When the Fender Telecaster was created in 1950 (under a different name at the time), it was one of the first solid-body electric guitars to hit the market. With a maple neck bolted onto an alder body, the “Tele” quickly became known for its distinctive tone, which ranged from bright and twangy to warm and bluesy. The tonal versatility of this instrument made it popular in a wide range of music styles, from country to rock to blues and jazz.
Even heavy metal cats wanted to capture this traditional sound, which is why S7G introduced the Modern Viper T model years ago; making tonal adjustments to tailor the classic solid-bodied alder guitar for a diverse set of players. Now, to serve a broader base of artists who come from country, blues and rock persuasions,
S7G is releasing a Limited Edition Traditional Viper T model electric guitar that looks as distinctive as it sounds.
We plan to debut this model at the NAMM Show in Anaheim. We’ll be making 30 guitars for our dealers, and up to 20 additional for customers, not to exceed 50 individually numbered instruments.
So, what makes our Limited Edition Traditional Viper T so special?
Alder was the traditional choice for body wood on this model. A lightweight, closed-grain wood, alder has a nice, even response all throughout the tone spectrum. While it’s mostly known for great blues and rock tones, it’s extremely versatile. It’s the one body wood that can play a death metal gig one night, country or blues the next, and it will nail every style.
I chose zebrawood as the top wood on our Traditional Viper T, mainly for aesthetic purposes. As its name implies, zebrawood has a beautiful striped grain with alternating light and dark brown stripes like a zebra. With density and resonance similar to equatorial mahogany, zebrawood makes a strikingly gorgeous top wood to give each limited edition Viper T a uniquely exotic look.
HONEY-ROASTED QUARTER-SAWN FLAME MAPLE NECK
For the neck wood on the Traditional Viper T, which is bolted onto the body, we used honey-roasted quarter-sawn flame maple. This wood is literally “roasted” or baked in an oven to melt the lignin, which is the skeletal structure of the wood. The molten lignin flows into all the nooks in the fibers of the wood and the hardens again when cooled – which makes the wood extremely stable and more resistant to warping. As a bonus, this heating process also changes the color of the wood to a beautiful rich honey hue, hence the name. “Quarter-sawn” refers to the direction the wood fibers are cut. Because the fibers run perpendicular to the neck, quarter-sawn wood is more stable. Roasting this already beautiful, stable quarter-sawn flame maple makes it even more durable and even more gorgeous.
BIRD’S EYE MAPLE FINGERBOARD
To top it off, we dressed the flame maple neck with a Bird’s Eye Maple 5A figure fingerboard. Featuring a beautiful pattern of swirling grains similar to burls, this unique wood adds even more interesting texture to the guitar, showcasing the 24 jumbo stainless steel frets and D'Addario strings strung across the board.
AFRICAN WENGE PICKGUARD
I wanted to avoid layering a big hunk of plastic on this beautiful exotic wood design. So, I opted to custom cut the pickguard out of African Wenge, a very dark exotic wood that comes alive with richness when it’s stained or oiled. It provides a nice stark contrast to the rest of the instrument, both in its grain pattern and its dark color compared to the zebrawood top.
Our Limited Edition Viper T uses traditional Tele pickups from Seymour Duncan. I chose the STK-T1N for the neck position and STL-3 for the bridge. What makes this model unique, as with the original Telecaster, is that the pickups are mounted to the bridge and pickguard – not the body wood, as they are on most models, including S7G’s Modern Viper T. Naturally, the body wood makes a much bigger tonal difference when pickups are mounted directly to it. But on this model, mounting the pickups to the bridge and pickguard gives the instrument its characteristic Tele twang.
LIMITED EDITION TRADITIONAL VIPER T
These five spectacular woods and special components combine to make S7G’s Traditional Viper T truly unique – so special, in fact, that we’re limiting this special edition model to 50 handcrafted instruments.
Our Traditional Viper T produces the distinctively classic sound that Tele players love, while showcasing an exotic combination of visually striking woods that make this instrument stand out from the more common guitars you’ve seen a thousand times before.