Michelle has a wide range of professional gear available to her for her rehearsals, session work and live gigs etc. Here are just some of the items that Michelle will use regularly in her performances whenever she is not using a PA hire companies services etc.
The MAUI 28 G2 PA system used by Michelle is equipped with two 8" woofers, sixteen 3" full-range speakers and two 1" neodymium HF drivers. They are driven by a light Class-D power amplifier with an enormous 2,000 watts peak power and produce warm bass, balanced mids and precise and silky highs.
Michelle uses 2 of these systems in her live work.
The DynX® DSP technology from LD Systems provides a top-class performance every time and the highest level of freedom from distortion. It includes a multiband limiter which protects against overloading, an EQ, a compressor and a 3-way crossover with run time correction.
The design of the MAUI 28 G2 achieves a longer range, increased resistance to feedback and a wider space coverage.
The wave guide of the tweeters has been developed using the Boundary Element Method (BEM), a numerical simulation of the sound radiation and dispersion.
It reduces reflections from the floor and ceiling and prevents sidelobe levels and thus achieves an homogeneous dispersion.
Your audience hears you in the back row just as clearly as in the front.
16-Channel Mixing Console
Max. 10 Mic / 16 Line Inputs (8 mono + 4 stereo)
4 GROUP Buses + 1 Stereo Bus
4 AUX (incl. FX)
“D-PRE” mic preamps with an inverted Darlington circuit
High-grade effects: SPX with 24 programs
24-bit/192kHz 2in/2out USB Audio functions
PAD switch on mono inputs
+48V phantom power
XLR balanced outputs
Internal universal power supply for world-wide use
Together with an Shure SM58 microphone, Michelle uses a TC Helicon studio quality vocal processor for reverb and live vocal harmonies.
This unit also has legendary guitar effect styles from TC ELECTRONIC such as Flashback Delay, Hall of Fame Reverb, Corona Chorus and Vortex Flanger TonePrint pedals together with Compression, Detune, Tremolo, Distortion, Overdrive, together with a number of premium amp emulations, all of which serve as a great “back up system” incase Michelle´s usual guitar gear ever becomes moody during a live performance.
Michelle is well known for her love of Blackstar Amplification and uses them exclusively in her performances. Michelle has a number of Blackstar rigs to choose from and does use a number of them but usually tends to favour two main ones so we will begin with those.
Blackstar Limited Edition Anniversary Artist AE 10w
In celebration of 10 years of brilliant Blackstar tone, a limited edition 10W single-ended Artist valve amplifier was released. Only 1000 units of this amp were made worldwide and Michelle got two of them.
Michelle first started using this amp on a few of her smaller gigs and in the studio.
The Artist 10AE is similar to its big brother (The Artist 30) but in a simplified version.
She grew to like it so much and enjoyed having a smaller amp to carry around that she actually started to use it as her main performance amp together with a Celestion Vintage 30 loaded extention cab and her pedalboard.
Michelle uses Blackstars emulated output to send the amps signal into the PA system too in order to get a little "spread" or extra volume too if necessary.
The Artist 10 AE deploys a 6L6 output valve and an ECC83 in the preamp stage to give the amp a characteristically bright clean and yet not harsh tone.
The lead sounds are enhanced by a built-in overdrive circuit inspired by Blackstar HT-Drive pedal.
As with the Artist 30 the amp is great for everything from Jazz, Country, Rock and more, and is specifically designed to take pedals extremely well.
Special Edition Blackstar Artist 15
Another favourite which is used regularly by Michelle on her live gigs is her Special Edition Blonde Artist 15 with its Celestion Creamback loaded 1 x 12" extention cab.
The Artist 15 is a two channel amp and has 2 6L6 power amp valves and a 12" Celestion V-Type speaker.
This special edition is covered in blonde tolex with a brown basketweave fret and a chunky brown leather handle, giving this vintage
sounding amp a lovely boutique, vintage look which Michelle loves.
The vintage looking blonde extention cab that sits under Michelle´s Artist 15 was specially made for her by Zilla Cabs in the UK who did their best to match the look of this special edition Blackstar amp.
For all of her amps Michelle uses thickley padded custom covers made for her by Hotcovers in the UK which can be contacted via Blackstars website under the "Store" button.
The Blackstar ID260TVP is a big favourite with Michelle and is one of the amps that she used a lot when doing sessions or when performing under her own name.
The Blackstar ID260TVP is a 2x 60watt stereo amplifier with 2 x 12" speakers and onboard multieffects in superwide stereo.
