The gear Beller used on the Aristocrats 2011 US Tour.

We recently caught up with Bryan Beller before an Aristocrats gig to get a look at the gear he's using for the trio's gigs. Watch him take us through the rig and demo each of his pedals in our video Rig Rundown. Also check out our Rig Rundown with Guthrie Govan from the same show.

Basses
Bryan has played Mike Lull Custom Basses for 11 years. His main bass, as featured in the video, is an M5 Modern bass, which is a 35" scale 5-string bass. He says the neck is reliable and easy to play, which is good for "crazy stuff" like the Aristocrats. He describes the bass as an active jazz bass with extra aggression on the notes. The pickups are Seymour Duncans. Pictured below is a backup Mike Lull 5-string.

Amps
Beller had recently switched to a Galien-Kreuger rig when we met up with him and was playing the Fusion 550, which he says, "has the most amazing front end" and flying faders that adjust themselves when you switch channels. He's using the Fusion 550 with a 2001RB power amp and two Galien-Kreuger Neo 4x12 cabinets. He says he likes that amount of power because he only has to drive everything at 30-40 percent and gets a good, loud clean tone.

Pedals
Beller's pedalboard includes a Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner, Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal, Electro-Harmonix Bass Microsynth, Boss OC-2 Octave, Xotic BB Preamp, Aphex Bass Xciter, DigiTech Bass Driver, Retro-Sonic Chorus, MXR Bass D.I.+, Boss DD-7, Demeter Opto Compulator, and Dunlop Cry Baby Bass.

Plus, the Fontaines D.C. axeman explains why he’s reticent to fix the microphonic pickup in his ’66 Fender Coronado.

Read More Show less

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less
x