Rig Rundown: Cory Wong

The Grammy-nominated high minister of funk guitar and host of PG’s Wong Notes podcast take us through his spare but carefully tailored setup.


Hey, what’s happenin’ people?!!! For Cory Wong, who kicks off episodes of his Wong Notes podcast with that question, the answer is he’s currently deep into an international tour—while still recording new episodes, writing music, and producing. But that didn’t stop the prodigious, prolific picker from taking the time during a recent stop at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl to guide us through his rig. By the way, the new season of Wong Notes begins March 9 with a big-deal guest, so stay tuned.

Dracula Is in the House

Okay, so that’s a guitar case and not a sarcophagus, but there’s a bloody cool instrument inside. Cory Wong tours exclusively with his signature Fender Cory Wong Stratocaster. This sapphire-blue-transparent-satin-lacquer-finished Strat features a scaled-down alder body with sculpted contours, a maple D-shaped neck with a 10–14" compound radius, Seymour Duncan Cory Wong Clean Machine single-coils, a vintage-style 6-screw synchronized tremolo, and deluxe locking tuners. A panic button push/push pot on tone dial 2 bypasses the 5-way switch and defaults to Wong’s favorite sound: position 4. Wong tours with two of these instruments in standard tuning and one tuned down a half-step. While Wong’s on tour, Fender sends examples of his signature Strats for him to play—and quality check—at shows before they are sold. The Strats stay strung with Ernie Ball Paradigm steel .010 sets and he uses Dava Delrin medium picks.

Plenty of Bark

Wong runs two DV Mark Eric Gales signature Raw Dawg heads. They’re solid-state but have a 6205 mini tube in the preamp, and, despite weighing less than six pounds each, power out 250W at 4 ohms and 150W at 8 ohms.

Convene the Cabinets

To run with the Dawgs, Wong uses a pair of DV Mark cabinets. One has a Jensen 12" and the other an EV EVM12L—all in service of staying clean.

The Chairman’s ’Board

Wong runs his Strat into a Shure GLX D16 Wireless. From there the signal hits a Wampler Ego Compressor, Hotone Soul Press II volume/wah, GFI Systems Rossie envelope filter, a Beetronics Vezzpa octave fuzz, Vertex Ultra Phonix Special Overdrive, a Jackson Audio The Optimist overdrive, a Strymon BigSky reverb, and a TC Subnup dual octave pedal.

Plus, the Fontaines D.C. axeman explains why he’s reticent to fix the microphonic pickup in his ’66 Fender Coronado.

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