PG gets personal with Larry Carlton's famous ES-335, Brendan Benson's closet full of stomps and amps, Russian Circles' Custom Shop First Act axes, Brent Mason's Valley Arts T-style, and Vai's unreal guitar collection.
Sure, most of the magic conjured by the world’s best players is in their hands, but obviously their gear is a huge deal, too—because they’re still pretty particular about what they play. So take a break from honing your own chops for a bit, and check out what your heroes use to conjure their amazing tones. Who knows, maybe it’ll help you rethink how you approach your music and give you some ideas for how to improve your own rig. Or just sit there and lust after all the cool stuff. Either way works.
5. Brendan Benson
Brendan Benson took a break from recording and touring with The Raconteurs and his solo project to show Premier Guitar around his studio in the heart of Nashville’s music row. Although Brendan’s live rig is about as simple as it gets, (Vox AC30HW2, Guild M-75 Aristocrat, and a Spontaneous Audio Devices Son of Kong pedal) in the studio he employs a bevy of oddball pedals, guitars, and amps.
To see more photos and learn about Benson's complete studio setup, visit here.
4. Russian Circles
PG’s Jordan Wagner is on location at Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago, where catches up with Russian Circles’ Mike Sullivan and Brian Cook during the recording of their fifth album, Memorial. The duo reveals a close-up look at their studio guitar and bass rigs, which combine the gear they use live with numerous other pieces from their own personal collections and Electrical Audio’s gear coffers.
To see more photos and learn about their complete studio setup, visit here.
3. Brent Mason
Premier Guitar’s John Bohlinger met with Brent Mason after a session at Nashville’s celebrated Blackbird Studio. Mason, one of the most recorded guitarists in history, talked guitars, pedals, and amps ... and played his ass off.
To see more photos and learn about Mason's complete studio setup, visit here.
2. Larry Carlton
When Larry Carlton graciously invited Premier Guitar to visit his Nashville studio, we jumped at the chance. He played guitar, told stories, and pretty much proved he’s the coolest person any of us will ever meet.
To see more photos and learn about Carlton's complete studio setup, visit here.
1. Steve Vai
PG is on location at Steve Vai's Harmony Hut studio in Los Angeles. In this video, Steve shows you which of his signature Ibanez guitars he's taking out on tour and which made an appearance on his latest album, how he uses his signature Carvin Legacy Amps, and why the Axe-FX II has replaced most effects in his rig.
To see more photos and learn about Vai's complete studio setup, visit here.
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.