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Just to show I still love you guys, I've kept working on my pet project (the Celeb Rig) even while I'm banned.

So here it is: BLS's official Rig! Thanks to Chad at for photos and info.


Zakk's Buzzsaw Les Paul. This is a
Gibson Zakk Wylde signature model with Zakk's custom sawblade paint job.
Zakk wanted a guitar with the Dukes Of Hazard General Lee car colors,
and the buzzsaw design came from his right-hand-man, Tim Bolin's Zippo
Lighter. All Zakk's signature models feature EMG 81 & 85 "Zakk Wylde
Set" pickups.

Zakk's Bullseye Les Paul. This is
actually the second one Gibson made for him. He does not take the
original on tour, since getting it back from a fan who found it at a
pawn shop. This guitar originally fell out of the trailer on the
Stronger Than Death tour, and Zakk got it back a couple years ago.

Zakk's polkadot Randy Rhoads V. This guitar
was created for Zakk by GMW Guitar Works. It features Dimarzio pickups
and a Floyd Rose, which is flush-mounted to the body so it's not
floating. Zakk has an identical one featuring a white body and black
polka dots, and used both of them this summer on Ozzfest.

Zakk's amps and cabs. Zakk uses JCM800 Marshall
amplifiers with Marshall 4X12 cabs housing Electro Voice Zakk Wylde
signature "Black Label" (will be released soon!) 120 watt 12" speakers

Zakk recently started using the MXR Stereo Chorus.
Nick still uses the Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble pedal
and Zakk uses the MXR EVH Phase 90 (nick does
not) phaser pedal and Zakk and Nick both use the
Dunlop Rotovibe and Dunlop Zakk Wylde signature Wylde Wah pedals.

Zakk & Nick's road rack for strings and cleaning
supplies... this is usually how the guitar pit looks
on a daily basis...
Last edited by Danno13 at Sep 10, 2005,

Nick Catanese's red top Washburn signature ET

Nick's gray top Washburn signature ET

Nick's Washburn Dime Southern Cross.
Nick's signature Idols feature a 2 1/4" thick body with EMG 81 & 85
"Zakk Wylde Set" pickups.

Offstage, Moby uses the Korg 2000 rack mount tuners, GHS Zakk Wylde
Light and GHS Zakk Wylde Lo strings on Zakk & Nick's guitars. Zakk and
Nick both play Dunlop 1.0 tortex picks. Nick drinks Arizona Green Tea and Zakk drinks whatever's in the ice chest.

OK, beat, that's all. You can move it now.
Celebrity Rig - Mark Knopfler
I was stuck with who to do, and since not as many people know about Mark?s equipment than Eric Clapton?s and stuff I decided I?d do Mark Knopflers?s.

1937 National Style ?O? Resonator (Serial Number - B1844)
This is probably one of Mark?s most famous guitars, and has featured on every album. (Water of Love, Portobello Belle, Romeo & Juliet, Telegraph Road, The Man?s Too Strong, When it Comes to You) Featured on the cover to the album Brothers In Arms

1961 Stratocaster (SN - 80470)
This was Mark?s main guitar through 1977 to 1979, and was used extensively live. Quite easy to pick out because of its black volume knob. It has a non-standard red finish; to replicate Hank Marvin?s Strat he adored so much as a child. Also, you may notice that it has a maple fingerboard, and that they weren?t available at the time. As a result of the replacement, there is no skunk stripe. The strap button from the upper horn has been moved onto the back. These mods were done by a repair man called Sam Lee (probably sometime during 1978). The guitar can be seen on the Sultans Of Swing and Wild West End Videos. In 1982 the neck was replaced with a one piece maple Schecter neck.
1978; you can see there?s no volume knob (and you can see the strap goes behind).

Around the same time, he had another red Strat (SN - 68354), which again was painted red (was natural). However, this one remained mainly stock, with only a pickup being replaced (a Dimarzio FS-1 in the neck in the late 70?s) (As far as I know that?s the only mod). This guitar wasn?t used as often live as the one above. He still uses this guitar live today however (his main live guitar really, I?m guessing with some reissues too). This is also the basis model for his Fender Signature Strat.

During the late 70s he also used a Black Tele Thinline (SN - 226254) that belonged to his brother David. He used it live on Water Of Love between ?77 and ?79, and David used it on Wild West End. It was tuned to open A and capoed at the 5th fret. The F-holes had been filled in before hand by Steve Phillips of the Notting Hillbillies, and he also painted it black.

From around 1980, his main axe turned to a Schecter Strat copy (SN - S8218), in candy apple red with chrome dome knobs, white pickguard and individual on/off switches for each pickup. Pickups were later changed the SDs, possibly SSL1s, then again with SD Alnico Pros. Maple neck without any position markers on the fretboard with Dunlop 6110 frets (at the time he used it anyway). This guitar was used at Live Aid in 1985.

Schecter Sunburst Strat copy. Quilted maple top finished in sunburst. Unusually for a Schecter Strat of the time it has position markers on the top of the fretboard. It was used for Tunnel Of Love but it was stolen. Mark?s favourite guitar.

In 1984 came Mark?s Schecter Tele copy in red (SN - S8703) , with binding to the top. Used on the Walk Of Life video, he has used it live for that song ever since. It was also used on the soundtrack Cal, which was where he first used it.

Around the same time came Mark?s 1984 Les Paul reissue (SN9 90006) (one of the first reissue Les Pauls, modeled after a late 50?s LP). He used this on Money For Nothing (it is seen on the cover and reverse of the album Money For Nothing also) and Brothers In Arms on the album Brothers In Arms. He also used this guitar at Live Aid in 1985.

1985 Saw a bit of a hybrid guitar, assembled by John Suhr. Schecter neck and body, and a Fender bridge. Seymour Duncan Alnico Pros and Dunlop 6110 frets. The headstock says Fender, though it isn?t. It was used in the late 80?s, and a model of it can be seen on the Calling Elvis video (the video contains puppets of the band playing). Mark still owns the puppet from this video too!

From 1987 onwards Mark played a lot of Pensa-Suhr guitars made by Rudy Pensa. His main guitar was this Pensa Suhr custom (SN - 001), and can be seen on many pictures from the late 80s early 90s. First used at Nelson Mandela?s 75th birthday party in 1988. Flame top, EMG 85/SA/SA combo (85 unusually without a mounting ring, which the signature model has), Floyd rose, push/pull mid boost and a network developed to make the combo position more balanced on the EMG 85/SA combo. Basis for the Pensa MK-1 Signature model.

