3EB's lead guitarist shows a beautiful mix of vintage and modern axes and a strategic backup plan in the amp and pedalboard department.
Premier Guitar caught up with Kryz Reid, the Dubliner who holds the coveted lead guitar slot for American alt-rock giants Third Eye Blind. The band was hunkered down at Soundcheck rehearsal hall in Nashville, tuning up for a pending tour. During a break, Reid showed us nine very seductive guitars (each, strangely enough, named after a Star Wars character), and revealed a bit of gear-break-down paranoia when he described his backups for his backup pedalboard.
Reid names all his guitars after Star Wars characters from the Dark Side. His No. 1 is “The Emperor,” a custom Gibson ’59 Les Paul, made with aged wood and outfitted with relic’d hardware.
Next is “Vadar,” a 1979 Gibson The Paul, which was the first good guitar Reid bought. The guitar sports a Seymour Duncan Antiquity humbucker in the neck position and an Alnico II at the bridge. Reid uses “Vadar” for “Graduate,” “The Background,” “Can You Take Me,” and anything using open-D tuning (D–A–D–F#–A–D).
“TK-421” is a stock 1966 Telecaster Custom. Another vintage gem is “Sidious,” his stock 1966 Jazzmaster that’s currently tuned to F#–A–C#–F#–G#–E.
On the modern side, Reid plays a 2011 Fano JM-6 named “Fett.” Based on a Jazzmaster, the guitar has Lindy Fralin P-90s in the neck and bridge positions and a Bigsby vibrato.
Other guitars in the boat currently are three new Les Paul Traditionals used as backups, a 2013 Fano TC-6 (“Maul”), and a ’68 Reissue Custom Shop Stratocaster (“Death Star”). All are strung with D’Addario .011 sets, except The Paul and the open-D backup, which are strung with .012 sets.
Amps and Cabs
Reid travels with a main rig and a redundant rig that closely mirrors his primary one. The main rig includes a ’93 Custom Shop Fender Tone-Master and matching cabinet for clean tones. The cab houses Celestion Vintage 30s, the head has four 5881s and three 12AX7As.
The main rig’s dirty sound comes from a 1965 Marshall Plexi configured with 6L6s and 12AX7As driving a Mesa 4x12 cabinet with Vintage 30s. (Reid mistakenly calls the Marshall a ’67 in the video, but who can keep track of this much vintage gear?)
The redundant rig consists of another Fender Custom Shop Tone-Master for clean and a 1969 50-watt Marshall JMP 45 for dirty tones. Reportedly, the latter was the main amp used on Bad Company’s first record, most notably heard on “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”
Dave Phillips at L.A. Sound Design built two rigs for Third Eye Blind’s Kryz Reid—a main, rack-based pedal rig, and a backup pedalboard (shown) with the same pedals but simplified switching and parameter control. The main setup uses a rackmounted RJM Effect Gizmo programmable loop switcher (not shown) controlled by an RJM Mastermind GT MIDI foot controller, an A/B box, two custom Mission Engineering expression pedals, a modified Ernie Ball volume pedal, a Boss TU-2 tuner, and a TC Electronic Ditto Looper. Reid’s signal feeds a Dunlop Cry Baby Rack Wah (controlled by the white Mission pedal), then hits the RJM Effect Gizmo en route to a DigiTech Whammy DT (controlled by the red Mission pedal), a Keeley-modded Boss DS-1, a Way Huge Swollen Pickle, a Keeley 4-Knob Compressor, the Cry Baby Rack wah’s volume feature (controlled by the modded Ernie Ball volume pedal), a Strymon Mobius (whose parameters can be controlled via the red Mission pedal), a Roger Linn Adrenalinn III, a Strymon TimeLine (also controlled by the red Mission pedal), and a Strymon BlueSky Reverberator.