We’re trying a new feature here on Gear Gods: asking multiple bands for feedback on one question. For the moment we’re calling it “Feedback, Blood And Distortion” because it seems to fit, and because Toxic Holocaust came up with a title so good that to merely use it for one song seems wasteful.

This week’s question was:
Is there a piece of gear that you don’t love the sound of, but you use it anyway live because of some practical purpose?

“My Peavey 6505 head.  I’ve had it for 8 years and although it isn’t my ideal amp as of now, it is a tank on the road and pumps out some rad tones. The head seems to just stick with me even though my pedal set up changes, or my cab choice.  I also have a head + rack case fit for the head, so that definitely determined my long term use.” – Jason Spencer, Wilson

“We run the vocals through a guitar amp in the studio, and for years we played live with a Fender Blues Junior at the end of the vocal chain. Feedback can be really insane with that setup, so for some rooms we use a Vox Tonelab ST amp modeler instead. It’s not as sexy, but it does the job live, with more control.” – Tom Tierney, Tidal Arms

“In 1996 a former band of mine received actual money from an actual label as an advance. We ran straight to the pawn shop. One of our purchases was an old Randall 4×12 and an accompanying head, bought for $300 apiece. This workhorse, never cased or covered made it through years of touring before my brother left the band. In the divorce, he took the cabinet and I took the head, which had been adorned with a huge photo of Bobby DeNiro’s face from Jackie Brown. 17 years later, this piece of gear is still running strong – a great sounding head that I now use as my bass amp in Czar. After splitting my guitar signal from an octave pedal, it heads straight to the Randall and out to my Emperor 2×15 for what we have affectionately dubbed the “Shithouse Bass”. For a guitar head it pumps a mean bass signal with the right amount of dirt (shit?). Not only is the DeNiro pic still there, we used the same image as the cover of our debut Czar EP. Can’t live without that head (and the cabinet is still pumping as well).” – Jason Novak, Czar

“I have a pretty gigantic/cumbersome pedalboard onto which I’ve tried to cram everything (17 pedals!). In other words practicality is not exactly a priority for me! I pretty much beat the shit out of it so it all has to be as reliable as possible (and all the guitars have been puked on, fallen down the stairs, etc so at least that’s covered). I do wish that TC Electronics made more junior/mini models of their newer vocal pedals. For now the Voicelive one will have to do. It’s still pretty wicked though!”– Timo Ellis, Netherlands

“I have a Rocktron Hush Super C that honestly has nothing to do with my sound. Its just an extra gate in my effects loop to get rid of unwanted amp noise so its quiet during the “start-stop-type” parts. Power from venue to venue is never consistent so sometimes my amp can be really noisy and this helps keep my rig quiet all the time.” – Kurt Fraunfelter, Thy Will Be Done

“No. I’ve been using a Roland GP8 with foot controller since 1986 but I have tried other things along the way and didn’t get on with them, too digital sounding, so I always come back to the GP8 through a Roland JC120. I know exactly how the GP8 works, it’s simple and it doesn’t have infinite possibilities for you to get bogged down with. Works for me. This IS my choice.” – Wayne Hussey, The Mission UK

Written by

Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.