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STUFF I USE TO MAKE THE NOISES I MAKE

Starting with a disclaimer.

I'm not an evangelist for any product or process. Some people (mostly other guitar players) just like to know this kind of stuff. I use the tools that are good for ME, not anybody else.

So, for all the geeks out there who want to know the arcana, here's what's currently employed by yours truly. Pictures, expanded descriptions and sound files will be added as I can get them.

GUITARS:

For gigging I'm usually using either one of two custom PRS 9-strings (the wound strings are coursed -i.e. doubled like on a 12 string while the high strings are left single).

I also usually take one of the old Rollins-era PRS CE 24s. These were altered to my specs at the factory (thanks Paul and Bonni!). The biggest differences from the stock ones are that there is no tone control (it was replaced with a single coil/humbucking mini toggle) and the stock rotary switch was replaced with a regular 3-way toggle.

Sometimes I take out a Hamer XT Les Paul Junior double cutaway with a single P-90. Yes it's not a top-of-the-line Hamer but it plays and sounds great (and what more do you need from guitar?). Perfect for what Reeves Gabrels calls "dirtbiking" (i.e. you take just one guitar to the gig and make it do everything). With the tone control rolled all the way off this thing gives a gorgeous Jeff-Beck-"Ain't-Superstitious"-tone honk which I can't get out of anything else. It's stock but I replaced the cap and put in heavier gauge wires inside.

EVERYTHING gets used on the records.

Guitars I record a lot with but don't gig with include a MIM 2002 Tele with '59 reissue pickups and a single cut Danelectro. 

 All the guitars are set up for 10-52 (light top heavy bottom) strings.

AMPS:

For "real" gigs I use a Mesa Boogie TA-30 stacked on an extra 1 x 12" cab. I love this amp and haven't got so inspired by an new amp since the Dual Rectifiers first appeared. 

 

For "fun" gigs I throw an Orange Micro Dark in my gig bag and use whatever cab is handy at the venue.

 

For recording I usually work through an array of oddities. My default amp at the moment is a Schaller KV-40 from about 1962 which Erik v.d Werff of Meyer Amps modded. It has a gorgeous top mid shimmer reminiscent of an AC-30. It runs into an isolation cabinet with a 12" Celestion and a dynamic/condenser mic pair in it.  I also use the Orange Micro Dark a lot when I'm tracking the 9-strings.

I have a 1960 Dynacord DA-16V which is currently being modded, but I'm pretty excited about it too.

I also have a late 1950s Philips portable turntable with built-in amp and 3" speaker which I picked up at a garage sale for 5 euros. I ripped the motor out of it and had Erik recap the amp and add a 1/4" input. It sounds like an old Champ.