My Current Guitar Rig

As a musician I always think it is important to have a great “Rig”. A rig Is basically the equipment that any musician uses for their music life. A Rig is very personal to any musician but all comes down to preference and style of playing. An example of this for jazz players, jazz players commonly have clean amps with light overdrive pedals to achieve the classic “Jazz sound”. However Metal players don’t always think about using clean amps, they go for high gain, compressed, high volume rigs to suit their genre.

As previously mentioned in my blogs, I have a Vlog page which features my life as a degree student. Even though my page is fairly new, it features footage from my time on my degree. In the future it will show in detail my whole experience of being a degree student. For this video I thought it would be handy to share a link from my first video which basically shows my home studio and live rig. Here is a link to my first video and rig rundown – http://str.ie/ZYWHtd0P

To start with Id like to take a quick look at my guitars….

My first guitar in my collection is my 1993 Epiphone SG G-400.

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My Epiphone SG was my first official electric guitar which started my obsession with music. Its a really special guitar to me as not only was it my first proper electric guitar but also it was made in 1993 which makes it 3 years older than me which is great. Because the guitar was made in 1993 it actually makes the build quality a lot better to the SG G400s that are made today. Gibson use to offically own Epiphone and built the Epiphone guitars to a great quality but unfortunately had to sell a huge percentage of the company to another company which brought the build quality of the the guitars significantly down. This also meant that the new company had to build the guitars in other factories with their own way of creating the guitars. The old epiphones (like mine) use to be hand made but now unfortunately are machine built which again loses the quality. My SG was built very well in 1993 for a Epiphone in comparison to the new G400 and some people even argue that these Epiphones are very close if not better than the Gibsons back then and even now. I personally love this guitar and would never part with it due to its sentimental value and great build.However this guitar is probably my least used electric in my collection. This has been a great guitar to me and served me really well. Occasionally I still use my SG as it sounds great but due to the level that the other guitars in my collection that are used, I don’t always have time to play this one. However currently it is having work done on it at Clevdon Music shop (my favourite shop in northsomerset) by Mark (their technician) as im getting it upgraded with really high end components like Bare knuckle pickups, groover machine heads etc. I will make a blog post about it when I get it back.

Anyways thats my SG Lets move on…..

My next guitar is one of my favourites from my collection. Its my 1995 Epiphone Les Paul.

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I picked up my les paul around 3 years ago now. I wasn’t able to afford any les paul at the time. As a guitarist I have always wanted a les paul but at the time I wanted a brand new Epiphone Les Paul.  When I bought this I was actually in a guitar shop looking to buy a new set of guitar strings for my SG. With my Birthday around the corner I knew that I had money on the way. I walked past the window of one of my favourite guitar shops in Clevdon and was Instantly attracted to the look of this Beautiful Les paul in the window. At that point I then went into the guitar shop and demanded to play the Les Paul. At the time I didn’t have the money to buy this guitar but I knew that this was the one. For me “The One” sums up a guitar that really means something to me. This les paul for me was “The One” as it felt and played so nice in comparison to other guitars I played in the past.

When I first played it I noticed that it was quit beaten up, in the sense that it had quit a few scratches and cracks on the back of the guitar. Before this point, I never bought a guitar that was used to the point that it had loads of wear. I also use to be very OCD about my equipment in the sense that I always wanted everything to be clean and in pristine condition. To buy this Les Paul would brake my Habbit.

At the time I was wondering wether buying this Les Paul would be a Mistake but I physically couldn’t walk away from it. For me, If I can’t walk away from a guitar then I know its “The One”. So `i put a £100 deposit on it and paid it off over a 2 month period and eventually I got my Les Paul. For me my les paul is one of my favourite guitars that I own as its been through a lot with me, Ive gig’d it a lot, and added to the scratches/cracks that was originally on it.

Funnily enough this les paul was built in the same factory in Korea as my SG but just 2 years later. I actually feel quit a strong connection between both of these guitars as they are both very similarly built in quality and feel even though they are completely different guitars from the same brand.