Pensa custom, basis for the MK-2 signature. Received around the time of Golden Heart. Strat style single coil setup, Strat style hardtail bridge, 24.6? scale, mahogany body, flamed koa top and Lindy Fralin ?54 pickups. Used on Golden Heart, Last Exit To Brooklyn and Father & Son on the Golden Heart Tour in 1996.
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
Last edited by Calum_Barrow at Dec 10, 2005,
Pensa MK-80 (SN - 0001). Built for Mr. Knopfler on January 29 2004. This is Mark?s newest Signature guitar, and is probably modeled after his 8218 Schecter Strat. The neckplate is engraved:

1954 Sunburst Stratocaster (SN 059). 59th ever made. He got this guitar as a gift from Paul Kennerly. Strung up with D?addario 12s and was used on I?m The Fool.

1954 Telecaster. Used on recent tours. Bridge stampted 4545. Don?t know too much about this instrument.

From left to right - Gibson Southerner Jumbo (1953), Fender Stratocaster (1954), Gibson Advanced Jumbo (1938), Gibson Les Paul (1958), National Style ?O? (circa '38), Fender Telecaster (1954), Martin HD40 MK Signature (2001).

Those are his main guitars, but there are others too. Amps and effects etc. will follow, but I'm still writing it!
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
Last edited by Calum_Barrow at Dec 10, 2005,
He has three Pensa signature models, a Fender and a Martin. That's five so far!

EDIT: He has a great collection though; 59th Strat, 1961 Strats, 1954 Tele, 58 + 59 Les Pauls, 1939 National...
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
Last edited by Calum_Barrow at Dec 10, 2005,
Selmer 2 x 12 tube amp with the Cafe Racers

Fender Vibrolux, early sixties, brown, one 12" speaker, about 30 Watts
Mark still owns it, it was used on the Golden Heart album.
You can hear this amp on the CD bootleg Early Demos.

Debut Album :
Fender Twin Reverb, silver face
Roland Jazz Chorus
Fender Vibrolux, early sixties, brown, one 12" speaker, about 30 Watts
Fender Concert Amp, blackface, 4 x 10"
Fender Vibrolux, early sixties, brown, one 12" speaker, about 30 Watts
Fender Twin Reverb, silverface
Fender Twin Reverb, silver face, with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets
end of 1978
two Fender Twin Reverbs, silver face,
or Music Man HD 130, 2 x 12", 130 Watts

early 1979
Music Man HD 130, 2 x 12", 130 Watts
from July on
Music Man HD 130, 2 x 12", 130 Watts
Music Man HD 130, 2 x 12", 130 Watts, JBL speakers (most likely D120 or K120)

early 1980 (BBC Arena documentary)
Music Man HD 130, 2 x 12", 130 Watts
Music Man HD 130, 2 x 12", 130 Watts, JBL speakers (most likely D120 or K120)
on Making Movies (album & tour)
two Music Man HD 130, 2 x 12", 130 Watts, played over Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets

Love over Gold album
Mesa Boogie heads with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers
Marshall head
Mesa Boogie heads with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers

Brothers in Arms album
Mesa Boogie heads with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers
Marshall JTM on track Brothers in Arms
Jim Kelley combo amp with an EVM12L
Mesa Boogie heads with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers
or Jim Kelly heads with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers

most likely same setup as before
Gallien & Krueger amps on the Willy DeVille album Miracle
from Randy Newman's Land of Dreams on:
Soldano SLO 100 with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers

live and studio:
two Soldano SLO 100 with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers
on the album On Every Street some old Fender amps as well

album Golden Heart
Soldano SLO 100 with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers
Fender Vibrolux, early sixties, brown, one 12" speaker, about 30 Watts
Crate VC5212, 50 Watts, 2 x 12" speakers
two Soldano SLO 100 with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers
two Crate VC5212 with Marshall 4 x 12" cabinets, equipped with Electro Voice speakers

Today he still uses many of the amps he has used for the past 30 years, but live he uses two Komet ?The Komet? heads with red Marshall 4x12? cabs. The heads are around 50W.

Some pics of the amps and cabs used during the recording of Ragpicker?s Dream (2002) and Sailing To Philadelphia (2004). He still uses all the amps today (AFAIK).

EDIT: Thanks to for the amp info (Dire Straits days)
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
I've got a pic of his 58 like Scorzerci said, and I said i didn't include all his guitars, just the main ones. He actually uses a '59 as a backup to the '58 most of the time, and the reissue isn't used much nowadays IIRC.
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
Mark is pretty well known to not change his tone a great deal with effects. He usually uses a combination of compression, volume pedals and chorus and similar, clean, effects.
During the first few years, it is SAID that he used a Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer when recording (i.e. on the first album). The sound engineer for this album said he was ?in love with Roland Chorus devices?, which would probably be true as he used the chorus on his cleans (most noticeable on Lions). Live he used a Morley Volume pedal and an MXR delay. The Morley was used for creating bow type sounds. The thing about the Morley is that even when fully open it still rounded out the sound of the guitar (due to the 66K impedance on the input). The MXR had a true bypass, that, when depressed sent the unchanged signal to the amp, with no change in the tone whatsoever.
During 1979 he began to use a Nady Transmitter, which affected his tone quite a bit (especially live when he would normally use long cables). Because the cable length between the guitar and the transmitter is very short, and the same at the other side of the receiver, the tone during performances around that time were considerably brighter.

