Custom Audio Electronics (“CAE”) has been associated with Phish since at least the mid-90s. TGR Readers will remember that CAE did the massive overhaul of Trey’s rig in 2017. According to the CAE website, CAE also did a “Backup Build” for Trey “around 1997,” when Trey was concerned about some technical issues he was having with his well-worn road rig. A video on the CAE website, while grainy, gives some pretty interesting insight in to what tone-shaping tools Trey had access to in that era. It includes some rare looks at the fully-labeled RS-10 midi controller, the beating heart of Trey’s rig at the time. And, if you look closely, there are some Tube Screamer and Ross Compressor settings to be gleaned. Details below.
Amplification: Groove Tubes Dual 75 Stereo Amplifier; Bradshaw 3-channel preamp.
Floor Pedals: Whammy II, CAE RS-10 Audio Switcher, Crybaby Wah, Ernie Ball Volume, speed control for CAE Trem.
Amp & Effects Rack (from top): Peavey Valverb; CAE/Bradshaw 3-channel preamp; CAE Black Cat Trem / CAE Black Cat Vibe; 2 x CAE 4×4, 3 x Alesis Microverbs (“Reverse,” “Vast,” and “Full”); 2 more CAE 4×4.
Rack Pedals: Ibanez TS-9, Ibanez TS-10, Ross Compressor
The photo below is a rare look at the fully labeled RS-10 in the 1990s. Here’s a row-by-row breakdown:
WAH — DELAY — MOD — HOLD — VERB — VIBE
REV — VAST — FULL — TREM — MODE
TS-1 — TS-2 — CH-2 — CH-3 — WHAM
Delay, Mod, and Hold in the top row refer to the Ibanez DM-2000, which isn’t pictured here. Presumably Trey was still using the second rack for effects that he used in Summer 1996. That would explain the absence of a tuner, as well. Verb and Vibe presumably control the Peavey Valverb.
Rev, Vast, and Full refer to the three reverb units and the sounds they deliver. “Rev” is actually short for “Reverse.” Trem and Mode control the CAE Super Tremolo.
A rare and useful look at the RS-10 fully labeled.