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The EXPlosive 2021 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

There were a lot of things I craved in 2021. One was an end to the pandemic that will most likely never end. Another was an end to the incredibly stressful working year I endured. Neither of those things looks like they’ll get better any time soon. However, Gibson did release the Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP and it was all I hoped for.

Well, almost. I hoped to get one, but it seems that is what 2022 may be for.

If the limited release launch of the Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP is anything to go by—which came in an antique natural and silver metallic finish—then the official release in February 2022 should be awesome. If the original information and rumours prove to be true, then we should see Flying V signature models for Dave Mustaine in the Gibson, Epiphone and Kramer brands.

I’ve never been able to justify the cost of a new Gibson guitar—I’m not that talented a guitarist—but if there is ever a guitar that will tempt me to make that kind of investment, it will be this guitar.

I absolutely love the Explorer headstock—it made my list of favourite hockey stick headstock guitars—and I’ve been a fan of the V guitar shape since the 80s. That’s when I bought my first no-name Flying V guitar. I think the Explorer headstock and the Flying V body shape work perfectly together.

As a guitarist who has never managed to master the art of lead guitar, I’ve never had the need to go nuts on any kind of tremolo system either. Therefore, these hardtail bridge setups on the Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP suit me to a T.

Or is that to a V?

Having said that, I am hoping that with the February release of these guitars comes more finish options as well. The early promotional photographs of Dave Mustaine with a Gibson Flying V showed a black model with gold hardware. If that is going to be a finish option, then that is going to be the one that tempts me the most.

The 2021 initial release specs are also a good indication of things to come.

Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP features

  • Mahogany body
  • Slim taper neck with volute
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners
  • Graph Tech nut
  • Two volume controls (together) and one tone control (seperated by a three-way pickup toggle switch)
  • Seymour Duncan pickups (Dave Mustaine signature model in the bridge position).

These aren’t the features that most guitar manufacturers would put into a list, but these are the things that add to this guitar’s appeal for me.

  • No scratchplate
  • Those teeth inlays
  • Easy access to the volume controls from the strumming position of the guitarist’s strumming hand
  • Guitar cable input that is not on the front of the guitar

There’s a lot to love in what initially appears to be a simple guitar. In my opinion, it’s a guitar design that has been well thought out, but not changed so much that traditionalists should be overly offended by the lack of the traditional Flying V design elements (such as the traditional arrowhead headstock shape).

The limited run 2021 Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP guitar came with a hard case as well. The case and the guitar both carry Dave Mustaine branding. As a fan of Dave Mustaine’s, I’m very okay with that branding. I know that not everybody likes the concept of a signature guitar, but if Dave Mustaine has been working with Gibson and recommending a lot of the design and functionality changes we’re seeing in this guitar build, then I think he’s deserved to have his signature and/or silhouette brand on the guitar.

Not to mention the fact that he has created some of the most iconic guitar riffs in the heavy metal realm. That’s good enough for me.

Bring on 2022. I already have a start on my #want list.

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