Magazine article Guitar Player

SETUPS OF THE STARS Kirk Hammett

Magazine article Guitar Player

SETUPS OF THE STARS Kirk Hammett

Article excerpt

One of Hammett's main guitars for Metallica's summer tour is a neck-through-body ESP Kirk Hammett model that he calls the Caution guitar (named after the sticker on the lower bout). The 24-fret, rose-wood-on-maple neck has a 25 1/2" scale and a compound radius that goes from 15" at the nut to about 20" at the 24th fret. His jumbo frets measure .108" wide by .042" tall, but the fret-board gradually becomes more scalloped (due to wear and sanding) as you go up the neck, making the frets measure a very tall .062" at the 24th fret. Because he likes to fight the guitar a bit, the action is fairly high--averaging 5/64" at the 12th fret.

"I've been trying to slow my vibrato down for years," says Hammett, "and the higher action helps with that."

The nut height keeps the Ernie Ball .010-.046 gauge strings at a height of .018" on the treble side, and a meaty . …

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