One of rock’s loudest guitar-and-bass duos catalogs their ferocious setups.

Bassist Lou Barlow played a Gibson Grabber on Dinosaur Jr.’s first two albums, before switching to an arsenal of Rickenbackers. Years passed and he forgot how much he liked the Grabber and its sound—until the band went on the road in 2015 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut, Dinosaur Jr., and Lou borrowed this Grabber because he wanted the most accurate tone to the original albums. After that tour, Lou traded a Fender bass for the Grabber and it’s been his main ride ever since. He uses Ernie Ball Regular Slinkys (.050–.105) and purple Dunlop Tortex 1.14 mm picks.

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Can a bona fide funk guru help design a better Klone?

Wide range of gain. Very useful EQ.

Doesn’t do the Klon clean boost as well as original.


Jackson Audio The Optimist


Jackson Audio’s pedal collaboration with modern funk hero Cory Wong could have taken a few different paths. Considering Wong’s style, a compressor would have been an obvious choice. Instead, the Optimist is a dual overdrive that builds on a Klon-inspired baseline, adds a second overdrive, and has a clever EQ to create a super-flexible overdrive. Named after Wong’s second album, The Optimist suits Wong’s exuberant and fun-loving personality. But it also describes the way you might approach a gig with this pedal in hand. Together, the two separate overdrives and active EQ give you enough tones to cover almost any gig this side of Slayer cover band.

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to for inclusion in a future gallery.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

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