The Aristocrats’ Bryan Beller
Photo by Manuela HäuBler
Starting at top right, Bryan Beller’s board has a pair of Xotic EP Boosters to bring up the output of his two passive instruments to match his Lull bass. Next comes a Demeter COMP-1 Opto Compulator that’s always on, followed by a TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb, Boss CE-2B Bass Chorus, Boss DD-3 Digital Delay, and a TC Electronic Flashback Delay/Looper. Moving to the bottom left, there’s a Boss OC-2 Octave and an Xotic Bass BB Preamp (Beller’s main overdrive). The Darkglass Electronics Vintage Microtubes and MXR M109S Six Band EQ are used for a beefier, RAT-like sound. Then there’s an EHX Micro POG set to an octave up and an old DigiTech X-Series Bass Driver that pushes the BB Preamp and runs into the Dunlop 105Q Cry Baby Bass Wah pedal (white), giving vocal-like sweeps more definition. Beller also has a Dunlop DVP3 Volume (X) Volume and Expression pedal and a Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner. Beller has incorporated the Behringer FCB1010 MIDI controller into his rig so he can provide some “low-rent Geddy Lee” moments in the set via a Roland JV-1010 64-Voice Synth Module.
Beller has incorporated the Behringer FCB1010 MIDI controller into his rig so he can provide some “low-rent Geddy Lee” moments in the set via a Roland JV-1010 64-Voice Synth Module.
Using the Raven Labs MDB-1 Mixer/Direct Box/Buffer for his pedals and running the Roland JV-1010 into his amps allows Beller to employ both his bass and the synth module at the same time.
Rig Rundown: The Aristocrats' Guthrie Govan & Bryan Beller 
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Jeff and Jaime Hanna
Jeff Hanna, who co-founded the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1966, runs his acoustic guitars through a Fishman Aura Spectrum DI and a Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner. The electric side of his board includes another Boss TU-3, a Paul Cochrane Tim V3 Overdrive, a Keeley Katana Clean Boost, a J. Rockett GTO, a Keeley-modded Boss TR-2 Tremolo, and a Keeley Mag Echo.
His son Jaime combines acoustic and electric pedals on one board. The acoustic side features a Fishman Aura Spectrum DI, Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner, and a Radial JDI direct box as a back-up. For electric, there’s an Ernie Ball volume pedal that feeds a TC Electronic tuner. The main out hits a Mesa/Boogie Stowaway Class-A Input Buffer, a Keeley Compressor, a Paul Cochrane Tim Overdrive, a J. Rockett Archer, an MXR Super Badass Distortion, a Boss GE-7 Equalizer modded by Nashville’s XTS, and a Line 6 M9 Stompbox Modeler Multi-Effects pedal. A Truetone 1 SPOT PRO CS12 provides the juice.
Rig Rundown: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Jeff and Jaime Hanna
Tetrarch’s Diamond Rowe
Photo by Amy Harris
Shredder Diamond Rowe keeps things succinct. Her stage setup features an always-on Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer and a DigiTech Whammy for pure fun and note obliterating. A pair of utilitarian Boss stomps—an NS-2 Noise Suppressor and TU-3 Chromatic Tuner—keep her strings clean and accurate. There’s also a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power ISO-5 and Ground Control Pro MIDI Foot Controller.
In a separate rack, Rowe hides her “freak tone” patch. There lurks a Boss RV-6 Reverb, Boss DD-7 Digital Delay, Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble, and a MXR Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato, plus a pair of tucked-away MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delays. The rack toys are fired by a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus.
Rig Rundown: Tetrarch's Diamond Rowe & Josh Fore
Roots powerhouse Marcus King runs his guitar’s cable into a Dunlop Volume (X) 8. Then his signal hits a Dunlop Cry Baby Wah, an MXR Booster, an Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer, a Tru-Fi Two Face Fuzz, MXR Micro Chorus, Dunlop Rotovibe Chorus/Vibrato, MXR Phase 100, Tru-Fi Ultra Tremolo, Dunlop Echoplex Delay, MXR Reverb, and a Radial Shotgun signal splitter and buffer. Juice? That’s via a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 3 Plus.
