Rock and Roll Rebels: The Legendary V Shaped Guitars That Shaped Music

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A V shaped guitar being passionately shredded by a guitarist is often the first image that comes to mind when you think about rocking out on a stage. If you’re like many music lovers, this captivating sight fuels your imagination and stirs your excitement. There’s just something undeniably cool and rebellious about the sharp angles and daring design of these instruments.

Exploring V shaped guitars reveals diverse options for every musician. Consider your genre, budget, and aesthetic preferences when choosing. Ultimately, select a V shape guitar that inspires you to play.

In this article, we’ll be diving into the world of V shaped guitars. We’re not trying to sell you any of these instruments, but rather to help you better understand their unique qualities and how they’ve each made their mark in the music industry. We’ll be looking at six standout models: the Gibson Flying V, Dean V, Jackson Rhoads, ESP Alexi, BC Rich Warlock and the Schecter V. Each has its own story, its own feel, and its own sound. So, whether you’re a seasoned musician looking to try something new, a beginner just starting to explore the world of guitars, or simply a music fan interested in the history behind these distinctive instruments, this review is for you. Stick around as we delve into the exciting and impactful world of V shape guitars.

The evolution of the V Shaped Guitar

Now, before we dive into those individual reviews, how about we take a little trip down memory lane? Let’s find out how the V shaped electric guitar, this iconic symbol of rock ‘n’ roll rebellion, first came to be.

The Gibson Flying V made its debut in 1958 as the first V shape guitar. This was a time when many associated music with the jangly sounds of the Beatles and Buddy Holly. However, Gibson envisioned a future of rock and heavy metal. The Flying V and its sibling, the Explorer, were part of Gibson’s “modernistic” line. This line aimed to depart from traditional guitar designs

But here’s the funny thing. When they first launched, these guitars weren’t exactly a hit. They were a bit too out there, a bit too futuristic for the tastes of the time. It wasn’t until the late 1960s and 1970s that musicians began to appreciate the unique look and sound of the V shaped electric guitar. Bands like Judas Priest and KISS took to the stage with these eye-catching guitars, and suddenly, they weren’t just an oddity—they were a symbol of rock and heavy metal, an emblem of musical rebellion.

And thus, the V shape guitar found its place in music history. It may have had a slow start, but there’s no denying the impact it’s had ever since. Today, you can find countless variations and adaptations, each with their own spin on that iconic V shape. Let’s take a closer look at some of these guitars now, starting with that original game-changer, the Gibson Flying V.

The Gibson Flying V

The Gibson Flying V, an iconic electric guitar that made its debut in 1958, is a testament to the boldness and innovation of rock music. With its distinctive V shape, powerful tone, and a rich history of legendary players, the Flying V has cemented its place as a symbol of rock ‘n’ roll rebellion.

The Origin of the Gibson Flying V

Kicking things off with the guitar that started it all: the Gibson Flying V. It’s more than just a guitar, it’s a legendary icon in its own right. Conceived in 1958, the Gibson Flying V initially faced more bemusement than acclaim. Just imagine it: in a time when most electric guitars were quite alike, the Flying V’s avant-garde design was quite a shock. However, it wasn’t until the rockin’ eras of the late ’60s and ’70s that rockers and metalheads began to truly embrace this guitar’s standout look and killer sound.

Physical Features of the Gibson Flying V

Visually, the Gibson Flying V is a standout. With its distinctive angular shape, it looks like no other guitar out there. Its body is typically made of mahogany, giving it a robust and sturdy feel. The neck is also usually mahogany, topped with a rosewood fingerboard. Gibson didn’t just break the mold with its design, they also created a guitar that is comfortable to play, whether you’re sitting or standing.

Sound quality & Performance

Now, let’s talk sound. The Gibson Flying V isn’t just about looks—it delivers a sound that can only be described as big and bold. It usually comes loaded with two humbuckers that give it a warm, rich tone with plenty of sustain. These characteristics make it a favorite for rock and heavy metal, but don’t let that limit you. The Gibson Flying V is versatile enough to handle other genres with grace.

Potential Drawbacks

However, like anything in life, the Gibson Flying V isn’t perfect. Some players find its shape a bit unwieldy, especially when playing sitting down. And its bold design might be a bit too much for those who prefer a more traditional look.

