Rig of The Week

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One of the best parts of our job here is being able to check out all of the cool gear that comes in and out of the shop. In the spirit of gear nerdiness, you can now check out this page and see some of the cool rigs we put together in the shop. Sometimes we will be recreating a classic sound, other times we will be showing off something that we think is just super cool. Either way, we hope that you will enjoy the fun of checking out new gear with us. Stop by here often for updates and new rigs!

 

For “Rig of the Week”, we use a combination of new and used gear that we have in-stock to dial in an inspiring rig from one of the many great artists that keep us on our toes. While supplies last, we set up the rig with exactly what the artist used and/or close alternatives here at the shop for anyone to come and play. You can check out what you have been hearing on stage and records and try it for yourselves and even A/B some alternatives.  

A true conquistador of tone, Eric Johnson has set a standard for a totally signature, yet versatile sound. Whether it is his searing lead playing driven by tubescreaming overdrive and fuzzed out smooth distortion or his crystal clean and dream-y chorus rhythm sounds sailing on the huge headroom of a Twin Reverb, E.J. gives any guitarist using this rig a lot of room to make their own voice heard.

While there have been some variations of his set-up over the years, the main idea is pretty simple; Fender Twin Reverb for clean headroom and Marshall for ‘dirty’ leads. Inspired largely by Jimi Hendrix, (because who isn’t?) with his use of a Fuzzface and Wah-Wah pedal heading into a Marshall. EJ also adds an Ibanez TubeScreamer in the mix for another flavor of overdrive. The Tubescreamer and the Fuzzface both offer levels of gain-staging depending on the guitar/pickup combination and the way you can ride the guitar’s volume to clean up or push the amp. There is also an Echoplex in the mix for spaced out delay to fatten up the leads BUT let us not forget that the Echoplex has a preamp that offers yet another gain stage.

 

The breakdown in a Marshall-style amp would look like this:

 

-Mild preamp gain from the Echoplex

-Tubescreamer for a little mid boost and slightly more overdrive and sustain

-FuzzFace for ultimate smooth overdrive and sustain.

 

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For his clean sound, EJ takes advantage of a powerful amp with a lot of crystal clear headroom. He primarily uses an old Memory Man which offers a bit of it’s own quirky compression and chorus sounds along with it’s intended delay features. Incorporating another Boss DD2 in the mix, gives him another ready to go delay with a longer repeat. One of my favorite pedals out now that gives us that Memory Man delay/chorus effect is the ChaseBliss Tonal Recall. Of course Electro Harmonix still makes newer and multiple variations of the Memory Man pedals that also offer chorus effects with their delays, as well.  

An A/B pedal on the floor gives him the option of switching between two specific guitar sounds on the fly so this is not a stereo rig where two amps are running simultaneously and building one big sound, but an either-or rig where he can jump in between totally different sounds.  

Last but not least, of course, is the guitar. Johnson is a vintage guitar enthusiast and although he is primarily known for playing Stratocasters, he has mixed it up for his whole career. Telecasters, Gibson 335s, SGs and Les Pauls all make their appearance on stage and on records. Regarding Fenders, though he seems to favor maple neck Strats, there have definitely been some rosewood options in his stable, including his signature Fender Stratocasters.

 

Here at the shop, we have a variation at every budget to help get you in the ballpark of the inspiring rig. New and used, from Chasebliss, PRS, Nash, Suhr, Electro-Harmonix, Ibanez, Fender, Marshall and more. Come check out this Eric Johnson inspired rig while supplies last.

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