Rig Rundown: Shawn Tubbs
The Nashville session and touring guitarist, whose credits include Stone Temple Pilots, Carrie Underwood, and David Crosby, takes PG through his versatile, heavyweight home rig.
Inspired to by play guitar by his 6-stringing father, Shawn Tubbs emerged from the Christian-music scene. By his late teens, he was doing club and session gigs, and became part of The Violet Burning. In 1992, he played with Stone Temple Pilots on an episode of MTV Unplugged, then got deeper in the high-profile Nashville session scene, and began touring with Carrie Underwood. He’s since stopped road-tripping in favor of the studio, where he’s a first-call player and his credits include recent work with David Crosby. The 30-year-veteran guitarist’s current album, Demolition, A Collection of Short Jams, can be heard on SoundCloud, and he’s got a popular YouTube channel, but you can hear him demo is own gear in this Rig Rundown, filmed at his home studio.
Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.
Shawn has an extensive collection of guitars, but we narrowed our focus to the 6-strings he reaches for most often. The first entry is a 2010 PRS DGT, one of the company’s vintage-inclined models that’s all stock. All of his guitars are strung with D’Addario NYXL sets, gauged .010–.046.
Here’s an S-style designed by elite California builder James Tyler—an SE HSS from 2021. The axe sports JT 2250 Single-Coils and a JT Super Bridge.
Here’s the ultra-distinctive headstock on the James Tyler SE HSS.
This Gibson Les Paul R9 has been heavily modded but still retains its classic looks. It’s had a complete refinish include a neck reshaping, non-potted Custom Shop pickups, and a ’58 tailpiece.
This 2022 Duesenberg Starplayer TV is all-stock, which means it’s a semihollow with a GrandVintage Humbucker and a Domino P-90, a 25 1/2" scale length, and the Dusenberg Diamond Deluxe Tremolo.
S for Shure
Made in 2011, this Suhr Classic Pro Antique HSS has a 2-piece alder body, Suhr ML Single-Coils, a Suhr SSV bridge pickup, a maple C-profile neck, and a Gotoh bridge—all calculated for vintage feel.
Although Tubbs has a lot of amps and cabinets in his studio, for this Rig Rundown he played through two amps run in stereo. On the left side there’s a Revv D20 (switchable between 20 and 4 watts) with a 6V6 Power Section. Tubbs ran an XLR out via the amp’s embedded Two Notes reactive load box with virtual cab options.
In the Red
On the right side, there’s a RedPlate Blues Machine 40-watt head with 6L6 Power tubes atop a matched cab. It’s routed to a UA OX Amp Top Box.
Tubbs' Tone Zone
His other amps include a Revv Generator 120, a Friedman Dirty Shirley 40, a Suhr Bella sans reverb, a Friedman BE 100 Deluxe, a Revv G20, a Divided By 13 LDW 17/39 and FTR 37, and a Suhr Badger 30.
Shawn Tubbs' Pedalboard
Shawn’s board was built and designed by XAct Tone Solutions in Nashville, whose Barry O’Neal is one of PG’s “State of the Stomp” columnists. Its residents are: a The GigRig G3 switching system, a BigSky and TimeLine by Strymon, an Eventide H9, a KingTone Octaland Fuzz, a Pro Co Rat V2, an XTS-modified Boss GE-7 equalizer, a Greer Lightspeed Organic Overdrive, a Suhr Koji Comp, a Revv Shawn Tubbs Tilt Overdrive, a Lehle Volume Pedal, two Dunlop X(8)s, Strymon Zuma and Ojai Power Supplies, and an XAct Tone custom interface. For a detailed rundown of Shawn’s signal flow and the dozen loop scenes he employs, take careful notes as you watch the rundown!
Rig Rundown: Sammy Boller
The atmospheric shred instrumentalist shows us his unusual mix of modern gear and not one but two killer vintage axes.
Facing a mandatory shelter-in-place ordinance to limit the spread of COVID-19, PG enacted a hybrid approach to filming and producing Rig Rundowns. This is the 30th video in that format.
Sammy Boller has been playing guitar most of his life. He played in high school orchestra and even attended University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance. In 2012, his life forever changed when he won Guitar Center’s “Master Satriani” competition. (Watch his submission for “Satch Boogie” here.)
Catapulting off that success, the next year Boller joined Detroit rockers Citizen Zero. The band released their 2016 debut LP, State of Mind, and its lead single “Go (Let Me Save You)” climbed to #17 on Billboard’s mainstream rock chart. Two years later Boller left Citizen Zero to carve his own musical path. And earlier in 2020, his instrumental power trio released their debut album, Kingdom of the Sun, that snakes between Sunset shred and post-rock melodies.
When asked about his musical evolution, Boller reflects: “I grew up wanting to be Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, but over time I've found my own dark and aggressive style. These days, my dream as a musician is to make people feel as connected to the cosmos as I feel when I play the guitar. I'd love nothing more than that.”
Guitarist Sammy Boller virtually welcomed PG’s Perry Bean into Detroit’s Rust Belt Studios where Alice Cooper, John Fogerty, Bob Seger, and Greta Van Fleet have all recorded. In this Rig Rundown, the finger-tapping guitarist opens up about finding his Excalibur instrument, discovering the Friedman BE-100 and never looking back, and he showcases the core personalities awakened by his pedalboard.
