Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy take PG through their Alter Bridge road rigs.
PG’s John Bohlinger hung with Alter Bridge’s two-man guitar army, Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy, before their sold-out show at The Orpheum Theater in Memphis. Tremonti and Kennedy showcased some beautiful signature Paul Reed Smith guitars, as well as a not-yet-released PRS signature amp.
Thanks to techs Dave Pate and Scott Davis for their help with the details.
Brought to you by D’Addario Strings.
Not surprisingly, Tremonti exclusively plays his Paul Reed Smith Mark Tremonti Signature.
The first is an early model from around 2002, sporting a signature brown burst with a tremolo bar. All guitars have D’Addario strings, though gauges vary by tuning. This one is tuned to Eb with 49–38– 28–17–13–10. Tremonti uses Dunlop Tortex 1.3 mm picks.
Spare Some Change?
This is Dime—short for Dimebag—Tremonti’s second PRS single-cut with a whammy bar.
Don't Call Me Daughter
This is Stella, named after Tremonti’s two-year old daughter. Tremonti and Paul Reed Smith came up with the body design together. PRS isn’t set up to mass-produce this shape, so there won’t be a wide-scale production.
This “Fenton” graphic guitar is one of 20 produced. This was a 20th anniversary model with original art painted by Joe Fenton.
H.A. (Hell’s Angels) was the second prototype Tremonti signature made by PRS. The pickups are early prototypes.
Mark Tremonti's Pedalboard
Tremonti’s signal starts with an Evidence Audio ‘The Reveal’ cable from his guitar to his pedals, and Mogami W2319 and Square Plug SP5 plugs for patch cables. Pedals include a Morley “Mark Tremonti” Signature Wah, Ibanez TS808HW, Boss TU-3, Boss OC-5, Digitech The Drop, MXR Smart Gate, Mark Tremonti prototype signature chorus/vibrato, and a Lehle Little Lehle III true bypass loop pedal. There’s also a G-Lab SD-1 running into the amp’s effects loop.
The Big Reveal
The PRS MT 100 Mark Tremonti Signature 100-watt three-channel head has not been officially released yet, but Tremonti has been touring with it for a while, as a shake-down cruise.
He runs this tube-driven beast into two oversized Mesa 4x12 cabs, loaded with Celestion British V30s wired at 8 ohms. The amp uses a Kikusui PCR1000M voltage regulator/power conditioner, plus there’s a Lehle P-Split for splitting signals to main and backup heads.
The Four Horsemen
Kennedy tours with four of his new PRS Signature guitars. The ones finished in natural and white are both tuned to Eb or Eb with a dropped C#, depending on the song. The signature is a bolt neck, T-style guitar with 10” radius, and Narrowfield pickups. All guitars are strung with D’Addario Light Top/Heavy Bottom Strings (.010-.052).
Kennedy reveres owls for their wisdom and adaptability. PRS has a long-standing tradition of using bird silhouettes for inlay markers, so it only made sense that Kennedy and PRS would incorporate their collective avis admiration in the signature model.
Kennedy’s green Signature is tuned to A#–G#–C#–F#–A–#D#, and G–#G–#C#–F#–A#–D#, depending on the song.
Back(up) In Black
Kennedy’s black Signature is strictly a backup in case there are problems with any of the others.
Kennedy runs two Diezel heads: a Diezel VH4 and a Diezel Herbert. The amps run into two Diezel 4x12 cabs loaded with green Tone Tubby Hempcone 40/40 Ceramic speakers.
Myles Kennedy's Pedalboard
Kennedy runs his MXR Carbon Copy and an EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master in the VH4’s clean loop. Over on his pedalboard, there’s a Dunlop MC404 CAE Wah, Boss TU-2 tuner, Electro-Harmonix’s Nano POG, Lizard Queen, and Freeze, a Ceriatone Centura, Strymon Deco, Line 6 MM4, and a Boss RV-6.
Shop Alter Bridge's Rig
PRS Mark Tremonti Signature
PRS SE Mark Tremonti Signature
Taylor 514CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Lehle Little Lehle
MXR Smart Gate
Ibanez TS808HW Tube Screamer
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
Radial Big Shot ABY
EHX Micro POG
EHX Lizard Queen
PRS Myles Kennedy Hunter Green Signature
PRS Myles Kennedy Natural Signature
PRS Myles Kennedy Tri-Color Sunburst Signature
See how dynamic duo Megan and Rebecca Lovell dazzle and delight with a svelte signature lap steel (and its 1950s inspiration), two Fender Custom Shop throwbacks, and plenty of soulful, sweet-sounding, sister synergy.
“Our relationship is everything about this band,” conceded Rebecca Lovell to PG in 2022. “The way that we communicate, the way that we play together, the way that we facilitate one another’s musicianship. It is the air that we breathe as a band, and everything revolves around our siblinghood.”
