So, we just finished our first tour... and what a tour it was!! We had the BEST time and genuinely loved every minute of it! We met some amazing people, made new friends and hopefully picked up a few new fans along the way too!
I wanted to talk about the gear I chose to take on the road with me and how I found getting used to an Amp I hadn’t really played live with and awful lot. So yeah you guessed it, this post is for the gear nerds!
Let’s start with the main two things that are crucial for me to do anything Scruffy Bear related. I brought out my 2007 Les Paul Standard which you can see in pretty much any live picture of me playing with the guys. At this point that guitar is an extension of me and is so reliable I never ever thought about reaching for my spare. And for all of you that say Les Paul’s don’t stay in tune, I can’t say I’ve ever had an issue with mine. A useful trick is to colour in the bridge and nut saddles with a HB pencil every time you change strings. The graphite in pencil led acts as a lubricant so the strings don’t stick to whatever material your nut is made from. Hence: No tuning issues ;). It’s wired up with 50s cloth wiring, CTS pots and the Slash Signature Seymour Duncan pickup set. Which I’ll shortly be changing out for some PAF’s I hope!
Next is my BEAST of an amp…
I say it’s a beast because it is literally too loud for anything. You could play Wembley with it and still get shouted at by the sound guy (I’m obviously exaggerating but you get the idea – its LOUD!). The amp in question is the Victory Sheriff 44. Martin Kidd has yet again worked his magic and created a genuinely staggering sounding amp. My only quarm with it is its insane amount of volume (Even in its low power mode), and for the life of me, I can’t get on with the Post Phase Inverter Master Volume. So, I’m attenuating it with an overdrive (More on that later!). Its vintage when you want it to be, but as I’m sure you can agree if you’ve heard the new single it’s about as modern and original as anything else on the market (If you wanna hear it, check out the new single!!). I can’t say enough about Victory as a company and manufacturer, they are second to none in my opinion and have something for everyone whether you play Jazz or Djent.
Next up is the pedalboard. I’ve had a lot of questions about what I was using whilst we were out touring, which is one of the reasons I wanted to discuss it here!
The main sound is the amp on the edge of breakup, with a Wampler Euphoria in front of it. This is where I am attenuating some of the amp’s volume by bringing the volume of the overdrive down, so there isn’t much pushing the front of the amp for headroom’s sake, but the power section is wide open (Master on 10). After that, the fuzz in a Keeley Fuzz Bender BEFORE the Wampler to get that fat saturated massive fuzz sound. Then for a lead boost I’m using the Seymour Duncan 805 after all the drive pedals.
I find boosting the fuzz with a tube screamer style overdrive allows me to sit were Georgy’s vocal would be in the mix for my leads, so it puts the guitar up front really well then turned off it falls back into the massive wall of sound for when the vocals come back in. My time-based effects all come from the TC Flashback x4 and the strymon mobius. You really don’t need anything else as they do pretty much everything between them. The reverb is a boss RV-5, on all the time on the modulation setting.
The only real issues I had were power related from my board. Turns out that when I bought my flashback, the addition of that on my board with my strymon meant that the power supply was starved of current. Those big mod pedals need 300ma each and with all the power outlets being used from the pedal power, I was having some really confusing power/signal issues! So unfortunately, the strymon sat most of these shows out but I was able to make do. A new power supply with a couple of 300ma outputs will sort that no problem. So, if any of you have added a new pedal to your board, (After a while like I did), and everything goes to shit – make sure you check the Milliamps!!
That’s pretty much it for my gear. I’ve had some lovely compliments on my tone this tour and overall, I am happy with how everything served me. I will be making some changes though as the amp is a tad too much for what we are doing now. I’ll be keeping the head for studio use but for live stuff I’m after the new Victory Copper... because. well why wouldn’t I be?
I really hope that you find this helpful, or at least interesting if you’re into you gear! I’d love to hear what kind of gear your into if you’re a player, or if you have any questions about gear and using it functionally in a live setting, drop me a message via the SB Facebook or IG! I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks you SO much to everyone that came to see us this time round, mad love to you all! Can’t wait to get back out!