Tag: Guitar rig

Rig Rundown: Def Leppard [2022]

Nearly 40 years after Pyromania, Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell are still setting the world afire with their hot-rod gear.


It’s been eight years since Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen met with PG while they were on the band’s arena-filling odyssey in 2014. Now they’re on the aptly titled Stadium Tour, playing packed mega-venues with openers Mötley Crüe, Poison, and Joan Jett, delivering songs from the 12 studio albums they’ve recorded over the past 45 years. It’s quite a legacy, with “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak,” “Photograph,” “Rock of Ages,” “Animal,” “Love Bites,” and plenty more classic hits. At their June 30 show at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium, John Bohlinger talked with Collen, Campbell, and their techs, Scott Appleton and John Zocco, about the guitarists’ muscular live-show arsenal.

Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.

Expressionist Axe

For the 30th anniversary of Phil Collen’s Jackson PC-1 signature model, the guitarist painted a limited run of the instrument in this cool, Jackson Pollock-esque finish. He kept this one for himself. (Smart!) It features a mahogany body, quartersawn maple neck, reverse headstock, a Floyd Rose vibrato, a DiMarzio Super 3 humbucker in the bridge, and a Jackson Sustainer Driver in the neck spot. There’s also sustainer on/off and fundamental/harmonic/blend toggles in the control set. Collen uses D’Addario .013–.054 sets.

Paint Yer Noggin

Collen’s paint job also extends to this super-colorful headstock.

A Workhorse of a Different Color

This Jackson USA Signature Phil Collen PC-1 in satin natural features a quilted maple top and all the appointments of the splatter-finish model, but ups the tonal ante with a HS-2 DP116 single-coil DiMarzio in the middle. That setup requires a 5-way blade pickup switch, of course. The scale-length is 25.5″, and the neck has a 12″–16″ compound radius.

Lugosi Lives!

Jackson built Collen his guitar named “Bela” in 1986, tricking it out with glow-in-the-dark paint and Mr. Lugosi’s face—in Dracula get-up—on the front of the axe. Bela has DiMarzio Super 3 pickups, titanium saddles, a titanium block, a Floyd Rose vibrato, and an unquenchable thirst for blood. (“Listen to them. The children of the night! What music they make!”)

Phil and the Supreme

This black-finish Jackson Phil Collen PC Supreme has an impossibly thick U-shaped neck that the guitarist loves for its stability, sustain, and tone. The guitar also features a Floyd Rose, two beefy DiMarzio humbuckers, a DiMarzio/Collen-developed Sugar Chakra pickup (which puts humbucker depth in a single-coil size) in the middle, and a sustainer circuit.

Spooky Kabuki

Another cool touch on Collen’s Supreme is the kubuki-like mask inlay just under the headstock.

The Blue Axe

This prototype Jackson signature-model Supreme has a more conventionally sized neck as well as a Floyd Rose with classy blue titanium saddles, two hot DiMarzio pickups, a Sugar Chakra, and a sustainer circuit. Check out the super-ergonomic angled cutaways.

Mr. Big Neck, V. 2

This PC-1 also has a neck like John Cena, built from curly maple for a distinctive look. Other details: an in-your-face DiMarzio X2N, a Sugar Chakra, a sustainer, titanium saddles and block, and that omnipresent Floyd Rose. Same PC-1 electronics, too, with volume and tone controls, a 5-way selector, and double toggles for sustainer on/off and fundamental/harmonic/blend.

Class Actor

This brown PC-1—which features all the appointments of Collen’s 30th Anniversary model—looks more muted than it’s bright-hued pals, until you look closely. The tiger-stripe quality of the word makes the guitar striking and displays Collen’s pick scratches between the neck and middle pickups.

Speaking of Pick Wear

This road-weathered Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster is showing all its miles. The bridge has been updated with titanium pins. Collen uses not only the acoustic sounds in this guitar but goes full-rock-tone as well.

Search and X-Stroy

Jackson built its X-Stroyer model especially for Collen in 2014. It is modeled after the Ibanez Destroyer that he played in his 20s—seen onstage in the videos for “Photograph,” “Foolin’,” and other hits. It has DiMarzio X2N pickups, a sustainer, and a Floyd Rose. Look at the lower-front horn and you’ll see a killswitch, too.

Racked Up

Collen’s signal runs to a Shure Axient wireless system. Its four channels go into a Radial JX42 V2 switcher and out to a Fractal Axe-Fx III. (He also carries a spare Axe-Fx in the rack.) A digital output goes from the Fractal to the front-of-house speakers. Another pair of outputs runs to two Atomic CLR full-range powered reference monitors behind the video wall, for a bit of stage volume. It’s all controlled by an RJM Mastermind GT/22, operated by tech John Zocco.

Phil A Rig

Here’s a look at that Mastermind Zocco controls, with a bunch of uniquely named, programmed patches, including STFU, Mocha, and Cold Brew.

Vivian and Les

Vivian Campbell plays Les Pauls exclusively. His Una is an all-stock silverburst Custom, which will be auctioned off at the end to the tour with the proceeds going to Gibson Gives to support music education for kids. It’s strung with Dunlop .011–.050s and tuned down 1/2 step.

Tiger, Tiger

This Gibson Vivian Campbell Signature Les Paul Custom in antrim basalt burst was a limited-edition model. It has a 1970s-style C-shaped neck, a 2-piece figured maple top, and a solid mahogany body. The neck pickup is a DiMarzio Super 3 and the bridge is a DiMarzio Super Distortion. It has two 500k CTS volume pots, two 500k CTS tone pots, and orange drop caps. Same strings, same half-step-down tuning.

Ricky’s Ride

Another limited-edition instrument in Campbell’s line-up is this Gibson Custom Shop reissue of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen’s 1959 Les Paul Standard. Campbell replaced the frets with jumbos, but otherwise it’s all stock, which means a 1-piece mahogany body, pearl inlays, an Indian rosewood fretboard, and Custom Bucker pickups.

The Friendly Ghost

“Casper” is a Gibson Les Paul Studio that Campbell has owned for years. It features a DiMarzio SD 3 in the bridge along with its original humbucker.

More Gary Moore

Few players have had a greater influence on British rockers who came of age during the ’70s and ’80s than the late, great Gary Moore. This Gary Moore Les Paul Standard has its neck pickup flipped, to go for that Peter Green out-of-phase tone. (Moore was the longtime owner of Green’s famed Holy Grail Les Paul.) The mahogany neck has a rounded ’50s profile, the pickups are BurstBucker Pros, and, of course, the 6-string has a mahogany body with a figured maple top.

Covert Humbuckers

Campbell has replaced the standard P-90s in this Gibson reissue Les Paul goldtop with P-100s, which are stacked humbuckers, for a buzz-free playing experience.

Big Red

This colorful Gibson SJ-200 has a Fishman pickup, a soundhole block to avoid feedback, and high action for a clean-toned strum.

In the Box

Tech Scott Appleton dictates the flow of Campbell’s guitar with an RJM MIDI-controlled input switcher. First, the signal hits a Shure Axient wireless, and then there’s a Cry Baby Rock Module with a Lite-Time wah controller. The rest of the magic is courtesy of a Fractal Audio Axe-FX III. A Marshall 9200 Dual MonoBloc System provides the power for a pair of ENGL 4×12 cabs.

Look, Ma, No Wires!

Chad Zaemisch, longtime tech for Metallica’s James Hetfield, designed the first two-channel wireless expression pedal system that Vivian employed to handle wah-wah duties via his rackmount Dunlop Cry Baby Rack unit.

Rig Rundown: Dead Kennedys' East Bay Ray

The punk rock pioneer splits on nothing more than a Schecter S-1, a JCM2000, and a well-placed DL4.Punk rock is

concerning power, perspective, as well as message. It’s been the gateway medication for a great deal of guitar players and also music lovers. And also those forces are what guided East Bay Ray away from his bar-band gig in 1978.

