I recently sat down to chat with Hector Gundlach, guitarist and vocalist from the New Jersey-based act Vestibule, about their latest effort Through The Surface which was released a few months back as a name your own price download. I was curious what type of gear Gundlach used to achieve his unique alternative rock sound and he was more than happy to oblige. Here is what he had to say.

What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Hector: I would have to say it’s my Jimmie Vaughn Tex Mex Stratocaster. I changed the bridge pickup to the Dimarzio “hot rails” pickup, and in the process insulated the internals with aluminum and rewired the grounding/upgraded the capacitors.

What makes it so important to you?
Hector: Not only does it have sentimental value (it’s the guitar that kept me going through hard times), but the way I set it up makes it super versatile. I can still get the great Stratocaster tone, but because of the way I wired the hot rails pickup, I can also get a cool “Tele-quack” when I’m using the bridge and middle pickups together. And then of course I have a great Humbucker tone in the bridge… It’s like three guitars in one. I love it.

What are the major pros and cons?
Hector: I still get a little noise from the guitar even after the re-wiring and insulation work. Nothing a noise-gate pedal can’t take care of though. That’s really the only con I can think of. As far as the pros. Well like I said before, it’s a super versatile guitar. It’s awesome for studio work (with the noise pedal) and its even better on stage because I don’t have to switch guitars as much to get different tones.

How long have you had it? Would you ever change it?
Hector: I’ve had this guitar for about eight years now. I have a couple other guitars I use, but this is my weapon of choice for the most part. I practice daily with it, and use it for recording and shows. I was thinking about modifying it some more for tone purposes, and I decided I’m just going to get another guitar to fit those needs, but I’m still going to use this one a whole lot. It’s too great of a guitar not to.

Any final thoughts on it?
Hector: I would recommend that everyone take the time to slowly modify their own guitars to match their own needs and playing styles. It’s a very fulfilling experience, and will bring you closer to your instrument. It’s like a Jedi making his own light saber.

Check out the album ‘through_the_surface’