dipped in tone

Making a living doing the thing you love is great—in fact, it’s something that so many players aspire to. But it changes the relationship between player and instrument when the instrument is a source of work. How do they stay excited about their work? And how do they get excited when they’re in a lull? What keeps their creativity flowing? These are big questions, but our hosts are both having their own renaissances with their guitars. And—surprise!—it’s because they’ve both come into some new key pieces of gear.

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Paul Reed Smith drops in to dip a rig and unpack the facets of tone—and why he unwound—and destroyed—a set of $10k vintage Fender pickups. Plus, all the fun stuff: What’s it like working with John Mayer? Does Santana’s guitar sound like a tenor sax? Why does David Grissom need every PRS on a music-store wall to play great? And the dudes argue over the big question: What’s better a cheap guitar and an expensive amp, or an expensive guitar and a cheap amp?

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Which one do you prefer?

Rhett and Zach unpack the big news for secondhand guitar sellers and buyers: Sweetwater has launched their new Gear Exchange. How does it compare to Reverb, Craigslist, and Marketplace? To find out, Zach takes the site for a spin and buys a pedal. He calls the process both “very easy” and “normal.” They discuss the pros and cons of the various used-gear outlets and share tips for not getting got when buying gear. Plus, Zach grew a mustache, Mythos Pedals is moving, and he talks about his forthcoming line of Strat pickups inspired by Hendrix’s reverse-stagger setup.

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