Dave Young from the Devin Townsend Project chats about his Framus Panthera Supreme equipped with a whole lotta Graph Tech!
The Devin Townsend Project (DTP) began in 2009, led by well-known Canadian musician Devin Townsend. The latest album of the Project series, Transcendence, was released on September 9, 2016.
The Devin Townsend Project (DTP) began in 2009, led by well-known Canadian musician Devin Townsend. The latest album of the Project series, Transcendence, was released on September 9, 2016. Each piece on the album is brought to life by the depth of writing and production, and through the use of Townsend’s trademark musicality.
During their recent 2017 Europe Tour, Dave Young and Devin Townsend visited the Framus & Warwick headquarters in Germany. In the below video interview, Dave gives us an overview of one of his favourite baritone guitars: the Framus Custom Shop Masterbuilt Panthera Supreme.
The Panthera Supreme has a Mahogany back and neck, a Flame Maple top, and a Storm finish overlay that completes its dramatic look.
Dave has EMG-81 pickups installed in the bridge and EMG-66s in the neck -- a unique combination that allows him to get the low-end sounds he prefers in his tone.
The guitar also has two separate output jacks -- one for the magnetic pickups and the other for Graph Tech Ghost®Acoustic system.
According to Dave, the Graph Tech Ghost® system has become an integral part of his unique sound. He runs volume and tone (distortion and delay) through his magnetic pickups and has the Ghost® Acousti-phonic run to a DI box under the pedal board. The sound then goes directly to the PA system, creating a clear, dry, acoustic sound without any hum. Because of the way the guitar is constructed, the acoustic sound produced has a vibrant resonance immensely enjoyed by the audience.
Dave prefers to run the acoustic and clean tone of the magnetic pickups simultaneously (with the latter sitting below the former sonically) -- and with Devin at his guitar as well, it actually sounds like there are three guitars performing. If he wants to accent an arpeggio, Dave simply turns on the acoustic sound with the MIDI switcher.
In their studio recordings, DTP usually likes to incorporate a variety of sonic elements. Their album, Transcendence, utilizes acoustic tracking on 6 strings, 12 strings, and even mandolins at times. The Graph Tech Ghost® system has helped the group create depth and texture in their music, both in studio and during live performances.
“For the past 300 shows, I have been constantly blown away by the sound of Dave’s Graph Tech system. The front-of-house engineer and myself can’t get over how authentic it sounds in relation to what I had come to know of with standard piezo pickups. His electric sounds like a damn good acoustic when needed.” - Devin Townsend
Dave also uses a Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL nut and Ratio® Locking Tuners. Many of DTP’s previous pieces have become notably successful because of their attention to subtle musical detailing, showing how crucial minor embellishments can be.
“Graph Tech Ratio locking tuners are super solid and incredibly reliable. They tune with precision and the multiple gear ratios make them smooth and intuitive. I have them on all my guitars,” says Dave when asked about Ratio®’s real-life effect on his performance.
Graph Tech has over ten Ghost® kits available to choose from, depending on the sound range and musical flexibility desired. The Passive Volume Kit, for example, includes a high-impedance volume pot and other components to help prevent loss of high frequencies. The Advanced Hexpander MIDI Preamp Kit, on the other hand, allows you to access the fastest tracking 13 pin out to MIDI and includes a volume pot, a QuickSwitch and a Program up/down Switch.
In recent years more and more professionals, musicians and manufacturers alike are turning to Graph Tech to take their sound repertoire to a new level -- and with good reason. Click here to read more about another well-known custom guitar maker who uses Graph Tech hardware on his pieces.
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*Cover image photo credit: FANART.TV