#AtHome – A Tour of Keith Merrow's Guitar Lair
A TOUR OF KEITH MERROW'S GUITAR LAIR
It’s 2020 and times sure are strange. Many have found that working from home works out better than expected. But for the pro musicians who make their living on YouTube, this concept is a familiar one.
Have you ever wondered about the studio where your favorite album was recorded? Ever wanted to see the writing room where your favorite songwriter penned their best hits? Were you ever curious to see where your favorite musical act rehearses for a world tour? Thankfully, we have quality cameras and YouTube to virtually take us behind the scenes of these artistic hideaways. So let's take a look at the creative space that is the home studio of one of the biggest names in guitar: Keith Merrow.
Keith made waves in a growing online guitar community back in 2008 that was acutely focused on gear and tone demos. His knack for epic tone, heavy riffs, and gear reviews made him an invaluable source for guitarists who wanted to experience the true potential of gear before they made a purchase. As his notoriety grew beyond YouTube, larger companies took notice, and the man known for his huge tones began creating signature gear that catered to this new audience of players who craved something that offered custom features at more value-centered pricing.
Keith’s YouTube audience has since grown to over 100k followers, and his genre of creative work laid the foundation for many other well-known YouTube guitarists like Ola Englund, Pete Cottrell, Fred Brum, and more! As he continued to build upon his style of content, fans quickly became interested in Keith as an artist. Over the years, he went on to release several studio albums and an EP in a variety of contexts. With these studio projects, Keith became a true household name for all guitar players, as his music featured special appearances with other guitar leviathans such as Jeff Loomis, Wes Hauch, Gord Olson, Ola Englund, and more. Merrow and Loomis even banded together to form Conquering Dystopia, a pairing of guitar gods in musical heaven (Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse on bass, and Alex Rudinger of Threat Signal/HAARP Machine/Monuments on drums).
While most musicians would be flattered to land an endorsement deal with a large company, Keith was even more honored as legendary guitar company Schecter Guitar Research created a signature model in honor of him, built completely to a true gear master’s specs. The KM-7 MK-I was released in 2014 and featured an astounding list of trick features that made what many considered to be the ideal guitar for modern metal; including an ebony fingerboard, maple neckthrough design, locking tuners and a 26.5” scale. The MK-II added 2 more in-demand specs to further improve the feel of the neck: a wenge and maple neck along with a compensated nut from Ernie Ball to further boost the quality of intonation.
Keith also was sought out by Seymour Duncan to head up artist relations, signature gear, and A/V content. As you may have surmised by the MK-I, this instrument was the first generation in a series of custom gear, with new variants coming out every few years to fulfill the spec requests of these tone-seeking gurus on their quest for the ideal machine. In fact, if you’re familiar with Mark Holcomb and his signature PRS and Signature Duncan pickups, Keith was the guy who helped Mark design the Alpha/Omega pickups! Small world right?
But what about the place for Keith calls home for his tone? After years of asking, fans are finally getting what they asked for. What does the room that houses all of this guitar knowledge look like?
As it turns out, it’s a full-fledged studio built to the nines for both audio AND video production and creation. As you’ll see in the video, it’s a true utopia for guitar nerds. From endless racks of guitars to piles of pedals, stacks of tube amps, custom cabinets, it's a guitarist's haven.
Keith takes us through several guitar boats which all reside in this home studio, which is JUST as amazing as you might imagine. You’ll see all the prototypes and body blanks of the aforementioned signature models MK1-3. We must say, seeing a prototype instrument (the piece of test gear that the artist used to fine-tune and create the production model) is not something you get to see every day.
Who’s the real MVP of the studio? Pro Tools rig? Custom-spec gaming PC? Boutique pedals or Kemper? Turns out it’s a robot vacuum, who may or may not carry something we don’t want to get him in trouble for - so you’ll need to watch to find out.
Until the MK-IV, we hope you enjoy this glimpse into one truly unbelievable guitar lair! Happy shredding!