Jack White Guitar Setup & Rig Rundown

jack-white-1972-fender-twin-reverb

When The White Stripes first appeared, they created a lot of noise on the scene. Aside from their music, the nature of this band attracted a lot of attention.

Jack White and his “sister” Meg showed the world that rock is can be simple and minimalist in terms of how many people it takes to rock out, and how complex the music has to be.

jack-white-guitar-setup-rig-rundown

With that said, Jack is a guitar prodigy. Not only is his skill up there with the greats, but his tone is always on point. If you listen to any of their songs, the guitar never feels out of place.

Being able to adjust your tone to the music like that takes some serious know-how.

However, it also takes the right equipment. Reproducing Jack White’s vibe might seem easy from a distance, but that perception quickly changes when you go into details.

jack white picture

After all, The White Stripes were a duo formation, and Jack managed to keep the tone full, despite being just one guitarist going up against the drums, without any support from the bass whatsoever.

Those who are experienced guitarists know that this is far from an easy task, both from a musical and tone-shaping standpoint.

So in this article, we are going to show you what type of guitars and gear can be found in Jack White’s inventory at any given moment, which should clear up some questions regarding his tone.

After reading this guide, you’ll get a fuller picture and it will be easier for you to find ways on how to reproduce the way that Jack White sounds.

This might not be the easiest task, but it certainly isn’t impossible either.


Evh Wolfgang Usa Edward Van Halen Signature Stealth Black

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Fender Tone Mastertwin Reverb Digital Modeling Guitar Amplifier

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Digitech Whammy Dt Drop Tuning Guitar Pitch Shift Effect Pedal With Ac Power Adapter , 2 Instrument Cable And 2 Path Cables For Guitars

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Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi Guitar Effects Pedal

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Rig Rundown

jack-white-guitar-rig-rundown

By listening to The White Stripes, Jack White’s solo records, as well as a project like The Raconteurs, it’s not hard to figure out that Jack White has a pretty vintage approach to his music.

What he is creating is the rawest form of rock you can get right now.

With that in mind, it is not a surprise that Jack is a fan of vintage guitars and limited use of effects pedals.

We are going to start this gear overview by checking out his guitars. There’s some pretty exciting stuff to be found in there.

After we’re done with that, we will then move to his effects pedals and amps.


Guitars

Without too much exaggeration, we can easily say that Jack White’s guitar room looks like a proper guitar museum. He owns some pretty rare models, as well as the good old classics, or just some unusual oddballs.

jack white guitar collection

Generally speaking, in terms of brands, you will find Fenders, Gibsons, Gretschs but also more obscure Crestwoods, and Keys.

When it comes to specific models Jack is commonly associated with, his latest guitar of choice is a 1937 Gibson L-1 – a truly rare guitar with a character of its own.

1937 Gibson L-1 Acoustic

There’s also a Gibson F-4 mandolin in there as well.

Gretsch models which he is fond of include a White Penguin, Triple Jet, one Gretsch Anniversary Jr among others.

You’ll also find a piece like Gretsch’s G6134, G6128TCG, G6118T, G6199 Billy-Bo Jupiter, or even an acoustic, like G6022.

Jack White and his Gretsch G6199 Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird Guitar

Most of his electric guitars seem to be semi-hollow or hollow-body models, but there are also two Fender Telecasters in there to break up this monotony, both with Bigsby bridges.

For instance, we can also find Fender’s Highway One Telecaster in his collection. Another classic solid body is a Gibson SG Standard, but it’s not something that he uses that often.

Fender's Highway One Telecaster

However, in more recent years, he pretty much surprised everyone by getting himself a guitar like EVH Wolfgang USA Signature.

As far as EVH guitars go (which is Eddie Van Halen’s guitar brand), they’re largely associated with the decades-long virtuosic shred movement.

While Jack White is most certainly a capable musician, he doesn’t fall into this particular category, and some guitar lovers found this choice of instrument to be a bit too weird.

Nonetheless, Jack expressed his admiration toward this instrument, most notably due to its ergonomic qualities and tonal versatility.

Going back to his classic vintage and vintage-inspired pieces, we have Harmony Rocket hollow-body guitar that he mostly used during his time in The White Stripes.

Then we have the Danelectro Doubleneck Baritone and Standard guitar, something that goes back to the oldest days of rock music. It’s a somewhat rare and unusual piece.

Arguably the weirdest instrument in his arsenal is the Montgomery Ward Airline 1964 Res-O-Glass guitar. It’s the instrument that he used extensively during his time in The White Stripes, and it was his primary weapon of choice.

Montgomery Ward Airline 1964 Res-O-Glass jack white

To add to the list of his acoustics, we can also find stuff like Gibson Hummingbird and Gibson J-160 in there.

Anyhow, we could go on for days about all his gear, but these are some of the most notable and interesting instruments that we thought were worth mentioning.


Amps

Unlike many other guitar players which have reached the level of popularity like Jack White, his selection of amps is pretty straightforward.

We are talking a 1970s Fender Twin Reverb and a pair of Sears Silvertone 100 Watt combos. He sometimes uses different amps, but this configuration is what his main rig is consisted of.

Sears Silvertone 100 Watt

Fender Twin Reverb’s tone is definitely a popular choice these days as it was when this amp first appeared. Jack obviously found what works for him, and follows that logic that you simply shouldn’t fix something that isn’t broken.

Despite the odd decision to use these two amps for most of his work, it is worth noting that the tone he is running is partially influenced by his amps.

On occasion, he also used the legendary Fender Bassman, but that still falls into this old classic vintage Fender category.

Nonetheless, there have been some other interesting pieces that we were able to find in his rig. For instance, a great example comes with the RCA Clubmaster, which is a pretty unusual decades-old amp.

RCA Clubmaster vintage amp

However, this is nothing really that unusual for Jack White, as he’s pretty much known for collecting weird amps and guitars.

Speaking of weird, he also had an actual custom rotary cabinet speaker built for him. This was back in the second half of the 2000s, and he used this Hammond Leslie 3300 for one of The White Stripes tours back then.

Maybe not as “vintage,” but still a vintage-oriented piece, we have the 15-watt Sonic Machine Factory combo amp. This one comes from the 2000s and was made by Mark Sampson and Rick Hamel for a limited time.

Sonic Machine Factory combo amp

At the same time, many are not even that familiar with the brand. But if you do stumble upon one of these and feel like buying it, you’d probably have to pay about $2,000 or more. It’s a true collector’s item.


FX Pedals

While Jack might not be using a whole bunch of what could be considered modern effects pedals, he does have a pretty decent pedalboard.

You can find classics such as the Digitech Whammy IV on there, an MXR Micro-Amp and a Boss CS-3 compressor.

The most noticeable part of his effects arsenal has to be the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi. This is his preferred dirt box and one that you can hear on the majority of The White Stripe’s recordings.

Of course, Jack White became known for his use of the Digitech Whammy.

jack white digitech whammy

In fact, this is exactly the piece of gear he used to create that unusual bass tone, that actually doesn’t come from a bass guitar, on The White Stripe’s legendary hit “Seven Nation Army.”

Aside from these, he owns some boutique pedals as well. We are talking Zvex Woolly Mammoth which he used on several occasions, as well as a piece like Voodoo Lab Tremolo.

Voodoo Lab Tremolo Review

Zvex is a smaller company, but they have plenty of great stuff in their collection. The Wooly Mammoth is a very unique fuzz effect, and we can hear Jack use it on “Another Way To Die,” a song that he recorded for the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace.”

We can also hear him use the Mammoth with The Dead Weather – a rock supergroup that he occasionally works with.

Another interesting thing is that Jack’s pedalboard is painted in red and all his pedals are either red or white.

It just so happens that most of the pedals he uses are fitting this aesthetic requirement quite comfortably, although he is known to paint the pedals as well. Hey, if it works for him…

How much of the impact guitar effects have on his tone, and Jack White’s music in general, depends on which song or album you are listening at any given moment.

It’s fair to say that Jack likes to keep things simple and relies more on what he can get from the guitar and the amp he is using.


Microphones

Obviously, since Jack White is also a great and unique-sounding singer, we thought it would be nice to mention a few of the microphones that he’s been using over the years.

Looking into his collection, we see somewhat of a similar pattern as we see with his guitars, amps, and pedals – there’s plenty of vintage and vintage-oriented stuff in there.

A great example is his AEA R44CX, which is – to be perfectly honest – an astronomically priced microphone.

AEA R44CX

We also have Sennheiser’s E906, which is (definitely) a more cost-friendly option – a dynamic mic with the classic cardioid pattern.

While we’re at good-quality dynamic mics, Shure’s SM7B is another great one in his collection, but that’s more of a studio mic.

But as if the aforementioned AEA wasn’t expensive enough, Jack has Neumann U67 in his collection.

x1_U-67-with-Z-48_Neumann-Studio-Tube-Microphone_G

Considered by many to be one of the best large-diaphragm condenser mics, this is one of the company’s best-selling and longest-running products.


Conclusion

The White Stripes are among the rare authentic-sounding bands you can listen to today, even though they’ve broken up.

This combination of two extremely talented people has rightfully gained a lot of attention over the years. Meg is killing it on drums while Jack is just impressive both as a guitar player and a vocalist.

With his other projects, Jack has branched out a lot and has tried many different styles, but his guitar playing is always a huge focus.

What really makes his style of playing guitar special is the fact that he likes to mix things up from song to song. This applies to the nature of the riffs as well as the color of his tone.

Sometimes he’ll dial in that standard overdrive tone with scooped mids and lows, while other times he goes harder on the bass. From clean to dirty, almost no gain to full-on gain saturation, Jack White keeps surprising with every new song.

jack-white-playing-live

If you are interested in replicating the tone he uses most often, you will either have to dig deep into vintage guitars or find something modern which fits the description.