Marcus King's Pedalboard
Foo Fighters’ Chris Shiflett
The mega-rockers’ Chris Shiflett starts his pedalboard with an EHX Micro POG, followed by a JHS Muffuletta, an MXR Flanger and EVH Phase 90, an EHX Holy Grail reverb, a Strymon Deco, and a Klon KTR. The next row sports a Boss CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus, a couple of Strymon TimeLines (one for each amp), and down below is a trio of Xotics—an EP Booster, SP Compressor, and an XW-1 Wah. Utilitarian boxes include a Lehle Little Dual II Amp Switcher, a Palmer PLI-05 Line Isolation Box, a Boss FS-5L Foot Switch (to toggle between clean and dirty on his Friedman Brown Eye), and a TC Electronic PolyTune.
Chris Shiflett's Pedalboard
Mammoth WVH's Wolf Van Halen
Wolf Van Halen brought every EVH pedal (aside from the 5150 Overdrive) for his band’s 2022 tour. The Dunlop EVH95 Cry Baby Wah gets a workout for the solo of “You’ll Be the One.” The MXR EVH 5150 Chorus and the MXR EVH Phase 90 have become interchangeable for him. The MXR EVH117 Flanger gets sprinkled in, and for the solo on “Distance,” he always uses the Boss DD-3 Digital Delay and the EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath. An acoustic DI and tuner consume the rest of the real estate.
Wolf Van Halen's PedalboardFull Rig Rundown: https://bit.ly/MammothWVHRRSubscribe to PG's Channel: http://bit.ly/SubscribePGYouTubeMammoth WVH's leader details and demos the series of ...
Mammoth WVH’s Ronnie Ficarro
Ronnie Ficarro’s bass stomp station hosts a trio of EVH-inspired pedals: an MXR EVH 5150 Chorus, a MXR EVH 5150 Overdrive, and the MXR EVH Phase 90—plus an EHX Pitch Fork for approximating the low B roar that Wolf recorded on the song “Epiphany.” The nondescript silver box is a channel switcher for his Fender Super Bassman, and a Peterson StroboStomp HD does the tuning.
Rig Rundown: Mammoth WVH
El Ten Eleven’s Kristian Dunn
As half of this bass and drums duo, Kristian Dunn used to use three pedalboards, crouching down and manipulating settings all night. Today, he depends primarily on a Line 6 M9 Stompbox Modeler, although it’s two Boomerang III Phrase Samplers that make an El Ten Eleven show happen. In line, they’re separated by the DigiTech Bass Whammy. Dunn routes his signal this way so he can use the Whammy to shift octaves or keys on entire loops in Phrase Sampler one. The second Phrase Sampler, after the Whammy, allows him to pitch-shift specific loops without impacting the whole song or other loops. The Strymon TimeLine conjures precise repeats and specific delay settings not in the M9. The EHX Superego Synth Engine is a secret weapon, for reverse-sound passages. When he holds down the freeze function and plays the next note, it’s not audible until he releases the switch, and then the ongoing audible note blends into the second note. Cool, right? The remaining two pedals are a Nu-X NFB-2 Lacerate FET Boost and a Marshall GV-2 Guv’nor Plus. His tuner: a Boss TU-3 Chromatic. A Custom Audio Electronics RS-T MIDI Foot Controller makes Dunn’s scene changes easier, talking with the M9 and Strymon to alleviate some tap dancing.
Rig Rundown: El Ten Eleven's Kristian Dunn
Shinedown’s Zach Myers
For the Shinedown guitarist, everything starts at the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx IIIs—a main and a backup. There are four channels of Shure UR4D+ wireless units (three for electric and one for acoustic). An AES digital out runs to an Antelope Audio Trinity Master Clock and Antelope Audio 10MX Rubidium Atomic Clock. This helps fatten the fully stereo, digital rig by converting it to analog. After that, IRs off the Axe-Fx (left and right) channel into a pair of Neve DIs that then feed a Fryette G-2502-S Two/Fifty/Two Stereo Power Amplifier. (There’s another for backup.) And finally, parallel signals go to two ISO cabs and two Universal Audio OX Amp Top Box reactive load boxes. Altogether, there are eight channels of guitar.
