Gear

(FYI – Gear posts and gear reviews can be found on the bottom of this page!)

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For those of you who are interested – I’m happy to let you know what I’m using. If you’re interested in my laptop looping set up, there is a lot of tech information here, here and here.

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The short of it is,  (at the moment) I use Yamaha Acoustic Guitars, 

FNH Electric GUITARS,  ZT AMPS, D’Addarrio strings, Line 6 POD HD500X HD anD Sonic Port,  Apple computers, Apogee Duet, SOOPERLOOPER, SCUFFHAM AMPS S-GEAR, Planet Waves gear, Positive Grid Bias/Jam Up, Loopy HD and QSC K-series speakers.

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Guitars – Electric

FNH UltraSonic - This is a SWEET guitar.  See the review here.

Custom Double Neck (fretted & fretless w. Sustainer)

Miroslav Tadic designed Custom Fretless Baritone

Schecter Omen 8 string.  This has been HEAVILY modified with Bare Knuckle and Dimarzio pickups.  Read the latest post on the guitar and the customizations here, or the 2 part review here and here.

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Guitars – Acoustic Electric

I’m back on the Yamaha wagon!  An APX700 12 String (See the Rogue notes below for tuning) and an APX500 ii for 6 string are the exclusive acoustics I use for live use.  I run these through either a Yamaha AG-Stomp or a ZT Acoustic Lunchbox amp.

(*Rogue 10 String.  Actually a 12 string, but the bottom 2 strings are single.  This is dropped in a B-F#-B-F#-B-F# tuing and used for various maqam/dastgah type things.  I gave this to Eric Klerks when I left LA, but I like the idea enough that a 10-string will be in my future as well….)

An Antonio Hermosa AH-50 fills in for nylon work.  This will eventually get replaced with a Yamaha NXT700 and I’ll probably make it fretless for oud-type sounds.

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Guitars-Acoustic

For home use my first guitar us one I still reach for.  It was built by Jeff Chapple, my high school shop teacher and  I play it every day.

My Tam Hiep guitar I picked up in Vietnam.  This guitar is AWESOME!  One of the loudest acoustics I’ve ever played. You can see a full post on guitar street in Vietnam here.

Goya G-10 (Pre-Martin) fretless acoustic nylon string.

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Other instruments

Turkish long neck baglama saz

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Miscellaneous

Strings

It seems like I’ve tried them all.  I use the D’Addario Pure Nickel .011 guage set in standard tuning for the 6 string.

I have a D’addario 7 string pack with an added .007 for the high A string for the 8 string.  But I like the Ernie Ball Cobalt set as well.

For steel-string acoustic I use either D’Addario 12′s or Elixirs depending on how much sliding I’m doing.  

For my fretless nylon – I’m currently using Thomastik-Infeld Classical Guitar Nylon/Silverplated Copper Flat Wound Light Rope Core, .016 – .039, KR116.

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Cables

Either Spectraflex,  George L or Planet Waves.  All excellent products.

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Pickups

On the electrics: FNH has a Seymour Duncan in the bridge and something really good sounding in the neck.  I’m unsure what it is.  I left it up to John Harper at FNH and he sussed it out.  The Schecter 8 string now has a Bare Knuckle Cold Sweat installed in the neck position that sounds great – and I have the DiMarzio D Activator in the bridge position.  

For 6-string – I’ve also been a fan of the DiMarzio HS3 in the neck position and the X2N in the bridge for full frontal throttle. 

I like K&K westerns for acoustics and I’ve been into what Fishman’s been doing with pickups and amps for a while as well…

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Amp

For acoustics – I use the ZT Amps Lunchbox Acoustic.  That amp is mind boggling.  I also have the ZT Junior which is a great amp for small gigs that need more of a Jazz tone.

I’ve been using a QSC K-8 full-range powered monitor lately with the POD HD500X HD and the Scuffham Amps plug and I’m really impressed with this speaker for sound/pricepoint/weight and features.

