Friday, 6 November 2009

Uli Jon Roth's Sky Guitar

Thanks to KC for jogging my memory. The guitar that the Gruggett Raindrop reminded me of was Uli Jon Roth's Sky Guitar, as seen pictured here.

To unashamedly quote from his Wikipedia entry:
Uli Jon Roth has (or at least has had) at least five of these "Sky" guitars. They are made by a British luthier, and also used by the guitarist from Fair Warning. The first three Sky guitars were as follows: One had 36 frets, another had 42 frets, and a third one is fretless which was used on the Beyond the Astral Skies album. In an April 2001 Guitar Player Magazine interview, Roth reports that the guitars are either fretless above the 30th fret or have whole step fret spacing above the 27th fret, with 35 effective (half step) frets. All of the Sky guitars with frets have extensive fretboard scalloping as is favored by Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen (who was influenced greatly by Roth) and many neoclassical metal guitarists. The Sky guitar's pickups are custom 4 coil humbuckers made by John Oram, with one guitar having an Oram pickup hidden under the 24th fret. The guitars named Mighty Wing and Destiny each have 7 strings and the others have 6 strings. The 7th string is a low B string. The US company 18th Street Guitars made 50 commercial versions of the Sky guitar in 2004, each reportedly selling for $18,000 USD.
G L Wilson

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