Read Time 3 Minutes
Jim Root is best known as the guitarist for Slipknot and Stone Sour. When he got the chance to design his own custom Stratocaster, he combined his love for Charvel and Jackson shredder style guitars with his two favorite guitars from Fender, the Flat Head series Telecaster and Showmaster. The result is one of the most heavy metal guitars Fender has ever produced.
This signature model actually comes in two flavors: black finish with an ebony fretboard and flat white finish with a maple fretboard. While the white finish is pretty sharp looking, the black finish is particularly striking, especially with the absence of any inlays on the fretboard. It seems that the all black design is more popular, and makes sense given the personality of this guitar.
Both finishes come with black hardware. The controls are streamlined, featuring just one volume knob and a 3-way pickup selector for the HH configuration.
For pickups, this Strat comes stocked with an EMG-60 in the neck and an EMG-81 in the bridge. The active EMG pickups are not only aesthetically pleasing but also put out a super hot signal, perfect for driving high gain amps. The 12″-14″ compound fretboard radius, a rare feature from Fender, means that this guitar will accommodate lead players, promoting fast playing and easy bending in the high positions.
Previous Flat Head Fender models used alder for the body wood. The Jim Root Strat has a body composed of solid mahogany, a wood that is usually associated with darker sounding tones. The bridge is a hardtail with a string-though-body design, optimum for long sustain. The headstock is the larger 60s Fender design, which has long thought to be better for sustain, and is fitted with black Fender Custom Shop locking tuners.
The Jim Root signature Stratocaster is not your typical Strat, for sure! I’ve never had the pleasure of actually playing one, but I’m sure it can rip. If you want to know how it sounds, all you have to do is listen to Slipknot and Stone Sour to know this guitar is capable of some awesome tones (Jim often uses his signature Tele too, which has similar specs to the Strat). I think most heavy rock players would enjoy this axe.
MSRP: $1799.99 Retail: $1499.99 Available Colors: Black; Flat White Pickups: EMG-60, Neck; EMG-81, Bridge Tuners: Fender Deluxe Sealed Locking Tuning Machines Frets: 22 Jumbo Neck Wood: Maple Fingerboard Wood: Ebony or Maple Neck Shape: Modern “C” Shape Scale Length: 25.5″ Radius: Compound 12″-14″ Body Wood: Mohogany Hardware: Black Controls: Master Volume, 3-Way Selector
More about Jim Root
Slipknot and Stone Sour guitarist, Jim Root, picked up guitar for the first time at about the age of 13, but was already listening to his parents’ classic rock album collection well before then. Even though Jim is best known for his heavy metal playing, he actually has quite an eclectic taste in music, claiming Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who and even Heart as big early influences.
His first “real” guitar was a Charvel Model 1 that he got when he was 15. At that point he started taking the guitar more seriously, and being a teenager in 80s, his tastes started to shift towards the heavier guitar stylings of metal bands coming up in that era. Bands like Metallica, Slayer, Helloween, and Overkill were also big influences for Jim.
The reason for his gravitation towards heavy metal music at the time, as he stated in a 2010 interview with LickLibrary.com, was because, “It was all guitar driven and guitar oriented music, and I was so fascinated by the guitar that pop music didn’t appeal to me. Not because I didn’t like pop music…but there isn’t a lot of guitar in pop music.”
Today, Jim himself has undoubtedly become an influence on a whole new generation of guitar players. As the guitarist for not one, but two highly popular and stylistically different bands, he’s achieved the kind of success that most musicians still only dream of.
More stuff to click on:
zZounds is carrying this guitar here.
Here is a quick youtube vid.