This one is for the Maiden fans around here;
I was talking to Joe Lado (real last name is Kovacic, and is the founder of Lado Guitars) in the middle of the week while placing my order (more on that further down in my post). I told him how much I liked Adrian Smithís tone when he used Lado guitars back in 1984-1988, and that I would like to steer in that direction. Anyways Joe confirmed to me that Adrian still has all 3 of the Lados he used back in the 80ís;
1) Black Earth-used in 84/85,
2) Grey Earth-used in 84/85,
3) Blue Laser with Midi Control in 88 (as seen on the Clairvoyant promo video)
A few other facts he revealed during our conversation:
- Joe wouldnít tell me what the specs (e.g. output in millivolts, DC Resistance, and Eq voicing) on his own factory pickups. Itís his trade secret I gather.
- Adrian had Dimarzio Super Distortionís in the bridges of his Lados instead of stock ones
- Joe told me that Adrian switched to Seymourís in the 90ís because Adrian thought the Dimarzioís were too muddy
- Joe is still very well aware of what Maiden is doing in terms of what equipment they are using. I got the sense that he missed the business relationship he had with the band (well duhÖ)
- Before you ask, I didnít ask Joe about what happened with Daveís and Steveís LadosÖ I didnít want to push my luck by asking him too many Maiden-related questions. And no, I wonít be placing any orders for a Strat like Daveís in order to obtain inside information on the ones that Dave had (or maybe still has)ÖHa!
And now on to the guitar that I bought from Joe:
Joe placed a bunch his guitars on sale because it is his companyís 35th anniversary (check their website). This Lado Earth-2003 model originally costs $2,995USD and was on sale for $1595CAD (which works out to about $1355USD at the current exchange rates). Plus, it came with a pair Seymour Duncan JB pickups (cost including installation in Toronto is normally about $250USD) for free. In other words I got this guitar thatís normally worth $3,245USD at %58 off. Since this was a once in-a-many-lifetimes deal, I had to buy it; Iím going to have to sell off some of my other gear though.
The tone the guitar is totally unique due to its construction and wood materials (birdís eye maple body, ebony fretboard). The pickups are great (clear, fairly trebly, plenty of punch), but not as hot as my Dimarzio Super Distortion equipped RG320FM. Itís a set-neck design and the back of the neck is lacquered (therefore not as quick as an Ibanez RG neck), but the entire design still allows for quick playing. This guitar is a dream, and will be buried with me (not for a long time I hope).