manchester orchestra

Chicago’s three-day, punk-rock carnival was host to Slayer, Jawbreaker, Raconteurs, Patti Smith, Rise Against, Bob Mould, Rancid, Bikini Kill, Lucero, the Struts, and more. Here are our favorite guitar-related moments from the 15th annual gathering.

Ween’s Dean Ween

One half of the offbeat alt-rock group Ween, Dean (aka Mickey Melchiondo) pays constant tribute to his Hendrix influences by primarily rocking a Strat onstage. His Frankenstein Strat’s cavity has a ’57 route with a dowel cut in half-lengthwise and glued to the outside wall to receive the extra screw hole for a ’62 or later pickguard. It was refinished Dakota red in the early ’90s, and its neck plate dates to 1962. The guitar has a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup in the bridge and Fender Lace Sensors in the middle and neck positions. The band played The Mollusk in its entirety.

For at least a decade, the classic Ampeg SVT was the dominant bass amp for power and tone.

Photo courtesy of ampeg.com

From the giant, hefty beasts of yore to their modern, ultra-portable equivalents, bass amps have come a long way. So, what's next?

Bassists are often quite well-informed about the details of their instruments, down to the finest technical specs. Many of us have had our share of intense discussions about the most minute differences between one instrument and another. (And sometimes those are interrupted by someone saying, "It's all in the fingers.") But right behind our backs, at the end of our output cables, there is a world of tone-shaping that we either simply ignore or just don't want to dive into too deeply. Turning a gear discussion from bass to amp is a perfect way to bring it to an abrupt end.

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Flexible filtering options and a vicious fuzz distinguish the Tool bass master’s signature fuzz-wah.

Great quality filters that sound good independently or combined. Retains low end through the filter spectrum. Ability to control wah and switch on fuzz simultaneously. Very solid construction.

Fairly heavy. A bit expensive.

$299

Dunlop JCT95 Justin Chancellor Cry Baby Wah
jimdunlop.com

4.5
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Options for self-expression through pedals are almost endless these days. It’s almost hard to imagine a sonic void that can’t be filled by a single pedal or some combination of them. But when I told bass-playing colleagues about the new Dunlop Justin Chancellor Cry Baby—which combines wah and fuzz tuned specifically for bass—the reaction was universal curiosity and marvel. It seems Dunlop is scratching an itch bass players have been feeling for quite some time.

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