Here’s the gear I used for the show tonight. It’s not all of it, but it’s mostly what I use in The Design.
-BC Rich Mockingbird Special. Bought it 6 years ago at 20-years-old as a congratulations to myself when I got my first professional gig. I put Seymour Duncan 59s in it recently and they are the best sounding pick-ups I’ve heard. This guitar is my baby and has gone through a lot with me.
-Gibson Les Paul Studio 50s tribute thingy. I love this fucking guitar. I just got it a couple weeks ago, and it is fucking killer. I’m scared to get it set up because I’m nervous that something will fuck up whatever mojo is in this guitar. It was only $800, but it sounds so fucking good, and plays real well. This is only the third Les Paul I’ve come across that I actually like. Les Pauls seem like Guttermouth songs. The vast majority of them fucking suck, but when they’re good, they’re REALLY fucking good.
Actually, the Les Paul is really important to me. There’s just something about it that reignited my feelings about guitar and music and rock & roll. I’ve been keeping it with me, which is something I’ve never done with a guitar. Hopefully, it will be with me for a long time.
Line 6 Pod X3 Pro: A lot of purists will decry my use of a Pod live, but they can go fuck themselves. If it were my band, I wouldn’t be using it live, but we do a lot of covers and I need a lot of sounds, so BOO YA, there we go. When I’m doing my own stuff, live I’ll set the amp to an AC/DCish sound, use a volume pedal to clean it up (and I’ll pick lighter), then an EQ for heavier sounds, and a Tube Screamer for solos. With The Design, I have to jump back and forth between so many different sounds and delay settings and effects that I use for all of 30 seconds, it wouldn’t be practical to have pedals for everything. Especially financially. I’m not spending $100 on a chorus pedal that I’m only going to use on Your Love! Fuck that mess!
The only issue with the Pod is that I’m stuck with those sounds. For example, we do the song Hey Jealousy. On the verses I’m doing all of those arpeggiated power chords. Sometimes our drummer plays fast and hard, sometimes he pulls back. I only have the sound for fast and hard. If I was using the traditional amp/pedal set up, I would kick on the delay and pick lighter when he pulls back, and keep delay off and pick aggressively when he was rocking out. The Pod is so compressed, it sounds super great, but picking lighter/turning the volume knob down does jack fucking shit to change the sound. Its just not reactive. You set the tone, and that is the only tone you get out of that channel. It sounds awesome and consistent, but its always nice to have total control and be able to roll with the punches instead of feeling kind of fucked when things change.
I run the Pod into the FX loop return. That’s it. Plug into the Pod. Pod goes into the FX return. So really, I’m only using the power-amp section of the amp. Why don’t I just a use a power-amp instead of a head? Because I already had the head. I can’t afford to just buy a power-amp so I’d have to sell the head, which I don’t want to do because it’s my favorite piece of gear. And last, but not least, if the Pod goes down (which it has at least twice that I can remember), I can just plug into the amp.
The Pod doesn’t have an intelligent harmonizer on it, and I LOVE guitar harmonies, so I plug a Boss PS6 Harmonizer into the FX loop of the Pod. I only use it for two songs (Burn and Get it Together), but I don’t care. When I go back to an amp/pedal set-up, this guy is absolutely getting a permanent home on the board.
Finally, all of this ends with a 100 watt Marshall Vintage Modern head. The greatest sounding head I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing in person, its essentially a 1959SLP with an additional pre-amp tube (that you can turn off) and control knobs for the jumped channels. I know I didn’t word that very well, but its all I can think of. If you know amps, you’ll probably be able to figure out what I’m talking about. It is an incredible amp, and super underrated, probably because it sounds like shit when you plug it into a modern cabinet. I’ve yet to try out a cab with greenbacks, but I think it would probably sound really good. The issue is, when you plug into a 1960 cab, the highs will take your fucking head off, and not in a good way. But get the right cab, and you’ll be in Heaven!
So that’s my rig. I’ve always wanted to write a little gear tour, and here it is! I love my guitar sound. I’m not going to lie, but I have the best tone I’ve heard. That’s not a joke, and I don’t feel like I deserve some sort of award for it. I just know what works for me based on the kind of guitar player I am. I sort of just fell into it but always going out of my way to try every piece of gear I could and not giving a fuck about gear trends.