Friday, September 11, 2009
Vesica Lead: Innovative or Incomprehensible?
At first glance, the Vesica Lead seems interesting, to say the least. If you're at all like me, you might find yourself experiencing a combination of intrigue and confusion. Upon first seeing the guitar, I initially thought, "Well, that's...different" and after closer study, the question that followed was, "But is that really necessary?" After giving the notion some consideration, I can't help but think it's entirely unnecessary.
Vesica describes its new 6-stringed creation as:
The electric guitar that opens the door to untapped expressive and creative territory and challenges you to explore extraordinary sonic possibilities.
Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I always thought creative expression came from the music one made using an instrument, not from simply playing something that looks interesting. As a musician myself, I won't deny that visual representation is part of the package, but I still can't buy into the fact that Vesica seems to be marketing a guitar based predominately on appearance. I find this even more peculiar after focusing on the Lead's neck design, which is reminiscent of that of a banjo.
Now, your standard banjo neck is designed as such in order to accommodate an extra string. If Vesica had designed the Lead's neck with this purpose in mind, I'd say that made sense – but that's not the case. In fact, the VL Neck (patent pending!) serves an entirely different purpose. Again, I'll let Vesica explain:
Thanks to the VL Neck™, the guitarist is no longer constrained by only inward movement of the outer strings while soloing or playing lead. This freedom to move the strings in either direction is the logical evolution of guitar design and the ultimate way to expand the palette of the musical canvas in your hands.
If this was actually a problem before, I was completely unaware of it. Call me crazy, but bending strings upward has always worked for me and I have never experienced any of the "constraint" of which Vesica speaks. I know I don't speak for everyone, but I'm pretty confident that I'm not the only guitarist who will be quite content to continue bending high strings upwards.
Awkward neck design aside, the Lead does have some quality features: Graph Tech Nut, EMG pickups, and a Hipshot Baby Grand Bridge, to name a few. It has a mahogany body, maple neck, and ebony fingerboard as well, which is not what I'd classify as "shabby." However, despite this decent helping of admirable features, I'm still not convinced. The Lead carries a £1,380.00 price tag – a cost that I consider a tad unreasonable given the fact that the axe’s main attraction is a seemingly unnecessary neck design.