- 5 Years Ago – 10 Years Ago: I’m obsessed and have no self-control.
It wasn’t a pretty sight during that time. I was spending pretty much everything on gear in my lust for finding the right tone. This coincided with my move from solid-state to tube amps.
- 3 Years Ago: I’ve purchased all this gear, and I’m a pack-rat and don’t want to get rid of it.
Yeah, I sold off a couple of things, but for the most part kept pretty much everything I purchased.
- 1 Year Ago: Same as 3 years ago, but I’ve refined my use of different gear to different venues/situations. Instead of buying more gear to satisfy a sound that I’m hearing in my head, I look at the gear I have and see if I can get it. More often than not, I’ve found that I have gear that will meet my particular needs.
Answer 3 is how I now answer the wife… :)
But seriously, after buying all that gear, what I found is that some gear just works better with some rigs or venues than others – even set lists. For instance, I’m glad I have duplicates of several of my modulation pedals because some work better in a live situation, while others work better in the studio. Furthermore, some work much better with my acoustic rig, while others work better with my electric rig. As a result, I have three pedal boards. One is dedicated to acoustic and two I use for my electric rig.
On my acoustic board, I use an MXR Carbon Copy Delay, Homebrew THC Chorus and a TC Electronic Hall of Fame Reverb for modulation pedals. I also have a simple BOSS LoopStation RC-2 looper along with a TC Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX vocal processor.
For my electric rig, what board I use is really dependent upon how I’m feeling that day, and the amp that I’m playing. I have 10- and a 4-pedal boards. I normally only use my 4 pedal board which will include a tuner, an overdrive, a chorus, and a reverb for pretty much any amp. Occasionally, I’ll swap the reverb or chorus out for a delay pedal, or switch the overdrive out for a distortion pedal.
But occasionally I need a lot of versatility, so I’ll break out the “big” board and load it up as follows:
Lower Level – These go straight into the amp
- BOSS TU-2 Tuner (I’ve had this forever and it still serves me well)
- Timmy Overdrive for transparent OD
- Another overdrive that will work the guitar/amp I’m playing that day (Could be a Tube Screamer-like, or whatever I might be in the mood for color-wise)
- EWS Little Brute Drive (I might even have yet one more overdrive here that will be used for stacking with the Timmy)
- VOX Big Bad Wah
Upper Level – These go into my effects loop (and all these work with any amp or guitar I have)
- TC Electronic Corona Chorus
- Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay
- Hardwire Reverb
- Creation Audio Labs Mk.4.23 Booster
Some might be wondering why I put a booster in the last position. I actually learned this from Mean Gene Baker. It doesn’t necessarily add much volume, but it does ensure that my power tubes get saturated.
As for guitars, I have a bunch, but really only play five of them regularly at this point. I have my trusty Yamaha APX900 acoustic, then for electrics, I use my ’58 Re-issue, ’59 Replica Les Pauls, my custom Slash L Guitars “Katie May,” and an American Deluxe Strat. I’ll occasionally take out my others, but they’re kind of in a dormant state right now…
The cool thing about having so much gear is that I have options. I’ve acquired enough that as I mentioned above, I can almost always find what I need with what I have. The net result is that even though I still dig new gear, I’m now less compelled to go out and even try it because I’ve got all I need right now. Of course, that will probably change as I explore other genres of music. But for now, I’m going to be digging into my “grab bag.”