Marvelous Mini: the Zakk Wylde Bullseye Les Paul PeeWee
Everyone knows the familiar outline of the Gibson Les Paul, and the sound of a Les Paul through a Marshall. Whether it’s in the hands of Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoads, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Trivium’s Matt Heafy or countless other players, the Les Paul/Marshall combo is a cornerstone of the rock and metal sound. And it’s one of those iconic images that even juniors recognize. Epiphone and Marshall have teamed up with Zakk Wylde to create the Zakk Wylde Bullseye Les Paul PeeWee Pack, which gives young players the chance to rock out like Zakk in miniature form.
The Les Paul PeeWee takes its cues from several previous, now out-of-production models, including the Zakk Wylde Bullseye VeeWee Pack and the Les Paul PeeWee Rave Rig. The guitar features a mahogany body (finished in Zakk’s iconic “bullseye” graphics) and neck, with 21 medium jumbo frets on a rosewood fretboard. The scale length is 19”, and hardware includes a wrap-around Tune-O-Matic™ fully adjustable bridge, a single master volume control, deluxe 14:1 machine heads, and an Epiphone 700T humbucker, the same bridge pickup found in guitars such as the Epiphone Les Paul Special II and Les Paul Junior. It’s an ideal guitar for younger players looking to start out on a steel-string electric to get closer to the sounds of their favorite songs.
The Zakk pack also includes a gig bag with Zakk’s signature, a 10’ Economy Cord with 1/4” jacks, a 2” wide black nylon strap and three medium-gauge picks, again with Zakk’s signature graphic. But the real noise comes from the Marshall MS-4ZQ Micro Full Stack. Based on the Marshall MS-4 but with Zakk-approved livery, this 1-watt amp packs Marshall tone into a tiny enclosure with two speakers, and controls for Volume, Gain and Tone, as well as a tilt-back stand and a headphone output (which can be used to drive an external power amp). Everything the mini shredder needs to look and sound like Zakk, with the possible exception of a beard and leather vest.
But beginners aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a pint-sized Les Paul or V. The smaller size makes these guitars ideal for travelling. They can even fit inside certain suitcases, and they make great “couch guitars” for those who like to jam along to the TV or have a guitar within easy reach for when songwriting inspiration strikes.
There’s another advantage to having a mini axe at the ready: in much the same way that the Les Paul Studio Baritone is a longer-scale guitar kept at a lower tuning, mini guitars can be used in a higher tuning for a different tonal color. The particular tuning you choose is entirely up to you: it can be tuned a major fourth above a regular guitar, or to a variation on open tunings for slide or regular playing. You can even string a mini with super-thin strings for a variation on Nashville Tuning, where a standard six-string guitar is tuned with the upper-octave strings of a 12-string and overdubbed against a regular-tuned guitar for a stereo 12-string effect.
Another benefit of the PeeWee design is its use of a full-sized humbucker pickup. This means you can upgrade your guitar with the humbucker of your choice, such as the ’57 Classic Plus for a smooth, modern take on the vintage PAF sound, the more authentically vintage-toned Burstbucker pickups, or even the high-output Tony Iommi Signature Humbucker or Angus Young Signature Humbucker. Or for something different there’s even the P-94T, a humbucker-sized take on the classic P-90 single coil pickup.