Their symbiotic sorcery has taken them from budding bluegrass pickers in the Lovell Sisters (then alongside older sister Jessica Lovell) to real-deal rockstars as Larkin Poe with several No. 1 albums on the Billboard blues chart. Since 2010, when the sisters regrouped as an electric duo, they’ve released six studio albums, five EPs, and one live set. Each musical installment from the twosome continues to bring fresh songwriting and sonic influences, further intensifying and enlivening their core chicken-fried, boot-stompin’, roots-rockin’ sound.
On the penultimate day of their first touring leg in support of 2022’s Blood Harmony, the sensational Larkin Poe sisters, Megan and Rebecca Lovell, welcomed PG’s Chris Kies onstage at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl to talk tone. Megan shows off her brand-new Beard signature Electro-Liege lap steel and a 1950s Rickenbacker B6, featuring some ingenious engineering that inspired the Liege’s unique silhouette. Rebecca explains how she fell for the HSS Stratocaster and why she’s finally ready to be in a committed relationship with fuzz. Plus, we find out who’s taking who’s gear when it comes to the Lovell sisters and their significant others.
Brought to you by D’Addario String Finder.
The Slide Queen’s Loyal Subjects
After making the switch to electrified instruments, Megan Lovell has been an avid ambassador of the lap steel guitar. Her first and longest partnership with the instrument is an early 1950s Rickenbacker Electro Model B6 (top). The unusual upper-bout aluminum wing was something Megan created to help keep the instrument’s heft off her shoulder and put it in a more comfortable playing position.
As you can see below, the B6 was a big inspiration on Megan’s new Beard Guitars Electro-Liege lap steel. The Electro-Liege is built for comfort and speed, with a lightweight poplar body, Jason Lollar Horseshoe pickup, and a shape that was hand-drawn by Megan to emulate the same curves in the homemade body extension she uses for her Rickenbacker.
“Against Megan’s will, I have been calling her ‘the slide queen’ for a long time,” Rebecca said to PG in 2022. “I’ve sorta forced the issue and now she’s kinda stuck with it. So, she wanted to make a play on that, so liege is referring to the royalty angle. Megan went into granular detail about this. It was really cool to see these little paper cutouts on cardboard of what it was gonna look like, and hats off to Paul Beard for really taking all of her information and going for it.”
The result looks like a futuristic cross between her Rickenbacker and a Dobro. And the Liege carries half the weight of its forefather. “It was really cool that he had the trust to just take all of the measurements from my drawings and just make it,” Megan told PG. “It’s exactly what I wanted.” Both lap steels ride in open-G tuning, she puts Ernie Ball strings on them, and attacks both with Dunlop Zookies thumbpicks.
“The first electric guitar I ever bought, is my seafoam green Jazzmaster. I got that because we were playing with Elvis Costello, and that was his main guitar and I just thought it was so badass,” Rebecca detailed in PG in 2018. However, you won’t see any of those instruments in this Rundown. So, how did Rebecca come to love and appreciate the Strat?
Well, she’s married to Rig Rundown alumnus Tyler Bryant, who’s had a long association with that particular Fender. She snagged one of his Fender Custom Shop 1960s Stratocaster HSS’s and took it on tour. She loved its smaller, lighter profile and thicker tone. So, she enlisted the good people at the Fender Custom Shop to build her a clone of Bryant’s 1960s copy.
“I love humbuckers,” says Rebecca. “It’s so beefy, and having toured as a four-piece for so many years, that extra chunk has been helpful.”
Rebecca keeps all her electrics in standard tuning, they take Ernie Ball Slinkys (.010–.046), and she hammers against them with Dunlop Tortex .60 mm picks.
(It’s worth checking out Bryant’s Rundown to hear the story behind his two main “Pinky” Strats that are now immortalized in a Fender signature model.)
A Silvery Stunner
Rebecca’s other main Fender is this Custom Shop 1950s “blackguard” Tele that she requested be bedazzled in a silver-sparkle finish.
“This is the most bling thing I own. I’m not a big girly-girl, but come on! I love it because it’s spanky as hell,” admits Rebecca.
The Stolen Special
Here’s the gateway drug that introduced Rebecca into the specialness of Strats. She still tours with it and keeps it stocked and ready for any backup duties.
The ladies are vintage small-combo aficionados, but the rigors of the road make traveling with them a nerve-wracking endeavor. Their collective solution is to tour with a couple of Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverbs. And both plug into the amp’s vibrato circuit.
Double Trouble—Megan Lovell & Rebecca Lovell’s Pedalboards
As with their onstage amp choices, the sisters have nearly identical pedalboards. Both rely on a Line 6 HX Effects, a Strymon Iridium, and a Rodenberg Custom Amplification TB Drive. The drive is Tyler Bryant’s signature pedal that stacks a pair of TS-style circuits into one box. He had a custom enclosure made for both Megan (“Slide Queen”) and Rebecca (“Habibi”) that has their respective nicknames on it (top). Megan has an Ernie Ball 40th Anniversary Volume Pedal and Peterson StroboStomp HD Tuner, while Rebecca (bottom) has some added firepower with a Beetronics Royal Jelly and a limited edition MXR Sugar Drive in a “brown sugar” coating. Additionally, Rebecca has a Boss TU-3 Chromatic tuner to keep her guitars in check. Both Lovells have a Strymon Zuma power supply and a Xact Tone Solutions routing box under the hood.