These are the setups he typically used throughout the 80s and early 90s:

Customized rack comprising:
Deltalab Delay Unit
Master R Reverb
Roland Equalizer
Mantec Switch Unit
Roland Choms Echo
Mantec Preamp
2 Main Transformers
Morley Volume Pedal
Mantec Remote Switching Unit
Nady guitar transmitter

Custom rack including:
Roland SRE 555 Chorus/Echo
Delt Lab Digital Delay
Mic-Mix Dyna-Flanger
Master Room Reverb Unit
Roland Graphic EQ
Ibanez UE 303 Multi Effect
A variety of Boss pedals, including:
CE 300 Chorus
DM 2 Delay
CS 2 Compressor
Two CE 2 Chorus
BF 2 Flanger
PH 2 Phaser
OC 2 Octaver

Custom system built by Pete Cornish, including:
TC 2290 Delay
Alesis Quadraverb
Boss Super Chorus CE 300
Zoom Multieffect 9010
Yamaha REV 5 (reverb)
two TC-Equalizers/Preamps (for the National and Ramirez guitars)
Wah Wah (Money for Nothing), integrated into the rack system
Earney Ball Volume Pedal
Sony Wireless system

Ron Eve:

"When Mark and I discussed what equipment he would be using for the tour, we decided that although the Crate Vintage 50w combo amp had served exceptionally well in the studio, operationally there would be problems on stage. There was no way to smoothly and quickly change guitars and set up new sounds for each song, even using two combos. So Mark decided to use a cut-down version of the set-up from the last Dire Straits tour (On Every Street). He wanted to use the two Soldano 100 Lead heads but without the Marshall/EV speaker cabinets and Pete Cornish effects rack. He was keen to try using 2 x 12 cabinets, again with EV speakers and a simple FX set-up comprising "some expensive delay and reverb..." and a footswitch. The final arrangement consisted of an Ernie Ball volume pedal, Active Lead, 2 Soldano amp heads (alternating A/B), 2 Hughes & Kettner 2 x 12 cabinets (loaded with EV's), TC2290 delay unit, Lexicon 300 reverb unit, MXR micro amp and a TC 0144 footswitch. The Crate combos will be used for back-up. The TC 2290 was used as the main controller and MIDI'd to the Lexicon, with the Lexicon patched through one of the loops; the MXR was hooked through another loop, to provide a clean boost and a footswitch assigned to toggle it in/out. Another switch was assigned to toggle the repeat (delay) on/off. As rehearsals progressed, patches containing each songs' effects set-up were assigned to various presets (switchable from the TC0144). Tone settings for each song were set up on the Soldanos with the aim of switching amps between each song. Fast segues between songs can be accomodated in this way."

Quite a lot of info on this one, I'm surprised I found this much!
Double Neck Project - Winner of 2006 GB&C "Best guitar build from scratch", "(Best) Most expensive build" and "Best Idea" awards - FINISHED!

Member #2 of the UG Luthier's club. PM AlGeeEater to join.
Celebrity Rig: Eddie Van Halen

Full name- Edward Lodewijk Van Halen
Birth date ? January 26 , 1955
Birth place ? Nijmegen, Netherlands

Some info on Ed ?[Guitar World], when asked about how he went from playing his first open G chord, to playing "Eruption", he simply replied "''Practice. I used to sit on the edge of my bed with a six-pack of Schlitz Malt talls. My brother would go out at 7 P.M. to party and get laid, and when he'd come back at 3 A.M., I would still be sitting in the same place, playing guitar. I did that for years--I still do that.''"

Eddie Van Halen! What dont you like about him? His blindingly fast self taught technique? His insane tapping and finger stretches? The fact that all of his solos and his playing are derived from blues? The fact that he was shredding like noone else had ever heard(was shred even a term back then?, and ever will? In 1978!

Eddie Van Halens main influences:

Eric Clapton He liked other guitarists, but i wouldnt count them as influences. I've read over 30 evh interviews before doing this celeb rig, and have read where hendrix wanst a influence at all. Which was a suprise to me... He said hendrix wasnt the style he liked, and wasnt into him at all.

Ill just give you the interview section my self. Check it out.

I did an interview once with Circus magazine, and they asked me, "Who are your main influences?" I said, "Well, Clapton, you know, the usuals." And they said, "Oh, not Jimi Hendrix?" I go, "No, actually I didn't like Jimi Hendrix at all. He was too flash for me. I get off on the bluesy feeling that Clapton projected, even though I don't play like Clapton or sound like him at all." Which doesn't sound egoed out, because I don't sound like him. But when I read it back, they made it seem like, "I don't play like Clapton. I'm better than all of 'em." That's the way it read in print. So I called the guy up. I just go, "Hey, **** you, man! That's the last time I'm doing an interview with you." Which I guess is bad to do too, but the ****ed thing is the kids only know me through what they read. I feel like going door to door and going, "Hey, this is bull****. Don't believe it." But the kids do. I ain't no extrovert. I'm a quiet person. That's probably why I do all these weird things on guitar.

Just a short list of some guitarists who were influenced by Eddie Van Halen:

Joey Allen - David Anderson - Jennifer Batten - Jason Becker - Vito Bratta - Michael Britt - Jerry Cantrell - Phil Collen - Dimebag Darrell - Warren DeMartini - C.C. DeVille -Brett Garsed - Greg Howe - Damon Johnson - Jake E. Lee - Vernon Reid - Randy Rhoads - Joe Satriani - Steve Vai - George Lynch

This Is. Eddie Van Halen


Im not listing all of his guitars. He's got WAY to many. i'll just list his main ones.

Charvel Strat. Although he used it throughout his career, it was used mainly on VH1 and VH2.

Edward bought Charvel ash body in 1975 for fifty dollars and a charvel neck for eighty dollars. Originally, the body came with single-coil bridge, neck, and middle pickup positions pre-routed and Van Halen, with a chisel, excavated a hole to house a humbucker in the bridge position. He placed in this chiseled hole a P.A.F. from a 1961 Gibson ES-335. Fender trem, brass nut(would oil it so it wouldnt go out of tune so he could use the wammy bar), schaller tuners... Personally, this is my favorite guitar he used. It just screams Van Halen! Don?t you think? On Van Halen II Ed went with a similiar strat body, made by Ed (just like all of his guitars) with the help of Charvel. He wanted it to be rear-loaded, so he wouldnt have a pickgaurd. At the time, he couldnt afford a router, so he had Charvel route the body. The pickup used on the photo session for VH2 was not the actual pickup he used, he just slapped one in there for the shoot. He tried out lots of pickups he didnt like, so he tried a DiMarzio pickup, and he didnt go for them. Eddie has said he likes a clean sound, but with sustain. The DiMarzio pickups are real distorted. From there, Ed custom wound his pickups , particulary a DiMarzio pickup and a PAF magnet, rewound with copper tape around the windings, dipped in paraffin wax, to cut down on feedback. He actually ruined 3 pickups trying to wound it, by the 4th time he got it to work. This was a factor in his "brown sound" ... If you havent noticed, Ed's original work has never been the same since Van Halen I.

