The endless search for the right tone has plagued me since I’ve picked up the guitar. I believe the right sound can make or break a performance. Getting the tone and response just right on every gig has been a battle over the years, but the journey has been educational and rewarding. This page lists some of the gear I’ve owned and used as well as some thoughts on what has and has not worked. Feel free to shoot me an email and let me know what works for you!
Tom Anderson Hollow Cobra
My main guitar since 2002 has been a Tom Anderson Hollow Cobra. It has hollow chambers which makes it light and well balanced. Great teaching guitar due to its weight, ergonomics, and versatility. The guitar is on the bright side, which is something I’ve struggle with for lead playing on the bridge pickup. I like a fat sounding guitar without too much bass. It needs to sound full on the 1st and 2nd string without getting muddy on the low strings.
The Anderson is a rhythm machine. Cuts nicely and blends well with just about any band. I used it on a theater production of Jesus Christ Super Star with my Dr Z Maz 38 and it sounded great. I replaced the stock pickups with a 4 conductor Jason Lollar pickups (splits for single coil). This opened up the guitar and gave it some clarity without loosing it’s vintage vibe. The neck has some meat on it. More recently, I’ve realized the neck is a little big for me. I didn’t realize how much I was fighting this guitar until I bough a Gibson 335. I’m gonna try to hang on to this guitar, but may have to sell it. My 335 is providing a sound that was missing with the Anderson.
John Suhr Hybrid Start/Tele/Gibson
I acquired a John Suhr via a trade on Craigslist. I traded my Fargen Blackbird amp for the Suhr and I think it was a good trade. The Fargen was a nice amp for practicing, but it always seemed little bass heavy on the gig. Turning down the bass cleaned up the amp but reduced the thickness on the high “E” and “B” stings. I am happy with trade so far. The John Suhr is very versatile and sounds great. This is the first maple neck guitar I’ve owned. It definitely has more top end, not harsh, but very smooth. I like the bridge pickup, it has a nice smooth but open sound.
I bought this guitar because I wanted a versatile guitar that could go from a nice jazz sound to a fusion guitar tone (a la John Scofield, Mike Stern). I swapped out my Lollar pickups from my Anderson and installed them in my 335. I also tried some over wound Fralin picksups, but the Lollars seem to sound the best. The 335 is very easy to play, and I love the tone of the neck pickup. I wish the bridge pickup would compress a little more, so I may have to try another pickup, however the problem with non-matched pair pickups is the middle position (both humbuckers on) doesn’t sound right. I love the sound of the middle position for rhythm playing and don’t want to sacrifice that sound.
Early 1950’s Martin
This guitar I cherish because I inherited it from my grandfather about 10 years ago. A great luthier friend of mine who works in Portland brought this guitar back from the dead. Now it plays great and sounds pretty good. I am not sure the exact model of Martin, but it’s basically a cheap parlor guitar. This guitar is great for recording overdub parts because it does not have a lot of low end and cuts through the mix.
- Wampler Sovereign Distortion
- Josh Smith Dual Trem
- Flashback T.C. Electronics Dely
- Boomerang Looper
- Custom Audio Wah
- EP Booster
- Ecstasy By Wampler (new favorite OD pedal)
- OCD by Fulltone (Sold)
- Dunlop volume pedal (love this pedal, finally someone gets it!)
- Fulltone Clyde Deluxe (sold)
- Mojo Vibe
- Maxon Auto Filter
- RC Booster (sold)
- Keeley Compressor (Sold)
- Barber Direct Drive
- Modified Blues Driver ( H2O mod + Keeley mod)
- Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
- Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Mosfet (sold)
- Boss Tuner
- Mosferatu Hermida (sold)
- Barber Trifecta Fuzz
- Xotic BB+ (sold)
- Tube Screamer (Analogman) (sold)
- T.C. Nova reverb
- T.C. Nova System
- Boss DD-20 delay
- BBE sonic maximizer
- Suhr Tele custom
- Custom Made Tele By Mark Brown of Mark’s Guitars
- Tom Anderson Hollow Cobra (Pickups-(Jason Lollar) two push/pulls for split-coil)
- Bill Nash StratPickups –(Jason Lollar)
- Early 50’s Martin (Rebuilt by Mike Burdette)
- GB-10 Ibanez Hollow body (Pickups-Lindy Fralin floating jazz-pickup)
- Music Man Stingray Bass
- Gibson ES-335 (Pickups-Lollar Humbuckers)