Stay Tuned! Vol 2: The Chroma Guitar

Herington GuitarSadowsky Jon Herington 3

One of the main guitars I used on “Tales from the Clark Side” is a partscaster made from a vintage Sadowsky tele body with Velvet Hammer Pickups and a brand new neck handmade by luthier, Pete Skermetta. I sent the guitar body down to Pete, in Austin, Tx and he re-wired it and built a perfect neck for it… It’s beautiful!
This guitar is very special to me because it was once owned and used by Jon Herington. It was the guitar featured on one of my all time favorite recordings, “Chroma: Music on the Edge” with
a group of jazz superstars. The band consisted of Jim Beard on Keys, Randy Brecker on Trumpet, Mark Egan on Bass, Dennis Chambers on Drums, Mino Cinelu on Percussion/Vocals, Bob Berg on Sax, Mark Ledford on Keys/Horns/Vocals, Mike Stern and Jon Herington on Guitars… whoa! Talk about a supergroup!!! Herington used this guitar on each trach and I had a VHS tape of the live in Japan concert they filmed. I used to watch this tape of amazing musicians on a daily basis… it was like my “now that’s how it should be done” guide to playing music! You may know Jon as the lead guitarist of Steely Dan for the last 15 years or from his solo artist work. This guitar of his was used early in his career as a jazz fusion sideman… back when I first started following his music. I checked eBay on a daily basis for over 15 years looking for this guitar to come available… on sweet day, BOOM! There it was and Jon was selling it!!! It was mine!!!!!

Some of the unique things about this guitar are the fact it has three pickups, unique switching with both vol and tone knobs acting as toggles to access the different switching, and it has a vibrato bar. I used to dream about owning this guitar… and now I do… at least on most of it. Jon had removed the neck from this guitar and used it on another, because he loved it so much. I am just happy to own the body! Pete Skermetta also made me a wonderful neck that I can’t imagine missing the original neck… Notice, the new neck has a black headstock… just a preference of mine to set it apart from the original.
Here are some pics in the before and after state! Also a couple of pics with Herington playing the guitar live in Japan.You can hear this guitar all over my cd… Check out Pete Skermetta at:

Herington Sadowsky guitar 3Herington Sadowsky guitar 1Herington Sadowsky guitar 4carl2

Stay Tuned! Vol 1: What gear did I use on the tracks? First up- Two Beautiful Ronin Guitars!

I’m going to start a new series of posts called “Stay Tuned!” that will shed a little light on some of the cool guitars, pedals and amps I used on these recordings.

So…. here’s a tiny bit of info on a few of the tracks and a breakdown of which guitars are doing what. I’m lucky to own two guitars built by Ronin guitars. I have a Mirari and a Palus Mourn. The Mirari is a beautiful green and has special goldfoil pickups and a trem bar. The Palus Mourn is a Dark Burst and features humbuckers. Both guitars have pickups made by Ronin and both feature natural re-claimed redwood bodies. You can find all the info on the Ronin website. John Reed, at Ronin, is great to deal with and will take fantastic care helping you get the perfect guitar! I am not a paid endorser, but I am a happy customer! Check them out at

Here are some shots of both guitars starting with the headstocks:

Ronin Headstocks Ronin Pair

RONIN PM Ronin Mirari

For recording both these guitars I used my Swart Atomic Space Tone amp

I used the Ronin Mirari for lead guitar tones on Track 3 and Track 14 – I think I really got some beautiful ethereal sounds on these two tracks… this guitar has a lot of character! The pickups can be very hi-fi and can also reveal a lot of “haunting mids” if you want them too…at least…. I hear them that way! On track 14, I also used an RC Booster, a Trombetta Mini Bone and a Stereo Wet Reverb. Chris Jones (at Stonehand Studio), also added a few effects on them too (especially Track 3)… I’m sure he’s a sonic genius. Give a listen to the Mirari on these tracks!

Track 3:

Track 14:

I used the Ronin Palus Mourn for lead tones on Track 10 and 11 – On track 10, I got a really great pure clean tone and track 11 has a fantastic warmth to it that fits the tune perfectly. And yes, that is a Bass Guitar with a funky wah effect on track 10, playing the cool lead melody lines in each verse… played by bassist, Mike Sharfe. Chris Jones again added the right amount of reverb, etc to all these tracks and got the tones sounding perfect!

Track 10 features a mostly dry, but really great clean tone, with plenty of depth and an awesome clarity that captures a live amp sound. Track 11 has a wonderful mysterious quality to the notes and a great warm, dark sound.

Track 10:

Traxk 11:

Next time, I’ll tell you about a guitar I bought from Jon Herington (of Steely Dan fame) and brought back to life with the help of Pete Skermetta in Austin, Texas. It turned out to be a total killer and a tone machine! I used it for the majority of the tracks on “Tales from the Clark Side”and here is a sneak peak of it… in the “before” stage… Stay tuned!

Herington Guitar