to the exact spec of an Ibanez Universe, although routed for bridge and angled front pick-up. The pick-up cavities are slightly oversized as it was originally built for EMG 707s which I enjoyed using for several years. Nowadays it features a Lundgren M7 in the bridge which was designed originally for Fredrik Thordendahl from Meshuggah, and a DiMarzio Air Norton in the neck, with a single volume control, 5 way switch and an Ibanez Low-Pro Edge 7 tremolo system. Set up with around 0.8mm action with 9-46 gauge strings with a 56 on the low B, tuned standard.
Tokai Goldstar/Ian Allerton Relic.
This guitar is a Tokai Goldstar made in Japan in 1984. When I bought it, the neck was already naturally relic’d in the key of Aminor Pentatonic, position 1!! The neck has been re-cambered to a 12” radius and set up with 6000 gauge fretwire with 9-46 gauge strings. The body was originally finished in thick polyester, so I had it stripped down to its Alder body, re-finished in authentic 3-tone 60’s sunburst with a nitrocellulose thin-skin lacquer and relic’d to match the neck. The pick-ups are a set of DiMarzio choppers. Fitted with a Callaham bridge and custom made trem block, this is my main guitar for blues/rock orientated session work. Since the photo was taken, I’ve had a 22nd fret added! All work carried out by top luthier Ian Allerton.
Ian Allerton Custom 1962 Strat Replica
This is a fairly recent addition which was put together by my guitar tech and top UK luthier Ian Allerton. I had the neck, which is an authentic 1996 Fender Custom Shop in highly figured Birdseye Maple with Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, matched to a lightweight 1-piece Alder body from Warmoth USA. The body has been re-contoured to the exact spec as an original 1962 Fender Strat, with a faded Olympic White nitrocellulose thin-skin finish and relic’d. The neck has been re-cambered to a 12 “ radius with 6000 fret-wire for a modern feel, along with a Callaham bridge and custom made block for greater sustain. The pick-ups are the Suhr Fletcher-Landau set, fitted with the Suhr Silent Single Coil Backplate for low noise.
Gibson 1959 Replica
This is actually a very rare Tokai Love Rock Relic of which 12 were made in 2002 and 12 in 2003 for the UK market exclusively. Based on a 1959 Les Paul, the guitar has been customised with 6000 gauge fretwire and fitted with WCR Crossroads pick-ups, made by Jim Wagner in the USA. A fantastic sounding guitar, and has been used in numerous professional Rock sessions. Set up with 10-46 gauge strings.