GUITARS

Schecter Ultra 3 – a.k.a. “Smurfette”

This has been my main guitar on stage and in studio since 2013. I bought it for looks, which it has in spades, but I immediately hated the stock electronics and Bigsby tremolo.

Modifications:

The tailpiece is a through-body unit from an Ibanez Jet King. On the back of the guitar are 6 string ferrules from a Fender Telecaster. The pickup routes were widened to accommodate full-sized humbuckers, and the entire cavity was shielded with aluminum tape. I swapped the factory Grover tuners for Hipshot locking tuners — mostly because I am lazy, but also because they seem to hold tune a little better.

Electronics:

I replaced the 3 pickup toggle switches with a Stratocaster 5-way, and the balance of the electronics were upgraded to top-line USA stuff.  The neck and middle pickups are “Alnico Pole Straight Six” single coils hand wound by Schuyler Dean in Nashville, TN. I bought them by chance and ended up falling in love with them. The bridge pickup is a Seymour Duncan SH-14 “Custom 5”, which is my favorite humbucker. The master volume has a treble bleed circuit installed.

Fender USA Jazzmaster Professional/Performer

I’ve been a huge fan of Fender offset guitars since the 90’s. The first Smoochyface EP was recorded almost entirely on a pair of modified Jazzmasters. Since 2010, I’ve owned almost every commercial issue of the Jazzmaster, and finally took to “rolling my own” before coming to rest on what I consider an ideal Jazzmaster.

The Body is from a USA Professional Jazzmaster, because I like the vintage tremolo but dislike the standard tone circuit. Other than a recently added Mastery bridge (not shown), it is completely stock. The neck is from a USA Performer Jazzmaster, because I insist on Jumbo frets these days. It plays and sounds so good, I may move it to my #1 slot for a bit.

Gage Guitar Co. Custom

I had this guitar custom built for me in 2016, and since taking possession of it, it has been through several major iterations. It currently plays like a dream and sounds amazing. The silver dot near the bridge is a vial of my friend Michael Capps’s ashes. I primarily play this guitar in the studio, though it does come out for live shows every so often.

Modifications:

I had ordered this guitar with a Bigsby and Jazzmaster pickups. When it arrived, the Bigsby would not hold tune for anything, and the ’65 re-issue pickups were super noisy. This was no fault of the builder, just poor choices on my behalf. I deleted the Bigsby and original roller bridge and opted for a Wilkinson “half” Telecaster bridge and a stop-tail from an old Gibson doubleneck. The tuners are also Wilkinson. The “Capps” tail plate and oversized pickup surrounds were laser cut by Ponoko using designs I made in illustrator.

Electronics:

The neck pickup is a Schuyler Dean Straight Six and the bridge pickup is a Seymour Duncan SH-14 “Custom 5.” The electronics are all USA stuff and there’s a treble bleed circuit on the master volume.

AMPS

Tube Works TD-752 Combo

I don’t usually use amplifiers in the studio anymore, but I do require one for the type of venues I play. I stumbled upon the TD-752 sometime in 2013 when I needed a LOUD, dependable solid state amp that took pedals well and could fit in a small car with three people, a drum set, and a small bass rig. I’ve tried many other solutions for live amps, but I always come back to the TD-752. It has a really dependable warm and clean sound that delivers night after night.

Specifications:

  • Two Channel Foot-switchable Pre-amp. (I only use the clean channel)
  • Internal BK Butler Tube Driver circuit (I don’t use it live)
  • Three Band EQ
  • Foot-switchable reverb (I don’t use it)
  • 100w Solid State
  • Eminence speaker

PEDALS

Signal Chain

The photo shown above is not of my collection. I just thought it best represents what every guitarist experiences when they go down the pedal rabbit hole. My set-up changes periodically as i search for new and interesting gadgets, but the heart and soul of my sound in the studio and on stage is represented below in the order they appear in my signal chain:

  1. Korg Pitch Black Mini Tuner
  2. Dunlop Crybaby Mini
  3. MXR Phase 95 (I mostly use the univibe setting)
  4. Boss LS-2 Line Selector
    • Loop 1: BB+ Preamp
    • Loop2: EHX Green Russian Bigmuff into an MXR 6 Band EQ
  5. Keeley 4 Knob Compressor (always on)
    • Attack at 100%
    • Level at 100%
    • Clipping at around 20%
    • Sustain at around 45%
  6. Artist Time Traveler Delay (Used only for rhythmic delay in “Part 6”)
  7. Voodoo Labs Tremolo
  8. Signal Split:
    • Joyo American Sound -> Monitor Amp for in ears
    • Amp Signal