Kramer Strat. In 1983 Ed began endorsing Kramer guitars and used customized Kramer guitars and necks.He started using Kramers in the Diver Down era.
1984 Kramer Baretta Guitars

Edward Van Halen's 1984 and 5150 guitars are one of the most recognizable guitars in rock history. Ed assembled the guitars himself at the Kramer factory, and even painted it himself with Krylon "rattle-can" paint. The guitars consisted of an original Floyd Rose tremolo, one humbucker, and a single volume knob. A very simple guitar, for a very simple sound that is truly amazing.

The myth behind this great guitar is that it is a Kramer Baretta. This is actually a totally custom guitar made from custom parts in the old Kramer Guitar Factory in Neptune NJ. Another fact is that the body isn't actually a Baretta. The body is what would have been known as a Kramer Pacer Special. In fact, the control cavity is very different from most Kramers that were produced in the 80's. They proved to be a good candidate to hold his cigarattes

MM Ernie Ball Guitars

IMO this guitar totally changed VH imo. He should of stuck with the original striped stuff, but whatever. Here, eddie changes everything! From guitars to picks. Ill tell you about his huge change in equipment later down the page.

Im not to knowledgable of this guitar, im not really into the 88'+ equipment...
Heres the specs though -

Size: 12 5/8" wide, 1" thick, 36 5/8" long
Weight: 8 pounds. Varies Slightly
Body: Wood Basswood with bookmatched figure mapel top
Finish: High gloss polyester
Bridge: Music Man Floyd Rose licensed tremolo
Size Scale: 25" Radius: 10"
Headstock: Only 5 7/8" long
Frets: 22 - Special design unique profile fretwire
Width: 1 5/8" at nut, 2 5/32" at last fret
Wood Selected: maple neck and fingerboard, digitally carved
to Ed's specifications
Tuners: Schaller M6La with pearl buttons
Pickups: 2 Custom DiMarzio Humbucking
Controls: 500K volume pot with "tone" knob (the way Ed likes it!)
Switch: 3-way toggle pickup selector


From there, he started using Peavy guitars VERY similiar to the MM guitars. He named them after his son wolfgang(Which jams with eddie every once in a while at live concerts!).


World-famous manufacturer launches 6505? amplifiers, Carina? guitars

December 21, 2004

Peavey Int'l. Headquarters?Peavey announces it has parted with Edward Van Halen after a 13-year partnership. Peavey collaborated with the guitarist on his signature-model Peavey Wolfgang® Series electric guitars and Peavey 5150® Series amplifiers.

According to the company, Van Halen retains the rights to the names 5150 and Wolfgang, as well as certain design elements of the Wolfgang guitar, but the 5150's circuitry and tone will remain in the Peavey family as the 6505? amplifier. Peavey will launch the new 6505?named in celebration of Peavey's first forty years, 1965 to 2005?at the Winter NAMM (International Music Products Association) Expo, Jan. 20-24, 2005, in Anaheim, Calif.

Peavey will also debut its Carina (Italian for 'beautiful') guitars to replace the Wolfgang. Carina? Series guitars highlight many of the Peavey innovations used in the Wolfgang and other Peavey guitars, including computer-shaped necks that ensure all Carina guitars exhibit a consistent, comfortable neck radius and superior playability.

The hugely successful 5150 Series guitar amplifiers and Wolfgang electric guitars, which launched in 1991 and 1995, respectively, have become staples of modern rock music. Endorsers ranging from Ted Nugent, 3 Doors Down and Default to underground metal heroes Atreyu, Darkest Hour and God Forbid, and even power-punkers such as Visqueen, have lauded the contributions these Peavey products have made to rock 'n' roll.

"I'm very proud of the work we accomplished with Edward," says Peavey founder and CEO Hartley Peavey. "The 5150 Series has earned its place as a rock guitar standard, and the Wolfgang is a staple in the pantheon of rock instrumentation. They're both well respected pieces, and I'm glad we could bring those to life.

Well, i guess that about sums it up for the guitar part of this rig.
Jackson SL3 Soloist
89' Ibanez RG570
Vader 4x12 Cabinet
Line 6 HD147 Head
6space HEAD/RACK case
Korg DTR1000 Rack Tuner
Furman Power Conditioner
ISP Decimator
Last edited by ClassicAxe at Dec 31, 2005,
Effects and Equipment

This is what you've all been waiting for... How to get that eddie sound? What equipment does he use? His effects?

I'll try and get as close as i can to nailing his gear, but i dont think ANYONE knows what his exact gear is.... besides the man himself.

Also, at first, all of his effects are ducktaped to an old piece of wood. He got ragged on alot about that, until he plugged in

Edward Van Halen?s technique, tone, and style are legendary. In a period where rock guitar had become stagnant, Edward burst onto the scene like a fireball. As we moved into the 80?s, it seemed everyone had become an Eddie-clone, with their custom hot-rodded guitars strat-styled guitars and Marshall 100 watt tops. Edward?s sound from that era has been dubbed the "brown sound". Let?s look into how what he used in the early days of Van Halen.


There are many misconceptions about Edward Van Halen?s primary amplifier used for recording. Rumors have abounded about the amplifier being heavily modified and some of these rumors were in fact generated by Mr. Van Halen himself (he admitted telling these stories to help generate business for tech friend Jose Arrendo?s shop). However, in truth according to our best knowledge, his amplifier of choice for recording, a mid-60?s 100 watt Marshall Super Lead, was primarily stock (Note: see studio diagram description for more info on this). Edward was adamant about getting his tone through the power tubes and consequently set all volume and tone controls on the Marshall to 10. He controlled the overall volume output in two ways.

First, he used an Ohmite Variac, a variable transformer that could lower or raise the voltage going into the amplifier (see photo for what a typical Variac looks like). Edward set the variac to approximately 90 volts, thereby reducing the amount of input voltage going to the amplifier (see the Marshall Super Lead article for more information about variacs and attenuators) and allowing the amp to run more reliably. A key element often not considered today when running vintage Marshall amplifiers is that many that were made for export to the U.S. were designed to run at 110 volts and current U.S. outlets run at 120 volts. As a result, while there has been much talk about the dangers of using a variac, in many applications, it obviously serves a benefit.

100 watt Marshall plexi with Sylvania 6CA7's

Later on he switched to Soldanos... After that, he switched to Peavey 5150's...

Effects and Settings...

Edward also did use some effects to color his sound. On the first album, one can hear the slow phase effect of an MXR Phase 90 pedal on many sections. He also used an old Echoplex EP3 tape echo unit as well as an MXR Flanger. His pedal board consisted of these three devices, but in the studio, extra equalization was often employed in his dummy-load setup, consisting of an equalizer placed just prior to his H & H power amplifier.

