An in-depth look at STPs Live Guitar Rig
Dean DeLeos live setup is a fairly simple, yet highly effective, system that allows the guitarist to hit the highlights of the many and varied tones heard on the Stone Temple Pilots studio recordings. Guitar signals get routed through a pedal board equipped with a Dave Friedman-modified Cry baby wah and a Boss CE-1 stereo chorus pedal. One of the CD-1s stereo outputs feeds an S.I.B. [Shit I Built, made by a friends of Dean's -Rik] Varidrive tube preamp, which is run into a Vox AC30 amp. (Dean has three AC30s onstage, but only one is actually used for any given show; the others are there as backups, and for visual effect.) The CE-1s other output goes into Deans rack, which features a Demeter TGP-3 three-channel preamp, a Rocktron Intelliverb and a VHT Classic stereo tube power amp that runs 50 watts per side into two Marshall 4x12 cabinets. (Again, there are three cabinets, which sit beneath the three AC30s, but only two are actually used.)
"Essentially, this creates a nice chiming Vox sound along with a big crunchy Marshall sound," says DeLeos guitar tech Rich Mazzetta. "Hootsie [JimmyHuth], our front-of-house man, has four mics on the rig, and he can blend the signals from each of those mics. So, although its just Dean playing, it actually sounds like two guitar players. Its a layered sound."
Effects switching is handled via a Rockman MIDI Octopus pedal. "Its very simple," Mazzetta notes. "Deans only got five patches on it. And the chorus pedal is used very sparingly, only on Piece of Pie and at the very beginning of Trippin. The Varidrive is heard only on the intro to Interstate Love Song."
DeLeo uses vintage guitars on the road, a matter that Mazzetta regards with a mixture of pride and given the instruments value trepidation. Deans guitar collection back home is vast, but on tour he gets along with six electrics, three acoustics and one acoustic-electric. Among the electrics are three 1978 Les Paul Standards. Deans main live guitar is a black 78 Standard with rewired controls. The tone knob has been replaced with a push-pull pot that in the "up" position places the two pickups out of phase and creates tone filter-style timbres. Also on the road with Dean is a Sunburst 78 Standard with the action set high for use with a slide on the song "Big Empty." The third 78 Standard, nicknamed "The Wino" for its burgundy finish, is kept in dropped D tuning for "Piece of Pie," "Coma" and other songs that require big bottom. Rounding out the Les Paul complement is a lovely TV yellow 57 Special that Dean uses on "Interstate Love Song" and "Regeneration."
Both of Deans Telecasters date from the Sixties. The maple-necked Tele is tuned, low to high, D A D F A D for the song "Lounge Fly"; the sunburst Tele is set for standard tuning and is used on "Too Cool Queenie." Dean generally uses .010 strings, but the "Lounge Fly" Tele is strung with a slightly heavier .011 set, to compensate for the lower string tension.
These days STPs live show includes a cover of Led Zeppelins "Dancing Days," the song they recorded for Encomium, the 1995 Led Zep tribute. When performing it, Dean uses a Paul Reed Smith hollowbody electric tuned, low to high, G G D G D D. Another staple of the live show is an intimate midset acoustic interlude, for which Dean generally pulls out a piezo-equipped Gibson J-45, although he also has a J-100 XT and a Guild 12-string on hand.