2012 Gibson Custom Kirk Hammett Flying V Signature

 

1/2

#3 of only 50 signed, numbered & noodled on by Kirk Hammett, a Gibson Custom Shop detail-perfect recreation of Kirk's workhorse through the early Metallica years.

Kirk didn't own this one, for sure.  But, using digital technology to scan his original 1974/75 Flying V, the Gibson Custom Shop has created such a perfect clone - every ding and dent, the aged gaffer tape applied to the body back and sides - that it warrants an appearance in the As Played By list.  For the forensically-minded, he held & signed each of the 50 guitars at the signing ceremony in April 2012.  So his DNA's going to be on at least the headstock.  As close as anybody is going to come to playing the guitar that powered its way through the first four or five Metallica albums and accompanying tours.  That is, if you're up to the challenge of shredding your way through Master Of Puppets.  Welcome Home.

Specification

Gibson

Make

Flying V

Model

Ebony Aged

Colour

2012

Year

#3

Serial  Number

22

Number of Frets

Rosewood

Fretboard

Maple & Mahogany

Neck

Mahogany

Body

Gibson Schaller M6

Tuners

EMG 81 & EMG H

Pick-ups

Modified Tune-O-Matic Stars Guitars Style

Bridge

Gibson Stop Bar

Tailpiece

24.75"

Scale Length

43.50"

Full Length

Further Information:

  • Kirk started out as a Stratocaster devotee.  Looking for a more heavy metal sound, and following in the footsteps of Flying V ambassador Michael Schenker, he bought his first Flying V in 1979.

  • And then played it in the studio and live on Metallica's first five albums: Kill ’Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets …And Justice For All, and The Black Album.

  • Not surprisingly, "it's a little fragile now". Kirk put his through a lot - endless months touring on the road, thrown at amplifiers, thrown to guitar tech, but not always caught.  As he says: "Surprisingly, I never snapped the neck".

  • The attention the Gibson Custom Shop gave to reproducing that battle-scarred axe is all the more staggering. It's not just things like the EMG pick-ups, nor the Stars Guitars style Tune-O-Matic bridge that Gibson went off-rulebook to replicate.  It's the original screw-holes for the replaced tuners, it's every crack, dent and ding, and it's even the aged and frayed gaffer tape that Kirk used to protect the back and sides of the guitar from any (further) damage.

  • Not put to the shred test by God's Own Guitars - beyond our pay grade.  But as an example of a high-performance Flying V, this delivers everything you'd want, from clean melodic tones to full-on metal.  

See & Hear It In Action
  • Kirk Talks About the Signature Model: And reveals a little bit about his move from Strat to Flying V.
  • And For The Riffs From Master Of Puppets, Here He Is: Be forgiven if this gives the impression that it's all about chromatic, pentatonic shredding . . . With the neck EMG 81, this guitar is equally at home with cleaner and more melodic tones - check out Welcome Home (Sanitarium) for crystal clear picking (just before it, again, goes into chromatic, pentatonic shredding . . .).
Sources & Links
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