Another day, another set of signature guitars to dig into. Let’s Do It!
This week, it’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and Fredrik Åkesson of the mighty Opeth, who both have new models out via PRS.
Neither guitar is particularly specialized in its modifications – as Mikael says, they’re pretty meat and potatoes. After all, these are guitarists whose tone and sound truly does come from their hands, both in terms of the articulation and picking intensity that varies from riff to riff as well as in terms of the inflections that they naturally add. So the guitars are appropriately designed: versatile and able to handle a variety of sonic and tonal shifts.
However, they do feature a few modifications that at this point, I don’t quite understand why more guitar companies don’t just integrate into their standard construction process. For example, I’ve noticed more than a few heavy duty players, Mikael included, have stated outright in interviews that they are surprised that guitar companies haven’t noticed that basically every single serious guitar player who gets a signature model made moves both the control knobs and the lead/rhythm switch out of the way of picking range. Same goes for most lead players and requesting a cutaway for easier access to higher notes. Maybe someone who is better informed about the design and luthier process at these companies can explain this to me.
It’s also cool that both dudes recognize that these signature guitars are often insanely overpriced, and that they actually took steps toward ensuring that their models wouldn’t fall into that category. They weren’t bluffing!
Source: Total Guitar