What guitars do Ghost use? The guitar technician from Swedish rock band Ghost walks us through their guitars and their guitar set up.
Ghost use Hagstrom Fantomen guitars. Hagström are a Swedish manufacturer that have been making guitars since the 1950s. Other notable users of their guitars include Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix.
Check out the official Hagstrom Fantomen page.
What tuning does Ghost use?
Most Ghost songs are tuned in D Standard. This is a complete step down from standard ‘E’ Guitar tuning. Instead of the strings being tuning in the pattern (EADGBE), they are all tuned down one tone to DGCFAD.
Check out the worlds most expensive guitars, including Kurt Cobain’s 1959 Martin D-18E Acoustic which sold for $US6million.
hey guys I’m Nick I am the stage right guitar tech for ghost I handle the black guitar ghoul the bass cool and the Swiss Army ghoul because variety is the spice of life I just want to run you through our guitars we’re using real quick these are upgraded phantom ins that we are using very much based off of the stock phantom ins you guys can pick up with this one though we decided to go a couple different routes I guess starting a but to nuts we went with a five-piece maple neck through construction because who doesn’t love playing access come on we stuck with the mahogany wings on this one we upgraded to cts pots and switch craft hardware not hardware Jackson switches and we’re also using the Lundgren black Heaven ceramics because ceramic is great on
this we went with an ebony fretboard stainless steel frets lumen lay side dots we had them add a little bit of thickness around to 30 seconds to the actual headstock we also upgraded the hardware to Schaller Schaller shallower Schaller we’re actually using the STM roller bridges on these as well as the graph tech ratio locking tuners which are just awesome and we also had them out of a lute on the back of the headstock here just for more stability and we’re using a black tusk nut from graphtec but these guitars are solid in conjunction with having a five-piece maple neck Hagstrom also has what they call the h expander which is basically just a reinforcement piece of metal that the truss rod runs through and I don’t know about our other guitar tech Mac’s but I haven’t done an echo just ‘men
in probably at least a year and I haven’t done one on this one since it’s been out of the box and they last they stay in tune and they just work and sound killer and here for the bass we’re using an American professional jazz bass us a solid reinforced neck maple neck as well we’re using a vintage high mass bridge on this which is actually amazingly solid oh yeah we’re using an ernie ball a little bit of a hybrid set we’re on the stainless we’re using a 45 65 80 105 and that’s d2f so right here we’ll just have something quick for the baritone we just go into one aw 500 g3 Sennheiser wireless unit that taps off and just goes straight to a XFX – we’re using this for the Swiss Army ghoul who does baritone and acoustic second we jump over guitar we got two units here they run into the whirlwind multi selector for by this
then patches off into the fractal threes next we get on the bass so both bases come out and they actually go into a Layla’s dual SG OS on the shelf down here which is a MIDI unit that it’s basically an abt pedal that runs up through each channel of this dbx – 66 x sx X s DB X 266 XS there we go compressor limiter and gate each channel of that runs into a sansamp GED 2112 because Geddy and then all of those lines run through here which is a radial SW for most people use these for actually Wireless distribution I like to run it as a line redundancy so all backup lines that I have actually run through here I can mute and go to backup channels and the only other thing really is a we have just a chorus on the base and then MIDI redundancy in case we stop
getting anything from our laptop and then we’re also receiving MIDI on a Hinton long Halsey – which basically just converts a MIDI signal over to travel via XLR so in theory we could have an infinite guitar run if we wanted to I mean because MIDI usually dies out at about 40 45 feet with this we could run a 200-foot MIDI line or run from front of house if we ever needed to actually do that for some hellacious reason the switching is all programmed off of Ableton our other tech will run you through that as he is our MIDI aficionado yeah everything here is really just self-contained automated even the the bass rig is automated as well because we’re using a dual s gos from Laila so that just takes MIDI and converts it to a TRS and then we can just manage our patching within that alrighty my name is max I’m the stage left guitar
