This is Jose's gear page
All guitars are fitted with Dunlop strap lock systems.
1981 Ibanez AR-50 Made in Japan
Guitar name: "First Wife"Modified Several Times - Main XYgoatZ Guitar
Current setup: Bone Nut. Stock pickup in the neck and 1997 Dimarzio Super Distortion pickup in the bridge. Non-locking tuners. (Probably Gotoh IIRC)
Tokai Breezysound ATE-MC1 (1990's Made in Japan)
Guitar Name: "Brownie"Stock except for RS Guitarworks Compensated Steel Saddles
Epiphone ES-339 Pro
Guitar name: "Wedding Guitar"Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Limited Joe Bonamassa Pickup Set Custom 50's 335 wiring harness Bone nut upgrade
2012 Fender Vintage 52 Reissue Telecaster
Guitar Name: "Blondie"RS Guitarworks Compensated Brass Saddles 4-way blade selector Otherwise stock
Flaxwood 2HM Hybrid Prototype
Guitar name: "Crooked"Original tuners replaced by Schaller Locking tuners from my AR-50.
Stock Seymour Duncan pickups (Jazz neck and Jazz bridge - the production model had a different pickup pair)
2012 Gibson Les Paul Studio
Guitar Name: "46&2"70's Tribute No Modifications
Tokai Goldstar Sound (Late '90s Made in Korea)
Guitar name: "F#m7sus4"Bridge pickup Seymour Duncan Little '59 Strat Wilkinson WVPCR Trem System + Wilkinson Locking Tuners Otherwise stock
2007 Gibson Explorer
Stock - no mods
1979 Tokai Silver Star
Made in Japan
Guitar Name: "Funky"
Stock - no mods
Ibanez Artcore Expressionist AS93-VLS2013 Model - Made in China Stock - no mods
Martin OMCPA3 2011 Made in USA
Guitar name: "Martin"Fishman Aura system (stock) FU-tone Titanium Bridge Pins
Maton EMD-6 "Diesel Special"Tusq PP-2000-00 Bridge Pins Stock Maton AP5 Electronics
Godin Multiac Nylon Encore
Guitar name: "Fragile"
Breedlove Passport C250/CMe-T
Guitar name: "Happy"
Thomann Tres Cubano Standard CCW
Stock - no mods
Fender MA-1 3/4 Steel
No ModificationsNote from JB: This is one of two guitars I keep at home.
Harley Benton GS-Travel Mahogany
Guitar name: "BetTE" (Better Than Expected)
Note from JB: This is one of two guitars I keep at home.
Guitar name: "Q-T"
No Modifications. Low G tuning.
Fender Hau'oli Tenor UkuleleNo mods. Low G tuning.
Epiphone Toby Deluxe-V Bass VSStock - no mods
Harley Benton EUB 500 SB Electric UprightNo mods
Yamaha RBX270F Fretless Bass
D'addario Flatwound Strings
Amps + Effects
Mesa Engineering Rectoverb 25 Head
Mesa Engineering 1x12 Mini Recto Straight Cabinet
stock - no mods
Nobels ODR-1 and Xotic EP Booster (Although the EP is not on my board currently, these two pedals are my favorite electric guitar pedals. They sound great always, regardless of what they're plugged in to.)
TC Electronic BodyRez (I use this exclusively for recording my Maton EDM-6. I don't have to use this on my Martin OMCPA3 as it has a built-in Fishman Aura system.)
Fishman Aura DI (I use this exclusively in the nylon guitar mode for recording my Godin Multiac and Multiuke instruments)
Digitech Trio (I use this one quite a bit while teaching and practicing)
Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI (I bought this when I started my studies at Berklee, which makes it one of the best gear investments I have ever made. I used it a lot during my Berklee days on sessions at the school and even after Berklee on sessions. I can dial in sounds quickly on this and still use it now when I can't dial in a tone I like on a plug-in.)
Boss PS-3 - I kind of wish I still had one. They're amazing.
Strymon El Capistan Delay - I will definitely get one again some day. This is without a doubt my favorite delay pedal. The TC Electronic Flashback in 2290 mode is a very very close 2nd. I have heard that I need to try the Providence Chrono delay as well. Maybe one day I will get a chance to test one out.
Electric guitars are normally in E-flat standard
E-flat, A-flat, D-flat, G-flat, B-flat, E-flat (low to high)
E standard (E-A-D-G-B-E) when using 10's on electric guitars.
Acoustic guitars are always in E standard.
Ukuleles are tuned in standard with low G.
Main Electric guitar strings:
Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Swing 11's or 12's
Other strings used on electric guitars:
D'addario Half Round 11's or 12's
Rotosound Roto Yellow (10's) or Roto Red (11's)
Acoustic Guitar strings:
Thomastik-Infeld Plectrum 11's for Maton EDM-6
Tommy Emmanuel Martin String set for Martin OMCPA3
Otherwise Martin 11's or 12's
Godin Multiac is currently strung with Ernie Balls
Aquila low G sets
For electric guitar work mainly Jim Dunlop Jazz III 1.4mm PrimeTone or Jazz III 2.0 Ultex
For acoustic guitar work mainly Gibson Thin picks
TC Electronic PolyTune clip
Neutrik Silent Plugs
Boss DB-90 metronome
Listed as close to chronological order as Jose can remember
Guitars and Basses
This was my first electric guitar. I no longer own it because I traded this guitar for my 1981 AR-50 in 1997. When I visited my teacher in 2005, he told me that this guitar was stolen from him. I hope to find out what happened to this guitar. Maybe I will be reunited with this instrument again one day.
