Premier Guitar's Rebecca Dirks is on location at Park West in Chicago, IL, where she catches up with Living Colours' Vernon Reid and Doug Wimbish during their 2013 U.S. tour.

Premier Guitar's Rebecca Dirks is on location at Park West in Chicago, IL, where she catches up with Living Colours' Vernon Reid and Doug Wimbish during their 2013 U.S. tour.



Vernon Reid's Guitar
Vernon relies on a Parker Vernon Reid Signature MaxxFly with EMG SAX neck and middle pickups and an EMG 81X bridge pickup, along with a Roland CK-kit-GT3 MIDI pickup and Floyd Rose tremolo. He strings up with D'Addario Jazz Rock .011 - .049, and uses all sorts of picks (a self-proclaimed "plectrum fetishist") as another way to play with his tone.

Vernon's Signal Processing
Vernon uses mainly a Roland VG-99 (the brains of the setup) into two Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifiers in stereo. The signal goes from the Parker's hex pickup to the VG-99 to a DOD Passive Mixer, which splits the direct guitar out from the VG-99 to a Zoom G3 (used for auto wah), a laptop with Guitar Rig Mobile Interface with programmed sounds controlled by a Roland FC-300 and Ableton Live controlled by a Keith McMillan SoftStep, Line 6 M9 (for modulation), and Eventide H9 with expression pedal, all running through a Mesa/Boogie Lonestar combo. It also goes through an iRig interface to iPad with Amplitube and Live FX and a Roland GR-20 that runs direct to the house. All the signal processors are parallel to each other, blended in and out with expression pedals.

Doug Wimbish's Basses
Wimbish's main instrument is a 1987 Custom Spector Bass with the body and neck shaved down to be thinner and lighter with EMG pickups. He also uses a 1987 Spector 5-string bass (which he prefers in the studio for range) and 1987 Spector fretless 4-string.

Doug Wimbish's Amps
Wimbish runs two Trace Elliot AH1200-12 heads ran in stereo, with 1048H cabs (with tweeters in the middle) and 1518 cabs.

Doug Wimbish's Effects
Wimbish categorizes his expansive pedalboard into sections. The signal starts in the "noisy" section with a Tech 21 SansAmp, Pigtronix Disnortion, Source Audio Soundblox 2 OFD Bass microModeler and Hot Hand 3, and Pigtronix Mothership. Next up is his "bendy" section with a Dunlop Cry Baby wah and DigiTech Whammy, followed by his "filter" section with a Pigtronix Envelope Phaser, Boss Flanger, DOD Fx25 Envelope Filter, DigiTech Synth Wah, Source Audio Soundblox Pro Bass Envelope Filter, and Way Huge Ring Worm. He closes it out with a "delay" section with Boss DSD-2 Digital Sampler, Boss DD-6 and DD-7 Digital Delays, TC Electronic Nova Delay, and Boss SL-20 Slicer, into an Eventide PitchFactor, and Pigtronix Infinity Looper. A Keith McMillan 12-step controls a Pro Tools rig on a laptop set with a Sculpture onboard sampler.

Equipped with noise reduction and noise gate modes, the Integrated Gate has a signal monitoring function that constantly monitors the input signal.

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Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

The archtop guitar is one of the greatest loves of my life, and over time it’s become clear that our tale is perhaps an unlikely one. I showed up late to the archtop party, and it took a while to realize our pairing was atypical. I had no idea that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with everything about what’s commonly perceived as a “jazz guitar.” No clue whatsoever. And, to be honest, I kind of miss those days. But one can only hear the question, “Why do you want to build jazz guitars if you don’t play jazz?” so many times before starting to wonder what the hell everyone’s talking about.

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A modern take on Fullerton shapes and a blend of Fender and Gibson attributes strikes a sweet middle ground.

A stylish alternative to classic Fender profiles that delivers sonic versatility. Great playability.

Split-coil sounds are a little on the thin side. Be sure to place it on the stand carefully!

$1,149

Fender Player Plus Meteora HH
fender.com

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After many decades of sticking with flagship body shapes, Fender spent the last several years getting more playful via their Parallel Universe collection. The Meteora, however, is one of the more significant departures from those vintage profiles. The offset, more-angular profile was created by Fender designer Josh Hurst and first saw light of day as part of the Parallel Universe Collection in 2018. Since then, it has headed in both upscale and affordable directions within the Fender lineup—reaching the heights of master-built Custom Shop quality in the hands of Ron Thorn, and now in this much more egalitarian guise as the Player Plus Meteora HH.

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