© by Bernhard Wagner, 2006.

Gear I actually use

The effect board was put together in the 80s except for the DD-5 and still lasts. I have since tried several guitar multi-effect-boards, but was never convinced by their sound. Since I started playing with Loops I needed something to make them stereo and went for the Lexicon MPX G2.
Digitech Whammy V

I'd started looping with Möbius, using a RME Fireface 400. As soon as I introduced the Whammy, I got pretty weird glitches in my loops. Not nice. First, I suspected Möbius. To verify, I used other audio apps, like Audacity, even Vox, and the problem persisted. Section "Crackle during record or playback:" of chapter "24. Hotline - Troubleshooting", p. 41 of the manual: "Check that cables/devices have not been connected in a closed loop. If so, set the system’s clock mode to ‘Master’.") I'm not sure the "closed loop" applies to my situation. However, to my great relieve, by setting "Clock Mode" from "AutoSync" to "Master" the issue went away.

Luxor Telecaster

My first and dearest. Replaced the weak front pick-up by a fat one (Seymour Duncan single coil STL-2). Update: Replaced both pick-ups with Kinmans to avoid hum. Love them. Thanks, Bill, for recommending them! Serial No: "L 2 0 0", Model "3 5 4 9"

Rolf Spuler Paradis

Since a few years my trusty weapon of choice. Check out Rolf Spuler's guitars and other sorceries... (note to self: String changing procedure).

Ibanez Roadstar II Series Guitar

Wanted a guitar with a whammy bar. This was the best I could afford at the time (80s). Versatile, but a little weak sustain. Serial No: F704270 (Apparently produced 1987 in Japan, at the Factory Fujigen (Fuji Gen Gakki), the 4270th guitar produced that year), I believe it's Model No: RG450BK Update: Replaced the center pick-up with Kinman to avoid hum. Love it.

Boss Octave OC-2

Monophonic. I love it for single note riffs in conjunction with Compression Sustainer CS-2.

Boss Compression Sustainer CS-2

Unfortunately quite noisy. Especially in conjunction with the TS808. Which, at the same time, is its favourite companion.

Ibanez Tubescreamer TS808

Overdrive. The first pedal I ever had.

Nobels ODR-1

Another great recommendation by Bill. I couldn't describe it better than him: "buttery" and "the secret weapon of many Nashville, Austin and LA studio cats.". Bill recommended to hunt for the "old" pedal, made in the mid 90's. I was lucky to find one second hand in a German shop... Won't give it away, so don't ask! ;)

Boss Digital Delay DD-5

The newest toy in my stompbox zoo as a replacement for the old clunky Vesta DIG-410 which offers a max. 1 s delay time. The DD-5 has a cleaner sound and max. 2 s delay time.

BUT: The Vesta offers a nicer user interface. It has a hold function that can be activated any time, while the DD-5 has a special HOLD "mode". If you change to any mode on the Boss thingy, you lose what's currently in the delay buffer, which for me, is the foremost reason to press HOLD in the first place! To cover its weakness it supports a tapping input and allows to divide the tapped time into e.g. 3ds etc. I don't work this way. A nice feature is the additional output which allows to create a spreading of successive echos ("ping-pong").

The Vesta also features a modulation section with controls speed and depth. This taught me how chorus and flanger effects are done. It allows to create some atmospheric dynamic detuning, too.

What I dislike about the DD-5 is when you kick it into bypass mode, it continues echoing the old delay buffer content till it dies out. It doesn't stop immediately. The only situation I would like this kind of behaviour would be if I want my last lick to echo out while I continue playing something on top without that being echoed. This in turn is much better achieved by a special wiring of your effect gear...

Generally, the DD-5 reminds me a bit of convenience food: The developers studied what kind of things guitarists do with a digital delay and tried to offer that functionality in a "convenient" way. This makes me feel a bit like they're making up my mind for me.