Up until the time I left LA, I was using an amp by a company called Atomic.  They’ve currently partnered with Fractal Audio, but this amp was designed to be used with Pods. Tom King has some of the best customer service policies anywhere, and a lot of companies would do well to follow his example.  The 50 Watt amp had a Webber Beam blocker which cuts down a lot on the directionality of the amp and gives it a more uniform tone.  Oddly enough – I preferred the 18 Watt before I left.  I ended up getting rid of both of them as the idea of lugging a 60 lb flight case and amp on the subway was nowhere on my priority list for NY.

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FX

Right before I left Boston I had a bunch of gear stolen.  My rig at the time included a tuner, Ernie Ball Volume Pedal, 80′s Big Muff Pi, Digitech Space Station, T.C. Electronics Chorus, Memory Man Delay (original), Guyatone MD-2 delay, Akai Headrush looper, Vox Wah and another Ernie Ball volume pedal that went into the front end of a Fender Hot Rod Deville (4×10 amp).  When I didn’t want to use the full rig – I’d bring a POD 2.0 and a short board.   Only the space station and the looper went home with me that night, and everything else was stolen. 

All of this has been replaced by my Atomic and my new POD.  The looper has essentially been phased out with superlooper and the space station is too fragile/tempermental to gig anymore (I would LOVE it if this would get converted into an AU someday – if anyone has any info on someone who could transfer the code from the chip into an AU shell – please let me know!)  I’ve also been using the Two Notes Torpedo C.A.B. and a modified Nady TD-1 with this rig mounted onto a PedalTrain Pro board.

I’ve also been using Positive Grid Bias/JamUp with a sonic port on my iPhone and it sounds AWESOME through the QSC.  I’ll still use the POD for the sound sculpting but for straight ahead guitar tones…I can’t beat the portability of the other set up.

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Line 6

I’ve been on board since POD 2.0.  Currently I’m using the HD500X.  Now I’m also using the i-lok version of POD FARM 2.0 with the DUET and the FBV short board MK II.  I’m still working on tweaking things – but this is an incredibly flexible rig.

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S-Gear

I’m a big fan of the Scuffham Amps S-Gear AU.  Currently, I’m using it with a 1st generation Apogee Duet and a separate reverb AU in AU lab. But Mike Scuffham has indicated that some other integrated fx are coming down the pike which is kind of exciting.  You can read more about this plug and my interview with Mike on guitar-muse.com.

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Midi

I’m sold on the Sonuus i2M for monophonic midi guitar conversion.  I like the korg nano series for basic soft synth control.  Typically what I use for Midi functionality will depend on whether I’m using Logic or AU lab, but I use  the Line 6 MkII shortboard for midi control in AU Lab.

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Looping

For years I used a Akai headrush to do all of my looping (it still gets broken out once in a while – hold onto gear that works – you’ll never knwo when you need it!!).  The HD has onboard looping, but still needs some parameter control for me to rely solely on it live.   I use SooperLooper on for my laptop rig. Typically  I use Pod Farm and a laptop for film gigs and the amp for rock shows.

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Computer

Macbook Pro.  I’ve been using Macs since a G3 Ibook if that tells you anything.  Just a really good machine.  Memory and drive upgrades from OWC.  I got a USB hub from them as well that is quite cool.  Installed a 7200 rmp 500 GB Seagate internal drive that increased performance probably 30% or more.

LaCie Drives.  I have 2 of the rugged drives now.  Love ‘em

Apogee Duet. I held off on this for a while because of the price – but if I had any idea how much of a difference it would make, I would have gotten it when I got my laptop.  This has become an essential part of my rig.  I also like the Apogee Breakout box.

I use Logic Pro and the related software.

Finally got into using Impulse Responses (IR’s) in conjunction with the POD instead of the Pod’s speaker simulations.  The recabinet site has something like 2000 IR’s for $15 and I like the 4×12 cabs a lot.