Also known to be very creative with instruments and effects, Edward employed many unusual uses of effects. Listen to the intro of "And The Cradle Will Rock" to hear the sound of an MXR Flanger being placed in between Edward?s electronic keyboard and a cranked Marshall.

Variac to lower the main voltage( Adds to his "brown sound" and lengthens tube life)

Dummy load resistor, adjusted to about 20 ohms

MXR 90 Phaser

MXR Flanger


Univox EC-80 Echo

Other effects he used / later used include -

-MXR 6 band eq
-Rockman Noise Gates
-Dunlop Wah
-Palmer Speaker Simulater Unit
-Eventide H-3000 Harmonizer Unit
-Roland SDE 3000 Delay Unit
-Lexicon PCM70 Reverb Unit
-Boss Octave
-Boss SD1

Kay, there ya go.

I've got some really cool van halen videos, and sound files.... If any one wants to hear them, i'll post them right up..

Hope you guys enjoyed!
Jackson SL3 Soloist
89' Ibanez RG570
Vader 4x12 Cabinet
Line 6 HD147 Head
6space HEAD/RACK case
Korg DTR1000 Rack Tuner
Furman Power Conditioner
ISP Decimator
Last edited by ClassicAxe at Dec 31, 2005,
Jackson SL3 Soloist
89' Ibanez RG570
Vader 4x12 Cabinet
Line 6 HD147 Head
6space HEAD/RACK case
Korg DTR1000 Rack Tuner
Furman Power Conditioner
ISP Decimator
Anothe Picture of his rig, courtesy of guitargeek

My Gear :

Squier '51 (Dimarzio PAF Pro) (10-52s)
Roland Cube 15
Behringer X-V-Amp
Digitech Bad Monkey
BOSS DS-1 (modded)

Yamaha RBX270 (55-110s)
Behringer BXL900
EHX Bass Balls Pedal
EHX Big Muff Pi Pedal
A Perfect Circle made their debut in 2000 with "Mer de Noms" and has since released "Thirteenth Step", the covers and remix collection "eMOTIVE" and the DVD "aMotion".
The band features Josh Freese (The Vandals) on drums, former Tool, Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins guitar tech Billy Howerdel on guitar and Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan. The band has previously featured Troy van Leeuwen (now of Queens of the Stone Age) and former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Danny Lohner on guitar and both played on "Thirteenth Step". But when it came time to prepare for touring Lohner and Howerdels' styles didn't work as well live as in the studio, and van Leeuwen had already joined QOTSA. So Howerdel called upon former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha to join the band. Thirteenth Step also features former Marilyn Manson bassist Jeordie White (aka. Twiggy Ramirez) who joined the band after Paz Lenchantin (Bass/Violin) left to join Billy Corgan's short lived Zwan.

The band has a very textural, layered sound and both guitarist use a lot of effects to replicate the sound of the albums.

James Iha's rig is fairly similar to that he had used since Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, but is in fact simplified.
From a Shure wireless system, James' signal is sent to his rack.
Marshall JMP1 preamp:
This is a MIDI programmable tube preamp with 4 channels and 100 presets. Two ECC38 tubes are at the heart of the preamp's design.
*other noted users include Dave Murray and Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden

Lexicon MPX G2 effects unit:
This rack effects unit has an analog front end and effects can be palced either in front of a preamp/amp or in the effects loop. It features 76 different effects, both analog and digital, up to 7 of which can be used at once.

Mesa/Boogie Strategy 500 power amp:\
This MASSIVE rack power amp is considered by many to be one of Mesa/Boogie's best. It feature 8 6l6 and 4 6550 tubes, for tons of headroom.
(Billy corgan also used the JMP1 and Strategy 500 rig for a time in the Smashing Pumpkins)

To control his rig, Iha uses a Digital Music Ground Control foot controller.

Since his early days with the Pumpkins, Iha has favoured Les Paul Customs. Live with APC, he uses them exclusively.
These are his two original LP customs, one black and one silverburst(with Duncan JB pickup in the bridge).

Live with APC, he is said to have been using recent reissues, but any Silverbursts that might have been used would likely be original 80s models.
Live with APC playing a Les Paul Custom:
Last edited by nOtReGiStErEd at Feb 13, 2006,
Marshall JMP1:

The Lexicon MPX G2:

Strategy 500:

James also uses an Akai s6000 sampler to trigger string arrangements for certain songs.
On to Mr. Howedel:

Alright, the man used to be a guitar tech so you know he's going to have a rig all of us gear heads can drool over.

Howerdel's main guitars are Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960 reissues, fitted with Tom Anderson humbuckers (H3+ bridge and H1- neck). He uses Ernie Ball Strings gauged .012 to .056 (The band tunes to c# standard).
His favourite Les Paul is a Cinnaburst finished 1991 model with a repaired headstock, that has been set at the wrong angle, possibly, says Billy, contributing to the fact that it "plays and sounds better than any guitar i've ever had".
On the "Thirteenth Step" tour, Howerdel has also used Gibson ES-175. To control the feedback, foam is simply placed inside the f-holes (edit: the source that said ES-137s seems to have been wrong, i've seen pictures that are DEFINITELY 175s)

Rig: Howerdel's amp is a 1978 Marshall JMP 100 watt superlead that has been modified by amp guru Dave Friedman and now features channel switching and an effects loop.
Howerdel uses two VHT cabs, one loaded with celestion greenbacks (for some speaker cone breakup) and the other with 60 watt vintage 30s.

Howerdel's effects setup is very complex, so i'll list all of the effects units used and in my next post i'll go over the signal chain.

Lexicon MPX G2: Like Iha and bassist Jeordie White, Howerdel uses an MPX G2. He says that he likes the analog front end which reacts the same way stompboxes would to changes in his signal's level.

