Session star and prolific solo artist Sarah Lipstate has teamed up with EarthQuaker Devices for a new 40-minute YouTube video that takes viewers on an in-depth tour of her epic gear collection – a spread we’d wager would induce gear envy in just about everyone who watches.
It’s a hefty runtime, but that’s just a testament to the extreme lengths Lipstate goes to in order to conjure up her diverse range of boundary-bending, hair-raising tones, which have been the foundation of her solo act, Noveller, as well as her sessions with Iggy Pop.
The video sees Lipstate work her way through both her effects pedal catalog and electric guitar collection, the latter of which boasts a number of sophisticated instruments capable of harnessing some truly wild sounds.
What deserves to be mentioned first, though, is Lipstate’s modded Ed O’Brien Fender Stratocaster – a sustainer pickup-loaded six-string the guitarist has further equipped with a Gizmotron mechanical bowing sustainer.
Why double up on the sustainer, you ask? According to Lipstate, she saw an identically set up model hanging on the wall while on a tour of Foo Fighters’ Studio 606. “If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me,” she says.
Another eye-catching creation is her BilT Relevator. As Lipstate recalls, BilT reached out regarding the possibility of her playing one of its guitars. She took the opportunity, but with the caveat that Bilt “create the most complicated and amazing guitar” for her.
Complicated and amazing are accurate terms. Highlights include – but are not limited to – onboard effects, a custom built-in fuzz and oscillator and two Old Blood Noise Endeavors’ Dark Star Pad Reverb circuits with pitch shift and delay parameters.
To explain why she uses both a mammoth pedalboard and effects-equipped guitars, Lipstate offers, “I find that having access with your hands and having the ability to control the dials while you’re playing, it’s really inspiring. Being forced to have reverb right in the beginning of your chain allows you to make interesting choices.”
There are some more conventional instruments, too, not least a stock Oxblood Troy Van Leeuwen signature Jazzmaster – which is, however, tuned to fifths, inspired by Robert Fripp – and her main White-finished American Professional Series Jazzmaster, which has been retrofitted with custom shop Chicago Special pickups.
As for pedals… well, where to start? Lipstate’s vintage pedal display is as good a place as any, complete with a handful of vintage Maxon pedals – Rotary Phaser, Flanger, Stereo Chorus and Overdrive Pro – as well as a Uni-Vibe Super Fuzz, which she scored for touring with Iggy Pop.
Other highlights include an Ibanez AD-80 – the pedal that graces the cover of Stompbox: 100 Pedals of the World’s Greatest Guitarists – and a custom-designed Keeley Loomer Lipstate edition.
Due to the fact the video is almost 45 minutes long, we’ve barely scratched the surface of Lipstate’s mammoth gear collection. We’ve not even mentioned the Chinese knock-off Gibson EDS-1275 or the Boomerang III Sample Phraser. Luckily, all of that and more can be found in the video above.
And don’t worry: it’s not all just show and tell. You get to see Lipstate use all her gear throughout the video. Highlights from the runtime include the intro jam at the 0:15 mark, a BilT demo at 14:46 and performance using a Boomerang-loaded fly rig at 27:20. A worthy watch for gear fans, for sure.