Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Rig Rundown: The Cult's Billy Duffy

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.

Guitars

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.

Amps

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.

SWShopTheRigButton

With a team of experts on hand, we look at six workhorse vintage amps you can still find for around $1,000 or less.

If you survey the gear that shows up on stages and studios for long enough, you’ll spot some patterns in the kinds of guitar amplification players are using. There’s the rotating cast of backline badasses that do the bulk of the work cranking it out every day and night—we’re all looking at you, ’65 Deluxe Reverb reissue.

Read MoreShow less

Amazon Prime Day is here (July 16-17). Whether you're a veteran player or just picking up your first guitar, these are some bargains you don't want to miss. Check out more deals here! https://amzn.to/3LskPRV

Read MoreShow less

A technicolor swirl of distortion, drive, boost, and ferocious fuzz.

Summons a wealth of engaging, and often unique, boost, drive, distortion, and fuzz tones that deviate from common templates. Interactive controls.

Finding just-right tones, while rewarding, might demand patience from less assured and experienced drive-pedal users. Tone control could be more nuanced.

$199

Danelectro Nichols 1966
danelectro.com

4.5
4
4
4.5

The Danelectro Nichols 1966, in spite of its simplicity, feels and sounds like a stompbox people will use in about a million different ways. Its creator, Steve Ridinger, who built the first version as an industrious Angeleno teen in 1966, modestly calls the China-made Nichols 1966 a cross between a fuzz and a distortion. And, at many settings, it is most certainly that.

Read MoreShow less

The author standing next to a Richardson gunstock lathe purchased from Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory. It was used to make six necks at a time at Gibson in the 1950s and 1960s.

Keep your head down and put in the work if you want to succeed in the gear-building business.

The accelerated commodification of musical instruments during the late 20th century conjures up visions of massive factories churning out violins, pianos, and, of course, fretted instruments. Even the venerable builders of the so-called “golden age” were not exactly the boutique luthier shops of our imagination.

Read MoreShow less