Shane's Guitar & Gear Rundown 2023

Shane’s Live Guitar & Gear Rundown 2023

Shane’s Live Guitar & Gear Rundown 2023

If you’re asking: “What does intheblues (my YouTube channel) play live?” this post is for you.  It’s been a while since I’ve covered my live rig.  Honestly, not much has changed over the last few years, and that’s how I like it.  However, deciding to use something long-term means it works for me and the sound I want.  So while I review a lot, I have my live rig sorted out, and no doubt, if you know my videos, you’ll hear me talk about this gear a lot.

Shanes Gear Rundown 2023
Shanes Gear Rundown 2023 – My Marshall DSL40CR

Shane’s Guitars

Here’s a list of my guitars, from the most to the least played.

Fender American Original Telecaster

I purchased the Fender American original Telecaster (my review) back in 2020, and it’s a fantastic guitar.  I first had a chance to test one in 2018, and I knew it was something special.  While this looks like any other butterscotch telecaster, this is a custom shop-quality guitar – a lot cheaper!

I dig the neck of this Telecaster, and it was one of the main reasons I purchased it.  This Telecaster is loaded with a Flame Maple neck that is a Fender “Deep C” profile.  If you like fat neck Telecasters, then this is a great choice.

The pickups also sound excellent.  The neck pickup has a lot of snap and clarity, which is rare on a 50s Telecaster.  Most Telecaster neck pickups are too rolled off on the high frequencies, but this one sounds excellent.

Here is a review video of my Telecaster the day I got it.  This model has been replaced with the latest version, which you can find using the links below.

Buy it online Sweetwater | Thomann | Sky Music
Affiliate links – These links earn me a small commission with every purchase.

Fender American Original Stratocaster

To match my lovely Telecaster (above) is the Stratocaster from the same series.  This is the Fender American Original 50s, Telecaster.  All of the positive points from the Telecaster carry over to the Stratocaster.

The Fender American Original 50s Stratocaster has a Fender Soft-V neck that feels great in hand.  This is the first Soft-V neck I have played, and I felt right at home.

The pickups in this Stratocaster sound solid.  The pickups’ tone might not be the best I have ever played, but it’s very close.  Considering the value of this guitar and the extremely high build quality, it’s a fantastic Stratocaster.

The Fender American Original Stratocaster doesn’t have any noiseless positions in 2 or 5, so keep that in mind if you are thinking about buying it.  When I purchased this guitar, I said it was “My Last Fender Strat!”.  So far, I haven’t owned any others.

Here’s is my video review of my Fender American Original 50s Stratocaster

Buy it online Sweetwater | Thomann | Sky Music
Affiliate links – These links earn me a small commission with every purchase.


PRS SE Custom 24

When PRS released it’s first left-handed PRS SE Custom 24, I knew I had to try one.  So I borrowed one from Sky Music and returned to buy it the next day.  This guitar is phenomenal.  The original Korean PRS SE Custom 24 guitars are the best from the SE range.  The whammy bar is functional, and the guitar stays in tune properly.

The PRS SE is the most playable of all of my guitars.  Having 24 frets is fantastic for getting up the neck and making those high fret notes scream.  While the “Thin-Wide” neck profile isn’t ideal, it didn’t change how playable the neck was, and it’s become one of my favorites.

I’ve reviewed PRS guitars worth $10000, and my Custom 24 holds its own.  I am unsure if PRS is still producing guitars with the same Trampas green color, but I like it.  While I have changed the pickups to a different set of humbuckers, I don’t recommend it.   The stock pickups are fantastic, and I have plans to put them back in this year.

The only downside is the push-pull coil split option.  It sucks.  If you never use it, I recommend removing that potentiometer and playing in humbucker mode.  The humbucker pickups are so bright and jangly that you won’t need the split coil.

Here’s a somewhat cringy video I did back when I was yelling at the camera in 2018.  lol

Buy it online – Sweetwater | Thomann | Sky Music 
Affiliate links – These links earn me a small commission with every purchase.

Tokai Love Rock LS-110

The Tokai LS-110 is by far the best LP-style guitar I have ever owned.  I’ve owned Epiphone guitars, Gibson guitars, and Gibson Custom Shop guitars, and I like this more.  Tokai takes all the best bits of your favorite Gibson, making it more affordable, with far better quality control.