Boss DD-20 "GigaDelay"

Still have to learn how to use this beast. Battery operated: I plan to use it with the DL-4 for busking.

Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler

Great little loop box. I couldn't believe it when I found out that you can actually have a digital delay working pre-loop in addition to the loop function! I can go busking with a single stompbox! Battery operated.

Gibson Echoplex Digital Pro Plus

Forget about the previous paragraph complaining about the DD-5. The Echoplex is what I'd been looking for!

Since the manual doesn't mention how to dump parameters, here's how Matthias Grob explains it.
Digitech PMC 10 Programmable MIDI Controller

Bought this off eBay and it came without the programmer. Thanks to the people on the pmc10 mailing list I managed to hook the PMC 10 up to the parallel port of the PC.

Lexicon MPX G2

Love it for its Effects: "PitchCascade" and "ChaosDance". After stuffing it into a suitcase, it suffered, but could be fixed.

Roland Microcube

Battery operated and ready for busking!.

Roland Jazz Chorus-120H

Transistor amp. I use it with two over-dimensioned no-name speakers. Nice stereo chorus. The built-in distortion produces a rough, edgy sound that, when preceded by the CS-2 and optionally the TS808, becomes a full phat sound. I get sort of close to the sound of Jesse Johnson (The Time, 1990) on "Pandemonium", Track 10 ("Skillet").

Hughes & Kettner Studio 84

An "All-Tube". Very present and characteristic sound.

Seymour Duncan Convertible

An "All-Tube". Very characteristic sound. Unfortunately I don't own any of the extra modules. The guy I bought it from exchanged the original setup resulting in a great sounding amp! It's a bitch to lug around though (27.5 kg).

Roland VS-880 8 track harddisk recorder

Great. Connecting my dusty 100MB ZIP drive to record some stuff worked well (even though the minimum partition size seems to be 500MB).

Gear for special occasions

mxr distortion +

I was walking aimlessly in a flea market area of Kobe/Japan and stumbled upon this genius Japanese guitar effect builder Hiroyuki Kondo. He had the first distortion pedal I ever knew: mxr distortion +, which I bought right off him. Then he unveiled his handmade copy of it: "Power-Rush" for USD 340.-. The reason for this price is that he uses among other expensive components vintage solder. I couldn't believe it. He showed me the solder, apparently from the 50s, and said that the vintage solder contains more silver than contemporary solder...

The first band I ever played in was an AC/DC cover band. We were supposed to rehearse a few AC/DC tunes for a party of the local AC/DC fan club. They gave us CHF 100.- to "cover the expenses". Those expenses went in their entirety into renting a couple of distortion pedals. One was a green Ibanez thing with white butterflies depicted on it. The other was this mustard yellow box, the mxr distortion +, which swiftly rose to become the whole guitarist section's pet, and whoever made it to the rehearsal room first, was the lucky one.
Unfortunately, the AC/DC cover gig never materialized...

Korg Z3 Guitar Synthesizer

Got it because the Ibanez MC1 broke down. The Z3 has the nice side effect of being significantly faster than the MC1.

Ibanez MC1 MIDI Guitar Controller with Ibanez X-IMG 2010 MIDI Electronic Guitar

The Controller Rack broke down. But the guitar that came with it still works fine. It has a very sterile sound which works both clean and distorted over the Jazz Chorus but is faceless when played over the Studio 84. And luckily it is compatible to the Z3 so I can plug it in there and don't need to fuss with one of my other guitars when I use the guitar synth.

Korg M1

Battery replacement: There are sites on the internet actually asking money for the instructions how to do it.

Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster

Guitar wizard Bill Walker recommended to use this, because very often I misuse the Boss CS-2 just to temporarily amplify the guitar. And since it's a compressor, I also loose some dynamics.

Gear on pension

Ibanez AutoFilter AF-9

Automatic wah effect. Hardly use it. Very distorted.

Boss Phaser PH-1

Don't remember what I bought it for. Probably a good sales person.