The Guitars of Linkin Park

Chester Bennington's Guitars

Chester may not play a lot of guitar (at least on stage), but he still has a pretty impressive collection of them!

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Brand: Takamine
Model: EF444S
Finish: Tobacco Sunburst
Years Used: 2001
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: This is the only existing photo of this guitar, so I can't say for SURE when it was used, but based on the time period the photo was taken, it's reasonable to assume Chester used this guitar for his occasional solo acoustic performances of "Morning After" or "Jane Says" by Jane's Addiction during Linkin Park's headlining sets.
Photo Credit: Takamine Guitars

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Brand: Terry C. McInturff (TCM Guitars)
Model: Taurus Sportster
Finish: Black
Years Used: 2002
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester used this guitar for performances of the song "It's Goin' Down" in 2002. This guitar was previously used by Brad Delson in 2001 (more info on this guitar on Brad's page).
Photo Credit: Pushmeaway.com

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Brand: Hamer
Model: Newport Pro (Custom)
Finish: White
Years Used: 2002-2003 (Studio)
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: This was the first "custom model" guitar that Chester ordered from Hamer. It's never been used on stage, but it can be seen briefly in one of the 2003 LPTV episodes, sitting on a couch in the studio. I would assume Chester still owns this guitar, but other than this promotional photo and the brief studio appearance, it hasn't been seen since.
Photo Credit: Hamer Guitars

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Brand: Ovation
Model: C779LX "Flag Guitar"
Finish: Custom U.S. flag graphic
Years Used: 2002-2003 (Studio)
Current Status: Unknown (Likely owned by Don Gilmore)
Notes: Chester can be seen messing around on this guitar while playing the infamous "Nondisclosure Agreement" joke song on one of the 2003 LPTV episodes filmed while recording Meteora. This guitar belonged to Don Gilmore, who can also be seen joking around with it in another episode ("Today was magical...almost as magical as this guitar!"). Given the amount of time that's passed since the Meteora sessions, and the fact that Linkin Park hasn't worked with Don Gilmore since 2004 (his last involvement with them being some of the mixes on the LPU 4.0 CD), I have no way of knowing if this guitar is still in Don's possession, but I have a feeling it probably is.

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Brand: Hamer
Model: Studio Custom
Finish: Red Transparent
Years Used: 2003-2004, 2007 (One show), 2009-2012
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: For the majority of Linkin Park fans, this was the first guitar they saw Chester use. He initially started using it on "It's Goin' Down" during the Meteora touring cycle, then he retired the guitar for a while in favor of his Flying V-style guitars. He did use this guitar on at least one occasion for "Shadow of the Day" in 2007, before using it regularly for the same song beginning in 2009. This guitar was also used on "Iridescent" at some shows in 2011, and it was spotted as a spare guitar in the A rig as recently as the Honda Civic Tour in 2012, although it didn't see any use during that tour, making 2011 its most recent stage appearance. I'd assume Chester still has this guitar, but I can't be certain.

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Brand: Yamaha
Model: RGX A2
Finish: White
Years Used: 2005-2006
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: This was Chester's "main" guitar for Bucket of Weenies performances. Not sure if it actually belonged to him, but he used it on more than one occasion.

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Brand: Gibson
Model: Les Paul Standard
Finish: Unknown (Rose Burst?)
Years Used: 2005-2006
Special Features: Custom artwork behind tailpiece
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester also used this guitar for at least one Bucket of Weenies performance. Not sure on the finish (Gibson has so many sunburst variants that it's hard to tell, especially under stage lighting), or if it even belonged to Chester in the first place (much like the Yamaha mentioned above).

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Brand: Gibson
Model: Les Paul Custom ("Black Beauty")
Finish: Ebony
Years Used: 2006-2007 (Studio)
Special Features: Gold hardware
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester and Mike both used this guitar during the Minutes to Midnight recording sessions. It may have belonged to Rick Rubin or studio engineer Ethan Mates, or it may have been a rented instrument.