The Dean V: A Unique V shape Guitar

The Dean V, a striking V shaped electric guitar, has captivated the attention of guitarists since its introduction in the late ’70s. Born out of the vision of Dean Zelinsky, this guitar embodies a fusion of modern design, powerful tones, and a rebellious spirit that has made it a favorite among metal and hard rock players.

The origin of the Dean V

From the classic Gibson Flying V, we now move on to the Dean V, another exceptional V shaped guitar that deserves your attention. This powerhouse of an instrument has been turning heads and melting faces since its introduction in the late ’70s. The story behind the Dean V is quite intriguing. Dean Zelinsky, the founder of Dean Guitars, was just 17 when he started the company, with an ambitious aim: to disrupt the status quo and create guitars that were different from what was already available. And boy, did he succeed!

Physical Features of the Dean V

The Dean V has some impressive physical attributes. Its body and set neck are made of mahogany, offering the kind of sustain and resonance many guitarists dream of. The V shape is slightly more rounded compared to the Gibson Flying V, making it comfortable to play whether you’re seated or standing.

Sound Quality & Performance

When it comes to sound, the Dean V really delivers. Known for its powerful, aggressive tone, this guitar is perfect for genres like heavy metal and hard rock. It typically comes with two humbuckers that provide plenty of punch and clarity, whether you’re jamming out to chunky riffs or soaring solos.

The Jackson Rhoads: A Metalhead’s Dream V Shape Guitar

The Jackson Rhoads JS Series pays homage to the legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads, featuring the iconic V shape design that he made famous. Designed for players seeking an instrument that combines stunning aesthetics, excellent playability, and powerful tones.

Introduction to the Jackson Rhoads V Shaped Guitar

After immersing ourselves in the Gibson Flying V and the Dean V, it’s time to turn our attention to another iconic V shaped guitar: the Jackson Rhoads. Named after the legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads, this guitar is an emblem of metal music, designed specifically for the extreme demands of heavy metal and rock.

Physical Aspects of the Jackson Rhoads

The Jackson Rhoads is a real head-turner with its distinctive shape, featuring a shorter top fin and a longer bottom fin. It’s made for performance, designed with a body that’s often a mix of alder or basswood, and a neck-through-body construction for incredible sustain and tonal clarity. Plus, the fretboard typically features 22 or 24 jumbo frets, making it perfect for fast, technical playing.

Sound Quality and Performance

When it comes to sound, the Jackson Rhoads is in a league of its own. This V shaped electric guitar features high-output pickups. These pickups can produce a crunchy, searing tone. This tone is perfect for metal riffs and solos. However, this guitar is not only about power. It boasts a solid construction as well. This results in great tonal clarity and definition. Hence, the Rhoads is a versatile instrument. It can handle styles beyond just heavy metal.

The ESP Alexi: A V Shaped Guitar with a Scorching Tone

The ESP Alexi LTD guitar is a signature model designed in collaboration with Finnish guitar virtuoso Alexi Laiho. Featuring an aggressive V shape design, ferocious tones, and exceptional playability, this guitar is tailored for metal players who seek to unleash their shredding skills and dominate the stage.

Introduction to the ESP Alexi

Continuing our exploration of V shaped electric guitars, let’s dive into the ESP Alexi. Named after Alexi Laiho, the late, great frontman of Finnish metal band Children of Bodom, this guitar is a testament to his virtuosic playing and larger-than-life stage presence.

Design Features of the ESP Alexi

The ESP Alexi embodies a unique V shape, with a sharper, more angular design that perfectly mirrors its aggressive tone. The body is often crafted from alder, while the neck, generally made from maple, has a thin U shape that’s designed for speed and precision. It’s a guitar that’s built to stand up to the rigors of high-octane performances, without compromising on comfort or playability.

Sound Quality and Performance

So, what can you expect from the ESP Alexi in terms of sound? In a word: power. This V shaped guitar comes with a single high-output humbucker that’s designed to deliver a hot, scorching tone. But it’s not just about the distortion. The ESP Alexi can deliver a surprising amount of clarity and articulation, making it capable of handling everything from crushing metal riffs to intricate, high-speed solos.

