Founding member of Cynic continues to push the envelope in prog/metal

Paul Masvidal

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Paul Masvidal on stage with headless strandberg guitar

Active in the prog/metal scene for three decades, Paul Masvidal has continued to develop as a multi-faceted artist as a founding member of the highly acclaimed band Cynic as well as an independent producer with a strong international following. Musically versatile and eclectic, Paul draws from myriad of musical influences and genres ranging from jazz to technical metal. This versatility and his deep knowledge of various musical forms has allowed Paul to continue to grow and prosper as a world-class guitarist, writer and producer.

Starting out with the classical guitar at a young age, Paul soon moved onto jazz, rock and metal and formed Cynic to meld his various musical influences into a unique and identifiable sound and style for the band. After the release of Cynic’s first album ‘Focus’ in 1993, Paul continued his development studying at the Musicians Institute in LA and worked on various musical projects during the 2000’s. Cynic released a new album in 2008 titled ‘Traced in Air’ and went on tours that featured such heavyweight international acts like Opeth, Dream Theater, Meshuggah, Mastodon, and Between the Buried and Me, further cementing the band’s status in the prog/metal genre.

After a hiatus since the release of the album ‘Kindly Bent to Free Us’ in 2014, Cynic is back in action as strong as ever with a new single called ‘Humanoid’ from an upcoming new album. Paul’s versatility as a guitarist, singer, composer, and producer is evident in the hard-driving song which again exhibits his eclecticism and keen ears for melody and song development.

A long-time fan and user of headless guitars, Paul has been a dedicated .strandberg* user and artist since 2013. The working relationship grew, and it resulted in the USA Custom Shop Masvidalien based on the Varberg model in 2015 and an OS 6 Limited Edition Masvidalien based on the Boden in 2016. Continuing the collaboration even further, we developed the ‘Masvidalien Cosmo’ built to Paul’s specs and the guitar was released to great fanfare in late-2017.

The Masvidalien Cosmo is a testament to Paul’s design aesthetics with the unique fretboard inlay and the use of a single EMG™ 57 pickup and the versatile VMC active tone control which provides a stunning range of great sounds from thick lead tones with fat mids to lush single-coil tones ideal for sparkling clean rhythm playing. The Poplar Burl veneer with a unique Black Burst finish on a Swamp Ash body with quarter-inch Maple top prompted Paul to compare it to a deep starry night and name the guitar the ‘Masvidalien Cosmo’.

Ever the curious experimentalist, Paul is sure to develop new innovative ideas for his demanding musical requirements and we are excited to see what he can come with next!

Minimalistic and otherworldly, a guitar that meets Paul Masvidal’s artistic vision

Boden Masvidalien Cosmo

Paul challenged us to come up with a guitar that sounded better than anything else he had played, and this goal was achieved by a single EMG 57 bridge pickup and an active EMG VMC tone control which provide a broad array of great sounds while retaining a minimalistic look that Paul sought.

The Boden ‘Masvidalien Cosmo Edition’ features chambered Swamp Ash body with a Maple top for a superbly balanced and punchy sound and an open pore Poplar Burl veneer top for a dramatic and unique finish, roasted Maple neck with Ebony fretboard accented with his trademark Masvidalien inlay across the fretboard.

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The finished product managed to strike a rare alchemy, where everything from the way it sounds, feels, and appears fell seamlessly into place: the guitar both expresses and is itself an expression.

Paul Masvidal about the new Masvidalien Cosmo