The Guitar Insider: Kirk Hammet's Metalligear

Ever the artiste, Kirk Hammett's affinity for the dark side directly influenced the line of KH2 axes he designed for ESP Guitars. "The Skull" is black with skull-and-crossbones inlays on the fingerboard. "The Mummy" depicts an image of Boris Karloff from the 1942 film The Mummy, along with hieroglyphic inlays. Hammett also continues to play his ESP Ouija guitar, which features graphics from the supernatural board game on the body (even right across the pickups) and moon-and-star inlays on the neck. His Spider guitar looks something like a Les Paul Junior and features spider inlays on the neck and an image of a giant yellow spider (with a skull-face on its hind quarters) painted on the black body of the instrument.

Hammet's guitars are tuned down a half-step and fitted with fully floating Floyd Rose tremolo systems. He fits his axes with EMG 81 pickups and his string gauges range from .010 to .046. His favorite effects include a tc electronic M2000 unit for chorus and echo, an EMB remote Wah Wah and an Ernie Ball volume pedal. His amps include a Marshall JMP-1 preamp, a Mesa/Boogie TriAxis preamp, a Mesa/Boogie Rectifier preamp and a Mesa/Boogie Strategy 300 Stereo power amp. For cabs onstage he favors a Mesa/Boogie 4x12 and a Marshall 2x12.

See the following Kirk Hammett signature instruments and gear:

ESP KH-2 Kirk Hammett Signature Series

EMG 81 Pickups

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