This Tokai LS-110 has a fat 50s profile neck, two PAF-style pickups, and reliable vintage tuners.  When I got this guitar, I didn’t love the color of the top, it was a bit too “Slash” for me, but I grew to love it.

The only mods I have made are changing out the pickup selection switch.  First, the original one was too easy to switch; if you breathed on it, it would move.  Secondly, I added a high pass filter to the guitar, which made it far more versatile, especially at lower volumes.

This guitar has outlived all of my Gibson Les Pauls, and I highly recommend checking this brand out.  If you’re shopping on the used market, you can get them for a deal.

Check it out online – eBay US. – Affiliate link – These links earn me a small commission with every purchase.

Kiesel S6 Johnny Hiland / Shane Custom Mod

The Kiesel S6 is one fantastic guitar.  Kiesel asked if I would like to test and customize one of their excellent guitars, and I said yes.  Disclaimer: They sent me this guitar to keep, and I didn’t buy it, unlike the others on this list.

I am a huge Johnny Hiland fan, and this guitar was as close to what I wanted right off the shelf.  I modified the neck to make it thicker, and it’s one of the most premium guitars I have ever played.  The roasted maple neck, 24 frets, and lightweight design make it one of my favorites.

The pickups on this guitar are the best single-coil pickups I have.  While it looks like a Stratocaster, it’s designed to give you the classic Neck and Bridge combination found on a Telecaster.

There’s also an option for middle pickup on its own.  The difference to a Stratocaster is that there is no Neck and Middle pickup combination, but I don’t use that position much on my Stratocaster.

This is a far better guitar playability-wise than my Fender guitars.   Below is a live clip of me jamming on the Kiesel!  It’s such a great guitar, and I can highly recommend them.  If you are unfamiliar with Kiesel guitars, check out their website, they are custom shop guitars at a much better price.

Gibson Flying V

I’ve owned my Gibson Flying V for quite a few years now.  When I purchased it, it was the only one available at the time left-handed.  Flying V’s are great due to their lightweight design and easy high-fret access.  In addition, my guitar is loaded with Gibson Bustbucker pickups.  These pickups, to my ear, are the best that Gibson makes.

When it comes to playability and tone, this guitar is excellent.  However, I haven’t been using it live much because of how large the hard case is.  Furthermore, I don’t use it much in the studio because you have to stand to play it.  Sitting and playing a Gibson Flying V is not an option for me due to the angle of the neck being off for my ergonomics.

Buy it online – Sweetwater | Thomann | Sky Music


I use three main amplifiers when I play live these days.  In this section, I’ll cover the amps and speakers and why I use them.

Fender Blues Deluxe

The Fender Blues Deluxe is one of the most reliable amplifiers Fender has ever made.  Not only is it reliable, but it sounds great with a straightforward modification.  The Fender blues deluxe is a 12″ speaker combo allowing you to get clean and warm tones at a high volume.  This amplifier packs around 40 watts of power and is loud enough for any room.

I replaced the lackluster stock speaker with an Eminence Swamp Thang, the most significant mod I had ever made to this amplifier.  This speaker sounds much more pleasing to the ear and gives you a better range of frequencies.  You get a more usable low-frequency over the stock speaker and a much nicer high-frequency.

The Eminence Swamp Thang speaker is a pedal-friendly, high-headroom monster of a speaker.  You can put this in any Fender amplifier and get far better results than your stock “Fender Eminence” speaker.  Here’s a quick YouTube short showcasing the amplifier in a live band mix context.

Artist TweedTone 20R

I’ve owned the Artist TweedTone 20R for a few years now.  The TweedTone is a two-channel amplifier rated at 20 watts that is a full tube/valve amp.  The benefits of the Tweedtone are plenty.  Firstly, this amplifier is affordable.

Additionally, the clean and overdrive channels are usable with or without pedals, and the cabinet is bigger than a Blues Jr.  This increased cabinet size does not come at the expense of weight.  The larger cabinet gives the speaker more air to throw around, and in the room; this amp kills any Blues Jr I have ever played.

