This Mythbustin’ Nashville YouTuber is on a guitar gear mission

This Mythbustin’ Nashville YouTuber is on a guitar gear mission

This Mythbustin’ Nashville YouTuber is on a guitar gear mission

While people’s feelings about their own gear and what it does can often affect the way they play psychologically, that doesn’t mean the gear will do exactly what they think it will. Lill jokes about a friend – whose game, for the record, he loves and has learned a lot from – who uses a Two Rock amp setting on a digital amp to get a sound that he calls “that John Mayer thing.” ” calls. The problem was that when Lill asked the friend which Two Rock amp model John Mayer was playing and which amp is in the modeler, he didn’t know.

“It’s just funny,” he says. “It’s like saying, ‘Oh man, I love Dale Earnhardt. That’s why I drive a Chevy, you know, just like Dale’s.’”

Perhaps what impresses me most about Lill is that in a world of influencers actively growing their following on social media, he doesn’t aim to make his videos his full-time living. Instead, he’s just a musician sharing what he’s learning with those of us who don’t have the time and resources to do the same experiments.

When asked why he even started making the videos, he says, “It struck me that knowing the answer without having evidence doesn’t always work the way it does when you actually get it on video. So I try to capture as much on video as possible.” They have surprising production value for a man who admits he didn’t actually have a camera to begin with.

Instead, Lill gave me a free gift—the knowledge that speaker cabinets and tone settings are more important than the piece of wood and strings in my hand. This is valuable information considering the amount of time I’ve spent looking for guitars and Not playing around with tone controls.

“I’ve seen many different ways people communicate information online, and I’ve chosen to be as unbiased and friendly as I can,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if anyone believes me or not. It’s just a guitar.”

Jim Lill’s current signal chain

Given his background and experience in testing, what does Jim Lill actually use? Here’s the audio gear you’ll find in his studio.


Lill says, “The Anderson Tele has been my go-to guitar since high school.” The other guitars and bass are for specific sounds but aren’t used that often.


The Tom Anderson Telecaster features a 2018 Seymour Duncan Vintage Stack bridge pickup, a 1980 Bill Lawrence Black Label S2 middle pickup, and a 2009 Seymour Duncan Mini Humbucker neck pickup. Lill notes that he only uses the bridge pickup in the Telecaster. All other guitars have stock pickups.


Lill uses a 2001 Boss CS-3 compressor pedal to compensate for the different volume levels of different guitars. That goes into a Xotic RC Booster for solo volume and a 2020 Nobles ODR-1 Overdrive (painted black) and 2017 Paul Cochrane Timmy V2 (added white tape to read “Jimmy”) for a bit of grit in his tone. Then the signal meets a 1990’s Ernie Ball volume pedal and a 2018 Sonic Research ST-300 Turbo Tuner Mini for volume and tuning control. For the final steps in his chain, he adds a Boss TR-2 tremolo (painted black) and uses a 2020 Line 6 HX Stomp, primarily for his legacy delay algorithms. “Tuner, CS-3 and delay are the most used,” he says. “Tremolo is usually for the Bass6. Everything else is just in case.”


Lill owns a 1966 Fender Bassman head (stock AB165 circuit), a heavily modified 1965 Fender Bassman head, and a 2001 Carr Slant 6V 1×12 combo. “I’m just trying to figure out my amp situation,” he says. “I imagine one of those three will be my main amp.”

Lill’s loudspeaker boxes.

Photo: Jim Lill

speaker boxes

Lill pairs his homebuilt 2022 2×12 with a 2001 Celestion Vintage 30 (closed sided) and a 1967 Fender Utah (open sided). “I’ve mostly used the one I built,” says Lill, “but I also have two cabs that JT Corenflos used on sessions and one cab that Tom Bukovac used on sessions.” Impulse responses of Jim’s cabinets are on his site for sale.


Lill uses a Shure SM57 (one for each speaker). About placement he says: “At my favorite studio I was taught to place the mic two fingers away from the grill cloth, straight on axis and pointing at the line between the dust cap and the cone. That’s where I start.”

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