NGD – Mark Grundhoefer
It’s time for another fantastic NGD. Basically, if you have some new (or old) gear that you would like to share (could be a pedal, a guitar, or an amp etc) just send me an email with some photos, a description (also audio & video if you have it) and I’ll showcase it on this blog for everyone to see. Make sure you include any links to your band or music page.
Hey RockYourGuitar Readers!
Hi! I’m Mark Grundhoefer. I wanted to share a little bit of info about my rig, my guitar, and my pursuit of that “holy grail” of tone. It’s taken a long time, and I have a stash of unused/broken stomboxes, but I finally feel like I have a professional sound that can compete with some of the best.
To start off, I use an older SKB board with built in power and a durable carrying case. Seriously – I’ve stood on top of this thing. The built in power is sufficient for most of my pedals but I have a few that need other voltages so there are three wall wart slots in use. All the connections on the board are custom Lava Cables. These solderless right angle connectors are amazing and I’ve never had a cable go bad. I’ve got a Zaolla cable going from the board to the amp and a Mogami cable from the guitar to the board. Even having everything contained in a covered board my knobs do sometimes get moved during transportation so I use glow-in-the-dark puff paint to mark all my settings. Also, very helpful on a dark stage and it’s easily removed with no harm to the pedals surface.
Pedal order is as follows:
1. Wah – This is a typical Dunlop Wah with a few tweakable knobs that do help in adjusting the sweep. It’s got a decent sound, but not the best. However, I’ve kept it for years because it has a switchless, springloaded system. As soon as you step on it, it’s engaged. No more frantic stomping on the front for 10 seconds and missing the riff.
2. MXR Phaser – I don’t use this pedal very often and don’t have a lot of use for the Phaser sound so the single knob is very convenient. I never play (even if I wanted to) anything closely resembling EVH so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have his signature pedal, but the script knob is a selling point so that’s why I have it.
3. Keeley Compressor – Simple. Effective. 2 knobs. Compression. There’s not a better sounding compressor on the market. I use it mostly on high gain leads as a boost and of course to round out the sound and get some fat sustain.
4. Xotic RC Booster- Yeah, I got the limited edition sparkle finish. What up? This guy sounds great as a clean boost for riffs that you want to cut through the mix.
5. Xotic AC Booster – If I were deserted on an island…and had power… and a guitar… and an amp…this is the one pedal I’d take with me. Great rhythm and lead overdrive.
6. Rockbox Boiling Point OD - When you order these puppies online they ship to you with a custom paint job. I got lucky – Pink. It may not have the most manly design, but the sound is unbelievable. You’d think you were playing on 11 through a stack of Marshalls. Great high gain sound.
7. EWS Fuzzy Drive - Not too fuzzy and that’s what I like. I’ll use it for a modern bluesy sound. Unlike other fuzz pedals I find the tone knob on this one to be super sensitive which makes it very useful.
8. Arion Chorus with EWS Mod – The Arion Chorus is one of those great pedals that has such a unique sound you can’t duplicate it with any other box. EWS took that great sound and made it better with true bypass and added a Vibe switch.
9. MXR Carbon Copy – Analog delay in a compact box? Yes please! I keep this pedal right on the verge of self-oscillation and use it as a spacey effect for my lead parts.
10. TC Delay – Since the Carbon Copy isn’t used as a traditional delay, I need the TC Electronics delay to fill that role. Everything up to this point in my board has been true bypass. This pedal not only works as a solid delay, with a ton of settings, but also as a line buffer for my signal.
11. EHX Pulsar Tremolo – I’ve really never bonded with this pedal. But I needed a tremolo for one song and found the one sound I needed with this pedal. Are there other useful settings? I haven’t found any. Kind of a one trick pony.
12. Ernie Ball Volume – Passive volume pedal with a tuner out.
13. TC Polytune – If you’ve never used this pedal to tune, you’re missing out. Why didn’t anyone think of polyphonic tuning before? Awesome!
Then it all goes into my Carvin Master Tube Combo. Great tube sound and simple design. Similar to a Twin Reverb. However, this is the next upgrade I want to make. Looking at getting a better combo amp. On top of my amp I have one more pedal velcroed to it. It’s a custom built Reverb unit from John Kasha. I have it running through the effects loop so it stays close to the amp. It’s always on. Just for a little reverb since the amp reverb is pretty weak and unnatural (even though it’s a spring reverb).
My main guitar is a Brian Moore iGuitar. There’s not many guitars out there that are more versatile than this one. The neck humbucker and middle single coil pickups are both Seymour Duncans, while the bridge pickup is a Sheptone. This guitar has an integrated 13 pin midi system that allows me to use my Roland GR-20 guitar synth to get a ton of cool sounds. It’s great for certain gigs to be able to layer a square synth sound with my saturated lead tone. Or put a string orchestra underneath my clean rhythm sound. The guitar also has piezo pickups for acoustic tones. It’s got a great neck and is even lighter than a strat.
Thanks for reading! I hope this inspires you and encourages you to persue great tone. I am a music teacher in Southern California at Dave Janssen’s School of Music and guitarist for Skinny P. Check out my youtube page and join me on twitter.