Alex Lifeson Hentor Sportscaster replicas now available

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 11:36AM

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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!!
#13 - Posted 1/14/13 @7:19PM by Rob [contact]

Not to mention that new Axcess model he has now.

It's like 5 guitars in one basically.
#12 - Posted 1/14/13 @7:10PM by Rob [contact]

I think you're lucky to see Al with a Tele let alone a Strat.

He seems to be in love with that big chunky Les Paul sound which suites his power chord playing.
#11 - Posted 1/14/13 @6:41PM by Rubinowits [contact]

I prefer the Strat to the Les Paul as far as in concert. The Paul is too muddy and Lerxst doesn't play as accurate as he once did. I think if he played the Strats his live sound wouldn't be so mushy. The $3,150 price is outlandish. You could build it yourself for much less; though it might be tough to find a Shark neck. And the locking vibrato shouldn't be on it cuz he got rid of that. If you watch the GUP concert video, it doesn't have it.
#10 - Posted 1/14/13 @5:50PM by Rob [contact]


#9 - Posted 1/14/13 @5:43PM by Rob [contact]

#8 Remember...part of that thin sound came from those horrible solid-state GK amps.

As much as I love the setlist on ASOH..that guitar (and bass) sound is terrible.
#8 - Posted 1/14/13 @5:16PM by rushman110 [contact]

I think this is pretty neat. Wouldn't be surprised if they sell quite a few of these. Funny, I was just thinking about this guitar the other day when my brother and I were discussing what gear they might put on display at the Rock Hall once the induction ceremony is over. I pegged the Limelight guitar right away along with maybe the black PRS, and maybe one of his new Les Pauls.

I actually liked the Strat sounds on Moving Pictures and Signals, but on GUP I agree that his tone got a little thin. Those Signature guitars were definitely an acquired taste on PW/HYF/Presto!! Even now when they do Time Stand Still, I cringe a bit when he plays that PRS with the Signature pick up built into it. All one has to do is listen to Marathon on the Time Machine DVD to hear what an enormous difference it makes to have him playing all Gibson now. Ditto with the Power Windows stuff that they played on the Clockwork Angels tour. Middletown Dreams in particular had a much bigger, more present guitar sound with a lot more bottom end than the studio version or any of the live versions I've heard from the PW tour ever did.
#7 - Posted 1/14/13 @5:14PM by angiodan [contact]

I know Fred, and the work he does is fantastic. I'm sure no one would be disappointed if they picked one up.
#6 - Posted 1/14/13 @3:09PM by jottinger [contact]

It'd be interesting to see which guitars were actually used on which songs.

It's not the Strats themselves that lack guts - MP has some of the best tones ever recorded, for example (although I still prefer the 335 from Natural Science, as Alex' "best ever sound"). It's partially the GK amps that were so prevalent in the 80s - listen to the video from GUP and you get this wiry anti-tone.

Sure, he still KILLS on guitar, no doubt... but the tone, meh. And it really didn't come back until C/P, really. RTB was better, but the tone was still a little shrill.

T4E has a shrill sound, too, but .. that was the PRS, no? It wasn't until VT that Alex rediscovered monster tone, IMO.
#5 - Posted 1/14/13 @1:31PM by Scott_PA [contact]

Damn, I take it back... I think those Signatures showed up for parts of Power Windows too. Maybe that is the difference between good tones like Big Money and thin tones like Territories.

BTW... I suck on guitar, so who am I to say?! Al is a monster on any guitar/amp combo. Apparently I just like chatting about equipment.
#4 - Posted 1/14/13 @1:28PM by Scott_PA [contact]

#2 I agree regarding the current Gibson through tube amp preference. Love the thick, yet clear tone Al is pulling now. The tone on Clockwork Angels is huge.

I believe that he switched to the Signatures (pointed headstock) for HYF and Presto, and that sound is HORRID to these ears. I don't blame the Sportscaster for those. But, I like the modified strat (PAF humbucker in the bridge) and Hiwatt combo from Moving Pictures. I think those were the same strats, but perhaps not yet the Sportscaster mods. I believe you are right that the additional strat mods that made up the "sportscasters" occurred just before p/g, but I don't think that the tone was too bad on p/g (like Between the Wheels) and Power Windows, although admittedly a bit more shrill than I prefer.

Just my $0.02. Glad he is all Gibson-ized now. The Power Windows songs on this last tour using the Gibsons sounded much more ballsy than the album!
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