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Rig Rundown: Nick Perri

The retro rocker opens up about retrofitting reissues, returning to the JTM45s, and finding the piece of gear that changed his life.

Nick’s love affair with ’birds goes all the way back to the early aughts when he was laying down greasy, groovin’ lead guitar with Silvertide. During the Rundown, he namechecks one of the Firebird forefathers—Johnny Winter—as the inspiration for his connection with the Gibson offset. This particular model is the commemorative 1976 Gibson Bicentennial Firebird featuring the classic reverse-body shape, a natural finish, and the iconic logo on the pickguard is colored red, white, and blue. (The typical bird emblazons are red.)

 However, aside from the woods and pickguard, everything else on the guitar has been upgraded or changed. Prior to owning the Firebird, the stock pickups had already been swapped out for a set of custom-wound Tyson Tone mini-humbuckers that are voiced for a vintage-PAF sound. (As you’ll see in the coming slides, this pickup choice was serendipitous as Perri almost exclusively uses Tyson Tone products.) Other mods seen on this one, and most of his guitars, are a Pigtail bridge/tailpiece and period-correct 500k Sprague capacitors. He claims to play in standard tuning 99 percent of the time and rocks GHS Boomers (.010–.046). (If he wanders down to E-flat or drop-D tunings, he’ll go with .011–.050 Boomers.) And because he’s an attention-to-detail tone chaser, he goes with Lava Retro Coil cables.

Special thanks to Derek Brad for additional video footage.

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