Rig Rundown: Dragged Under's Ryan "Fluff" Bruce
The YouTube gear connoisseur explains why a StingRay trifecta and a signature Fishman Fluence humbucker is all he needs for a tour.
If you’ve perused YouTube for videos dealing with triple rectifiers, 5150s, the cheapest guitars imaginable, or absurd gear listings on eBay and Reverb, you most certainly know Ryan “Fluff” Bruce. The mastermind behind Riffs, Beards & Gear has amassed over 400K subscribers and nearly 100 million views since starting his channel in 2006. His charm is a mixture of quality, inviting guitar-related content with high-brow information and effective, well-timed low-brow comedy. And, of course, some high-brow goofs, too. On top that, Bruce often leaves his Pacific Northwest video sanctuary to continue chasing his main passion—playing guitar in a band. His current venture is Dragged Under.
The quintet is a Negroni of rock, stirring in equal parts upbeat pop-punk (with anthemic choruses), melodic metalcore moshers, and spine-testing breakdowns. Occasional garnishes include sinister synths, acoustic guitars, and even orchestral overtones. They formed in 2019 from the ashes of Rest, Repose—with carryover members vocalist Anthony Cappocchi and fellow guitarist Josh Wildhorn. Bassist Hans Hessburg and drummer Kalen Anderson filled out the lineup for their 2020 debut, The World Is In Your Way. And since that release, guitarist Sean Rosario has replaced Wildhorn and helped bring their brand-new batch of jams, Upright Animals, together for a June 2022 release.
Ahead of Dragged Under’s headlining show at Nashville’s punk-rock lair the End, on September 1, PG’s Perry Bean jumped onstage to talk shop. “Fluff” showcased his attractive and adaptable Music Man riff cannons, detailed the development of his signature Fishman Fluence humbucker (and who’s voicing he stole for one of his own), described his transition from the Line 6 Helix to Axe-Fx III, and spearheaded a jovial chat that involves a peculiar Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Warlock.
Brought to you by D’Addario String Finder.
For a man who gets his hands on many, many instruments, it must be hard for Bruce to narrow down his collection to a few key axes. But he’s a pragmatic player that looks at all the requirements of a touring tone pony. This custom Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay he calls Mr. Sparkle (Simpsons season eight reference) is his “No. 1 A,” not only for its sonics, but its sensibility. It is loaded with his signature Fishman Fluence pickup in the bridge (more on that in a minute) and a Fishman Fluence Single Width pickup in the neck. The StingRay’s roasted maple neck ensures no movement when encountering extreme climate changes. Plus, even if something does change, it has a very-accessible truss rod adjuster at the end of the fretboard. The Music Man bridge rests on the mahogany body, making it very stable. It sits in the 8-pound range, so it’s not a boat anchor, allowing “Fluff” optimal movement onstage without requiring an on-call chiropractor.
Fluff the Fisherman
Bruce is the latest rocker to put his tone print on the Fishman Fluence line of pickups. His multi-voice humbucker has three settings. Position one (modern active high output) starts with a boosted active ceramic sound that has a switchable high-frequency tilt for a darker tone. Position two (modern passive attack) cops Lamb of God guitarist Willie Adler’s setting one, in his signature Fluence pickup, and offers an articulate passive, rhythm tone. And position three (slightly overwound single-coil) is muscular and maintains the high-end sting.
Just Like Jerry
Now, while Jerry Cantrell never played a baby-blue guitar or a StingRay, Bruce says this one-pickup, one-knob mosh machine is a slight nod to the simple, sawtooth G&L Rampage favored by the Alice in Chains ripper. The lone pickup is Fluff’s signature Fishman Fluence. He mentions in the Rundown this StingRay has a considerably larger neck profile than the previous bass-boat sparkle StingRay. Both guitars we’ve seen so far stay in drop C# and take Ernie Ball Paradigm Beefy Slinky strings (.011–.054).
A Buick Riviera
This particular StingRay was built for a band that dissolved before it could be delivered. It sat on the Music Man shelves for months until Fluff was offered the guitar. With no need for the extra humbucker, he had them remove the neck unit and cap off the pickup selector. It reminds him of a ’70s Buick Riviera with its malibu gold finish. This slick ride cruises in drop D, takes Ernie Ball Burly Slinkys (.011–.052), and has a lone Fishman Fluence Classic humbucker.
For years, Fluff and his bandmates relied on the accessible and reliable Line 6 Helix. After releasing their second album, Upright Animals, the band realized they have a lot more tonal requirements (pitch-shifting, acoustic guitar, octave, etc.), necessitating increased digital horsepower. So, they graduated to the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx III. Bruce’s core tone starts with a Marshall JVM setting and he creates colors from that platform. The Matrix Amplification GT1000FX-1U powers the Axe-Fx III. Fluff runs a wireless setup thanks to the Sennheiser EW IEM G4 unit.
Kick Out the Scenes!
Fluff handles all the changes with this Fractal Audio FC-12 Foot Controller.
The Axe-Fx III runs into this stereo Mesa/Boogie Horizontal Rectifier 2x12 that has a pair of Celestion Vintage 30s.
- Hooked: Ryan "Fluff" Bruce on Foo Fighters' "For All the Cows ... ›
- Rig Rundown: RJ Ronquillo - Premier Guitar ›
- Rig Rundown: My Chemical Romance's Frank Iero - Premier Guitar ›
Guitar Center Presents: Holiday Gift Guide
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Les Paul Desert Burst Satin
Fender Classic Series 5 Guitar Case Stand Tweed
Fender Holiday Guitar Cable Keychain
Fender Limited Edition Holiday Sweater
Harbinger MLS1000 Personal Line Array Speaker System
Sterling Audio P10 Dynamic Instrument Microphone
Sterling Audio Harmony H224 USB Audio Interface
Apogee BOOM 2x2 Audio Interface
Gibson Unveils New Digital Amp
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
Belltone Announces P-90 Foil-Tron Single-Coil Pickup
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.