Semi-hollow models are going to be your best bet, that is for sure. In terms of amps and effects pedals, it all comes down to a good vintage overdrive and a decent set of tubes. Big Muff Pi combined with a compressor of some kind should get the job done in most cases.

If you’re feeling super ambitious and experimental, then a Digitech Whammy can be a good addition. But if you really want to fully replicate his tones, this might be a very expensive pursuit.

As we’ve already explained, he has some very pricy guitars, amps, and effects in his arsenal. Just imagine how high the prices for those vintage Fenders can get.

But at the end of the day, Jack managed to infuse a rather simple concept with a type of complexity of his own. It’s not about how what you have but how you use it – that seems to be his ideology.

Gear Used On Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon

dark-side-of-the-moon-recording-sessions

There’s no doubt that Pink Floyd has left an invaluable impact on modern rock music, spawning a whole new genre of its own, or at least proliferating it to a point where it entered the mainstream.  I’m referring to, of course, psychedelic rock. 

No band before or since Pink Floyd have been able to make such experimental yet accessible music and take it to such a wide audience as this band.

pink floyd dark side of the moon tour

Despite having a wealth of material spread across a multitude of albums and singles that true fans are well aware of, for the most part, this legendary band is known for two groundbreaking and chart topping albums.

There is really no debate in the music community which of Pink Floyd’s are the biggest in terms of mass appeal.  One album is The Wall and the other is The Dark Side of The Moon. The former seems to be a bit more popular among the general population.

After all, you will hardly find a person who hasn’t heard Another Brick in The Wall in one way or another.  Rock radio made sure, and still makes sure, of that.  With that said, the story of The Wall draws its roots from The Dark Side of The Moon.

pink floyd the dark side of the moon

This album not only sets the course of Pink Floyd as a band, but it also gave them a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t in terms of aligning their vision with the production resources they’ve had at their disposal at the time.

They had, at this point, become aware of their personal and collective musical appetites, and realized just what kind of studio they will need, knowing that the creative process has to be respected, and also, how they function both as individual musicians and as a collective unit. 

Their creativity seemed to be bursting off prismatically in all directions at this point, as the famous album cover suggests, but it can be taken the other way too, where multifarious hues combine to focus into one beam of pure light.


The Concept for The Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd – and all of its individual members – have elevated the sense of contemporary rock music to a whole new level. While every band at the time was trying to tell a story of their own, Pink Floyd took this mission much further than anyone has ever done before with The Dark Side of the Moon.

If you look at the sheer amount of effort that went into their albums, it was always multi-layered, both lyrically, musically, and texturally.  But Dark Side of the Moon was where they took things to another level, certainly, in terms of the scope of the concept, and the gear that was needed to express such a concept.

pink-floyd-photo-70s

Every song, every effect on this album had tangible meaning, and the only way you could convey these very elaborate expressions into something that actually made sense was to have the right kinds of musical tools at your disposal.

This fact became painfully clear after long and fruitful experiment sessions. The band was onto something.

Pink Floyd soon had the music down for the most part, knowing exactly what kind of vibe they were after, but they simply lacked the necessary tools to build and complete their vision the way it was meant to be.

The moment of realization that more serious approach needs to be taken, happened sometime before the May of 1972. During that month, the band went to the famous Abbey Road Studios and started actively recording.

Here’s the band back in 1971, bonding over oysters, previous to their arrival at Abbey Road.  Wonder if those oysters were any good…


Dark Side of the Moon – Equipment

There are several reasons why the band chose this specific studio to record The Dark Side Of The Moon.

At the time, it was the most advanced studio in the country, and probably elsewhere, which allowed them to record everything just the way they wanted to.

One of the big parts of that whole process were the EMI TG12345 consoles.

Abbey Road EMI TG-12345

Back in those days, these were state of the art instruments for studio production.

The band was able to work with up to 16 track mixes at any given moment, which completely changed the game. Previous to that point, the most Pink Floyd ever had a chance to work with was 8 track mixing at best.

Aside from a powerful console that was the foundation of the entire project, EMS VCS-3 synth played a significant role in the creation of this album.

ems_vcs3_the_putney

A lot of loops and effects were inserted into a variety of songs from the album using this synth.

In some ways, you could probably say that The Dark Side of The Moon wouldn’t be the same as those subtle details really put the whole album into a class of its own.


David Gilmour’s Dark Side Gear

When it comes to personal rigs of each of the band members, we can start with David Gilmour.

As you would expect, his main axe was the 1969 Black Strat packed with the standard Fender pups and a custom switch that allowed Gilmour to select more versatile pickup combos.

Here’s Gilmour discussing his famous Black Strat.

Sometime between the first and the second recording session of Dark Side of the Moon, he installed a Gibson PAF humbucker between the bridge and middle pickup.

However, whether or not he used this setup for recording is not known at this point. 

The other axe he used was a 1970 Strat with a mahogany body and custom pups. This one was used for Brain Damage and several other songs.

david-gilmour-recording-at-abbey-road-studios

Selection of amps came down to Hiwatt DR103 All Purpose 100W heads combined with Maestro Rover rotating speakers, some Leslie cabs and WEM Super Starfinder cabs.

His effects pedals included, but were not limited to Binson Echorec PE 603 EMS and Synthi Hi-Fli guitar effect processor.

Here’s a video that shows the sound of the Synthi Hi-Fli in action…

Roger Waters Dark Side Gear

Roger Waters used the same Fender Precision bass that the band had purchased after their gear was stolen in 1970.

During the recording of The Dark Side of The Moon, the bass has been modified by replacing the standard rosewood neck with a Charvel maple neck and a set of Kluson tuners.

fender-roger-waters-precision-bass-830471

Richard Wright Dark Side Gear

Richard Wright had a experimented with his setup during the recording. For example, he used a Wurlitzer electric piano that was routed through a wah pedal.

This is also the time when he was at the peak of experimentation with synths.

That VCS-3 we have mentioned earlier saw a lot of use, but Wright also played around with a Minimoog and ARP String Ensemble.

richard_wright_rig

Nick Mason Dark Side Gear

Nick Mason was using whatever there was available at the studio, although he also experimented with sound in some ways.

The most memorable instance would be the specially coated bass drum that was created specifically to recreate the sound of a heartbeat.

Here’s an interview with Nick Mason where he talks about The Dark Side of the Moon at length, providing valuable insights.

If you still crave more, this next video features both Nick Mason and Alan Parsons, discussing the album.


Ramifications

The way The Dark Side of The Moon turned out had a large impact on the next big album the band was going to release seven years later.

In many ways, they have learned valuable lessons from The Dark Side of The Moon, which is pretty obvious once you play The Wall.


Conclusion

Pink Floyd is one of the most influential rock bands to ever grace the earth.

Pink-Floyd-resize-1f

Their music has depth like you will hardly find today, which was created with equipment that is from the stone age compared to what artists have at their disposal today.

With them, it was all about the vision and the story The Dark Side of The Moon was meant to tell.

This legendary album will go down as one of the most important ones in the history of music, but rarely will anyone look at the equipment that was used to bring it to life.

We hope that we’ve given you some insight into the behind the scenes tools which the band used at the time.

Here’s a mini documentary about the making of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.  If you haven’t seen it…see it!  This is followed by the band playing the album live in 1974.

James Munky Shaffer Guitar Setup And Rig Rundown

james-munky-shaffer-guitar-setup-rig-rundown

While nu metal was not really all that new at the time, Korn definitely stirred up the waters when they showed up. They have introduced a whole new tone to the game, with their super down-tuned bass lines and driving riffs.

The public responded accordingly., giving the band enough attention to launch them into a stardom.

Aside from Jonathan Davis and his piercing vocals, it’s fair to say that James ‘Munky’ Shaffer had a lot to do with designing and shaping the overall tone of the band.

When Head left, it was Shaffer who kept the band together, rewriting just about every song they’ve had so it could be played by him alone.

No matter what you think about this genre of music or Korn as a band, doing what Munky did and doing it successfully takes some skill.

The effort eventually paid off when Head returned and the band more or less continued where they stopped.

Due to his rather unique tone, we wanted to check out what type of gear Shaffer has been using and still does. In many ways knowing this piece of information is key to understanding Korn and where their sound comes from.


James “Munky” Shaffer – Rig Rundown

Shaffer and Welch did something not many guitar players even considered doing before. They have managed to write guitar lines which tell a story, while at the same time leaving enough space for Arvizu to just pave the way with his bass guitar.

The resulting tone is something that can smash a solid rock into pieces, only countered by Jonathan’s balanced vocals. Achieving this type of harmony is not easy, especially if you don’t have the right gear for the job.

We are going to start the rundown of Munky’s favorite equipment with a quick look at his guitars, later we are going to focus on the amps, and finally his effects pedals.


Ibanez Genesis Collection Rg550 – Purple Neon

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Bogner Uberschall Distortion/Boost Guitar Effects Pedal

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Digitech Freqout Natural Feedback Creation Guitar Effects Pedal With 2 Path Cables For Guitars, Instrument Cable And Zorro Sounds Instrument Cleaning Cloth

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Guitars

When it comes to guitars, Shaffer is known for sticking with Ibanez through thick and thin.

With that said, it’s just any Ibanez that he found suitable for his intended application – it’s the K7. This seven string model had all the girth Shaffer needed to create those low, hard-hitting tones that Korn eventually became famous for.

james-munky-shaffer-ibanez-k7

However, K7 is just one of many Ibanez models he as. There’s a K14, an RG8 and even the UV7BK which is also known as the Steve Vai signature model. That K7 and K14 have been developed with his input, and needless to say, they are brutal guitars in every way.

What surprises a lot of people is the fact that Munky also has a taste for Gibsons and Fenders. He owns a 1964 Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul BFG, and even an elusive Gibson lap steel guitar.

