What pedalboard haunts your dreams? PG editors chime in along with Upon a Burning Body’s Ruben Alvarez.

It’s not like any of us set out to solely emulate other guitarists all the time, but what if you could have any pedal rig in the world? Upon a Burning Body’s Ruben Alvarez joins PG staff and our Reader of the Month to ponder the stomp setups that dreams are made of.

Ruben AlvarezGuest Picker, Upon a Burning Body
If you could have any famous guitarist’s pedalboard, whose would it be?
It would be Tosin Abasi’s old pedalboard. I remember opening for him when he was in Reflux—he had sooooo many pedals. That’s what’s fun about guitar—the exploration. Who knows, you may create a whole new sound or something fresh.

My current obsession is: The EverTune. It’s sick! I put this bridge system on my custom Halo guitar. Basically each string has an individual spring that you set the tension to, which means you never have to tune because the tension is always the same. It’s amazing.

Edgar J. LomeliReader of the Month
If you could have any famous guitarist’s pedalboard, whose would it be?
My board (see photo). But if I had to choose, it would be DJ Ashba’s. He has some great leads and killer wah going on! My current board: Pedals in front of amp (Engl E530 Preamp, footswitch on the side): TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Noir, Dunlop Cry Baby Bass Wah (Iove the low-end growl), Egnater Goldsmith. My effects loop (small junction box under tuner) has three TC Electronic boxes: Dreamscape, Hall Of Fame, Alter Ego X4.

My current obsession is: Firebird-shaped guitars. They’re so comfy to play and look awesome!

John BohlingerNashville Correspondent

If you could have any famous guitarist’s pedalboard, whose would it be?
I want to travel back in time and get Steve Lukather’s rig from his 1984 Star Licks video. Not so much because I’d use it now, but I spent five years of my youth dreaming about that board while futilely planning for the ultimate rig.

My current obsession is: Aleks Sever. I randomly heard her on Facebook and then bought her album. A killer player trapped inside the body of a supermodel.

Andy EllisSenior Editor

If you could have any famous guitarist’s pedalboard, whose would it be?
I record with effects, but hate clutter and distraction at my feet, so I never gig with them. That said, even though I don’t crave Adrian Belew’s pedalboard, I wish I had his ears.

My current obsession is: Applying fartlek training techniques to guitar. I’ll set up three “stations”—acoustic flattop, high-gain electric, and lap steel—then spend 15 minutes at each one. Perhaps I’ll map out two measures of a classical piece on flattop, then grab the electric to jam with Robert Fripp solos on Bowie’s Heroes, then decode Ben Harper riffs on steel. And repeat.

Jason ShadrickAssociate Editor
If you could have any famous guitarist’s pedalboard, whose would it be?
When I did the Rig Rundown with John Scofield, I was incredibly impressed with how he uses his board. With just the basics (dirt, ’verb, EQ, wah) and a few oddballs he’s able to cover everything from dance-rock to bebop with a flick of the ankle.

My current obsession is:Martin Sexton’s Mixtape of the Open Road. The acoustic troubadour is playing better than ever and this collection of folksy tunes is his strongest since 2007’s Seeds.

A bone nut being back-filed for proper string placement and correct action height.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to change your acoustic guitar’s tone and playability.

In my early days, all the guitars I played (which all happened to be pre-1950s) used bone nuts and saddles. I took this for granted, and so did my musician friends. With the exception of the ebony nuts on some turn-of-the-century parlors and the occasional use of ivory, the use of bone was a simple fact of our guitar playing lives, and alternative materials were simply uncommon to us.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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