Tc Electronic Fireworx: This is an extremely high end piece of rack equipment. One interresting feature is that you can monitor the amount of DSP power in use to ensure that quality isn't decreased by using too many effects at once.
List of features (from TC electronics website):
· Expander/Gate
· Soft Compressor
· Hard Compressor/Limiter
· Resonance Filter
· Bandpass Filter
· Phaser
· Resonator
· Resochord Filter
· Formant Filter
· Drive Distortion
· Cruncher Distortion
· Vocoder
· Ring Modulator
· Curve Generator Synth.
· Chaos Generator Synth.
· Noise Generator Synth.
· Single Voice Pitch shift
· Dual Voice Pitch shift
· Classic Chorus
· Advanced Chorus
· Classic Flanger
· Advanced Flanger
· Stereo Delay
· Dual mono Delay
· Dual Three Tap Delay
· One Tap Delay
· Six Tap Delay
· Reverse Delay
· Reverb
· Advanced Reverb
· Simple Tremolo
· Advanced Tremolo
· Simple Panner
· Surround Panner
· Stereo Enhancer
· 5 band Parametric EQ
· 4 band modifiable parametric EQ
· Feedback Send
· Feedback Return
· Insert Send
· Insert Return

Digitech GSP-2101: This is a tube preamp and effects unit, but only effects are used. mot very much information available, but it has effects, EQ and MIDI switching capabilities.

TC electronics G-force: Another Multi-fx unit, again very in-depth programmability.

Eventide Orville: This is Eventide's top of the line pitch shifter, incorporating their latest technology. It also features distortion, reverbs, flangers etc.

To switch between all of these processors, Howerdel uses a Digital Music Corp. GCX Audiot switcher, a Custom audio engineering line transormer and mixer a lexicon R1 MIDI foot controller and an ernie ball expression pedal

signal chain coming up....
Last edited by nOtReGiStErEd at Feb 13, 2006,

Signal chain for Howerdel:

LEXICON MPX G2 (the section that works before the preamp) --->
CUSTOM AUDIO ENGINEERING LINE MIXER (sends and returns to the following rack
-effects loop section of Lexicon MPX G2
- Digitech GSP 2102
- TC Electronics G-force
- Eventide Orville
- Korg DTR-1 tuner
CUSTOM AUDIO ENGINEERING LINE MIXER sends signal back to amp head

The TC electronics Fireworx unit is placed inside the GCX audio switcher?s loop.

The channel switching function on the amp is plugged into the Lexicon MPX G2, which is then connected to the GCX, to which the Lexicon R1 MIDI controller is connected. The Ernie Ball expression pedal is connected to the Lexicon R1 directly
I've realised that i neglected to post any informations regarding James Iha's cabinets, mostly because it's extremely hard to find. All pictures show him with Marshall cabs, which are what he used with the pumpkins, but i haven't found out what type of speakers.
Hello fellow UGers.

Rig Thread Subject: David Grohl; former drummer of Nirvana, vocalist/guitarist for Foo Fighters, and all-around utility man.

I?ve got a couple of surprises in this thread, unlike the other you have seen so far. Stick with me if this gets to be a long thread.

First off, I would like to present to you what the majority of UGers say contributes most to a guitarist?s tone, amplifiers.

Dave Grohl, like many prestigious rock stars has used many an amp in his entire career. I may have missed a few here or there, but I?ll check and double check if I have to.

His setup as of 2001 for amplification is as follows:

VOX AC-30 2x12 (Clean sounds)

Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier w/ Mesa 4x12 Cab (Dirty sounds)

^Supposedly his real Mesas.

Jester Enterprises Tube Splitter

Note: I?m not sure if this is correct. It may be on the top right corner of the right positioned amp.

Other Amps:
Mesa Boogie Maverick

Mesa Boogie Heartbreaker

Fender Twin Amp

A couple more posts to come, please don't comment yet.
Dave uses 2 effects pedals, a Tuner, and a Switcher. This chain of pedals is connected to a wireless unit to Dave?s guitar.
2001 Setup:
Whirlwind A/B/Y Box--->MXR Phase 90--->Boss DM-2 Analog Delay--->Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner--->Wireless Unit///Wireless Unit

MXR Phase 90

Boss DM-2 Analog Delay

Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner

Effects used, in all:

Pro Co. Rat

EHX Memory Man and Q-tron

Dunlop Heil Talkbox

Picks: Dunlop .71mm Gator Grips

Still more posts to come.
Alright, so here?s one of the few surprises in this thread. I now present Chris Shiftlett?s amplification setup. If you did not know, Chris Shiftlett is the rhythm guitarist for the Foos, and is also fronting his own band currently, ?Jackson.? They?re worth a look

-Savage 2x12 Combo Amp w/ 30 watt Celestions (Clean sounds)
Note: I was unable to find a Savage amp of any kind in my research. The Celestions were the only thing available to post on.
-Marshall JMP Head w/ 2 Mesa 4x12 Cabs (Dirty sounds)

Now for the difficult part for me; Chris Shiftlett is LOADED with effects. I?ll do my best to order this properly, but if I don?t, don?t say I didn?t try.

From both Savage and Marshall Head:
Output--->A/B Switch Box--->Boss CH-1 Super Chorus--->Dunlop Wah Pedal--->Boss BF-2 Flanger--->Boss DD-2 Digital Delay--->Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner<---A/B Box (operated offstage)<---(think in reverse here, comes from wireless unit to the A/B Box)2 Wireless Units

If that didn?t make your brain wince in disgust with complexity, I?m not sure what will. Check out for what I used in order to do this.

Boss Ch-1 Super Chorus

Dunlop Wah Pedal

Boss BF-2 Flanger

Boss DD-2 Digital Delay

Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner
(see Grohl?s effects rig)

Credits for this section to and other numerous articles supporting this.
Last edited by SuperAnalytical at Mar 1, 2006,
Surprise #2: DRUM KITS
Here we go kiddies, Dave?s drum kits. I thought this might be a nice addition, knowing he was and still is infamous for his Nirvana days. I?m no drum aficionado, so bear with me if I get something (or A LOT) of things wrong.

For a diagram of Dave?s Nirvana kit, go to and navigate for yourself. I will only be able to list what he used, and no pictures for this area for I believe your eyes will be sore after some time.

