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#GearTalk - Blue Vanquish

I'll start this with the shortest of updates...

recording of vocals and lead is happening early September...

T-shirts are now available from the newly launched 'Shop' page

The first podcast has been recorded and just needs editing before being uploaded!

And now for a gear talk! Today's is all about one of my main guitars -

*small amount of manufacturer background*

Vanquish Guitars are hand built in Peterborough, UK by Adrian Hardman and you can find out all about them at

I first met Adrian back in 2012 when I was on the hunt for 'the holy grail' of guitars (at the time I figured it would probably be a PRS). So in 2012 I ended up in Ade's shop being one of those guys with no money playing all the expensive guitars to see what I liked (I seem to remember him having some ridiculously priced private stock PRS's in at the time too...)

After being vastly underwhelmed by the PRS's I had just been playing I saw a brand of guitars that I had never seen in shops before and that was Vanquish, Adrian explained to me that they were his guitars that he built on site and let me have a go on one of his double cut 'Legend' models. I was hooked, never had I played a guitar that I attached with so instantly that did everything that I was looking for, a guitar that cleaned up so well just by using the volume control and even unplugged just seemed to be alive...

Unfortunately I walked away that day knowing that I didn't have the money to buy one of Adrian's guitars (which are comparable to USA factory built - custom custom shop guitars in cost and worth every penny and more.) What did happen however was me returning the next week and sorting out a payment plan with Adrian for one of his custom builds an experience I would recommend to any guitarist asking my advice - if you have the opportunity buy something made for you not for the shelf!

The result of this custom build was the guitar pictured above, I've always been more of a fan of the single cut design and 'baseball bat' necks. The guitar is based on Adrian's 'Alchemy' model and a couple of the custom specs are as follows -

- Heavy weight Mahogany body

- Master Grade Maple cap

- Solid Macassar Ebony neck

- Monty's V84 Pickups

- Fishman Piezo Bridge

- Push/Push pot for coil tap (neck only)

Since knowing Adrian I've had another 2 of his guitars with this one being the heaviest (weight wise) and also having the hottest pickups out of the 3. it's the only one I have with an acoustic pickup on (which can be blended with the electric ones or run seperately) and is currently set up with 12-56 gauge strings in standard tuning however the Ebony neck is so stable you can throw pretty much any tuning at this without it suffering too much.

The guitar can also be seen being used in the Blackhawkdown video for 'Freeman' -

I could probably go on for a while longer over why this guitar was built the way it was but I've typed way too much anyway! This guitar was used for a lot of the heavier stuff on the album and was certainly the go to guitar with BlackHawkDown. it's been reliable enough to gig as an only guitar and where as I've never broken a string on it with it being thru-body/stop tail its quick enough to change one between songs if it ever did happen!

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