The modern Southern rockers recently played Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, and guitarists Charlie Starr and Paul Jackson displayed a bevy of gear every bit as hardworking as these road dogs.
Right now, they’re in Europe, but Atlanta-based rockers with a distinctly Southern musical accent, Blackberry Smoke, smoked Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium for two nights in February before jumping the pond.
Their latest album, You Hear Georgia, was produced by Dave Cobb in Nashville, and hit the top of the Billboard Americana/Folk chart when it was released in mid-2021. PG’s John Bohlinger caught up with guitarists Charlie Starr and Paul Jackson before their sold-out show at the Ryman to run down their ever-expanding universe of gear.
Brought to you by D’Addario XS Strings.
Battered, Not Fried
This 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior was professionally refinished in the ’70s, but Charlie Starr has put some serious miles on this one-pickup wonder. The battered badass with a dog ear P-90 and all his electrics are strung with D’Addario XL Nickel Wound strings, .010–.046. He uses InTuneGP Heavy picks and a ceramic Charlie Starr Signature Osanippa Creek Slide.
Like Ernest Tubb and other guitarists from the classic annals of entertainment, Starr has a greeting on the back of his ’56 Junior for the fans.
For some semi-hollow tone and feel, Starr goes with his stock 1964 Gibson ES-335 in Cherry Red with a Bigsby. The guitar belonged to a friend’s grandfather, and when Starr acquired it, he says, “It had gouges at the C, G, and D,” positioning his hand over the open chord shapes. He had it re-fretted by Stan Williams in Georgia, who told Starr, “This guitar looks like it's been sitting outside in a barn since 1964. And I don't know how the dude was able to get a bird to shit inside that f-hole.”
Starr maintains that this 1965 Fender Esquire in factory black, like his other single pickup guitars, sounds larger than most as there are less magnets interfering with the string vibration. He adds, “I’m told that it’s a physics thing. And I’m a physicist, so I subscribe to that theory.”
The Rest of the Best
Here are the Starr's other main stage rides (clockwise from the top left): a 1956 Gibson Les Paul Jr., a 1963 Fender Esquire, a Fender American Nashville B-Bender Telecaster, and a 1964 Gibson SG Jr..
“This is on all the time,” Starr says of his Echopark Vibramatic 23, which he pairs with a tall cab. “It's basically a tweed Deluxe, and it adds that 6V6 creamy sweetness all the time.” The maker of Blackberry Smoke’s 50-watt Germino heads, Greg Germino, personally recommended this Germino Lead 55LV (left) to Starr, and is paired with a 4x12 cab. And the other Germino is a Master Model 50.
Charlie Starr's Pedalboard
Starr’s pedalboard features a Cry Baby Wah, a PCE-FX Aluminum Falcon Klon clone, an Analog Man Sun Face, Chase Tone Secret Preamp—“a preamp that accidentally made everyone’s signal a little sweeter,”—Wampler Faux Tape Echo, Fulltone Supa-Trem, DryBell Vibe Machine, Analog Man-modded MXR Phase 45, and a Polytune 3. XTS XAct Tone Solutions supplies the juice. Starr tapes a few of the pedals’ knobs to make sure his settings don’t go missing in action.
Paul Jackson's Ol’ Reliable
Paul Jackson’s number one is his 1979 Les Paul, which has been modded with a Seymour Duncan ’59 neck pickup and a Pearly Gates bridge pickup. He says he got it at a Guitar Center in Atlanta about 18 years ago—it also sports Dickey Betts’ autograph. Jackson strings this and all his electrics with D’Addario .010-.046s.
This black Gibson SG Standard—one of Jackson’s pair of SGs—was a gift from Frank Hannon of the band Tesla, who signed the back of it.
Keep It Together
Jackson’s Martin D-28 currently has gaffer tape holding down its binding.
The other three touring staples for Jackson include a 1978 ES-335, a 40th Anniversary Les Paul Ebony 1991, and a 1998 Gibson SG Les Paul Custom Shop Historic.
