Marty Willson-Piper plays four guitars onstage: three electric Rickenbackers and a 12-string Takamine acoustic. "There's room for adventure with Rickenbackers," he says. "An unknown quality. It's hard to make them do certain things, but once you work on it, you can get some really unique sounds out of them. Whereas with a Fender, you immediately start sounding like anybody. Using the Rickenbacker makes it easier for me to have my own sound.
"I won't use old guitars on the road anymore because I had some stolen. The guitars I use onstage now are brand-new, customized to sound like the antique guitars I use in the studio. My electric 12-string is one of 1000 made in Roger McGuinn's own design; Peter Buck turned me on to that one.
"I'm playing through two stereo Vox amps; mid-'60s models with the tone controls on the back. They're being run out of an Ibanez Huey 405 multi- effects unit. I've got a Boss distortion pedal and a Boss turbo distortion pedal: One's the modern version of the other. I tend to use the older one."
Marty and Peter Koppes both use D'Addario strings, and Marty flips the thick and thin strings on his 12-string just because he likes the sound of it. "I can tell when somebody's done it to their guitar by listening to the record," he claims. "I'll wager that guy in Midnight Oil has his guitar restrung like that."
Peter Koppes plays three Fender guitars onstage: a Jazzmaster, Telecaster and Stratocaster. "The Jazzmaster and Telecaster are Pre-L models," says Peter. "The Strat is supposed to be a pre-L; the body has a pre-L plate, but it's got an L-series neck on it. The Jazzmaster's a funny guitar; it's as thin as a Gibson SG, with P-9 (aka soapbar) pickups on it. Those are old, single coil Gibson pickups, beautiful, powerful pickups. Single-coil pickups have got a wider range than humbuckers."
Peter describes his amplifier set-up as "a very dynamic quintaphonic system. There are five sources of sound . . . actually it can be seven at times. It works with a basic stereo system: a chorus split into one Vox and two Leslies. The Vox gets the same echo as the Leslie, plus another echo, and the Leslies have a stereo effect between themselves because they're revolving speakers. And there's another line that I use to run tape-loops and non-direct reverb into a Roland JC-120 -- which is also a stereo amp. So altogether it's like seven different speakers, which is monstrous and huge and orgasmic for a guitar."
Steve Kilbey plays a late-"60s Fender Coronado bass through a vintage Gallien- Krueger amp. "Don't you want to know what kind of strings I use? Rotosound: roundwound, medium gauge, long scale." "They're not roundwound," interrupts Marty Willson-Piper. "They're half-wound. He likes 'em, but I have to remember 'em."
J.D. Daughtery's road kit includes Yamaha Recording Series Drums, a 22-inch bass drum, 10-inch, 13-inch and 16-inch toms with the R.I.M.S. mounting system. J.D.'s snares are a Noble & Cooley/Zildjan 14x7, a mid-'70s 14x6.5 Ludwig Black Beauty, and a 14x6.5 Bradley Jarrah. He plays Sabian cymbals (8x10 inch splashes, 16 inch, 18 inch and 20 inch medium thin crashes; 20 inch crash ride; 14 inch Fusion hi-hats, 18 inch Carmine Appice Chinese; special order 24 inch Chira), DW Turbo pedals or a Pearl P-90 double pedal with Roller attachments. He uses a Pearl Porcaro Rack with Pearl and Yamaha hardware, a Roland Octapad 11, an Alesis HR-16 drum machine, and Lexicon reverbs with Regal 1A sticks and Manny's Music 1A sticks. [Got all that?]