What's up with this guy's guitar?

Kevin writes: "Here’s a question I’ve had since I saw the Go! Team play live. What is going on with Sam Dook’s guitar? Anybody have any idea what all the doodads stuck to it do (and where do I get them)? He only seemed to play with the stuff once or twice to do some Tom Morello-like scratching sounds. There's a picture here and another here. If you're unaware of Go! Team, I'd highly recommend their album [amazon link]...

looks like a p-bass pickup going thru some extra effects he attached. can you describe the sounds? hard to say if the effects are wired in to the guitar itself, but i am guessing so cause there's only one guitar cord.
i reckon hes just been down maplin and glued a few things onto an otherwise perfectly decent guitar.i'd like to highly recommend you avoid the go team and their rather over hyped album,just for a bit of balanced opinion here.
Long live the balanced opinions.

Still, make them rich: they deserve it.
Yes, looks like a P-Bass pickup on the low E string. I'd guess he's got the output of this going through an octave pedal so he's generating some kind of simple bass line as he plays.

I tried out the same idea myself over 20 years ago, but found it wasn't too useable in practice.
I also recommend the album. I've seen them live and can vouch for a pretty awesome live show.
i hope he didn't PAY someone to do that. Looks like a cousin to the Hamer I've got on my bench.... except it's all in one piece.
the other option is that it's a guitar mounted proximity-based mod of some sort, Matt Bellamy from Muse uses something quite similar on tour for some effects
that button might be used to momentarily break the signal. tom morello did that a lot, you don't need a button with the gibson style selector switch. i could see the benefit of having one on a tele. my strat's bridge pickup went out and i was into rage a lot at the time, so i left it broken to get the signal break with the switch.
go team has some of the worst mixing ive ever heard, some of the worst sounding records ever put out(sonically speaking).
They do intentionally sound like that, you know.
There was an interesting article in Sound On Sound about the recording of their album.


I guess that'll be the right link to click in 4 months time...
man why do all you people hate life so bad
Way to ruin a perfectly good Telecaster. If he learned to play a little better maybe he wouldn't need to glue a bunch of crap onto his guitar to distract everyone from his playing. I'm all for different sounds but that's a little silly.
Of crourse the P bass pickup COULD be wired in as a phantom pickup, kinda makes the guitar humbucking without affecting single coil tone. Quarterflash's guitarist did it way back, and some Mexican Fender Strats do it too (Super Strat?), hiding the extra PU under the pickguard.
I used to play with a guitarist whos' drug of choice was 'amphetamines in quantity'. He'd tweak together shit like that on a regular basis.

It never worked.
Looks like you could hurt yourself on that thing.
I'd rather hurt myself on amphetamines.
Not really a fan of The Go Team
I don't know why people don't like the band so much. Maybe they aren't musical experts technically but they have something unique. You probably don't get it if you don't have an appreciation for double dutch.

This is the first time I heard of this band. I like what I hear. I'd go see them.
Youre wrong
I would say the phantom powered pickup/separate output for bass pickup guesses are the most logical. For those with beef, that's cool but this isn't about their sound, which was created almost entirely from sampled content and that they now [quite admirably] recreate with a live arrangement, but more about the fact that something slighty outta the norm has been put to practise. What curious guitarist hasn't revelled in the sound of a nice head run through a bass cabinet to complement the guitar cab. In fact, loading up a bass G string in place of the guitar's low E is the only way to go for dropping your tunings, a la Sonic Youth. Seeing a doco on these guys recently changed my tune significantly despite preconceived opinions... they have a lotta integrity.
I haven't the slightest idea about the gear on his guitar, but the go! team makes the most ridiculously awesome feel-good music ever. hype? hell, this band should be hyped, because if more people rocked to them, the world would be a better place.

I agree, their record is pretty dirty (sound-wise), but this isn't the kind of album that you sit in your chair, cross your legs, slip your 'hi-quality' phones on, and listen to. This is music you blast out of your musikbox and have a good time to.

although, this is just my own opinion of course.

Why do you hate America?
"‘When Sam (Dook) was in the band he had a guitar that was modified with a bass pickup under the bottom string and that had its own output to a bass amp, so we got away without having a bass player for three or four years."

from: http://tinyurl.com/pfve3
First - the album isn't the best fidelity ever recorded, but you need to consider that it is a real mash up of samples with a few live instruments on a 4 track. Not everyone has ProTools and 20 years of production/mastering experience.

Second - this is a VERY original album. You probably haven't ever heard anything like it before. B-boy beats meets Sonic Youth meets a cheerleader squad backed by a marching band meets Mike Post meets double Dutch rhymes. Originality usually doesn't yield unanimously glowing appraisal!

Third – I really like this album and have been impressed with their ability to back it up live. Go to KCRW and they have a webcast of an in-studio performance.

I bought their album off the back of that SOS review. To me it was a massive disappointment, the least original thing I've heard since all that DJ Yoda style stuff in 2003. Rubbish and unlistenable.

Plus, I hate it when people mess with guitars like that!
"Plus, I hate it when people mess with guitars like that!"

Why? If it works for him, then fine. Would you prefer he smashed guitars to pieces in performance?
It's his guitar so I reckon he can do what he likes with it. I think guitars are for playing and if he can add a new dimension then that's all for the good surely. I've seen Sam play many times and he's a very talented guitarist (in fact very good multi instrumentalist). As for the album, it does take a degree of open mindness to understand it's originality, wouldn't life and music be extremely dull if we all listened to and played the same over produced cliched sounds, give me a bit of passion any day.
Can we stop bashing or praising the band and get back to that crazy 6 string he's got a hold of? Seriously, I don't know about some of you, but as a guitarist I'm a lot more interested in what the heck all those gadgets are, what they do, and why, than how much you people love or hate the band.
"Can we stop bashing or praising the band and get back to that crazy 6 string he's got a hold of? "

The first 8 or 9 posts seem to have covered that. Basically it's a P Bass pickup that probably does sod all, an FX box that could be an octaver or anything really, and a button to give Tom Morello in/out switching effects. Maybe.
i saw the go! team last night in brooklyn. great show and performance. i checked out sams rig. there is only one cable coming of the gtr that goes into an mxr micro amp, a death by audio pedal, into another dist. stomp box i think then into some blue boss box that had wall wart power with two 1/4" outs and some other connectors.

he had an orange amp at his position.

im still not exactly sure what sounds were being made with that pick up. as the live sound mix was crappers and i was in the back until post show.
The one cable coming out of the guitar could very easily be a stereo cable.
that white box in beside the control plate which he uses to make turntablesque scratching. you can see it here:


at about 3:45. i'm quite interested in it so if anybody can tell me what it is and how i could build one.
btw, i've tried contacting him about it, but he will not respond so that sucks.
Wikipedia mentions it under their article on pickups. They say he gets a one string bass sound. i cant imagine it would be very useful, but ive never listened to their music.
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