De-Modded For Classic Tones
One of the two amps Jackson tours with is a pre-’85 Marshall JCM800 50-watt with a stock 4x12 cab. You’ll see it has a sticker that says “Paul Jackson Mod”—he had it modded at one point, but later took it to Andrews Amp Lab in Atlanta to have them “turn it back into a Marshall.” Along with the Marshall, Jackson’s Vox AC30 is on “all the time.”
Paul Jackson's Pedalboard
Jackson and Starr’s pedalboards have more than a few things in common—Jackson’s also equips his with a Cry Baby Wah, Wampler Faux Tape Echo, and a PCE-FX Aluminum Falcon Klon clone—although Jackson’s is an Aluminum Falcon III. Other pedals on his board include a Radial Twin-City ABY Amp Switcher, JHS 3 Series Reverb, MXR EVH Phase 90, Way Huge Overrated Special Overdrive, and an Ibanez Mini Tube Screamer. Power comes from a Truetone power supply. Of the EVH Phaser, Jackson says, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, hit the phase pedal. nobody will ever know.”
Caroline Jones’ Polymathic Picking
On Antipodes, Jones’ sophomore release, she pulls out all the stops, including a rack full of incredible guitars, a New Zealand-made Weissenborn-style lap steel, a lineup of special guests including Joe Bonamassa, and an impressive combination of fingerpicking and slide techniques.
Country singer-songwriter Caroline Jones names her guitars. Her current go-to, a Collings I-35 Deluxe, is “Ruby.” Her Taylor Custom GS 12-string is named “Big Mama.” There’s a 1963 Strat on loan from her coproducer, Ric Wake, that she calls “Heaven.” And you’ll also see her with a 1961 Fender Esquire—called, “Tenny”—that also belongs to Wake.
“Ric lets me borrow his Esquire,” Jones says about using the instrument in the studio and sometimes at shows. “He is very sweet about it. What’s the point of having it sit at home on the wall? You want people to hear it. You want to play it. That’s what it’s for. I know it’s extremely valuable, but I just feel, what is the value if you can’t play it?”
Jones is a player, and from a young age she’s been on a quest to create the sounds and parts she hears in her head. That’s resulted in her learning multiple picking and slide techniques, tunings, and instruments. The Connecticut native spent time in the Gulf Coast where she collaborated with Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown, but eventually she relocated to Nashville. In Music City, she has a rack of guitars to choose from in the studio, and she’s very picky, often choosing a specific guitar for just one melody, and then using another for an accompanying line or different part of the song.
Caroline Jones - Big Love (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
On her 2018 debut, Bare Feet, Jones played every instrument except bass and drums—and she spent weeks honing parts, layering rhythms, and doubling leads. But for her follow-up, Antipodes, which was released last November, she brought in a few Nashville pickers, like Danny Rader, Jason Roller, and Derek Wells, as well as special guests like Joe Bonamassa, Zac Brown, and Matthew Ramsey (Old Dominion). The initial sessions were recorded in Nashville, although most of the vocal and guitar overdubs were cut on the other side of the world in New Zealand (hence the name, “Antipodes,” which describes two locations on opposite sides of the earth), where Jones was living at the height of the pandemic.
Antipodes is an excellent showcase for Jones’ prodigious talent and versatility. The album features barnburners, like the twangy, chicken-picked single, “Come In (But Don’t Make Yourself Comfortable),” and also more subtle, acoustic fingerpicked songs like “No Daylight.” She also composed two songs on a New Zealand-built, Weissenborn-style lap steel: “So Many Skies,” which features Ramsey, and the earthy and bluesy, “Don’t Talk to Me Like I’m Tiffany,” featuring a somewhat restrained Bonamassa playing slide (as well as Jones on harmonica).
“Fingerpicking was the first thing that I ever learned on guitar, so it’s very natural to me. It’s probably the home of my style.”
“My now-husband wanted to get me a guitar in New Zealand to commemorate our time there,” Jones shares. “It was his idea to get the Weissenborn made by this Kiwi luthier named Paddy Burgin, and it’s beautiful. It’s made from this wood that he had sitting around for a long time. It’s really one of a kind.”