My Fender stratocaster 2011 Model 

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This is my Fender stratocaster which I actually bought a year after my Les Paul. Like my Les Paul my Strat was a unexpected buy. 2 years ago I had issues with my Les paul where the wiring with the pickups wasn’t working properly and would cut out with the volume every so often. Unfortunately I had to wait around for the technician Mark (at calved music shop) to get back from his Lunch. I was waiting for him to fix my guitar as I needed it desperately for the gig that week. In normal cercamstances I would have come back another day but as I had a gig that week I needed the guitar to be fixed. So while I waited, I thought id try out a couple of guitars whilst I was waiting around. In the end I played on a squire classic Vibe stratocaster, a mexican telecaster and this guitar. Instantly when I played this guitar I fell in love with it. At the time I had a old strat copy that I enjoyed playing but was never happy with it. I often thought very badly of the stratocasters from my previous experience of playing my dads strat until I played this one. I ended up playing this Strat for a straight hour in the shop and couldn’t let it go. I knew this was “The One” so I bought it. Thankfully I had enough money at the time to buy it with so I bought it.

Heres a modern up to date picture of it now…..

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As you can see it looks slightly different as I have modded it slightly.

Now you might be thinking what is a Mod? The word “Mod” Is short for Modification which used in this example basically means an upgrade. I upgraded my strat with Lace sensor pickups, changed the wiring, added custom shop pots and changed the Machine heads for Fender custom shop locking machine heads for extra running stability. This Upgrade changed my strat from a good guitar to a amazing guitar. The sound of the strat is perfect for that classic Fender sound but retains clarity with heavy amounts of gain so you can hear each individual note when play lead lines or melodies which is perfect for my style. This is a fantastic guitar apart of my collection and I will treasure this guitar for a very long time as it was the first Stratocaster that I ever truly loved when I first played it.

Finally for my electric guitars is my Prs Se 24 Custom

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I bought my Prs about a year ago now around November time. For years now Ive supported a famous Youtuber called Rob chapman who I will discuss in other blogs in the future. Rob owns his own guitar company called Chapman guitars which I have seen progress over the last 3-5 years. Ever since Chapman guitar were created I was always interested in the company. Before I bought my Prs, I wanted to buy a Chapman guitar. The only place I could buy a chapman guitar was in guilford. The store that sold Chapman guitars is called Andertons which is the biggest and most highly rated Music retailer in the Uk which is based in guilford. So I travelled to Andertons. In the end I tried 6 Chapman guitars, 1 Gibbson and a Hagstrom. At this point I was pretty set on a Chapman Ml-1 Rabea Massad model until I stepped into the Prs section of andertons.

Since the start of my journey with guitar, PRS has been in my opinion a highly rated Brand in my books. When I walked into the room I was instantly attracted to this PRS. In the room I was surrounded by guitars that were worth thousands of pounds each and as soon as I looked at my PRS I instantly assumed it was a high end model. Then when I looked into the model and the specs I soon realised how much the Prs was worth. With this in mind I ran back to my practise room with this guitar, played and instantly loved it. For me this Prs was everything I wanted out of my next guitar to suit my needs for my collection. This was why I bought this guitar.

I also use a Faith Neptune, which has been a recent purchase for me. This Is my only acoustic guitar in my collection but is fantastic. As I am primarily a electric guitar player I don’t generally find myself playing a lot of acoustic but when I do I really need a nice acoustic.

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My Faith Acoustic was always planed unlike my other guitars. From a very early age of playing guitar I knew that I wanted a Faith acoustic. Since having a job I saved for months to try and buy a faith and finally I own one. Faith are a fantastic modern brand that have produced some fantastic instruments over the years by the one and only Patrick Eaggle who is a phenomenal luthier and designer in the Uk. Like with all of my other guitars, this guitar stood out to me for looks, sound and feel. This was what pushed me to buy this beautiful guitar.

The Final Part of my Rig is my Amp which Is a Blackstar Id 260tvp which is a very versatile digital valve modelling amp. Ive owned my blackstar for around a year and a half now and I’ve gigged it a lot. It has served me really well and is loud enough to play at nearly any venue.

Heres a picture of it…

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with this amp you can recreate your favourite valve amp sounds without the burden of having a valve amp
. Valve amps can break from dropping the amp, bashing it or even playing the amp too loud. With this amp you don’t have that problem and it still retains the sound of a valve amp itself digitally. For me this is the closest solid state amp that captures the sound of a valve amp. Valve amps sound and react differently to solid state digital amps. This is a fantastic, versatile amp with a wide variety of tonal options which makes it really good for any guitarist.

Thats it from me, apart from a couple of pedals this is my main gigging and professional music gear. All of the equipment listed, I use on a dayily/weekly basis for my music life and thought id share this with you as it is a fundamental part of my sound and style. A guitar rig is super important to any musician as it can change the way you play and the way you sound within the genre that you play. My Rig isn’t the most expensive rig of all but it is perfect for me as a guitarist as I love all of my guitars and have sculpted the sound to my style of playing and to what I like.

