Before the band’s headlining show at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works, Premier Guitar’s Chris Kies hopped onstage before soundcheck to see how guitarist Tim Sult and bassist Dan Maines use vintage axes, roaring tube heads, and a select few stomps set fire to the band’s live shows.
Guitarist Tim Sult is constantly chasing a raw, “Free-on-steriods” tone in his head and he’s currently lassoing that idea with a pair of 1965 Gibson SGs. (When we tracked down the band for their 2009 Rig Rundown he was using Les Paul Standards and when we chatted about 2013’s Earth Rocker, he was favoring a P-90-loaded Les Paul Jr.) This cherry red one has been updated with newer TonePros hardware but does still have its stock P-90s. Both SGs are rocking D’Addario NYXL .011–.049 strings.
Bassist Dan Maines has played many basses (Fender, Lakland, Gibson), but the 2017 winter tour saw him taking the stage with a Rickenbacker 4003 with the Ric-O-Sound stereo jack that he’s been leaning on since 2010. With the help of his tech, Dan Maines uses a homemade pedal to split the pickups to their own Ampeg cabs—the neck hits the 1x15 and the bridge goes into the 8x10. And he has a third signal—a DI—that goes to front of house.