My current setup consists of a Gibson Blueshawk with flatwound strings and a Trace-Elliot Velocette amp (usually turned up halfway). Pedals are:
- Blackbox Oxygen compressor (not used much)
- Prescription Electronics Germ (overdrive and clean boost)
- Danelectro Dan-O-Wah (sometimes)
- Maxon Distortion Master (recently replaced my late, beloved ProCo Rat II, that gave me 17 years of faithful service before dying the day before a gig)
- vintage MXR flanger (sometimes)
- vintage SysTech phase shifter (sometimes)
- Rogue passive volume pedal (yeah, cheap junk, i know. Someday i'll get a better one)
- no-name analog delay (sometimes)
- Rockman Stereo Chorus (rarely)
- Lexicon Vortex (sometimes)
- vintage DeltaLab four second digital delay
I play with bare fingers most of the time. I'm really going for two things with tone. First, i want it to be very touch-sensitive, running from a clean or almost-clean tone to heavy distortion just depending on how i play. Second, i use a lot of feedback, and want to be able to drift any note, anywhere on the neck, into feedback at any time. And i suppose third, i want to be able to play complex chord voicings with some distortion, and not have it turn muddy and indistinct - every note should ring.
This rig gets me very close to that ideal. The biggest problem i have is losing control on the bottom end, which i attribute to the 10" open-back speaker in my amp, on top of the basically mushy character of the Vox-style power section on the amp. But a tighter amp would lose the dynamics i value, so i cope. Feedback behavior is extremely good, thanks to the Blueshawk's semi-hollow construction as well as the great amp and pedals.
Next week, i'm replacing the stock pickups in the Blueshawk with Dimarzios, a Virtual P-90 neck and DLX-90 bridge. I played a Blueshawk with this setup once and it was amazing. I'll post results once i have them...