I research all my gear very carefully before I buy it. I have been known to spend hours reading reviews and researching specs. If you have any questions about stuff I've owned, let me know!
The Headless Holt
I traded a lot of guitars around during 2008-10 (see this blog post for details on most of them). I ended up with one electric I really love. I like it so much it's the only guitar I own right now.
My guitar was commissioned in 2011 and built by Canadian guitar builder Bill Wilkat. Bill and I worked together on every detail of this build. He was a pleasure to work with and is very experienced at building custom headless designs. He's close to retirement and I caught him at the end of his career. Despite this he was very reasonable in his costs! Bill created this guitar based on my general ideas. He drew up the schematics and we went back and forth about how the finished product would look. I ordered most of the hardware, and Bill supplied the wood and labor. Then he sent me pictures all along the build process.
I wanted a headless design because it's small and I like the minimalistic look. Bill is an expert on these types of guitar designs. It has humbuckers with coil split and phase switches. There's no pickup rings, I love that simple built-in look. No tone control (I never use them). The volume control has a tuner right under it that you can access by pulling up - so geeky and useful! The bolt-on neck is carbon graphite, made by Moses Graphite. The chambered body is made of ash and the top is made of a beautiful piece of walnut finished with oil. I like dark, natural wood finishes.
Effects and Amps
JBL 510 - At 17 pounds, it's very portable. It's 280 watts (continuous) and has a max SPL of 121 dB. This full-range PA speaker can get as loud as a half stack. At home, it can be very quiet for midnight practicing.
I use a small briefcase for my pedalboard. Downsizing to a board this small has been a long journey and taken a lot of time and money (a fun process anyway). It's powered with a portable, rechargeable RC battery (a custom project my friend helped me with). It can power my board (using ~300mA) for about 13 hours. The pedals I currently use:
- Line6 Relay 30 - Awesome wireless unit. I use rechargeable AA batteries for the small belt pack, which fits in my pocket. Batteries last for over six hours, and I love being free to roam around.
- Custom Tones Ethos Overdrive - An expensive, but amazing, pedal emulation of the famous Dumble amplifier. It features a plethora of useful options and switches. Not only forms my "base" tone but covers ALL my clean, overdrive, and distortion sounds. Also has a speaker emulated output that sounds great. This lets me use it in conjunction with my PA speaker (or any direct application) and eliminates the need for a "real" guitar amp.
- Mooer Trelicopter - I've never been into modulation of any kind... I keep trying it out and realizing I never use it live. I like the idea of having something though, and tremolo is a nice vintage effect that goes with a spring reverb nicely. This one sounds great and is the perfect size.
- Catalinbread Echorec - This replaced a reverb and delay pedal. It's that good. I never understood what the big deal with the ER sound was until getting this!
- Boss FRV-1 - I've always loathed Boss pedals, they are huge and sound generally crappy. The COSM stuff is horrible for amp modeling. The FRV gets great reviews though, and it's surprisingly close in sound to an old Fender reverb unit (like the Beach Boys used). I like this for some nice vintage-style ambience, although it doesn't go into infinite, cathedral type reverb. I also love that it uses very little power for a digital effect.
I've also owned the
Neunaber Mono WET,
MXR Carbon Copy,
Custom Vibe/Phaser Clone,
TC Electronics Alter Ego,
EHX Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai,
MXR Custom Badass Modified OD,
Mooer Hustle Drive,
Mooer Ensemble King,
Kustom Defender V15,
Sanyo Pedal Juice,
VFE Pale Horse,
Mooer Green Mile,
Earthquaker Devices Dispatch Master,
Wampler Soverign Distortion,
Subdecay Spring Theory,
Zvex Lo-Fi Loop Junky,
TC Electronic Flashback,
TC Electronic Hall of Fame, Line6 HD500,
Fulltone OCD, Xotic EP Booster,
Blackstone Mosfet Overdrive,
Strymon El Capistan,
Tech 21 Liverpool,
Bugera V5, Vox VT40+,
Egnater Rebel 30 1x12 Combo,
Fractal Axe-Fx Standard/Ultra,
POD XT Live,
Tech21 PowerEngine 60,
TC Electronics G-Sharp,
Rocktron Big Crush, and
I started recording in high school using a four-track I'd borrowed from my friend Dan Byler. Using it was pretty educational - I learned how to EQ, ping-pong tracks, mix, pan, and program drums on an Alesis SR-16.
Currently I own a Shure 55SH, Harmon-Kardon Soundsticks II, iMac 30'', and Alesis iO2 Express.
In the past I've owned a Presonus Firepod, Alesis MultiMix 8 USB 2.0, and Presonus Inspire, Rocktron Midi Mate, Tech21 Midi Moose, Tech21 Midi Mouse, Samson Airline 77, Gator GR-4S, Samson PowerBrite PB15, M-Audio Keystation 49e, Furman SPB-8C, VooDoo Labs Pedal Power II, Shure SM58, and lots of other stuff I can't remember.
"If you act like that bee acts... nuh uh, you're workin to hard. And don't spend your time lookin around for something you want that can't be found. When you find out you can live without it then go along not thinking about it." -The Jungle Book