While tech Drew Foppe handles the racks, Zach still has some control at his toes via a Dunlop MC404 CAE Wah, DigiTech Whammy 5, Ernie Ball 40th Anniversary Volume Pedal, and the Fractal Audio FC-6 Foot Controller. A Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus gives life to these pedals.
Rig Rundown: Shinedown's Zach Myers & Eric Bass 
Shinedown's Eric Bass
Eric Bass’ Prestige basses hit the Shure UR4D+ wireless units (similar to Myers, he has three channels for electric and a channel for acoustic), then a Neve DI, and then a Radial JX44 signal manager that feeds into an Ampeg SVT-7 Pro for clean tone (with an extra for backup).
His onstage pedalboard includes a Dunlop 105Q Cry Baby Bass Wah, a DigiTech Bass Whammy, and an MXR M299 Carbon Copy Mini Analog Delay. The ‘Gas’ switch engages a Mojotone Deacon, and a Radial SGI-44 1-channel Studio Guitar Interface connects with his rackmount JX44, while a Boss TU-3W Waza Craft Chromatic Tuner and Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus complete the lineup.
Photo by John VandeMergel
Blueser Hannah Wicklund’s pedalboard is stacked for bruising. Once the signal gets past her MXR Talk Box and Dunlop JC95 Jerry Cantrell Signature Cry Baby, it hits the channel switch for her Orange head. That stays in overdrive mode for about 75 percent of her set, which she says gives her sound its grizzly-bear lows. Next up is a classic—a Boss BD-2 Blues Driver. But this one has a Keeley mod that opens up the low end and keeps mids and highs better defined. The BD-2 gets some atmospheric help via a Dunlop EP103 Echoplex Delay, and the J. Rockett Archer also pairs with the BD-2. There’s an MXR Micro Flanger and an EHX Nano POG, a T. Rex Room-Mate Tube Reverb (on a hall setting), and a Peterson StroboStomp HD, plus an MXR Carbon Copy and a Keeley Rotten Apple OpAmp Fuzz.
Rig Rundown: Hannah Wicklund
Code Orange’s Reba Meyers
Reba Meyers’ tone starts with her signature ESP LTD RM-600 guitar and her 5150 head, but from there her sound is processed via a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx III run through the effects loop of her amp and used to coordinate channel switching. Meyers notes that for some songs she uses it only as a gate, while for others she adds in precise modulation, delay, reverbs, and “noise.” The rest of the rack features a Two-Notes Torpedo Captor X that she uses for cab sims and sending a pure, direct signal to FOH so they can mix that with the SM57 mic on the 4x12s. A Shure GLXD4 Wireless unit keeps her untethered and a RJM Mini Amp Gizmo uses MIDI to switch the amp via the Axe-Fx III.
Her actual board has two always-on pedals: the ISP Decimator II Noise Reduction and the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer. They’re joined by a Moog MF Ring Mod, a Boss PS-6 Harmonist, an AMT Electronics WH-1 Japanese Girl Optical Wah, and an Universal Audio Astra Modulation Machine. Everything is controlled by the RJM Mastermind PBC/10.
Reba Meyers' Pedalboard [Code Orange]
For his 2022 tour, Joe Bonamassa kept his pedalboard stocked with a Way Huge Smalls Overrated Special Overdrive, a Tone Mechanics/Racksystems Loop Box, a Tone Mechanics/Racksystems Splitter, a Fulltone Supa-Trem, a Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere, a Boss DD-2 Digital Delay, an MXR Micro Flanger, an Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer, an EHX Micro POG, a Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face, a Lehle A/B/C Switcher, a Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby Wah in Pelham blue, and an on/off/fast/slow dual switch for his Mesa/Boogie Revolver rotating speaker cabinet. Juice came from a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus.
Joe Bonamassa's "Boomer" Pedalboard
Exodus’ Gary Holt
Thrash-metallurgist Gary Holt trusts most of his switching to his tech, Steve Brogdon, who triggers everything with a rack-mounted Voodoo Lab GCX Guitar Audio Switcher that coordinates with a Voodoo Lab Ground Control Pro MIDI Foot Controller. The pedals in Brogdon’s care include a Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive, Pro Tone Pedals Gary Holt Signature Mid Boost, Maxon OD-9, MXR Bass Octave Deluxe, Maxon FL-9 Flanger, TC Electronic Corona Chorus, Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor, and a Darta Effects Bonded by Delay. A BBE Supa-Charger provides juice.