I owned this bass for a long time. It was one of my main instruments through Berklee. I think I sold it in 2003 or 2004. I actually kind of miss this bass, but I'm glad I know who I sold this bass to and maybe one day I will buy it back. Though I doubt they will sell it back to me as they love this instrument too.
I got this one in the Philippines. Unfortunately the sides cracked due to the dry indoors in Boston, 1998. I don't know what model it was or anything else really.
This was my main bass at Berklee. This and my Sansamp Bass Driver. That's all I needed. Unfortunately, this instrument met an untimely end at the hands of a slightly crazy person in 2004.
This was a wonderful guitar. It was one with a bigsby like tremolo and it had a tobacco sunburst finish. I bought this when I was in XYgoatZ. It's the guitar I used on "Fly Away". My Starfire is in the picture above on the guitar stand in the background. I'm playing my Ibanez AR-50 in the picture.Listen to the track here
I loved this acoustic guitar and stupidly sold it. I bought it while I was in XYgoatZ because we had a radio gig where we had to play acoustic versions of our songs. I didn't have an acoustic guitar after my Lumanog died. So I had to go down to Daddy's Junky Music Shop across from Berklee and get this guitar the day of the radio gig.
Ibanez doesn't make cool purple acoustic guitars anymore. Perhaps one day I will own a cool purple acoustic guitar again.
I wish I had photos of this guitar. I haven't found one so far. I'm looking and will post one the second I find a picture of my guitar. (Obviously the internet is full of pictures of this guitar, but they aren't mine.)
This was a cheap guitar I bought on a whim while I was at Berklee. It was then stolen from me. It was probably an Affinity series tele (or whatever the cheap models were back then that they were blowing out for $88 brand new on sale. It had a white body and a rosewood fretboard. I don't miss this guitar although I feel badly about the way I lost it.
I don't recall much about this guitar, except that I owned one. It had a black body, but I can't remember if it was HSH or HSS or what kind of fretboard it had. I do remember struggling to get a long with this guitar.
This is the bass I used for all bass parts on my "Outside Looking In" album. It was an interesting instrument. Different and cool. Perhaps one to bring back to the arsenal one day just because it was a fun bass to play. I had a blue one.
This was the guitar I composed my wedding song on. I sold it also because I couldn't bring it with me to Hong Kong. A few years later, I bought another one (which is the one I currently own and has a built-in tuner) because Breedlove was discontinuing this model. It's impossible to be sad or upset when playing this guitar.
I have always wanted a real Music Man John Petrucci model guitar. I got an OLP thinking that if I upgraded the parts on it, it would be good. It was good, but not great. I put a DiMarzio Humbucker from Hell in the neck and a Super Distortion in the bridge. I swapped out the tuners for Sperzels. Here's a picture of me using the guitar in Hong Kong with The Reflections in 2010. I sold this guitar to a student in 2013 or 2014. I hope this guitar is still being played somewhere by someone.
This was an interesting guitar. I got it in 2006. Then swapped out the pickups. Then traded it into Guitar Center only to buy it back from Guitar Center 3 or 4 months later. Then it made the move with me to Hong Kong where I then sold it forward in 2010, to fund the purchase of another guitar. I still have the serial number info of this guitar. It has the 60th anniversary badge on the back of the headstock. The body of this guitar is on the video below while the neck in the video is the neck from the next guitar on the list.
I bought this guitar while I was in Finland in 2006, because my grandfather died and I needed a guitar for the funeral. I wrote the song "Yllättävä lempeys" about him and released the song on my 2006, album "Outside Looking In". I miss him terribly as he was one of the most important people in my life growing up. I ended up selling this guitar in 2010 or 2011, while in Hong Kong.
This is the bass I used for my bass parts on Tadashi Goto's "The Sprits Within" from his "Innervisions" album in 2008.
I got this in 2007 with the idea to take this with me to Appel Farms summer camp. However, I didn't end up taking it with me and sold it before moving to Hong Kong.
I don't recall what year model this was. I owned this back in 2010.
I got this guitar when I moved to Hong Kong since I didn't have an acoustic. I ended up selling this one to a student. (Come to think of it, I've sold a lot of guitars to students.) Last time I saw this guitar, it had a crack down the bottom side of the instrument. I don't think this one is still around.
I really liked this guitar. (Which is kind of what led to the purchase of the Ibanez AS93 I currently own.) However, I had a student who also really liked this guitar, so much so, that he wanted mine. I'd love to get this back one day. 🙂
Not entirely sure what model this is. It wasn't a great bass but was awesome for some punk/rock stuff. I should have kept it, but don't miss it.
