I Fight Dragons

Weapons of a Dragon Fighter

Hey, Packy here. Now how the hell am I supposed to follow up Laura's awesome, insightful, inspirational blog post from Thursday? I feel like the little Italian mouse puppet Topo Gigio following the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Thanks, Laura. Thanks a lot.

Well I don't have too much to say this week, so I think I'll talk about my gear for a bit. I know some might not be so interested in this instrumental esoterica, but maybe some young kid out there will read this and feel inspired to go out there and capture that elusive "Packy sound." Har, har!
First, the guitar:


PackyGuitar Front-W400.jpg


This here is a Squier Jagmaster, which I bought last summer upon joining IFD. I wanted a guitar that I could beat up a bit, re-wire, drop off a ledge, you know, fun guitar stuff. Yes, you may be shocked that it's made by Squier, Fender's cheap-o entry-level counterpart. But I'm telling you, the thing plays and sounds great! OK I admit that it took some minor modifications to make it sound great, namely changing out the pickups. In the bridge is a DiMarzio Super Distortion pickup, which has waaaay higher output than the flimsy stock pickups. The neck pickup was taken out of my Epiphone Sheraton, and was honestly done more for mechanical reasons. See, the old pickups didn't have covers on them and the plastic tops hung over a bit. When I would really dig into the strings the high E would catch on to one of those overhangs, forcing me to stop mid-song and pull the string out. NOT ACCEPTABLE! But this pickup is covered, so I've never had that problem. Note the sweet battle damage on the upper and lower bouts, which came from some falls and general roughhousing on tour, just how I like it.

I also added an extra switch to the guitar. This lets me choose 3 wiring options for the bridge pickup: Both coils in series, both coils in parallel, or one single coil. The series setting is smokin' hot, the single coil is more twangy, and the parallel is, frankly, the worst of both worlds and is pretty much useless. But this means with the 2 switches I have 7 different tone options to choose from. And I do love switches, so the more the merrier! I then swapped out the knobs because, um, these knobs sound better? Yeah, that's it!
 
PackySwitches-W400.jpg



I had my Kate make me a little friendship bracelet for the headstock before I went out for tour. It's nice to have that little piece of her with me on stage, even when we're 1500 miles apart. Also note the Green Lantern and Mega Man buttons on my strap. Good times.
PackyHeadstockStrap-W400.jpg



Now, the pedalboard:

PackyPedalBoard-W400.jpg


This is a pretty straightforward setup. I basically plug straight into a Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler. This thing pretty much does it all: distortions, modulations, delays, reverbs, and even totally insane synthesizer sounds. If I so choose I can sound like a '60s surf guitarist for a verse and a violent robot on steroids on the chorus (though the opportunity hasn't arisen yet). You'll hear some synth sounds in Don't You and live versions of Money, and I've also been playing around with the rotating Leslie speaker effect in Money and Superman live.

Right under my spare strings on the left there's a SansAmp Para-Driver DI box/preamp on the board, which I sometimes plug into to explore some different tones. I don't really use it much anymore, and actually if you want to buy it, let me know...

If you look to the right of my board you'll see a set of allen wrenches, which I keep with me in case Chad's bass drum pedal needs a tune-up (I'm his part-time drum tech, after all). There's also the Mega Man doll, which was given to me by band as a "Welcome To Band, Band Love Packy" present. That little guy comes with me to every show...I often stand him up somewhere on stage; look out for him next time you see us!


My amp is another semi-custom piece:

PackyAmp-W400.jpg


It's a 1993 Fender Concert-Amp, a very short-lived and unpopular line that was only made for about 18 months. It's all-tube, claims to be about 60 watts, and is obnoxiously heavy for its size. It has a pretty fat, tubby tone, but it can get some sparkle if you talk nice to it. I'm not super in love with this amp, and some day I'll get a Twin or a Deluxe, but it's done fine by me the last 5 years. It used to be the standard black with a silver grille, but last year I ripped the tolex off, stained it, and varnished for a crusty, vintage shine. I've also played with some different grille covers designs, and as you can tell at the moment it has our favorite little dragon fighter on it. I also put the amp on a stand, which raises it and tilts it up. I can hear it way better than when it's firing at my feet, and I have a better idea of what I actually sound like.

Well that's my long-winded run-down of my setup. If you've made it this far, Congratulations, you are an official gear nerd! I hope our time together was enlightening and entertaining. If you have any more questions about my equipment, feel free to comment, email, or stop by your local library!

The more you know,
Packy


PackyDoofus-W400.jpg





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3 Comments

Jeremy said:

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Hey there, Packy. What is the a significance for the number 21 between your pickups?
-Schultzy

Packy Lundholm said:

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You could say it's a lucky number...maybe in a future blog I'll elaborate, in the meantime I'll keep it vague :)

Packy Lundholm said:

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You could say it's a lucky number...maybe I'll elaborate a bit more in a future blog, but for now I'll just keep it vague :)

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