When Jones writes songs, she usually hears a version of the production in her mind that she wants to bring to life and evolve in the studio. A big part of that process also involves working with Nashville session players, who she says challenge her, and force her to up her game. “It’s extremely hard to get to that echelon of musicianship,” she says. “A lot of people don’t realize that only a few musicians are playing on almost all the Nashville records, and their level of musicianship is off the charts. For you to be comparing yourself to those people is, at times, disheartening. But I think you get a realistic picture of where the bar is for musicianship, which is something I always want to hold myself to, even though I’m very far off.”
The title of Caroline Jones’ sophomore album, Antipodes, refers to two places on opposite sides of the world. The initial sessions for the record were done in Nashville, but Jones recorded most of the vocal and guitar overdubs in New Zealand.
Not that she’s that far off. The cornerstone of her right-hand work is her exceptional, yet unorthodox, fingerpicking style. She wears plastic fingerpicks on three fingers, as well as a thumbpick, which is a technique she started on banjo. It’s a style that transferred easily over to acoustic guitar, and—with a little more effort—to electric guitar as well.
“I couldn’t get any sustain or ring from my fingers,” she says. “I don’t like having long nails. I feel really dirty—although a lot of my guitar heroes have long nails or fake nails—and I just don’t like that. The picks that I use, Alaska Piks, mimic the nail. They’re not steel like banjo picks. They’re plastic, and they’re just mimicking what a long nail would be. I wear it on my ring finger—as well as my index and middle fingers—which I know is not as traditional, but I do use that finger. Fingerpicking was the first thing that I ever learned on guitar, so it’s very natural to me. It’s probably the home of my style.”
Jones also prefers fingerpicks because they have more attack, which became more important as she got deeper into country music. She uses them for chicken picking, as well as when she’s going for a cleaner, indie-type sound. Although recently, after the death of flatpicking legend Tony Rice, she’s been doing a deep dive into his catalog and figuring out those techniques.
Caroline Jones’ Gear
Caroline Jones’ main acoustic guitar is “Sweet Annie,” a Collings OM1 that she pairs with her must-have Barbera Transducer Soloist saddle pickup. “I am an acoustic-pickup freak,” says Jones.
Photo by Tyler Lord
- Collings OM1 named “Sweet Annie”
- Beard Custom Resoluxe electric named “Blaze”
- Burgin Guitars Custom Weissenborn-style
- Collings I-35 Deluxe named “Ruby”
- 1961 Fender Custom Esquire (sunburst) named “Tenny”
- 1963 Fender Stratocaster Hardtail (sunburst) named “Heaven”
- Gretsch G6120-HR Brian Setzer Hot Rod named “Loretta”
- 1947 Martin 0-18 named “Rosie”
- Martin 00-21 Kingston Trio named “Surfer Dude”
- Nechville Universal 5-String Banjo named “Starfish”
- 1958 Rickenbacker Model BD Lap Steel (1958)
- Taylor Custom GS 12-String named “Big Mama”
Strings, Picks, Slides & Capos
- D’Addario Nickel Bronze .012–.053 Regular Light Set, .013s for lower tunings (acoustic)
- Ernie Ball Super Slinky .009s or .010s (electric)
- D’Andrea custom CJ V-Resin flatpicks in Trans Aqua (equivalent shape/gauge as Fender 351 Medium)
- ProPik Metal-Plastic Thumbpick
- Alaska Pik plastic fingerpicks
- Scheerhorn Stainless Steel Bar Slide (for lap steel and resonator)Dunlop 212 Pyrex Glass Slide (electric)
- Dunlop 220 Chromed Steel Slide (electric)
- Kyser capos
- Fractal Audio Axe-Fx III
- 1964 Fender Bassman AA864 head
- 1980s Yamaha G100-210 II 100-watt 2x10
- Vox AC50CP2 50-watt 2x12
- Rivera Silent Sister 60-watt 1x12 Isolation Cabinet with two Celestion V30s
- Fishman Aura Jerry Douglas Signature Imaging Pedal
- EV-1 Volume/Expression
- Peterson StroboStomp HD Tuner
- Vertex Effects Boost
- Boss FV-500H
- Boss GE-7 Graphic Equalizer with XTS Mod
- Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Deluxe Compressor
- Xotic EP Booster
- Nobels ODR-1 Overdrive
- JHS Pedals Bonsai
- JHS Pedals Muffuletta 6-way Fuzz
- Klon KTR
- Electro-Harmonix POG2
- Electro-Harmonix Mod Rex Polyrhythmic Modulator
- Boss RT-20 Rotary Ensemble
- Eventide H9 Max Dark
- Strymon Mobius
- Strymon TimeLine
- Strymon BigSky
- Electro-Harmonix 1440 Stereo Looper
“Tony Rice is one of the godfathers of flatpicking,” she says. “I’m forcing myself now to learn more flatpicking because it’s a very different sound. Even if some of the patterns are very similar—or they might sound in the same family—they’re totally different skill sets.”
