Episode 98

Rhett And Zach Pick The Year’s Top (And Bottom) Gear

Published on: 4th December, 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of year: the “year in gear” season is finally upon us, and we’re celebrating with this special in-person episode of Dipped In Tone. Zach and Rhett gang up at Zach’s place to rundown the best of the best of musical excellence and oddities in 2023.

The guys start in with their favorite stompboxes. Rhett tips his hat to Old Blood Noise Endeavors’ Beam Splitter, Hologram’s Chroma Console, and Universal Audio’s 1176 pedal, which he runs as a hard-clipped overdrive. Some might say it sounds shitty, but as Zach notes, “Shitty is pretty in the mix!” Zach’s “boring” picks include the Nobels ODR-1, his collection of new Tube Screamer variants, and the Poly Beebo. Along the way, they talk about the magic of going back to old gear they’d written off in their younger days, and dig into the root causes of Zach’s discomfort with more experimental playing approaches.

Rhett sings praises for the new Orange OR30 and remembers its early 2000s predecessor, the AD30, and he and Zach agree on the superior, “8K” quality of Two-Rock’s current offerings over nearly every other amp on the market. Out of this year’s axes, Rhett favors both Fender’s Vintera II ’60s Bass VI and the Mexican-made Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster, plus the Collings 470 JL—Julian Lage’s signature. Zach spotlights his PRS SE Silver Sky, and a gorgeous Gibson Custom Shop 1959 ES-335 Reissue.

Be sure to stick around for the end, when the duo call out the year’s biggest disappointment in gear, which Zach describes as “baby’s first modeler.”

Big thanks to StewMac for sponsoring this episode. Head to http://stewmac.com/dippedintone to get 10% off!

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00:00 Introduction and In-Person Episode

01:21 Year in Gear Discussion

03:15 Shifting Focus to Patreon

04:14 Sponsorship and Gift Ideas

05:34 Tube Screamers

06:02 Old Blood Noise Beam Splitter

08:28 Reevaluating Gear

10:36 Nobels ODR-1

12:57 Hologram Chroma Console

16:23 UA 1176 Pedal

19:45 Poly Beebo


26:05 Two-Rock Classic Reverb

45:40 Discussion about the quality and vision of boutique amps

46:10 The appeal of vintage-style amps and custom builds

47:35 The Orange OR30 amp and its unique characteristics

48:30 The versatility and appeal of amp modeling plugins

49:53 The Fender Bass 6 and its unique features

52:39 The PRS Silver Sky SE and its value for the price

56:29 The Collings 470 JL and its exceptional sound and playability

01:01:16 The Gibson 1959 reissue custom shop 335 and its quality

01:02:46 The Fender Jason Isbell Telecaster

01:05:42 Disappointment with the Fender Tone Master Pro amp

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About the Podcast

Dipped In Tone
Rhett Shull and Zach Broyles combine their music and gear industry knowledge for this weekly podcast. Together they discuss news, talk gear, debunk myths, and much more.
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