1979 Marshall 2144 ‘Old Black One’
Acquired in Switzerland around the year 2000. I’d never seen a master volume JMP combo with reverb from the factory (Marshall apparently only made around 200). I’d always liked the JMP’s but I’d always passed on them due their lack of reverb. This one sounded incredible so I had to have it and it’s been the core of my basic sound ever since. It runs with Eminence ‘Governor’ speakers.
1979 Marshall 2144 ‘Blondie’
I originally got this as a back-up to the first one (took me nearly 9 years to find another) but soon realised it sounded totally different and nowhere near as good! It turned out that the first one had been repaired/modded with some non standard parts and on paper shouldn’t actually work at all. I had this one changed to replicate it and now they’re very close, albeit with their own character. This also has Eminence ‘Governor’ speakers.
1963 Fender Vibroverb Reissue
Very well used but cracking sounding amp!! Different from the later ‘blackface’ amps in tone: this one is darker, dirtier and sounds awesome cranked with humbuckers! Gorgeous reverb and tube bias trem too.
1964 Fender Vibroverb
A really clean and original pre-CBS amp, this one is totally stock and sounds awesome. It runs through either a 15”JBL or Altec Lansing speaker and overdrives really sweetly when pushed. It definitely has a ‘thing’ all of it’s own!
1965 Fender Princeton
This is a great little amp that I use for my solo shows. It’s stock apart from the speaker being upgraded to a 12” Eminence Red Fang. This 50 watt alnico driver really does make a massive improvement to the stock amp!
1967 Fender Vibrolux
Owned by one guy from new, I got this from the same guy who sold me the first of my Marshall combos. When I had it checked over, I found it still had the original caps and everything so other than replacing these I left it well alone. Running original Jensen speakers.
Probett LSM Les Paul
Hand built by Damian Probett, this is a replica of a ’59 LP but with the exception of the body being spanish cedar rather than mahogany. It’s the most dynamic and resonant LP I’ve ever played. A ‘PAF Daddy’ made by Shed Pickups sits in the bridge while the neck is a replica of my 335 neck p’up courtesy of Bareknuckle Pickups.
Another one built by Damian! Based on an early 60’s Strat, it’s got an alder body, Indian rosewood ‘board and flat sawn neck. Pickups are currently an Amalfitano ’62 set and compliment the lively, resonant and well balanced tone of this Strat.
1988 Fender Strat "Ol' Red"
Owned from new, this was my first decent electric. It’s had a few re-frets over the years and the original pickups have been changed to Lindy Fralin Blues Specials. I’ve tried others from time to time but always come back to these – they just seem to suit it perfectly. All in all a great sounding Strat.
Built by someone at the Newark College of Violin Making in around 1978… Despite trying to find out, I still have no idea who by! Best 335 I’ve ever played. Pickups are old Gibson Patent Numbers and sound incredible.
Hand-Built Linus Thinline Les Paul
This guitar was an amazing gift from guitar builder Peter Steinacher. The hand built ‘Aynsley Lister’ model was presented to Aynsley at Altes Kino, Austria on October 25th 2011. Read more about it here http://www.linus-guitars.com/linus-thinline-les-paul-aynsley-lister/linus-thinline-les-paul-english/
335 Close Up
Gibson ‘Patent Number’ pickups which are actually wound on original PAF bobbins… so there! These in conjuction with this guitar sound amazing…. bright and clear. They read surprisingly low on the meter but still sound full and warm with enough power to drive a good amp well.
The Protection Racket Case Man
Proudly endorsed by Protection Racket – http://www.protectionracket.com
Curt Mangan Nickelwound Electric Strings
Proudly endorsed by Curt Mangan – http://www.curtmangan.com
11, 14, 18p, 30, 42, 54. Very happy to be endorsed by these guys, they make awesome strings that sound good as soon as you put them on, not too zingy! Their consistency is top notch too.
Proudly endorsed by Deeflexx – http://hoovi.at
A plexi glass baffle that goes in front of the amp, specifically shaped and designed to keep the quality of sound and disperse it evenly whilst stopping the amp melting the faces of everyone in the front row. Since discovering them at a show in Austria, they’ve become a permanent part of my set-up.
Dunlop Tortex Purple 1.14mm
Proudly endorsed by Dalmedo Custom Guitars – http://www.dalmedoguitars.co.uk
Used on solo shows, this acoustically tuned box contains a small transducer and creates a bass drum like sound to great effect despite it’s small size!
Free The Tone
Proudly endorsed by Free the Tone – http://www.freethetone.com
Both great pedals and great cables. Cables are definitely the most natural sounding I’ve come across and they don’t rob you of loads of high end either.
Proudly endorsed by T Rex Engineering – http://www.t-rex-effects.com
Proudly endorsed by Eminence Speakers – http://www.eminence.com/
My live ‘board is pretty simple – essentially just a tuner, an octave pedal, and a couple of subtle boost pedals. 90% of the core sound is from the guitar and amp, then a clean boost is used just to push the amp a bit harder into overdrive. I use the guitar volume for most of the tonal variations.
Main pedals used are as follows:
Free The Tone FINAL BOOSTER – Fantastic clean boost… the great thing is when set at zero and kicking it in there no tonal/level change whatsoever – it only adds to what’s already there. Has a nice natural sounding buffer in it too.
Sonic Research ST-200 Tuner – Accurate and reliable strobe tuner that works great especially for the ‘half a step down’ tuning I use. Easy to see on dark stages too!
T-Rex ALBERTA – Nice subtle tubescreamer type pedal, smoother and warmer sounding than the classic TS pedals. Normally just kicked in now and then with the Strat
T-Rex OCTAVIUS Octave pedal with switchable clean boost – This is great and is used mostly with the old cello slide guitar. The guitar has a really low output so the extra boost on here works perfectly to beef things back up
Voodoo Lab PEDAL POWER 2 PLUS – Silent, super reliable and efficient power supply!
Brightonion Pedals TRUE BYPASS LOOPER – Any pedals that aren’t true bypass run through this, plus it keeps things nice and easy to switch on and off during a gig as every thing is at the front!
Other pedals I use now and then…
Klon Centaur, JHS Charlie Brown, Free The Tone Red Jasper, ZVEX Box Of Rock