Behind the Gear: Joe Davis 12/30/17

Behind the Gear, a new website from Jared Lindquist, covers the fine details of the gear that helps to create a musician’s sound. Each week, NYS Music will bring you Jared’s latest in depth coverage of various musician’s gear.

Joe Davis is the guitarist of Albany-based band Formula 5. Joe is one of the most precise players on the scene, shredding with a tone so wonderful that you can’t help but smile. He brings the heat every time he takes a solo, and can settle into any groove the band throws at him. Check out his playing on Formula 5’s recent live release from November 24th.


2012 Gibson SG ’61 Reissue

Joe’s SG has some serious meaning to him, saying, “It was gifted to me by my Father and has accrued some serious road rashes, including having its headstock snapped off after a show in Canadaigua, NY. It was repaired by Dan Neafsey who built Mihali’s (Twiddle) guitars and speaker cabinets amongst other things in his rig and Zdenek’s (Twiddle).”


Amp: Traynor YBA-1 Bass Master (ca. ’72-75)
Cab: Fuchs 2×12 w/ Jensen Jets (Debadged)

Joe runs a pretty impressive head and cab, saying, “My amp setup hasn’t changed much over the last few years. I use a Traynor YBA-1 Bass Master head, which based on the serial number I can date to roughly 1972-75. It’s an old amp and it’s using the original tubes that were in it when it was gifted to James (bassist of Formula 5) from a friend’s dad. Not sure on the model but they are old and sound GOOOD! The head actually needed to have the original ungrounded power cable removed and replaced with a grounded one after it got wrapped around a tube during a show at Mojo’s in Jamestown, NY. Ryan Nogle, gear wizard and former drummer of AQ fixed it for us and we had a good time trying to get the head out of the enclosure chasis. Let’s just say the things a tank and they don’t make em like they use to. My Cabinet ironically is also owned by James Woods and was formerly owned by Andrew Chamberlaine the original guitarist of Mister F and Timbre Coup. Andrew hooked it up with the road case too. That cabinet is a huge part of my tone, loaded up with two Jensen Jet speakers rated for 100 watts each. The thing can SCREAM whilst being buttery smooth.”


Quick note from Joe, “Missing from my chain currently is my Fulltone Deja Vibe, which is on the mend, and my Electro Harmonix Switchblade + A/B Switch that switched between just my amp and the Motion Sound Pro 3 Rotary Speaker.”

Signal Chain

Dunlop 535Q Wah > Digitech Whammy II > Ibanez CP-835 Compressor II > Ibanez TS-9 (no mod) > J Rocket Audio Archer Ikon > Xotic Effects EP Booster > Pigtronix Echolution 2 Deluxe (with Preset Controllor) > Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb

He says that a huge part of his tone is the vintage gear he uses, especially his Ibanez CP-835, “The Ibanez Compressor I received as a gift from my sister, Shannon, for Christmas the year I joined Formula 5. Being a huge Trey fan my entire life, I was searching for a set and forget, always on, comp that would smooth out my clean tone and give a lil more transparency to my fully saturated TS-9 tone whilst adding sustain. Another thing I was looking for was a comp that was very quiet during operation. Most comps I tried had a lot of noise and hiss when engaged. A lot of that is to do with requiring 9V power; this old beast, which dates to roughly 1981 and is an original model, runs on an 18 V 1/8 inch power supply and is eerily quiet, even with the sustain rolled to 5. I don’t use it to squash as my sustain knob rests at 9 o’clock, but I use it to boost the signal from my guitar to my amp just a tad to really brighten the attack. That pedal is never off and is a huge staple of my tone.”

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