Trey A: Summer Tour 2021
Hola Phish Fans!
Summer Tour 2021 is upon us and with it brings Trey running a new guitar and a very new rig. I had sworn off chasing Trey’s tones but a year without any tours and the absolutely, utter awesomeness of Trey’s “4.0” tones have got me chasing my old dragon once again.
The “mystery amp” has been underwraps for some time. I spent the first few shows chasing it by tone alone and thought it might be an old Marshall. I dialed up a JTM45-based sound in my Axe-Fx III and it wasn’t too bad on the cleans – it was darker like these new tones, but woody with a nice thhwack in it. But the overdriven sounds of the JTM45 weren’t quite holding up.
But then…the reveal! Trey is running a Trainwreck! And not a clone or a Komet – but an honest to god, made by the late Ken Fischer’s own two hands, Trainwreck. Keeping it under wraps might have been more to do with the insurance rider on that amp than anything else. “Jan Marie” sounds fabulous in his hands and I think these are the best Trey tones we’ve heard since 1998’s Mesa stereo rig days. It doesn’t hurt that he’s playing at the top of his 2000s game either. Gone are the struggles he seemed to have been volume levels and clean levels – the ‘Wreck stays fairly consistent in volume has he rolls back his guitar volume or softens his attack, but cleans up nicely with a little hair on the signal for cut.
We don’t have “Jan Marie” in the Axe-Fx III but we do have an Express modeled after a verfied schmetic so I went back to the drawing board but this time with the Express as the base tone. I haven’t gotten much in the way of closeups of his settings on his Express so this has mainly been listening and fidling with the preset work. I’m fairly happy with the overall results thus far. One thing I’ve come to believe is that guitar/pickup combo he uses is a serious 50% of the sound. My PRS HB Spruce can’t put out the same dark, but light, tones even with a pickup match. We’re in the ballpark though and that’s fun enough for me at this juncture.
I stuck mainly to the authentic controls when dialing things in. The 16.xx firmware has been such a huge upgrade sound-wise that I don’t find the need to deep-parameter dive a whole lot these days.
And for the impulse responses in the CAB block, I mixed two Celestion G12-65 impulse responses together to get a darker, smoother blend. Both were captured from a 2x12 not too far off from the Alessandro can Trey is apparently using.
And a big departure for: I dialed a fair heaping of high cut in the preamp section of the CAB block. I haven’t done something this extreme in many years but I thought it worked well in context. Trey’s overall sound has been really dark without a lot of high end fizz this tour and this high cut gives the tone on this preset a good fizz haircut.
Enough with the talk, right? Show you the clips!
You got it. Clams and all.
This first clip runs through the touch sensitivity of the Express amp model. I didn’t touch my volume at all. I just picked harder and software. I throw on the “low gain” overdrive, then the “high gain” overdrive and then I stack both overdrives before returning to just the amp’s natural overdrive at the end of the clip.
Next clip shows off some straight-ahead rock tones and I flipped between the neck and the bridge pickup a few times. All the overdrive is straight from the AMP block – no drive pedal models were used in this one.
And finally we have some volume knob changes to show you how the amp cleans up but the volume stays pretty consistent. The clip starts with the volume rolled back, then I roll it up, then I roll it back again.
And there you have. Summer Tour 2021 tones in your Axe-Fx III.
You can download the preset from Axe-Change here.