Hope you guys enjoyed the Blog, Make sure you stay tuned for my future Blogs and I will catch you guys soon! Cheers!!

 

 

My Dream Guitar Rig

Every Musician that loves music equipment will always have a dream Rig where they will be able to tell you what they would use in their line of work. For most musicians their idea of the “Dream Rig” can change through time and experience of the industry. Since I started playing guitar my dream guitar rig has changed so many times as I have played so many different brands that I know now what I like and dislike. With knowing this its helps to narrow down what is your favourite things when it comes to equipment.

Guitars 

For me I could own a guitar shop for the amount of guitars I love. To narrow it down I would own a different guitar for a different job within what I play so for example, I would own a Gibson Es335 for Jazz or rhythm comping where I don’t solo but then I would own a Gibson SG for Blues and rock music where I would use a mixture of rhythm and lead work. So lets look at my dream guitars for my rig. Below will feature pictures of my dream guitars for my dream rig in the exact colour with a link to a guitar retailer that will show all of the specifications and description of each guitar. Hope you guys Enjoy!


Guitar Number 1:

Gibson Les Paul Standard HP 2016 Spec in Gold Top

LPNSTDGTCH1-Finish-Shot

http://www.andertons.co.uk/solid-body-electric-guitars/pid41897/cid671/gibson-les-paul-standard-hp-2016-spec-in-gold-top.asp


Guitar Number 2:

Gibson 2016 SG Standard Traditional Spec in Heritage Cherry

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http://www.andertons.co.uk/solid-body-electric-guitars/pid41183/cid671/gibson-2016-sg-standard-traditional-spec-in-heritage-cherry.asp


Guitar number 3:

Gibson ES-335 Figured Electric Guitar in Natural

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http://www.andertons.co.uk/semi-hollow-amp-hollow-body/pid37995/cid670/gibson-2015-es335-figured-in-antique-natural.asp


Guitar Number 4

Fender American Deluxe Strat Ash | Aged Cherry Burst | Rosewood

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http://www.andertons.co.uk/solid-body-electric-guitars/pid20479/cid671/fender-american-deluxe-strat-ash-124-aged-cherry-burst-124-rosewood.asp


Guitar number 5

Fender American Deluxe Ash Tele Maple Neck In White Blonde

24346_American_Deluxe_Telecaster_Maple_White_Blonde_US13013898_1

http://www.andertons.co.uk/solid-body-electric-guitars/pid41808/cid671/fender-american-deluxe-ash-tele-maple-neck-in-white-blonde.asp


Guitar Number 6

PRS Custom 24 30th Anniversary in Vintage Sunburst

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http://www.andertons.co.uk/solid-body-electric-guitars/pid39486/cid671/prs-custom-24-30th-anniversary-in-vintage-sunburst.asp


Guitar number 7

Ibanez S5570Q Electric Guitar in Regal Brown Burst

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http://www.andertons.co.uk/solid-body-electric-guitars/pid31914/cid671/ibanez-s5570q-electric-guitar-in-regal-brown-burst.asp


This collection of guitars I feel would cover me for any situation within my music career. To be a session musician I believe that you need to be prepared for every style of music. Obviously there are many other guitars that I would own personally but I believe this would set me up perfectly. Ive chosen guitars like the Gibson Les Paul and the fender stratocaster as they achieve classic tones that you will only get from those guitars. I also personally love those guitars too. Then Ive chosen the PRS 24 custom and the Ibanez as I believe they are very versatile modern guitars but can cover me very well If I were to only take a couple of my guitars from my collection.The PRS and the Ibanez also have coil tap on them which would allow me to get single coil tones which makes the guitars even more versatile for a session guitarist. All of these guitars listed above I have always wanted to own wether thats from the start of me playing guitar to now. Within any guitars I know the qualities that I like and look for. I believe all of these guitars would have the qualities that I would be looking for and would satisfy my ever need when it comes to everything guitar based.


For my amp set up I believe it would be quit simple. Ive always been a massive fan of Marshall Amps for a long time now and know that my dream amp for my dream rig involve a Marshall. In my dream rig I would own a head and cab. My dream Marshall head would be a Marshall JVM410. I had the pleasure of playing one only a couple of months ago and it was the closest Ive ever been to achieving my tone. My guitar hero’s all ither play or have played Marshalls in their career. Heres a demo of a Marshall Jvm410:

The demo above ^ features one of my favourite modern guitar players which you may recognise through my blog. Rabea Massad is a guitarist who has a massive online presence through many of his projects within the industry. I thought id share this video as it not only shows you the dream guitar head I would have but also shows you guys who I idolise as a guitarist.