Holt still stomps these boxes himself: a Does It Doom Doomsaw, Mooer Tender Octaver, Mooer Green Mile, and a Dunlop JC95SE Jerry Cantrell Special Edition Crybaby Wah. A Shure GLXD16 Digital Wireless Guitar Pedal System lets him rock untethered.
Rig Rundown: Exodus' Gary Holt 
Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis
For at least 10-plus years, J Mascis has used a Bob Bradshaw-built Custom Audio Electronics switcher as his mission control. His longtime stomps include a Tone Bender MkI/Rangemaster-clone combo pedal made by Built to Spill’s Jim Roth (bottom right corner), Mascis’ first EHX Ram’s Head Big Muff Pi (top right), a vintage EHX Deluxe Electric Mistress, an MC-FX clone of a Univox Super Fuzz (lower right, blue box), a pair of ZVEX pedals—a Double Rock (two Box of Rock stomps in one) and a Lo-Fi Loop Junky (both bottom left), a Tube Works Real Tube Overdrive, a Moog Minifooger MF Delay, and a Boss TU-3S Tuner. His recently added pedals are a Homebrew Electronics Germania 44 Treble Booster (lower right), a JAM Pedals RetroVibe MkII, an Xotic SL Drive, a Suhr Jack Rabbit Tremolo, a Dr. Scientist Frazz Dazzler fuzz, an EHX Oceans 11, and a Dunlop Jimi Hendrix ’69 Psych Series Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato. Everything receives juice from an MXR MC403 Power System or an MXR M237 DC Brick.
J Mascis' Dinosaur Jr. Pedalboard
A master of Big Muff-style circuits builds a Ram’s Head clone that’ll be tough to beat at any price.
Wide-open, airy, super-smooth, and ripping classic Ram's Head tones. Awesome for chords and rhythm playing. Crazy sustain. High quality.
Big if you're space conscious. Expensive.
Wren and Cuff Caprid Blue-Violet Special
Ease of Use:
Most Big Muff freaks agree that the Ram's Head pedals—a series of Muffs built by Electro-Harmonix in the early-to-mid-'70s—embody most of the breed's very best attributes. Not all Ram's Heads are amazing. Component inconsistencies mean some sound better than others. But devout Muff-heads insist that the very best of the best come from a run that coincided with Electro-Harmonix's use of blue and violet paint. This collision of sound and color birthed the legend of the Violet Ram's Head.
Wren and Cuff's Matt Holl knows much about these nuances. He chases authentic Big Muff sounds with fervor. And though Holl has built great Ram's Head clones before, his efforts have really reached an apex in the Caprid Blue-Violet Special.
All in for Authentic
The Blue-Violet Special is a feast for a vintage fiend's senses. It features the same dimensions, on/off switch, “backwards" tone control, and Arnold Böcklin typeface that distinguished the original. Even the hand-populated circuit board is a fastidious near-clone of the original “3003" EHX Big Muff board—right down to the shape of the solder traces.
But the real treats are the sounds. And the Caprid Blue-Violet Special underscores the fact that the magic behind the Ram's Head's wall of sound resides in the spaces in between. The source of this space is a perceptible mid-scoop that highlights the white-hot-but-smooth top end and gut-walloping bass. This is the classic formula behind any good Ram's Head. But the Blue-Violet Special adds perceptible extra airspace, even when the gain and tone controls are cranked to their feistiest levels. The result is more room for dynamics in both touch and composition. And it compelled me to play a lot of austere, melodic phrases where I could bask in the sweet cello- and violin-like overtones.
This signing quality can lead you down predictable alleys. It can be hard to avoid punctuating every lead phrase with an eternally sustaining David Gilmour or Ernie Isley bend. But there are many other benefits to the open, scooped, and super-detailed voice. Chunky punk/metal riffs sound huge, with a just-right compression on transients that excites fast staccato riffs. And if you stack drives and fuzzes, or like to leave room for modulation and delay echoes to bloom, the extra air gives these effects plenty of room.
