This Carvin V3M Micro Head is the latest guitar amplifier to join the Engine14 inventory. It features switchable blue or red LED internal lighting! That's not the main reason Jeff uses it, though - it's a versatile 50 watt, 3-channel compact tube amp which is appropriate for a wide range of performance applications.
Sometimes only a Marshall Stack will do, so Jeff has one of these rigs available. His is scaled-down from the coliseum-shaking 100 watt versions favored by Hendrix, Clapton, The Who, Deep Purple, Cream, Led Zeppelin, and 10 Years After, but does deliver 15 watts of tube power into two cabinets, each with a 12" Celestion speaker. Of course, this amp goes to 11....
Here's a recent addition to the band's backline. It's part of Jeff's quest for the lightest professional and road-worthy gear on the planet, and is used with his Carvin V3M and Mesa-Boogie TA-15 amplifiers. From an Italian product line, this is an unusually small and light guitar cabinet, ideally suited for use with "lunchbox"-sized mini-amplifiers like the TA-15. Weighing only 12 pounds, this little Mini Twelve cab houses a 12", 150-watt speaker incorporating a lightweight neodynimium magnet, enclosed in a very compact enclosure that is only 15" tall and 16" wide! If the band had roadies to haul its gear, this would be totally irrelevant!
For smaller venues, Jeff often elects to use a Mesa-Boogie TA-15 amplifier head, paired with a compact DV Mark Mini Twelve speaker cabinet containing a single 12" speaker. Like the Mini Twelve speaker cabinet, the TA-15 only weighs 12 pounds, and is one of a new generation of "lunchbox"-style amplifiers (so-called for their relatively diminuitive size). Despite being relatively compact, the TA-15 packs plenty of punch for Engine14's brand of classic rock. It has three selectable power levels on each of two footswitchable channels: 5, 15, and 25 watts, allowing Jeff to achieve smooth overdriven sounds at sane volume levels. In addition, the TA-15 offers 5 style modes, providing tones that range from pristine cleans to higher gain crunch and lead sounds from both American and British traditions.
For larger venues or outdoor shows, Jeff runs his guitars into a Mesa-Boogie Mark IV amp head, powering two Mesa speaker cabinets. Mesa amplifiers first became known when they were adopted by Carlos Santana, who used one to obtain his signature sound. Hand-built, they are used by Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, and many other internationally prominent acts who all were evidently inspired to try the company's amps after learning that Jeff uses them!
Jeff's primary bass speaker cabinet is this Carvin BRX 10.2 NEO unit. It features a titanium high-frequency driver, along with two 10" neodymium bass drivers, providing an extended frequency response of 22Hz all the way up to 22Khz. Jeff won one of these in a Carvin contest; it is driven by a Genz-Benz Shuttle 6.0 600 watt compact bass amplifier which weighs only 3.75 lbs but which easily shakes the foundations of the Engine14 rehearsal studio.
Accessories & Microphones
Jeff's mic locker includes a Neumann KMS 105 supercardioid stage condenser microphone for his solo performances (Neumann microphones were used in the studio by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and countless others), a Audio-Technica ATM710 cardioid condenser stage microphone, a EV N/D767a dynamic mic for louder stage environments, a T.C. Helicon MP-70 dynamic supercardioid in the Engine14 rehearsal studio, a Shure SM7b dynamic mic for recording, and a few others.
Just after Jeff acquired one, the ARDX20 receives the GUITAR PLAYER magazine EDITOR'S PICK AWARD in the April 2010 issue. Coincidence? Hardly. What is it, you ask? The Analog Man ARDX20 Dual Analog Delay pedal is a hand-wired pedal with two selectable settings of delay time, feedback, AND delay level, not just delay time! The two delay circuits use vintage style electronic components that are hand-soldered to the circuit board. The potentiometers and switches are also hand wired.
What could be better than an ordinary chorus pedal? The BI-CHORUS offers two sets of SPEED and DEPTH knobs, allowing two different settings to be selected without having to adjust any knobs. Not two pedals in one, but two sound presets. But wait, there's more: BLINKING super bright LEDs! The selected side's LED, when ON, blinks in time to the chorus speed setting. One is RED and one YELLOW. How cool is that?!?
The Mesa TA-15 and Marshall Haze 15 amps Jeff uses for smaller venues each have two footswitchable channels. What happens when a song calls for clean, to crunch, to screaming, searing, eyeball-melting leads? Too late to run home to get the 3-channel Mesa Mark IV, so this is the next best thing. It's a boutique distortion pedal made by Brian Wampler, designed to get Eddie Van Halen's famous "brown sound". If only Jeff could play like EVH, too!
Jeff's Mesa-Boogie Transatlantic 15 amp is great for smaller venues, but it's so compact that Mesa had to leave out a reverb circuit. What to do? This is the answer - check it out on Jeff's pedalboard. From Dr. Scientist himself: "...these suckers have a lot of reverb power in a very small box! Somehow, using little known and even less understood dimensional trickery, Dr. Scientist managed to pack 9 really great sounding reverb effects into a box measuring just 4.4" by 2.3" by 1". This is a pretty good trick if you consider that when converted to natural reverberation space equivalent sizes the box dimensions wouldn't actually fit on planet Earth.
The reverb effects include 2 spacious halls of a bright and dark variety, 3 room settings of different size and decor, 3 metallic plates of yester-year, and a pretty neat sounding rotating speaker...all with 2 switchable decay time settings via 1 nifty toggle switch.
If you check out Jeff's pedalboard, you'll see this Area 51 wah pedal. Custom-built for him, this pedal features a 5-position range selector along with quack and growl controls. If you hear weirder sounds than usual on stage, chances are they started here!
Jeff uses TC Helicon's Harmony G-XT vocal processor. It provides reverbs, compression, harmonies, and EQ in a compact form factor that fits on his pedalboard and which is simple to use. Jeff uses the built-in tuner to make sure his guitar stays in correct pitch all night without the need for an external tuner.
Studio vocal effects and processing on location! That's the idea behind this device, a TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX, which Jeff uses in his solo performances. Adaptive tone technology intelligently controls EQ and Dynamics (Compression & De-ess) to provide tonal balance and dynamic control. An adaptive gate helps suppress feedback. Reverb, echo, delay, and other effects are available through this little box, as are two voices of harmonies and voice doubling. Included are a full range of guitar effects, so if you want to hear one of Jeff's acoustic guitars sound like a Les Paul through a Marshall stack, this will do it!