Monday, January 14, 2013

Alex Lifeson Hentor Sportscaster replicas now available
11:36AM EST | comments (23) |

Alex Lifeson Hentor SportscasterNiagara on the Lake luthier Freddy Gebrsek has received permission from Alex Lifeson to create and sell replicas of his Hentor Sportscaster which Alex used extensively during the early 1980s. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Grapes Under Pressure charity. From Gebresek's website:

Hello my fellow Rush fans! Alex Lifeson has given me permission to backwards engineer and meticulously blueprint his iconic Hentor Sportscaster so that I may make and sell accurate replicas. I have had the Hentor in my possession for about 6 months and have documented every property and detail of this amazing and unique sounding guitar. Alex's only stipulation was that for every guitar sold, a portion of the profit goes to his charity "Grapes Under Pressure". While in my possession over the last few months I made suggestions to Alex on upgrading the guitar. The Hentor now sports Dimarzio FS-1 single coils and I also fabricated a huge brass sustain block for the Floyd Rose, the biggest one I've seen and yet there is still a good amount of movement available. These two upgrades as well as others are listed in my OPTIONS category.

For all the details visit Thanks to Scott G for the heads up.



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#23 - Posted 8/27/13 @8:58AM by Freddy G [contact]

Hi All,
I just found this page and read some of the comments.
I would like to respond to the comments that this is not an accurate Hentor replica.
Let me assure you, it is.
I've analyzed the weight, species, dimensions and resonance of the body and neck materials and matched them.
Someone mentioned that they thought the Hentor had a rosewood fretboard. Wrong, the shark neck is quatersawn maple with an ebony fretboard.

Alex changed pickups and hardware on it a few times. It is currently in the configuration that you see in the picture. Floyd Rose fine tuners, Bill Lawrence and Dimarzio pickups, locking nut. But I do offer options on configuration....early Floyd with no fine tuners or locking nut, Gibson humbucker and Fender single coils.

As for the price, this is a luthier built, handmade instrument with the tightest quality control imaginable. It is not out of line for a guitar of that level. I sell teles that I make for almost as much.

Thanks to all who purchased one!

Freddy Gabrsek
#22 - Posted 1/18/13 @12:18PM by mauve_vert [contact]

Hi everyone, I'm a bit disappointed with this in that this is not a true replica of the Hentor Sportcaster, for example the Floyd Rose didn't have fine tuners and was a 1980s trem, the tone of the Hentor was driven partly by the fact it had Fender Hot Rod 5 pickups and my understanding is that the Hentor neck was rosewood not ebony. My friend and I have made a far more authentic version of the Hentor and the 'Red' equivalent guitar with the mirror scratch plate. They sound amazing with the Bill Lawrence L500 Humbucker! If anyone is interested I'd be happy to send photos. I do appreciate this guy is trying to make a modern version of the Hentor and is putting some money to the charity (hopefully $1000 as the price is outrageous for what you can build it for), however if I was wanting a Hentor I'd go for a true replica!
#21 - Posted 1/16/13 @10:37AM by Rubinowits [contact]

@20: Ya, his fingers aren't as nimble as they used to be and he messes up various parts. Solos aren't played as well, or at all in some cases (example: Grand Finale). He's still great and still writes new and great stuff. I just don't think the Les Paul cuts through as well sometimes.
#20 - Posted 1/16/13 @9:21AM by vaporsdad [contact]

@ # 11 "not as accurate.." HUH???????
#19 - Posted 1/15/13 @9:00PM by Rob [contact]

#18 ESL...Despite all the live output from the band the last decade, This album remains my favorite.

I think the album sounds great...especially love the taurus pedals in TSOR.
#18 - Posted 1/15/13 @8:23PM by xathar [contact]

I'm surprised at all the love that the ESL sound is getting here. In the past, I've heard lots of people refer to it as "muddy". I personally always loved it, and am glad to see the guitar that made a lot of it possible available for purchase. BTW, I think the sound on the ESL video is much better than the album.
#17 - Posted 1/15/13 @6:38PM by Rob [contact]

Good luck with that one! Alex was asked similar questions about CA and couldn't remember! Let alone 30 years ago.

Alex seems to have owned some of the best and some of the worst when it comes to guitar and amps.

I think his current sound overall is pretty good, although when you price his gear...

#16 - Posted 1/15/13 @12:11PM by jottinger [contact]

What *I* would like to see is not only the equipment used for particular songs, but the equipment *settings* - for example, the amps on Limelight. They don't SOUND like Marshalls - they might have been, with specific EQ reinforcement, etc., but it's hard to tell.

The live sound on ESL, too, is really, really nice; we know what equipment he used on stage, but configured how?
#15 - Posted 1/15/13 @9:47AM by Scott_PA [contact]

#9 and #6... dead on. Those GK amps sounded awful. He has made some "interesting" amp and guitar choices over the years!! I also suspect that the early digital consoles and then digital recording played some role in the shrill sounds in the late 80's and early 90's. Obviously RTB and Presto are sonically among the worst albums I have ever heard, from guitar tone to the complete lack of low end to... well, everything but the songwriting and playing! All of that technology has certainly improved, and using someone like Rich Chycki on S&A and CA has made a huge difference in sonic quality.

I had an article from some guitar mag that gave Al's equipment details on a handful of the classic tunes through the years. I can't remember which mag, but will dig through my stash at some point and see if I can find it and scan it. As I recall, there wasn't much earthshattering, but still was a cool article.
#14 - Posted 1/14/13 @7:33PM by lerxstrulz [contact]

WOW!! Way Cool! What a terrific idea and tribute to one of the coolest sounding and HOT ROD Fender Strat set ups ever! Eventhough Big Al currently is (and was in the early years) a huge Gibson guy ... I always liked that unique 'souped up' Fender sound he had from Moving Pictues through to Power Windows. It was like 'soooo 80's with a newer, modern sound' which really fit the type and tone of music RUSH were making in that era. I mean when ya think Exit Stage Left ... ya think white custom Strat! ... and the design and sound just got better and evolved further with the true Sportscasters - in that bright (laser reflecting) White, Black and Red!
Some of my most fav Alex riffs and leads are of that time and vintage ... with Camera Eye, Red Barchetta, Analog Kid, Chemistry, Kid Gloves, Afterimage and Emotion Detector being right at the top of some of the best RUSH music ever. Since putting the custom Strats back in the cases some 25 years ago ... progressing through the Signature, PRS and now Gibson eras ... I've often wished for in recent tours that he 'just might' break out one of the Hentors again to play some deep cut from the vault. Something like the Weapon or Enemy Within that really showcases that bright Fender sound.
Who knows?? Maybe it'll happen. Can't wait to see them agin this summer, and hopefully, for the already hinted at R40 tour ... THAT'S GOING TO BE GREAT!!

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