” The little hairs on the back of my neck stood,” Ray bore in mind throughout a 2016 PG meeting. “I saw the Weirdos having fun. I stated, ‘This is what I wish to do.’ I phased myself out of bench band as well as placed an advertisement up in Aquarius Records and also Rather Ripped Records. Klaus Flouride (bassist Geoffrey Lyall) and Jello Biafra (vocalist Eric Boucher) answered the advertisement.”

And with the addition of drummer Ted (Bruce Slesinger), the Dead Kennedys were born. By the time they tape-recorded their 1981 EP In God We Trust, Inc. ( by themselves independent label, Alternative Tentacles), Ted was gone and D.H. Peligro (Darren Henley) became their solid skin slammer.Through the band’s first 8 years, four albums, and an EP, their subversive harpoon of jagged political commentary was tipped by Biafra’s verses. That obtained the country’s focus, yet what motivates musicians to today was the power triad’s natural combination of acquainted and strange aspects of punk and primitive rock. Certain, you’ve obtained the power chords and also the four-on-the-floor paces, yet deepness and subtlety under the biting messaging is essential to the DK’s chemistry. Their punk-rock bangers have modal tendencies as well as atonal flourishes, and several of their most thrilling tunes have odd-metered foundations. Their debut solitary, “California Über Alles,” is a take on author Maurice Ravel’s Boléro, no less. As well as no one else in the land of the 6-string shreds quite like East Bay Ray.

” One of the factors our tracks have lasted as long is the structure underneath has a whole lot in common with a Beatles song or a Motown song or perhaps a ’30s requirement,” he states. “There are standard building and constructions that make a track work. I actually had a hard time copying or figuring out solos off my favorite recordings when discovering to play, so I would certainly establish my own musical method to receive from one area to one more. It’s actually a lack of method that aided with the music.”

His creative thinking and resourcefulness do not stop there. East Bay Ray was the band’s co-producer/engineer on a lot of recordings, as well as he’s played with his very own tone tools, putting together partscasters that ideal matched his strategy. Ray has jammed humbuckers into the bridge of a T-style for a twangier bite that aids his speedy arpeggios sting a bit a lot more. He’s added short-scale Japanese F-style necks for slinkier playability. And, most significantly, he placed a Maestro Echoplex before his amp to create the trademark clanging sound listened to on his traditional recordings with the band. (” One of my favorite documents of perpetuity is Elvis Presley’s Sun Sessions. That is just one of the records that inspired me to obtain an Echoplex, to get that slapback resemble.”)

” We just didn’t recognize the guidelines on what to play as well as how to play,” he connects. “That’s where not recognizing something pressures you to make your own remedy, developing something unique and also new, verifying that necessity is the mom of development. The absence of strategy as well as expertise helped produce our sound and the songs.”

Before the Dead Kennedys’ headlining show at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl on June 15th, PG hit the phase for a enlightening however quick tone talk. We covered Ray’s economically abundant arrangement that consists of a solitary Schecter doublecut as well as a simplified, solid-sounding Marshall, and also we were enlightened concerning why he puts his Line 6 delay in advance of the amp and what that does to repeats.

[Offered you by D’Addario Nexxus 360 Tuner.]

S-1 Is Good Food

East Bay Ray was known to make use of a variety of Fenders in the early days of the Dead Kennedys. In a PG article, he described that he chose Leo’s offspring (or duplicates) because the longer range length as well as string-through construction provided his noise extra twang as well as quality. He commonly modded out bridge single-coils for hotter humbuckers since that provided him a huskier tone that punched through the mix. He keeps in mind in this brand-new Rundown that the Japanese T-styles he utilized in the ’80s in fact had a 24.75″ scale size, regular of Gibson-style electrics.

” That’s how my noise started: I liked the twangy sound with the fatter humbucking pickup. Like on ‘Holiday in Cambodia,’ I play a bunch of arpeggios as well as they truly sound out.” (In the same short article, he does mention using Gibson models, yet really felt a “Les Paul benefits one-string type things, because it is really fat, yet when you start playing two strings, it’s not as verbalize as a Fender would be.”)

For this headlining run through the U.S., Ray brought a solitary Schecter S-1. He states in the Rundown that he still has all his japanese duplicates and old fenders however doesn’t want anything to happen to them. To soup up the doublecut, he commonly swaps in a Seymour Duncan SH-1 ’59 (neck) and also Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB (bridge) for the design’s common Schecter Diamond Plus humbuckers. (Although the S-1 on this tour still has supply pickups.)

Handle Job

Ray’s guitar for the DK’s first singles,” Holiday in Cambodia” as well as “California Über Alles,” was videotaped via a Fender Super Reverb( with an Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Power Booster in front of it ). Quickly after those recordings, the self-admitted “scientific research nerd” found schematics for Marshalls and also Boogie amps and hot-rodded his Fender Super Reverb to have an additional tube channel, overhauling it to, essentially, a master-volume Marshall. He finished to a real-deal JMP for the band’s later documents and live shows. Currently when on scenic tour, he carries a Marshall JCM 2000 since it has “a versatile sound with a great midrange, and it does not have a lot of handles like the TSLs [laughs] That point is annoying to take a look at.”

A Blast from the Past

Here’s a shot from our Forgotten Heroes piece of East Bay Ray( featured in the August 2016 problem) cutting tracks at San Francisco’s Hyde Street Studios playing a Coral S-style rather than his Tele. Furthermore, you see the JMP and mighty ‘Plex lurking on the table.A More Musical Way … Way … Way

In the band’s prime time, Ray took a trip all over with his beloved Maestro Echoplex. He comments in the Rundown that while it was a vital component to his noise, it was a pain to maintain with its tape cartridges and the requirement for a container of tape cleanser. Plus, in Europe power performs at 50 Hz so the system would certainly run slower. (The U.S. conventional power is 60 Hz.) Retiring the solid-state echo equipment years back, he arrived at the Line 6 DL4 as his now-long-running replacement. EBR likes it due to the fact that it has 3 presets as well as he constantly has it locked in the analog-with-modulation setting. The key to his kerrangingly music repeats is putting the DL4 (and the ‘Plex, prior to he acquired the Line 6 tool) in advance of the amp, making each echo a cleaner degeneration than the one prior to it.Taken from our

2016 meeting, we’ll allow East Bay Ray decode the technique to his chaos:” One of the tricks is to put the echo device prior to the amp. Recording engineers don’t like that. Due to the fact that they’re at much less quantity, the echoes clean up as they go through the amp. Recording designers or some guitar players stick it in the loop in the back of the amp. They make the sound, procedure it, and after that they add the echo– but that’s even more like a post-EQ result. I do it pre-EQ. Even when I’m maxed out– like with the compressor on, the amp up, as well as the guitar right up– if there is an item of silence, if you listen to the resemble, it cleans up. The last ones will be the tidy guitar. It’s a less technological means to do it, yet it’s a much more musical way. It’s bad design, yet a lot more music. For somebody that’s learnt design,’ Each resemble is different! ‘From an artistic side,’ Yeah. That’s what makes it more interesting– since they’re different.'” As for the one in charge CS-3 Compression Sustainer, he uses it much more as an increase than squeezebox. He maxes the level, reduces back the tone, dimes the attack, and pushes the maintain, resulting in a moderate quantity jump for solos as well as single-note ditties. It’s in the chain after the DL4 and in advance of the amp so it can boost the repeats when the CS-3 is involved in addition to the eco-friendly machine.