Color: Jet Black
8"x14" Snare Drum; 14"x15" Tom Tom; 16"x18" Floor Tom;16"x24" Bass Drum

Cymbals: Zildjian
15" A Rock Hi Hats; 18" Heavy Crash; 20" Heavy Crash; 22" Heavy Ride

Hardware: Tama Hardware
2x Stilt HC104TB Boom Cymbal Stands, Stilt HC93B Boom Cymbal Stand, HH95 Hi-Hat Stand, HS90 Snare Stand

DW Harware: Delta 5000 Pedal with a hard Beater

Heads: Remo Drumheads

Toms: Clear Pinstripe Batter + Clear Ambassador Resonant

Bass: Clear Powerstroke II Batter + Ebony Ambassador Resonant w/ Tama logo

Snare: Clear Ambassador Snare Side

Aquarian Drumheads
Snare: Coated Power-House Batter

Sticks: Aquarian Power-Sleeve 2B (played upside down)

Color: Black (?)
6.5" x 14" Ludwig Black Beauty Snare Drum;13"x16" Mounted Tom; 16"x18" Floor Tom; 16"x24" Bass Drum

Cymbals: Paiste
14" 2002 Heavy Hi-hats;19" 2002 Power Crash; 22" 2002 Ride; 20" 2000 Power Crash; 20" Sound Formula Crash

Hardware: Tama
HTC77W Tom/Cymbal Stand, HC73BW Boom Cymbal Stand x2, HH905 Iron Cobra Hi-Hat Stand, HP900P Iron Cobra Power Glide, HS70W Snare Stand

Heads: Remo

Toms: Coated Emperors (batter) Clear Ambassador (Resonant)

Snare: Coated CS Black Dot (batter) Clear Ambassador (Resonant)

Bass: Clear PowerStroke 3 (batter) Ebony Ambassador (Resonant)

Sticks: Zildjian 5B wood tip, with Easton stick wrap, Zildjian Drum Gloves


Colour: Piano Black
Bronze 5.5"x14" Snare; 11"x12" Tom Tom; 12"x13" Tom Tom; 16"x16" Floor Tom; 16"x18" Floor Tom; 16"x24" Bass Drum

Cymbals: Zildjian
15" A Rock Hi-Hats; 19" A Rock Heavy Crash; 24" A Rock Heavy Ride; 21" A Rock Heavy Crash; 22" A China Boy Low

Hardware: Tama
4x HC83B Boom Cymbal Stands, Stilt HTW99 Tom Stand, HH75 Hi-Hat Stand, HS90 Snare Stand

DW Hardware: Delta 5000 Bass Pedal or Tama Iron Cobra Bass Pedal

Heads: Remo

Sticks: Zildjian Jazz wooden tips, with Easton stick wrap

Those are his main drum kits that are most notable through out his career.
Credits to Jamie Stuck, courtesy of his site
Surprise #3: BASS GUITARS
Aha, I assume at least half of you never knew Dave played bass? Am I right?

Gibson RD Bass
Claimed to be what Krist Novoselic (former bassist for Nirvana) used in Nirvana. I highly doubt this, for I have seen accounts of most likely, a Gibson Thunderbird being used.

Note: Used one in black with chrome hardware including pickguard.

Fender Precision Basses
Dave played bass for a band called Verbena. Colors varied throughout his career with Verbena, Nirvana, and the like but did not include the shown natural finish. He played bass with Nirvana on ?Unplugged? (Guild Acoustic/Electric Bass) and one song on ?Nevermind? that is to be debated between ?Drain You? and ?Breed?, I don?t recall.

Chandler Royale 12 String Bass
No clue to when he used this one, but I think its lovely looking.
Last edited by SuperAnalytical at Mar 1, 2006,
Now really, all I have to do here would probably be just to mention the guitars he plays for EVERYONE knows what they looks like. But I won?t for I love the look of guitars in general. ?Nuff said.

Gibson SG Custom

Note: Very similar to shown from the looks of things.

Gibson Explorer

Note: Very similar to shown, except for a Foo Fighters ?FF? logo in the bottom left flare of the body.
Just to get this out of the way, Dave apparently LOVES Gibsons. Before I really begin, I would note that I have not included all of the guitars used through out tours and studio uses for many are the same as the others in appearance.

Gibson RD Artist

Note: Dave also has a black with black pickuard version.

Gibson Trini Lopez

Note: Dave claims this to be his favorite guitar for its wonderful cleans.

Gibson Firebird Studio

Note: Dave also has a white pickguard version of this guitar.

Gibson LP Standard

Note: Used dominantly as a studio guitar.
LP-Earnhardt Edition

LP Custom

Gibson Flying V

Note: No pictures of Dave using one that I can find at this time. I?m assuming he used either black or white.

Gibson SG w/ P-90s

Regular ?57 Buckers

Note: Also has white with gold hardware SG.
Last edited by SuperAnalytical at Mar 1, 2006,
Gibson Explorer(s)

Note: Has been pictured with a Korina Explorer, although I have no information saying he has used one.

Gibson Marauder

^Better looking picture.

Gibson ES-335

^Just to get the idea of the guitar.

Epiphone Riviera
Last edited by SuperAnalytical at Mar 1, 2006,
Gretsch Duo Jet

Gretsch Country Club/Anniversary

Note: Smashed-wouldn't stay in tune.

Ampeg Dan Armstrong Model

Note: Dave owns four of these with different tunings. One of them has a ?Black Flag? sticker and another has a ?Suicide Girls? sticker.

Washburn Dimebag Guitar

Fender Stratocaster Custom

Fender Telecaster Custom (?72 Version?)

Note: Dave may have also had a Sunburst version of this guitar in Standard or American looks/form. Speculation seems to point out that it may have been one of Kurt Cobain?s.
Last edited by SuperAnalytical at Mar 1, 2006,
Gibson Acoustic Guitar and Fender Telecaster

Ovation Electric Guitar

Hulken (?) Guitar

I won?t list his acoustics but he mainly goes with Martins, Taylors, and the occasional Gibson.

This concludes my rig thread on Dave Grohl. Hopefully you learned something and will finally look for the Dave Grohl tone (I know I did ) or some of the items listed if you want the Foo Fighters sound.

Last edited by SuperAnalytical at Mar 1, 2006,
Gretsch White Falcon

Note: Actually was owned by Pat Smear (Nirvana back up guitarist/Foo Fighters rhythm guitar before Chris Shiflett)
This months celebrity rig is that of George Harrison.


Selmer Truvoice TV19T
Image not available
Harrison started out on a Selmer Truvoice TV19T. I couldn't find much information on this amp, after numerous google searches, but I do know it was 15 watts and in October of 1960 Harrison sold this amp to Paul McCartney.

Gibson GA-40 Les Paul Amplifier

Harrison's first American amp was a Gibson GA-40 Les Paul model. This amp was used from sometime in 1960 into 1962. At some point between 1960 and '62 the amp was painted black.

Vox AC-30 Twin

Originally Harrison had one of these in a whitish fawn color. John Lennon incidentally bought a fawn AC15 around the same time. Brian Epstein traded the tacky fawn colored amps for spiffy black AC-30's after 6 months of ownership. The black AC-30's were used into 1963.

