25 Nov Pro Guitar Rig with Grammy Winning Guitarist, Bob Lanzetti
GUITAR, EFFECT PEDALS, AND CABLES
Currently, between Snarky Puppy, Bokanté, my own project, as well as various other bands and artists I regularly tour with, I am out on the road the vast majority of my professional life.
That means most of the music I make is away from home with whatever gear I can reasonably take with me. That includes not only gigs while on tour, but also the occasional recording session. In an ideal world I would be able to travel with multiple guitars, all of my guitar pedals and enough back up cables to get through long tours. Sadly, I often have to narrow my selection down for the necessities of travel.
There are several criteria that must be met in order for me to feel comfortable taking a piece of gear out on the road; most notably, reliability, quality of sound, and size. Here is a breakdown of some of the gear that has made the cut into my current touring guitar rig.
Over the years several guitars have been with me on the road. At various times I had travelled with a ’94 Fender Strat, an ’82 Tokai TST-56 Strat, a ’68 Guild Starfire IV, and most recently, a custom made Fodera. In 1983 Fodera opened its doors in Brooklyn, NY, primarily designing and building high-end basses.
Many years later they expanded to start building guitars. They approached me about building one set to my specifications and I jumped at the opportunity. It was largely modeled after my Tokai Strat, made with the same wood, same pickups, even the same string spacing.
The main difference is the level of craftsmanship that went into building the Fodera and you can hear and feel the difference. It has since become my main go-to guitar at home and on the road. It’s equipped with two Fralin Blues Special pickups in the neck and middle position and a Fralin Split Blade Stratocaster pickup in the bridge. The Split Blade pickup is a revolutionary design in noiseless pickups which essentially turns a humbucking pickup into a single coil. Most humbuckers have 2 coils that go straight across all the strings but the Split Blade has one coil covering 3 strings and another covering the other 3. So you get that single coil sound but without the hum.
One can imagine how incredibly useful this is on tour when you are playing in different venues every night with varying degrees of noise.
For the last several years, in an effort to conserve space and baggage, I’ve been using a homemade pedal board out of a piece of plywood that fits in my suitcase. Not the most ideal situation but when you’re flying literally every day cutting down on one bag makes a huge difference.
However, I just recently got a new board made by a company based out of Sydney, Australia called Goodwood Audio. It’s so new that I haven’t even been able to take it out of the house yet. It’s a bit bigger, but it’s going to greatly improve the reliability and durability of my effects.
Rockett Audio Design’s Overdrive Pedal
With the super solid build in a compact sized body, this is an ideal overdrive pedal for the...
One of the most essential pedals on my board at the moment is J. Rockett Audio Design’s overdrive pedal, Archer. This pedal ticks all the boxes. It’s very small, maybe even a bit smaller than a Tubescreamer, it’s built like a tank and very reliable, and it sounds fantastic. It’s a sort of 2-in-1 pedal, acting like a clean boost if you turn the gain all the way down and an overdrive as you turn the gain up.
I choose to leave the pedal engaged all the time and adjust the level of gain with my foot via a device called a Wingman by Option Knob. Essentially the Wingman is a large knob which replaces the traditional knob allowing you to change settings with your foot. The Wingman can fit on most pedals I’ve attempted to use it on. It’s an essential part of my setup on a number of my effects.
ZVEX Fuzz Factory
If you want a versatile fuzz pedal with a very fun spectrum of sound manipulation, this is a...
Next up is my ZVEX Fuzz Factory. This pedal sounds like no other. You can set it to get anywhere from a (relatively) normal fuzz sound, to a ripping velcro sound, to a chaos of self-oscillating pitches enveloping whatever note you’re playing sound. When it’s time to get weird the Fuzz Factory is often put to work.
Source Audio Nemesis
The Source Audio Nemesis is one of the best Stereo Delay pedals you can get. It has so...
Second only to the Archer in level of importance on my board is The Source Audio Nemesis. This pedal is like ten delay pedals in one and solves the problem of wanting to take 4 different delays on the road. You can choose from many different types of delay including analog, digital, tape, reverse, and many more. In addition to that, it’s easy to use, relatively compact, and sounds great. On this pedal I have a Wingman on the level and another on the delay time.
Goodrich Volume Pedal
The Goodrich 120 Volume Pedal is a standard volume pedal for professional guitarists. It’s even ...
My Goodrich Volume Pedal goes against my criteria of wanting pedals of small size but, to me, it’s worth it. The subtlety and expressiveness that this pedal offers has made it a favorite amongst pedal steel players, where the volume pedal is almost a part of the instrument. It has become an integral part of my sound as well, it’s sensitivity allowing me to get really smooth, slow crescendos. It’s especially useful when used alongside the Nemesis delay for synth-like pads and for pedal-steel-like slide playing.
Nowadays, many effect pedals are often trying to replicate the sounds of earlier devices or techniques. A pedal like the Nemesis is attempting to pack a tape delay, a bucket-brigade analog delay, a digital delay, and many more things into one small, portable box, and doing a great job at it. One of the things I often look for in a pedal is its ability to effectively replicate whatever sound it’s attempting to recreate as well as do wild and crazy things when pushed to the extremes. One such pedal is the Strymon Blue Sky Reverberator.
Strymon Blue Sky Reverberator
When it comes to finding a reverb pedal that has the classic spring reverb sound with creative co...
I’ve been using this pedal for several years now and I don’t see it coming off my board anytime soon. It can very convincingly recreate classic spring reverb sounds found in ‘60s Fender amps while also giving you the option of getting an endless bed of reverb, changing timbres, and with a twist of a knob, even changing pitches. Maybe not the most essential pedal on my board but definitely one of my favorites.
Touring guitarists that we know that use these cables, love them. Bob Lanzetti, one of the guita...
One piece of gear that probably is the one to most commonly break while on the road is cables. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to replace cables mid-tour. Recently I’ve started using Cordial Cables and they’ve been great. The sound quality is super clear and crisp and they are made to withstand the heaviest demands of touring.
Bob Lanzetti is a 3x Grammy Winning musician from the band Snarky Puppy. He is a professional song writer, music arranger, professional guitarist, and guitar teacher. Lanzetti uses Fodera Guitars, Supro Amps, D’Addario Strings, Pigtronix and MXR effects and Fralin Blues Special Pickups.