Sunday, December 27, 2015

David Grissom Gear Guide

ADHD's Gear Guides at any Budget. I'm a firm believer that the tone comes from the hands. If your trying to achieve a certain guitar hero's tone you have to not just have the chops but you've got to get down their style of attack with your picking hand as well. That said every step you take toward finding the right gear is often very inspiring and WILL get you closer to “that” sound. I'm going to break these down into Guitars, Pickups, Pedals and Amps.

David Grissom Gear Guide

David Grissom is not one of the more famous guitar heroes in the world of guitar. But among those in the know he is deeply respected for his tone, tasty chops and resume. He has a unique style that blends Texas Blues with Americana and Nashville chops. He has played with Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Buddy Guy, and The Allman Brothers Band as well as being a musical director for the Dixie Chicks among others. As with many players his style of playing is more important than his gear choices. 

Guitars- David Grissom was an early adopter of PRS guitars in an effort to stand out in the Texas Strat crowd. Finding a guitar that falls somewhere between Strats and Les Pauls while still retaining and vintage tone and feel. 

PRS DGT- The Paul Reed Smith David Grissom Tremolo model began as a custom ordered McCarty model with a tremolo. David then had the neck reshaped the knobs changed and the pickups custom wound to sound more like the pickups in an old 335 he had. While doing sessions in Nashville several players started ordering guitars with the same setup from PRS so Mr Smith finally made it it's own signature model.
PRS S2 Custom22

PRS S2 Custom 22- Unlike the custom 24 the Custom 22 pickups are wound closer to vintage sounds. The S2 models are made in the USA and even though there have been a few cost saving measures they keep everything that is important to the tone.

PRS SE Custom 22- The PRS SE line is made overseas but Mr Smith was adamant that the quality had to surpass other lines made in south east Asia. They really are great guitars for the money.   

Pickups- David's choice of pickups are a vintage voiced humbucker. On his signature guitar they used PRS unique coil split that still keeps the hum in check. You will have to look on eBay or Reverb  for them because at this time they are not available through retailers without buying the whole guitar. 

Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates set- Made to replicate the pickups in Billy Gibbons favorite 59 Les Paul these are an excellent cost effective replacement set for vintage humbucker tones. 

Seymour Duncan Vintage Blues set- A little cleaner and smoother than the Pearly Gates set the Vintage Blues uses the popular Seymour Duncan 59 pickups and make an killer drop in replacement set for anyone wanting a great PAF sound.

Pedals- David likes to play around with pedals but keeps things pretty simple. He likes several delays and a couple of boost pedals to push the amp. A chorus and sometimes a tremolo round out the set. He says he'll throw a wah in the front if he needs it. Everything goes into the front of the amp. 

Psionic Audio Telos Buffer/Overdrive/Boost- The Telos pedal that David has been using for a while uses a fantastic buffer as well as a clean boost and drive pedal. The reviews on it are really great.

Xotic EP Booster- While not exactly a neutral boost the EP booster has become a favorite booster of
players everywhere. The boost circuit was taken from an echoplex another studio trick of famous tone seakers. David loves using to push his amp and other pedals past crunch and into distortion.

Fulltone Plimsoul- The Fulltone Plimsoul is renowned for being a versatile overdrive with a ton of amp like gain. One of the neat features is a blend knob that brings in a harder clipping section.

Joyo Ultimate Drive- The Joyo Ultimate Drive is an exact clone of the Fulltone OCD. It's known as a very versatile amp like overdrive pedal. While the OCD is better made the Joyo it is a favorite pedal of budget boards. I did a review of it here, and while it's not my favorite pedal I keep it a round for adding a vintage flavor drive when I need it.

Arion Chorus- The Arion Chorus pedal is one of those secret weapons that shows up on boards all the time. David uses a modded pedal that has true bypass to get an organ sound when he plucks chords. The original version sounds killer and is cheap.

Line 6 DL4- David like versatile delays and has used this as well as a Line 6 M9 both of which sound great and are programmable. But he has also warned that they are not the most road worth of tools.

Amps- David likes straight forward vintage style amps. No effects loops or no scooped tones here.

PRS DG30- David worked hand in hand with PRS's famed amp designer Doug Sewell for several years to develop a 30 watt and 50 watt version of an amp with a blend of vintage Marshall's and Vox's. The result is a beautiful and fantastic sounding set of amps that he makes sound like gold.

Vox AC15- Vox is one of the original big three amp builders and has carved out their unique sound in the amp world. They have several AC30's and AC15's at all price points.

Egnator Tweaker- The Egnator Tweaker became the darling of guys on forums for a few years and
with good reason. They are versatile, well made, and sound very good for the money. They also play great with pedals.

Obviously there are a lot of great pedals out there but these are a great place to start your tone search.

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