The stock speaker is a Celestion Seventy-80.  While this speaker gets a bad wrap as nothing special, it works great in the TweedTone 20R.  I tried a few speakers in this amplifier and returned to the Celestion Seventy-80.  Four of my good friends use these amps now.  They are small, light, and plenty loud.  For those wanting to jam at him, the TweedTone 20R also features a master volume.

Marshall DSL40CR Guitar Amplifier

Everything I said about the Artist TweedTone is also related to the Marshall DSL40CR.  The Marshall DSL40CR is the most usable amplifier I have ever owned.  The clean, crunch, and ultra-gain channels are extremely usable and great-sounding.  In addition, this amplifier is rated at 40 watts which can be switched down to 20 watts, thanks to the built-in attenuation.

When I want to run a delay, I will plug it into the FX loop and use the provided amp switch to turn it off and on.  The Crunch channel has to be the best straight-out-of-amp tone I have ever had.

Much like the Fender, I replaced the stock speaker in my Marshall with an Eminence Texas Heat Speaker.  The Texas Heat rolled out some unwanted high-end frequencies and added some chunk.  This amplifier now sounds like my Fender amp with my entire pedal rig – without pedals!

Furthermore, the Marshall DSL40 is extremely responsive to your volume control even when the gain is cranked.  I’ve had this very usable and reliable amplifier for years.  The only downside is it’s a heavy monster!

Here’s the PRS SE Custom 24 in combination with the Marshall DSL40CR.

2023 Effects Pedals Gear Rundown

I don’t do updated pedalboard gear rundown videos because it rarely changes.  In 2023, I will still use the same basic rig I’ve used for years.

VS Audio Royal Flush Dual Overdrive Pedal

The VS Audio Royal Flush is still my main overdrive.  This is the most musical 2-in-1 overdrive I have ever used.  Each channel compliments the other, and you can stack it before or after another pedal in the chain with great success.  VS Audio Pedals are made in Greece and make some of the world’s best pedal builders.  If I use a smaller pedalboard, travel, or record – I am using this pedal.  This pedal works great with humbuckers or single-coil pickups.

Buy it on Thomann

Buffalo FX Carerra Overdrive

My go-to single coil pedal is the Buffalo FX Carrera Overdrive pedal.  This is like a Tubescreamer but with a far wider EQ response.  The Carerra is loaded with a 2-band EQ and is a one-and-done pedal, especially if I am playing a Stratocaster.

This pedal works with the Royal Flush like a dream, and it’s my favorite current Strat pedal when I want classic tones with moderate gain levels.  The Buffalo FX Carerra Overdrive is made in France and is built extremely well.


VS Audio Vibler Modulation Pedal

Buy it on Thomann

No gear rundown is complete without mentioning the modulation pedals in the chain.  My go-to modulation pedal is the VS audio Vibler.  This Vibratone pedal gives you a great comping sound behind another guitarist.

It can be used to replicate classic tones you’ve heard in classic recordings, or you can dial it in for something unique.  While the Vibler pedal is quite noisy, it’s got a lot of vibe, and I dig it!  Put it before your dirt pedals for the best results.

Crazy Tube Circuits Time Delay Pedal

Rounding out my simple and effective pedalboard is the Crazy Tube Circuits Time Delay Pedal.  Crazy Tube Circuits are one of the premier pedal builders in Greece, and their time delay is wonderful.  This pedal is quiet, musical, and easy to use.  The Time Delay can be a standard digital delay or blend in some modulation.

Two other great features are the tap tempo button and the top-loaded jacks.  P Before this new version, I was using their prior version.  Now and then, I swap between this delay and the Jacques Prisoner BBD Analog Delay depending on my mood or situation.

Buy it on Thomann

Jim Dunlop Cry Baby GCB-95F

The Dunlop Cry Baby GCB-95F is my favorite long-term wah pedal.  While Jam pedals make a better wah than this, for the price, this is exceptional.  The GCB-95F is my favorite wah pedal because it handles high frequencies.  This Wah pedal never sounds harsh or brittle and, instead, sounds warm and funky. 

Buy it online – Sweetwater | Thomann | Sky Music | Amazon AU | Amazon de.

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