Jones also says there’s no shame in using a capo. It’s an important tool in her toolbox and enables her to access many guitaristic devices—like drones and harmonics—that don’t necessarily work in every key, especially when it’s in a key that sits better with her voice.
“I’ve been a capo snob in my life, as in, ‘I’m not going to use the capo, because that’s cheating,’” she says. “But then you see the best players on earth in Nashville, capo-ing up their acoustic guitars—because the open voicings just sound better. I’m like, ‘If they’re doing it, then I’m allowed, too.’ In the end, it’s music. It’s about what sounds good. It’s not about forcing yourself to do the hardest thing so you can prove you can do it. It’s about what’s going to serve the song, and sometimes that means capo-ing up, or forcing yourself to learn a different voicing without a capo, or using an open tuning. There’s a reason all the guitar songs are in D and E and C and G and A. Those are the voicings that are natural to guitar. Sometimes we get a little too in our heads as guitar players and forget that we’re trying to make it sound good.”
“There’s a reason all the guitar songs are in D and E and C and G and A. Those are the voicings that are natural to guitar. Sometimes we get a little too in our heads as guitar players and forget that we’re trying to make it sound good.”
Jones often tunes her guitars down a half-step to make it easier to play in keys that work with her voice, and a lot of her songs are in F and Eb. It’s something she’s discovered that the Zac Brown Band does as well. “Their baseline is Eb,” she says. “They tune all their instruments down a half-step, just because it’s better for Zac. All their songs are either in Eb or Db or Gb, for the most part.”
As choosy as Jones may be when it comes to gear, that’s not a luxury she has when playing live, although she makes the best of it. She’s outfitted her acoustic guitars with Barbera Transducer Systems pickups, which she feels is a must when performing primarily on acoustic—which she’ll be doing as a special guest with the Zac Brown Band for most of summer 2022.
“I am an acoustic-pickup freak,” she says, “because that’s all anyone hears. The sound of your guitar matters to a certain extent, but the pickup matters a whole lot more because if you don’t have a pickup that’s doing justice to the sound, even if you have the best acoustic guitar, who cares? We really did a lot of R&D and the Barbera pickups are the latest top-of-the-line for me.”
This borrowed 1961 Esquire (nicknamed “Tenny”) is meant to be played, says Jones. The guitar belongs to her producer, Ric Wake.
Photo by Tyler Lord
She’s been forced to become a minimalist with her amps and effects as well. In the studio, her go-tos are a Fender Bassman and a 1980s-era solid-state Yamaha G100 amp that shines for clean tones, as well as an army of programmable digital pedals and transparent overdrives and boosts. But live, everything, including her acoustics, are run through a digital modeler.
“Live, we usually just recreate those sounds in the Fractal Axe-Fx,” she says. “Especially when I’m singing. When you’re trying to sing and perform and be the frontman, your energy is too scattered—for me at least—to be able to be tweaking and making sounds at the same time that I’m trying to sing and play guitar and entertain people.”
