Rig Rundown: Exodus' Gary Holt 
Pioneering thrasher brings hell to the stage with signature ESPs, Silver Jubilees, and a few key tone titillators.
If you’re a devoted follower of the Rig Rundown series, you’ve probably noticed our recent rash of thrash. We’ve featured nearly every corner of the genre—heavyweights Megadeth, torchbearers Anthrax, revivalists Municipal Waste, and, now, pioneers Exodus get their (re)visit. Their four-decade reign and 11 gnashing albums are brimming with sinister, trouncing, wood-splitting riffs and vividly vicious narratives. And the blade of this chainsaw collective is its longest-tenured member, fretboard flyer Gary Holt, whose last Rig Rundown appearance was in 2015.
During the afternoon of Exodus’ middle slot for the ongoing The Bay Strikes Back tour—featuring neighbors Testament and Death Angel—at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl, Holt’s tech Steve Brogden invited PG’s Perry Bean onstage to catalog the thrasher’s setup. In this RR, Brogdon details the murderous axes, custom cabs, and more that Holt is packing into the trailer and onto the stage.
Brought to you by D’Addario Nexxus 360 Tuner.
This custom-shop goldtop edition of Gary Holt’s ESP GH-600 signature might look familiar because it spent a lot of time out with him when he filled in for Jeff Hannemann during Slayer’s last tours. His signature model is based on the company’s Eclipse single-cut body shape. In typical fashion for Holt, it’s loaded with EMG 81R/89R active pickups and a Floyd Rose 1000 Series tremolo. The axe has been upgraded with FU-Tone performance hardware components. Holt calls this one “Goldy.”
The model comes stock with a mahogany body, 3-piece mahogany neck, and a Macassar ebony fretboard with 22 extra-jumbo frets. Holt alternates between two sets of signature strings from Von Frankenstein Monster Gear—Toxic Rocks (.009–.052w) and Collateral Damage (.009–.060w)—that are a collaboration with Rig Rundown alumnus Doyle of the Misfits.
Here’s another custom-shop ESP GH-600 signature that has the same specs as Goldy, but is a remarkable single-cut salute to Prince.
Officer Holt, Reporting to Rock
This custom-shop creation from ESP gives Gary Holt the authority to shred your face off. Same specs as before, but this one features a real badge from the police force of Holtville, California. Shotgun shell casings make up the volume and tone knobs.
Bullets on the Board
An impressive build already, the craftsmanship was elevated when the Japanese custom-shop luthiers took the ends of spent shell casings from Gary’s collection and put them into the fretboard, starting at .50 caliber and ranging down .22. Gary mentioned off camera that it was a struggle to get the bullets into Japan—which has strict gun control laws—for the ESP crew to build into his custom order.
Camaraderie with Kirk
To honor his longtime friendship with former Exodus bandmate and fellow ESP endorsee Kirk Hammett, Holt purchased this ESP LTD Kirk Hammett EKH-3 Spider 30th Anniversary single-cut.
This ESP custom-shop endeavor centers around their Arrow model and has all the same specs as the previous guitars. It also has the FU-Tone hardware upgrades, like the others, but features the first FU-Tone add-ons finished in white.
Auctioning an Eclipse
At every show, Gary rips on one of his ESP LTD Gary Holt GH-600 for a few songs and sells it to a lucky fan who gets an all-access reception, including a backstage hang, a peek at soundcheck, and plenty of photo ops with the thrash legend. If you were at the Nashville show and bought a GH-600 from Gary, this is probably your guitar.
Back in 2015, Holt was using a Kemper Profiler that revolved around a replication of his beloved 1980s JCM800 that featured a Langer mod. He’s back plugging into tubes and has landed on the famed Marshall 2555X Silver Jubilee. One is his main and the other a backup.
Creepy Crawly Cabs
Gary’s duo of Silver Jubilee 2555X heads hit a fearsome foursome of signature light-up 4x12s specially built by Arachnid Cabinets out of Sacramento, California. These cabs all rock Celestion Vintage 30s, are constructed with dovetail joints, and use marine-grade Baltic birch. They are illuminated with LEDs and each has a Holt-designed sigil on its center. The cabs are color coordinated with the axes Gary plays on each song.
