What is your guitar-gear nirvana? Is it a trip to your local guitar shop, a trip to NAMM, or perusing the internet for video demonstrations? Maybe for your gear curiosities you should also be looking to podcasts, as there are a few that do a great job of exploring this ever-growing industry. On episode 49 of Fret Buzz the Podcast, Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray bring in Blake Wyland, the host of the Tone Mob podcast and a co-host of the Chasing Tone podcast (alongside Brian Wampler of Wampler Pedals).
Blake tells Aaron and Joe about his background and how he got into the inner workings of guitars, amps, pedals, etc.
The guys have an interesting discussion about how a new guitarist should get started finding the proper gear to achieve their desired tone(s). Blake recommends starting with an amp simulator/amp-in-the-box to find the “base” amp sound(s) that you like. There is a big difference between the sounds of amps made by Fender, Marshall, Vox, etc. Blake then recommends getting a dirt pedal (overdrive or distortion) followed by a reverb pedal and a delay pedal.
This leads to talk about preferences for using a clean amp and getting your overdrive/distortion from pedals versus driving your amp (turning it up enough for it to naturally compress and overdrive) and using pedals to shape or refine that natural distortion. This obviously leads the guys into the subject of hearing protection!
Blake talks about the music industry and how pedal builders tend to share a comradery and a mutual geekiness.
Blake tells the guys about his top episodes of the Tone Mob, including interviews with Robert Keeley, Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem, Joel Korte of Chase Bliss Audio, and Richard Hoover of Santa Cruz Guitars.
Next, Blake tells Aaron and Joe about his pedalboard (which is always changing). He talks about his go-to pedals including the Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive, the Emma Electronic PisdiYAUWot, the TomKat Green Muffer Fuzz, the Dr. Scientist Atmosphere, and the SolidGoldFX Electroman Delay.
Blake also talks about amps, from the Chris Benson (a local Portland builder) “Vincent” to the Sunn Beta “Lead” to the Fender “Deluxe Reverb” and “Vibrolux.”
The conversation turns to building your own pedals and the large amount of labor (soldering!) it takes to build pedals, which is why they cost so much. There is talk of Gibson’s bankruptcy, low-end Gibson versus high-end Epiphone guitars, and profiling amps/amp modeling. The episode ends with a dazzling tour of Blake’s studio, filled with many beautiful guitars and amps, and an obscene number of effects pedals!
Be sure to check out the Fret Buzz The Podcast YouTube channel to see the video.
Check out the Tone Mob at www.tonemob.com or wherever you get your podcasts.