For those of you that know me I'm sure you would agree, I am a self confessed gear junkie. I've gone through more rigs than I'd care to remember, from massive tube amp stacks, humongous pedal boards and racks the size of fridges.
This page is about just some of the equipment I use both live and in the studio and also a look back on some of the stuff I let go that wish I didn't (Why oh why did I sell my original 70's MiniMoog?!?!?!)
I'll also be going through how I use my gear to get the best sound possible and have video and audio demo's of it all so feel free to argue amongst yourself as everyone does about whats the best gear but for me it works!
I'll start with my babies. Aside from my wife and daughters, in fact my wife is perfectly capable of looking after herself as I'm sure people who know her would agree, these are the items I would be rushing back in to save if Chateaux Studio Brewdio was on fire.
I've gone through plenty of guitars over the years, some I wish I hadn't sold, some not so much, but I think I've settled on the little collection that manages to cover a massive sonic palette while still sounding awesome.
- Vigier Expert Classic Rock Anti Tobacco Burst - A Strat on steroids, really versatile guitar, ended my search for a single coil tone machine.
- Nik Huber Krautster II Onyx Black - The Les Paul style guitar for people who don't like Gibson's. Weighs practically nothing, has a tone to die for and a gorgeous flamed maple neck.
- James Tyler Studio Elite HD-P Caramel Cappuccino Shmear - My number one guitar. Has a ton of mojo as well as head turning looks and headstock you either love or hate.
- Suhr Classic T Black Cherry Metallic - I lied, this is my number one, arghhh its so hard to choose, like to trying to choose a favourite daughter, impossible! Was originally Sherwood Green but came into contact with a certain ex-Ozrics drummer and had to be shipped back to Suhr for a respray and all the better for it!
- Suhr Alt T 3 Tone Sunburst - My Eb guitar, quite bright with the maple neck, really cuts through a mix.
- Taylor 810ce LTD - Great sounding acoustic for covering steel string duties and is just as good live as it is in the studio.
- Taylor NS44ce - My big bottomed nylon strung acoustic, perfect for those heartfelt moments or when you want to break out some flamenco while you're in a Mexican car chase.
I'll be putting up some sound demos of all of theses over the next few weeks but to get you started here's some pics of the beauties.
My Current rig
I've been a huge fan of Fractal Audio products since they were first released. I bought one of the first AxeFx Ultra's in the UK, upgraded to the AxeFx 2 as soon as it was released and have now moved onto the AX8, a much more live friendly version of the AxeFx. Same great sound, much smaller, back friendly and can be thrown in the back of the car or on a plane at a moments notice and still get the same sound anywhere without having to worry about valves or cabling going bad.
To amplify my AX8, I use a Mission Engineering Gemini 2. This dual power amp full range cab is certainly loud and has the advantage of being stereo in one tidy package. Great for those swimmy chorus sounds if you like the 80's and stereo delays if you're pretending you're David Gilmour. The only downside is the geniuses at Mission decided to put the only handle on the top was is less than ideal when carrying something so large. Oh well it sounds good!
Other Stringed Instruments
I also have a soft spot for other weird and wonderful stringed instruments. My current bass is a Dingwall Combustion 5-string. Having that low B is really useful and the fanned frets are certainly a help when accessing higher frets. On the weird and wonderful side I have a Godin Multi-Oud, an 11 string fretless instrument based on the ancient arabic/middle eastern instrument, and a Coral Electric Sitar, a 1960's take on the famed Indian instrument that appeared on lots of pop hits of the day. Listen to the intro to "Wherever I May Roam" by Metallica, its that sound.
Pedalboards through the ages
I've had so many pedals and pedalboards its silly so I thought I'd share some of my pedalboards through the ages. Shame I've gotten rid of most of them now but the AX8 more than covers my needs. Saying that every now and then I get GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) for a few new pedals so who knows, they could be back. Oh yeah, don't ask about the rubber duck...