Guitar World 4/95
A Guided Tour of PJ's Gear
by Tom Beaujour
Although PJ shies away from doing product endorsements and advertisements, their tech George Webb was more than happy to give Guitar World a detailed description of the band's touring rigs.
"Eddie has three reissue Telecasters, including his first guitar, which his mom bought him. The other two are just '52 reissues. He stole one from S.I.R. [Studio Instrument Rentals] about a year ago when he went to Roger Daltrey Sings The Music Of Pete Townshend. He ended up just taking it home... then we got this huge bill.
"Amp-wise, Eddie is using a vintage 4x10 Fender Super Reverb, but he may switch to a '72 100 watt Hiwatt. Eddie definitely has a Who/Pete Townshend fascination, hence the Telecaster/Hiwatt combination."
"Stone changes his gear constantly," says Webb. "Fortunately, though, he keeps things simple. He doesn't like rack units, and he doesn't want to deal with MIDI or any of the crap. He basically wants to plug straight into an amp and use a couple of stomp boxes.
"Stone mainly uses Les Pauls. He has two Goldtops.. a '54 and a '72 and the sunburst Paul he's had since Mother Love Bone. He's also got a reissue Strat and a Hamer Duo-Tone electric/acoustic that he uses for 'Daughter.'" Gossard's tech Tim "Skully" Quinlan tunes all the guitars to their many alternate tunings using GHS Boomers 0.011's Gossard uses Dunlop Tortex 0.73mm picks.
From the guitar, Stone's signal is sent to his pedal board by a Sony WRR-840 wireless. "We use different pedals to achieve different amounts of distortion and overdrive: a DOD graphic eq pedal that boosts the signal and drives the amps' preamp sections harder, a Boss Hyperfuzz and an old Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer. Stone uses two amps, so we use Rocktron Rack Interface that feeds the amps two totally separate signals to eliminate any impedance problems.
"Right now, Stone is playing though a Matchless H/C-30 head Bowering a Marshall 1960 100-watt 4x12, and an old brown Fender Deluxe. He uses relatively low-powered amps and drives them hard, so he gets the tone and warmth of the power tubes working. Stone doesn't push them to where they really distort though..he leaves that to the foot-pedals."
"Jeff had two basses, NBA 1 and NBA 2, which were basically Warmoth necks and bodies assembled by Mike Lull at Guitar Works, who works for everybody in Seattle. Unfortunately Jeff destroyed both of those. Mike is making Jeff a new bass with a Warmoth neck and a body shape that Jeff kind of stole from an old Mosrite.
"Jeff has Bartolini 94-J's in all his basses, except for his Hamer 12 and 8 strings [which feature EMG's]. Right now, Jeff's main four-string is a custom-made Modulus Graphite copy of a 1960 Fender stack-knob Jazz bass." Other basses in Ament's collection are a Wal four-string fretless, a Gibson hollowbody Les Paul Signature Model bass strung with flat-wound strings and a Curruther's Sub-1 upright bass. Jeff's fretted four-string basses are strung with Dean Markley SR200 Mediums, and his fretless takes Medium-lites. He favors Dunlop Tortex 1mm picks. "The signal from Jeff's wireless goes immediately to a D.I. box so the house soundman gets a signal, and then to a crossover that splits the highs and the lows. The low-end signal gets sent directly to an SWR Grand Prix tube pre-amp and then to half of a dbx 166 compressor and to a Crest 6001 Power amp that drives three SWR Big Ben 18 inch speakers.
"The other half is the fun part: The signal get sent out to the foot-pedals...a SansAmp GT2 distortion pedal, a Dunlop Tremolo, a Boss CE-2 chorus and a Boss Octaver.. and then returns to an Uptown Flash MIDI switcher/mixer which divides the signal and sends it to four preamps. The signal from each preamp then gets sent back to the switcher. This system allows me to select whichever preamp I want at the press of a button, because Jeff likes to use different tones for different basses and different songs. The first two preamps and Pearce B2P's. They're two- channel units with a lot of eq capability, especially in the mids, which are parametric. One channel is meant to be dirty and one is meant to be clean, but you're able to use one channel at a time or combine the two to them; Jeff can get a really dirty, distorted sound and combine that with the thickness of a clean sound. Each channel has its own master output, so you can blend clean and dirty in any ratio that you want.
"The third preamp is an SWR SM900 that Jeff can get a couple of clean sounds out of for his fretless. He's also playing clean more and more with his regular four-string. Finally, there's an Ampeg SVP Pro, which is the only tube preamp that we use. It's basically an SVT preamp in a single rackspace that he uses mostly for his upright bass sound.
"The output of the Uptown Flash unit goes to the other half of the dbx 166 unit and out to two Crest 6001 power amps that drive three SWR Goliath II 4x10's."
"Mike's rig is a pretty basic mid-seventies classic rock setup with nothing digital," says Jeff Ousley, McCready's tech. "He uses a lot of guitars: a maple-necked, hard-tail '56 Strat, a rosewood-necked '59 Strat, and a maple-neck '58 as well as a couple of '62 reissue Strats that we got from a Fender Custom Shop and two '52 reissue Telecasters. There's a Gretsch hollow- body that he uses on 'Glorified G.' He also owns a bunch of Les Pauls. There's the '72 three-pickup Gibson Les Paul Custom that he smashed on MTV when they did 'Rockin' In The Free World' with Neil Young. I've picked that guitar off the floor many times, but I guess that extra pickup holds it together. Mike's also got a '56 Les Paul that's been heavily modified. The P-90's were replaced with humbuckers and the neck is probably an early- Seventies model. There's a Tom Petty model Rickenbacker 12- string that Tom gave Mike, which he uses on 'Not For You' and "Corduroy.' Finally, there's a '68 Telecaster with a Bigsby that he uses in Mad Season."
All of Mike's guitars are strung with GHS Boomers 0.011's that he picks with Dunlop Tortex 0.88mm's. "The guitars feed a Sony WRR-840 wireless into a Rocktron Rack Interface buffer/splitter. The Interface has a 'Wireless Through' output that I send out in a loop that goes to the effects and back. From the interface, we go to an original Uni- Vibe, a Dunlop wah pedal with a built-in preamp that provides four different tone selections, an old Boos analog delay pedal and then to an Ernie Ball Stereo Volume pedal set in the 'pan' mode. One side of the pan pedal.. which feeds our clean amp.. goes back to one input of the rack interface, while the signal from the other side of the pan pedal goes to an old, puke green Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer. That signal then also goes back to the rack interface and into the dirty amp. When the pan pedal is all the way back, Mike just gets the clean amp, and when he pushes it all the way forward all he gets is the dirty amp. "The dirty amp is one of three Marshalls: a '68 50-watt Marshall plexi or one of two '69 100-watt Marshall Super Tremolos that have had the tremolo disconnected by Sal Trentino, who services all our amps and also does Neil Young's work. They're all four- input amps, so I jump the channels to get a little more gain." "The clean amp is a Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp that runs into a VHT G2150 Classic power amp and two 300-watt Marshall 1960 4x12 cabinets."