The Marshall Jvm 410 is a 4 channel 100watt head which packs a huge punch. This would be perfect for any session musician as it gives you a wide range of versatility when it comes to tone. It also is a very loud amp which would be man enough for any venue. Heres a link to the specifications of the head…

http://www.gak.co.uk/en/marshall-jvm-410h/4363?gclid=Cj0KEQiA96CyBRDk5qOtp5vz8LkBEiQA6wx8MM0G7SbcIDd4rKuNgmVVLXLEiUzSyR0dtE5s-CUXBokaApUe8P8HAQ

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I would then own a PANAMA ROAD SERIES HORIZONTAL 2X12 cabinet which has some fantastic features for a Cab.Heres a specification link for the cab.

http://panamaguitars.com/products/series/road-series/

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Id then have a back up amp just incase the anything happened with the head or cab. With being a session musician you’ve got to cover yourself just incase something were to go wrong. I feel that having a backup, combo, cheeaper Marshall would do the job as it would roughly achieve the tone that I’m going for at a cheaper price and would cover me incase anything happened to my main rig.

Finally for amps I would also own a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III as it would be a great clean amp to own. For crystal clear cleans I think this amp would be perfect for Jazz,Blues, Pop and just guitar comping. Fender are a American brand where as Marshall are British which will give me diversity with tone. Id love to own a Fender amp in my dream rig as it would give me the exact tone which is what I’m looking for. Ive also played one of these amps and love them.

Heres the specifications for the amp:

http://www.gak.co.uk/en/fender-hot-rod-deluxe-iii/40963?gclid=Cj0KEQiA96CyBRDk5qOtp5vz8LkBEiQA6wx8MOfnvabTFv0aEfMdMnikc3QXVR7rjrEOahL2n2m8hKwaAhpQ8P8HAQ

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Finally to finish my rig I have to show you my dream pedal board. This pedal board I have created on a website called Pedaltrain which is basically a brand that make fantastic pedal boards. On the pedaltrain website you can create your dream pedalboard on the perfect pedaltrain board for your rig. Heres a picture of my dream pedal board….

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Pedals Included From Left To Right:

  • Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Wah (Wah Pedal)
  • Exotic Effect SP Compressor (Compressor Pedal)
  • Electro Harmonix Micro Pog (Octave Pedal)
  • Tc Electronic Polytune 2 (Tuner Pedal)
  • Wampler Euophoria Overdrive (Overdrive Pedal)
  • Wampler Plexidrive (Overdrive pedal)
  • Exotic Effects EP Booster (Booster Pedal)
  • Ernie Ball Volume JR (Volume Pedal)
  • Mxr Analogue Chorus (Chorus Pedal)
  • Mxr Micro Flanger (Flanger Pedal)
  • Tc Electronic Hall Of Fame (Reverb Pedal)
  • Tc Electronic Flashback x4 (Delay Pedal)

So this is my dream rig in a nutshell. Every peice of equipment listed on this dream rig blog I have either tried out before, seen them being used or heard great things about them. In my time of playing guitar I have played a lot of equipment and have developed a taste of what I like and what I don’t like. Everything on this dream rig I would personally love to own but sadly all of this listed above is very expensive. For the seven guitars listed, all together they equate to just over £10,000 which is not realistic for a upcoming session musician. Session musicians don’t generally make much money unless they are famous for their work. I feel that the amount of money for the rig would total to a astronomical amount which I will sadly never be able to afford unless I win the lottery. Elements of this gear I will own but I don’t believe I will ever be able to own everything on this list. However this is my dream rig, this is everything I would own if I had the money. You can only dream.

Make sure to check out all of the gear or even brands listed above. Everything on this list is very high end and boutique within the industry. Any piece of equipment or object on this dream rig list is guaranteed to be apart of some of the top session musicians rigs. However you can always make a good sound out of any rig however expensive or cheap a rig is. After all the tone really is in your hands not the equipment you use.

On that note, I hope you enjoyed the blog! Make sure you like, comment or even share this post. Support with me is always appreciated! Stay tuned for some more blogs from me and I will catch you guys soon. Thanks for reading!