Knob Job Ray’s guitar for the DK’s initial songs,” Holiday in Cambodia” and” California Über Alles, “was tape-recorded via a Fender Super Reverb (with an Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Power Booster in front of it). < div class=" rebellt-item col1" data-basename= "a-more-musical-way-way-way" data-href=" https://www.premierguitar.com/videos/rig-rundowns/dead-kennedys?rebelltitem=5#rebelltitem5" data-id= "5" data-is-image=" True" data-post-id =" 2657583973"

data-published-at=” 1656525573 “data-reload-ads=” false “data-use-pagination=” False” id =” rebelltitem5″ readability=” 41.534626038781″ > A More Musical Way … Way … Way In the band’s heyday, Ray took a trip everywhere with his cherished Maestro Echoplex., we’ll let East Bay Ray translate the method to his insanity:” One of the tricks is to put the resemble device before the amp. East Bay Ray was understood to use a variety of Fenders in the early days of the Dead Kennedys. Ray’s guitar for the DK’s initial singles,” Holiday in Cambodia” and “California Über Alles,” was recorded through a Fender Super Reverb( with an Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Power Booster in front of it ).

Rig Rundown: Los Bitchos’ Serra Petal & Josefine Jonsson

How an Italia Speedster, a sturdy Jazz bass, and a little “sad chorus” can kickstart an international dance party.


The last two years have given us plenty of reasons to seek a jaunty, joyous listening experience in our music. And one of the best finds around is Los Bitchos—the all-female, internationally assembled outfit consisting of Australia-born Serra Petale (guitar), Sweden’s Josefine Jonsson (bass), Uruguay’s Agustina Ruiz (keytar), and South Londoner Nic Crawshaw (drums).

Los Bitchos’ bubbly instrumental psychedelia cocktail mixes their collective musical ingredients (Argentinian cumbia, Peruvian chicha, Turkish Anatolian rhythms, and classic American surf rock), creating a devilishly delicious concoction that’s refreshing as a mojito, hits like a negroni, and is as tropical as a mai tai. The good-time gals socked the world with their 2022 debut, Let the Festivities Begin!, showcasing their superpower of rump-shaking revelry.

Before Los Bitchos’ Nashville opening slot in support of Belle and Sebastian, PG was invited to the historic Ryman Auditorium for a quick and loose gear chat. We covered their streamlined setups that include a favored, fast Italian ride (not a Ducati) that made the trip from the U.K., learned why Petale is “Miss Chorus” and loves the effect’s “sad sounds,” and was schooled on why Jonsson just needs a J bass and an Ampeg amp to make the room twist and shout.

Brought to you by D’Addario XS Strings.

Speeding with Serra

“For me, the big difference between a workhorse guitar you take on tour compared to the instruments you keep at home is the humbucker pickups,” stated Los Bitchos guitarist Serra Petale during a recent Big 5 video for PG. Petale expounds in the Rundown, saying that she prefers performing with the above Italia Guitars Maranello Speedster II because its humbuckers offer beefier tones and a louder presence compared to the single-coil guitars she prefers for recording. “The Los Bitchos live show is a lot different than the album experience,” she adds. Her only touring guitar for this U.S. run takes Rotosound BS10 British Steels (.010–.046).

Veloce

A shot of the Maranello’s cool matching headstock. Note the stylish Italia badge and how the dual racing stripes continue.

Backline Bedrock

This Fender Twin Reverb offers Petale enough punch for her guitar to be heard and a clean platform for her fuzz and chorus pedals to reconfigure her signal.

“I am Miss Chorus”

That’s what Serra Petale declared when asked why she identified a chorus pedal as her secret weapon in the earlier Big 5 video with PG. Her current main modulation manipulator is the Electro-Harmonix Small Clone. (In the Big 5 video, she named the EHX Neo Clone as her go-to, but she’s since acquired the stomp favored by Kurt Cobain.) Another Mike Matthews design makes an appearance in the shape of a big-box EHX Big Muff. The two other noisemakers are a Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive and a Mooer Pure Octave. A Korg Pitchblack keeps her Italia in line.

Just a J for Josefine

The newest addition to Josefine Jonsson’s bass family is her current crush—a Fender Player Plus Jazz Bass that’s been “just lovely to play.” The stock J has Player Plus Noiseless Jazz Bass pickups, a 3-band active EQ with an active/passive toggle, a 4-saddle HiMass bridge, and a modern C-neck shape. She keeps both volume controls wide open and dials in dynamics with her attack. She notes in the Rundown that she’s always bonded more with the Jazz than the Precision, because of the J’s smaller size and thinner neck.

Ain’t Nothing to It But to Rocket

For this run of U.S. shows supporting Belle & Sebastian, Josefine plugs her Player Plus J straight into this Ampeg Rocket Bass RB-112 because, as she put it in the Rundown, “anything Ampeg and I feel like I’m in safe hands.”

Rig Rundown: The War on Drugs [2022]

Bandleader Adam Granduciel on how single-coils, the Dead’s Wall of Sound, and cascades of chorus build his live tones. Plus, bassist David Hartley gets weird, wild, and wonky.


For nearly two decades and across five albums, The War on Drugs’ founder and frontman Adam Granduciel has narrated our complex modern lives while his band has scored our dreams.

The captivating moods of their music, much like us, morph from dense melancholy to saturated, swirling madness and everywhere in between. Granduciel often layers his Springsteen-meets-Young proletariat prose atop a post-rock soundscape, but the heartbeat of their impressive, expansive live shows is their gear and how it is implemented.

“I could play the whole tour with two or maybe three guitars—a White Falcon, Strat, and maybe a Jazzmaster—but I bring all these out just for fun,” he says with a laugh as he considers his trove of axes.

So, let’s have some fun already! Before a full evening of The War on Drugs’ jams in support of 2021’s I Don’t Live Here Anymore, PG was invited to Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. We covered Granduciel’s growing guitar collection, got the skinny on how Jerry Garcia’s monstrous setup played into the bandleader’s theatre rig, and we took in a cockpit view of his stompbox squadron full of tone ticklers, sizzlers, and wigglers. In addition, bassist David Hartley showed off a trio of Ps, an armada of Ampegs, and demo’d a fuzz that has ended his quest for razing tones.

Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.

Keeping It in the Family

If you’re a fan of Rig Rundowns or Kurt Vile & the Violators, you’ve already seen this Strat. The above Fender American Vintage ’57 reissue was once owned by Jesse Trbovich, who’s flanked Vile for years. Trbovich landed a true-blue ’70s Olympic white Strat and needed to unload this to make room. Granduciel quickly raised his hand as a landing spot because he really enjoyed how comfortably the neck played. And since bonding with it, he likes its low-output single-coils because he can “juice it with pedals.” (It’s worth noting that Trbovich put in a Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Strat Surfer Series in the middle position, allowing him to have hum-canceling operation in the second and fourth position.) All of Granduciel’s electrics take Ernie Ball 2220 Power Slinkys (.011–.048).

It’s the One

“When this thing is in my hands, I can react with it, and it becomes this whole other animal. It can be unwieldy, but this guitar plugged into a cranked Princeton or small tweed sounds incredible,” allows Granduciel. So, as you can imagine, this 1969 Gibson SG is Adam’s right-hand when it comes to recording, but, as he explains later in the video, it doesn’t coexist pleasantly with his live setup. He scooped this gem at Rivington Guitars in New York City.

Story Time

Flip a Coin

Granduciel had lusted after this vintage offset for weeks when seeing it listed on Reverb by Chelsea Guitars. The listing was removed and he thought that it was gone forever. A few months later, he was in NYC and decided to stop into the shop and, low and behold, the sunburst Jazzmaster was on their bench in pieces. Apparently, the original buyer from the Reverb listing was after a birth-year model (1964, as listed on the Reverb page), but when he removed the neck its pocket revealed a 1963 date. He traded in the guitar for a proper ’64 and, fatefully, Granduciel didn’t let a second pass before offering to buy it. Alongside the SG, this is another heavy hitter for recording.