But despite her success and mastery of many different instruments, styles, and techniques, Jones, at the end of the day, still sees herself as a student. “It sometimes takes me time to find the parts and the melodies that I really love,” she says. “It’s a lot of trial and error. I’ll go home and figure out parts, usually by myself. I’m definitely not in real time like those Nashville musicians. They’re trained to come up with incredible parts in real time, and so they’re very practiced at it. For me, a lot of times, I try a lot of parts that don’t work before I find one that does. Guitar parts, especially rhythm parts, do so much for a track, and it really takes me in one direction or another. That’s what fascinates me so much about production.”
Reader Pedalboards 2022, Pt. 2
Here we go again! Last month we brought you part one of your guitar cohorts’ boards from around the world. Time to dig in for part two.
Premier Guitar’sannual feature gives readers the chance to show off their pedalboards. There are so many ways of thinking when it comes to wiring up your effects—that’s the fun of it! In this round we’ve got a tribute to Eddie Van Halen, a pandemic board from Amsterdam, a maximalist stomper with 17 pedals, a curly cord “board,” and much more. Go forth to discover new pedals, and stomp on!
Aaron Costello: A Waylon Button
I live in Portland, Oregon. When I built this board, the goal was to get a clear, natural, amp-like sound, with multiple gain stages. Lots of trial and error (which was fun), and, after laboring over decisions that are of absolutely no consequence to productive society, here’s what I came up with.
1. Ernie Ball VP Jr.
Basic as it gets. I use it to quiet the rig when I play with acoustic instruments and am also trying to get the hang of pedal-steel bends. Still have some work to do there!
2. Boss TU-3
3. Greer Amps Lightspeed
This thing is killer. With a single-coil guitar, I use it to push the Nobels ODR-Mini and get a little more gain without losing clarity. Typically, I use it for a raunchy rhythm sound. With a humbucker guitar, I usually shut the Nobels off and use it by itself.
4. Nobels ODR-Mini
This is my favorite pedal and the heart of the board. It’s very much like an amp. With a single-coil guitar, I use it for my clean sound and it’s always on. I really dig the edge-of-breakup thing.
5. J. Rockett Audio Archer
I like this behind the Nobels and use it to get a “singing,” higher-gain lead tone. Again, it retains the clarity at higher gain but still sounds like an amp.
6. MXR Phase 90
I literally call this the “Waylon Button.”
7. J. Rockett Audio Josh Smith Dual Trem
I don’t use it a ton but sometimes it’s the perfect thing to add color. Sometimes I’ll use it with the Greer and then fade it in and out with the volume pedal. It lets me mimic an organ pad and is kind of fun.
8. EHX Memory Toy Mini
This is my second favorite pedal. I use it for a slapback sound and it’s almost always on.
9. Mr. Black Super Swell Reverb
My main amps are a 1975 Princeton Reverb and a 1978 Vibrolux Reverb, so I usually like the amp reverb. I do have a couple of amps in my home studio that don’t have reverb, so I use this with those. It also sounds great on bass!
10. Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 4x4
This is under the board and does the job. Thanks for reading!
Bert Harris: My Curly “Board”
Here’s my pedalboard … I prefer to plug straight in and get all my tone from the amp itself. Nothing cooler than Clapton with a white curly cord plugged directly into a Fender Dual Showman at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus! I love the thought of showing up with a guitar, amp, pick, and curly cord!
Admittedly, I’m kinda lazy and plugging in a bunch of stuff is a beating to me … although I have been using an Xotic EP Booster lately, but it’s battery powered. Hope your day is a wonderful one!
Brian Schwager: Short and Sweet
Hello, I play in multiple bands in Des Moines, Iowa. Here’s what I got goin’ on my pedalboard:
- British Pedal Company Zonk Machine
- TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Mini
- Ceriatone Centura
- Greer Amps Lightspeed
- Danelectro BillionaireBig Spender Spinning Speaker
- Boss (XTS Custom Mods) GE-7 Equalizer
- JHS Pedals Lucky Cat Delay
- Strymon Flint
- Lehle P-Split (under the raiser, top right)
Drew Smith: Three is the Magic Number
I love these reader pedalboards: I hope you feature my board! I’m in a psychedelic punk-blues duo called Phantom Ocean, based out of New England. We’re heavily indebted to alternative music from the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s, and because there’s only two of us, my wife on drums and me on guitar, I keep my rig pretty tight. I need a few solid guitar tones and tend not to dip into too much modulation. To that end, my board right now only has three pedals: tuner, dirt, and delay.
