What Makes That Sound?

I have received a number of requests about what I am using these days for my guitar rig. For stage work, I use a PRS Custom 24 as the primary guitar and an American Fat Strat as the secondary guitar. I use a stock Fender 64 Deluxe Reissue as the primary tube amplifier and a modified Fender Hot Rod Deluxe as the backup tube amplifier. Although I rarely haul two amps these days. I do always have a few backup tubes in the gig bag.

For the past couple of years I have been using an SKB professional pedalboard case for my floor pedals. The case is hardshell, and it contains its own power supply for the pedals.

SKB Case

The pedals I am currently using include an Ernie Ball volume pedal, a Boss TU-2 tuner, a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor, an Analog Man Juicer for compression, an Analog Man modified Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer, an Analog Man modified Boss DS-2, a Voodoo Labs Chorus and a Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler. All cables on the pedalboard and to the amp are George L. I use a Planet Waves cable from the guitars.

Pedalboard

The Deluxe is typically in the lower part of its sweet spot. I use the TS-9 to overdrive the amp. In fact, one of the little secrets that I can share with you is that I always have the amp being driven by the overdrive pedal. I switch between clean and overdriven sounds simply by attack and by dialing up the volume on the guitar itself. Much better tone from the amp that way. If I need more cut then I will stomp on the distortion unit but I find that for stage I can easily keep control over the tone by my hands and by changing the volume on the guitar. A little distortion goes a long way. The juicer provides more sustain, if needed.

I always carry a Shure SM-57 with me as I usually have the rig close-miked and I prefer to have my own 57 on hand. I also carry a dedicated and filtered power supply, 3 sets of strings, a couple dozen medium picks, extra cables, batteries, and a small toolkit.

Oh. And strap locks on my guitar straps. Never play a guitar on stage without strap locks.

8 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Andy B. in… nice nice nice lol… that’s a great lookin rig, Richard! the SKB is a fantastik platform for the pedals. Is the TU-2 not the king of tuners or what? I love it – I think it’s got to be the best stomp tuner out there. and yes…starp locks are the way to go – I’m getting those cool strap locks next week as a matter of fact…hey, I think there still might be some room on the skb for a wireless… A.

    Reply
  2. richard cleaver
    richard cleaver says:

    I imagine I will continue to tweak the rig. I suppose it is a never ending process for serious players.

    I had to swap out the PRS guitar strap posts as they were too big. In fact, part of the reason why I went to strap locks in the first place was because the PRS took too long to strap on stage. Now, I never worry about the time to load the guitar or losing a strap during a performance.

    My son has been pressing me to go wireless. Just not sure about the impact on tone. I’ve been thinking about it though.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    What brand of guitar lock system did you swap to? I’m really hesitant about doing anything to my prs so I want to make sure I get it right. A.

    Reply
  4. richard cleaver
    richard cleaver says:

    It was a while ago… I used Schaller. I removed the old posts and the screws that hold the posts to the PRS. The new posts and screws fit perfectly. Looks stock.

    Pretty cheap… about $20. Most music stores stock them.

    I kept the old ones in case the PRS suddenly becomes worth a huge amount of money with the original guitar posts 😉

    Reply
  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Your comment – “I imagine I will continue to tweak the rig. I suppose it is a never ending process for serious players” is so very true….I have been tweaking mine now for about 30 years – there are those I play with who still think it needs work! (It is however a good excuse to keep acquiring gear, although my wife differs in opinion at times!)

    Reply
  6. richard cleaver
    richard cleaver says:

    My first stage rig, 30 years back, consisted of a Roland JC-120, an MXR distortion pedal, an MXR 90 phaser, an MXR flanger, a Morley volume pedal and a Dunlop wah-wah pedal. I had a 1974 Fender Strat and a Hagstrom Swede (model year unknown).

    I did not think any of that stuff would become vintage so I sold most of it in my bid to tweak the rig. I still have the MXR distortion and flanger.

    I have been looking at getting the Voodoo Labs pedal power for the floorboard. I have it on good authority that it really improves the tone of the pedals! At least, that is what I am telling my wife 😉

    Reply
  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Funny, I still have my Phase 90 as well – the orange stomp box from the mid/late 70’s – hard to believe it is 30 years+ old. I do not use it often though, given my propensity to the analog Rockman modules – I still use 14 units in a single chain, switched via midi octopus and midi pedal. Difficulty is, when a cable, unit fails or becomes problematic, finding the source of the annoyance is troublesome! Fortunately this is a rare situation. Keep on tweaking! Rob

    Reply

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