Sunburst Strat (MIM)
I’ve been playing this one since 2007 but have modified it a little to get some particular tones. The original maple fret board neck was replaced with this rosewood fret board neck in 2010. The bridge and middle pups are original from the factory but the neck pup is a Seymour Duncan low output lipstick. I also installed a toggle switch that turns the bridge pup on when the 5 way switch is in the 4th and 5th positions. The bridge is blocked with a piece of hardwood since I don’t play with a tremolo. Pup covers and knobs were replaced with “parchment” colored ones to match the natural aging of the pickguard.
Made a few more changes to this one since this was originally posted. I replaced the middle and bridge factory pups with Fender Tex-Mex pups. Love them, they work well with the lipstick pup adding a bright Fender tone to the warmth of the lipstick pup and giving me a that good ol’ Fender bite when I want it. I also wired the bridge pup to middle pup tone knob so I can roll off the treble a little if I want to. I also sanded the gloss off of the finish and re sprayed it with nitrocellulose laquer to give it more of a vintage look.
This is one I put together myself. The neck is the original maple fret board neck from my sunburst strat. The pups are GFS humbuckers; Crunchy Pat in the bridge and Fat Pat in the neck. Both are coil tapped. It has one tone knob and one volume knob, both with push/pull pots. Pulling up on the tone knob taps the bridge pup making it a single coil. Pulling up on the volume knob taps the neck pup. The toggle is a 3 way switch. The bridge on this one is also blocked with a piece of hardwood.
I traded my custom built Red Strat for this. It’s an Epiphone Les Paul Standard PRO. I was always drawn to Gibson style guitars and that’s what I played on for years. Then I bought my Sunburst Strat and found myself grabbing it every time. I wasn’t sure about this trade at first but it’s a really well made Epi. It’s got the new Probucker pups which are really outstanding in tone and workmanship. The volume pots are push/pull for coil tapping so I can get a single sound if I want it. The tuners are Grovers and are very solid. Of course I can’t leave anything alone so I have rewired it to Vintage 50″s/Gibson Wiring (which I do to all my guitars) for a little more tonal punch and no treble loss when I roll of the volume. I’m thinking about wiring a master volume on it, I’ll update this post if I do. This guitar has a really fat screaming tone with sustain for days. I really like it and will certainly be playing it a lot.
I built this one from a MIM Strat with a maple neck. I did the paint job myself using Guitar Reranch (nitro based paint and lacquer) vintage cream (matched to Fender olympic white) and a satin clear coat. The pups are Fender Custom Shop 69′s. It’s got a Wilkinson bridge and sanded neck just like the others. The only mod I did was using vintage 50′s Gibson wiring with a .022 uhf cap for the tone pot. This guitar has a super sweet tone. I love it. Oh yeah, that’s a mint green pick guard with cream pup covers and knobs.
Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401
This is a sweet little 40 watt all tube Marshall. It has great clean and overdrive tones. I have been through a few amps since I started posting our gear on this page (if you’ve followed then you’ve seen my previous rigs). I played a 1964 Fender Bandmaster for about ten years and was a great amp but I was ready for a change. I played several, debated for a while and finally settled on a VHT Special 6 head and cab. It’s a great, no frills, straight forward tube amp and I really enjoyed it, but like the Bandmaster, I had to get my overdrive from pedals. I’ve had some pretty sweet pedals including a Maxon OD9 Tubescreamer and a ProCo You Dirty Rat but the truth is, nothing beats an overdriven tube amp. That being said, when I ran across this used Marshall in a local music store (shout out to Arkansas Musicworks in Bentonville, AR) I knew I had to have it. So I saved up some money, sold the VHT, and bought it. I absolutely love this amp. I crank the gain between half and three quarter and this sucker just sings. It also has a 2o decibel boost on the overdrive channel for really awesome distortion. I changed out the Accutronics reverb tank for an old O.C Electronics folded z reverb tank.
Here’s my current set up. These are the pedals I have found to be essential. It’s really simpler than it looks.
I made the pedal board myself out of poplar, Velcro, and black paint. I’m always on the hunt for good deals on pedals but am becoming increasingly particular about what I want. They need to be well built, simple, usable, and preferably true by-pass.
Morley Steve Vai Bad Horsey
This really belongs to Ty but he let’s me keep it on my board. It has two way settings, one classic sounding and the other a little more mellow, great for arpegiating triads in worship music.
This is of course a Dunlop re-issue. It’s a germanium fuzz pedal. I had my buddy Mike Spiers at Modest Mike’s Mods add a bright blue LED for me so I would know if it was on or not. I also rigged it to a power supply that feeds it 6v so it’s like a weak battery. Sounds pretty sweet. It’s super responsive to the volume control on my guitar.
I got this pedal for like $30 at a pawn shop. I also had it modded by Modest Mike (Ross Mod with a bright blue LED). This stays on all the time. It makes my guitar tone sound nice and clean.
EHX El Nano LPB-1
This is simply a clean boost pedal. I use it in the chain to boost my guitar signal. It adds the treble loss due to cable resistance and connections. Just seems to add the punch back into the signal. It also stays on all the time. Sweet little pedal for not much money.
Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
Great pedal, very well built and has a taper switch behind the jack plate to vary the curve of the volume.
Planet Waves Chromatic Tuner
Very solid tuner, big and bright LED display.
MXR Carbon Copy
This is an analog delay pedal. Pretty simple and very sweet sounding. It also has a button that will add a touch of chorus to the signal. It’s fixed but you can open the casing up and adjust it. I’ve left it just like I bought it and it’s perfect. I find myself using this pedal a lot more than other delays I’ve owned. This one is run through the effects loop of my Marshall.
EHX Deluxe Memory Boy
This is an analog delay pedal with tap divide and tap tempo functions. It’s got some really neat functions like tap tempo and tap divide. This comes in real handy when I want to space the delayed signal out a little more and it’s crucial that it be in time with the song we’re playing. This one is also run through the effects loop.
Marshall Reflector – Reverb
I have this run in the loop of the Deluxe Memory Boy so it adds reverb to the delayed signal. It has a really cool effect on the sound. It’s also a really well built pedal with lots of settings. I keep it on hall reverb.
These control the channel switching, 20 decibel boost and reverb on my Marshall tube amp, respectively.