Can you even imagine Shaffer rocking a Strat? Neither can we, but a musician of his caliber deserves a lot more leeway when it comes to taste in guitars. There’s no doubt that Shaffer is capable of a lot more than he lets on.

Munky also designed his own Ibanez signature APEX series of guitars, including the 200 and the 20, which he talks about in the video below.


Amps

If his guitars are any indicator, Shaffer is a straight shooter. He finds what works and sticks to it.

This policy definitely applies to his amps as well. For the most part, the tone and distortion you hear in the majority of Korn songs come straight from the tubes of a Messa/Boogie Tripple Rectifier.

Three of them to be more exact. However, these are not alone.

mesa-boogie-triple-rectifier-solo-head-344304

He also has a Diezel VH4. Each of these four amp heads corresponds to a specific channel. Instead of switching through clean and dirty settings on one head, Shaffer simply took four heads and hooked them up to achieve a more robust setup.

This ultimate combo is ran directly into three Mesa/Boogie cabs which feature four 12 inch Celestions each. All things considered, Shaffer’ss main setup packs a whole lot of firepower.

Aside from his main configuration, Munky also has a vintage Marshall Plexi, a Bogner Uberschall, and a Vox AC30.

All three of these were actually used to record ‘The Path of Totality’ some time ago. Shaffer applied the same policy with these amps and used each one as a standalone channel.


Effects Pedals

Shaffer himself describes his pedalboard as a spaceship. The reason why becomes obvious once you take a single glance at it.

Not only is it always full with various pedals, but the pedalboard he runs is a custom piece likes of which you simply don’t get to see all that often. It’s complex and extensive, to say the least. munky-james-shaffer-pedal-board

As for specific stompboxes he has on there, one that really peaked our interest is the DigiTech Metal Master.

You would think that a pedal of this type would simply be unnecessary considering those three Triple Rektos in the back, but Munky has other ideas.

Essentially, that Boss MT-2 Metal Zone gives the dirty channel he runs a bit more width and range. When it comes to other effects pedals, there are so many.

We can single out the Dunlop Cry Baby 105Q Bass Wah and the good old Big Muff Pi from Electro-Harmonix.

DigiTech Whammy is there, along with DigiTech X-Series Synth Wah, and the Chimera Synthesis bC9.

Shaffer is definitely one of those guitar players who isn’t reluctant to build up a complex signal chain and use the tone of his guitar as a canvas.


Final Thoughts

James Shaffer’s guitar rig is among the more complex ones you can run into.

With that said, his choice of equipment perfectly describes what kind of artist he actually is.

Always on the lookout for ways to enrich his tone and make it better, Shaffer is the master of signal chains.

If you are trying to perfectly match the tone of Munky’s guitar setup, you might just find out it’s not as easy as it seems.

james-shaffer-ibanez

There are a lot of factors in the play, some of which even seem excessive.

Either way, Shaffer’s skills and choice of equipment gave Korn its identity. That is something we can definitely respect.

Mike McCready Guitar Setup And Rig Rundown

mikemccready59-lp

The ’90s were a rather turbulent period for music in general.

Several genres skyrocketed in popularity, the scenery changed, and you could say that the stereotypical 1980’s shredder hair/glam metal bands, with that weird combination of uber-macho / feminine / androgynous appearance with their KISS inspired non-stop party music, were losing their traction at the very beginning of the decade.  Later gators!

The new type of rock music was appearing, dealing with different, more serious, lyrical topics, with an appropriate hard hitting, dark, and gritty sound to accompany this exciting new poetry-infused music.

Labeled as grunge with the emergence of the 4 grunge “gods” as they’re sometimes referred to as (Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam), we saw the rise of these soon to be huge musical acts, along with various different bands playing in this style that emerged in the very end of the 1980s and the early 1990s.

Among those bands featuring this new hybrid sound that really took off in this particular time frame, Pearl Jam holds a very special place for many rock fans even to this day.

pearl-jam-band-photo

For the fans, Pearl Jam are one of the pillars of Seattle’s grunge scene, with a huge output over the past almost-30 years.  Only Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains remain of the four great so-called grunge acts.

However, many will tell you that you can’t really say that Pearl Jam exactly fits into any specific genre or style of music – they are just simply Pearl Jam.  Calling them a “grunge” band is not really strictly true, but fans have taken to doing it over the years and so the label has stuck.

But whatever the case may be, and whatever your views are on their style, this band has formed one of the most authentic followings in the world of rock and they are still continuing to impress music fans of all different genres worldwide.

Their fan base has managed to remain loyal to the band even despite the fact that they completely disappeared from the world’s music scene at one point, ceasing all activity right down to giving occasional interviews here and there.

What attracted so many people to Pearl Jam was the recognizable hard-driving music that’s complemented with appropriate lyrics and profound message in them.

Something relatable to many young kids at the time, and something that still has meaning even today.

Aside from Eddie Vedder, the vocalist, one person who had a lot of influence on Pearl Jam’s style was Mike McCready.  This man has truly earned his place in guitar history from the number of riffs he’s written, to his prowess on the instrument, to simply the sheer passion he emotes when he plays.

mike-mccready-guitar-setup-rig-rundown

As a guitar player, he gave Pearl Jam their very own signature sound, consisting of powerful riffs and intriguing lead sections that can either be akin to a searing blues-infused solo, or it can be something weird and effects-based that is a pedal-based concoction no one but Mike McCready could have come up with.

Yes, both Stone and Ed wrote their share of great riffs too, but when it comes time to put a stamp on a song to make it sound sonically unique, that honour usually goes to McCready.

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at what he used to build that great tone which has been and remains as one of the most easily recognizable tones over the past few decades or so.


Mike’s Rig

When we said that you can’t really lump Pearl Jam into any specific category, it is because you can hear a mix of various genres in just about any of their songs. Mike McCready is always very specific about his tone, which has to be perfectly fine tuned in every aspect.

He, along with Stone Gossard, the rhythm guitar player, never seems really all that worried about the genre label that Pearl Jam are put into.

mike and stone

First and foremost, they were aiming to write good music, and give the lyrics a suitable vessel that would deliver the message in the best way possible. Which is something they most certainly succeeded in early on and it is something they continue to do.

With that being said, let’s check out the gear McCready has been using over the years. And, as always, we’re going to start with his guitars.


Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro Heritage Cherry Sunburst (Renewed)

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Marshall Amps 1987X 50 Watt Plexi Head Amplifier Part (M-1987X-01-U)

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Ibanez Ts9 Tube Screamer – Classic

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Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 Classic Di And Amp Simulator

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Guitars

Unlike most guitar players who have reached his level of popularity, Mike was always running back and forth between two brands – Fender and Gibson.

Which might be unusual as most of the guitar players are quite often very strict about picking sides between these two legendary guitar brands and long-lasting competitors.

He started with a 1952 and 1953 Blonde Telecaster, only to move to a Gibson Les Paul Junior with double cuts. Two guitars he is most known for are the King of Kings ’59 Les Paul and the Fender 70’s Stratocaster Sunburst.

Speaking of the latter, he has several guitars that fit the description.

King of Kings Les Paul is still one of his favorite instruments. He got it back in in the day for some $25,000 which he managed to pull off by trading a bunch of guitars aside from fronting some cash.

This being a ’59 Les Paul, it is highly valued among guitar players and guitar collectors, who often refer to these instruments as the so-called “Holy Grail” of guitars.

Many other guitar legends, including Mr. Billy Gibbons, have any kind of ’59 Les Paul in their collection.

All things considered, that purchase was most certainly a great investment seeing how this specific model goes for as high as half a million dollars these days.

When it comes to some of the more unusual guitars in his inventory, McCready has a Gibson Flying V from the 1980s, and a 1991 Gretsch Silver Jet Reissue. The Flying V in question is white with white pickguard.

mccready gibson flying v

Interestingly enough, one of his main axes as of lately is the David Gilmour Signature Strat.

This guitar, made by Fender, is the replica of David Gilmour’s legendary Black Strat and is a model that the Pink Floyd guitarist himself had input in creating.

Speaking of which, Gilmour’s original Black Strat, the one he used for recording various songs over the years, was sold for over $3.9 million, making it the most expensive guitar in history so far.

Aside from these, McCready had some other models in his collection.

There’s the peculiar looking vintage-inspired Jeff Tweedy Signature Gibson SG with the Bigsby-style tremolo bridge.

Mike McCready's Gibson Jeff Tweedy Signature SG Electric Guitar

There is also one white double-neck Gibson EDS-1275 with a black pickguard, Gretsch 1955 White Falcon Electric Guitar, Fender Jazzmaster, Gibson Firebird, and even an Ibanez Iceman.


Amps

When it comes to amps, McCready has been known to use a variety of different brands and amp models.

Some of the more common models in his possession are the Marshall Plexi head and the accompanying Marshall 1960B cab with four 12 inch speakers.

These classic cabinets are very well-known for their Celestion speakers.

To be more precise, they’re the G12M Greenbacks and these particular speakers are voiced in such a way to give more clarity in the higher end spectrum of the tone while still retaining the power of the lower-end.

There’s also the legendary Fender Bassman Combo amp from 1959, as well as another classic amp used by many guitar heroes over the years, the Vox AC30.

vox ac30

If you think about it, Mike always pushed the ‘standard’ configuration of guitars and amps, modelling his tone mostly through using different effects pedals.

However, when we’re talking about someone like McCready, that is an approach to guitar tone is always subject to change.

Case in point, these days McCready is all about the 65 Amps. Something along the lines of the Empire or London has been seen resting on top of one Savage combo.

65 amp

A good chunk of his sound comes from the amps, and this sudden change to 65 Amps is just another move by McCready in his search for the perfect tone.

Looking past these, Mike also uses a somewhat rare Satellite Atom head, bearing the power of 36 watts. There is also, of course, the legendary JCM800 in his rig, Union Jack HG, and another Fender Bassman in the form of an amp head.