Room to Range Outward
The impressive range in the Blue Violet's controls is a source of bountiful and colorful voices. The Caprid's ample headroom means you can use cool, buzzing lower-gain settings without sacrificing output. The volume control is a powerful tone shaper, too, inducing smooth but pronounced compression at extreme volume settings and more open, detailed tones at lower levels (which are still monstrously loud).
The tone and sustain controls also yield abundant and varied rhythm and lead tones—enabling super-precise coloration when overdubbing or arranging for multiple guitar parts. There are many incredible, dusky, no-highs fuzz sounds on tap here. But if you max the treble, keep the volume low, and the sustain right around the 2/3 mark, you have the recipe for spot-on Bosstone and Maestro-style “Satisfaction" buzz.
Picking at micro-nuances in basically similar fuzz pedals can get ridiculous. After all, a ripping, soulful solo will probably sound ripping and soulful regardless of the gain-stage transistor. But as a sum of many thoughtfully assembled parts, the Caprid Blue-Violet Special is an extraordinary, head-of-the-class Muff. It's audibly smoother and more effectively scooped in the midrange than less authentic Ram's Head clones. And its knack for sweet, unbroken sustain is extra-impressive—even by Big Muff standards—opening up possibilities for lyrical, spacious solos and extra-expressive finger vibrato.
If you're an entrenched Big Muff cultist, the Blue-Violet Caprid is a must-hear experience. But even if you can't tell a Ram's Head from a rooster, it's impossible not to be wooed by the smooth, sinister sounds from this ultra-authentic take on a legend.
Watch our First Look demo of the Wren and Cuff Caprid Blue-Violet Special
Converge’s 6-string steamroller—who also happens to be a famously heavy and in-demand producer (and gear designer)—takes PG inside his GodCity Studio to talk mics, tracking, instrument building, and more.
If you’ve thought to yourself, “this is the most vicious-sounding record I’ve heard,” chances are Kurt Ballou’s fingerprints are on it. Since officially starting in 1995 inside his parents’ garage and eventually opening GodCity Studio’s doors in 2003 (in “Witch City” Salem, MA, no less), Ballou has chiseled out granite tones for bands like Every Time I Die, High on Fire, Torche, Cave In, Old Man Gloom, American Nightmare, and Kvelertak. (“He brings a lot to the table, and he’s been pretty important in terms of how our sound got formed,” Kverlertak’s Vidar Landa in a PG interview on working with Ballou.) Oh, and we can forget his genre-shaping band Converge, that he’s played guitar in since 1990, co-produced since 2001’s hardcore pillar Jane Doe and been the console captain since 2006’s No Heroes.
As you’ll soon find out in this hour-plus episode, the dude is fascinated with every component of guitar tone. In between recording projects and creating new instruments and pedals, Ballou virtually welcome PG’s Chris Kies into GodCity Studio. In this Rig Rundown, Ballou details his own GodCity Instruments Craftsman Series 1 (something he calls a “simple rock ’n’ roll machine”), provides a crash course on mics (types and techniques), and shows off additional GCI pedal wares—and a few foreign specimens—that contort, mangle, and destroy any (in the prettiest way possible) guitar’s native tongue.
D'Addario Auto Lock Strap: https://ddar.io/AutoLockStrap
[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 38th video in that format.]
As you’ll quickly find out, if Kurt can’t find exactly what he’s after, he’ll design something that will get the job done. Above is his first guitar—built under the God City Instruments brand—called the Craftsman Series 1. This one features a chambered mahogany body with a spruce top (“it’s incredibly resonant, snappy, and lively”), set-neck construction (maple neck/wenge fretboard), 25.5" scale, Graph Tech nut and bridge, and a custom-wound, hot Slugjammer humbucker (13k output, 44 AWG). He prefers D’Addario NYXL strings (.011–.052), hammers away with Planet Waves Duralin picks .70 mm (yellow), and Ballou uses a bunch of tunings for Converge, but two of his favorites are “a little out of tune” D standard and one he calls “open Slayer” (C–F#–C–F#–C–F#).
