Ok folks – Over the years I have worn so many hats as a multi- instrumentalist (emphasis on mental), that I have become a bit of a gear head. Yes, nerdy to some degree, but it serves me well. The gear listed on this page is gear that I USE consistently and with love. I am privlidged to be able to try and play pretty much every piece of gear known to man (and woman). The gear listed here is to me the best of it’s kind, and you will see me using it as well as hear it on the albums and on the stage. These are also companies that I’ve worked with for years and they are the some of the finest folks in the industry.
PARKER FLY- In my view there were only a few REAL electric guitar innovators. Mostly every other guitar builder is making some version of what was already the ground breaking Stratocaster, Les Paul, Rickenbacker, Gretsch or some combo thereof. However I do believe that we have to add Ken Parker to the list of electric guitar innovators. His design of the Parker Fly was ground breaking. The body design, trem design and sounds are like nothing else. Love em or hate em, Parker Fly guitars are unique high end instruments that are NOT chasing anyone else’s original inventions. I use them all the time and everywhere and have for many years. Doesn’t mean I don’t own my strats, tele’s big hollowbodys etc…, but the Parker fly gives me everything I want in one super light weight instrument. Pictured here is a new Maxx Fly with 13 pin Midi. I am currently a featured artist on www.Parkerguitars.com
AMPEG- I’ve been using Ampeg guitar amps for over 30 years! That’s true. Bought my first when I was 13 years old. It got stolen from our rehearsal room back then. Boy I wish I still had that one… Pictured here are the new GVT15 combo amps with matching speaker cabs. LOVE THESE AMPS. Pure VINTAGE tone. Small enough to travel with, loud enough to rock AMPEG style. www.ampeg.com
MOOG GUITAR I’m a proud owner of the Moog E1 guitar. The first of it’s kind. Imagine the endless capabilities when combining infinite sustain, Moog filters, Control Voltage in, 13pin access, and a piezo pickup. Combine that with a string of Moogerfroogers, and a Moog synth and my solo rig sounds like I’m from another planet. Which would make sense.. The Moog guitar is heavily featured on my album Phatso as well
as another album I’ve played on recently by a great band- Team Illuminati. I’ve traveled the country playing this guitar and showing it off to other interested players as well. http://www.moogmusic.com
Creation Audio Labs- boost/distortion pedals. Creation Audio Labs is a company that any serious guitar tonesmith should know about. Their pedals are the very first thing I plug into. It’s almost too much to talk about here so I’ll just say that they not only sound incredible but they make everything else in your rig sound better as well. Recently I turned Peter Frampton on to their pedals and he’s all over it. Peter knows good
tone. The MK 4.23 is by far the best booster pedal I’ve ever heard. Recently I gave one to Steve Howe of YES. Their Holy Fire pedal beats every basic overdrive pedal I’ve played. Really- I’ve compared. Because of the pro audio aspect of these pedals, its pure boost/drive with no sound shaping whatsoever. These are the type of pedals that you MUST here to understand the impact. GREAT STUFF! http://www.creationaudiolabs.com
D’Addario/Planet Waves- Come on… If you play an instrument with strings on it and you haven’t tried D’Addario’s please call your therapist. Just visit their site and LOOK at how many innovative strings they have available. Different than other string makers, these guys are always thinking and coming up with great new ideas for strings. Anyone that owns many different string instruments would have to love these guys. Everything from coated strings, to tape wound
strings, acoustic baritone, “in between” gauges etc… They make something for everyone. And these folks couldn’t be nicer. PLANET WAVES, their sister company has the same mentality. A bunch of cable and accessory items that are totally unique and useful. I USE their products every day in every musical situation. Their headstock tuner is the best one available. Anyway I’ll stop here cause I can go on and on about these guys. http://www.daddario.com http://www.planetwaves.com
Pigtronix Every time pedal I plug into a new pedal made by Pigtronix, I have to have it. Talk about musical! It’s so obvious to me that the
owner/inventor Dave Koltai is a guitar player with a similar mindset as mine. (Sorry Dave). The bottom line is that he makes analog pedals that are always a bit “outside of the box” and create interesting new sounds. Some are based off of common effects, but they always stretch WAY further and are way more flexible with CV ins and outs. Others are innovations that can’t be compared to anything else. My current favorites are the Philosopher King, Mother Ship and Key Master. In addition I’ve just added the Fat drive and The Philosopher’s Rock pedal to my live rig. Go to their site and check out their arsenal of OUTSTANDING pedals. Most of which can be heard on PHATSO, and the new album FIX THE BROKEN. http://www.pigtronix.com
Mario Guitars You would have to find an old Fender guitar from the 50′s or 60′s to even come close to how these guitars sound and feel. Mario Martin puts all of his passion, knowledge of woods, and creativity into building guitars that are as good or better than the vintage versions at fractions of the cost. Seriously. He focuses mainly on Tele and Strat styles and has a few of his own great designs as well like his T’ Master which is also in my collection. He made me a thin line tele that simply SCREAMS!! Here’s a photo of me, Mario Martin, and my Mario Custom Jazzmaster. He just really knows wood and understands the formula on how to make a guitar speak. Everything he does is hand made and done start to finish in his shop. Try one of these and you’ll probably get hooked as I did. They just sound THAT good. http://guitarmill.com
Auralex Studio Foam-Recently, Eric Smith the owner of AURALEX came to my studio for a visit. He came up with intelligent solutions to improve upon the sonic accuracy of my control room particularly pertaining to bass frequencies. (Please note that I just used 6 words with 3 or more syllables in the same sentence.. not too shabby..) Anyway Eric is a good man and I’ve installed the perfect amount of AURALEX products in my room. Pictures coming shortly…I already use their MoPads and their GRAMMA isolators and they make a huge difference. These guys are experts in acoustics and their consultations are free. My control room is pretty serious I must say. Now if I could only fix my car. Btw- I now am honored to be handling artist relations for Auralex Acoustics. if you’re interested be sure to contact me. http://www.auralex.com
Graph Tech Ghost Systems- I’m pleased to announce my artist deal with Graph Tech. I’ve been using their products since about 2003. I’m currently using their midi saddles installed into my Stetsbar trems. I also have ghost systems in my Moog guitar and my Parker Fly guitars. This is how I achieve my midi triggering and acoustic guitar from my Parker Fly’s.
TUKI When someone else is throwing your gear in the truck I recommend road cases which is why my garage is loaded
with cases instead of cars. BUT when I’m lugging my own gear around, (90% of the time) I protect my gear (and my back) with TUKI covers. They make padded protective covers and bags for all gear. And they’re reasonably priced. I have Tuki covers for every amp and bass cabinet I own! The gear stays clean and my chiropractor bill stays low! http://www.tukicovers.com/