Down Under with Terry

During a 2018 tour of Australia, Granduciel scored this 1966 Fender Jazzmaster that looks swanky with a matching black headstock. He claims the rhythm circuit in this one “sounds killer,” while the lead circuit is “super bright and used on ‘Occasional Rain.’” In addition to being a remarkable instrument, he loves that it reminds him of a short span of time that included a wonderful tour of Down Under, earning a Grammy for Best Rock Album, and the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl.

Checked Past

Cracks aren’t meant to be beautiful, especially on guitars, but looking at the ’66’s backside reveals a twisted thumbprint.

Fly, Firebird Fly

This 1965 non-reverse Firebird was upgraded by its previous owner with a set of Lollar P-90s. If you recall the last Rundown with TWOD, Granduciel added a Bigsby, but that has since been removed.

Ol’ Reliable

This Fender American Vintage ’65 Jazzmaster has been a dependable dynamo for Adam. He prefers it because he knows what he’s going to get sonically and he can throw it around without worry. The newer pickups offer a snarlier tone, so it gets used for songs like “Pain,” and the top-end sear helps him cut through the seven-piece live band.

Hummingbird Season

This new-ish Gibson Hummingbird gets busted out for C# tunes and features a LR Baggs M1 soundhole pickup.

Bastion of Tone

Not quite the famed Wall of Sound procured by the Dead and audio engineer Owsley “Bear” Stanley, but Granduciel’s evolving setup is heading in that direction.

Alembic Ace

Since our last Rundown, Adam has ditched the Hiwatts (although he admits to enjoying that era of TWOD) for the Alembic F-2B Stereo Preamp that was used by Jerry Garcia and David Gilmour. He describes its circuity as mimicking the front end of a Fender Dual Showman. “There’s just so much clean headroom and they’re so creamy. And I don’t know what it is, but single-coils and P-90s just come to life here in a way that other amps don’t, so maybe that’s why Jerry and David used them so much.” The Mesa/Boogie Stereo Simul-Class 295 powers the Alembic. He does run a direct line signal from the F-2B to FOH for a clean DI option.

Take a Guess

In the video, Granduciel challenged me to guess how many speakers are in the oversized cab, and I said four. Seemed logical but, as he quickly pointed out, the Marshall 2041 Lead Organ has only a pair of Celestion (pre-rola) 12″ speakers. The Alembic runs through this pillar of power.

Fender Firepower

The other side of Adam’s grand equation is a 1960s Fender Bandmaster head that hits a Marshall 1960BV 4×12.

The Swart Solution

As we alluded earlier, his beloved 1969 SG doesn’t jive with his Alembic-Fender setup, so he incorporates its humbuckers into his live rig by plugging into the 5W Swart STR-Tremolo. The SG and Swart typically dance for “Thinking of a Place,” but Granduciel admits to kicking it on with the Fenders during the heat of battle and treating it like a tremolo pedal for parts of “Pressure” and other jams. To the right of the Swart you’ll notice a pair of Rockman Tom Scholz (yeah, the Boston legend) Power Soak attenuators throttling the Alembic and Fender.

Keeping Time in the Loop

The band uses this AKAI Professional MPC Live II for additional drum machines for the show.

User Input

They are harnessed by four Boss FV-500L Foot Volume Pedals controlled by Adam that allow him to bring the samples into the room mix. Additionally, the band syncs their modulation to it, so everyone is locked in. (The MPC clocks or syncs the pulsing of the tremolo for the band. Adam uses a Lightfoot Labs Goatkeeper 2, while bassist David Hartley uses a Malekko Goatkeeper.)

Horseshoe of Madness

Here’s a crow’s-nest view of Adam Granduciel’s massive pedal playground.

Bradshaw’s Boardroom

Most of what Adam does with his feet is simplified by this Custom Audio Electronics R-ST 24 + 2x PSS MIDI controller.

The Fun Begins

Here’s one of the sections of Granduciel’s expanding pedalboard that includes a Wren and Cuff Tri Pie 70, a MXR/Custom Audio Electronics Boost/Line Driver, an Ernie Ball Expression Tremolo, anElectro-Harmonix 1440 Stereo Looper, a Lightfoot Labs Goatkeeper 2, a Strymon TimeLine, a Boss DC-3 Digital Dimension, and a Morley ABC Pro (for switching amps). A Boss TU-3s Chromatic Tuner keeps his guitars in check.

To the Moon, Adam, to the Moon!

Here’s the meat and potatoes of Granduciel’s spreading stomp setup: (top left) a Boss FT-2 Dynamic Filter, another MXR/Custom Audio Electronics Boost/Line Driver, DigiTech Hardwire RV-7 Stereo Reverb, ADA Flanger, JHS Bun Runner, J. Rockett Audio Designs Archer, MXR Flanger, Moutainking Electronics Loud Box, Crowther Audio Prunes & Custard, a Fulltone OCD, and a trifecta of Eventides that rest on the right side—a Space, TimeFactor, and H9. Everything gets current by either a MXR Custom Audio Electronics MC403 Power System or the Eventide PowerMax.

Clovis the Rough Rider

At first glance, you’d probably mistake this for a ’60s or ’70s Fender P, but as bassist David Hartley attests, this is a 2002 Fender Precision named Clovis that he acquired brand new almost two decades ago. Part of Clovis’ charm for Hartley is that it’s the lightest P he’s ever held, making their “Evening With” shows a little easier on the back. It’s stock aside from him swapping out the standard anodized gold pickguard for the tortoiseshell. He uses La Bella 760FS Deep Talkin’ Bass Flats (.045–.105).

Jam Like Jamerson

Another 4-string that does a lot of heavy lifting for Hartley is this 1983 Fender Fullerton ’62 Reissue Precision Bass. While this one isn’t as light as the previous P, he does love how much it sustains.

Find the Note

And occasionally you’ll see Hartley put down all the guardrails and dance with this Fender Tony Franklin Fretless Precision Bass. The connection with this one came through when he heard how much vocal tonality it has. It’s a highly expressive instrument.

Ampeg Assault

The Ps come to life thanks to this boulder of bass tone: a pair of Ampeg Heritage 50th Anniversary SVT amps that hit an Ampeg Heritage SVT-810AV. The SVT on the left is a backup and Hartley plugs into the normal channels.

Simple but Not

Prior to this run, Hartley toyed with the idea of just plugging his Ps into a DI and his Ampeg. Clearly, that plan changed and he’s probably having more fun because of it. His stomp station contains a pair of Boss GE-7 Equalizers (one to help Clovis pop a bit more and the other helps brighten up the ambient drone of the Gamechanger), an Eventide H9, a Gamechanger Audio Plus Sustain Pedal, a Mountainking Electronics Megalith, a Malekko Goatkeeper, a Keeley Super Mod Workstation, and a MXR Phase 90. A Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner keeps his Ps sounding right.

Rig Rundown: Old Crow Medicine Show’s Mike Harris

Inside the band’s East Nashville studio, we zoom in on the multi-instrumentalist’s string-driven things.


Mike Harris says he “Forrest Gump-ed” his way into the Grammy-winning Americana string band Old Crow Medicine Show when he was drafted to join in January 2021. But rather than picking his spot in the group from life’s box of chocolates, Harris’ initial connection was his friendship with drummer Jerry Pentecost. He quickly proved himself an important member of the Nashville-based outfit of “Wagon Wheel” fame, thanks to his flexible guitar, mandolin, banjo, resonator, and vocal abilities.

Harris invited PG to Old Crow Medicine Show’s East Nashville studio, where they recorded their latest album, Paint This Town, for some show-and-tell about his favorite traveling and recording instruments.

Brought to you by D’Addario XS Strings.

Tale-Telling Tele

Mike Harris’ main electric instrument in Old Crow Medicine Show is his well-loved 1968 Fender Telecaster with a maple-cap fretboard. The guitar has had a few changes over the past 54 years—the biggest is its Lollar neck pickup—but is mostly stock.

