Just prior to recording “Death Magnetic” in 2008 James decided to restore this guitar. The body is alder, while the neck is built from maple with rosewood fretboard. The solderless cable kit that comes with the JH set makes the installation and switching of the pickups easier than ever. James used it in the “Turn the Page” music video from the 1998 cover/compilation album “Garage Inc.”. at least, that's what he prefers for jamming and pre-recording due to it's "realness" and their impressive powerful sound. Used nowadays for his effects during live performances. Used for studio recording of “Mama Said” and live on few occasions. The guitar features matte black finish and tarnish metal pickguard. To go with the new and improved sound is the classic pickup shielding that gives the pickups a much more cool and vintage look, so these pickups not only sound great, they look great too. In fact EMG has become a staple part of the metal genre and its pickups are known the world over for their rich response, tightness and clarity - in a studio environment, but no less on stage, through 100 Watts of pure drive. Seymour Duncan pickups are known for their aggressive, high output sound, and the Invaders are no exception. Does Anybody know? [Guitar Player magazine, April 1989]. This was the last time he’d use a distortion pedal in his signal chain, as he moved toward using a Mesa Boogie/Marshall combo to get most of his sound. It is equipped with James Hatfield signature set of pickups, EMG JHs, and it has mahogany body and neck with ebony fingerboard. Black model; can be seen live on Live Shit: Binge & Purge DVD on the song “The Unforgiven” . This is the second James Hetfield signature model from ESP, released in 1998. James started using two ESP-made Flying Vs in 1996 called the model JH-1, designed and built by Matt Masciandaro. For the Black Album James used a modified Marshall amplifier, his old Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+, the new Mesa Boogie Mark IV, as well as the Strategy 400 power amp and ADA MP-1 preamp. The guitar had the usual EMG 81/60 pickup setup, with one of necks being the twelve string and other one a regular six string. The second one was made in 2003 and features quilted bubinga top and flame sun inlays. His second V is also black, but features the original Floyd Rose tremolo system. This guitar is heavily inspired by James’ 1973 Gibson Les Paul which he used extensively during St.Anger era. Used mostly live for songs that required dropped tunings like “Frantic” and “Invisible Kid” from the 2003 album St. Anger. His early sound was a result of using a Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ as preamp slaved into moded 100W Marshall JCM800 for the dirty tones, while using a Roland JC120 for cleans. After the amp was stolen prior to the recording of “Ride The Lightning”, James had to buy replacement Marshall JCM800 head and Marshall cabinets loaded with Celestion G12-65 speakers. The guitar also featured LA Raiders sticker between the two pickups, and the words “Fuk Em Up” written on the back horn. His sound is more result of his amp setup, and the use of an EQ. This amp was also later modified by Ken Fischer to allow bypassing the preamp. James Alan Hetfield (born August 3, 1963) is an American musician and songwriter best known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica.Hetfield is mainly known for his intricate rhythm playing, but occasionally performs lead guitar duties and solos, both live and in the studio. In fact EMG has become a staple part of the metal genre and its pickups are known the world over for their rich response, tightness and clarity - in a studio environment, but no less on stage, through 100 Watts of pure drive. Also an Explorer made by Ken Lawrence out of the wood of a garage they used back in the Master of Puppet days with very fancy inlays. The unit is controlled by his tech but it allows James to get effects from older albums without going through a box full of effects. We decided to try and select the few that were arguably most notable, but if you think that something else deserves a spot on the list below, message us using the form at the end of this article. ; The jh set is a totally new dimension for emg with the design being driven solely with the input of james hetfield. If you’re interested in his current live gig, be sure to watch Metallica Gear Run on YouTube. It is custom fitted with a B-Bender system, which allows you to mechanically bend the B-string up a whole tone to C-sharp. The second Explorer had the words 1984 Gibson Explorer “So What” written on it in 1985. During Metallica’s set, Bon Jovi decided to hover over the audience in his helicopter for some reason, disrupting the concert, which was already not going good due to poor sound both on and off stage. The JH James Hetfield Humbucker Set is a totally new dimension for EMG, the design being driven solely with the input of James Hetfield. They were both playing through Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ slaved into moded 100W Marshall JCM800s used on the previous album. James is a firm believer in wah pedals and selective signal filtering in general. James used it as a backup guitar from around 1984 to 1988. Since the late 80s he’s been almost exclusively using ESP guitars, equipped with a pair of EMG 81/60 pickups – which eventually led to James’ own signature pickups dubbed the “Het” Set released in 2009. Make sure this fits by entering your model number. James used/uses this guitar extensively since 2008 during live gigs. If you think of the punishing rhythm guitar of James Hetfield or the squealing leads of Zakk Wyld, then you’re familiar with the sound of active pickups. For these two albums, James added a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier and began to use the TriAxis preamp next his old ADA MP-1. Hetfield's traditional choice has been the time-honoured 81 bridge/60 neck combination in all of his ESP guitars but around 2009, so the story goes, he contacted EMG's Rob Turner and told him he wanted what EMG calls a 'stealth' looking set that: "...captures the clarity and punch of a passive pickup and still retains the legendary active tone that molded a generation.". The pickups are the same as on all of James’ guitars – EMG 81/60, and Sperzel Locking Tuners were used as well. James’ King V was finished sometime in mid 1985, and featured white body finish, Tune-o-matic bridge, Grover Tuners, and two Seymour Duncan Invader pickups (presumably requested by James himself). This guitar in contrast to the previously mentioned MX220 styles quite an amount of stickers on it. One can be seen in this video: This guitar was seen briefly in the music video for “Nothing Else Matter” (around 3:00 mark). These active pickups are ideal for any metal player, and they’ve helped shape Metallica’s huge sound. Most significant feature of this guitar is that it was the first ESP model to feature a set of custom-designed EMG pickups based on James’ feedback – dubbed JH-B and JH-N, also known as the JH “Het” Set. Hetfield has modified his pickup set slightly for this new James Hetfield Signature Kit. It was most likely brand new. The guitar is a mid 90s reissue of the 1952 Fender Telecaster, featuring ash body and maple neck. – Dunlop Tortex .88mm – James’ main pick since the early days. This produces the familiar tight attack with less inductance for a cleaner low end.". James also has a double neck version of this guitar, with two 6-string neck, one of them being baritone scale. As for pickups, as said before it's EMG-81s all the way for the bridge pickup. Premier Guitar's Brett Petrusek was on location at the EMG Pickups booth at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California during the 2011 NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, a massive music-products convention that took place January 13-16.In the segment below, we get to see and hear about EMG's newest set of pickups — the James Hetfield (METALLICA) signature set. He played it on Metallica’s first album “Kill ’em All”, and kept playing it up until 1984 when the neck snapped after an accident on stage. All of the guitars were equipped with EMG 60/81 pickups, and featured Gotoh tuners and Tune-o-Matic bridge. What happened to it after Metallica was formed is unfortunately unknown, since James started using a white Flying V by that time. Featuring sleek diamond-like carbon (dlc) plated caps and emg's solderless installation system components, the jh set consists of the jh-n (neck) and the jh-b (bridge). The guitar looked pretty much stock, and James most likely used the 12-string neck to record some of the fills during chorus of the song. http://www.guitarscollector.com/1989—esp-mx-220–fuck-em-up-.html. James Alan Hetfield (born August 3, 1963 in Downey, California, United States) is the rhythm guitarist, co-founder, main songwriter, and lead vocalist for the American heavy metal band Metallica. What type of picks does James Hetfield use? I'm keeping these. During the live gig, James does resort to using a couple of effects to replicate the sound from the studio, and those effects, of course, varied over the years. The idea came around when Hetfield was doing more different types of pickups in his guitars. After signing the deal with ESP in 1988, James added a Jagermeister sticker over the original Gibson logo on the headstock, and added another larger Jagermeister sticker just behind the bridge. Hetfield modified the pickups of his guitar in the early 80s by putting in Seymour Duncan Invaders. Now back around 10-15 years ago my son followed a guy with custom Metallica guitars and he had James pre Gibson lawsuit explorer EET Fuk And now it’s worth the investment. If he did do this he would probably use the 85 like Zakk Wylde. The guitar features see-thru black cherry finish on a mahogany body with figured maple top,  and the neck is a 7-string featuring rosewood fingerboard. He also enclosed his Marshall cabinets with foam and blankets to cancel out the unwanted frequencies. For