"I'm not huge, but I could kick your ass,"
jokes 6-foot-5 Chan Kinchla. The former high school footballer is
a rather physical musician as well, and his guitar takes a
beating. "I tend to wrestle with my guitar," he says.
"It's not pretty, but it's the only way I've ever been able
to play. My sweat is also very acidic, so I found wood necks just
didn't take well to being wrestled every night. So I switched to
graphite guitars." Chan liked the pair of graphite-neck
custom Model T's built for him by Modulus in '94, but after years
of dwarfing his instruments and deflecting suggestions that he
was playing "baby" instruments, Chan wanted something
"He asked if we would build him a guitar the size of a
P-Bass," recalls Modulus product manager Joe Perman. "I
said no, but asked him to try a guitar I'd been working on."
Somewhat larger than most Modulus guitars, the instrument so
impressed Chan that he kept it and ordered a second. The newer
model has become Kinchla's main ax. It sports a graphite
throughbody neck, a maple top with royal-velvet finish, and a
pair of EMG-SA single-coil alnico pickups with an EMG-89
humbucker. Chan strings it up with D'Addario .013s; D'Addario
supplies him with special heavy unwound G strings.
Kinchla plugs into a Soldano Super Lead Overdrive 100 head
powering Mesa Rectifier 4x12 cabinets with low-wattage speakers
(one 4x12 indoors, two outdoors). Chan's been using effects more
and more: a TC Electronic 2290 rack processor for subtle delays,
flange and phasing, and a pedalboard-mounted Boss flanger, Morley
and Vox wahs, and an Ibanez Tube Screamer. "I hunted all
over the country and got one from the '70s, not the
reissue," he says. His favorite new effect is the Dunlop
reissue Univibe, and he also cards a Mesa/Boogie Revolver, a
Leslie-type speaker he used for the "Carolina Blues"
Chan will grab "whatever it takes" in the studio - from
a Les Paul to a Rickenbacker - but the "Big Modulus" is
his main road guitar. And with Blues Traveler, the road is where