Sammy Boller scored this Gibson Les Paul Axcess Custom—his main cruiser since he was 20—on an eBay safari. It’s completely stock to him except he flipped the pickups for a set of Motor City Pickups with a HotHead (bridge) and Afwayu (neck). Both pickups are coil-tapped so when Boller needs a different tone for tapping or less aggression, it’s there with a pull of a knob. His previous band, Citizen Zero, often performed in drop-D tuning, so he added an EVH D-Tuna to his Floyd Rose. For his solo stuff, he typically plays a half-step down and always uses Elixir strings. (On the top side of his Les Paul, he etched “Soul of the World.”)
A badass backup for the Axcess is this Friedman NoHo 24 that Boller fell in love with at NAMM. Not a fan of “new” guitars, Boller had the Friedman team take the pristine, flame-maple-topped NoHo and gave it the company’s “vintage” touch seen on other models in their lineup. The “super strat” still has its original Friedman Triple-D humbuckers.
Boller’s parents were part of a traveling show band that played residencies in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The former guitarist of the ensemble sent a message to Sammy over quarantine and offered to sell him the guitar that he played alongside Boller’s parents. It was a total no-brainer, and now this 1975 Tele Deluxe is one of his studio pets. Boller stated that the Seth Lover-designed Wide Range humbuckers make it an amazing recording guitar. He said the lower-powered pickups pair well with a high-gain amp.
Another studio weapon is this 1971 Gibson ES-150 DC. Boller and his orchestra teacher bonded over Van Halen and when he graduated high school, the instructor eventually gifted this gem to him.
“I think I tried every amp out there,” jokes Boller. “But as soon as I plugged into one of these, I was like, ‘I’m done!’ The Friedman BE-100 has been his go-to amp for over five years. The amp’s lively, supercharged plexi tone matched with modern appointments (three channels, effects loop, toggles for voice, bright, and cln-be-hbe) makes it a Swiss Army knife for Boller. Underneath the head, is a checkered Friedman 4x12 loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s and Creamback 25s.
This is a professional pedalboard. But Boller’s stomp situation wasn’t always so clean. At one point, he was using duct tape to keep things together. Friend and rig builder to the stars, Dave Friedman, intervened and helped level-up his board. In front of the Musicomlab EFX MK-V Audio Controller, Boller has routed his Line 6 Relay G50 Wireless Receiver (live), Korg Pitchblack Tuner, MXR EVH Phase 90, Friedman Smallbox, Empress Compressor (to lift up his clean tapping parts), and ISP Technologies Decimator II G-String that actually has two signals before and in the effects loop. The three pedals in the BE-100’s effects loop are an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail, MXR Carbon Copy, and a TC Electronic Flashback X4.
Friedman Unveils the Smallbox Overdrive
A pedal-sized circuit based on the company's British-flavored amp.
Huntington Park, CA (November 25, 2020) -- The Friedman Smallbox all-tube amp is well known for being one of the most flexible and touch-responsive two-channel amplifiers on the market. Now you can get that same tonal versatility, sensitivity and harmonically rich overdrive in a pedal. The Smallbox Overdrive packs the same intuitive control set as the amplifier, allowing you to dial in your perfect shade of rock, from vintage Plexi goodness to high gain madness in no time. It doesn't matter if you want a high-output cleaner tone for pushing your amp hard or a thick gritty drive that will sit well in any classic to modern rock band, a sweep of the gain control easily gets you there. If you want to reign in the gain more, simply flip the side mounted gain switch, and it will simulate the Plexi-Channel of the Smallbox Amplifier. Want to experience the amp’s accolade-garnering tone in the convenience of a pedal? Put the Smallbox Overdrive on your board today.
Though the Smallbox overdrive can scream with an unabashedly rock 'n' roll voice, you'll be surprised at how truly versatile it is. To get more out of the amp you already have, roll the pedal's gain knob back, flip the gain structure switch to “lower gain mode” and get a killer dirty boost.
- Friedman Smallbox amp tone in a compact pedal format
- Responds to guitar controls and picking nuance exactly like the amp
- Gain control and gain structure switch takes you from gritty to hard rock in no time
The Smallbox Overdrive pedal delivers tube-like tone in a small pedal format which can be used either into a clean amp or to boost an already over-driven amp.
- Ideal for use with both clean and overdriven amps
- Controls for bass, mid, treble, presence, volume, and gain are intuitive for quick ‘dial in’.
- 2 position side-mounted Gain Structure switch gives you options from low-focused gain to high gain madness!
Dave Friedman has been building one of the most stellar reputations in the guitar, amplifier, and effects industry for decades. His clientele - which includes some of the biggest names in electric guitar - continue to rely on him, to keep them sounding their best night after night. When he puts his name on a piece of gear, you know it will get the job done.
- Dave Friedman's name is synonymous with high-quality electric guitar products
- Assembled in USA with only the finest materials for flawless performance
- Every unit is inspected and tested before shipping
MAP/Suggested Retail - $199.99
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