Brian Welch Signature Guitars

There’s a special kind of energy that seems to emanate from the amps when certain guitarists take the stage. Among those musicians who can conjure a distinct, memorable vibe with a single note is Brian “Head” Welch. Not just one of the dual ax-men for Korn but a significant figure in modern metal guitar playing. With a career that has seen highs, lows, departures, and triumphant returns, Brian has become an icon of resilience, both in life and in music.

One cannot talk about nu-metal and not mention Korn. The band’s down-tuned riffs, raw lyrical themes, and distinctive blend of groove and aggression set the stage for the genre, and Brian Welch was at the heart of that innovative storm. But as with any artist, the relationship between musician and instrument is a deeply personal and symbiotic one. For Brian, his signature ESP guitars have been key companions, helping him express his artistry. Let’s dive into this special bond between musician and instrument, and explore what makes the ESP LTD SH-7 Evertune and ESP LTD SH-207 so significant in Brian’s arsenal.

Who is Brian “Head” Welch?

A native of Torrance, California, Brian Welch started his journey with Korn in the early 90s. Alongside James “Munky” Shaffer, the duo crafted some of the most recognizable and groundbreaking guitar parts in nu-metal history. Think about the brooding riffs in “Blind” or the haunting ambiance of “Freak on a Leash.” That’s the magic of Brian and Munky.

Brian’s relationship with music, however, is intertwined with his personal journey. In 2005, facing personal challenges and wanting to change the trajectory of his life, he made the difficult decision to leave Korn. He explored his solo career, releasing music that not only showcased his musical versatility but also reflected his personal and spiritual transformation.

In 2013, to the joy of fans worldwide, Brian made a triumphant return to Korn, solidifying the band’s original lineup. The story of redemption, resilience, and reunion makes Brian’s journey not just about music, but about life itself.

1. ESP LTD SH-7 Evertune Signature Guitar

Craftsmanship and Tone

The ESP LTD SH-7 Evertune is a testament to the evolution of Brian’s sound. Being a seven-string guitar, it offers the extended range that has been pivotal to the Korn sound, allowing for those heavy, rumbling riffs that the band is famous for. Crafted with a mahogany body and a 3-piece maple neck, the guitar has a warmth and resonance that’s perfect for heavy music.

Revolutionary Evertune Bridge

The most distinctive feature of the SH-7 is, undoubtedly, its Evertune bridge. This groundbreaking technology ensures that the guitar stays in tune under any condition. Whether you’re bending strings, aggressively picking, or playing in varying temperatures, the Evertune bridge ensures pitch-perfect performance. For a touring musician like Brian, this reliability is a godsend.

Pickups and Electronics

The SH-7 is loaded with a set of Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker pickups. These active pickups provide a clarity and punch that cuts through, even when you’re playing the most complex and heavy riffs. With a voice switch that allows for multiple tonal options, the SH-7 is versatile enough for any musical situation.

Aesthetics to Match the Tone

With a See Thru Purple finish, the SH-7 is as visually striking as it is sonically. The contrast of the purple with the black hardware gives it a modern, aggressive look, very much in line with Brian’s onstage persona.

Specification Table: ESP LTD SH-7 EVERTUNE

CategorySpecification
General
Brand:ESP LTD
Year:2017
Configuration:HH
Strings:7
Made in:Indonesia
Series:Signature
Colors:Purple
Left-Handed Version:No
Body
Top:Flamed Maple
Type:Solid Body
Body Material:Basswood w/ Maple Cap
Bridge:Evertune (F model)
Neck
Neck Joint:Neck-Through
Tuners:LTD Locking
Fretboard:Macassar Ebony
Neck Material:3pc Maple
Decoration:Offset Blocks
Scale Size:25.5″
Shape:Extra Thin U
Thickness:1st Fret: 0.748” (19mm) – 12th Fret: 0.827” (21mm)
Frets:24 XL Jumbo
Fretboard Radius:13.78″
Nut:Plastic
Nut Width:50mm (1.969”)
Electronics
Switch:3 Way
Knobs:Dome
Pickup Mods:Multi-Voicing
Volume Controls:1
Tone Controls:1
Bridge Pickup:Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic (Humbucker / Active)
Neck Pickup:Fishman Fluence Modern Alnico (Humbucker / Active)

2. ESP LTD SH-207 Signature Guitar

The Build

The SH-207 is an answer to those who crave the Brian Welch sound but are on a budget. Just like the SH-7, this is a seven-string guitar, giving players that extended range to experiment with. Built with a basswood body and a maple neck, this guitar is lightweight yet tonally rich.

Electronics for the Modern Player

The SH-207 is equipped with ESP-designed pickups that are tailored for heavy music. They offer a balanced sound that’s perfect for both rhythm and lead playing. The simplicity of the setup, with a 3-way switch and a single volume and tone control, ensures that players can dial in their sound quickly and effectively.

Sleek Looks

Available in a purple finish, the SH-207 has a timeless look. The reverse headstock adds a touch of modern flair to the design.

Specification Table: ESP LTD SH-207

CategorySpecification
General
Brand:ESP LTD
Configuration:HH
Strings:7
Made in:Indonesia
Series:Signature
Colors:Purple
Left-Handed Version:No
Body
Top:Flamed Maple
Type:Solid Body
Body Material:Mahogany
Bridge:LTD Fixed Bridge w/ string thru
Neck
Neck Joint:Bolt-On
Tuners:LTD
Fretboard:Roasted Jatoba
Neck Material:3pc Maple
Decoration:Offset Blocks
Scale Size:25.5″
Shape:Extra Thin U
Thickness:1st Fret: 0.748” (19mm) – 12th Fret: 0.827” (21mm)
Frets:24 XL Jumbo
Fretboard Radius:13.78″
Nut:Plastic
Nut Width:48mm (1.89”)
Electronics
Switch:3 Way
Knobs:Dome
Volume Controls:1
Tone Controls:1
Bridge Pickup:ESP Designed LH-307B (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup:ESP Designed LH-307N (Humbucker / Passive)

In Conclusion

Brian “Head” Welch is not just a guitarist; he’s a symbol of transformation, both in life and in music. His signature ESP guitars reflect his journey, offering both the seasoned pro and the budding musician tools to carve their sonic landscape. The ESP LTD SH-7 Evertune and the ESP LTD SH-207 are not just instruments; they are an extension of Brian’s legacy.

Whether you’re a fan of Korn, a fan of Brian’s solo work, or just a lover of well-crafted guitars, these instruments promise performance, style, and a touch of nu-metal history.