The BC Rich Warlock: An Extreme V Shaped Guitar

B.C. Rich Stranger Things

The BC Rich Warlock is a legendary V shaped guitar that has become synonymous with heavy metal. Known for its extreme design, aggressive tones, and uncompromising attitude, the Warlock has earned its place as an icon in the realm of rock and metal music.

Introduction to the BC Rich Warlock

Buckle up, guitar fans, because we’re about to take a look at one of the most distinctive V shaped electric guitars out there: the BC Rich Warlock. Famous for its edgy look and powerful tone, the Warlock is a guitar that’s not afraid to make a statement.

BC Rick Warlock Design Characteristics

The BC Rich Warlock features an extreme V shape design with a twist, sporting sharp points and curves that make it instantly recognizable. Typically made from mahogany or basswood, the body of the Warlock is balanced with a maple or mahogany neck, often topped with a rosewood or ebony fretboard. These elements come together to create a guitar that’s comfortable to play, despite its wild appearance.

Sound Quality and Performance

On to the sound: the BC Rich Warlock doesn’t just look heavy – it sounds heavy too. Equipped with two humbuckers, this V shaped guitar produces a thick, meaty tone with plenty of punch. Whether you’re playing chunky power chords or ripping through solos, the Warlock delivers a potent sound that’s perfect for metal and other heavy genres.

BC Rich Warlock

The Schecter V: A Modern Take on the Classic V Shape Guitar

The Schecter V, a modern take on the classic V shaped electric guitar, combines contemporary craftsmanship with timeless style. With its versatile tones and impeccable build quality, the Schecter V is a top choice for musicians seeking a guitar that excels in both performance and aesthetics.

Introduction to the Schecter V

For the final guitar in our exploration of V shaped electric guitars, let’s take a look at the Schecter V. Known for their modern approach to classic guitar designs, Schecter offers their own spin on the V shape, delivering a guitar that’s versatile, playable, and impeccably built.

Design and Build of the Schecter V

Schecter’s V shaped guitar features a classic V shape, but with a modern twist. The body is often made from mahogany for warmth and resonance, paired with a set neck (typically maple) for sustain and stability. The guitar’s design is enhanced with sleek contours and bevels for comfort, and it often includes a TonePros bridge for better intonation and tuning stability.

Sound Quality and Performance

When it comes to sound, the Schecter V is no slouch. This guitar features a pair of humbuckers. They enable it to deliver a wide range of tones. These tones can be clean and clear. They can also be distorted and heavy. As a result, the guitar is quite versatile. It can adapt to numerous musical genres. This makes it a top choice for explorative players. They often enjoy trying out different musical styles.

Choosing Your Perfect V Shape Guitar: Final Thoughts

Reflecting on the Journey

We’ve gone on quite a journey, exploring six of the most popular V shaped electric guitars in the world. We started with the Gibson Flying V, an iconic instrument that started the V shape revolution. From there, we examined the Dean V, Jackson Rhoads, ESP Alexi, BC Rich Warlock, and Schecter V, each offering its unique take on the V shape design.

Considerations in Choosing Your V Shaped Guitar

When it comes to picking out your own V shape guitar, there are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll want to consider the style of music you play, your budget and your personal aesthetic preferences. Each of these guitars we’ve discussed has its strengths and potential shortcomings and what works best for one person might not work as well for another.

Understanding the Versatility of V Shaped Guitars

One thing’s for sure: the V shaped guitar is a versatile beast. Whether you’re into blues, rock, metal, or even jazz, there’s a V shape guitar out there for you. And it’s not just about the sound – these guitars also offer a unique look that can help you stand out on stage.

Final Words

In the end, the most important thing is that you choose a guitar that inspires you to play. Whether that’s a Gibson Flying V, a Schecter V, or something entirely different, as long as it makes you want to pick it up and play, you’ve found the right one. Happy strumming on your new V shaped electric guitar!

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James Walker

Hi, I'm James Walker, and I have a deep understanding of guitars as a dedicated educator and enthusiast. With years of experience, I enjoy imparting my extensive knowledge of guitars and techniques to aspiring players. Through teaching, I inspire a love for music and empower students to reach their full potential on the guitar.

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