tech for ghost I also handle keyboards and playback very exciting I guess my main priority and why I was brought on was to take care of the white guitar player that ghoul in particular basically he is now playing this custom Hagstrom phantomon I believe Nick has gone into great detail about these guitars so I will leave the woodworking and the specifications to him but as a tech in layman’s terms I’m a huge fan of these these instruments they are reputable they work well and reliably and they sustain for days so I’m very happy about that we’re using very nice hardware from Schaller or Schaller no one’s officially given me the pronunciation manual on that one so let you figure that one out we’ve got roller bridges really high quality stuff
we’ve got Lundgren pickups which I’m personally a fan of and I use in my own guitars at home so this is a right at home for me yeah these are these are fantastic guitars they they hold up every night better than better than a lot of things I’ve used in the past they’re also very easy to play in that these new customs have glow in the dark side dots very visible also another shout-out to Bester onyx for all of our Wireless to Sennheiser cables now if you’ve ever had the pleasure of using Sennheiser devices you know that their cables aren’t gonna hold up the long term then you go some other tor vendor and you buy some expensive wireless cable and it’s going to die with this best Ronix cable Oh No
Oh No very strong very good and once again have to thank Nick for that connection but I’m going to be using them for the rest of my life little things like that that make my day easier as a tech cables that don’t break in guitars that stay in tune wonderful so taking a look in my vault here there is on the hard left another custom but in a lot of ways they’re very very much similar I mean first and foremost these are heavier guitars these customs are I believe they have a five-piece maple neck mahogany wings and more wood all around I think they’re thicker as well there’s simply more wood on this guitar than the old stock models and I mean it was it was pleasant using a very light guitar but there’s something to be said for a real solid instrument even if it does cause a bit of shoulder pain it’s it’s worth it
I think for the tone the thing we all the Holy Grail unites I mean alright we’ve got yeah in total right now each of us to customs and the rest are stocks I have a huge guitar vault as you may realize but sometimes we have more guitars to play with acoustic guitars but on this tour cycle I don’t so I have a big empty space where I store my clothing and a mic stand very exciting all right and on to my favorite part of the rig the rig I guess we’ll start from the top this never or may be not so common in rig videos but on top we have a little section of artist care there’s a fisherman’s friend there’s some tobacco there’s some magic powder and some tissues you’d be so surprised how important it is as a tech just to
take care of your artist exactly how he or she needs to be taken care of you know like little things like that a little personal touch I think that that completes a rig if the rig sounds good you know it’s full a nice gear yeah that’s cool but does it have tissues I mean come on all right for tuning we’re using the new Peterson strobo stomp which is an unbelievable tuner that is actually so good it gives me a bit of anxiety basically you can see how long your hand has been off the guitar because the strings cool down in the air and so you end up playing this this mind game with heat and the tuning of the guitar just to get it absolutely perfect but then you realize there is no perfect but you can get close and that’s nice moving south we have a blank rack unit with bookbinding taped to it or excuse
me glued to it and that’s where we put ten picks every day an inch and a half apart exactly personal touch what can I say these picks our dunlop tortex 1.14 they’ve got a custom logo on both sides and basically what I do is I take a box cutter to every single one of these picks that he’s going to play and I carved some grip into it and people ask me all the time hey why why can’t they just make a grip like that I mean I’m sure they could you know they have little dots that they can print on but there’s nothing quite like carving a knife into the plastic and having it Ridge up and become incredibly incredibly grippy so personal touch down one slot we’ve got a Korg tuner it’s a bit of a legacy device and it is
there kind of for when the the Petersons is being a little bit too precise we’re getting really used to how precise the Peterson tuner is but there was a bit of an adjustment period where it was like calm down and and the Korg is there being Old Faithful hold reliable you know what I mean and and that there’s that below that we have our Furman power unit it has lights sticking out of the front that are very useful this is actually a European Furman unit it’s a PL 8c ee4 Europe I assume and on the back are female IEC C 14 plug outlets and so there’s ten power outlets which is actually really useful and personally if I had my way I’d do that all over the world every country should have just I II see because it’s Universal and it’s
