Ten of the most intriguing stomp stations from our last year of Rig Rundowns, including Warpaint, Mr. Big, J Mascis, the Fall of Troy, Eric Gales, Silversun Pickups' Nikki Monninger, and Primus' Larry LaLonde.

Mr. Big's Billy Sheehan

Bass legend Billy Sheehan sends the outputs of his Yamaha Attitude basses to an EBS Billy Sheehan Signature Drive Deluxe. In fact, Sheehan likes them so much that he runs two (one is an original version) at different settings. Both EBS pedals run into one channel of an Ashly CLX-52 Peak Compressor/Limiter (in his rack). The other channel is used on the insert of the Hartke LH1000 for the neck pickup. After each EBS pedal sits a Japan-made E.W.S. BMC (Bass Mid Control). Sheehan also uses an ISP Decimator Noise Reduction stomp, an EBS OctaBass, and an Electro-Harmonix POG. Last in line is a Rolls SX21 Tiny Two-Way Crossover to give his tone more overall clarity and punch. A Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus powers the whole board, which rests on top of his amps and is rarely touched.

Why Fender + Fender (or other brands) = more than the sum of their own signature sounds.

This column is not for the faint of back, but the rewards of such potentially heavy lifting are great. In my previous columns "Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate: Classic Guitar & Fender-Amp Pairings" (May 2020) and "Finding Perfect Tones in Imperfect Amps" (January 2021), I've discussed classic Fender amp and guitar pairings and how to EQ and tweak amps to get ideal tones. Let's take it a step further and discuss how to combine multiple amps to achieve even more complex, richer tones.

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We've reviewed a ton of cool gear over the past 12 months, but these stood above the rest and won our coveted Premier Gear Award.

This year more than 40 guitars, basses, effects, and amps from a diverse group of gear makers earned the coveted Premier Gear Award from our discerning editors. Here is our gear of the year.

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