Duffy tells PG about the three-amp setup he uses to recreate the tones from "She Sells Sanctuary," "Fire Woman," and more on the Cult's Electric 13 tour.

Premier Guitar’s John Bohlinger met with the Cult’s Billy Duffy before their show at Minglewood Hall in Memphis, Tennessee, on December 15, 2013. Duffy explains the “not very deep mysteries” of a triple-amp rig powered by his signature Gretsch Falcons, custom Gibson Les Pauls, and a bevy of mostly mainstream pedals.


Duffy keeps it iconic with his two unmodified Gretsch G7593T Billy Duffy Falcons, which feature ’70s Baldwin-era styling, a white gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish, V-shaped Falcon headstock, silver-sparkle binding, custom-wound “Black Top” Filter’Tron pickups, and a Bigsby B6CW with a wire handle. But while Duffy is best known for his love of white Gretsches, he only plays Les Pauls on the Electric part of the set—just as he did on the hit 1987 album. He uses a black Les Paul Custom made for him by the Gibson Custom Shop, as well as a ’58 Standard Custom Shop reissue with a lemonburst finish.


The tri-amp rig that powers Duffy’s live onslaught consists of an Asian-built Vox AC30 combo that sits dead center above a stereo-miked Roland JC-120. These are flanked by two current-production Marshall 4x12 slant cabs driven by a Freidman BE100. Effects

Duffy’s guitar signal goes through a Line 6 G90 wireless to a switchless Jim Dunlop 95Q wah, a Boss TU-3 tuner and NS-2 Noise Suppressor, a prototype Dunlop Echoplex EP101 (which will debut at Winter NAMM 2014), a Boss BF-2 flanger, a Boss DM-2 analog delay, an Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer, a Lovepedal Kalamazoo, a Whirlwind the Bomb boost, and two Boss DD-3 digital delays. His pedalboard also holds a Morley George Lynch Tripler amp-switcher.


A maze of modulation and reverberations leads down many colorful tone vortices.

Deep clanging reverb tones. Unexpected reverb/modulation combinations.

Steep learning curve for a superficially simple pedal.


SolidGoldFX Ether


A lot of cruel fates can befall a gig. But unless you’re a complete pedal addict or live in high-gain-only realms, doing a gig with just a reverb- and tremolo-equipped amp is not one of them. Usually a nice splash of reverb makes the lamest tone pretty okay. Add a little tremolo on top and you have to work to not be at least a little funky, surfy, or spacy. You see, reverb and modulation go together like beans and rice. That truth, it seems, extends even to maximalist expressions of that formula—like the SolidGold FX Ether.

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