My #1 guitar is my Strat!
It has the best neck I've ever played. It's a 50's soft "V" shaped neck. Nice and fat like a baseball bat. I'm not a fan of small necks. I like my necks to fill my hand. No one knows what it is though. It may not be a real Fender. It doesn't matter though. It plays amazing. That's the important thing. I have one Lollar 60's wound pickup in the neck position and Aero pickups for my middle and bridge position. I have my strat wired up wjth 1 master volume and 1 master tone that I use to control all 3 of my pickups. Also I put a .047 capacitor between my volume and tones pots for a deeper tone cut. I pretty much have my Strat wired how I believe Rory Gallagher wired his. It's a simpler set up than your everyday Strat which works with my style well. I usually have my tremolo system flush with the wood so there's more vibration and resonance throughout the body. I love playing with floating tremolo systems but sometimes, especially stratocaster, the guitar I'm playing just can't stay in tune. When I do use my tremolo system I just deal with it. But I've been really enjoying those Jazzmaster and Jaguar tremolo systems lately. You can freak out on them and they don't go terribly out of tune.
First Act Delgada Custom:
I really enjoy this guitar. It looks kind of like a Gibson Firebird. I have 3 Kent Armstrong mini humbuckers in it. Very fat with lots of cut to those pickups. I have it wired like a Strat with a 5 way toggle switch. Each pickup has its own volume control and there's one overall tone. I have a Jazzmaster style tremolo system in the guitar. The neck and body have not lacquer on them. I don't like lacquer on my guitars, especially the neck. When your sweating that stuff will slow you down. I sand all my guitars down to the bare wood. No sticking just full flight.
Edwards les Paul:
This guitar is based off of one of Jimmy Page's 1959 les Paul's. very light weight. It came with Seymour Duncan humbuckers but I swapped them out with Seymour Duncan P-90's. really enjoying the P-90's. I'm a single coil guy. Jimmy Page had this guitar wired which coil taps to make his pickups single coils. My copy never had that special wiring. It's a great guitar. One of the prettiest tops I've seen. And for being a copy?! Very nice. Easily gives the Gibson Custom Shop a run for their money.
Squire J Mascis Jazzmaster:
So happy I picked this guitar up. And for the price it's unbeatable! Nice fat neck with a satin finish in it so no sticking when you're ripping. Tune o matic bridge helps to easily intonate out of whack strings. And again that tremolo system. You can really get down and add nice vibrato a la Neil Young and it stays in tune. I need to get a Strat and put this style tremolo on it........I replaced the pickups with a hand wound set from Brierley pickups in Australia. My good friend Tim Brennan of TYM Guitars fame suggested these and I love them. He wound them a little hotter than normal for me and dipped them a little longer in paraffin wax to kill the microphonics that most pickups get when played at high volumes. A very functional and useful guitar for very little money. Don't let the "Squire" logo fool ya.
Marshall 1979 JMP 100 watts model 2203
This has been my main head for 10+years now. It's the master volume version. Absolutely one of the best JMP model Marshall's I've played through. It does everything I need it to do and it's always been reliable. Crank up the pre amp knob and that's all you really need!
Marshall 1971 Super Lead 100 watts
This amp is LOUD! And sounds amazing. Used it exclusively on the upcoming Earthless record. It has 2 volumes: ones a treble/brighter volume and ones a bass/low end volume. It's a 4 input head so you can link the 2 volumes together by putting a cable in each the treble volume input and the bass volume input and you can now blend between both treble and bass volumes. A lot closer to what Hendrix would've used than my JMP. To have both in the arsenal is covering some very important bases tonally.
Ampeg Super Jet
I don't always play loud. But when I do, I play Marshall. But! I don't always play loud and I don't always feel like hauling a 4x12 and a head around. I started using Ampeg combos many years ago. The first one I purchased was an early 90's Super Jet. I was playing in the blues band Candye Kane and I wanted a lower wattage amp that had good breakup and nice reverb. This amp came through Moonlight Music and I fell in love with it. It acts like a big amp, like my Marshall's, but at lower volumes. I guess that's pretty much what all small amps do, but this Ampeg had the tone I was looking for. It was able to get nice and angry, but also get very soft and sweet if you needed. It really likes Strats. And enough reverb to make Dick Dale happy. Wonderful 30 watt amp.
Mid 60's Ampeg Reverberocket
Bought this amp out of someone's garage for a $100. It needed work so I sent it to a buddy who's an amazing tech named Chris Barnett. He fixed it right up. It's not all original but man does it sound good. Really simple design. Crank this 20 watt amp and its growls and bites and can hold onto a note for days. Wonderful rich, lush reverb. Total wipeout. The original speaker was long gone so I put a Weber Feromax Vintage Series speaker in it. I'm very happy with this speaker decision. I want more amps so I can try out more Weber speakers. I love running both of my Ampegs together for a lovely stereo sound.
1963 Fender Bandmaster version 6G7-A
One of my all time favorite amplifiers. Roughly 40 watts. Has great breakup when cranked. Lots of bass. My favorite thing about these amps is the tremolo circuit. It sounds less like a tremolo and more like a pulsating Leslie speaker. One of the prettiest sounds you'll ever hear from a vintage amp. It's like having a Uni-Vibe built in to your amp, though not quite the same characteristics.
Orange 4x12 cabinet
When I first started working at Moonlight Music around 1997 I picked this cabinet up. Russell had 2 brand new in the box Orange 4x12's. I wish now I would've gotten both. My cab is a mid 90's. it's loaded with 75 watt Celestion speakers. I remember so vividly taking the cabinet home and testing out in comparison to a mid 70's Marshall cab. The Orange had a much richer/thicker tone that I instantly attributed to the wood of the cabinet itself. These aren't cheaply made cabs and just one listen will prove just that. I've always used my Orange for recording and playing live. When a sound person asks which cabinet to mic I always say the Orange. And, yeah, they're orange and they look really cool.
About the Pedals I use
-Dunlop Hendrix wah
-Crybaby GCB-95 with Colorsound mod by Brad Davis(Creepy Fingers).
-FOXX fuzz wah
-----Overdrives, fuzz & distortion--
-Small Sound Big Sound "Mini"
-TYM Guitars Earthless pedal
-TYM Guitars Big Mudd "Rams Head"
-TYM Guitars Big Mudd "Civil War Mudd with Screaming Tree Boost"
-MXR Super Badass
-Simon Eight Guitars Distortion
-Fuzz Face mini
-Cesar Diaz Texas Ranger
-Creepy Fingers "Sugar Boost"
-Keely "Java Boost"
-----delays and reverbs-----
-Fulltone Tape Echo
-Maestro MP-3 Echoplex
-Tech 21 Boost DLA
-Way Huge "Echo Puss" w/custom art by Alan Forbes
-SIB "Mr. Echo"
-Maxon AD-999 Analog Delay
-Earthquaker Devices "Dispatch -Master" delay and reverb
-Fender 60's reissue Reverb Tank
-MXR Phase 100(vintage)
-TC Electronic's "Ditto" looper
Pending future musings regarding new pedals and other such strangeness that might be of interest..
I'm quite sure something will peak my interest soon enough.