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Mark Dewey is a former hair-rocker who''s graduated to the corporate world and Gibson Custom Shop Les Pauls. We were impressed by his collection of reissues, and intrigued by his custom-looking Strats, so we talked a little further with Mark about his collection and playing history. Here''s Mark''s collection, in his own words:
"This shows pretty much my backline of amps. All of my Marshalls have been modified by Alan Cyr of the Amp Exchange in Woodland Hills, California. He is the best amp guru alive for Marshall amps. They all have Mercury iron and just blister like nothing I have ever heard. I also have a Divided by 13 FTR 37 that Fred Taccone built for me a few years ago. His stuff is very unique -- super big clean sounds and a Marshall-Vox-like kind of brown sound on the click channel.
"I still pretty much plug a guitar directly into a Marshall and use the volume as a gain control for my main sound. Sometimes I will Y two amps together and have one DSL 100 with a slight delay and the other 59 HW head or 50 watt JCM 800 as pure tone.
"In the first photo, you also see a bunch of Gibson Custom guitars and a lineup of custom-built Strats. I got a little carried away with finding the best body wood/neck combinations last year so I built 15 of them. I also have experimented with a ton of pickup manufacturers like Seymour Custom winds, Suhr, DiMarzio, Nordstrand and a few others. My favorite pickup is pretty much a BurstBucker in a Les Paul Historic. They just sound like an open vowel waiting for your strings to vibrate. They are open, airy, clean, crunchy, stingy and have a ton of balls and low end while still being very clear and well-balanced.
"I have tried most [pickup] manufacturers cold and hot. For singles I like Seymour Duncan Custom calibrated set of Alnico 2: 6.5, 6.5 (RW Middle),6.5. MJ knows what she is doing and is great to work with. The John Suhr v60 LPs are equally as awesome for single coils. I have never tried a BurstBucker in a Strat, so I stick with Seymour or DiMarzio humbuckers. I like the five-way Superstrat wiring where you take two humbuckers and split the north coils on position 2 and the south coils on position 4. Since the pickups are reverse of each other this makes all five positions humbucking. I usually use a hi-pass filter on the volume so it rolls down clean and sparkly.