A Compact, Powerhouse Guitar Rig

Taking the Pickup Demo a Step Further

When I reviewed and demo’d the Tonerider TRS4, Alnico II Blues pickups recently I was keen to do some more demos to try and highlight the pickups in a context that I may not have covered already. With the realisation that the pickups are always presented through an amplifier and various pedals, there is no perfect setup that will satisfy the transparency of the test for everyone.

Everyone has a different amp, guitar and pedals, so I decided that it was just as valid a demo for me to showcase the Toneriders as they fit into my guitar rig with a combined demo of: My ToneRider TRS4 Alnico II Blues pickups installed in my Squier Vintage Modified 70s Strat, through my nano pedal board and into my Quilter ToneBlock amp.

Players are always on the lookout for an upgrade in tone from either pickups, amp, pedals, speakers or all the above. What is important is rather than look at the individual elements, to consider how they all contribute to creating the resulting tone.

In my situation I need a rig that sounds good, but is also practical to transport and that can deliver many different sounds for various genres of music. With my current rig I’m covered for any type of gig.

This setup of mine is a powerhouse. Whilst Quilter may not be as well-known or understood like Fender, Vox or Marshall, don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not a serious contender. Same for my pedal board – loaded with budget pedals. It’s a small affair, but bursting with different tonal flavours and effects to cover pretty much everything.

The Squier Strat (I am now, officially a Squier fanboy) is tried and tested standard and performs perfectly for all genres of music, so Squier I am ready to be an endorsee for the brand! 😉

I laid down a reggae backing track (just drums and bass), inspired by Bob Marley’s “Roots Rock Reggae” and I jammed 3 takes, combining some of the better bits overall.

This, I hope will go some way to showcase the guitar, pickups, pedals and amp as one complete instrument. I find the Tonerider TRS4s to be a great pickup if you are a rock player. It’ll funk up nicely, but I find it does the attitude thing better than it does the sweet and soft.

For player in Thailand, you can get hold of Tonerider pickups from Legend Music, who are the official distrubuter

Soon I’ll be putting the Alnico II Blues in my other Strat (Squier Classic Vibe 60s – heavily modded) to compare. The pickups in the Classic Vibe are Duncan Designed SC101s, which do sound soft and sweet in that guitar, so I’ll be interested to see how much of the attitude or the sweetness is coming from the pickups or the guitar they are installed in.

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