Ethan Tufts -- Guest Picker, Strymon Engineering
Which onboard effect(s) would you install in
a spare guitar?

Not sure I’d want effects in my guitar, but I’d absolutely love to have wireless remote control of my pedalboard directly from my guitar, maybe via MIDI. Knobs on my guitar for expression control of any pedal setting would be insanely cool.

Current obsession: Using ridiculous amounts of warbling, nearly seasick vibrato to make my guitar sound like it’s playing back from a waterlogged VHS tape. Instant ’80s nostalgia—and a way to distract from my ham-fisted playing.


Johannes Burger -- Reader of the Month
Which onboard effect(s) would you install in
a spare guitar?

I have a project going at the moment—Hannah Montana Washburn with an infamous Heavy Metal 2 circuit installed into it (I’m a pedal builder/circuit designer). I think I’ll refinish it in white, blood splattered/smeared, and call it “Johannah Montana.”

Current obsession: Buying the cheapest and most sneered upon horrible distortion pedals and using them with all knobs on full. So bad it’s good.


Andy Ellis -- Senior Editor
Which onboard effect(s) would you install in
a spare guitar?

I bought a new MIM Fender Tele to house a Fernandes Sustainer system. The humbucker-sized Sustainer driver popped right into the Tele’s neck humbucker cavity, and I replaced the stock single-coil bridge pickup with a stacked Duncan humbucker. “Skully” is my first choice for Fripp-inspired overdubs.

Current obsession: John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers—Live in 1967. As a Peter Green freak, I’ve collected everything from his Bluesbreakers and early Fleetwood Mac days, including lots of live bootlegs. But this new release—featuring Mayall backed by Green, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood—contains 13 tracks I’d never heard before. Green is on fire, and his fat, searing Les Paul drives the London club audiences berserk.


Joe Gore -- Senior Editor
Which onboard effect(s) would you install in
a spare guitar?

Hate to be a party-pooper, but unless you want to plug into the wall or change your battery every hour, you need something with low-current draw. My fave choices are single-transistor overdrives with input capacitors tuned to suit the guitar. Properly voiced, these circuits can go from ferocious fuzz to a crispy, clean sound indistinguishable from bypass—just by twisting your volume knob.

Current obsession: “Rope-core” strings from Thomastik-Infeld or John Pearse on a classical guitar. They let you tune low or bend notes like on a steel-string. They can sound as sweet as nylon, but can get far more aggressive. But ouch—they’re incredibly expensive!


Shawn Hammond -- Chief Content Officer
Which onboard effect(s) would you install in
a spare guitar?

I’d love to have a Korg Kaoss Pad, or an analog delay and a DigiTech Whammy. Some sort of crazy-ass, lo-fi arpeggiator would be pretty cool, too.

Current obsession: Trying to keep time like an uptight robot without sounding like an uptight robot … except when prissy-droid vibes are called for.