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Brand: Takamine
Model: Unknown acoustic-electric guitar
Finish: Natural Gloss
Years Used: 2006-2007 (Studio), 2010 (LPU Summit)
Multiple Copies: 6
Current Status: Active touring use (Backstage guitars)
Notes: Chester and Mike both used this guitar during the Minutes to Midnight recording sessions. Chester also used this guitar for a solo performance of "The Messenger" at the December 2010 LPU Summit in Australia. The band owns a total of 6 copies of this guitar (or at least similar enough Takamine acoustic guitars that I can't tell them apart), and both Brad and Mike have used it on stage over the years. While Brad and Mike are the only two members of the band that have used these guitars for "full" live performances (Brad on "Castle of Glass" and "The Messenger," and Mike on "The Little Things Give You Away"), these guitars have kind of become "communal" guitars that the band collectively shares for backstage warmups and jamming offstage in recent years - every member of the band except for Rob has been documented playing them at some point!

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Brand: Hamer
Model: Vector (Custom)
Finish: Custom (Purple Sunburst)
Years Used: 2007-2008, 2010
Current Status: Retired
Notes: Chester used this guitar quite a bit during the first half of the Minutes to Midnight touring cycle, specifically on "Shadow of the Day." Chester also used it for the same song on the European tour in the fall of 2010. All of his Flying V-style guitars were retired by the end of the A Thousand Suns touring cycle, and I believe this one wasn't used at all in 2011. The finish on this guitar is unlike any other purple Hamer guitar I've ever seen, so it was likely a custom creation as well (Phoenix refers to it as "Purple Sunburst" when talking to Chester in an LPTV video from Projekt Revolution rehearsals in 2007, so that's what I've chosen to call it).
Photo Credit: Drew Gadsby

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Brand: Revenant Guitars
Model: Nemesis (Custom)
Finish: Black
Years Used: 2007 (Photo shoot)
Special Features: Single Seymour Duncan humbucking pickup, master volume, string-through bridge, pentagram inlay at first fret, custom Ve'cel artwork on body
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester used this guitar for a Ve'cel photo shoot in 2007. As far as I know, that's the only time it was ever used.
Photo Credit: Ve'cel Clothing

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Brand: Revenant Guitars
Model: Nemesis (Custom)
Finish: White
Years Used: 2007 (One show)
Special Features: Single Seymour Duncan humbucking pickup, master volume, string-through bridge, pentagram inlay at first fret, custom Ve'cel artwork on body
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: This is an identical guitar to the other Nemesis model mentioned above, save for the color. Chester actually used this guitar on "Shadow of the Day" at the last show of Projekt Revolution 2007 in Englewood, Colorado. I'm aware of this guitar still being in Chester's possession as recently as 2013, but I can't confirm if he still has it today.
Photo Credit: Revenant Custom Guitars

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Brand: Paul Reed Smith (PRS)
Model: Custom 24
Finish: Royal Blue
Years Used: 2007
Special Features: Bird inlays, custom artwork by Mike Shinoda (added November 2007)
Current Status: Active touring use (Mike Shinoda)
Notes: Chester used Mike's blue Custom 24 for performances of "Shadow of the Day" on the 2007 tours of Australia, New Zealand, and Asia (first photo). The custom artwork on this guitar was added by Mike prior to the show in Bangkok, Thailand in November (second photo). More info on this guitar can be found in Mike's section.

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Brand: Mysstery Guitars
Model: Flying V (Custom)
Finish: Tobacco Sunburst
Years Used: 2008
Current Status: Retired
Notes: Chester used this guitar on "Shadow of the Day" during the January 2008 tour of Europe (first photo). Mysstery Guitars is actually a VERY small Japanese company (you can count their number of employees on one hand!). Chester purchased this guitar in Japan in 2007 after seeing his guitar tech Kurt Schneck playing it at one of the band's soundchecks. Mysstery Guitars also uploaded a photo of the guitar on their blog (second photo).
Photo Credit: Mysstery Guitars (Second photo)

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Brand: Hamer
Model: Vector
Finish: Black
Years Used: 2008-2011
Current Status: Retired
Notes: This guitar essentially replaced the purple Hamer Vector for the second half of the Minutes to Midnight touring cycle, and was also used on the Australian tour in December of 2010, as well as the 2011 European tour. Again, this was used for "Shadow of the Day," and was retired from stage use at the end of the A Thousand Suns tour.

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Brand: Gibson
Model: Unknown J-series acoustic guitar
Finish: Unknown (Sunburst)
Years Used: 2008-2009 (Studio)
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester was briefly seen with this guitar in one of the behind-the-scenes videos posted on the Dead By Sunrise Myspace page. It looks like it may be a J-45 or something similar.