me, the James Hetfield signature series pickups deliver exactly what they set out to do. I know not everyone will agree but for me it doesn't. Just recently James switched pickups to EMG-JHs, which is his own signature set from EMG. The barbed wire extended on the fretboard as well, serving as inlay. If you are replacing passive pickups, make sure to use the jack included. For Master of Puppets both James and Kirk started using Mesa Boogie amps. Hetfield gravitated to the Gibson Explorer and then moved to ESP guitars in 1987, picking up the ESP MX-220, an Explorer-style offset immortalised with Hetfield’s “EET FUK” … Hetfield has modified his pickup set slightly for this new James Hetfield Signature Kit. Gibson Explorer GroundGuitar counts on your criticism and feedback. – Master of Puppets This guitar was originally equipped with Gibson Dirty Fingers pickups (496R/500T ), but sometime in the late 80s – presumably around 1987 when Kirk Hammett switched to EMGs as well – James took the pickups out and replaced them with the EMG 81/60 set. it plays great and looks great too. The guitar was built by ESP and painted by Dino Muradian to feature an elk skull surrounded by barbed wire. What soon came to be his main one was a white 1984 Gibson Explorer decorated with a sticker on it reading “So What”. What started as a single sticker on the body reading “So Fucking What”, over the years became sort of a collage of various different stickers – among others, a mudflap woman, LA Raiders logo, and Wyoming’s Bucking Horse and Rider Logo. Apparently, Hetfield has always liked the punch and clarity of the EMG combination but after playing with a set of passives, was intrigued to see if EMG could come up with a combination of active/passive technology combining the tightness and clarity of active circuitry with the fat warmth and rich tone of passives. Dec 11, 2017 - We're UK Main Dealer for Canadian hand made pickup maker, McNelly Guitars! Active pickups use additional circuitry in a preamp built into the pickup that usually requires a 9-volt battery to provide power. The James Hetfield Signature Pickups, though, are a different animal. Once fitted in my ESP, the result was really impressive - so much so that I've decided to leave them there. Here is a review/demo of the EMG James Hetifeld Signature pickups. It’s equipped with Sperzel Locking tuners, Tonepros Tune-O-Matic Bridge and set of EMG 81/60 pickups. This produces more attack, higher output, and fuller low end in the neck position. James bought this guitar in 1980 for $200, and it was his second electric guitar. James used this guitar to record the intro on “The Unforgiven II” from the 1997 album “Reload”, and it was seen in the music video for the song. The JH-B uses the same type of core but has steel pole pieces, unlike the 81 that uses bar magnets. My SG also has an 81 in the neck position (same setup Hammett uses) and I rarely use it. GroundGuitar is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Just like his Electra Flying V, James restored his white Explorer and played it on “Death Magnetic” in 2008. All of them are equipped with EMG 81/60 pickups, but they have different bridges and tuners. If still in his possession, this guitar certainly holds a great sentimental value since James mother died just year later after buying him this guitar. It can be seen during the “Cunning Stunts” DVD on the song “Sad But True”. The guitar has mahogany body with a set neck with rosewood fretboard featuring custom middle finger inlays. Hetfield co-founded Metallica in October 1981 after answering a classified advertisement by drummer Lars Ulrich in a Los Angeles newspaper, searching for band mates. On St. Anger James started using a Diezel VH4 alongside his old Wizard Modern Classics and some Marshall amps. James actually has two of them, only difference between the two being the inlays on the first fret. James bought this guitar from a friend from high school who played with him in the school’s jazz band. One of the great things about EMGs is that if you are already using this brand of pickups, replacing them is just a matter of plugging them in. They were all MX-250 models, which is largely similar to the older 220 model – except for the ebony fretboard instead of rosewood, and some minor differences in body and headstock shape. It’s grey with a purple-ish hue to it. Also seen briefly during the music video of  “Nothing Else Matters”. Rest of the specs are identical. At that point the guitar had two Seymour Duncan Invader humbuckers, a Tune-o-Matic Bridge. Since then, Metallica has earned nine Grammy Awards and gone on to release nine studio albums, three live albums, four EPs, 24 music videos, and 45 singles. (Dan), Lisbon on May, 01, 2019 Used on various occasions for acoustic renditions of “The Unforgiven”, “Fade to Black” etc. His first JH-2 has a 4M ninja star on the first fret, while the second guitar had diamond inlays across the whole fretboard. The guitar actually predates Dave Mustaine’s first Jackson – who is one of the