The amp is both incredibly powerful and very versatile, and is suitable for all kinds of music.
The secret to the ID260TVP amplifiers great tone is its TVP section which can authentically replicate the sound, feel, sag and dynamics of a number of valve types by simply selecting a valve of choice on the front panel.
Michelle uses this amp for everything from crystal clean Country sounds to both Blues and Rock tones.
Blackstar Artist 30
The Blackstar Artist 30 is another favourite used by Michelle on her gigs.
The Artist 30 is a 30 watt 2 x 12" low gain valve amp which has been specially designed to to take effect pedals extremely well.
The Artist 30 offers warm Jazz tones and glassy Country and Blues tone`s but without the usual Fender harshness, and can be kicked into overdrive by adding pedals in the front or via the effects loop.
Just a few of the names using the Artist 30 are..
* Waddy Watchtel (top session player with Everly Brothers, Jackson Browne,
Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan, Bryan Ferry, Don Henley, Carole King, John Mayer, Randy Newman, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Bob Seger, Carly Simon, The Rolling Stones, James Taylor, and Tom Waits to name just a few).
*Ted Nugent. Warren Haynes ( The Allman Brothers) . Jared James Nichols. Billy Gibbons. Chris Buck. Gus G.
Blackstar have decades of valve amp design experience behind them, and in the HT40 they have combined the response and character of the classic British EL34 driven power amplifier with punch and dynamics, together with Blackstar´s patented ISF, to offer some of the most flexible, toneful and versatile valve amps available.
The HT40 is another of the Blackstar range that Michelle will use at times when performing.
The HT40 is great for everything from studio work and gigging in front of a small crowd, to playing to an audience of thousands.
Other Blackstar Amps
A number of other Blackstar amps that Michelle will use in rehearsals and practice are the following...
The ID Core 20V2
The Limited Edition Fly
During her long career Michelle has owned pretty much most brands of guitar over the years, and over time she had built up quite a collection.
Since then she has decided to keep just a handful of her favourites which you will see below.
This is Michelle´s handmade custom Gordon Smith guitar.
(What she jokingly likes to call the "Michelle Taylor Signature Model"), as it was custom designed for her by the craftsmen at Gordon Smith Guitars UK. This stunning guitar has replaced all her other guitars and has become one of two main instruments.
(Gordon Smith are the UKs longest running electric guitar manufacturer and are often hailed to be as the famous american made Gibson brand used to be at their peak in terms of top quality handmade premium instruments).
All Gordon Smith guitars are handcrafted in their workshop in Northamptonshire England, and are amongst the top-rated manufacturers in the use of sustainable woods in guitar building.
Every guitar is handcrafted from raw timber in their CNC free workshop and they even wind and pot their own custom pick ups too.
Gordon Smith guitars have appeared in thousands of venues from pubs and clubs to stadiums and arenas for over 40 years! ( Among many others you often see Iggy Pops guitarist “Ken Armstrong” using them ).
Check out a video of Michelle´s Gordon Smith guitar here...
Michelle`s handmade Gordon Smith Guitar
This guitar became so popular that people ordered right handed copies to be made for them.
Michelle´s Second Gordon Smith Guitar (The Owl)
Due to the fact that Michelle was constantly using her Gordon Smith guitar for all her session work and live gigs, she decided that she needed to have a "back up" guitar incase anything happened to it. Yes she had her Gibson´s and Fenders but she wanted to play purely Gordon Smith!
Once again she contacted Gordon Smith guitars and asked for something even more special than the first guitar they made for her.
This time Michelle wanted the guitar to have a very patterned burled walnut top ( her previous guitar had an olive top and was the first guitar that Gordon Smith guitars had ever made with an olive top).
Gordon Smith Guitars went out of their way to find the right piece of wood for Michelle´s guitar and searched all over the world until finally finding what they wanted in the USA!
A few months later and this stunning instrument was sent out to Michelle, and she was blown over by how incredibly beautiful and unique it was. Michelle calls this guitar "The Owl".
Like the guitar above it has stainless steel frets, Gotoh bridge and locking tuners, but this time Gordon Smith added a beautiful abalone inlay
of Michelle´s initial.
1996 MIK Epiphone Les Paul
As you will see below, Michelle has a number of guitars that she can use on live gigs and tours etc, However until the arrival of Michelle´s Gordon Smith guitar above, it tended to be the same "favourite" that was always chosen as her main instrument.
Michelle´s guitar of choice was always her Desert Burst Epiphone Les Paul Custom guitar named "Lady Maria".
