Laurence Juber's Real-World Rig

AG 241 January 2013 Cover

Posted by Teja Gerken

As anyone who has talked to Grammy-winning fingerstylist and former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber knows, LJ, as his fans call him, is a serious gear head. Having worked with Martin Guitars on a long series of signature-model OMs, Juber (laurencejuber.com) knows exactly what he wants, from the grade of wood to the type of bracing, every guitar dimension imaginable, tuning gears, strings, etc., and he can explain his reasoning behind every choice. It’s no surprise that some of his decisions have to do with the way the guitar will perform onstage. “The koa guitar has warmth without having too much bottom end, which then becomes problematic for amplification,” he says about his current touring ax (which is also featured on Juber’s latest album, Under an Indigo Sky). 

You might guess that with this kind of attention to detail, Juber would use a complicated setup to deliver his guitar’s tone to the PA, but his rig is disarmingly simple, basically consisting of three components: a D-TAR Wave-Length undersaddle pickup, Audix ADX5 internal mic, and a Headway EDB-1 preamp. “I really need the dual system, because I need the ability to capture body resonance,” he says of the reason he uses a mic in addition to a pickup. Juber has used various preamps over the years, and besides pristine sound, he finds ease of operation to be paramount. My criteria is, “How long does soundcheck take? And if it’s anything more than 15 minutes, the box is probably too fiddly.” Juber says he tends to use very little EQ, often changing the balance between the pickup and mic instead if he needs to make slight adjustments. But he does find that having the ability to control his own EQ can come in very handy at times. “Some venues have subwoofers, but they can’t really control them, so that’s where the ability to roll off the low end can be really effective.” Juber’s setup allows him to travel with just a guitar and a suitcase, and he’s learned to use it effectively whether the gig is a house concert or a festival stage. 

What He Plays

Acoustic Guitar: Martin OMC-44KLJ signature model with koa back and sides and an Adirondack spruce top.

Pickups: D-TAR Wave-Length. Audix ADX5 internal microphone.

Preamp: Headway EDB-1.

Tuner: Peterson StroboClip

Accessory: Custom-made Mogami stereo cable.

Strings: GHS Signature Bronze True Mediums.

Excerpted from Acoustic Guitar January 2013

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