Being a musician, I am a gear junkie. I want to know what everyone else is using and want to try it in my chain to see how it affects my sound. So, for all you gear junkies out there, here is my current guitar rig.
Amp – Moreland BluesTone 50-H
Custom built by Rick Moreland of Moreland Amplification, the BluesTone 50-H is, in my humble opinion, the best sounding tube guitar amp ever! It is a 50 watt, single channel tube amp with absolutely no frills, just pure tone. It features 4 knobs (Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass), 2 12AU7 preamp tubes, 2 EL-34 power tubes, and a 5AR4 rectifier tube and has the perfect tone for anything this side of Screamo. It takes pedals excellently, and has enough headroom to be heard over anything. It is also the quietest tube amp I have ever come across. I run this head through a mid-1980s Marshall 4x10 slant cabinet with stock Celestion speakers.
These are the pedals I use, from first to last in the chain:
• Boss TU-2 Tuner – I use this pedal to power my pedal board, in addition to its tuning duties
• Xotic Pedals BB Preamp – The best sounding overdrive pedal I’ve ever heard, the BB is turned on and never turned off. It behaves just like the front end of the amp: hit the strings softer for a cleaner tone, harder and it growls like a wildcat. Gain at 3, Volume at 5, Bass at 6, High at 4 (tones adjusted for each room).
• Dunlop Crybaby Wah
• Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer – Modified by Rick Moreland, this is basically used as a clean boost. Gain at 3, Level at 6 ½ to 7, Tone at 6.
• Voodoo Labs Microvibe – For those flanged vibrato sounds
• DOD Swamp Thang – A gift from Johnny Wigginton, used for the Ry Cooder tremolo-slide sounds.
• Boss DD-3 Digital Delay – All knobs set at 5 for a short delay with a slight repeat. (Rarely used)
• ElectroHarmonix Small Clone Chorus – An original Small Clone given to me by “The Emfamus” Skip Oliver.
An unorthodox layout, I know, but it works for me. I like the Wah between the overdrives because I can kick it on and get a volume boost from it without having to dance around stepping on pedals. I also want my delayed notes chorused, not the other way around.
• My Number 1 - A stock 1998 Fender American Standard Stratocaster, 3 color sunburst with rosewood fingerboard and Delta Tone Control System. The only modifications to this guitar were the bone nut and the 4-ply tortoiseshell pick guard (to replace the original 3-ply white). All 5 springs in the back, bridge adjusted to sit flat on the guitar body, strung with .011 gauge D’Addario strings. Tuned to standard pitch.
• Red – A stock 2000 Mexican Standard Stratocaster, Midnight Wine with a 4-ply pearloid pickguard. Replaced the bridge pickup with a Seymore Duncan JB Junior humbucker and added a mammoth bone nut. Slightly higher action for playing slide guitar, all 5 springs in the back, bridge adjusted to sit flat on the guitar body, strung with .011 gauge D’Addario strings. Tuned to Open G.
• Johnson Electric/Acoustic Resonator – A stock Johnson Resonator, black, with a mini-humbucker in the neck. Strung with .012 gauge D’Addario electric strings (plain 3rd). Tuned to Open D.
• Blondie – A cheap Strat knockoff (New York Pro), this guitar belongs to drummer Chris Fooshee and is rarely used anymore.
Picks – Dunlop Totex 1.00 mm (blue)
Slide – A Dunlop Chrome slide cut down to a shorter size.