(FYI – Gear posts and gear reviews can be found on the bottom of this page!)
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.
The short of it is, (at the moment) I use Yamaha Guitars and Amplifiers,
FNH Electric GUITARS, Bluguitar Amps, ZT AMPS, D’Addarrio strings, Apple computers, Apogee Duet, SOOPERLOOPER, SCUFFHAM AMPS S-GEAR, Planet Waves gear, Positive Grid Bias/Jam Up, and QSC K-series speakers.
Guitars – Electric
Yamaha 611 Limited Edition.
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.
Guitars – Acoustic Electric
Yamaha:: An APX700 12 String (Actually a 12 string, but the bottom 2 strings are single. This is dropped in a B-F#-B-F#-B-F# tuning and used for various maqam/dastgah type things) and an APX1000 ii for 6 string are the exclusive acoustics I use for live use. I run these through either a Yamaha AG-Stomp / THR5 or a ZT Acoustic Lunchbox amp.
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.
Goya G-10 (Pre-Martin) fretless acoustic nylon string.
Turkish long neck baglama saz
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.
Either Spectraflex, George L or Planet Waves. All excellent products.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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
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
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
You are so nuts!!