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Brand: Yamaha
Model: CJX32
Finish: Wine Burst
Years Used: 2008-2009 (Studio/Dressing room warm-up guitar)
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester used this guitar a lot during the Dead By Sunrise writing/recording sessions, and he also took it on tour with Linkin Park towards the end of the Minutes to Midnight touring cycle to use as a warm-up/writing guitar in the dressing room (most notably in the infamous "Unicorns and Lollipops" video!). Not sure if he still has this guitar or not. I thought for many years that this was a CJ-32, but it's actually the rarer CJX32 model built in the Japanese custom shop. Ryan and Amir from Dead By Sunrise/Julien-K each have one of these guitars as well, although theirs are in a black finish.

 photo c16.jpg
Brand: Mysstery Guitars
Model: Custom ("Semi-reversed" Explorer)
Finish: White
Years Used: 2009 (Rehearsals)
Special Features: Gold hardware
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester picked up another custom guitar from Mysstery Guitars at some point, possibly at the same time he bought the Flying V in 2007, but this is the only known photo of the guitar, and it comes from Dead By Sunrise tour rehearsals in 2009. Very unique-looking guitar! I'd assume he still has this guitar, but I can't really be sure.
Photo Credit: Sean Paden

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Brand: Paul Reed Smith (PRS)
Model: Singlecut
Finish: Platinum Metallic
Years Used: 2010
Special Features: Mark Tremonti signature model bridge pickup, 3 of 4 knobs removed
Current Status: Active touring use (Mike Shinoda)
Notes: Chester used this guitar on "Iridescent" at the beginning of the A Thousand Suns touring cycle in late 2010. This is also one of Mike's regular touring guitars (more info in Mike's section). Chester actually used this guitar in the video shoot for "Iridescent" as well, but they didn't end up using any shots of him playing guitar in the final edit of the video.

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Brand: Paul Reed Smith (PRS)
Model: SC250
Finish: McCarty Tobacco Sunburst
Years Used: 2010
Special Features: 3 of 4 knobs removed
Current Status: Active touring use (Mike Shinoda)
Notes: Chester also used this guitar on "Iridescent" occasionally at some early A Thousand Suns shows, most notably the South American shows in October of 2010. More info on this guitar can be found on Mike's page.

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Brand: Fender
Model: Blacktop Telecaster HH
Finish: Silver
Years Used: 2011
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester used this guitar for performances of "Iridescent" on the 2011 U.S. tour.
Photo Credit: Fuse/The Linkin Park Association

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Brand: Taylor
Model: 412ce
Finish: Natural Gloss
Years Used: 2011 (One show)
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester used this guitar for a solo performance of "The Messenger" at the May 2011 MusiCares benefit show.

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Brand: Paul Reed Smith (PRS)
Model: SE One
Finish: Black
Years Used: 2011
Special Features: DiMarzio P-90 Tone Zone pickup
Current Status: Active touring use (Mike Shinoda)
Notes: Chester used this guitar, another one of Mike's, for performances of "Iridescent" during the 2011 European tour (more info on this guitar in Mike's section).

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Brand: Paul Reed Smith (PRS)
Model: SE One
Finish: White
Years Used: 2011 (One show), 2014-2015
Special Features: DiMarzio P-90 Tone Zone pickup
Current Status: Active touring use (Mke Shinoda)
Notes: Another one of Mike's guitars that Chester used on "Iridescent" at the 2011 Los Angeles performance (more info on this guitar in Mike's section). Chester also used this guitar on the "Iridescent" portion of the "Ballad Medley" pretty regularly in 2014-2015, although it returned to Mike's rig in 2017.
Photo Credit: Anita P.

 photo c23.jpg
Brand: Paul Reed Smith (PRS)
Model: Mira
Finish: Wild Mint
Years Used: 2011 (Live), 2014-2015 (Dressing room warmup guitar)
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester used this guitar for some performances of "Iridescent" and "Shadow of the Day" on the 2011 Asian tour. Chester was also spotted with this guitar backstage a couple times in 2014-2015, so I'd assume he still has it, but I have no confirmation of that.

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Brand: Paul Reed Smith (PRS)
Model: CE 24
Finish: Royal Blue
Years Used: 2011
Current Status: Active touring use (Mike Shinoda)
Notes: I recently discovered this photo of Chester playing Mike's blue CE 24 (meaning Chester, Mike and Brad have all used this guitar on stage!). Thanks to some quick help from my Twitter followers, I found out this is from the performance of "Shadow of the Day" at the September 2011 show in Singapore (the last full performance of that song to date, in fact). Apparently Chester rotated this guitar, his PRS Mira, and his red Hamer in and out of use during that year's Asian tour.