But looking at all these amps, he’s clearly a fan of those vintage tones yet he puts his own different twist to it.


Effects Pedals

If you were to take a look at McCready’s pedalboard at any given show, you would find a very busy setup that would rarely be the same one or two shows after.  After all, he’s very picky about his tone and loves to try out new things on a regular basis.

With that said, there are some pedals which Mike liked enough to keep around as constants. Let’s start things off with a few overdrives. For a long, long time, Mike was using mostly Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer.

Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer - Classic

This doesn’t really come as a surprise as this overdrive has been one of the most desired pedals over the years, used as either the main dirt box or as an additional boost for drive channels of tube amps.

There have also been some speculations about him using the Ibanez’s alternate version from the 1980s, known as the TS10 Tube Screamer. However, this has not been officially confirmed.

These were his primary choices when some bark had to be added to the tone. These days, he moved over to the Way Huge Green Rhino.

This pedal is a bit more niche in nature but still has that vintage style vibe and can deliver some serious tones. In addition, it is a bit more versatile than the good old Tube Screamer due to having more parameters to tweak.

There are also some other drives in his rig, like the very small, compact, and pretty simple to use Lovepedal AMP 50 Overdrive.

mike-mccready-pedal-board

When it comes to other effects, you could see an XO Micro POG from Electro-Harmonix, Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere, as well as Boss OC-2 Octave.

His most current setup consists of pedals such as Xotic’s AC Booster Overdrive (which certainly comes in handy for boosting those vintage tube amps in his collection), the MXR MC-404 Crybaby Dual Inductor Wah, Diamond’s Compressor, Line 6 DL4 Delay and more.

As for some other wah pedals, Mike has been known for his use of the standard classic Vox wah and the classic Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby.

He definitely keeps mixing things up, but the core of his sound is more or less consistent in nature and you’ll always be able to recognize McCready when you hear him play, both on studio albums or live recordings.


Conclusion

Mike McCready is one of those guitar players who is always searching for new ways to spice up his signal chain.

Aside from the guitars for which he has developed a pretty distinctive taste, every other part of his gear is prone to experimentation even after all this time.

If you were on a mission to emulate his tone, you would first need to figure out which album you are going for. And you’ll definitely need a solid budget if you want to get it really close to what he’s doing.

However, while it might not be that easy, you’ll be able to pull it off as long as you have a Fender Strat, a Marshall amp like the JCM800, and the Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer or any of its different clones and variants. But at the same time, you’ll definitely need to sit down and tweak the knobs for hours until you finally manage to get it going in Mike’s direction.

Even though grunge musicians were never really known for their finesse, Mike and Pearl Jam took things into a bit more complicated direction. That is the main reason why he is considered to be one of the best guitar players in rock music.

Overall, looking at different guitars and pieces of gear, it is clear that Mike McCready is most definitely a fan of the vintage stuff.

While his tone is not a complete replica of the ones we can hear with those older players, it certainly relies on the classic ’60s and ’70s guitar sounds.

But in the end, as we already mentioned above, he gives his own twist to it and creates that grittier tone that goes well even with the more modern standards in rock and heavy metal music.

With this being said, Mike McCready’s playing and his guitar tone that evolved over the years are both worthy of our praise.

mike_mccready_59_sunburst_stratocaster_fender

Aside from defining one movement and even bringing it to a higher level, his work in Pearl Jam has been crucial for the countless generations of guitar players worldwide. If you’re trying to replicate his different tones, you’re definitely not alone as he’s one of the most looked upon guitar players of all time.

Tom Morello Guitar Setup And Rig Rundown

tom-morello-arm-the-homeless-guitar

Rage Against the Machine is one of those rare bands that started their work back in the 1990s and who managed to push something completely new.

Oftentimes carrying a strong political message within their work, they reached great success and cemented their place in the history of rock and metal music.

Now, you don’t usually see bands taking this route, as everyone knows how risky it may be. And, for most, this approach has backfired. However, this is not the case with Rage Against the Machine.

Taking a listen to their songs, the music and lyrics complement each other perfectly, delivering a really strong punch.

But for a band that has created such powerful tunes, you would think that one guitar simply wouldn’t be enough.

That might have been the case if the guitar player in question was anyone other than the almighty Tom Morello.

The genius of this man is elusive to a lot of critics. Morello’s ability to use his guitar as more than just an instrument is impressive, to say the least. Listening to any of the Rage hits will show you exactly what we mean.

Morello certainly knows how to balance his tone in such a way that he could go crazy with solos, but still align himself and work together with the bass guitar and drums for that extra girth.

Even though that is pretty much all about skill, having the right equipment surely plays its part. After all, a master of such caliber would need some great guitars, amps, and pedals to use his full potential.

So with all this in mind, we thought that we could do a brief overview of Tom Morello’s guitar rig, and talk about his primary choice of gear over the years.

The instruments and the setup, however, are not exactly conventional. Morello had a very specific approach, managing to push the boundaries of guitar-oriented music without using too much of a complicated rig in most cases.

Although not having quite a complex rig, he revolutionized the guitar and managed to inspire guitarists and other instrumentalists way outside the world of rock and heavy metal music. So let’s dig into it.


Ibanez S570Ah – Silver Wave Black

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Digitech Whammy Pedal Re-Issue With Midi Control

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Rig Rundown

And just like we usually do, the first point of business is going to be Morello’s guitars.

After that, we are going to quickly jump into some amps, and wrap up the whole thing by going into some details about his pedals and effects he’s used over the years.

For the most part, replicating the essence of Morello’s tone is not that much about gear, but it’s good to know that a relatively simple setup can get you on the right path.

Without further ado, here are all the details.


Guitars

If you take a peek into Morello’s guitar storage, you will see a variety of awesome and interesting guitars.

There will be some pretty standard models like the Gibson Explorer or SG, but there will also be some that are very unusual, like that Ovation Breadwinner he owns. But we’ll get to that.

With all that said, there is indeed only one guitar that is associated with Morello during his Rage Against The Machine years. We are talking about his famous Arm The Homeless custom piece.

This instrument has been by his side throughout his entire career. Here he is showing Carson Daly some of his ingenious scratching techniques with his famous guitar.

When Morello got this guitar from an LA shop in 1986, he went on to pick and choose every single detail on the guitar. The basis for the whole project was a blue Strat type body.

The main difference between this one and any standard Strat comes from the fact that Morello’s choice was loaded from the rear, not the front.

The neck he went with, in the end, was a Kramer design made of graphite, which is a rather interesting choice. Hardware wasn’t standard either.

The choice of the bridge was reduced to Ibanez Edge locking tremolo. Even though this might surprise some folks considering that Floyd Rose would have probably been a more logical solution, that Ibanez design fits Arm The People perfectly.

tom-morello-arm-the-homeless-guitar

In terms of electronics, we are looking at an EMG setup consisting of a somewhat standard EMG 85 and EMG H combo.

The guitar was used throughout his Rage Against The Machine career extensively, while he also used it recently while playing with Audioslave.

Interestingly enough, his first impression when he got the guitar out of the shop was rather negative.

After all, back in those days, it wasn’t exactly the easiest task for an unknown musician to acquire a good custom-built guitar.

The original version of the guitar had a few different parts and was modified as the years went by. Now, years later, it’s his main ax.

arm the homeless guitar

Another important guitar in his arsenal is that black Fender Stratocaster with the “Soul Power” writing on it.

The guitar was made sometimes around the year 2000, and Morello used it extensively during his time in Audioslave.

Featuring alder body, maple neck, and a rosewood fingerboard, it has the standard Stratocaster measures, like the 25.5-inch scale length.

big_Tom+Morello+tommorellosoulpowernightwatchm

As for the pickups, we can find Seymour Duncan Hot Rails on the bridge and two single-coils in the middle and neck positions. The guitar is also known for its mirrored pickguard, as well as the Ibanez Edge locking tremolo bridge.

Morello is also known for his use of Fender Telecasters, and there are a few of these in his collection. For instance, there’s the American Standard with the sunburst finish.

But the best-known of his Teles is the black “Sendero Luminoso,” which was his main instrument for drop D tunings.

Sendero Luminoso Guitar

As for other Teles, we have the American Designer edition and the custom-built James Trussart Steelcaster. The latter one is pretty weird, featuring that rust-like finish.

Now, there’s another somewhat unusual choice in his guitar collection, the Ibanez Artist that was custom built for Morello, sometime in the late 1990s. And this is a pretty interesting piece and an important one for Morello.

tom morello ibanez custom as200

First off, we have the black and red finish, which symbolizes some of Morello’s main political views. But what’s thoroughly exciting is the fact that this instrument comes with some built-in effects.

Morello used this instrument over the years, most notably on “Guerrilla Radio,” as well as on Cypress Hill’s “Rise Up.” We also got the chance to see him holding this one during Prophets of Rage shows.

There are plenty of other guitars we should mention. For instance, there’s a rather odd guitar Ovation Breadwinner. He was seen with the instrument, but not much is known about his particular model. They’re solid body guitars made of mahogany.

morello breadwinner

There are some SG models in there as well, like Kay K-20T. This was actually the first guitar he ever purchased and is a cheap beginner instrument.

Nonetheless, Tom still keeps this one as an important part of his playing career. Of course, there’s also the double-neck SG, the legendary Gibson EDS-1275 model. It’s not one that he uses that often, but it’s still worth mentioning here.

He also owns one Gibson Explorer, the E2 model painted gold. According to Morello, he spent countless hours practicing on this instrument.

To make things more interesting, he added a Kahler tremolo bridge on it, which is quite an unconventional addition to such an instrument. He also said that this modification ruined the guitar’s tone.

Although acoustic guitars are not much of his thing, we can find a few interesting ones in there. For instance, there’s the legendary Gibson J-45 and the Ibanez GA6CE which is a nylon-string instrument.