For a tuner, I’ve got a Snark because it’s economical and does the job right. For dirt, I’ve got a Chicago Stompworks Mr. Vermin, their version of a Pro Co RAT, and it’s the best RAT I’ve ever tried. The first time I plugged into this thing, I finally understood why the RAT is so beloved by so many guitarists whose ears I respect. It really covers such a broad swathe of tones, from overdrive to straight-up fuzz. And then the TC Electronic Flashback is my favorite delay. I’ve never had one fail on me, you can get such a variety of sounds, and the TonePrint feature is always there to craft something really wild.
I round the board out with an XVive U2 wireless system, because I hate accidentally dragging cables across my board and freedom of movement onstage is a joy (even if I spend half the set near the mic anyway). I also use one of (Premier Guitar Senior Editor) Ted Drozdowski’s Rocky Mountain signature slides for my slide-guitar work.
Ernie Santella: Does-It-All Board
I built this pedalboard for my classic-rock cover band Wasted on the Young, out in Colorado. We cover everything from Bonnie Raitt to Stevie Ray Vaughan to ZZ Top to Maroon 5. So, I had to have a pedalboard that would fit just about anything our band needed to play. I think I achieved that. I have it all right underfoot at all times. I’m old-school and wanted to stay analog for the input side and then just a little digital on the effects loop side to keep the size down and give me the most bang for the space. I used a few mini pedals, but only if they sounded as good as their larger brethren.
I run my guitars (Heritage H-150, RS Guitarworks T-Style and S-Style, PRS Custom 24) with a single wireless. The Boss WL-50 is nice and clear-sounding with long battery life. Best part is, it auto-mutes when you unplug it, allowing for faster, noiseless guitar swaps.
The board is a Temple Duo 24, which is a great size and not too gnarly to carry. The wireless goes into the Dunlop Cry Baby Junior Wah (a classic-sounding wah with a slightly smaller size), then into the Korg Pitchblack, which is a nice and bright LED tuner, even outdoors. The tuner feeds the Xotic SP Compressor for some clean spank when needed. Next are three pedals for different levels of boost. Depending on the amp setting, the three boosts work differently. The Emerson EM-Drive is great for a quick Marshall-in-a-Box crunch tone. The Bogner Wessex is my over-the-top overdrive that has a nice compression to it. Lastly, the Wampler Tumnus is a Klon killer and is great for adding clean lead boost to anything, just by adding level and not too much gain.
I run that into a Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 36 head. The amp is all analog, but digitally controlled by MIDI. So, technically, you have 128 amp presets. I use a cheap ActitioN 8-button MIDI controller I found on Reverb for amp presets. From spanky clean to OMG gain. It’s like having an 8-channel amp! I can just step through 8 levels of gain in increments.
The effects loop of the amp feeds the Way Huge Smalls Blue Hippo set to the Joe Bonamassa-approved chorus setting that gives a killer rotary-speaker tone. Then, into the Line 6 M9 for chorus, tremolo, flange, and spring reverb for the many different tunes we play. Lastly, the clock for keeping us on schedule during a gig. We’ve been known to jam out and forget the set schedule! Hope you like it!
