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A Guitarists Wish List: Part 2

by jay.sankara

Amplification (Recording)

Blackstar HT-5

(Note: please see pictures in Part 1 – you can’t miss the bloody thing!)

This little 5 watt all-valve amp head has been an absolute revelation for recording guitar parts. It was pretty much exclusively used for all the electric guitar sounds on every publicly-released Sankara song to date. It provides the perfect Marshall-like tonality for distorted rhythm parts while also supplying American-style chiming clean sounds when required. There’s enough gain and tonal variation on tap to go from a thick sweet Wes Montgomery-style clean tone at one extreme, to a brutal spine-crushing, hamster curdling modern metal sound at the other. It also sports a silent recording socket with switchable speaker emulation, a feature that facilitates tracking guitar parts in the wee, small hours.

Line6 Pod Pro

Like the Variax, this rack-mounting digitally-modeled preamp emulates a considerable amount of vintage amps & effects. It was only used sparingly during tracking, though.

Amplification (Live)

My live signal chain still rely’s on Line6 gear for pre-amplification. I use an Audio Technica wireless system feeding the Line6 PodXT Live floorboard which provides the myriad tones and effects used throughout a performance. As I prefer my delays and modulation effects to be synchronised to the song’s tempo, I need separate banks for each song, with the various effects and amp sounds saved into different patches. This enables me to radically change sounds with the tap of a single footswitch and thereby concentrate on posing while on-stage instead of tap-dancing across a pedalboard the size of the Ark Royal every time I have to change sounds. The output from the PodXT Live goes to a Marshall 9002 200 watts a side stereo power amp driving Marshall 1960A 4×12 speaker cabinets. My guitar cables are by Planet Waves, speaker cables by Cleartone, strings are D’Addario EXL110′s (10 – 46 gauge) and plectrums .71 gauge Jim Dunlop Tortex.


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