Amps

Those who know Morello probably also know that he’s a Marshall man to the bone. Ever since he started playing guitar, he used a Marshall amp of some sort.

When his first one got stolen, Morello went on to buy a JCM 800 2205 head, which he used extensively until just recently.

The head was paired with a Peavey 4 12 cab, not so much due to his taste, but rather pure necessity. That was the only cab available at the store when he went to pick up that Marshall Head.

tom-morellos-favorite-guitar-and-marshall-amp

This combo stuck around with Morello for a long, long time. He grew to love the tone, including the cab. Whatever you may think about his approach to amplification, you simply have to respect his utilitarian style.

Lately, however, Morello introduced some different amps. One of the few names that stand out is the Vox AC30, the reissued version, and the Marshall Lead 20 combo.

But other than these few shared examples, Tom Morello’s amp setup wasn’t exactly the most colorful one. He’s pretty much a Marshall guy.


Effects Pedals

When it comes to effects pedals, we see that same Spartan approach as well. If there’s a single effect that became synonymous with Morello, it has got to be Digitech WH-1 Whammy.

digitech-whammy-pedal-re-issue-with-midi-control

Ever since he found this modern classic, Tom fell in love with it. After all, you can see just how much of his tone was invested in this unit by listening to a variety of Rage Against The Machine songs.

The most notable example is the solo in “Killing in the Name” where he uses the full potential of the DigiTech Whammy and jumps up an octave and back throughout this whole section.

Aside from his trusty Whammy, Morello also used, and still uses a Jim Dunlop Crybaby Wah. In terms of pure modulation, there’s a small cluster of pedals that include Boss TR-2 Tremolo, Ibanez DFL Flanger, and others.

The aforementioned Ibanez’s DFL Flanger pedal is a rather interesting piece. This one was made back in the 1980s, and no other series of Ibanez pedals had anything similar. It’s a rare pedal and he still uses this same thing for live and studio work.

Distortion, or rather, overdrive, was always sourced from the amp. There are, however, a few simple and classic distortion pedals. The best example is MXR’s M-104 Distortion Plus. It’s one of the company’s best-known and longest-produced pieces.

He is also known for using his Boss DD-3 Digital Delay to make things space-like at times. Occasionally, Tom will also use a phaser pedal, most notably the MXR M101 Phase 90.

He also has a special place in his heart for analog delays. Just like the old Ibanez Flanger we mentioned, Ibanez’s AD9 delay is an analog piece relying on the so-called bucket brigade devices. As a result, the pedal gives that warmer and a little “muffled” tone, at least compared to digital products.

Like we already said, Tom Morello likes to keep things tidy. There’s nothing too complex about his rig, yet he still manages to deliver some of the best and most easily recognizable tones.


Conclusion

You could say that Tom Morello is one of those guitar players who know how to do more with less.

Whether it’s the simple fact of not having to deal with a complicated signal chain or his love for a pure tone, Morello never really complicated his guitar rig all that much.

It just so happens that this type of approach worked out perfectly with his style of playing, and the music he was creating.

That also translated well when he moved on from Rage Against The Machine and joined Audioslave.

Getting his exact tone comes down to a pair of EMGs and a decent Marshall amp.

This combo is probably as generic as it gets these days, meaning that any fan out there shouldn’t have much of a problem replicating Morello’s tone with high levels of accuracy. With that said, the impact this man had on the ’90s music scene is still to be fully revealed.

Rage Against The Machine gave a whole generation a common banner to stand behind together. Often criticized for their political standpoints, they are one of the few bands who stayed true to their cause.

John Mayer’s Guitar Setup And Rig Rundown

john-mayers-favorite-amps

In every generation of musicians, there will be a couple of those that stand out from the rest. It’s the type of artist you can instantly know will reach the stars, and become one of the best in their respective fields. 

During the ’60s we had Jimi Hendrix while the next decade was all about Eric Clapton.  Today, one name that definitely has the necessary potential to join the rock and roll hall of fame is John Mayer.

Whether or not you like his music, you have to admit that he has some serious skill in his fingertips. Not only that, but he can sing as well. What makes Mayer so special is his ability to fuse various genres of music in a way that actually sounds great.

With that said, a lot of people are wondering just what kind of gear is necessary to replicate his tone. As you are about to find out, Mayer uses a pretty standard setup which makes it easy to dial in his sound for the rest of us.

We are going to go over his guitars, amps and effects pedals today, which should give you a clear enough picture of what his tone is made of. Without further ado, let’s get on it.

Rig Rundown

If you really think about it, most of the modern guitar wizards can be divided into two types. There are going to be those who are heavily dependent on various equipment to create their sound, and then there are those who like a more basic setup.

Mayer is somewhere in the middle. His pedalboard is definitely saturated with different pedals, but most of them fall within what you could consider as average. On that note, let’s check out what kind of guitars Mayer is playing these days.

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Let’s dig in!


Prs John Mayer Silver Sky Signature Series Electric Guitar Horizon W/Gig Bag An

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Favorite Guitars

John Mayer is a huge guitar collector. On any given performance, he will have at least 10 to 20 guitars backstage, sometimes even more.

If you look closely at any of his long shows, he has a specific guitar that he uses for each song. With that said, it’s no secret that he’s a Stratocaster fan.

Mayer owns a number of Strats, including several of his signature models. His very first one was the Fender Stratocaster SRV Signature model which he got while still working at a gas station.

At that moment, he probably didn’t even think that one day he would have his own signature Strat.

Aside from his Stratocasters, Mayer loves a good Gibson tone from time to time. You will often times see a Gibson SG Stardard T in his active lineup, although there are some Les Pauls in there as well.

As of late, Mayer turned heads by rocking a PRS Silver Sky, adding yet another range of slick guitar tones to his sonic arsenal.

In terms of acoustic guitars, Mayer has a signature model Martin OM28, which is also his main go-to guitar when he needs to go unplugged.


Favorite Amplifiers

Mayer’s amps represent a very interesting combination of brands and models. For the most part, his amp setup is dominated by several Fender models.

One of the reasons for this is the pure quality of clean channels on models such as the Fender Band Master or Vibro-King. john-mayers-favorite-amps Aside from these, there are two rather special models in his inventory.

He has a Two Rock signature model of his own, and a Dumble Steel String Singer.

Both of these, combined with a Fender amp of his choice for the day, are hooked up to several Alessandro cabs which are packed full with Celestion speakers

Even though this is a bit of a non-standard combination, Mayer and his sound tech crew figured out a very sweet and balanced tone which is a result of all three amps being hooked up together.

When connected to his pedals, Mayer gets a lot of versatility in terms of tone shaping.


Effects Pedals

Before we get into various effects pedals you can see in his setup, let’s quickly mention the system that he’s using to control said pedals. Instead of a standard pedalboard, you will see him using the Custom Audio Electronics Power System.

The whole idea behind this is to have pedals in a remote location backstage, and control them using a footswitch board. Even though this might sound like a redundant solution, Mayer can actually use more pedals this way while the Power System allows him to save several presents he can call up at any time. mxr-mc403-power-system

In terms of pedals themselves, his overdrive selection comes down to the good old TS808 Tube Screamer, along with the Fulltone Fulldrive 2. Aside from these two, you will also see a Klon Centaur overdrive in there as well.  

One of his favorite stompboxes is the Keeley Katana clean booster pedal, which he likes to use in just about any of his presets. Watch this video demo of the Keeley Katana to get a feel for this little stompbox does. 

Moving on to delays, we see a Way Huge Aqua Puss and Eventide Timefactor.

As a matter of fact, Mayer actually has several Timefactors which are set up in a different way. When it comes to other pedals worth noting, we have to mention the Boss GE-7 seven-band EQ and the Boss RT-20 processor. 

And let’s not forget another one of John’s secret weapons – the Source Audio SA170 Programmable EQ pedal.


Conclusion

As you can probably see by now, there is nothing all that special in his guitar rig that is hard to obtain. You can pretty much achieve his tone by using a TS9 or TS808, a Fender Stratocaster of some sort, and a Fender amp.

If you really want to go authentic, then you would probably need to get his signature model Strat as it comes packed with rather special pickups.

Other than that, Mayer bases a lot of his sound on nothing more but his skill. With him, it’s all about making that guitar sing in ways others are rarely even trying to achieve.

Some might say it’s a bit pretentious to have approximately 40 guitars present at any given live show, but the man loves to be precise with his tone.

We hope this short rundown of John Mayer’s guitar rig has given you a good idea what he uses, and what kind of gear you’d have to get in order to replicate his tone.


John Mayer – Live in Concert

Crowther Audio Hotcake Distortion Pedal Review

crowther-audio-hotcake-pedal

Boutique grade effects pedals have been taking off in popularity in recent years. More and more people seem to be looking for something unique, which is a requirement most commercial pedals are just not capable of meeting.

The issue with boutique effects pedals is that they usually offer a pretty niche performance. Most of the time, the models in this category reflect the ideas of their creators who are usually smaller shops. Speaking of which, there are well-known and not so well-known boutique pedal shops. Some of them reach fame, while others are still pretty obscure. The one we are going to talk about today is somewhere in between.

crowther-audio-hotcake

The Crowther Audio Hotcake distortion pedal is the work of Paul Crowther – a very well known New Zealand based boutique effects pedal builder. His creations are not numerous, but he’s the type of a guy who always strives for quality over quantity. In the case of Crowther Audio Hotcake, that approach turned out to be the key to success.


Crowther Audio Hotcake Distortion Pedal Review

Boost and overdrive pedals are the essential part of every quality rock tone, especially if you are going for a more vintage vibe. Considering how close in nature these two effects are, sometimes it is hard to find the line of separation between them.