Fernando Diaz: Clean, Mean Maximalist
Greetings! Here is the current iteration of my pedalboard. It’s powered by a Strymon Zuma, and two Strymon Ojai expansion kits.The chain is as follows:
- Dunlop 535Q Cry Baby Multi-Wah
- Basic Audio Scarab Deluxe
- King Tone Octaland Mini
- Spaceman Sputnik III
- TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Mini
- Paul Cochrane Timmy
- Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer (with Alchemy Audio mod)
- Browne Amplification Protein
- Barber Electronics Gain Changer SR
- Hudson Electronics Broadcast
- Land Devices HP-2
- Greer Amps Supa Cobra
- Keeley Katana Boost
- Walrus Audio Julia V1
- Dreadbox Komorebi
- JHS Pedals Panther Cub V2
- Neunaber Immerse Reverberator Mk II
Jelle Veirman: Booze Protected
This is the gear I use almost daily, playing a wide range of genres in different cover bands, from classic rock to contemporary music. I had to figure out a way to get the most out of my Stratocaster and Les Paul through one compact system and protect my gear against drunk people and their booze.
This is my rack configuration:
Electro-Harmonix LPB-1 Linear Booster, Ibanez TS9 (overdrive for the Strat), Boss SD-1 (overdrive for the Les Paul), Joyo Clean Glass preamp, DOD FX40B Equalizer, Rockman Sustainor (Strat crunch and leads), Rockman Distortion Generator (Les Paul crunch and leads), Rocktron Patchmate Loop 8, Rocktron MIDI Mate, Electro-Harmonix Expression Pedal, Dunlop Cry Baby Wah, TC Electronic G-Major effects processor, Alesis DEQ 2-channel Equalizer (pre- and post-Rockman EQ), and a Mooer Macro Power Supply. Going into the effects return (power amp) of my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III.
JR Emmett: String Monkey
This is my humble submission for your Reader Pedalboard feature. This is my personal board, which serves as a demonstrator to my clients of what can be done with a pedalboard to make it convenient and versatile as well as supporting my own practice and performance needs. When I’m not playing guitar, I’m a one-man shop (String Monkey Technical Services) providing guitar repair and custom fabrication services to the North Texas music community.
Wireless or cable -> Boss TU-2 -> General Guitar Gadgets Stratoblaster -> Boss BD-2 Blues Driver -> Dunlop 535Q Multi-Wah -> amp input
Amp FX send -> MXR Phase 95 -> Boss CE-5 Chorus -> Boss LS-2 (mixes signals from two Boss DD-3 Digital Delays run in parallel) -> Boss TR-2 Tremolo -> amp FX return
- Pedaltrain Novo 24 board
- Truetone 1 SPOT Pro CS7 Power Supply
- Built-in mic stand holder (upper right, repurposed flagpole mount)
- String Monkey patch bay with color-coded loom for easy signal hookup
- String Monkey repackaged amp-channel switcher (original was too big)
- String Monkey acrylic wah baseplate with mechanical clamp to Pedaltrain rails
- Talent DI Box with cabinet simulator and patch cables for direct to PA connection
- Soldered interconnect using Mogami bulk cable and Switchcraft phono plugs
Keith Paul: Bass Board
Hello PG! I just wanted to share my bass pedalboard that I use in my band Dumb Waiter, from Richmond, Virginia. Keep up the great content, I love the Rig Rundowns! Stay well.
- TC Electronic PolyTune Mini
- Boss OC-2 Octave
- Meris Enzo with preset switch
- Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar
- Nunez Amps Annex Bass Channel
- Fuzzrocious The Demon
- DOD Gunslinger
- MXR M85 Bass Distortion
- Boss CE-2W Chorus
- Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
- MXR M300 Reverb
Marco Fumagalli: Pandemic Pedalboard
I am from Italy and living in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This is my pedalboard during the first wave of lockdown in 2020. I used to play in bands, but now I do it for my own pleasure. Playing the guitar and shaping the sound of it is a way for me to escape and relax. I don’t really play a specific type of music, but my root is blues.
Pictured: Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man, Fulltone Mini Deja’Vibe, Klon KTR, Fulltone Octafuzz, Dunlop Cry Baby Mini Wah, two Gibson SGs, and a ’97 Fender Voodoo Strat from the greatly missed Mr. Soren Venema of the legendary Palm Guitars shop in Amsterdam.
