Jackson Custom Shop introduced its new Chris Broderick (MEGADETH) signature guitar model in January . Broderick himself worked closely with Custom Shop master craftsmen to create a distinctive guitar based on a classic Jackson design.
That guitar, the Jackson Chris Broderick Soloist, brings his long and exacting search for instrumental excellence to a most satisfying conclusion.
Broderick‘s Soloist model boasts an unusual new touch in the form of a slightly offset carved-top body design for which the guitarist collaborated with longtime Jackson Custom Shop master builder Mike Shannon. Other features include dual DiMarzio humbucking pickups and a 24-fret 12″-radius fingerboard. Further, the guitar will be available in six- and seven-string models.
Broderick has issued the following update on his signature-model guitar:
“Thanks for the interest in my guitars. They are in the production phase of the six-strings so those should be out soon. As for the [seven-string guitar], we are working out the details of the Floyd low pro bridge (this will be the only [seven-string guitar] to have it) and it should be going into production runs any time now. For the record it will not have a barrel jack (I never liked them), it will have a Fender style jack plate on the side of the guitar that you can reverse if you like.
“Here is a list of specs on the guitar, I hope you guys like it.
“Available to the public in a seven- and six-string version exactly like the ones I play. I wanted this because first and foremost I primarily play and feel at home on the seven-string but play my six-strings on stage with MEGADETH.
“Available at various price points. This make a lot of sense because, some people might not need the extra features found on the USA custom but want some of the other features available, and this makes it possible.
“A 12″ radius neck. I have played with neck varying from perfectly flat (like my first classical guitar) to 10” radius’ (Fender Strat) and feel that a 12″ radius is the most ergonomic, not only for the left hand but for picking as well (the strings feel like they have a little more separation).
“Stainless steel frets. These are perfect for two handed tapping and other techniques as they don’t wear out and actually add a little sustain to the guitar.
“Tall narrow frets. This allows for all the benefits of jumbo frets but also allows you to get your fingers in those tight areas above the 15th fret.
“Quilt Maple binding. I am always a fan of natural woods and to use quilt maple as fretboard binding sets this guitar apart.
“Ebony fret board. Being one of the most dense woods you can get for the fret board this adds sustain and punch to the guitar also you don’t have to use dye (like on rosewood) to get that black color.
“Neck-thru. I was not initially a fan of the neck-thru however when Jackson sent me one of their Japanese Pro models to check out I was sold, the increase in sustain was all I needed to hear to convince me I wanted it on my guitars.
“Reversed Jackson headstock with quilt top. I had always liked this headstock by Jackson and was a fan of reversed headstocks so this combination was the perfect combination, also it solved the problem with [six-string] or [seven-string] in line reversed headstocks where the strings would ring out on the headstock side when playing.
“Planet Waves auto trim locking tuners. These are my favorite tuners they are smooth, accurate, solid and trim the string for you (even 70 gauge strings!!!).
“Custom DiMarzio pickups (the Fundamental) that I designed after pickups that are great but with some EQ tweaking to get more of the fundamental note to pop out. I’m excited to see what people think of these.
“Custom placed 3-way switch, volume with pull single coil split, tone with pull tone knob engage, and kill switch. I spent a lot of time on the placement of the controls to make sure you could palm mute the high E and still have easy access to it to them. The combination of the pull knobs add tonal options while keeping things clean and functional.
“Quilt Maple top, mahogany back. In my mind, there is no better-looking and tonal combination then the blend of these two woods, and with the colors solid black with natural binding, transparent black with natural binding, blood red with transparent black binding, and transparent white with transparent black binding these guitars should suit a lot of different tastes.
“Custom body shape with upper and lower horn cutaway. When I designed this I had two main concepts in mind; one is that the guitar would be very ergonomic and balanced, and two that it would look like it were in motion. Both points were achieved with the asymmetrical body design and because of that the guitar seems to become an extension of myself when I am playing.”
The Colorado-bred Broderick is not only a formidable shred guitarist, but also an extraordinary musician in a much wider sense. He started playing at age 10, studying guitar, voice, violin and piano, and eagerly devoured a wealth of diverse musical influences extending well beyond rock into classical, jazz, blues and country forms. He earned a degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and he himself has taught guitar for more than a dozen years.
Broderick joined MEGADETH in early 2008. His molten guitar work has contributed to the band’s current revitalization, including 2009 album “Endgame”, the “American Carnage” and “Rust in Peace” 20th-anniversary tours, and the summer 2010 Sonisphere festival shows in Europe that featured several metallically historic “Big Four” shows.