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Jon Auer Equipment

This was written by Matthew Southworth of The Capillaries and posted to the Dear 23 mailing list on 10 April 2004.

jon mainly plays this cheap telestar guitar. it’s a hollow thing made of masonite, kind of like a danelectro but cheaper. it’s probably worth maybe $100, it’s red and black sunburst with sparkly metal flakes in it. a total piece of junk–except it sounds amazing. it’s his main guitar these days, that and a gibson 330 (i think is the model number), a big hollowbody that used to be a left-handed model that he changed around a bit. it’s red and yellow sunburst and is covered in dried blood. i kid you not.

he still has some SGs, but they are all in various states of dysfunction. one has the head broken off. his creme SG is his prize guitar, and he got it repaired recently, but it’s too fragile to play much live. plus it’s signed by les paul.

he has a bunch of guitars that he uses for recording, from super cheap and odd (the telestar, this goofy twelve-string called “murph”) to more expensive and vintage.

he has a lot of effects, too many to mention.

for amps his main amp these days is his tiny fifteen-watt fender champ. if you’ve seen him do a solo show or a quiet duo show, you’ve probably seen this amp. it’s a beautiful sounding thing, and this little thing (which is maybe eighteen inches high by twenty-one inches wide?) is the amp responsible for nearly all the gigantic monster guitar sounds on “frosting on the beater”. go figure.

he has also been using a boutique amp called dr Z. it’s covered in red tolex, and if you’ve seen the capillaries, you’ve also seen me use it most likely. we share a practice space with a guy named clyde who has some really cool stuff that he loans us, and this amp is one of those pieces. it’s very clear-sounding and is also super loud.

my favorite thing about jon and his gear is that he knows the value of a really expensive piece of equipment and how to use it. he’s very conscious of the things a certain piece does. but he’s also in love with really cheap equipment, very crappy bargain-basement stuff, and he gets the best out of that, too. the strange combination of the expensive and the cheap is what gives him such unorthodox and exotic sounds on his records.