I had a Little Martin which I carried around with me from one teaching appointment to the next in Hong Kong. I sold it to a student who needed a small guitar in 2015.
I'm not entirely sure what year model this guitar was. I owned it in 2010. I think I sold it in 2013 or 2014. It was a good guitar.
I owned a black Fender Roadworn Stratocaster from the first run of this line when they came out. I didn't like the neck that the guitar came with, so I ordered a neck from Warmoth. I tried the neck from this guitar on the previous guitar listed (Nashville Tele) but it I didn't like it on that guitar either. I sold the original neck to someone in Greece through The Gear Page forums.
This guitar is now owned by my previous student in Hong Kong. I had to thin my gear collection before moving to Finland in 2015 from Hong Kong. He liked this guitar and so I sold it to him.
This is the only bass I regret getting rid of. Man I wish I still had this one. Maybe one day I can own one of these again.
I have the serial number info for this bass. It was made on June 10, 2010. If by chance the current owner of this bass ever sees this and wants to sell it back to me, I will know if the bass is the correct one.
I modified this guitar heavily. It was originally black. I wanted to make an arm contour, so I sanded it down. As I was sanding it down, this butterscotch color became visible. I thought it was cool, so I kept some of the black on it. I put this guitar up for sale at Kitarakellari in 2018, and it has found a new home. This is what a gear head will always do to fund some new gear adventure. It was a cool guitar. I'll miss looking at it, but can always pull up pictures. I called it the "Beer Guitar".
I owned this kind of Edwards Les Paul copy somewhere between 2010 and 2013. I sold this guitar to the same student who bought the Ibanez AW guitar from me a year or two earlier.
If there is one item on this "used to own" list I miss, it is this one. I really wish I still owned this guitar. I still have the serial number for this guitar in my notes. Maybe one day I will try to track it down.
This was a fantastic guitar, but I just had to get something different. So, I traded this guitar for the Tokai Breezysound I still own currently with the P-90 in the neck. I think I made a good deal.
I bought a used Yamaha Dreadnought acoustic guitar in 2012, so I could keep a guitar in Finland. I sold it when I moved back permanently in 2015.
I traded this bass for the Toby 5-string bass I currently own.
I loved the playability of this guitar, but didn't like the pickups. I sold this one to fund the Schecter Banshee 2014 7 with the Sentient/Nazgul. What I would do now is get the 2018 PRS SE 7 and put the Sentient/Pegasus or Sentient/Nazgul set in them.
I traded this guitar for the Fender Baja Telecaster on this list.
What a lovely guitar this was! It's too bad I had to let it go. This one had the Sentient/Nazgul set in it.
I traded this guitar for my current Gibson Studio 70's Tribute.
Amps + Effects
I am fairly certain that I don't have photos of this amp. This was my very first guitar amp that I got when I bought my first guitar in 1994. The guitar was a Samick copy of a Fender Stratocaster. This amp was not the greatest sounding amp in the world, but I spent a lot of time learning to play Nirvana songs with that guitar and this amp. I had this amp all the way through 2001 or 2002. This amp travelled with me from California, to Singapore, to Finland, and finally to Boston. When it stopped working one day, I took it apart before I threw it away.
Guitar -> VOX WAH -> DIGITECH WHAMMY -> ROCKTRON TSUNAMI CHORUS -> AMP
Spectraflex Cables. All in front of the Marshall amp (see next post). For guitars, please refer to the past guitar section of this same time period. The only guitar I still own from this era is my Ibanez AR-50.
Unfortunately I don't have pics of my rig. This rig would have been made up of stuff available between 1999-2001. I think the Vox Wah would have been either a late 80's or early 90's pedal I bought used. The Digitech Whammy was the current version circa year 2000. The Tsunami was something I picked up at the Boston Guitar Center from their bargain bin for 80% off.
The only part of the rig I didn't mention in the signal chain was the KORG DT-7 tuner which I actually still own. I sold all the other stuff before I left the US in 2007.
(I will add photos here if I find any.)
Marshall G30R CD ComboThis was my guitar amp in XYgoatZ. I don't think I have photos of mine. If I find any, I'll post them here.
SWR Workingman's 12, Ampeg B100r, and Line 6 Studio LowDown 110
This was the bass amp I bought when I moved to Boston to start studies at Berklee in 1998. My principal instrument was initially double bass before I switched to electric bass. As a Songwriting major, I only had to take 4 semesters of private lessons. I ended up selling this amp in 2004. Again, a case of I wish I hadn't because a few months after I sold it, thinking I would need a bass amp, I was asked to do a few gigs and that lead me to buy an Ampeg B100r combo. I sold the B100r around the same time I sold the Marshall G30R.
The LowDown was one of the best bass amps I ever played. Kind of bummed I had to sell it before moving to Hong Kong. It didn't have worldwide voltage.
I don't think I have photos of these amps, but I'll add them here if I find any pics.
- Mesa/Boogie Mark IV head
- Fender Super Champ XD
- Orange Tiny Terror
- Tech 21 Trademark 30
- Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 5
- Laney IRT-Studio
- Fender HotRod Deluxe