From Fessler’s Lane

Famed Fender luthier Greg Fessler, who’s made guitars for Robben Ford and many others, created this Custom Shop ’62 Tele in 2017. The speed dials and saddles are by notable vintage-style parts maker (and builder) Glendale Guitars of Arlington, Texas.

Gift Jag

This stripped 1964 Fender Jaguar was a gift from Chris Stapleton. The tuners and bridge have been upgraded, which is common for pro-player Jags.

Harris’ Martin

For a guitarist in Old Crow Medicine show, a classic Martin seems like a requirement. Harris’ 1960 D-28 features a Brazilian rosewood back and sides. The headstock has been repaired and a bridge plate saver installed.

Mondo Mando

This Collings MF Mandolin features an Adirondack spruce top and an Eastern flamed maple back and sides. It has a V-shaped neck and wide string spacing, for easy finger placement. Harris has a Fishman pickup installed.

Barking Banjo

Amplifying a banjo can be tricky, so Harris has a microphone installed behind the head of this Deering Sierra model.

A “Handy” Les Paul

This 2012 Gibson R7 Les Paul has a mahogany top, Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pickups, and a Bigsby BP-15 palm-pedal tailpiece installed with a Vibramate V5 bridge plate. The R, by the way, stands for reissue, and the 7 designates 1957 as the year of origin for the guitar that inspired this goldtop.

Here’s Pearly!

The Rev. William F. Gibbons’ very own monster ’59, dubbed Pearly Gates, is the inspiration for this Gibson reissue. Of course, it also sports a pair of Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates Pickups. Only 350 of these came out of the Gibson Custom Shop in 2009.

Meteor Shower

This mid-1960s Harmony Meteor actually belongs to Harris’ great uncle, Howard. True to its birth-era, the guitar stays strung with flatwounds. It also possesses its original D’Armond-made gold-foil pickups, which were introduced with this model back in the day.

I’ll Have a PBR

This Gold Tone PBR Paul Beard Signature-Series Roundneck Resonator with a cutaway gets carried to the PA via a Fishman Nashville Series spider-style resonator pickup. Harris always plays the guitar through a Fishman Jerry Douglas Signature Aura Acoustic Imaging pedal.

Reso-Whammy

And now for something unusual: Harris has his PBR resonator tricked out with a Bigsby BP-12 palm pedal tailpiece.

Stompin’ Rompin’

Harris’ pedalboard starts with a XTS custom pedalboard interface and routes to a Fancy Boy Klon clone, an Origin Effects Cali76 Compact compressor, a Walrus Audio 385 overdrive, a Demonfx King of Drive, a Shnobel Tone-modded Ernie Ball VP Jr. with a built-in TC Electronic PolyTune, a EHX Micro POG, an MXR Phase 95, a Moog MF Delay, and a Strymon Flint Tremolo & Reverb. All are powered by a Truetone 1Spot CS 12 and wired with Mogami cable with SP500 plugs. The board also houses a Magnatone reverb/tremolo controller.

Other elements of Harris’ gear include D’Addario American Stage Cables, BlueChip thumb picks, ProPik fingerpicks, Fender medium triangle plectrums, Dunlop .88 mm Flow picks, and Clayton thin triangles. He uses Dunlop slides: a 224 Heavy Wall Brass for resonator and a Derek Trucks signature for electric.

Sonic Vista

In the studio, Harris uses a lot of amps. On tour, however, he carries two, including this Magnatone Panoramic Stereo 2×10 combo. These come with Jensens, but Harris replaced those with a pair of Eminence Legends.

No. 2 for the Road

His other touring amp is a Fender Chris Stapleton Signature ’62 Princeton with an Eminence George Alessandro GA-64 12″ speaker.

Wall of Sound

Here’s a look at the studio amps he keeps on tap—mostly classic-style Fenders with a little assist from a Silvertone and that Magnatone.

Rig Rundown: All That Remains [2022]

Celebrating The Fall of Ideals, Mike Martin upgrades with two smoking PRS Custom 24s, while Jason Richardson unveils two dazzling Music Man Cutlass signatures.


A lot of bands are lucky enough to carve a career with one big hit. If they’re even luckier, they’ll ride the wave of an impactful album for decades. But for melodic metalcore heavyweights All That Remains, who are honoring their game-changing The Fall of Ideals with a full album play, it’s not even their most-popular record. Following on the energy and success of that influential 2006 album, they released five straight albums that landed in the top 10 of Billboard’s U.S. Rock chart.

The coal fueling All That Remains’ locomotive is their propulsive guitar work. The original firepower was supplied by cofounding shredmeister Oli Herbert who was originally flanked by Chris Bartlett. Current rhythm rifleman Mike Martin replaced Bartlett in 2004 and provided the classically trained Herbert a solid substratum to dance all over. That duo defined ATR’s harmonious heaviness, Gothenburg groove, and aggressive attitude for almost 15 years before Herbert’s untimely passing in October 2018 just weeks before releasing their ninth trouncing album, Victim of the New Disease. Since then, the band has continued with blazing flamethrower Jason Richardson (Born of Osiris and Chelsea Grin).

Before All That Remains’ May 10th headlining show at Nashville’s Basement East, PG’s Perry Bean had to pick his jaw off the floor and re-screw his skullcap on after seeing the amazing instruments both guitarists Mike Martin and Jason Richardson brought on tour. Martin detailed his beautiful PRS Custom 24s while Richardson offered a sneak peek at his second batch of signature Ernie Ball Music Man Cutlass models.

Brought to you by D’Addario XS Electric Strings.

Thanks Brian!

For this special set of shows, longtime rhythm guitarist Mike Martin brought out a pair of eye-popping PRS Custom 24s. First up is this remarkably, ruffled, quilted-maple top (on a mahogany body) that features a stunning “sub-zero-glow, smoked burst” created by Martin’s friend Brian Giampietro, who owns Brian’s Guitars in Cheshire, Connecticut. He dropped in an EMG 81 (bridge) and 66 (neck). The alnico V neck pickup is coil-tapped so Martin can clean up for the softer parts of All That Remains. Most of the band’s material is in either B standard or C# tunings. Martin uses Ernie Ball 2216 Skinny Top Beefy Bottom Slinkys (.010–.054) on both of his guitars and plays with custom Dunlop Tortex picks.

Goosenecking

If the top wasn’t striking enough, the back of the flame-maple neck is sure to stop you in your tracks.

Always on My Mind

The last seven years, this PRS Custom 24 with a charcoal-cherry burst finish has been Martin’s main ride. The custom order included the request for a stoptail bridge where the stock production models come with a PRS-patented Gen III Tremolo bridge. This one was delivered with PRS 59/09 humbuckers, but to match the high-gain needs of ATR, Martin replaced those with EMGs (81 and 85).

The Legend of Jason Richardson

We were given a special treat when talking with All That Remains’ lead guitarist Jason Richardson, who was about to announce two new signature offerings from his Ernie Ball collection. The above Ernie Ball Music Man Jason Richardson Artist Series Cutlass makes a splash with its alder body, capped with a buckeye burl top that’s finished in a Majora Purple. (Richardson admits to being a video game nerd and got the color and name from the The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which came out in 2000 for N64.) Additional accoutrements include a roasted maple neck with a sculpted joint, roasted maple fretboard, 24 stainless-steel, medium-jumbo frets, custom Music Man floating tremolo, and a set of custom-voiced Music Man ceramic humbuckers (only available in his signature models). One thing Richardson asked Music Man to do for his namesake speed machine was to coil-tap the humbuckers when the pickup selector is in the middle position, because much of ATR and his solo work requires fleet and fiery playing without a second to spare. All of Richardson’s 6-strings take Ernie Ball Paradigm Power Slinkys (.011–.048).

To the Point

And he’s been hitting the strings with his new custom Dunlop Jason Richardson picks (1.364 mm) that combine the size of Dunlop’s Jazz IIIs with the profile and pointiness of their Tortex Sharps.

