Caleb Healey, lead guitarist for the Los Angeles-based hard rock act Rival Tides, recently sat down for a moment to chat with me about his two favorite pieces of gear. Here is how the conversation went.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound?
Caleb: My 100 watt Bogner Shiva Head and 4×12 cab. OK, I know this is actually two pieces of gear but they go together….
What about it makes it so important to you?
Caleb: As a lead guitar player I need be able to cut through the mix. That’s what the Shiva was made for. The impeccable construction and components help create a very tight, crisp sound. I have found the Shiva to be a very “Touch Sensitive” amp. The heavier you play, the meaner it sounds. From the head I run into the 4×12 Birch cabinet running V30s and Green Back Celestians. They are in an “X” pattern to create a well-rounded sound that hits like a hammer.
What are the major pros and cons?
Caleb: Pros: Tonal quality is top notch with 100 watts I can fill up any room that decides not to mic me. Built in boost and reverb helps fatten up the leads. There are not a million knobs/dials on the amp. It’s designed to rock. Turn it on, EQ it and you are ready. Cons: Heavy, all my gear is set in ATA Flight cases. Loading the 4×12 cab up/down stairs or on/off high stages is often a two-person task.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, and would you ever change it?
Caleb: I have had this amp set up for around 4 years. It has come along with me on the Warped Tour, played SXSW, Uproar Festival, and used to record every album I have worked on since I got it. The only change I plan to make is to buy a 2×12 cabinet. It’s not very often I need all that noise. The size venues we play normally mic the amps. The ones that do not are often too small for a 4×12.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear?
Caleb: If you play lead guitar and love vintage Marshalls this amp will blow you away. Go with the Bogner 4×12 to maximize tonal quality if you have the room and muscles. You will find this is a forever rig. One of those amps and cabs you will never want to sell. I know mine isn’t going anywhere.
Check out the song “My Insomnia”