awesome real nice and big letters on green gaff tape is the tuning we use because in the heat of the moment you never know what you might forget there it is there’s our main tuning in plain sight moving south we have a Sennheiser antenna not combiner but a distributor because this is a receiving device and I only have two channels and that’s fine and the less RF you have to play with the less coordination you do and let me tell you our RF coordination is a thing of its own we’ve got two Sennheiser II W 500 g threes in the European rig which is virtually identical to this we have e w 500 g fours which have about eight more megahertz of bandwidth on to the action of the rig we have whirlwind multi selectors which are really nice
and I think at the end of the day I chose them for their simplicity and their hue huge tactile interface basically these buttons are incredibly responsive dead silent and they haven’t let me down once and again it’s it’s a heat-of-the-moment thing you don’t you don’t need to be fussing around with in my opinion I don’t need to be fussing around with tiny little buttons when it’s time for rock and roll basically this is an input selector one and two sometimes we use three for a long cable thankfully we’ve never had to having two transmitters is nice and then we have an output selector so essentially we’re using the same multi selector to send it either to the axe of X’s or the tuner and that’s handy because when it’s sent to the tuner the EXIF X’s are dead dead dead silent
moving on we have a hint in Z 2 which is an XLR to MIDI converter and basically it allows MIDI information to be sent very very very long distances like through Excel are snakes and what-have-you and in practical applications that’s incredible because we can just have MIDI wherever we need it and you know Nick’s on the other side of the stage receiving MIDI information and his rig without fear of loss edata or any of that he always receives his program changes it’s amazing and it’s a it’s a specialized kind of an expensive piece but it is absolutely rock-solid and all of our MIDI information and guitar changes from playback are absolutely rock-solid as a result we don’t we don’t have any questions or fears or concerns in that department so that’s nice on this shelf which you
can’t really see inside of is a tech21 midi mongoose which is kind of a perfect MIDI selector pedal in my opinion it is so simple and it is again rock-solid it’s a local switcher for when we need to switch channels for you know reasons when playback is stopped or we’re just kind of going through testing it’s it’s handy to have a local MIDI switcher because it’s frankly faster than knobs sometimes and in the back there’s a voodoo iso v DC power wonderful midi solutions Quadra merge for our midi needs wonderful and I think the real secret to this rig which I could talk about later but I’ll talk about now is transformer isolation hands down I’ve got transformer isolation on my inputs I’ve got transformer isolation on my outputs life is good for the input we’re using a
Leela P split but we’re only using the ISO out which is a they call it galvanic isolation in their manual but it’s a transformer isolation but you know for an unbalanced signal and I’ve never had a noisy day with this rig ever and that’s great the main processing is done by this axe FX 3 we have an expectation of the axe effects as well I have yet to be in a situation where I’ve had to switch it sounds very very very close to the 3 but our our artists have spent more time with the 3 so things are very dialed on the 3 to say the least and and that’s nice another thing I have running out is is a tuner out a 75-foot run which I’m
converting from unbalanced to balanced so it doesn’t get all weird and that’s on the downstage corner and at any given time in the set he can tune while he’s playing or muted and tuned while he’s not playing and he doesn’t have to run back here to tune he can do it on stage and we have one of these Peterson tuners which is incredibly visible from even a distance you can see the the digital strobes moving left to right very very easily even from many many feet away so he can just kind of look to his left tune no problem kind of less less friction less reason to be running back here no back and forth it’s nice and to top it off our our eco-conscious sort of vibe we have these Fisher amps ALC one six one battery chargers they have nine volt
chargers but I don’t use enough nine volts to merit them so in K in this case these are just a double and triple a chargers and so we’re using these nice rechargeable double and triple A’s for all of our battery needs in our Sennheiser devices and that is great because we’re not tearing through boxes of batteries every day and feeling guilty about throwing them in the trash can don’t ask me about my paper towel use though on a personal front that’s a whole nother story we have a matrix in the rack because we at some time might want to use an iso cab but it was just one of those options we wanted to keep available at present we’re only using the XFX in the ears and the house and and it’s very important to have a drunk drawer or do you think I put the tissues in the tobacco and that’s the rig