White Walker

Here’s another one of Richardson’s new signature Cutlass dragsters that’s finished in empress white and set off with a subtly spectacular sparkle job. This one has an alder body and maple top (somewhat pointless to have the burl when it’s under a snow globe), separated by a sliver of walnut that’s sandwiched between the two core woods. Other than the ebony fretboard, this is the same as the previous stunner.

Tell Me What You See

Here’s an Ernie Ball Music Man Jason Richardson Artist Series Cutlass finished in Rorschach red that debuted at the 2020 NAMM Show. The sandwiched wood between the alder body and buckeye burl top in this one is maple.

Buckeye Burst

And the last signature axe that Richardson is carrying with him on this run is the Cutlass highlighting the exquisite nature of the buckeye burl top, with a complementary black burst that slightly rims the silhouette of the double cutaway.

Tower of Power

Both Martin and Richardson are running through the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx III. Core patches for Martin revolve around the EVH 5150III, whereas Richardson lives in the Friedman Small Box and HBE realm. The changes are connected to a click track and are automated via Pro Tools.

Rig Rundown: Shinedown’s Zach Myers & Eric Bass [2022]

The arena-filling rockers cheekily exude excess with a cavalcade of signature gear and some custom creations—including a pink number that made some see red.


Musical acts currently filling arenas fall into a few categories: pop, electronic, country, and legacy. The notion of modern or contemporary rock bands packing enormo-domes feels like a fossil, but don’t tell that to platinum-selling Shinedown, who’s been packing thousands-of-seats houses for years.

The group was founded by vocalist Brent Smith in 2001, after his previous band, Dreve, disbanded). He enlisted Jasin Todd (guitarist), Brad Stewart (bass), and Barry Kerch (drums). Zach Myers joined the fold in 2005 (as a touring member). He and current bassist Eric Bass (no joke) first earned album credits with 2008’s smash The Sound of Madness. (Rig Rundown alumnus Nick Perri was a short-time member of Shinedown and earned lead guitar credits on TSOM before fully handing over the 6-string reins to Myers.)

The quartet’s ability to fuse post-grunge pyrotechnics, four-on-the-floor rockers, and glossy, arms-in-the-air anthems, and their dynamic acoustic performances, have earned them 17 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. (If you include the other Billboard charts, they’ve got three more.) They also have three platinum albums (three more are certified gold in the U.S.), and six additional platinum singles. If guitar truly is in a slump in pop culture and the mainstream, somebody forgot to tell Shinedown.

When PG’s Chris Kies first talked tone tools with Myers and Bass in 2013, they had some gear, and even some cool signature stuff. But this time, the war chest was on another level. Before their May 4 headline show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, supporting their new, seventh album, Planet Zero, the duo flexed their rockstar credentials and carted out 40-plus instruments. Myers contends he uses every one of his guitars on a nightly basis. And Bass details his signature line of Prestige basses, which incorporate an ingenious thumb rest. Myers also shows off an irreplaceable PRS created by the late American fashion designer and entrepreneur Virgil Abloh (Off-White), and he explains how a custom-painted Silver Sky earned him some serious eye rolls and scoffs. Plus, their techs break down the power and might that help them rock the rafters.

Brought to you by D’Addario XS Electric Strings.

The Pink Problem

prs silver sky john mayer guitar

If you’re a fan of PRS, you know they don’t offer relic’d instruments. So, Zach Myers took matters into his own hands and had his personal Silver Sky (originally white) refinished in shell pink by McLoughlin Guitars before the custom distressor gave it their “ultimate” treatment—one that equates to a snake shedding its skin. Myers had no idea Mr. Mayer and PRS were going to release additional colors for his Strat-style signature. Needless to say, some people weren’t happy with Zach crashing the pink party, but he loves the guitar, loves John, and even admits in the video that the custom relic is an homage to Mayer’s black 2004 Custom Shop Strat. He plays it every night for the song “Monsters.”

He uses .011–.049 strings (S.I.T. and Elixirs) on standard-tuned guitars, and for lower tunings he typically rocks with .011–.052 sets. And as you’ll see in the video, his tech Drew Foppe throws curveballs at him by putting various sized, textured, and gauged picks on his guitars.

Off-White

Myers is a big sneakerhead and follower of fashion. He was lucky enough to have designer Virgil Abloh customize one of his PRS SE Zach Myers signatures before the fashion icon’s untimely passing in 2021. (Abloh reached unparalleled zeniths as CEO of the Milan-based Off-White outfit and artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear—the first person of African descent to earn such a title.) As you can see, within his Off-White brand Abloh would utilize obvious labels for things (“switch” and “guitar”). He always incorporated one element of orange in his designs, and the video game button is a killswitch. The axe gets played on “Cut the Cord.”

Tagged

Here, you can see Off-White’s signature tag on Myers’ signature headstock.

Branding

You can’t argue that anyone would mistake Off-White’s work.

I Spy

Here’s another one of Zach’s SE chambered semi-hollow signatures that was done up by L.A. street artist Joshua Vides, who has worked with Fendi, Mercedes-Benz, and Major League Baseball. The black-and-white color scheme gives a very Spy-vs.-Spy vibe, featured forever in Mad.

The Cat’s Meow

This is a PRS Private Stock Paul’s 85 that gets busted out for “Get Up” and rides in a “sort of” double drop-D tuning (both E strings tuned down to D), with custom-gauge strings (.010–.049). This run of Private Stocks features an African mahogany body, figured maple top, a dark Peruvian mahogany neck, and a Honduran rosewood fretboard, and is finished in a striking electric tiger glow.

An Extra Pair

Here is Zach’s PRS DW CE 24 Floyd—one of his two touring guitars with 24 frets. It’s a signature model for Rig Rundown pal Dustie Waring of Between the Buried and Me and comes stock with PRS’ hottest ceramic pickups. It gets stage time for “How Did You Love.”

Sweet Tea

This is one of Zach’s latest additions: a PRS 594 McCarty used on “The Saints of Violence.” Zach puts it in coil-tap mode, and Foppe rewired the guitar from LP-style to a more familiar PRS-style setup.

Santana Myers Model

When you have Paul Reed Smith on speed dial, you can get this made. Myers had the silky-looking Santana model transformed into a semi-hollow matching his SE signature format. This gets brought out for the fan favorite “Second Chance.”

Elephant on the Fretboard

Paying homage to his dear friend and Shinedown singer, Brent Smith, Myers had PRS add an inlay of elephants. (The largest existing land animal is Smith’s favorite beast.)

Old Friend

This might be one of Zach’s oldest touring guitars currently out with Shinedown. The PRS NF3 gets some action during “45” and never can be replaced, since its sound is so unique, with 57/08 Narrowfield pickups that he says are unlike any others in his live arsenal.

I’ve Got a Mira by the Tail

If you caught our 2013 episode with Shinedown, you’ll recognize this Buck Owens-inspired Mira with 57/08 humbuckers that he gets busy with on “Unity.”

Workhorse

It might be a stretch to label this Martin J-40 with such a name, seeing it’s only featured on two songs (“Simple Man” and “Daylight”). But most of the guitars in this Rig Rundown only get used for one jam per night. The J-40 takes Elixirs (.011–.052).

Blue Jean

Here’s a custom take on the earliest versions of Zach’s PRS signatures that gets the spotlight for “Enemies.” It is tuned down a whole step, to D standard. Note the distinctive bright hue on the guitar’s side, by the horn.

Scorpion

This custom McCarty 594 pays its dues for the song “Bully.” It takes an .011–.052 set and rumbles in C# tuning.

Maple, Maple, Maple!

This McCarty model is made entirely of maple and makes hay on the song “Save Me.”

More Maple?!

Another all-maple McCarty, but this is chambered and struts out for “State of My Head.”

