Stephen Carpenter debuts ESP 9-string in video for new Deftones single Ohms

Deftones have released the first single from their forthcoming album, Ohms – spoiler alert: it’s awesome – and it turns out the track also marks the debut outing for Stephen Carpenter’s latest squeeze: a custom ESP nine-string.

Carpenter has been a keen advocate of extended-range electrics for some time now, regularly relying on eight-string guitars, but it seems the guitarist has sought to take things one step lower.

On Instagram, Carpenter thanked ESP for the guitar, dubbing his nine-string a “piece of art”, and hailing its new set of custom Fishman pickups.

Stef also gives a shoutout to YouTube tapping phenom Sarah Longfield for her ‘scrunchy-above-the-nut’ trick, to silence string overtones.

“I hear from @krisikush the “scrunchy” is a “thing”,” Stef said. “Want to send a shout out and thank you to @sarahlongfield for that inspiration. Simple and brilliant solution that plagues many guitarists in search of silence!”

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A photo posted by on on Aug 21, 2020 at 2:15am PDT

It seems Carpenter got acquainted with nine-strings back in September 2018, when ESP crafted his first model in the custom shop, and shared a photo of the occasion.

Interestingly, the latest Deftones track doesn’t see Stef lean too heavily on the lower strings, instead employing an octaver for a lot of the Ohms’ low-end rumble, but we’re confident it will feature heavily on the band’s upcoming album, which drops on September 25.

Earlier this year, Deftones frontman Chino Moreno revealed Carpenter “wasn’t too happy” about him playing guitar on landmark album White Pony at first.

The pivotal record celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and a remixed edition, entitled Black Stallion, has been announced, although no release date has yet been set.

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A photo posted by on on Sep 20, 2018 at 12:11pm PDT

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.