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General

Updated guitar gear (May 2015)

I’ve updated my guitar gear list now that I’ve been playing in Korea for a bit.
The main change is a new custom built strat along with a trend towards using more boutique pedals (think Keeley, Fulltone, Teese, T-rex, Seymour Duncan, Xotic, Maxon, Wampler, Lovepedals, etc)

Guitars

Fender Custom Sonic Blue Stratocaster with Monterey pop design

This guitar is custom built for me by McL Guitars.

Fender American Relic Stratocaster (custom)

Fender American Relic Stratocaster
Fender American Relic Stratocaster

I’ve been playing this guitar for about 5 years now. It’s a reliced Fender Stratocaster body with an American standard neck (not a vintage neck), with custom handwound Alnico V/III pickups from Rumpelstiltskin. Great guitar, nitro finish, I’ll probably keep this one forever.

Martin OMJM

Martin OMJM
Martin OMJM

The Martin OMJM is my primary acoustic guitar, and being a big fan of John Mayer, I had to have his acoustic sounds. It’s great. Electric Acoustic and with Englemann Spruce top – you can see it in action in many of my youtube recordings.

Amps

Swart Atomic Jr

Swart Atomic Jr
Swart Atomic Jr

This is my main amp, it’s a class A 5 watt all tube amp including the rectifiers. It’s got an amazing amount of reverb for such a small thing, and a hot/cool switch to toggle between more highs and more mids. A great small studio amp that I can use for years to come.

Vox Mini5

Vox Mini5
Vox Mini5

I like Vox, my first amp ever was a Vox Valvetronic 30 watter, so when I needed a busking amp to go to Korea with, I chose the 5 watt Vox, which is pretty decent for a battery powered amp.

Pedals

My preference in pedals have varied greatly over the years. I’ve had Electro Harmonix, Voxes, Danelectros, Digitechs, Bosses, MXRs, Behringers, Dunlops, Visual Sounds, etc but here are my current pedals:

Seymour Duncan Vapor Trailr

This is my main delay pedal. It’s very versatile and can be used either as a chorus or analog delay or both.

BBE Ben Wah

BBE Ben Wah
BBE Ben Wah

While I’ve played Dunlop Crybabys and Vox Wahs, the BBE Wah is the best value for the money. A great sounding vintage style wah, at about half the price of a vintage Vox or Crybaby wah. Great pedal.

Digitech Hendrix Pedal

Digitech Hendrix Pedal
Digitech Hendrix Pedal

I’ve had this pedal on and off for a long time, since my high school days. Since I grew up idolizing Jimi Hendrix, it makes sense why I had this pedal so early on. It’s been discontinued now, but I still keep it as a pedal that does a pretty darn good job of recreating classic Jimi sounds like the Univibe, Octavia and Fuzz Face.

Maxon TBO9

Maxon TBO9
Maxon TBO9

This pedal is very interesting as I don’t use it strictly as an overdrive. It’s both a booster and a very transparent overdrive, powered by a miniature tube, and is best in combination with other overdrives and distortions. I use it mainly to beef up my tone, but by itself it doesn’t get a lot of distortion. But man, what a great tone.

Xotic EP Booster

I usually keep this pedal on, as it adds a permanent positive effect to my tone, but basically it adds back in the highs that are missing from my Strat after I run my cable through all these stomp boxes and adds a little shine to it.

Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive

This is my main overdrive pedal. It can be used for a variety of tones, but mainly I use it to add a Tubescreamer-like midrange and combine it with either my Maxon or my Xotic booster.

RambleFX Marvel Drive

This is a so-called Marshall in a box. I compared it to the Xotic SL Drive and Wampler plexi drive and Lovepedals Purple plexi, but the simplicity and design of this pedal won me over. When I want to emulate Led Zeppelin or Hendrix’s sound I step on this pedal.

Lovepedals Dover Drive

This is my secondary overdrive. It’s used mostly for songs that require a good singing lead tone, as this pedal more or less emulates a Chandler tube driver, and I’ve compared this to the MXR FET driver and preferred this sound, as used by David Gilmor and Eric Johnson.

Xotic Compressor

The compressor keeps the same sound you have, but makes it more consistent, you just feel like someone just mastered your guitar sound in a studio. It can also increase or decrease your total playing volume yet keeping the overdrive constant, so I use it to play rock songs at a low volume. Great pedal, should have bought it earlier.

Boss RC3 Looper

Boss RC3 Looper
Boss RC3 Looper

I also had the Boss RC2 Looper pedal, and I kind of preferred the drum beats on that pedal to this one. But the RC3’s advantage is that it has 99 slots for storing your music, and you can hook it up to your computer to transfer .WAV files for looping, which is a great feature. It also records from AUX input.

Digitech Trio

Hardwire Chromatic Tuner

Hardwire Chromatic Tuner
Hardwire Chromatic Tuner

What can I say? It’s a tuner, it does its job, its a basic requirement for guitarists.

And lastly…

Casio Celviano Digital Piano

 Casio Celviano Digital Piano
Casio Celviano Digital Piano

This is my piano whenever I need a piano recording, and it does a pretty good job for the price, which was $800 when I bought it.