Zach’s Blues

Here’s the latest incarnation of Zach Myers’ SE signature that debuted in early 2021. Subtle updates include a lusher “Myers Blue” (he admits it’s pretty pretentious) finish, black bobbins on the pickups, black tuning pegs, and a matching headstock veneer. This blue bombshell makes an appearance for “Fly from the Inside.” And whenever Myers sees a kid having the time of his life at a Shinedown show, he’ll call on Foppe to bring out one of his new signature models and he’ll gift it to the youngster. How cool is that?!

Rack Control to Major Drew

With a rig this big, doing this much, in front of thousands, you need a primed pilot at mission control. And lucky for Myers, tech Drew Foppe is up to the task. Everything starts at the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx IIIs. (There’s a main and a backup.) There are four channels of Shure UR4D+ wireless units (three for electric and one for acoustic). From there they run an AES digital out to the Antelope Audio Trinity Master Clock and Antelope Audio 10MX Rubidium Atomic Clock. This helps fatten the fully stereo, digital rig by converting it to analog and then sending it back. After that they use IRs off the Axe-Fx (left and right) into a pair of Neve DIs that then feed a Fryette G-2502-S Two/Fifty/Two Stereo Power Amplifier. (There’s another for backup.) And finally, they send parallel signals to two ISO cabs and two Universal Audio OX Amp Top Box reactive load boxes (both left and rights). Altogether, there are eight channels of guitar.

Zach Attack

zach myers pedalboard

While Drew oversees the main operation, Zach still has some control at his toes. He’s got a Dunlop MC404 CAE Wah, DigiTech Whammy V, Ernie Ball 40th Anniversary Volume Pedal, and the Fractal Audio FC-6 Foot Controller. Peeking out from the mini board is a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus, giving life to these effects units.

Bass’ Bass

Since our last gear chat, Eric Bass teamed up with Prestige Guitars to make a childhood dream come true. A memory that’s stuck with him since he was a young musician was how cool Stone Temple Pilots’ bassist Robert DeLeo looked harnessing a Telecaster bass. So, when Prestige asked for some of his ideas, he knew where to start. The slightly offset double-cutaway has a solid ash body, a 1-piece, hard rock maple neck (with a bolt-on connection), and a pau ferro fretboard. The neck has a slim C-shape (similar to a J-style bass). There’s a Seymour Duncan SCPB-3 Quarter Pound pickup and Hipshot hardware (4-string A-Style bridge and HB-7 tuning machines). One thing that won’t show up in the spec sheet is the sneaky thumb rest that has a small ‘E’ on it. It’s a design inspired by the top of a humbucker, because Eric was so used to resting his thumb atop of a ’bucker that he was a bit lost without it. They initially tried standard flat thumb rests, but Bass was inclined to use the curved pocket on top of the humbucker as leverage to throw around the instrument onstage. Bass’ personal instruments have brass nuts, whereas the production models will have bone.

Bass uses three or four tunings each night that will include standard, drop D, C#, and drop C. For standard and D, he’ll go with his set of signature S.I.T. Strings (.050–.110), and for the lower tunings he extends the low string to a .115.

Three on the Tree

Here’s the sleek reverse headstock for Eric Bass’ signature models.

Go for the Gold

This was the second prototype for Bass’ signature. It featured a belly-cut contour that he ultimately did away with. He prefers the bigger slab-body style and the dual edges allow for some sick double binding seen on the production models.

Kerns the Conspirator

Bass isn’t afraid to get down on someone else’s signature cruiser, and he does so each night with the Prestige Todd Kerns Anti-Star 4-string. (Kerns is in Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators and fronts Canadian rock band Age of Electric.) This one has a 7-piece mahogany/walnut body, mahogany neck, and ebony fretboard, and comes off the rack with Seymour Duncan USA Todd Kerns pickups.

Kerncidentally

Here’s Bass’ signature Prestige sporting a set of Todd Kern’s Seymour Duncan pickups.

Show and Tell

Eric sent a few basses over to Relic Guitars The Hague in Netherlands so they could mess them up in the most beautiful way possible. He gave them some instruction and creative carte blanche.

And here’s a close-up of the artwork.

Here’s Looking at You, Bass

Here’s another example of the handiwork happening inside Relic Guitars The Hague. The inspiration is the oil painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer, from 1665.

Nash Bash

This Nash PB52 preceded his Prestige signature, but you can see how he got the wheels turning for mapping out his own instrument. Bass affectionately calls this one “Grimace.”

Move It On Over

Each night, Bass takes over 6-string duties and makes music with this Prestige Legacy OM.

Refrigerator Rig

Tech extraordinaire Jeramy “Hoogie” Donais helped create this efficient fridge-sized setup for Bass. As he explains it, the Prestige basses hit the Shure UR4D+ wireless units (similar to Myers, he has three channels for bass and a channel for acoustic), then a Neve DI, and into a Radial JX44 signal manager (he does have a 100′ cable for backup but hasn’t used it in his eight years with Shinedown) that feeds it into an Ampeg SVT-7 Pro for clean tone (with an extra for backup).

Tube Tone with Teeth

The right-hand rack features a pair of Mojotone Deacon (inspired by the sound of Queen bassist John Deacon) 50W heads that run on a pair of KT66 power tubes. One beast gets engaged for Shinedown’s heavier songs and one sits below as a reserve.

Noise? What Noise?!

To help keep the rig calm and quiet, Bass has a Revv G8 Noise Gate to remove any unwanted buzz and hiss.

Eric Bass’ Gas Station

Onstage sits Bass’ pedalboard that includes a Dunlop 105Q Cry Baby Bass wah, a DigiTech Bass Whammy, and an MXR M299 Carbon Copy Mini Analog Delay. The ‘Gas’ switch engages the Mojotone Deacon, a Radial SGI-44 1-channel Studio Guitar Interface connects with his rackmount JX44, the BossTU-3W Waza Craft Chromatic Tuner keeps his instruments in check, and a hidden Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus feeds juice to everything.

Rig Rundown: Matt Sweeney & Emmett Kelly (Superwolves)

A pair of peculiar pickers show off slimmed-down setups that swirl, snarl, and speak!


Matt Sweeney doesn’t want to dazzle you with rock guitar. That’s boring. That’s lazy. At least to him. He wants to mesmerize you.

“Really, that’s the point of music: to get people’s minds off of whatever and to hypnotize them a little bit,” Sweeney told PG in 2021. After beginning his Superwolves collaboration with Will Oldham, “that’s when I thought, ‘Cool, I did the thing that I wanted to do. I can fingerpick now and I can play with a really great singer who is working in an idiom that I hadn’t worked in before.’

“I started playing with Will and that gave me the opportunity to keep developing the way that I was playing, because it went well with his singing. After a couple of years, that led to Will suggesting that we write songs together.”

The audible opiate that Sweeney provides has also cast his spell over the works of Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Adele, Cat Power, Run the Jewels, Chavez, John Legend, Zwan (collaboration with Billy Corgan), Tinariwen, “Cowboy” Jack Clement, Billy Gibbons, and Margo Price. And with every episode of hypnosis comes a trance-breaking snapback. Providing that rhythmic recoil is Sweeney’s current foil, Emmett Kelly. Both have worked with Oldham, but until now—in the current Superwolves line-up—never together.

Kelly steps into the fold with an indie and outsiders Rolodex filled with names like Ty Segall, Angel Olson, Azita, Cairo Gang, Mikal Cronin, The C.I.A., Earth Girl Helen Brown, Magic Trick, Doug Paisley, and Joan of Arc. Sweeney sums up their guitar-nership with his typical, sly-and-dry snark: “What’s important about the way me and Emmett play together is that we never talk about it [laughs]. It’s true! He’s like the best guitar player. He’s a master at making everything sound better. We’ve both worked together—but mostly separately—with our singer Will Oldham, and it was his suggestion that we should all go out together [without bass and drums] because it should be good. But really, we’ve never had to talk about it, and we just play. It’s been a lot of fun.”

