While Eastwood offers hundreds of makes and models, the mighty Legion Guitars offers just two. But don’t laugh, both are extremely cool. Owner Chad Petit has carved out a special niche and pursued it with laser-like focus, much to the delight of his obsessed consumers.
“I noticed a gap in the marketplace for ‘80s-style B.C. Rich and Jackson guitars and decided to update the originals and make them better and cheaper,” says the die-hard metal enthusiast. “That’s why so many people are reaching out to online makers. They want to connect with someone that understands them and will give them exactly what they’re looking for.”
True to his word, his Legion instruments are beautifully constructed, reasonably priced and his vintage heavy metal body shapes are to die for.
“When I’m designing extreme body shapes, there are two things that are important,”
Petit says. “It has to look good and it has to be balanced. Once you start messing with the shape of the guitar and stretching one of the body wings, how the guitar sits on you can change very quickly. I grew up playing B.C. Rich guitars – I probably owned close to a thousand of them – and that was my biggest complaint. It’s rare I would ever get one that was in balance. You won’t find that with my guitars. No matter how extreme, I’m obsessed with making them sit perfectly.”
While Petit has produced limited runs of different shapes, his current winner is the Nihlist, which comes in six- and seven-string models. The Nihlist 7 NT27 features a 27-inch scale in a Walnut/ Maple seven-piece neck with an ebony fretboard in the neck-thru build with alder body wings and a classy oiled finish for a very reasonable $800. The Nihlist NTFR is a six-string guitar with a matte black polyurethane finish, 24 jumbo frets and a special binding – all for $875.
“I think the Nihlist just got a really good aesthetic to it,” Petit says. “It’s a timeless throwback to late ’80s extreme shapes. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, it just falls right in that pocket. It’s perfectly balanced, it plays well sitting down or standing up.”