Las Vegas Guitar Works Anarchist Model Guitar
The Anarchist is aptly named. It doesn't adhere to any stylistic conventions and is tough to categorize. Originally designed as a string-through neck-through-body metal guitar, its initial prototyping was badly flawed. It was nearly 3/4 of an inch too thick with no beveling, had a stock Burns style arrowhead headstock and a very fat neck. Las Vegas Guitar Works is now fully licensed to build the correctly proportioned Anarchist. This version is a thin bodied (along the lines of Gibson SG), light and comfortable versatile instrument with aggressive styling.
USA Built Anarchist Guitar
Why Anarchist Guitars Sound Better
There are three basic guitar construction techniques (with several variations on each). All three construction/design techniques have merit and have attracted ardent followers. I personally prefer the Neck-Through/String-Through-Body construction employed in the Anarchist because of its total commitment to tone.
What is Neck-Through-Body Design?
Neck-Through-Body construction is virtually indestructible: it means that the neck extends all the way through the guitar instead of being either bolted on (Bolt-On) or glued into (Set-Neck) the body. The "body" of the guitar is actually comprised of "wings" that are attached to either side of the Neck-Through section of wood. This guitar construction method provides the path of least resistance to the vibrations produced when the instrument is played, resulting in a richer, thicker tone.
What is Set-Neck Design?
Set-Neck design is very common. Gibson Les Paul and PRS are examples of Set-Neck guitars. In this construction method the neck is glued into the body pocket (the deeper into the body the better). This layer of glue can present a barrier to tone transference from the body. On better guitars, wood glue is used in the pocket that absorbs into the wood of the neck and body rather than hardening into a mass that creates a solid barrier to sound.
What is Bolt-On Neck Design?
Bolt-On design is as the name suggests: the neck is bolted onto, or in cases of the better constructed guitars, into, the body of the guitar. Many love the Bolt-On method of construction because of the freedom it allows for adjusting and even swapping necks. The use of bolts or screws to secure the neck is said to have a tonal advantage over the Set-Neck because no glue is used, thereby allowing total wood to wood contact between the neck and body for better tone transference.
What is String-Through-Body Design?
String-Through-Body design allows for optimum string/wood contact: it means that the strings go through the back of the guitar instead of into a stop style tailpiece or tremolo. Tremolos, especially floating tremolos, may be nice for lead players and dive bombers but they can be a real detriment to a guitar's tone.
What is Direct Coupling?
Direct Coupling describes the manner in which the pickup is attached to the guitar. A Directly Coupled pickup is mounted directly to the wood of the neck rather than being suspended on bolts from a pickguard. This method of mounting the pickups enhances sustain by as much as 25%.
Direct Coupling is more difficult to achieve on a guitar with Bolt-On or Set-Neck construction, and in those styles of guitar, only the neck pickup can be truly directly coupled. Mounting directly to the body is possible for the bridge pickup, and is better than suspension, but it's not quite the same as Direct Coupling. The Anarchist's Neck-Through-Body construction allows us to directly couple both pickups because the neck extends all the way through the body.
What is Coil Tapping?
There are basically two types of guitar pickups: the Single Coil and the Double Coil a.k.a. the Humbucker. One could argue that the Single Coil pickup is best represented by the Fender Stratocaster and the Humbucker pickup by the Gibson Les Paul.
Traditionally, Single Coil pickups produce a hum (electronic noise) when plugged into an amplifier. Their tone is (generally speaking) thinner than a Humbucker. Humbuckers have a full, fat tone and produce no hum when plugged into an amp. Humbuckers are well suited to heavy, distorted sound because of their superior output and hum canceling characteristics. The Humbucker (Double Coil) pickup was created when someone, somewhere, sometime, discovered that when you place two Single Coil pickups next to each other, the hum cancels out, hence the name Hum-bucker. Each of these two styles of pickup has distinct tonal qualities that make it attractive, and each is available in wide output ranges.
Coil Tapping allows you to have the higher output Humbucker pickups with the ability to turn them into Single Coil pickups by pulling out a knob! This means that the Anarchist Guitar produces a tremendously wide range of tones, from "Sultans of Swing" to "System of a Down."