Masterpiece japonais!Publié le 26/03/11 à 01:05 (contenu en anglais)The Killer KG Prime is made in Japan. It's the signature, custom shop model played by Akira Takasaki of Loudness. The body is crafted out of hard ash, and the neck is slick, oil finished maple, with a thick slab of ebony for the fretboard. The aggressive star based body and harpoon like headstock give this guitar a slick, angular look that screams metal.
The specs are as follows:
Country of origin:
Number of frets:
Three way pickup selector on the bottom horn
Original Floyd Rose
When I bought this guitar, I was quite surprised to find that the neck had some beef and girth to it. Not something I suspected from such a radical, shredder type guitar. The action is quite low, and the neck shape really suits my hand. It flattens out as you move up the fretboard, which facilitates easier lead playing higher up on the neck. The whole guitar feels very "finished" and "put together", unlike many instruments that have passed through my hands.
The cutaway allows easy access right up to the 22nd fret. I've never seen a neck joint like this before, and neither had the Fender master tech that set it up. Its an amalgamation of a bolt on neck and a neck thru. It's bolt on in that the neck is held on to the body by bolts, but neck thru in that the neck extends underneath the neck pickup, and the pickup is actually set into the neck, and not the body. This produces a really rich fat neck pickup tone, which I guess was needed for Takasaki, as the rest of the guitar is made out of generally bright woods, which would have been coupled with a bright amp.
The KG Prime has quite a small body, and it has comfort cuts cuts in all the right places. It just seems to melt into me when I play. Hard ash has a reputation for being a heavy, dense wood, but I found my KG to be quite light, maybe around 6 or 7 pounds.
The first requirement i have for any guitar is how it sounds unplugged. I listen for fullness, warmth, harmonic overtones, and resonance. The KG Prime delivers in spades. When you pick a note, even on the high e string, you can feel the resonance in the neck, and each note is full of rich harmonic overtones.
I play through a Splawn (modded marshall type amp), and it delivers a crunchy, searing 80s metal tone in spades. If any of you readers know the way Akira Takasaki semi-pinches his riffs to make the harmonics scream (like in the intro riff to Crazy Nights), then you'll get a picture of how ripping and aggressive this guitar can get.
The EMG pickups that came in the Killer are not to my taste. Too much gain and high end. However, they are not the original pickups, they were put in by the previous owner. I have since changed the pickups to High Orders, and it has made the tone much rounder, and larger. These pickups clean up better too, although they never really get sparkly clean, although that's probably results more from the amp than the guitar.
One problem I have with the Killer is that the neck pickup overpowers the bridge pickup even with lowering because the neck joint is so resonant.
The body shape is the KG's greatest asset and downfall, in my opinion. I'm polarized about it myself. on one hand, I love the shape, because it's flashy, aggressive and stands out in a crowd. On the other, it may be too far a departure from traditional guitar shapes. As a big fan of Loudness and Takasaki, I jumped at the chance to own this instrument, and as far as tone and playability goes, it doesn't disappoint, however, I just get tired of looking at it sometimes.
I'm happy with the price I paid. These guitars cost anywhere from $2000-$3000 new. I didn't get a chance to try out any of Killer's guitars before I bought, but I was confident in my purchase, because of the companies reputation for quality custom shop work.
Having lived with the guitar for over a year now, I'm not so sure I would have bought it, based on my personal preference for more traditional guitar shapes. As far as the actual performance of the guitar goes, it met my every need. I'd definitely recommend the KG to someone looking to buy.