If you’re running logic, you can use Space designer to load the IR’s.  I tried LA Convolver which is a free plug AU plug in for Mac that works well.

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Repairs (LA):

I still haven’t dealt with Andy Brauer directly – but he does really good work and he’s a straight shooter – and for that alone I’d recommend him.

Seth Mayer Guitar Repair – 818-427-1543 – smayer@yahoo.com.  There’s a post about him here.

I got an amp repaired by Blackie Pagano before I left LA. He’s a nice guy who does really good work (and some really cool custom jobs).  Like any good amp guy, he’s fairly backed up usually so plan on either paying a rush fee or waiting a while (8 weeks in my case).  The rush fee is really the way to go if it’s remotely time sensitive.

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Gear,  Gear Reviews and Gear News

Guitar-Muse - Gear and Gear Reviews

Antonio Hermosa AH-50 Acoustic/Electric Review

Zoom A3 Acoustic Modelling Effects Pedal Review

Positive Grid reveals a sneak peak of their BIAS iPad app

JamUp And JamUp Pro Review

Line 6 Sonic Port and Line 6 Mobile POD Review

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Getting More Definition From Your Dirty Guitar Tone

Mono Acoustic Guitar Hybrid Case/Gig Bag Review

Practical Advice On Buying A Used Guitar

ZT Amp’s Extortion Pedal Review

ZT Amps: Lunchbox Junior Review

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Evolution of A Live Rig – Part 4: What To Bring To The Gig

Evolution Of A Live Rig – Part 3 – Tweaking The Frankentone (Or Models, Tubes and Match EQ)

Evolution Of A Live Rig – Part 2: Chasing Tone

Evolution of A Live Rig – Part 1 – Or How I Ended Up Going Home With The Model

The Pickboy Speed King – The Rarest Guitar Pick Ever?

10 Great Guitar Products From 2011

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GuitArhitecture

MAS MODELING!! POD FARM, POD HD, SCUFFHAM AMPS AND A WHOLE TONE LICK

POD HD Flash Memory Update, POD HD500 In Live Use And More Thoughts About Gear

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SOME THOUGHTS ON MODELING, GEAR ACQUISITION AND THE POD HD500

LINE 6 POD FARM 2.5 UPDATE AND POD FARM FREE ANNOUNCED

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APOGEE DUET 2 ANNOUNCED

New SooperLooper Update 1.6.16

OCTAVE4PLUS A4 – .007 STRING REVIEW

BKP (BARE KNUCKLE PICKUPS) 8 STRING COLD SWEAT PICKUP

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LAPTOP GUITAR MUST BUY – GATOR VIPER ELECTRIC GIGBAG W. LAPTOP COMPARTMENT REVIEW

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS – GATOR VIPER GIG BAG REVIEW

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SCHECTER OMEN 8 STRING REVIEW PART 2 – STRING OBSERVATIONS AND SOUND CLIPS

SCHECTER OMEN 8 STRING REVIEW

POD HD VS POD FARM: A COST COMPARISON

APOGEE DUET BREAK OUT BOX OVERVIEW

LINE 6 FBV EXPRESS MK II REVIEW

MONO PRODUCER BAG (LAPTOP BAG REVIEW)

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POD HD500 AND POD FARM CONJECTURES

STEINBERGER GEARLESS TUNERS – REVIEW

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TOOTHPICKS AND THEIR PROPER PLACE IN GUITAR MAINTENANCE

THE BIZARRE TALE OF MY ULTRA-RARE GUITAR PICK

WHERE TO GET YOUR GUITAR REPAIRED IN LA OR LESSONS FOR THE SELF EMPLOYED MUSICIAN

GUITAR STREET IN HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM

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RIG AROUND THE ROSIE OR MEDIATIONS AND MEDITATIONS ON GEAR

LINE 6 POD FARM 2.0 OVERVIEW

VARIAX AC700 REVIEW/WORKBENCH OVERVIEW

FNH ULTRASONIC GUITAR REVIEW

 

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