This is Kenny’s new pedalboard by boutique builder, Helweg. I can spot an Ibanez TS808HW, Analogman KOT, Dunlop Univibe, Analogman Bi-chorus, Chicago Iron Tycobrahe Octavia, Boss Tuner, MXR Blue Box, Butler Tube Driver, Dunlop MC-404 CAE Wah and a Jam Pedals Delay LLama … all connected via the Voodoo Labs Pedal Switcher. Nice work!
And for a comprehensive walk through of his immense pedal collection check this video…some fantastic vintage pieces in here!
New pedalboard for Matt Schofield put together by Vertex Effects. This board is right down my alley – a few quality pedals put together really well. Its a great setup that covers the blues rock tones. Of course the fact they are hooked up to Matt’s Two Rock amps doesn’t hurt.
The signal chain is as follows:
INTERFACE (Vertex input buffer) > Sonic Research Turbo Tuner > Providence SOV-2 FTT > KLON Centaur > INTERFACE (break-out to Wah) > Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay > INTERFACE (Vertex output buffer w/splitter to two amplifiers. Amp 2 is transformer isolated with a polarity switch on the back of the interface)
** UPDATE – PRODUCT LAUNCHED AT WINTER NAMM 2012 – READ MORE **
Rumours abound of a new Eric Johnson Signature Fuzz Face to be released shortly by Jim Dunlop. After the success of the Bonamassa edition its no surprise that Dunlop would be looking to follow it up with another celebrity Fuzz Face model and who better to partner with than the man with best ear for Fuzz Face tones in the business? The classic EJ tone is generally working off a vintage Fuzz Face, Echoplex, Chandler Tube Driver and a wall of vintage amps. It works … big time.
Below is a shot of a recent EJ setup with some rather special looking Dunlop Fuzz Faces.
I know we all like buying expensive guitars (guilty), amps (guilty) and pedals (guilty but reformed) but there’s a few things I find make a huge difference to my tone and playing that require absolutely no sneaking of finances around the old lady (I’ve been watching too much ‘Sons of Anarchy’). Here’s my top ways to improve your tone without spending any moolah:
1) Figure out the equipment you have
If you have a guitar and an amp then no doubt you can get some kind of a half-decent sound out of it. Sometimes though we get lazy or used to dialling it all up a certain way. Have you ever had someone sit in on your rig and make it sound like a million dollars? They’ve probably just tweaked the amp EQ or nudged a pedal setting here or there and brought it to life. Approach your old gear with a new mindset and take some time to dial it in. Tweak the EQ on your amp. Play with your pedal settings and order. Mess around for a few hours and try and dial some new life into it.
2) Get your amp off the ground
I had this simple revelation not that long ago. We recorded a jam where I was really happy with my playing. I realised it was because I’d been sitting down next to my amp all night. I was able to hear every nuance in my sound and it really helped me play so much more dynamically and confidently. I obviously don’t want to sit down for gigs but I’ll definitely be making sure the amp is off the ground and pointed up at me. I might have to steal a milk crate or two! Honestly, get your amp positioned right and see your playing benefit.
3) Use your fingers
This is an easy one for me as I grew up as a finger style player. My dad was a finger style player and one of my biggest hero’s was Mark Knopfler – so it was natural for me to approach the guitar in this way. Even if you are a plectrum player though try playing fingerstyle to break things up. You can get some great attack playing with your fingers (particularly playing a Strat or Tele) and also ride a huge range of dynamics. I love it.
4) Get your mental approach right
Chi? Mojo? Confidence? Whatever you call it we all play better when we’re feeling good about our playing. If I’m rushing into rehearsal from work and feeling flustered I generally play below par. If I’ve spent time in the week practising, planning and mentally preparing for the session I will be able to hit the ground running. What do you need to do to get yourself in the right place to play your best?
5) Seek fire (not flames)
Internet forums can be so helpful for getting information on gear and guitar related news. However, they can also just fuel obsessive GAS rather than inspire us in the right way to be disciplined with our playing. You have to think if we spent as much time working through Robben Ford licks as we do reading flame wars on Klons and Dumbles we’d have a few more videos listed here on tastychops! In any case sometimes its good to remind ourselves to obsess less on internet forums and really put the time into our craft – set yourself playing goals, seek inspiration from the greats, work through albums note for note, keep your ears open for new influences. Seek the fire not the flames.
6) Remove something from your rig
This sounds a little sacrilegious but sometimes the best thing you can do is remove something (or everything) between your guitar and your amp. Once I owned a terrible Jim Dunlop Hendrix Wah that sucked the top end out of my tone (whether it was switched on or not). The most straightforward tone improvement I made was to sell it! Is there something in your signal chain which is detracting from your tone? Is it worth having a play with less things in your chain to make sure you are happy with your fundamental tone? Simplify and fly?
What do you think? Any hot tips for cash free tone upgrades? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Just when you thought you wasted enough time on guitar forums, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc here comes something guaranteed to suck hours away from your life. The Pedalboard Planner, supported by Pedaltrain, is a new pedalboard mock up tool that allows you to design the pedalboard of your dreams. Just choose a Pedaltrain size and then select the pedals you’d like on your virtual pedalboard. Lots of pedal brands are available and hopefully they’ll keep adding to the list. When you’re done (are guitarists ever done?) you can save an image file of the full pedalboard. Oh my gosh this is addictive.