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Brand: Takamine
Model: EAN10C
Finish: Satin Natural
Years Used: 2011-2012 (Studio)
Current Status: Owned by Joe Hahn
Notes: Chester was photographed using this guitar in the studio at some point during the Living Things recording sessions. This is actually one of a couple guitars that Joe has at his home studio.
Photo Credit: Big Tattoo Planet

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Brand: Green Guitar Project (GGP)
Model: Custom (Telecaster-style)
Finish: Classic Pearl
Years Used: 2012-2015
Special Features: Reversed DiMarzio Chopper T pickup, custom tone circuit
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester first used this guitar at the 2012 House of Blues show in Los Angeles, and it continued to be used on "Iridescent" throughout most of the Living Things touring cycle. This was the first of several GGP guitars (built by former LP guitar tech Sean Paden) that Linkin Park used on stage beginning in 2012, and this particular model served as the basis for the first GGP "production model" guitar as well. Despite Sean Paden's departure from the band's crew in 2014, this guitar stuck around through The Hunting Party's touring cycle as Chester's C rig guitar. Not sure what's become of this guitar as of 2017.

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Brand: Green Guitar Project (GGP)
Model: Custom (Telecaster-style)
Finish: Metallic Gold
Years Used: 2012-2015
Special Features: DiMarzio Chopper T pickup, custom tone circuit
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester debuted his second GGP model on "Iridescent" at the X Games performance in June of 2012 (first photo). This one is pretty similar to the first one except it has a maple neck, and the pickup is slanted in the "normal" direction. Chester's white and gold GGP guitars were among the first that Sean Paden built (second photo - the white and gold guitars are Chester's, and the black one in the middle is the original GGP prototype guitar). Like the white GGP guitar, this one was last seen in 2015.
Photo Credit: Green Guitar Project (Second photo)

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Brand: Takamine
Model: EF341SC
Finish: Black
Years Used: 2013 (One show)
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester used this guitar for a solo performance of "The Messenger" at a radio station in June of 2013.

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Brand: Green Guitar Project (GGP)
Model: Custom (Telecaster-style)
Finish: Classic Pearl
Years Used: 2014
Special Features: Custom artwork by Mike and Otis Shinoda, reversed DiMarzio Chopper T pickup, custom tone circuit
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester used this guitar for several performances of "Iridescent" on the November 2014 European tour, instead of the gold GGP he normally used. He also used his gold GGP for the same song at other shows on that tour, and the B rig was used for the entire tour, so this is an oddity. A couple of Mike's B rig guitars changed in the middle of that tour, so perhaps this was just another guitar that got swapped out, since Chester's guitar typically travels in Mike's guitar rig. Chester resumed using the gold GGP guitar in the B rig in 2015, and this guitar hasn't been seen since.

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Brand: Gibson
Model: Unknown J-series acoustic/electric guitar
Finish: Natural
Years Used: 2015
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Stone Temple Pilots added the song "Adhesive" to the setlist for their spring 2015 tour, and Chester played the second guitar part on it using this guitar. Not sure what exact model it is, it's definitely something from the J series based on the dot inlays and body style, and I don't THINK it's a J-45. I'm guessing this guitar is owned by one of the DeLeo brothers. "Adhesive" was only performed a handful of times in 2015, and Chester left Stone Temple Pilots near the end of the year, so he likely won't be seen with this guitar again.

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Brand: Yamaha
Model: Unknown acoustic/electric guitar
Finish: Natural
Years Used: 2016 (One appearance)
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: During July of 2016, while in China doing some promotional appearances for Mercedes-Benz, Chester did a little "street performing" in Beijing one night, singing a song that he improvised on the spot. He played this Yamaha guitar during the appearance, which is one that he hasn't previously been photographed before. This guitar most likely belonged to another street musician who just happened to be performing in the same area, as one of the lines Chester improvised mentioned "that man is a much better guitar player than me" or something to that effect. Hard to say what model this is, pretty much all of the A-series and F-series Yamaha acoustic guitars share the same body style, and most of them have Natural as one of their finish options.

