Video: The Gear of Opeth's Prog-Metal Live Rig

Before the pandemic, we caught up with Sweden prog-metal greats Opeth to hear how they create their colossal live sound. Amid the battery of instruments, you'll find a collection of PRS guitars, which Mikael Åkerfeldt explains how he got started using.

It all started when a friend of Mikael's from another band asked Mikael to help him choose a guitar, since he didn't know much about them himself. Mikael convinced his friend to buy a standard PRS CE 24, and then two weeks later, his friend sold the guitar to Mikael. "He calls me up two weeks later saying like, 'The guitar is beautiful, but it's too good for me. Do you want to buy it?' and I bought it."

Mikael upgraded to a secondhand PRS CE 24 Custom from there—called the "Swimming Pool guitar" because of its water-blue finish. But you'll not find those 24s in this rig rundown.

"It's not here because it doesn't have a piezo bridge," Mikael tells us. "I used the Custom 24s for a long time, until they invented the piezo thing—which makes, for the layman, the electric guitar sound like an acoustic guitar, basically." About the piezo guitars, Fredrik Åkesson adds, "Plus, the changes are too quick for us to jump between an [electric guitar and acoustic guitar]. It would be too complicated."

Fredrik also showed off his fair share of go-to gear, like his own shorter-scale PRS P245 with a piezo system, the PRS Mark Tremonti signature without a piezo, and the PRS 594 semi-hollow. We also get a look at the pedalboard these guitars run through, which feature effects ranging from new modeling multi-units like the Fractal AX8 and classic stompboxes like the EHX Small Stone.

Catch the whole video above to see the full lineup.

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