Racked For Rock
Holt trusts most of his switching to his tech, Steve Brogdon, who triggers everything with a rack-mounted Voodoo Lab GCX Guitar Audio Switcher that coordinates with a Voodoo Lab Ground Control MIDI Switcher. The pedals in the travel case include a Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive, Pro Tone Pedals Gary Holt Mid Boost, Maxon OD-9, MXR Bass Octave Deluxe, Maxon FL-9 Flanger, TC Electronic Corona Chorus, Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor, and a Darta Effects Bonded by Delay. A BBE Supa-Charger Power Supply gives juice to the stomps.
While Brogdon makes the changes for Holts’ rack-living pedals, Holt still stomps these boxes himself. His proper pedalboard is home to a Does It Doom Doomsaw, Mooer Tender Octaver, Mooer Green Mile, and a Dunlop JC95SE Jerry Cantrell Special Edition Crybaby Wah. A Shure GLXD16 Digital Wireless Guitar Pedal System lets him rock untethered.
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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
Railhammer Reveals New Billy Corgan Z-One Pickups
Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level of performance. Rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. Railhammer Pickups have outstanding tonal balance. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Mono Releases the M80 Vertigo Ultra Case
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
MONO Vertigo Ultra Electric Bass Gig Bag - Black
For more information, please visit monocreators.com.
Gibson Unveils the Generation Collection of Acoustics
The Generation Collection of acoustic guitars features the exclusive Gibson Player Port designed to offer a unique and immersive sonic experience.
The G-Bird, the newest addition to the Generation Collection--represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird colliding with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port to add a new dimension to the G-Bird sound. The Gibson Player Port allows players to hear more of themselves as the audience hears it. With a tone that is crisp and resonant, all of the Gibson Generation Collection acoustics are designed to be comfortable to hold and play for long periods of time. All Generation Collection guitars feature the Gibson Player Port, slim, lightweight bodies, a flatter fingerboard radius, Walnut back and sides, Sitka spruce tops, and a stunning Natural finish. Additionally, the new G-Bird, and the G-200 and G-Writer are equipped with LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup systems which amplify deep bass and crystal-clear highs.
The G-Bird represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port adding a new dimension to the G-Bird’s sound. The G-Bird features a stunning solid Sitka spruce top and solid walnut back and sides for the ultimate in crisp, resonant tone. This square-shoulder dreadnought delivers all the rich low end and well-balanced mids and highs the original Hummingbird is famous for. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with chrome Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning. The utile neck, with its easy-playing Advanced Response neck profile, is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Modeled after Gibson’s pioneering small-body parlor acoustic guitars from the 1930’s, the G-00 is a top choice for blues and fingerstyle guitar performances. Despite its more compact size, the G-00 achieves a full, balanced sound. The G-00 fills any room with rich tones-which players can hear like never before, with the exclusive Gibson Player Port. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-00 is handcrafted in Bozeman, Montana, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustic guitars. The G-00 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-00 parlor-sized body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-00 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
The G-45, a round-shouldered jumbo, adds the Gibson Player Port to its famous “Workhorse” J-45 style body, which is Gibson’s best-selling acoustic guitar of all time. On the G-45, players can now hear more clearly than ever how this beloved guitar responds to every style and technique of playing. Powerful one moment and soft the next, the G-45 delivers all sounds with incredible dynamic range in an elegant, medium body size. The G-45 is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-45 features a slightly thinner round shoulder body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-45 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Gibson’s impressive range of square-shouldered guitars have become an expressive standard for rock, pop, folk, and country artists. The G-Writer is known for its wide range of sounds, from gutsy and loud, to soft and sweet; they are superb for all styles and shine, whether strumming chords or fingering intricate solos. The G-Writer comes ready for the stage or studio with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system and the ear-opening Gibson Player Port. The G-Writer is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-Writer features a slightly thinner cutaway body, is more comfortable to play and provides effortless access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Writer is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
Gibson built its first “Super Jumbo” SJ-200 as a custom order for country and western singer and film star Ray Whitley, who desired a big, loud, and deep flat-top over which to croon. The SJ-200 quickly became a staple of cowboy singers and horseback troubadours, and then country music, 60’s folk stars, and onto every acoustic guitar genre that has followed. Ray would be proud to hear the booming sound from the Gibson Player Port on the new G-200, which comes ready for the stage or studio with a LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-200 is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. The G-200 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-200 cutaway jumbo body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and provides excellent access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-200 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
G-Bird | Generation Collection
Gibson Acoustic Generation Collection G-Bird Acoustic-electric Guitar - Natural
For more information, please visit gibson.com.