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Rig Rundown: Chon

The chill, mostly instrumental rockers breeze through a tonal equation that includes Ibanez guitars, Matchless combos, and a bunch of pedals.

The SoCal quartet rolled into town and guitarists Mario Camarena and Erick Hansel (above right) set aside a few minutes to hang with PG’s Perry Bean and go over their pedal-heavy setups before headlining a jam-packed gig at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge.

Mario calls San Diego-based teacher, Seth Hollander, his guitar guru because he taught him and Erick their tapping techniques, got them into the Ibanez family, picked out the DiMarzio pickups in Mario’s Ibanez, and even painted Mario’s RG series axe seen above.

While getting ready to record their just-released album, Homey, the guys tried out several combos and one of them was a Matchless Lightning 15. The studio’s combo sounded so good that Mario went out and bought his own 1x15 combo that uses EL84s.

While keeping things minimal with just one guitar and one amp, Mario gets wild with this impressive board that is home to nearly a dozen stomps from EarthQuaker Devices including the Warden, Dunes, Arrows, The Depths, Grand Orbiter, Night Wire, Spatial Delivery, Organizer, Hummingbird, Avalanche Run, and Afterneath. Other pedals in his setup are a TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Noir, MXR Booster Mini, Ibanez Chorus Mini, MXR Reverb, and MXR Echoplex Delay.

While this looks just like another RG series Ibanez, this is actually a (tentatively named) AZ series prototype that Erick recently scored from the company’s L.A. Custom Shop. What Hansel does tell us in the interview is that this proto has smaller frets than a typical RG and has special-designed humbuckers from Seymour Duncan.

Equally blown away by the clarity and tone of the Matchless combo while recording Homey, Hansel wanted to keep a similar vibe but he opted for a different Matchless flavor by going with a Spitfire 15.

Again, like his guitar counterpart, Hansel keeps things streamlined with just a guitar and amp, and saves the “overkill” for the stomp station. Another big fan of EQD, he’ll kick on their Warden, Dunes, Arrows, Levitation, Arpanoid, The Depths, Sea Machine, Transmisser, Night Wire, and Avalanche Run. Other tone treats include TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Noir, Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer Pro, MXR Echoplex Delay, MXR Phase 95, and a MXR Reverb.

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