So, when PG’s Chris Kies recently connected with Sweeney and Kelly, they were providing a guitar backdrop for a headlining set fronted by Bonnie “Prince” Billy Oldham at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge, supporting Sweeney and Billy’s 2021 release, Superwolves. While the conversation with both does cover their spartan setups, the meat of the message is how gear is a tool for storytelling, humility, and liberation. Oh … but Kelly does reveal a Japanese gem that takes a guitar signal and reanimates it into anime speech-like phrases!

[Brought to you by D’Addario XS Electric Strings.]

The Lone Wolf

Matt Sweeney is a simple man. He tours with just one guitar: the above 1976 Gibson ES-335TD. He’s favored flatwound strings (La Bella Jazz Flats or D’Addario ECG25 Chromes gauged .012–.052) for nearly two decades. And he’s dropped the pick for nearly as long. Sweeney had an interesting take on fingerstyle playing with flats in an interview with PG in 2021: “I don’t know any other way to get a tone other than from your amp and fingers. Otherwise, you’re not getting your tone; you’re processing your tone. That’s another thing that fingerpicking brought out: Your right hand is your mouth. That’s what’s making the sound come out. But again, speaking of tone, we seem to largely agree that the guitar recordings everybody freaks out about are usually from before the ’60s. They’re using flatwound strings, they’re not using pedals, and it sounds really great.”

Silver-Panel Stunner

“I recommend the shit out of these Fender recreations,” concedes gear novice Sweeney. “It [the above Fender ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb] sounds good out of the box and I frequently use its reverb and tremolo.”

Planning for Pedals

Sweeney told PG “I love pedals. Pedals are really cool, and they’re fun,” he says. “But I established the way I sound without relying on pedals at all.” And then Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal) dropped some science. “He pointed out, ‘Get any kind of pedal that will make the sound wave a little different.’ Pedals that put things out of phase and make it poke out a little bit are cool.” Well, Sweeney’s current economical, waveform-changing pedalboard includes a couple of EarthQuaker Devices (Grand Orbiter Phase Machine —“I love using phaser because people hate it”—and Dispatch Master delay & reverb), a Blackstrap Eletrik Company Greenleaf (based on the 1960s John Hornby Skewes Zonk Machine fuzz), and a Crowther Audio Hotcake. A Voodoo Lab Pedal Power ISO-5 gives everything life.

Not Your Dad’s Tele, but Donahue’s Tele

Emmett Kelly’s only touring companion is this 1990s Fender (MIJ) Jerry Donahue Signature Telecaster that’s based on an early ’60s model—aside from the ’50s V neck profile, per Jerry’s specs.

“I never liked a Tele until I found this one, and now I love it completely,” gushes Kelly. “To the point that I’m actually in the process of modding my Strat to be electronically identical to this guitar.”

It’s stock, including a unique pickup pairing (an alnico Tele in the bridge and an alnico Stratocaster in the neck) and versatile 5-way switching. (Learn more about the wiring and how to implement it into your T-style with this helpful Mod Garage guide.) Kelly uses various brands of strings (.011s) and plucks the Tele with Herco thumbpicks.

A Stompbox Platter

Kelly normally plays in more aggressive, louder bands, but for this gig the stock Fender ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb is the perfect platform for unveiling crisp clean tones and a terrace for the tone twisting goodies on his board.

Speak of the Devil

“I like to have movement. I like to have things morphing, constantly have things imaging,” says Kelly. The pedal party starts with the always-on (albeit, subtly slow) MXR Phase 90. Next is his favorite pedal—the Crowther Audio Double Hotcake. (“It’s the clearest distortion and I love that I can get notes to be saturated and crystal clear.”) Following that is a trio of Fredric Effects: a Nouveau Super Unpleasant Companion (a combined Shin-Ei FY-2 and FY-6 Superfuzz clone), a Verzerrer (a recreation of East Germany’s only distortion effect, the Bohm Trickverzerrer), and a Regent 150 preamp (a revamped reproduction of a 1970s East German preamp that peels out the EQ circuit from the Vermona Regent 150K amplifier). The Boss TR-2 Tremolo is there when he backs up opener (and Nashville production icon) Dave Ferguson, who actually provided Kelly with the pedal. Possibly the most bizzaro pedal the Rig Rundown has encountered is this Korg Miku Stomp that employs 11 lyric patterns that basically turn your guitar (or anything, as Kelly elaborates in the video on his own exploration with the effect) into a teenage-girl Japanese anime character. You have to hear it to believe, so tune in! And lastly, Kelly turns everything on with the MXR M238 ISO-Brick.

Rig Rundown: Nir Felder and Will Lee

For the Band of Other Brothers, this dynamic duo carries a light load.


Nir Felder has been called “the next big jazz guitarist” by NPR and hailed by The New York Times as a “whiz kid.” Will Lee is the Grammy-winning Musician’s Hall of Fame member you’ve likely seen and heard playing bass as part of Paul Shaffer’s World’s Most Dangerous Band on David Letterman’s late-night talk shows.

Currently, Felder and Lee are touring together with drummer Keith Carlock (Steely Dan, Sting), Jeff Coffin on saxophones and woodwinds (Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones), and keyboardist Jeff Babko (James Taylor, Toto) as Band of Other Brothers. On April 20, the Other Brothers made a stop at Nashville’s City Winery, supporting their second album, Look Up. Lee and Felder took a break pre-soundcheck to usher PG’s John Bohlinger through their rigs.

[Brought to you by D’Addario XS Electric Strings]

First and Best

Although Nir Felder has plenty of guitars, he usually gigs with his stock 1995 Fender Tex-Mex Stratocaster—his first electric guitar. The Strat has high mileage and plenty of battle scars.

He plays with Dunlop Jazz III picks and keeps it strung with D’Addario NYXL strings. And no nets for this musical high-wire walker. Felder has been touring without a backup axe.

Deluxe Redux

Felder plays Fender Deluxe ’65 reissues on tour, speccing the model for backline amps. It’s a ubiquitous 1×12, so he can always get a consistent tone.

The Tenacious 10

Felder’s uptown sound—on the ground—includes a TC Electronic PolyTune Mini, an Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer with a Keeley mod, and a Klon KTR. Those two overdrives usually stay on, and he rolls down the volume of his Strat to clean up the signal while giving it a warm, rich undercurrent of dirt. From there, it’s a King Tone Duellist, King Tone Octaland, Meris Ottobit, Line 6 DL4 MkII, Strymon BigSky, Boss DD-3, and a Neunaber Wet Reverb. Power comes from a Strymon Zuma. The board is by Stompin-Ground, and cables are from L.A. Sound Design and Nice Rack Canada.

Fab 4-String

Will Lee plays his signature 22-fret Sadowsky bass. This J-style features master volume, a pickup blender, a push/pull treble roll-off, a bass boost, treble boost, and a mid-boost on/off switch. There’s a push/pull pot that’s a preamp bypass switch for playing in passive mode, and the instrument is equipped with a Hipshot Bass Xtender that Lee tunes down to low C. Strings are Dean Markley SR2000s.

The Haunt of Eagles…

is what the Latin word aquilare means. And linquists believe Aguilar, a common town name in Spain, is derived from it. But Lee’s amp for this gig—an Aguilar DB 751 pumping through one of the company’s SL 210 400-watt, 8-ohm bass cabinets—was from SIR rentals.

The Rig for This Gig

Lee says he has a rig for every gig, and with Letterman he had to have enough pedalboard to cover every sound he might need to cover a wide variety of guest artists and genres. But for the Band of Other Brothers, Lee plugs into a Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner, an MXR Bass Envelope Filter, and a POG, a Mod 11 Modulator, and a Canyon—all by EHX. Juice comes from a Truetone 1 Spot Pro.