Gibson Custom Zakk Wylde Les Paul Bullseye Guitar Detail Specs And Reviews
Zakk Wylde is an American musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and occasional actor who is best known as the former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, and founder of the heavy metal band Black Label Society. Zakk Wylde has distinguished himself as one of the most fierce lead players in all of rock to his distinctive solo outings. A technique as furious and aggressive demands a guitar to match.
Gibson Custom is honored to work with Wylde to create a guitar that features his trademark bullseye graphics, EMG humbucking pickups and raw, unfinished necks. His signature bulls-eye design appears on many of his guitars and is widely recognized. The Zakk Wylde Les Paul from Gibson Custom is the ultimate weapon for guitarists looking to hack out anything from metal to grunge to the most raw shred styles.
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- mahogany body
- carved maple top
- antique ivory finish
- Rosewood fingerboard
- pearl block inlays
- three-piece maple neck
- gold hardware
- EMG 81 and 85 humbucking pickups
- tune-o-matic bridge
- 2 tone and volume knobs, 3 way switch
- grover kidney tuners
The Gibson Zakk Wylde Les Paul Custom Shop is one of the finest Les Pauls Gibson has ever put out of their USA Custom Shop. This solid-body electric is the brainchild of Ozzy/Black Label Society guitarist Zakk Wylde, who has dominated the rock and metal scene for years. The guitar is constructed under close guidance from Wylde and built to the same specs as his original Les Paul Custom guitar so it has a nice warm woody tone, beginning with the Les Paul’s traditional carved maple top and solid mahogany back with multi-ply black and white binding around the top and back. The neck is a three-piece maple neck with no finish, giving the exact, slick feel of Wylde’s original. The guitar also features a rosewood fretboard with 22-fret and pearl block inlays. With that combination of tone would you can you get cradle warm and thick sounding instrument.
The guitar plays slightly better than your typical Les Paul. But this guitar is heavy, especially compared to the newer Les Pauls that I own. It’s weight and mahogany body contribute to the overall chunky tones you can get from it. The raw finish on the back of the neck means the neck is faster to play. The frets are larger than on a normal Les Paul so you can get a better action on the neck for easy bends. The upper fret access is typical of a Les Paul beacause of the design the upper frets are not that easy to reach. You have to reach around the whole body to get to the upper frets on the guitar.
All of the guitar’s hardware is finished in gold, including its Nashville Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece so it may tarnish on you or rub off. Gibson still does not use locking tune-o-matic bridges so when you are changing strings the bridge may fall off. The pickups are exactly the same as the ones in Wylde’s original guitar: an EMG85 in the neck position, and an EMG81 in the bridge position. Gibson did not put a separate compartment for the EMG’s battery so whenever you need to change batteries you have to take the whole electronics compartment cavity off. This means you cannot really change batteries on the fly. If you do the 18v mod to the pickups you will pretty much need a separate compartment for the batteries since there will be two.
The EMG85 has more measurable output, but its frequency response and string interface are different, yielding a warmer and more natural tone and delivering balanced and uniform string response. The wide aperture of the coils produces a beefier low end and fatter top end, with loads of output that doesn’t get muddy. The 81 in the bridge has been an iconic metal pickup for decades. So EMG 81 is its perfect compliment, working best for high volume overdrive and amps with a master volume and producing a razor sharp attack with incredible sustain for brilliant soloing.
The 85 in the bridge produces a super thick tone and cleans up better than the 81. Speaking of cleans if you do the 18v mod on the EMG’s. With the 18v mod you run the pickups on two batteries instead of one. This provides a more organic tone with more headroom. This tone produces better cleans than stock EMG’s and clean tones are usually the weakest part of the EMG sound. This guitar is as heavy as a Les Paul can get.
This a review video of Gibson Custom Zakk Wylde Les Paul Bullseye Guitar
Overall this a great guitar, This is the kind guitar that you would use with a nice high gain amplifier or even a medium gain amplifier. Primarily because it has a nice thick juicy tone that really resonates with any sound that you put through it. This is the perfect match for an old Marshall JCM800 or JMP. Getting that 80s old school tone or ramping up to modern tones is no problem as this guitar can run with vintage and modern amps. With the signature Zakk Wylde Bullseye design and decorated in gold hardware, it looks as great as it plays. Special touches like the gold truss rod cover, Zakk graphic on the back of the headstock and the beautiful unfinished maple neck make this guitar truly special. If you are a Zakk Wylde fan there is no other guitar out there that cuts it. And if you are looking for a metal Les Paul and dont mind looking like a target this guitar is a good option. The price of Gibson Custom Zakk Wylde Les Paul Bullseye Guitar is about $4,799.00
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