Made In: Japan/China
Specs: Mahogany body, maple top, one-piece mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard
Electronics: Seymour Duncan SH-1N & SH-14 pickups, passive circuit
Controls: Volume x 2, Tone x 2, 3 way switch
When it comes to being easy on the eye, this Edwards V is hard to beat and that was a large part of why I took a gamble on this one from the U-box. There’s something evocative about the V shape and the 58 design, in particular, is a favourite of mine. Edwards guitars are generally put assembled, I believe, in China, with the electronics and finishing touches done by ESP in Japan. They use quality parts, such as those found on this one: SD pickups, Tonepros bridge and Sperzel locking tuners. It needed minor fretwork and a setup when it arrived and is a very nice piece of equipment. The neck pickup tone, in particular, is as good as anything I’ve played. It’s light, balances well and the chunky neck suits my hands, really a very nice guitar to play. There’s a lot of tonal flexibility. Although not a very high output package, it has enough to deliver a satisfying chug if needed.
After a couple of years, I eased this one on out the door to raise funds for a Bacchus purchase and instantly regretted the decision. Several years later, I saw it for sale again at an absurdly low price, but not before several other people had seen it first and were ahead of me in the queue. Coincidentally, I had been lamenting the decision to sell with friends just a few days before seeing the ad and was suitably distraught. However, realising the pricing error he had made, the seller weaseled out of his sale and immediately relisted it at a higher price, much to the annoyance of the prospective buyers. Everyone took umbrage, except for me, and I bought it back at a price still handsomely lower than that at which I had originally sold it. It had a few more knocks but the fundamental playability and tone were still there, as well as that fantastic top. It remains the only guitar I’ve ever even tried to get back. All in all a superb guitar for the money and one which still gets a lot of use.
ESP 400 Series Jazz
Made In: Japan
Specs: Alder body, one-piece maple neck, rosewood fretboard
Electronics: 2 x JS-130 pickups, passive circuit
Controls: Volume x 2, Tone
In early 1993 this bass was offered to me for IR£300. I had been looking for a new bass and, at a time when late 70’s Fender Precisions could be bought for IR£250, it wasn’t cheap, even though it was used. I paid the sum, got the bass and, to this day, this is the bass by which all others are judged. Sometimes reproductions can surpass the originals and I’d definitely say this is one. Like the Bacchus P, it does everything you could want from this kind of bass, but it has something extra which makes it exceptional.
The guy I bought it off had painted Tank Girl – yes I know – on it which had left some dark shadows in the gloss coat so I sanded most of that off shortly after buying it. It left me with a slightly battered looking bass, but it played and sounded amazingly well. Some instruments are just better than others for reasons you can never quite pinpoint and this is one. Despite being someone who habitually likes to prick around with guitars, modify them and replace bits, this one is still all stock. This is the bass which steered me towards bypassing amp EQ sections. Plug in and go, it has always been the way with this one. I asked ESP to date it but seemingly they lost a lot of documents in a fire a few years back, the closest date they could give me was between 1987 and 1989.
I gigged it all through the 90’s and 00’s and it has taken a fair amount of abuse, it has seen better days but I have yet to play another J bass which even comes close. Many have taken a shot at the title but the ESP remains the champ.
Clockwise from top left: EBMM Stingray, G&L L2000, Charvel JP, Mightymite Jazz, Hotwire Custom, Warwick Streamer LX, Godlyke Disciple, ESP 400 Series Jazz, Warwick Streamer Stage I, Status S3000, Bacchus 02 Standard 5, PRS Electric Bass 4, Alembic Orion, Bacchus 24, Warwick LX Streamer Jazzman, Bacchus Woodline P Classic
Clockwise from top left: Edwards E-FV-100STD, LTD DV8-R, Bacchus T-Master, Bacchus G-Player, Charvel So-Cal, Bacchus Empire, Tokai ES-130, Bacchus BST62, Steinberger GR4, Eggle TI Legend, BC Rich Stealth, Bacchus Duke, Charvel Predator, Warmoth Strat, Ibanez Destroyer DT-380