The L.A.-based session ace takes PG through his studio and talks about his love for “player grade” guitars.
Tim Pierce’s guitar can be heard on more than a thousand recordings, starting in the ’80s, when he played on hits by Bon Jovi, John Waite, and Rick Springfield. In subsequent years, he’s added to his resume with recorded performances for Crowded House, Christina Aguilera, Seal, Avril Lavigne, Tracy Chapman, Joe Cocker, Ricky Martin, Meat Loaf, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Rob Thomas, Rick Springfield, Phil Collins, Madonna, Toy Matinee, Don Henley, Santana, Rascal Flatts, Chris Isaak, Jewel, Faith Hill, Celine Dion, Dave Matthews Band, the Goo Goo Dolls, Lana Del Ray, Demi Lovato, Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson, and many more.
These days, Pierce also has a popular YouTube channel with more than 400,000 subscribers and offers an online masterclass program for thousands of users. You can get more information at timpierceguitar.com.
Meanwhile, here’s what we saw—and learned—when Pieces shared the wisdom and the gear he’s accumulated in four decades of playing sessions.
Brought to you by D’Addario XS Strings.
Here’s a look at Tim Pierce’s go-to instruments, including a 1962 ES-335, a 2020 Gibson Custom Shop 1960 Les Paul reissue with Arcane humbuckers, a one-off PRS McCarty 594 Singlecut in black with binding, and a ’62 Fender Jaguar strung with flatwounds.
After nearly four decades of sessions, Pierce has pretty much every tool for any job. His heavy rotation includes this 1962 Gibson ES-335, which has enough wear to be considered “player grade,” with Ron Ellis pickups. Most of Tim’s electric guitars are strung with Elixir nanoweb strings, either .009 through .042, or .010 through .046.
This 2022 Mario hardtail S-style with a paulonia-wood body weighs a mere 4 pounds 13 ounces!
The Right Stripe
You’d be hard pressed to find a more beautiful flame top than this 2019 PRS McCarty Flame Top Doublecut. It sports a carved flame maple top on a mahogany body, a rosewood fretboard, two volumes, two push-pull tone controls, and a 3-way switch.
Pierce has a lot of amps to choose from in his control room, including this 1967 Marshall Super PA 100 head (top) and 1968 Marshall Super Tremolo plexi.
A Park, Divided
There’s also a Park JTM 45-100 from a limited run of 10 and a Divided by 13 RSA 23 head, with 23 watts, natch.
More Amped Up
Rounding out the lineup of Pierce’s amplifiers is a Bad Cat Lynx, a Bad Cat Hot Cat, and a Joe Morgan custom 15 head (not pictured).
That’s 16 x 48
Pierce’s amp cabs live in a separate, sealed room, built specifically for isolation, far from the control room. They include these four vintage Marshall 4x12 cabinets, dating from 1968 through the early 1970s. There’s also a vintage Vox 2x12 with 15W Bulldogs.
He keeps his cabs miked with Shure SM57s, two Royer R-122V tube ribbon microphones, and two Sony C800 large diaphragm condensers from the early ’90s. A Scheops CMC5 condenser microphone is used for acoustic guitars.
Tim Pierce's Pedalboard
Pierce began the interview playing though his main mobile Pedal Board, which includes a Nobels ODR-1, a Strymon Lex rotary, a Keeley/Timmons Halo delay, a Meris LVX delay, a Karma MTN-10 overdrive, an XTS Modded Boss GE-7 equalizer and Boss TR-2 Tremolo, a vintage Boss VB-2 Vibrato, an MXR Reverb, a Fairchild Circuitry Shallow Water modulation pedal, a Providence System Tuner, two Dunlop mini expression pedals, a Dunlop volume pedal, a Voodoo Lab Dingbat pedalboard, and a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Mondo.
Pedal Muscle, Part II
While in his studio cockpit, these are Pierce’s effects, which you can hear him play in his online videos: Ibanez MT10 Mostortion, Vemuram ODS-1, Nobels ODR-1, MXR Boost/Line Driver, Way Huge Red Llama, Boss OC-2 Octave, Boss VB-2 Vibrato, Way Huge Supa-Puss Analog Delay, Fender MTG Tube Tremolo, Universal Audio Golden Reverberator, Neon Egg Planetarium 3, Ebo E-verb, three Eventide H9s used with the iPad App, and a Boomerang Looper. And as you can see with the additional gear photos, Tim Pierce owns (nearly) every tone-tweaking device ever made!
Tim Pierce Rig