My Gear

MORE COMING: this page is still being updated—- need to add the current stuff!!!

My Current Set-up: 

Current pedalboard as of May 2011

Signal Chain: Guitar-> T1m MSB-> Ernie Ball VP jr (with Boss TU2 on “Tuner Out)-> Hermida Audio Zendrive-> Fulltone OCD-> Electro Harmonix Big Muff-> Cusack Music “Tap-a-Whirl” tremolo-> Boss DD20 Giga delay (with T1m mini-tap tempo)-> boss RV3 –> AMP.

As we all know, Boss pedals suck and are super-stupid. So please, do not judge my board.

My Pedals:

T1M “Mini Solo Boost”: a basic clone of the Zvex Super Hard On, I use this for a slight sparkle increase in my cleans and overdrives. With humbuckers I have this on for my clean, and for my Tele this is on the all the time for a bit more push of my signal.

Ernie Ball VP jr: Volume pedal. I use this mostly as a “mute” and for volume swells with certain other effects.
Boss TU2: Tuner- what else do you want? I’ve had this tuner for almost 15 years and its still going strong. Boss are tanks ya’ll!

Hermida Audio Zendrive: This is my lower gain Overdrive. But don’t let that fool you; this pedal can have some pretty aggressive tones in it with a twist of the voice knob. This pedal is my #1 and is the basis for my sound. Very transparent, and I really like the way you can ‘play’ it.

Fulltone OCD:  This is my “RAWK” pedal. It has scooped midrange, so it sounds more aggressive. It is a bit more sterile, but with nice harmonic structure. I use this for my heavier distortion. I use the switch down to HP usually for more looseness. I’m currently trying to figure out how to run it at a full 18v. (It’s niiiiiice.)

EH Little Big Muff: This pedal obliterates your tone. In a good way. Compresses your signal, makes it muddy… but very easily gives a violin-like fuzz sound to single notes. I mostly use this (into the delay) as a volume swelled violin-ambient sound.

Cusack Tap-a-Whirl: perhaps the best sounding, easiest tremolo I have used. I think a tap-tempo is a must on tremolo and this one does it. The only downside is this has too many waveforms/options. I like the basic sine wave and square wave and that’s it!

Boss DD20 GigaDelay: I’ve had this pedal for over 3 years and anytime I get another delay… I can’t seem to take the Boss off. This responds GREAT to my playing and my pedals. I’ve dropped it, dropped stuff on it, and this pedal keeps going. I personally like the 4 presets. Combine the presets with the manual and you have 5 delays ready to go.

Boss RV3: Reverb. This pedal kinda sucks at being a reverb pedal. But it creates this interesting ‘halo’ of modulation at certain settings that creates a cloud behind your notes. I use this to add some background stuff to cleans and dirty sounds. I put this on with the delay and muff to get a really cool ‘hanging’ volume swell.

Other Pedals NOT on Pedalboard:

Best of the Boutique Drives

Analogman King of Tone V4, high gain mod both sides and toggle switch mod: Whew, what? This is the highly desired KOT pedal, 2 sided overdrive that can be cascaded into each other. The toggle mod allows the user to change from clean/dirty boost, to overdrive, to distortion. The unmodded version allowed for these modes by dip switches underneath the back plate. I just moved it to the top where it is easily accessible. The high gain mod adds a touch more gain to each each side. This pedal is scary transparent and really showcases your style (or lack thereof). I’m proud of how I sound with this, but feel I need to practice more!

Best Compressor ever!

Barber Tone Press: Quite simply one of the best compressors ever! It takes your signal and splits it into 1) a compressed signal and 2) an untouched “dry” signal. With the blend knob, you can now blend between the two so you can have a particular “level” but not sound “squished” as some compressors do. I love it!!!

Boutique Monster

Toneczar Dove: Also a “wait-list” type pedal. This is a medium distortion pedal, not overdrive. The unique part of this pedal is the tone stack and EQ controls. You can really taper it to your needs. Many sounds from this box. You can dial in virtually any gain- low to high, scooped mids to mid heavy. If you like to Tweak, give this a shot!

Hot GAIN.

Railhead Effects IO SuperDistortion: This puppy is a gain animal! I mean, for light over drive, try the gain at 9-10 o’clock. For some crunchy distortion, try it at noon to 1 o’clock. For soaring gain that can turn into infinite sustain/feedback… turn it to 3 o’clock. I’ve never turned it past 3 o’clock.  \m/

Original, and Awesome

Dunlop Crybaby, CMATmods modded: This is a 20 year old Dunlop wah that was acting up. I sent her in to CMATmods to get it true bypassed and he also replaced the potentiometer in there. Wow, this thing sounds GREAT and plays well too. I love wah!

Smooth reverb!

Hermida Reverb: Simple, 1 knob reverb. This pedal was made for an amp-addition and then was modded to be a stand alone pedal. Super easy to use too. Just turn it up for the amount of reverb you want.

Fuzzy

Hartman Fuzz: A good, classic fuzz-face type circuit, modernly made to vintage specs. I don’t whip this out as much as I should…. but I really like the vibes I get from this.

