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Premier Guitar caught up with Kryz Reid, the Dubliner who holds the coveted lead guitar slot for American alt-rock giants Third Eye Blind. The band was hunkered down at Soundcheck rehearsal hall in Nashville, tuning up for a pending tour. During a break, Reid showed us nine very seductive guitars (each, strangely enough, named after a Star Wars character), and revealed a bit of gear-break-down paranoia when he described his backups for his backup pedalboard.
Reid names all his guitars after Star Wars characters from the Dark Side. His No. 1 is “The Emperor,” a custom Gibson ’59 Les Paul, made with aged wood and outfitted with relic’d hardware.
Next is “Vadar,” a 1979 Gibson The Paul, which was the first good guitar Reid bought. The guitar sports a Seymour Duncan Antiquity humbucker in the neck position and an Alnico II at the bridge. Reid uses “Vadar” for “Graduate,” “The Background,” “Can You Take Me,” and anything using open-D tuning (D–A–D–F#–A–D).
“TK-421” is a stock 1966 Telecaster Custom. Another vintage gem is “Sidious,” his stock 1966 Jazzmaster that’s currently tuned to F#–A–C#–F#–G#–E.
On the modern side, Reid plays a 2011 Fano JM-6 named “Fett.” Based on a Jazzmaster, the guitar has Lindy Fralin P-90s in the neck and bridge positions and a Bigsby vibrato.
Other guitars in the boat currently are three new Les Paul Traditionals used as backups, a 2013 Fano TC-6 (“Maul”), and a ’68 Reissue Custom Shop Stratocaster (“Death Star”). All are strung with D’Addario .011 sets, except The Paul and the open-D backup, which are strung with .012 sets.
Amps and Cabs
Reid travels with a main rig and a redundant rig that closely mirrors his primary one. The main rig includes a ’93 Custom Shop Fender Tone-Master and matching cabinet for clean tones. The cab houses Celestion Vintage 30s, the head has four 5881s and three 12AX7As.
The main rig’s dirty sound comes from a 1965 Marshall Plexi configured with 6L6s and 12AX7As driving a Mesa 4x12 cabinet with Vintage 30s. (Reid mistakenly calls the Marshall a ’67 in the video, but who can keep track of this much vintage gear?)
The redundant rig consists of another Fender Custom Shop Tone-Master for clean and a 1969 50-watt Marshall JMP 45 for dirty tones. Reportedly, the latter was the main amp used on Bad Company’s first record, most notably heard on “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”
Dave Phillips at L.A. Sound Design built both Reid’s “A” and “B” effects rigs. Phillips wires everything with Mogami 2524 cable, except for the Divine Noise 50/50 (half curly, half straight) cable that connects Reid’s guitar to the pedalboard. The A rig consists of a RJM Effect Gizmo, a programmable true-bypass loop switcher that’s run by an RJM Mastermind GT MIDI foot controller. The Effect Gizmo sits next to all the effects in a rack unit alongside his amps and cabs. The Mastermind GT lives in Reid’s pedalboard with a custom A/B Box interface for the rack, two custom-made Mission Engineering expression pedals, an Ernie Ball 25k Ohm Volume Pedal, a Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner, and a TC Electronics Ditto Looper. Reid’s guitar runs into a custom Phillips A/B box. The A signal goes to the rack and the B signal runs to his redundant pedalboard and amps. The signal then feeds a Jim Dunlop Rack Wah that’s controlled by a custom Mission Engineering expression pedal.
Next the signal hits the RJM Effect Gizmo to route to different pedals. Ready for this? Here we go:
• Loop 1: DigiTech Whammy DT with on/off and treadle control provided by a Mission Engineering RJM-1 custom expression pedal via the Mastermind GT
• Loop 2: Keeley modded Boss DS-1
• Loop 3: Way Huge Swollen Pickle
• Loop 4: Keeley 4-Knob Compressor
• Loop 5: Dunlop Rack Volume controlled by the Ernie Ball volume pedal, which is mounted on pedalboard and acts as an expression pedal
• Loop 6: Strymon Mobius
• Loop 7: Roger Linn Adrenalinn III
• Loop 8: Strymon Timeline
• Loop 9: TC Electronics Ditto Looper
• Loop 10: Strymon Blue Sky
• Loop 11: Marshall Plexi
• Loop 12: Fender Tone-Master
The B rig essentially mirrors the rack with an all-in-one pedalboard that’s used on fly dates or as a redundant system on other dates. The B rig signal chain runs from the guitar to a Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner, then a Radial Bones A/B Switcher (the A signal stays on this board; the B signal goes to a “C” Rig for a backup on fly dates).
From there, the signal runs into a Custom Audio Electronics wah, a DigiTech Whammy V, then a RJM Mini Effect Gizmo. Here are the loops for this rig:
• Loop 1: Keeley 4-Knob Compressor
• Loop 2: Way Huge Swollen Pickle
• Loop 3: Keeley modded Boss DS-1
• Loop 4: Strymon Mobius
• Loop 5: Roger Linn Adrenalinn III
• Ernie Ball volume pedal
A Keeley True-Bypass Looper box sends the signal to a Strymon Timeline and a TC Electronics Ditto Looper, then a Strymon Blue Sky. A RJM Y-NOT MIDI-controlled A/B/Y box switches between the Fender Tone-Master and the Marshall JMP 45.