Hear how the bluegrass-blazin’, death-metal-rooted wiz twists the traditional music of Kentucky toward the psychedelic sounds of San Francisco.

While Billy Strings spent his formative years on a Martin (or as he’d say, in front of the Martin watching his dad play), he’s been an avid user of Preston Thompson flattops that are handmade in Sisters, Oregon. He originally spent about two years on a their standard dreadnought model (with mahogany back and sides), but in 2017, he upgraded to a dread with Brazilian rosewood back and sides. He’s since added an Audio-Technica ATM350 mic taped below the soundhole and then also added a K&K Sound Pure Pickup system underneath the bridge saddle. It’s always strung up with D’Addario Phosphor Bronze Mediums (.013–.056) and prefers to play with BlueChip TD55 picks. Photo by Shelly Swanger

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