Guitars:

My go-to favorite

Epiphone Les Paul Standard “Vintage Model”: I have no idea what year this was- i got it shortly before graduating from high-school. Not much on this guitar is stock; I long replaced the pickups, the pots and just recently put in some locking tuners. This guitar I know by touch- I rarely need to look down to play. However, I have put this up several times to “Real” LPs and walked away happy. Great girl, this one. This is also where this blog is named from:)

Pretty and Smooth

Fender Thinline Reissue: I’m not a huge fan of Teles… this guitar is something special. Very smooth and easy to play- I really like maple necks- and has a nice jangle, but a certain dark thickness that comes from the partial hollow body. It contains a Jim Weider spec-wound Fralin Neck Pickup, and a Wolfetone Bridge. Very nice, and always gets looks when I take her out.

1/2 Tele, 1/2 LesPaul jr.

Prairiewood Midwesterner: This guitar is the perfect hybrid- of my LesP and Thinline. Robert Dixon at Prairiewood Guitars has done an excellent job on this guitar. Even though it has single coils, this guitar has more fatness and sustain- mimicking  humbuckers. My favorite elements of this guitar are the beautiful blended tone (middle pickup selection) that makes a great acoustic-type clean sound, and the fact this is a light weight guitar with excellent balance.

Southern Gentleman?

Epiphone Serranto: Currently my “project” guitar. I don’t know much about this guitar, but what I can piece together is: this guitar was made in the 90s, that this guitar in particular was a factory 2nd for some reason. My cousin graciously donated this guitar to me after I played it and complemented the action and the great unplugged tone and resonance. Very smooth. Plugged in… and not so much.
So far I removed the pickguard, polished the body and put on the Bigsby trem. I replaced the super-microphonic pickups with some Lollar P90s, put on locking tuners (these stock ones are horrible) and a roller-bridge to get the best intonation out of this setup. It has a nice “singing voice” with a nice “hollow” feel now.

Sweet Low-End Batman!

Cort Bass: I’ve had this since undergrad when we could never find a bass player. I believe it is a “polymer” that “acts” like wood. Whatever, it plays well and I’ve always done well with it. The best part is it was made for electric guitar players with a thinner neck than what you normally find on a bass. Super easy to play.

AMPs:

Awesome budget-friendly amp.


Fender Super Champ XD: A little 15 watt 6v6GT amp with a 2nd channel for overdrive and distortion. There are some digital effects in there too- reverb, delay, tremolo etc… And the effects are fairly good too! I tend to set the reverb to the footswitch to put a little on my clean sounds. The 2nd channel distortions are pretty good too, but seem to lose some volume. I tend to run this amp clean, the use my Zendrive or OCD for my distortions.
Best of all, this amp was on sale for $299 when I got it. I switched out the stock tubes to some good ones (TungSols are sweeet in this amp) and made a speaker change as well. Good little amp for small gigs, and sounds great when the direct out is used. Also, this amp loves pedals!

Just what the Dr ordered!

Dr Z Maz Jr, NR: This non-reverb model is a fantastic example of everything that is right in the boutique market today. Nice, round sound with tone and body. This amp gives as you put in and you can really “feel” the notes. This amp is EL-84 tube based and has a Dr Z Brakelite pre-installed. Though its only 18w (3w more than my Fender), I would put it up against most 30w. This baby is LOUD. And I love her.

Kustom 100w Bass amp

Kustom 100w Bass Amp: I got this amp years ago when I needed to play bass. Its completely solid-state, but sounds great. There are a few in-board effects and I rarely use em! I mostly just use the slapback or a fuzz/bass OD pedal when needed. I’ve never really turned this thing up🙂 Good news is it has worked for almost 10 years and shows no signs of quitting!

MORE COMING… this page is still being updated.


7 Responses

  1. how much did the effects cost you ?

  2. @Mike: I believe I have about $900 in my board. I have been building this board for over 4 years (look at my 101 page up top for a list of previous boards).
    I know that is a ton of money, but if you trade and buy used (I use online forums), then you can acquire good gear for cheap. And the used stuff i buy i generally can sell for what i bought it for or more. I generally make more off of them then not. Its an art, but start somewhere! Add 1 new pedal every 3 months and you’ll be ready!

  3. Could you do a demo of the prairiewood? I have been thinking about getting one of these guitars for years, but having to wait for something I can’t hear first has made me hold off.

  4. Will… ya! I’ve been planning one. I have 2-3 other videos I want to do, so I’ll see if I can bump the priority of this one up. Thanks!

  5. Hi ! Do you have some demo of Dove ?
    Compare with Wampler Pinnacle , Suhr Riot ?
    thx

  6. @Afterburner…. I’ll try to get something soon!! I’ve played a Suhr Riot– it had TONS more gain than the Dove (Dove is a Med-gain distortion), but the Riot had a very compressed signal. The Dove is very open with a lot more headroom. Hope that helps. I’ll try to get to a demo.

  7. What do you use the boss fs-5u non latching switch for?

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