Frontman Mike Ness’ longtime #1 is a 1976 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe that was modded with custom-wound Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90s. Ness got the idea of swapping in P-90s when he opened for Neil Young and was blown away by his raw, powerful tone throughout the Ragged Glory tour. He prefers ’70s Deluxes because they’re more affordable than older, holy grail Les Pauls and he gravitates towards mid-decade models—’75–’76— because they shifted from all mahogany models to a mahogany-body-maple-cap-and-neck construction. He feels the added maple brightens up the overall tone of the guitar, which meshes well with his heavy use of a capo on the second fret. All of his guitars use custom-wound Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90s, Ernie Ball 2215 Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom strings, and he prefers .88 mm Dunlop Nylon picks.
Ness’ main amp—stage or studio—is a 1967 Fender Bassman modded by Divided by 13’s Fred Taccone. Ness on his modded Bassman: “I don’t exactly know what he does to my amps, but I know that I look for a hotter, more overdriven tone at a lower volume. To get a great, rockin’ tone with most older amps, you need to push the amp and its power tubes. I was just looking for a way to heat ’em up at a lower volume so I wasn’t blown off the stage.”
Guitarist Jonny Wickersham can’t decide so he currently has two #1 guitars—this is one is a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Junior tuned down a half step with a capo on the second fret. All of his guitars are loaded with Ernie Ball 2215 Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom strings and he prefers to play with .92 mm Dunlop Tortex picks.