GEAR

I get a lot of questions about guitar gear and recording gear from folks, so it was suggested that I have a page for it here on my website.

First—no, my guitars are not mega-expensive vintage guitars. I know they LOOK like '60s Strats and '50s Telecasters, but I actually build them myself. I hunt parts, usually on eBay, and then construct them and wire them up myself.

All of the bodies come from Mark Jenny at MJTThey're vintage spec, with thin nitrocellulose finishes, just like the old Fenders. The reason I choose these is because I feel that the thin finish allows the wood to breathe, creating more lively and better sounding guitars. A few I've custom ordered, but usually I just bid at auction and take 'em for what I can get them for.

The necks are usually either Warmoth or Allparts. Again, sometimes I've custom-ordered, but usually just bid at eBay auctions until I win one. I like a 9.5 radius, with biggish frets to facilitate bending. Usually I look for thin nitrocellulose finishes there, too. I like bigger necks as I think more mass equals better tone. Biggish 'C' shapes or 'V' necks preferred.

I've tried just about every pickup manufacturer known to man, all the usual boutique companies, etc. What I've found is that Seymour Duncan makes as good a pickup as anyone, and I really like a few of their models. In my #1 white Strat, I have the Antiquity 2 set with the custom bridge. This is my favorite Strat pickup set overall. I'm about to put ssl-1's in the neck and middle spots on my black strat, with a Twangbanger in the bridge, just for something different.

I recently switched from my Custom Scarlett Amplifier to a '66 Fender Bassman. On tour with The Architects in October I kind of fell in love with closed back cabinets and the focused low end they put out, so when I got back I found this Bassman on Craigslist and went for it. The Bass channel has been modified to JTM 45 Marshall specs...the regular channel is pure Fender Blackface tone. Basically, it's the missing link between the two and I love it. It is loud, though. Good thing I don't get many calls for cocktail gigs. Ha!

I had Paul Marchman of Scarlett Amplification go over it for me and it needed new tubes but otherwise was humming along nicely. I did recently go back to the original Jensen C12N's in the cabinet. I just think they might be the finest guitar speakers ever made. I'm on the hunt for more; even if they're thrashed, I can recone them. Know where I can find some? Drop me a line. :)

Next episode, maybe we'll talk about the recording process? Drop me a line and let me know if you have any specific questions about gear, be it amps, guitars, what have you. :) Thanks, and see you soon!