Raghav Govindarajan: Nerding Out
I’m a huge fan of the Premier Guitar platform. My boss at the music school I work at and I frequently nerd out over the Rig Rundowns, so thank you for that! Figured I’d toss my pedalboard up. I have decided to update it since this photo, but my new pedals won’t be in until next week most likely.
The pedal chain from right to left is:
- DigiTech Drop
- Wampler Ego Compressor V2
- Dr. Scientist The Elements Distortion (Gold Bar Edition)
- Wampler Pantheon Overdrive
- Boss EQ-200 Graphic Equalizer
- Swindler Effects The Gulf Chorus V2
- Strymon Iridium
- Source Audio Collider Delay+Reverb
The output of the Wampler Ego goes into input A of the EQ-200, and output A goes into the Elements. The output of the Pantheon goes into the input B of the EQ-200, and output B goes into the Iridium. This lets me shape my sound pre- and post-gain.
Thanks for letting me nerd out about my board for a few minutes! And thank you for all that you do for the guitar community and musicians. Rig Rundowns really are the best part of my week/month and I love discovering new artists and players from it. It’s like the guitar player’s NPR Tiny Desk!
Robby Hovie: Going North
Greetings from Northern Michigan! Here’s my rig for my work in the band Levitator. Thanks!
- Modtone MT-PT1 Chromatic Tuner
- Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar
- Boss FB-2 Feedbacker/Booster
- Keeley Fuzz Bender
- JHS Pedals SuperBolt V1
- JHS Pedals Honey Comb Deluxe
- Dunlop Cry Baby Wah
- Moog MF-105 MoogerFooger MIDI MuRF
- MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe
- Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb
Sebastian DiPietro: The Full Package
Here is a picture of my pedalboard, along with my amp and guitars, to give a complete view of my rig.
Xotic XW-1 Wah -> DigiTech Whammy V -> Analog Man Bi-CompROSSor Rev5 -> Electro-Harmonix POG2 -> Analog Man King of Tone -> Analog Man Sun Face BC109B -> GFI System Synesthesia -> Empress Effects Echosystem -> Empress Effects Reverb -> Electro-Harmonix 22500 Dual Stereo Looper -> Amp or Strymon Iridium
Guitars and Amp:
- Guild S70
- Guild S300D
- Booya! Amplifiers 27-watt combo with a Celestion G12H-75 Creamback
- Caulfield Cables (light blue guitar/amp cables)
- Audioblast Cables (patch cables)
Steve Gorospe: All Styles
I play in the American Music Company Band covering songs from the 1940s to the early 1970s, with most of the focus on 1950s rock ’n’ roll and 1960s R&B and soul. But that also includes blues and some old-school country. I spent my teen years through the 1980s, so ’70s guitar rock and ’80s stadium rock are a huge part of my musical life. I built a pedalboard that works for me to cover all these styles and material.
Pedals in series in the order below:
- Vertex Steel String
- Wampler Tumnus
- JHS Pedals Sweet Tea V3
- TC Electronic Sub N Up Octaver
- JHS Pedals Series 3 Phaser
- Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble
- Boss DC-2W Dimension C Waza Craft
- Strymon Lex Rotary
- MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe
- JHS Pedals The Milkman
- Boss FRV-1 ’63 Fender Reverb
- Mesa/Boogie High-Wire Dual Buffer (input and output)
- Boss TU-12H High-Range Chromatic Tuner (hooked to the tuner output of the Mesa High-Wire)
Thomas Madera: Tribute to Eddie
I’m a guitarist in Las Vegas, Nevada. My stompbox setup is mostly a tribute to Eddie Van Halen, but this board is great for tons of rock/metal tones, lead or rhythm. It includes: an Echoplex EP101 Preamp, Echoplex EP103 Delay, a reissue MXR Script Phase 90, MXR EVH117 Flanger, MXR EVH 5150 Chorus, Wampler Pinnacle Distortion, Mad Professor 1 Distortion/Reverb, and a TC Electronic Brainwaves Pitch Shifter. Everything is routed into a GigRig Quartermaster QMX 8 switcher and powered by a Truetone 1 SPOT Pro CS12.