Rig Rundown: Best Coast’s Bobb Bruno and Bethany Cosentino
California surf-rockers Best Coast use tons of fun effects and interesting guitars to create their shimmers and other layered tones.
Bobb Bruno’s current main guitar is a Gibson Elliot Easton Signature “Tikibird” Firebird with ’57 Classic humbuckers. Bruno says he was in a “Cars phase” while recording Best Coast’s latest album, California Nights. His favorite feature is the far left slider switch. When engaged, the signal bypasses the bridge pickup and goes straight to the output for a boost.
This Fender American Standard Strat HSS Shawbucker recently replaced Bruno’s Gibson Joan Jett Melody Maker, which he says has become too valuable to tour with. “I love this pickup—it’s super loud,” Bruno says of the Shawbucker.
All of Bruno’s guitar parts on Best Coast’s debut album were played with a baritone guitar. His oldest guitar is an Eastwood Sidejack Baritone Deluxe, but now he’s using this Squier Baritone Jazzmaster. He tunes his baris A to A, and added a Mastery bridge and vibrato system to both. Both are strung up with Ernie Ball baritone strings.
Bruno’s Warren Ellis Signature Tenor Guitar Eastwood only has 4 strings, tuned to C–G–D–A. He plays it on the song “Sleep Will Never Come.”
Upon first hitting his board, Bruno’s signal goes into a TC Electronic PolyTune, heads to a TSVG Best Coast Signature Fluzzy (based on the old Ibanez Standard Fuzz), then goes to a custom American Loopers switcher (the white pedal with the green skull) that has an Electro-Harmonix Nano POG and a Mr. Black Eterna Gold in loop 1, and a Bigfoot FX Magnavibe and a Catalinbread Valcoder in loop 2. Bruno’s “gnarly” Forever Fuzz—the pedal covered in purple-and-black faux fur—was given to him by Nels Cline and features a built-in filter circuit. A Strymon Tap Favorite switch triggers the tape-chorus simulation in Bruno’s Strymon Deco, but he also uses the tape-delay simulation for slapback echo, and the tape-saturation section for solos and rhythm sounds. The Mid-Fi Electronics pedal next to the Tap Favorite houses two effects—a Psych Byke fuzz and Fuzz Wall—and the MXR Noise Clamp next door helps keep them manageable. An MI Audio Super Crunch Box, Bruno’s main distortion, is used for roughly 75 percent of a given set. The board is rounded out by a Catalinbread Zero Point flanger, a TSVG Hard Stuff, a Strymon El Capistan, a Catalinbread Talisman plate-reverb simulator, and a Line 6 DL4 (not pictured).
Bruno’s amp is a 1982 115-watt Mesa/Boogie Mark II he bought on Craigslist, which he says is good for capturing the low frequencies in his baritones. “I only have it at 3 and it’s plenty loud for me,” Bruno says.
Bethany Cosentino has played Fenders her entire Best Coast career. She plays her new Limited Edition American Standard Strat in Azteca Gold for about 80 percent of the band’s live set.
This Oxblood-finished Fender Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster has a Mastery bridge installed by John Woodland himself. Cosentino uses the guitar to open the show with older, harder-rocking songs.
Cosentino's Mesa/Boogie Lone Star has customized gold tolex to match her Strat. Her settings are clean all the time, so she gets her distortion and reverb from her pedals.
Bobb Bruno set up Cosentino’s board with a TC Electronic PolyTune 2, an Xotic Effects EP Booster (on all the time), Mojo Hand Fx Bluebonnet, Wampler Euphoria, HardWire DigiTech Supernatural, Malekko Ekko 616 Analog Delay, and an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail (stays on all the time).
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Sweetwater vs. Reverb
Which one do you prefer?
Rhett and Zach unpack the big news for secondhand guitar sellers and buyers: Sweetwater has launched their new Gear Exchange. How does it compare to Reverb, Craigslist, and Marketplace? To find out, Zach takes the site for a spin and buys a pedal. He calls the process both “very easy” and “normal.” They discuss the pros and cons of the various used-gear outlets and share tips for not getting got when buying gear. Plus, Zach grew a mustache, Mythos Pedals is moving, and he talks about his forthcoming line of Strat pickups inspired by Hendrix’s reverse-stagger setup.
Sweetwater vs. Reverb
Get 10% off from StewMac when you visit stewmac.com/dippedintone
Supro Introduces All-New Royale Head and 1x12 Cab
The Royale was designed to deliver loud and vivid clean tone with a responsive, tactile low end.
Designed to offer massive headroom, the 50-watt Royale Head lets you indulge in smooth clean tones at even higher volumes on stage without any breakup. Select between class A and class AB modes, with its variable mode switch, so you can choose between gushing Supro tone or a punchier, tight midrange response.
Introducing the Royale Head & Extension Cabinet | Supro
The Royale 1x12 Extension Cabinet features the custom Supro BD12 high-power driver, offering the same mid-range punch and clean articulation as the Royale combo but with additional stage volume. More info: suprousa.com.
Royale Head | $1,499.99
Royale Cab | $669.99
D’Addario Foundation Kicks-Off Education Initiative with Online Auction
D'Addario Foundation's education project sets out to help schools throughout the country and kicks off with an online auction.
The D’Addario Foundation will host a virtual auction from November 9 to November 30, 2022, with the overarching goal of raising $30,000 for the D'Addario Foundation’s Immersive Music Challenge.
Inspired by a new study published in the Journal of Youth Development, the D'Addario Foundation recently launched the Immersive Music Challenge. This ambitious project will help school districts and charter systems throughout the country boost academic achievement by implementing effective, multi-day-per-week music-based mentoring programs that include training, administration, and evaluation. The D’Addario Foundation has invested in an incredible team of consultants that include school superintendents, public health experts, and data analysts to ensure sound results. In addition, D’Addario is actively seeking corporate partners to support the establishment of these programs and champion their success.
Thanks to the generosity of D'Addario artists and industry partners including Gibson, PRS Guitars, D'Angelico, Taylor Guitars, and more, one-of-a-kind items & experiences are up for bidding. Some of the items include:
- Evans Drumhead signed by Anderson Paak
- ESP Mirage Deluxe '87 Signed by Bruce Kulick of KISS and Grand Funk Railroad
- Gibson Les Paul Custom electric guitar
- D'Addario bass string set signed by Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats
- PRS S2 McCarty 594 Singlecut
- Virtual Lesson with Marty Schwartz
Xotic Effects Introduces Revamped RC Booster
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Xotic Effects unveils an updated version of their classic boost pedal.
Xotic’s RC Booster pedal is back to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The RC Booster’s original design was a customer favorite due to its versatile clean boost, active treble, bass, gain and volume controls. This classic reissue will join their regular pedal lineup permanently.
• Transparent boost pedal for electric guitar
• Up to 20dB of boost for adding volume or sending your amp into overdrive
• Treble and bass EQ controls with +/-15dB range for fine-tuning your sound
• True bypass switching removes the effect from your signal path when disengaged
• Powered via 9-volt battery or optional AC adapter (sold separately)
• 9-18 volts
The first 1000 pedals will contain a special limited edition packaging with special items and actual guitar picks from Andy Timmons, Paul Jackson Jr, Dean Brown, Kirk Fletcher, Allen Hinds, Chris Duarte, Scott Henderson, Oz Noy, Michael Thompson, Yuya Komoguchi, Toshi Yanagi.
RC Booster with limited edition packaging street price is $172.00. More info: xotic.us.