people responsible for promoting Jackson guitars in the early years and making them relatively popular. Hetfield: You’d probably be surprised that there isn’t a giant backline, and that it’s not as loud as you might expect it to be. EMGs didn’t come into play until the EP: Garage Days Re-revisited (1987) and …And Justice for All (1988). In case you want to talk to me privatly, please use the contact form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. James Hetfield has been laying down bone-crushing riffs with Metallica for over 20 years and has always used one brand of pickup to do the job - EMGs. Instead of mahogany, the neck was built using maple with rosewood being used for the fretboard, and the body featured somewhat more aggressive design – similar to ESP EXP model. The 250 model wasn’t released until 1990 as far as we know, so this was probably some kind of a prototype/crossover between the two models. After the neck snapped on his Electra Flying V in 1984, James started using couple of different guitars. Interestingly, the V only has 3 knobs instead of the usual 4. In 2009, Hetfield was ranked number 8 in Joel McIver’s book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. The body is painted black, with green flames on it. On this album James was using pretty much the same setup, although the tone is noticeably different. The guitar wasn’t really James’, but Bob Rock’s (music produced on the album) – he just used it to record some parts of song on it. The only difference is the shape of the headstock, which was rather copied over from the standard ESP Eclipse model. … Levy M8P3GP Straps. A lot of our sound is coming through in-ear monitors, and a lot of it is coming through the Meyer wedges we use … It is equipped with Gotoh Locking tuners, Tonepros Locking Tune-O-Matic bridge and tailpiece, and a set of EMG JH pickups. As well as for the video on this page, I also used them in my new Licklibrary Quick Licks DVD: Progressive Shredding in the Style of John Petrucci and have had some great reactions to the sound I was getting. James has at least two of these guitars. For the most part James likes to use ESP and Gibson guitars and stay with mostly Mesa guitar amps. the last time i met james was last year at rock im park, nuremberg and he told me his favorite gear is one of his old white gibson explorer, with emg's loaded, and the dual rectifier. – ProCo Rat Distortion pedal It just sounds like mush with high distortion. James Hetfield’s Guitar Picks: – Dunlop Tortex .88mm – James’ main pick since the early days. It’s equipped with a pair of EMG HZ-707 passive  pickups, and a Tune-o-matic bridge. and a custom shaped headstock. Knowing that, and the fact that this was James’ favorite guitar at the time, the album Ride the Lightning (1984) was largely recorded using this particular guitar equipped with the stock Gibson pickups. Swapping your existing pickups for a set of these doesn't come cheap, but if your aim is the perfect sound does money really matter? The MX220 with the Oakland Raiders sticker (the “FUK EM UP” one) , is actually not black at all. If your guitar has a long panel jack (see Page 3, bottom), make sure it is a stereo Another James Hetfield signature model from ESP. I have two cabinets and that’s it. B-Stock EMG James Hetfield Signature "Het Set" Guitar Pickups - Andertons Music Co. I remember watching a video awhile back where James said he sold his SG, his first guitar, so he could buy a PA system since he wanted to be a singer. The neck pickup is really creamy and is great for soaring leads, quite reminiscent of that holy grail Les Paul tone we all know and love. 3) A stereo output jack (12B) is included with the EMG Pickups; it grounds the black battery wire to turn on the pickups when the plug is inserted into the jack. The first one was made in 1996, and has chechen wood top and granadillo fretboard with aztec-inspired inlays. James used this guitar for the tour that followed the release of the “Load” album. So, maybe it is about time we let them loose… The Build The EMG JH set is a truly awesome looking set of black nickel covered pickups with more menacing punch on the bridge pickup and a thick lush touch on the neck pickup. This guitar was used as one of James’ main guitars for the album St.Anger released in 2003, both in studio and for the tour. I’ll try to dig up the interview online and add the quote to the page. These neck pickups also delivers a really transparent clean tone that's great for individual picking through chords. James’s first ESP, and one of this most recognizable guitars. He’s used more recently a purple Snakebyte that I believe is baritone scale, and a black ESP Viper that I think is also baritone, I’ve seen live videos of him using it for Dream No More. All the hardware is gold-plated, including the pickup covers which were custom made by EMG to feature a metal top piece. . In 1987 James removed the original pickups, and had them replaced with EMGs 81/60. 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