Periphery is undoubtedly one of the most influential metal bands of the last few years. They have helped define and shape what “progressive” metal means to modern players. One of the defining features of the band, for me, is the actual sound they manage to get out of their instruments. If you are curious what kind of gear Periphery is using to get their sounds, you’re in luck!

In this edition of Geared, we are going to be breaking down Mark Holcomb’s rig!

To start off, Mark is an avid user of PRS guitars. In the past he’s been seen using lots of different guitars such as Mayones customs, but these days he is primarily playing live on his custom and signature PRS models.

Mark’s custom model is based on the standard Custom 24 PRS model. The main differences to note here are that his model has a 25.5” scale, 20” fretboard radius, and custom hardware to suit his style of playing. This limited edition guitar has a Mahogany body, Quilted Maple 10-Top, Rock Maple Pattern Thin Neck, Gaboon Ebony Fretboard, PRS Phase III Tuners, and the Mark Holcomb Signature Alpha/Omega Pickups. The most noticeable feature of the guitar is the signature “Holcomb Burst”, which is a gorgeous charcoal/purple-ish burst on top of the quilted maple. He is playing 6, 7 and 8 string versions of this guitar live.

Unfortunately, this was a limited model, so it can no longer be ordered. PRS released a more affordable SE version, which Mark has been playing live as well. The more affordable model has a lot of the same appointments as the original except features a Quilted Maple Veneer instead of a thick top, a 3-piece Maple Wide Thin neck, and a different set of PRS hardware. It’s an absolute gem of a guitar and is currently the only way to get the Alpha/Omega pickups. We love it so much that we posted an article called 5 Reasons You Need the New Mark Holcomb SE. So go check that out and drool over it a bit.

If you want to read even more about the PRS SE Holcomb, we have a full review on it as well.

Ready to go airplane.

A photo posted by Mark Holcomb (@markperiphery) on

A lot of bands have been using Axe FX models and Kemper Profilers live these days. The ease of use and variety of tones you can achieve with minimal hardware make these units a blessing for players looking to downsize their gear for touring.

Primarily, Mark is using his Axe FX set to a “6160 Block Letter” patch, which is undoubtedly based on the Peavey 5150. His Axe is going direct right into the PA of the venue, rather than micing a cabinet. This allows for Periphery to consistently achieve the same sound at each venue without having to fool with mic placement and EQ every night. The only issue with this setup is that in some venues, people in the front row will have trouble hearing the guitars.

To combat this problem, the Axe FX is also running through a QSC power amp into Zilla 2×12 cabinets. This way, the people in the front can actually hear the sounds coming straight from the guitar cabinets. Mark’s Zilla cab features a combination of a Creamback and a Celestion V30 speaker.

All of Periphery’s complex tones and sounds are automatically changed through midi switching in a Pro Tools session on a Macbook. This way, the guitarists don’t actually have to switch tones with pedals. They just auto-change in time with the click and backtrack.

Periphery’s latest album Periphery III: Select Difficulty is available now and the band is touring heavily in support of it.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out some more! We upload new articles, guides, reviews, and interviews daily, such as our Brent Rambler Geared piece!

Also, we are a dealer for many beloved brands such as PRS, Ibanez, Mayones, Schecter, ESP, and more! Feel free to stop by our shop and we can help you find the right guitar for you at the best price possible.

This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana.

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