In the vast landscape of contemporary guitar virtuosos, Tim Henson stands out as a luminary whose innovative style and technical brilliance have earned him a dedicated following. One aspect of Tim Henson’s musical identity that’s often underappreciated is his profound connection with his guitars.
Tim Henson Guitar Begining
Tim Henson’s love affair with the guitar began at a young age. Raised in a musical household, he was introduced to the instrument by his father, who played in a local band. Tim’s early experiences with the guitar were characterized by curiosity and experimentation, as he sought to push the boundaries of what the instrument could do.
While he dabbled with various guitars in his formative years, it wasn’t until his late teens that he discovered the instruments that would become his trusted companions on his musical journey.
Tim Henson Guitar Ibanez TAM100
One of Tim Henson’s most iconic guitars is the Ibanez TAM100. This signature model was crafted in collaboration with the guitarist himself, making it a true extension of his musical vision. The TAM100 is a seven-string guitar that showcases Tim’s penchant for extended range instruments.
The Ibanez TAM100 boasts a stunning quilted maple top and a sleek transparent blue finish that is as visually captivating as it is sonically impressive. Tim’s choice of the seven-string configuration allows him to explore a wide tonal spectrum, enabling the complex chord voicings and intricate melodies that are hallmarks of his playing style.
One standout feature of the TAM100 is its DiMarzio Fusion Edge pickups. These pickups are designed to provide clarity and articulation even in the most demanding playing situations. Tim Henson’s virtuosic tapping and rapid-fire picking benefit greatly from the precision of these pickups, making them an integral part of his signature sound.
Tim Henson Guitar Fender American Professional II Telecaster
While Tim Henson is often associated with the world of extended range guitars and progressive metal, he is not limited by genre or style. One of his go-to guitars for exploring different sonic territories is the Fender American Professional II Telecaster.
The Telecaster’s timeless design and distinctive twangy tone offer a refreshing contrast to Tim’s more technically demanding work with Polyphia. This versatile instrument allows him to experiment with clean, crisp tones and infuse his music with a touch of vintage charm.
The Fender American Professional II Telecaster features a comfortable deep “C” neck profile and V-Mod II pickups, which deliver a rich and dynamic sound. It’s not just a guitar for nostalgia; it’s a canvas for Tim Henson to paint a different musical picture when the need arises.
Tim Henson Guitar Music Man JP16
Another cornerstone of Tim Henson’s guitar collection is the Music Man JP16. This instrument bears the name of another guitar virtuoso, John Petrucci, who, like Tim, has left an indelible mark on the world of modern guitar playing.
The Music Man JP16 is a seven-string guitar designed for high-performance playing. Its striking roasted maple neck not only adds to the guitar’s aesthetic appeal but also enhances its stability and resonance. Tim Henson’s affinity for the JP16 lies in its ability to deliver crushing low-end power while maintaining exceptional clarity and precision.
The DiMarzio Illuminator pickups found in the JP16 are favored by John Petrucci for their exceptional balance and versatility. Tim Henson harnesses their power to create a wall of sound that’s both thunderous and articulate, making the guitar an indispensable tool in his sonic arsenal.
Tim Henson Guitar Custom Built Guitars
Beyond his signature models and well-known favorites, Tim Henson’s collection includes several custom-built guitars tailored to his unique specifications. These bespoke instruments reflect his commitment to pushing the boundaries of guitar design and sound.
Some of these custom guitars feature unconventional woods, pickup configurations, and hardware choices, showcasing Tim’s relentless pursuit of the perfect tone. These one-of-a-kind creations are not just instruments; they are works of art that embody Tim’s creative spirit.
Tim Henson’s signature models
Tim Henson’s journey as a guitarist has been marked by innovation, technical excellence, and an unwavering passion for his craft. His choice of guitars is a testament to his musical versatility and willingness to explore new sonic frontiers.
In recent years, Polyphia has solidified their reputation as virtuoso musicians, turning the music world and its genre classifications upside down. Over the course of three albums, these American guitarists have blended metal, trap, rock, funk, and an array of seemingly incompatible styles.
Now, adding to that eclectic list is flamenco, heard prominently on “Playing God,” the band’s first new track since 2019. Tim Henson not only delved into unplugged parts but also collaborated with Ibanez to create the TOD10N signature model—an acoustic guitar with nylon strings.
The TOD10N is a modern electro-acoustic guitar that combines an angelic sound with a devilish aesthetic. This guitar’s story began in 2019 when Henson stumbled upon an Ibanez SC500N model in a European music store that had long been out of production. Intrigued, he decided to take it home after realizing it could handle most of Polyphia’s repertoire.
At that time, Tim was also exploring hip-hop and recording numerous sessions with various producers. The simple harmonic minor scales on nylon-stringed guitars had a distinct “Spanish” flavor, sparking an idea: why not incorporate this into Polyphia’s music?
As the concept evolved, the music became more intricate and ornate. However, Tim hints that judging the upcoming album solely by the single “Playing God” would be premature.
The TOD10N model is one of Tim’s creations in collaboration with Ibanez, and there might be a metal-stringed counterpart in the future. Tim jokingly expresses his desire to follow in the footsteps of Steve Vai by releasing a new signature model every year.
Unlike the SC500N he found in the store, the TOD10N resembles a Telecaster. Tim wanted to maintain a traditional acoustic guitar shape with a cutaway while infusing modern elements. The instrument features a smooth matte black finish and an inlaid fretboard pattern known as the “Tree of Death,” akin to Steve Vai’s famous ‘Tree of Life.’
Those who follow Tim on social media might have seen the white prototype, but it remains just that—a prototype. Tim chuckles, recalling how people referred to it as a “loaf of bread” because it was white on top and brown on the sides.
Tim also clears up some common misconceptions, emphasizing that the TOD10N is not a Talman and is not a solid-body guitar. In reality, the TOD10N has a semi-hollow construction with a soundhole located in the upper part of the body, directing the sound directly toward the player. Tim appreciates the guitar’s resonance despite its thin build, noting that he loves guitars that resonate well.
The TOD10N opened doors for Tim to explore new playing techniques. He reflects on taking lessons from progressive metal pioneer Tosin Abasi, who introduced him to classical pieces for fingerstyle guitar. This experience influenced his approach, evident in the fact that he plays “Playing God” mostly with a pick, though he later developed fingerpicking skills.
Tim also shares his philosophy about acoustic instruments, emphasizing that any composition should stand on its own, regardless of post-production effects or additional instruments. It’s clear that Tim’s exploration of the TOD10N has led to both new sonic possibilities and a deeper understanding of musical craftsmanship.
From the Ibanez TAM100’s extended range capabilities to the Fender American Professional II Telecaster’s vintage charm and the Music Man JP16’s high-performance features, Tim Henson’s arsenal of guitars reflects the multifaceted nature of his artistry. Beyond the guitars themselves, it’s his dedication to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the instrument that truly sets him apart in the world of contemporary guitarists.