Crowther Audio Hotcake falls within that gray area. With that said, whatever magic Crowther used, it just works. A testament to the quality of Hotcake is the fact that Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits has been using this exact model for years now. It took Crowther decades to achieve that type of reach. After all, Hotcake is old enough to be considered a vintage pedal.

Take a look at this Crowther Audio HotCake demo courtesy of Tone Factor.

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Features

When you first look at the Hotcake, it looks just like most other overdrive pedals on the market. The enclosure is made of quality metal capable of taking constant abuse, which makes it great for stage use. Graphic design is reduced to a minimum. You have an all white theme with the control designations written in black, along with a Hotcake logo surrounding the foot switch. In terms of controls, you have your standard Drive, Level, and Presence.

Drive lets you adjust the amount of distortion in the signal, while presence is your EQ control. The Level knob is self-explanatory. The combination of these three knobs is more than enough to tap into both the boost side and the overdrive side of the pedal.

On the inside, you can find hand-wired circuitry and a neat little jumper that lets you switch between the standard Hotcake and Hotcake Bluesberry setting. This is a relatively new addition, which only makes the Hotcake that much more versatile in general. The pedal can either be battery powered or you can use an adapter – pretty standard stuff.

crowtheraudio_hotcakeoverdrivedistortion

Performance

The type of sound you get from the Crowther Audio Hotcake is where this pedal stands out from the competition. If you leave the Drive alone and only increase the Level, you get a booster type effect. What is truly awesome is the fact that adding distortion doesn’t influence the clean sound of your guitar.

Instead, it adds layers of overdrive while preserving the nature of the clean channel, much like a tamed fuzz box would. Once you start cranking the Drive knob, you can go pretty far without hearing any significant change in your tone. For example, with the drive at some 12 o’clock, you will still have a perfectly clear clean tone, however hitting a chord with some force will produce a light and crunchy overdrive.

The more you go clockwise, more overdrive you add to the signal. Simple as that. What people have figured out in the meantime is that Crowther Audio Hotcake works great with Vox tube amps, especially the AC line. It’s not something you want to use in an effects loop, which is also what Crowther himself recommends. The range of tone colors that are possible with the Hotcake goes anywhere from light bluesy sound to a more Plexi-like overdrive. Playing with the Presence knob reveals a whole array of great sounding configurations. The way the EQ works is pretty transparent for a pedal of this type.

Using the internal jumper switch is not something you’d want to do often. It’s there to basically allow you to adjust the pedal in a way which makes it work better with your amp. Switching between two available modes frequently can cause damage to the circuitry, or at least put the integrity of the effect at risk. Once you figure out which jumper position works for you, it’s best to leave it at that until you have a real necessity to temper with it again.

It’s worth noting that Crowther Audio Hotcake is not really a cheap pedal. It will cost you a pretty penny, but it is definitely worth it. The pure range of boost/overdrive you can achieve with this stomp box is impressive, to say the least. That type of performance is worth paying extra for.

Check out another demo for the Hotcake here, this time by YouTuber David Fisher.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, Crowther Audio Hotcake is something you would want to use for rock, blues or similar genres of music. The fact that it combines a pretty transparent boost with the ability to stack a nice layer on top of it, is great for who know exactly what kind of tone they want.

From 1976 to this day, Paul Crowther created and perfected a very capable little pedal that offers the quality and performance rarely seen these days. He is still relatively unknown outside certain circles, but those who are looking for a more refined overdrive are bound to run into his name during their research. Paul is undoubtedly a master of his trade, and he knows it.

This guy has reached a level where he doesn’t have to produce a ludicrous amount mediocre of pedals in order to stay afloat. Instead, a good amount of guitar players are turning to him for pure quality, and Crowther delivers.

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Mark Knopfler Guitar Setup And Rig Rundown

mark-knopfler-guitar-setup-and-rig-rundown

Dire Straits, one of the rare bands who had such a reach around the world without conforming to outside pressures or temporary trends. Their repertoire is full of hits that even those who don’t necessarily listen to rock know.

No matter what some people say, Mark Knopfler is definitely the brains of the whole operation.

His guitar skills, creativity, and voice are all on a level of their own. Aside from having some of the best songs in the history of rock music, this band also has a pretty refined and unique sound.

mark-knopfler-guitar-setup-rig-rundown

Again, that is in good part thanks to Knopfler, who has been the main driving force behind Dire Straits for decades. Because of that, we are going to take a closer look at Mark Knopfler’s guitar rig now and see what his regular setup consists of.

As you are about to find out, with Knopfler it is all mostly about simplicity. Even so, he has managed to dial in some of the most legendary guitar tones known to man.

Throughout his long career, we’ve mostly heard him with those crystal clear tones through his Fender Stratocasters. However, he’s also been known for his use of Gibson Les Pauls and Schecters, but we’ll get to all that in a few moments.


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Duolian Resonator Guitar Pickup With Flexible Micro-Goose Neck By Myers Pickups

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Marshall Jtm45 2245 30W Plexi Tube Head

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Crowther Audio Hotcake Effect Pedal

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Guitars

They say that one’s first guitar is always going to take a very special place on the rack, no matter how crappy it is or how many expensive guitars you get afterward. That is exactly how Knopfler views his first electric guitar.

The model in question is 1962 Hofner Super Solid V2.

mark-knopfler-1962-hofner-super-solid-v2

He received this one from his father as a gift, which was pretty cheap back in those days. Even though he has reached global fame, Knopfler still has this guitar and is most likely keeping it in a safe and secure place.

We could easily say that he will never play it on stage ever again. Glancing at this old guitar model now, it’s definitely something that looks pretty unconventional at this day and age.

It comes from the early 1960s and features an unusual looking tailpiece and a tremolo bar, two humbucker pickups, one volume and two tone controls, and a weird 3-way pickup selector switch.

Before he became a Schecter guy, Mark was riding the Gibson and Fender train for quite a while. He owns a 1959 Gibson LP Doublecut – a somewhat of a rare model that he sharpened his teeth on in terms of sound.

gibson les paul special double cut

It features two P90 pickups and a simple stop bar as a bridge. The overall features are similar to those old Les Paul Junior and SG Junior guitars.

Afterward, he got a hold of a ’61 Red Stratocaster, which would define the start of his affinity toward Strat style guitars in general.

61 red strat sultans of swing

Currently, this specific guitar is probably sitting somewhere next to that Hofner we mentioned above since it’s pretty special to Mark.

Buying it sometime before the recording of Dire Straits’ debut album, this is most likely the instrument we can hear on the band’s legendary song “Sultans of Swing.”

Check out this video where YouTuber Dusty Strings lays into the í59 Gibson Les Paul Special.

Going over to another one of his famous Stratocasters, there was also a red ’62 in his collection.

However, it is rumored that this is actually a Japanese copy. There have been many theories about this instrument over the years and there’s still some mystery of about its origins surrounding it.

Although he’s not known for these models, there have been a ’69 black Fender Telecaster and a white Gibson SG Custom with three pickups, built sometimes in the 1960s.

Now going over to some other of his memorable guitars, the 1980 Schecter Stratocaster in red is another one of his important instruments.

schecter-red-1980-2

For all the fans of Dire Straits, this is the guitar they probably imagine Mark playing when they think of the most memorable performances. The guitar came with a maple neck and Schecter pickups, which were later replaced with a set of Seymour Duncans.

There’s a 1980 Schecter Strat that he got it in the early ’80s. The guitar was played all the way through the decade, up to the early ’90s.

There have also been some other Schecter guitars in his arsenal, including a 1984 Telecaster that he used on “Cal”, which is the soundtrack to the film of the same name, released in 1984.

After using Schecters for a significant portion of his career, Knopfler later switched over to a mix of Pensa-Suhr, Gibson Les Pauls and Fender Strats.

There have also been other interesting guitars in his collection, like the Steinberger GL2 Standard. However, none of these guitars were as notable as the ones we mentioned above.


Acoustic guitars

But of course, we should not forget about his extensive use of acoustic guitars over the years. National Tricone and ’37 National Duolian Resonator are some of the most interesting instruments in his collection.

Especially the Duolian Resonator, which he got back in 1978 from Steve Phillips. The two of them actually performed under the name The Duolian String Pickers for a while.

This guitar was also used on Knopfler’s 1982 song “Telegraph Road” as well as his 1980 tune “Romeo and Juliet”.

Mark’s Martin D18, made in the 1930s, stands out as one of his favorite instruments of all time. As Mr. Knopfler explained once, this guitar has its own character and that vintage dry tone.

martin d-18 mark knopfler

As for the other acoustic guitars, he was mostly focused on Martin and Gibson guitars and he used them on numerous occasions throughout his career.


Amps

Mark’s choice of amps is a pretty interesting one. If you’ve listened to more than one album of Dire Straits, you probably have a clear enough picture when it comes to his tone. Interestingly, he used a number of different amps to get all those different types of tone.

Fender Vibrolux comes to mind as the first important amp. It was used for their first album, while it came to foreground the most on the “Sultans of Swing.”

Next amplifier that is worth talking about is the Mesa Boogie Mark II.

This one was Mark’s choice for “Brothers in Arms” album, along with the Marshall JTM45. Speaking of which, that JTM45 is responsible for the crisp tone we heard on the song “Money For Nothing”.

marshall jtm45

This is, by far, one of the company’s most famous products and one of the most diverse amps. It’s been designed after the legendary Fender Bassman amp model.

Here’s a quick demo of the Mesa Boogie Mark II.

When it comes to his main rig in more recent years, Soldano SLO100 comes up every time. It appears that Knopfler settled down on this model and decided to use it as his foundation.

This 100-watt amp is known for its great sound and great looks. First released back in the late 1980’s, it’s been used by guitar players from softer genres, all the way to crushing heavy metal.

But although Mark started his guitar playing career way back in the 1960s, he’s certainly open to new technology which is rather unusual for musicians of his age. It has been revealed in 2019 that Knopfler got into the world of digital modelling amps.