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Brand: Martin
Model: Unknown
Finish: Unknown (Natural)
Years Used: 2016 (Studio)
Current Status: Owned by Ethan Mates
Notes: Chester was photographed with this acoustic guitar in the studio in 2016, it's a Martin that's been seen in the hands of a couple other band members in the studio recently (see Brad's page and the Misc. Guitars page).
Photo Credit: Linkin Park

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Brand: MJT Guitars
Model: VTT
Finish: Daphne Blue
Years Used: 2016 (Studio)
Current Status: Owned by Ethan Mates
Notes: Chester was photographed with this guitar in the studio in 2016, it's the same one Mike and Brad previously used on The Hunting Party (see the Misc. Guitars page).
Photo Credit: Linkin Park

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Brand: Tanglewood
Model: Unknown acoustic guitar
Finish: Unknown (Natural)
Years Used: 2016-2017 (Studio)
Current Status: Unknown
Notes: Chester has been seen with this guitar on two occasions, once in a short One More Light promo video, and once in this photo, which is one of the unique Polaroid photos given away with the One More Light box set. There are so many different variants of Tanglewood acoustics that I couldn't even begin to narrow down what model this is, even knowing that it's a non-cutaway model in a fairly dark finish with no fretboard inlays.
Photo Credit: Linkin Park/LPCatalog

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Brand: D'Angelico
Model: Premier DC
Finish: Transparent Wine
Years Used: 2017-Present
Special Features: F-holes, "stairstep" tailpiece, covered pickups
Current Status: Active touring use (C Rig - D A D G B E tuning)
Notes: Chester began an association with D'Angelico Guitars in 2017, with this being the first of their guitars he was photographed with. Initially, during rehearsals, there was some talk of Brad actually using this guitar on "Heavy" (see Brad's page), but that ended up not happening, and Chester wound up using this guitar to play "Battle Symphony" on tour instead. Initially, this guitar was used in both the A and C rigs since Chester only had two guitars when touring started, but by June of 2017 he added a third D'Angelico hollowbody to his arsenal (see below), which caused this guitar to permanently shift to the C rig.

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Brand: D'Angelico
Model: DC (Custom)
Finish: Matte Midnight
Years Used: 2017-Present
Special Features: F-holes, "stairstep" tailpiece, uncovered pickups, black hardware
Current Status: Active touring use (B Rig - D A D G B E tuning)
Notes: Chester began using this guitar for "Battle Symphony" in the B rig in 2017. While it appears similar to a Premier DC, this guitar defiitely has some custom features, notably the uncovered pickups and black hardware. The Matte Midnight finish is also typically only available on the Deluxe model.
Photo Credit: Linkin Park

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Brand: D'Angelico
Model: Deluxe DC
Finish: Matte Plum
Years Used: 2017-Present
Special Features: F-holes, gold hardware
Current Status: Active touring use (A Rig - D A D G B E tuning)
Notes: Chester toured D'Angelico's New York factory and showroom while Linkin Park was in town for the One More Light promo tour in early 2017, and while he was there, he jammed with some other musicians and was even filmed playing a cover of "Jane Says" for the D'Angelico Facebook page. The guitar he used during this appearance was a step up from his Premier DC guitars, this being a Deluxe model with gold hardware (the Matte Plum finish is also one of several limited edition finishes that were temporarily made available for this model - the default model is only available in black). Chester mentioned during the appearance that he was "hoping" it would be his new guitar, and indeed, it ended up becoming his guitar in the A rig on the European tour in June (meaning his red Premier DC is now only found in the C rig).
Photo Credit: D'Angelico Guitars

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Brand: Dean
Model: Unknown (ML series)
Finish: Unknown
Years Used: 2006 (Charity auction)
Special Features: Custom artwork by Chester
Current Status: Sold at auction
Notes: Chester painted this guitar for the 2006 "Six-String Masterpieces" exhibit/auction. Joe Hahn also painted a guitar for this exhibit (see the "Misc." page for information on it). This guitar has subsequently popped up on eBay several times in the years since.
Photo Credit: eBay

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Brand: Dean
Model: Unknown (ML series)
Finish: Unknown
Years Used: 2009 (Art exhibit), 2011 (Charity auction)
Special Features: Custom artwork by Chester
Current Status: Sold at auction
Notes: Chester painted a second Dean ML for a 2009 art exhibit called "Dark Art." It was subsequently auctioned off at the 2011 edition of the "Six-String Masterpieces" exhibit/auction.