(This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a God City Instruments’ Craftsman Series 1 on a Rig Rundown. For those that missed it, Djunah’s Donna Diane rocked out a wenge-top Craftsman Series 1 in her Rundown in late 2020.)
A close-up of his Malcolm Young-inspired Craftsman Series 1 body.
Need proof that Converge have diehard fans all over the world? Look no further than this Sparrows’ Sons head that was built for (and sent over to) Kurt from their Belarus guitar shop. He doesn’t know much about the circuit, but he notes in the Rundown that early in the signal path sits an active inductor-based midrange boost that sort of acts like a Neve preamp. Another think he mentions is that its gain knob is a dual pot that controls two tube stages at the same time giving the amp a wide range of crunch. (Ballou admits that he doesn’t use it for clean and rather make it a blast furnace of rock.)
The handmade beast (even has handwound inductors) floored Ballou enough that he ordered a second head for his European setup (but has since brought it home). He believes he owns are two of four or five in existence.
The Sparrows’ Sons custom jobber runs into a massive Emperor 6x12 that is loaded with various speakers, but what was mic’d and recorded for the Rundown were a pair of Eminence Texas Heats.
Because he’s Kurt and he’s awesome, not only did he treat this like a recording session, but he used four mics, in four different positions, to show how each works independently and how they work in unison to create a monolithic sledgehammer. The lineup starts (left to right) with an AEA N22 active ribbon mic, Heil Sound PR 30 large diaphragm dynamic supercardioid mic, a Rode (top) Reporter omnidirectional dynamic mic, and an sE Electronics X1 D large diaphragm unidirectional condenser mic.
“One of the nicest things about owning a studio and designing pedals is that I can figure out what do I have a need for,” admits Ballou. And as you’ll soon find out, his biggest (and constant) need is angry, violent, metallic distortion. Starting at the top left (and then going clockwise), we have the Demedash Effects T-120 Videotape Echo. “This is one of the coolest analog delay pedals,” giddily asserts Ballou. He loves the overall functionality of the pedal and its feature set, but the icing on the cake is that when bypassed you can hold down the left footswitch and it will act as a momentary freeze/shimmer/oscillator. Next you have the Shift Line A+ Astronaut III Multiverb Space Unit. Kurt got hip to this pedal when Converge was touring Russia and ventured into a guitar store in St. Petersburg. For this pedal, Kurt’s go-to setting is the reverse shimmer.
The single-knob red GCI design (Oh Yes!) is Kurt’s latest creation (mentions tentatively it may be called Onslaught) that is a “mid-forward, ultimate thrashy, djenty, clanky, articulate, heavy guitar pedal.” The red pedal on the right is Kurt’s first original codesign—the SBD or Super Beatle Distortion—that was inspired by a circuit from Fu Manchu bassist Brad Davis’ Creepy Little Fingers. Taking it up a notch, Ballou added in an active mid boost in front of the fuzz circuit. Additionally, he boosts the bass level after the fuzz circuit so it sounds huge.
Next up in green is the God City Instruments OGR (a collaboration with Electronic Audio Experiments’ John Snyder). The Optical Gain Reduction is a compressor that Ballou uses on every bass-recorded track in God City Studio.
Then there is the Foxrox Electronics Octron2 (inspired by the guitar feedback lassoed by Mahogany Rush guitarist Frank Marino) that Ballou uses for thorny solos that bristle with weird overtones and elastic ghost notes. Following that is a newer GCI Crimson Cock (original codesigned with Rob Davis) that is a treble booster loosely based on the Rangemaster circuit with an added range control (a cap blend on the input) and the switch toggles in a Muff stage at the end of the circuit.
The penultimate stomp is the God City Instruments Ape Eye (collaborated with Soursound) that is dirt box centered around the API 2520 discrete op amp. Lastly, we have Kurt’s Jugendstil silicon fuzz that is aptly described on their site: “If there were a Venn Diagram showing the overlap between ‘90s British shoegaze and ‘90s Swedish death metal, Jugendstil would feel right at home in the middle.” And everything was powered by a Truetone 1 Spot PRO CS7.
An unheralded but appreciated tool used by Ballou is this Radial Engineering SGI TX that is line driver system that takes an unbalanced instrument signal and allows you to drive it as far as 300' feet without noise.