The amp (or should we say effects processor) in question is Kemper, which has also been praised by many other guitar masters, including Steve Vai.

Although somewhat of an unusual turn of events to witness him play through this, Kemper definitely manages to recreate the tone of various guitar amps, both older and newer ones.

products_head-bl-front_1280

Besides, it is way more practical for taking on those long tours overseas since it’s compact, does not require expensive maintenance, and brings more consistency. And the fact that Mark’s decision to start using it is clearly a proof of Kemper’s greatness.

Some other amps have also been present in his various rigs over the decades, including Crate VC 5212, Fender Super Sonic, Tone King Imperial MKI, Music Man 212-HD, and even Reinhardt Storm 33 which is somewhat rare to find these days.

reinhardt storm 33


Effects Pedals

If you know Mark, you probably know that he is not a big fan of effects pedals. In fact, he prefers to let this guy backstage take care of the effects almost completely.

With that said, there are some pedals he has used, which have left a mark on both his tone and understanding of guitar effects in general.

Morley volume pedal was definitely a big part of Mark’s main rig back in the day. He used it for his live performances, and it gave him the edge he needed when racked effects just couldn’t cut it.

These days he hasn’t included this Morley into his setup too many times, but it’s suspected he is still using it for studio work.

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Dunlop Cry Baby Wah is another pedal that comes to mind. However, Knopfler didn’t really use it as most other guitar players would. Instead, he fixed the wah in a certain position and played it that way.  This is one of the main secrets behind the tone on “Money for Nothing”.

Playing through his Gibson Les Paul, his Shure SM57 microphones were placed in a particular way by accident, which also contributed to the tone on this well-known song. 

Lately, Crowther Audio Hotcake seems to be his dirt of choice. The pedal is a booster/overdrive combo box and a pretty conservative one at that. With that said, Knopfler was seen playing through it on recent tours.

crowther-audio-hotcake

Read our review of the Hot Cake here

Check out this video by YouTuber Prymaxe playing the Crowther Audio Hotcake Distortion Pedal.


Accessories

One of the more interesting things that are worth mentioning is Knopfler’s affinity towards D’Addario strings. Most of his guitars are stringed with one of their models, or another.

He has chosen D’Addario quite some time ago, and he still prefers them over most other brands on the market. Just how much of an impact this decision had on his tone is hard to determine, but we believe it definitely played a part.

For the most of his electric guitars, he’s been using D’Addario EXL120 which are a 9-42 set.

EXL120-3PK-large

Although he’s clearly a fan of lighter gauge strings, his acoustic guitars mostly feature Dean Markley strings that are 12-53, which are most certainly quite heavier compared to his electric setup.

His National Tricone and National Duolian are somewhat of an exception as he uses D’Addario EJ15/3D 10-47 sets on these two guitars.

And since Mark Knopfler has been, of course, a lead vocalist all throughout his career, he always needed a solid microphone for his work. And for this purpose, Mark has been using a Shure SM58.

This particular microphone is pretty much an industry standard. This is not only due to the sound quality but also due to its ability to withstand rougher handling. As for other microphones, he’s also been seen using Audio Technica AT4055.

at4055 handheld cardioid condenser


Conclusion

If you were to ask us what single trait makes Knopfler a great artist, we’d say it is his approach to music in general. Mark’s a simple man when it comes to sound.

Give him a good amp, a good guitar and just watch him completely align everything toward a pretty awesome tone. Sure, there’s a decent number of effects in Dire Straits songs, but those are either added by technicians during recording or in the post-production process.

Knopfler himself rarely deals with that, and that is the way he always was.

mark-knopfler-corbis-970-80

Most of his tone’s character comes from his own ability to make the guitar sing. Mark’s technique and subtle details are the core of Dire Straits’ music. Those who strive to do more with less are definitely going to appreciate his style.

There are certain guitar lovers that like to say that the tone comes from the guitarist and not the gear. Whatever is your take on that, Mark Knopfler could be, in a way, a proof that this saying is true as none other would sound like him through the same rig that he’s using.

Jerry Cantrell Guitar Setup And Rig Rundown

jerry cantrell guitar setup rig rundown

They say that each decade has its own genre of music that defines it. In the ’60s it was pure rock – garage rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, hard rock, and the beginnings of metal with Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath..

When the ’80s came around, we saw glam metal draw nigh, with bands like Ratt, Warrant, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi.

However, compared to both of these genres, what took the stage in the ’90s was a lot darker – grunge – and it originated in Seattle.  Here’s a famous clip of the song “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains, written by the subject of today’s article – Jerry Cantrell.

Grunge was a relatively unique type of music whose message reached millions around the world.  It was an unlikely genre, as the musicians who played “grunge” were labelled grunge rockers by music industry people, and the fashion, if you can call it that, was based on the sort of thrift store chic, with baggy clothes, hats, combat boots, flannel, and sort of lumberjack attire as it was based out of the Pacific northwest.

You’ve probably heard of at least four (ie. the “Big Four”) famous grunge bands, and one of them is almost always going to be Alice in Chains.

The lead guitarist and the brains behind some of their most influential songs, Jerry Cantrell, can be thanked for the direction that helped the band rise to its current fame.

Their riffs are dark with elements of pure metal, some glam (from their humble beginnings), sludge rock, doom rock, and prog rock, while the style of singing that Layne used being something of a one-of-a-kind sound that was often imitated, never duplicated.

Cantrell’s vision was always crystal clear, and he had no problem realizing his goals. What we want to know today is what type of gear did he use to get that job done.


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Dunlop Crybaby Gcb-95 Classic Wah Pedal W/2 Free Patch Cables

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Eventide Timefactor Twin Delay Pedal

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Guitar Setup

Aside from a number of Gibson Les Pauls and Fender Telecasters, Jerry’s main choice in guitars mostly came down to G&L creations.

One of the most memorable models is the G&L Rampage, which he promptly modded by adding Seymour Duncan pickups and replacing the tremolo bridge.

This guitar would later be used as the basis for G&L Rampage Signature Jerry Cantrell model. His affection for what most people consider to be true Leo Fender designs doesn’t stop there.

He went on to get a G&L ASAT as well.

jerry cantrell g&l guitar

In terms of his acoustic guitars, there’s a decent number of recognizable models on his inventory list. For example, he used a Martin D-35, a Guild D50 along with their JF30 acoustic guitars.

Cantrell even played a Line 6 Variax for a period of time.


Amps

His choice of amplification had a major impact on the Alice in Chains overall tone.

Although the number of different models he was seen using over the course of his career is extensive, a clear pattern is visible once you glance over that list.

For example, he has a thing for Bogner Amps, including the Bogner Alchemist and Bogner Ubershall.

These were usually paired with Bogner cabs which featured Celestion speakers. You can also see a Fender Twin Reverb sitting alongside a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier.

However, when Eddie Van Halen gave Cantrell an EVH 5150 that changed everything.

Overnight, this became his main amp and he shows no signs of wanting to change that.

bogner-alchemist

With that said, he has one of the more developed inventories of amps.

There are numerous different heads there, including some Hiwatts, Marshalls, and more. He also used a standard Vox AC30 for some specific sections of their songs.

Needless to say, Cantrell wasn’t shy when it came to mixing things up and trying to find the exact type of sound that would fit into a song like a glove.


Effects Pedals

Effects pedals are something you will see an abundance of in Jerry Cantrell’s gear.

His pedalboard is mostly comprised of popular models, but there are some in there which are more obscure. Let’s start with the wahs.

Dunlop makes a signature model for Jerry called the Cry Baby JC95. Besides that model, he used Dunlop’s 535Q Multi-Wah as well as their Dimebag model.

dunlop-535q-multi-wah-crybaby-pedal

Cantrell’s distortions are pretty straight forward. We are talking Big Muff Pi sitting next to a ProCo Rat.

He also loves the MXR M222 Talk Box, which he uses prominently in Man in the Box.  In fact, you could credit this pedal for AiC’s fame, as Man in the Box was their first huge radio hit.

In terms of modulations, there is plenty to see. He has a Boss Chorus Ensemble, MXR Bass Octave, and even the Line 6 MM4 as well.

Among the more obscure pedals, you will find Eventide Time Factor, BBE Soul Vibe, and an ISP Decimator.

Check out this video demoing the ISP Decimator Noise Reduction Pedal courtesy of Matt Manzella.

This whole configuration, plus all the other pedals we didn’t mention, is powered by a single Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 Plus unit.

That model brings all isolated channels with enough juice to run just about any setup.

Some of you will probably wonder why didn’t go for something more professional, and that’s a question only he can answer.

In the mean time, that Power 2 Plus box is getting the job done with little to no effort.

voodoo-labs-pedal-power-2-plus

All things considered, his pedalboard is rather busy.

The fact that you can’t even hear a good portion of those effects unless you actively search for them, tells a story of how efficient he is in their use.

Often when you see pedal boards this saturated, you expect to have that guitar player just drown the signal with various effects.

Not Jerry, though. He knows how to be as subtle as it is necessary to get his message across.

Conclusion

Many critics are crediting Jerry Cantrell with shaping an entire generation and influencing future artists in a very profound way.

His alternative creativity is not something you see every day.

Even though the gear he uses is pretty extensive, and his pedalboards are usually full to the brim, Jerry is first and foremost a master of guitar.

Grunge as a genre is pretty open to all kinds of variations and personal touches. Someone like Cantrell simply flourishes in that type of environment.

He experimented a lot, both with gear and sound, only to create one of the best grunge bands of all times in the process.

With that said, copying his tone is not too difficult. In broad terms, it’s not that much different than what you can get with a somewhat decent setup.

It’s when you start going into fine details where things tend to get complicated.

Not a lot of people will equate grunge with sophistication of any kind, but the truth is definitely something else.