Michelle has had ( and still has a number of top quality guitars such as Gibsons and Fenders etc and a number of custom guitars specially made for her) however out of them all she always preferred "Lady Maria".
This guitar has been customised throughout and is set up specially for Michelle by her guitar tech Per Andersson of öderutgitarr.se.
People often found it strange to see Michelle use an Epiphone when she has Gibsons and Fenders behind her onstage as "Back Up guitars" incase of string breaks etc, but as she explains..."This particular Epi is highly customized specially for me and is simply a better guitar".
There was however one part of the guitar that Michelle disliked....The headstock...
and so that was even customized too.
"Lady Maria" is a 1996 Epiphone Les Paul in Desert Burst which was made at the Samick factory in Korea under license of Gibson guitars.
Here´s just a few of the other guitars Michelle owns, or has owned in the past
Gibson Goldtop Les Paul
Fender Custom with B Bender
Custom Högberg Tele
Tom Mates Custom Tele
Limited Edition Custom Ibanez Artist
A lot of Michelle´s guitars are enhanced with Graphtech parts to ensure better tone and reliability when on the road.
At the moment she has Graphtech Black Tusq nuts and saddles on a number of her guitars, Michelle also has the new Ratio locking machine heads fitted to one of her prized Gordon Smith guitars and is using Graphtechs TD1.40 Deep picks which fine tune her tone even more.
When using her Blackstar ID260TVP Michelle simply uses the onboard multi effects which are in superwide stereo.
However, when using one of the other amps, Michelle uses a wide range of effects and some are pictured below.
Michelle`s Main Pedalboard
Michelle has a number of different pedalboards and pedals for different effects/tones etc. Her main pedalboard below has two levels and has pedals by her favourite brands such as Free The Tone, Mad Professor, Flattley, Rockett, Keeley etc.
* Free The Tone Red Jasper Overdrive
* Radial Big Shot ABY
* Free The Tone SOV-2 Overdrive
* Digitech Freqout
* Keeley Compressor
* Korg Custom Pitch Black Tuner
* TC Electronics Hall Of Fame Reverb (rarely used)
* Rockett Blue Note Overdrive
* Custom Mini Chorus
* Mad Professor Royal Blue Overdrive
* Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay ( short delay )
* Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay ( Long Delay )
* Proco Rat Turbo ( with LM308 chip )
* Palmer PWT 12 Power Unit
* Boss ES5 Lopper -Switcher
* Cry Baby Mini Wah
My Favourite Pedals
"Im often asked in online groups and forums about my pedalboard set up and my favourite pedals, and so I thought Id feature a few of them here".
Free The Tone "Red Jasper"
The Red Jasper by Free The Tone is the heart of my overdrive sound for soloing.
The Red Jasper is a low to medium gain transparent pedal with smooth highs, punchy mids and full but tight lows. It has a sensitive, responsive, and a natural and pleasing compression.
This pedal amplifies the guitar’s original sound faithfully, adopting a passive type tone circuit to minimize phase errors in the guitar signal to obtain a natural tone.
By implementing the HTS (Holistic Tonal Solution) Circuit that manages signals comprehensively from input to output, the effected sound and bypassed sound will always have the same sound quality, (which solves a problem that has plagued players for years).
Free The Tone SOV-2 Overdrive
The SOV-2 was handmade specially for me by Free The Tone and again it is a very transparent low to medium gain overdrive.
The SOV-2 uses a high performance DC-DC converter for its internal power supply circuit and drives its signal circuit by supplying ±15 Vdc, providing natural amplification of guitar sound and characteristics.
Check out the full background of the pedal at https://www.freethetone.com/en/products/detail26/
The Michelle Taylor Signature Series Pedals
Michelle has a high and respected presence in the hundreds of gear groups and forums online.
Many people contact her regularly with comments and questions and even via private messages to ask her opinions of gear and in particular her Blackstar amps, Gordon Smith guitars, and about any pedals that she presently uses or recommends etc.
Michelle was contacted recently by boutique custom pedal builder Paul Flattley of Flattley pedals (UK) asking if she would be interested in a series of signature pedals by his company. Michelle was overjoyed to have the opportunity to work together with him, and they are now working on a number of new pedal designs which will be released in the near future as the "MT Signature series".
Michelle has already been sent a number of prototypes which have been fine tuned and adjusted to suit her taste and she actually uses 2 of these pedals on one of her main pedalboards at the moment.
The "MT Royal Wave" which is a creamy analog dual chorus pedal , and the MT Quantum Dual Delay which is another warm analog pedal.