Mike Mushok’s Guitars and Gear

Short bio: Mike Mushok was born on April 10, 1969. He got his first guitar, which was a Fender Bullet, for Christmas of 1982, and with it, a Vibro Champ amp. Shortly after he saved up some money for a Guild acoustic guitar, and started playing more seriously. As influnces, Mike listed primarly his teacher Tony McAlpine, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dimebag.

He formed the band “Staind” together with couple of friends in 1994, and they initially were a cover band, playing songs from the bands such as Alice in Chains, Korn and Tool. In 1996 they released their debut album “Tormented”, which wasn’t particularly successful, only four thousand copies were originally sold. Their breakthrough came with their second album  “Dysfunction”, which was released in 1999, and eventually became #1 on Billboard’s Heatseaker Chart.

Mike’s playing style is quite unique. He plays baritone guitars almost exclusively, and uses more than 20 different tunings, which requires him to carry a great number of guitars on tours. If you click on the link bellow, you can see a part of his Master Tuning List, which his guitar tech uses as a tamplete.

Mike Mushok Master Tuning List (as seen in the GuitarWorld interview)

Mike Mushok’s Electric Guitars:

PRS SE Mike Mushok Baritone

PRS SE Mike Mushok Baritone This is Mike’s main guitar ever since it was released in 2008. He played it on all records, and he carries a number of them with him on tours. The guitar was initially available only in silver burst, but since 2009, you can get it in tobacco burst also.

Mike’s Baritone PRSs are all spec’d the same, and the only reason he carries more than just a couple with him, is that he plays in more than 20 different tunings.

The guitar features 27.7 inch scale neck with 22 frets, ebony fingerboard, mahogany body and string-through-body stoptail bridge. The humbuckers on it are designed by Mike himself, with the help from the guys from PRS, and th guitar has volume and tone control, and a 3-way pickup selector.

PRS SE Mike Mushok Baritone 7-string

Mike Mushok PRS 7 String Since Mike’s guitars are all played tuned down, he felt like he needed more “space” for soloing, particularly for the album “Staind” released in 2011.
For this reason, PRS sent him a couple of 7-string versions of his signature model, one in silver burst, and another in tobacco.

PRS McCarty 58

PRS McCarty 58 Mike started using standard scale guitars for the The Illusion of Progress album in 2008, so PRS sent him a couple of McCarty models.

The guitar features 25 inch scale length, rosewood fingerboard, maple top mahogany body, two PRS 57/08 and a stoptail bridge.

PRS 513

PRS 513 Another guitar from PRS that Mike ocassinally uses. This model has quite wide range of tone variations, since it has a total of five single-coil pickups (four of which are mounted in pairs), two blade switches, master volume, and master tone controls. One of the switches is the standard 5-way switch which toggles through pickups, but the other one, which is a 3-way switch, allows the player to choose from three pickup voicings: heavy humbucker, clear humbucker, and single-coil.

PRS Swamp Ash Special

PRS Swamp Ash Special Mike uses this guitar ocasinally when he needs a guitar with standard scale. It features a PRS humbuckers in the bridge and neck position, and a Seymour Duncan Vintage Rails in the middle. Mike plays a model with a rosewood neck, but maple neck is also available.

PRS Chris Henderson Signature

PRS Chris Henderson Signature 2 Used on “Believe” from 2008 album “The Illusion of Progress”.

Ibanez RG 7

Ibanez RG 7 Mike played this guitar during Staind’s gig on the Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2011, where they performed “For You”.

Ibanez Artist AR

Ibanez Artist Used in the very early days of “Staind” (as seen in this picture), prior to having his own signature models.

He started playing this guitar again recently during the 2012 tour.

Ibanez MMM1 Baritone

Ibanez MMM1 After using the Artist model for couple of years, Ibanez offered Mike a signature model. The guitar was based on the Ibanez SZ series model, but was a but is a baritone guitar with a 28-inch scale length. It had neck through body construction, Ibanez Super 58 Custom pickups and the Gibraltar Custom bridge specially introduced for the model.

The guitar was discontinued in 2008, when Mike switched to PRS.

Mike Mushok’s Acoustic Guitars:

Guild D40

Guild D40 In an interview with GuitarWorld, Mike said that he bought this guitar from saving his lunch money as a kid. He also noted that he still uses it.

Alvarez Yairi DY90 cutaway

Alvarez DY90 Mike Mushok This is Mike’s main go-to acoustic. He plays it often live, for acoustic songs such as “Believe”.

Mike Mushok’s Guitar Amps:

– Marhsall JMP-1 preamp (x2)
– Marshall Power Amp EL-34 100/100 (x2)

– Diezel VH-4 (x2)
All effects go through this amp.

– Marshall 1960B 4×12″ 300W with Celestion G12T-75 speakers.

Mike Mushok’s Guitar Effects:

– Lexicon MPX-G2 FX
Had it since the early days, and usually uses some flanger, chorus, phaser on it.
– Boss OC-3
– Boss NS-2
Used for heavy sounds.

Non-effect units:
– Whirlwind Multiselector 4x
– Korg DTR-1 Rack Tuner
– Shure U4D-UA Dual Receiver
– CAE Custom ISO Box
– CAE 4×4 Audio Controller

With him on stage:
– Bradshaw RS-10 MIDI Foot Controller
– Occasionally a Wah pedal (unknown model)

Mike Mushok Guitar Strings:

– Dean Markley Baritone – 14, 18, 30, 42, 56, 74 (previously)
– D’Addario Baritone – 14, 18, 30, 42, 56, 75 (currently)

Mike Mushok Guitar Picks:

– Dunlop Nylon Standard Picks, Black 1mm


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