Cantrell might not be the best technical player in the world, but he has managed to create a revolution in other ways.

Here’s an awesome video of Jerry Cantrell giving us a rig tour thanks to Total Guitar.

Jimi Hendrix Guitar Setup And Rig Rundown

jimi-sunburst-strats-1967-2_zpss2mfmikg

Ever since electric guitars were first invented back in the ’50s, there have been hundreds of guitar players who have all been considered to be the masters of their art.

However, there is one man who probably isn’t the most technically proficient guitar player who ever lived, but that one man is considered to be the best guitar player who ever walked the earth.

The one that is at the top of every internet list all the time, and rightfully so as his playing has influenced players of all genres from jazz, blues, and all the way to the heaviest of metals.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, we are talking about none other than Jimi Hendrix.  Cue awesome and rare Hendrix solo…

There are numerous reasons why we make this claim along with thousands of other music critics.

His way of handling electric guitar was simply unique at the time. He was a lefty, but he insisted on playing a right-handed guitar turned upside down. This seemingly inconvenient method of playing allowed him to have a pretty distinctive sound and approach to his left and right hand techniques.

That sound combined with his own take on standard blues boxes is what made him one of the elite, one of the best guitarists in the history of rock music.

Even to this day, you’ll hear people praising his songwriting, guitar playing, and arrangement skills. Hendrix pretty much set the standard for all the musicians that came after him.

In this article here, we are going to go over the gear he used during his career and talk about the technical aspect of his style.

Photo of Jimi Hendrix 10 denmark


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Roger Mayer Octavia Rocket Series – Octave Effect Pedal

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Guitars

The most obvious thing anyone watching Jimi Hendrix perform for the first time would notice, are his guitars.

As we have mentioned before, he always used the right-handed models which he played inverted.

Not only did he achieve a unique tone that way, but the whole performance looked completely amazing as well.

Those who have spent some time going over the footage of his live shows and you have probably noticed that he almost exclusively used a Fender Stratocaster.

That is true for the most part. However, he used a variety of other guitars. Let’s go over some of the most notable models in his collection.

Believe it or not, Jimi’s metaphorical guitar rack was full of a variety of guitar models, some of whom were not often seen in his hands.

We will get to his Stratocasters a bit later. For now, let us start with his very first electric guitar. The model in question is a very elusive 1957 Supro Ozark 1560s.

This was a pretty cheap and rather unusual electric guitar which was gifted to Jimi by his father back in 1959.

As fate would have it, Hendrix only got to play this guitar for a year or so before it was stolen after one of his early performances. This one was made by a now mostly forgotten company named Valco.

The model itself is somewhat of a collectible item among the guitar enthusiasts, but just imagine how much it would sell for if someone was to dig up this Hendrix’s guitar and prove that it was, in fact, the one he played on.

Next guitar he got was a Danelectro Shorthorn 3012. This one was a replacement for the stolen guitar. It’s a simple instrument that was popular at the time, featuring one single-coil pickup.

There were some discussions over the years between the music historians whether this was a 2013 or a U-1 model, but it was later confirmed that this was, in fact, a 3012.

1960s Danelectro Bronze Standard

Later down the road, he got into Strats. But before that time, he owned an Epiphone, a Fender Duo-Sonic, Fender Jazzmasters, and even an old Ibanez called Jet King 2 which was pretty much a Jazzmaster copy.

The Epiphone in question was the 1961 Wilshire, and he used this particular instrument while performing with a band called King Casuals, sometime in the early 1960s.

His Strats start out with the 1964 model he got in New York City circa 1966. And that was the moment he fell in love with this specific model. The guitar was white with a rosewood fretboard, which is something Hendrix would go on to abandon completely later on in his career.

His 1965 Strat is among the more notable guitars he ever played simply because it was the first one he burned during one of his performances. This unusual practice would become his signature thing.

Check out PlayRockZone kicking out some Little Wing.  Hear that sound?

However, the most important guitar to ever be played by Jimi Hendrix is the 1968 Fender Stratocaster.

This was Jimi’s favorite guitar, and the one he played the most. It was a black Strat with a maple fretboard. Its been said that he played this very Strat the night of his death. Current whereabouts of this Strat, unfortunately, still remain a mystery.

Check out EddieVegas in this video showing off the ’68 Strat.

Aside from these, Hendrix was seen holding some other guitars at the hight of his career. There was a Bartell Black Widow, a semi-hollow body guitar that isn’t that easy to find these days. He traded it for one of the Stratocasters.

Although a Fender guy, it wasn’t that unusual for Hendrix to be seen holding an instrument made by Gibson, their biggest competitors. He owned a few Les Pauls, the most notable one was a right-handed black ’56 Custom. This one is currently owned by Hard Rock Cafe International.

Hendrix also owned two Gibson Flying V guitars. One of those is a hand-painted Flying V that Gibson even revived as a very expensive Custom Shop version in the 2000s.

Among other Gibsons, there were a few SGs in his collection. This does not come as a surprise as the SG’s design had some advantages for left-handed players who had troubles finding instruments they could use properly.

There was a white 1967 Custom Shop SG that he used over the years. This guitar is also currently owned by Hard Rock Caffe.


Amps

In terms of amps, Hendrix was a pretty straightforward type of guy. During his early days, he was very much involved with Silvertone Twin Twelves, Supro Thunderbolts, and finally the legendary Fender Twin Reverb.

Later on in his career, Hendrix became a huge Marshall fan.

Take a look at this Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve, with playing courtesy of Rocket Music.

And here is ProGuitarShop Demos with a demo of the Supro S6420+ Thunderbolt.  Behold!

He went through a huge number of Marshall Plexis which included a variety of models. Among the most notable Plexi amps, we could find is the JTM45 and 1959 Super Lead.

The Super Lead is a legendary amp, also used by many other guitar heroes of the ’60s and the ’70s. Both of these amps have that trademark vintage Marshall tone which many guitar players around the world still love to this day.

Hendrix really knew how to push those tubes to the point of breaking, which did happen more than several times during his performances.

Here’s Guitar Gear Demos with a great demo of the Marshall JTM45 1965 Plexi Vintage ORIGINAL Guitar Amp!

And here’s Brigado70 playing the Marshall 1959 Super Lead with his Gibson Les Paul..

There have been some more “obscure” amp models in his arsenal that are definitely worth mentioning. One of those is an Ampeg Portaflex, the B15-N model.

And there were also some Sunn amps in there as well, like the 100s. He even made a deal with the company to provide his band with equipment after the legendary Monterey Pop Festival.


Effects Pedals

Effects pedals are not something Hendrix is known for too widely. Which is not really a surprise since the 1960s was not exactly the era of guitar pedals and not that many of them were widely used back in those days.

All in all, there are few pedals that he implemented, with two of those being different Vox wah pedals. Wah-wah, of course, became one of the most important effects in his rig, something he even became very well-known for.

With that said, he did love one single pedal which he based his whole tone upon. That is none other than the legendary Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face.

Here’s Graemey demonstrating the power of the pedal.

Hendrix carried this thing with him just about everywhere he went. He is also one of the reasons why this particular pedal became so popular in later years.

Today, Fuzz Face is made by Dunlop and it represents a very true copy of the original one Hendrix used.

Back in the late 1960s, the Fuzz Face was made by Dallas Arbiter. The idea behind this peculiar design was for it to serve as a microphone stand. While it didn’t serve this function, it had a pretty great tone.

However, the very first series of Fuzz Face came with germanium transistors and were known for amazing tone. However, these were a bit unstable and tended to overheat, ultimately changing the tone mid-session. They were then replaced by the standard silicon transistors.

Of course, the robust and large casing would be kind of impractical these days, so Dunlop basically makes those mini versions of the Fuzz Face that nicely fit into any standard pedalboard out there.

There was another dirt box that he used, the Roger Mayer Octavia. This is an octave fuzz pedal, something that was popular at the time.

We should also not forget the legendary Univox Uni-Vibe pedal that delivered some of the best-known vibrato and chorus tones. Not to mention that it has also been seen in signal chains of many other guitar heroes throughout the decades.


Conclusion

Replicating Jimi’s sound is, seemingly, not too hard, especially with the abundance of equipment we have today and the fact that he kept everything simple.  In some ways, you could definitely scale down his whole setup to a vintage Fender Stratocaster, a Marshall Plexi and a that Fuzz Face pedal.

jimi hendrix live

However, those subtleties he was the master of – now, those are going to take a lot of skill and knowledge to get down correctly!  The list of gear we showed you here represents the most important equipment he Hendrix used during his brief career.

You can start by using a Fender Stratocaster, or even a cheaper copy although quality single-coil pickups will help you out in the process. Many Marshall amps these days and various digital modelling units also have presets that will replicate Hendrix’s tone.

If you really want to go old school, an old vintage fender, Marshall Super Lead, and the Fuzz Face will help you out. In case that’s too expensive for you, you can go with a Mexican Strat, a small tube-driven Marshall, and any kind of a fuzz pedal.

You should also not forget about Hendrix’s extensive use of wah pedals and there are many products out there specially designed to help you copy his wah tones. However, even the standard Dunlop Cry Baby GCB95 can come in handy in this case.

In the end, replicating Jimi’s tone also takes a lot of practice. Even if you had the same exact instruments and amps, it’s not exactly easy to make it all sound like him.

It will take time, but closely listening to his dynamics, the way he picked the strings, his choice of notes, and all the other things will help you get there. This is all of huge importance if you’re trying to get it close to his tone.

His skill, tone and overall charisma drove millions of peoples for decades, and chances are he will have that same effect on fans of hard sound far into the future. The gear he used to achieve his impressive sound is nothing too special.

For the most part, it’s a somewhat standard combination of guitars and amps with a sprinkle of thick fuzz. The core of his characteristic tone lies within the way he played the guitar, how he made it scream.