Tasty stomp stations from top players.


Brent Mason

Through the years, Mason has gone through countless combinations of pedals. Currently he’s using a simpler system that he put together himself on a large Trailer Trash pedalboard. First, a Dunlop MC404 CAE Wah feeds an Ernie Ball 6166 volume pedal. Next comes a Wampler Ego Compressor, a Boss GE-7 Equalizer customized by Analog Man, a Visual Sound V2 Truetone Clean Boost, an Xotic Effects RC Booster, an Xotic Effects BB Preamp, and a Creation Audio Labs MK 4.23 Clean Boost. For dirt, there’s a Dunlop reissue Way Huge Red Llama Overdrive followed by Mason’s signature Wampler Hot Wired V2 Overdrive. All of Mason’s clean boost and dirt pedals are on a no-name loop box that Mason bought “from a dude on eBay.” On a separate loop station, Mason runs his more trippy effects, starting with an Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man and a Pigtronix Tremvelope. Next in line are Wampler Faux Tape Echo and Faux Spring Reverb stompboxes. The final effect is an old, tried-and-true Line 6 MM4 Modulation Modeler. Mason uses a Boss TU-2 tuner and powers everything with several Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2s.

We rummaged through our entire backlog of Rig Rundown footage and photos to compile a guide to some of 2014’s tastiest, most elaborate stomp stations, including boards from the Cult’s Billy Duffy, Keith Urban, the Pixies, the Sword, Carlos Santana, Brent Mason, and more.

A compact pedal format preamp designed to offer classic, natural bass tone with increased tonal control and extended headroom.

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In their corner, from left to right: Wilco’s Pat Sansone (guitars, keys, and more), drummer Glenn Kotche, Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen.

Photo by Annabel Merhen

How Jeff Tweedy, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone parlayed a songwriting hot streak, collective arrangements, live ensemble recording, and twangy tradition into the band’s new “American music album about America.”

Every artist who’s enjoyed some level of fame has had to deal with the parasocial effect—where audiences feel an overly intimate connection to an artist just from listening to their music. It can lead some listeners to believe they even have a personal relationship with the artist. I asked Jeff Tweedy what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that.

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Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

The archtop guitar is one of the greatest loves of my life, and over time it’s become clear that our tale is perhaps an unlikely one. I showed up late to the archtop party, and it took a while to realize our pairing was atypical. I had no idea that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with everything about what’s commonly perceived as a “jazz guitar.” No clue whatsoever. And, to be honest, I kind of miss those days. But one can only hear the question, “Why do you want to build jazz guitars if you don’t play jazz?” so many times before starting to wonder what the hell everyone’s talking about.

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