Vox AC-30 Super Twin

In 1963 Harrison moved on to the louder 50 watt vox Super Twin.

Vox AC-80/100 Super Twin
This amp was first used in Stockholm, Sweden in 1964.

Blond Fender Bassman(Built in '64)
This amp was acquired in '65 and used until 1969, making it the most widely used amp by the Beatles. It was also seen being played by John Lennon post Beatles era. This amp was one of the main studio amps used by the band.

Vox 7120

This amp of Harrisons actually had a solid state preamp, and a tube power stage. It was used throughout 1966. The Celestion speakers in the 7120 had ceramic magnets instead of the previous Alnico magnets.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
Vox Super Beatle

This was an all SS amp used in 1966. It produced 240 watts of power and was used on the last Beatles tours. This amp was also incedentally used by The Who.

Vox Conqueror

This amp was seen in the promo video for Hello Goodbye. These were used in '67 and '68.

Fender Deluxe Reverb

Used first in 1968, was used extensively in all subsequent recording sessions.

Fender Twin Reverb

First used in 1968 for the Abbey Road recording sessions.

Fender Princeton

Another Abbey Road amp

Guitars coming soon!
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
Last edited by That_Pink_Queen at Mar 19, 2006,


Egmond Acoustic

This was Harrison's first guitar, it was given to him by his mother in 1956. She bought it for around 3 pounds used. He accidentally unscrewed the neck while trying to adjust the action(n00b), but his brother Peter fixed it.

Hofner President:

This was an F-Hole acoustic model that he bought for around 30 pounds. Acquired in 1958, It was traded for a Hofner Club 40 in 1959.

Hofner Club 40

This guitar Harrison first used in 1959. It appeared to be a solid body, but was just an acoustic with no soundholes. It is the far left guitar in the picture. He later fit an electric pickup to this guitar.

Resonet Futurerama

This was Harrisons first Electric hollowbody. He bought it in 1959 for 50 pounds with McCartney also present in a store in Liverpool. It was used on the Scotland tour and it was taken to Hamburg with the band in 1960. This axe was also used in the first recordingsession in 1961. Harrison's comments: "It had the worst action. It had a great sound, though, and a real good way of switching in the three pickups and all the combinations."

More to come!
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
1957 Gretsch Duo Jet

This guitar was bought in 1961 from a sailor that bought it in America. He payed 75 pounds for this guitar. He played it in the Please Please Me sessions and all over Hamburg and Britain until 1963, when he gave it to his friend Klaus Voorman. It was given back to Harrison sometime around 1983, and he used it on the album Cloud Nine.

Gibson J-160E

This electric-acoustic model was bought in 1962. It was used on Please Please Me and With the Beatles. Sometime in 1963 it was stolen. Harrison bought a replacement of the same model and it this second guitar was used on Lovely Rita. Lennon also played the guitar at the NME awards in 1965. (Lennon bought an identical guitar at the same time as Harrison, and they mixed the guitars up frequently)

Gretsch 6122 Country Gentleman

This guitar was used for recording With the Beatles. It was acquired in 1963 and was used up to late 1965, when the guitar somehow fell onto the road on a trip to a concert. Ringo pointed out that the guitar was causing a bit of a traffic jam, but the guitar was left on the road because they were in too much of a hurry to pick it up.

Gretsch 6119 Tennessean

This guitar was first used by Harrison in 1963. It was used while recording Beatles for Sale.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
Jose Ramirez Guitarra de Estudio

This was a Spanish nylon stringed guitar used on And I Love Her and Till There Was You. On these tracks it was mic'd and used for the lead guitar.

Rickenbacker 425 Fire-glo

This guitar was used by Harrison on the British and Swedish tours in 1963. Harrison's was repainted black to match Lennon's guitars. At one point Harrison added another pickup and a pickup selector.

Rickenbacker 360-12(twelve string)

This guitar was given to Harrison in 1964. Harrison was sick in bed with a cold, and Rickenbacker president FC Hall came by and presented Harrison with this guitar. This guitar was used extensively until he replaced it a year and a half later. This guitar was also used on 1987's Cloud Nine, on the song Fish in the Sand

Rickenbacker 360-12

This was the guitar that replaced Harrison's previous 12 string. It was given to him in 1965 by radio station WDGY in Minneapolis. It was used up till the 1969 Abbey Road sessions, at which point it was reported stolen.

(Still nowhere close to done)
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
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Fender Strat

Mal Evans(Beatles friend, roadie, tech man, etc) picked up two sonic blue Strats in 1965. The Strats were first used on the Rubber Soul" sessions. In 1967 Harrison painted it all crazy and named it "Rocky." Harrison's comments: "We were painting everything at that time: our houses, or clothes, our cars, our shop. Everything. In those days day-glo orange and lime paint were very rare, but I discovered where to buy them -- very thick, rubbery stuff. I got a few different colors and painted the Strat, not very artistically because the paint was just too thick. I had also found out about cellulose paint, which came in a tube with a ball tip, so I filled in the scratch plate with that and drew on the head of the guitar with [his wife] Pattie's sparkly green nail varnish." It was most notably used in the I am the Walrus music video.

Epiphone E230TD Casino

Although Lennon is usually associated with the Casino, Harrison had one too. It started out with a tabacco sunburst finish, but as Lennon had done, Harrison sanded the finish off. Here's a picture of it post-sunburst:
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Gibson SG Standard(Lyra trem)

This Gibson SG Standard was first used in 1966 for the album Revolver.

It being used on the last Beatles tour. In 1969 the guitar was given to Badfingers Pete Ham.

Gibson J-200

This guitar was bought in 1968 and was used for the White Album and druing the subsequent Get Back(Let it Be) sessions.

1957 Gibson Les Paul Standard

This guitar was bought by Eric Clapton used in Manhattan. Clapton gave it to Harrison, where it was used primarily used on the White Album. In the early 1970's it was stolen from Harrisons California home. The guitar ended up at a Guitar Center where a Mexican dude bought it for 650 USD. The guitar was only given back with Harrison personanlly asked for it. The dude who bought it also received a '58 LP and a Fender Bass for returning the guitar. That's one lucky ass mexican

Fender Jazz Bass
Fender wasn't getting much endorsement from the Beatles, so they shipped a bunch of Fender guitars and basses to the band. Harrison received a Jazz bass, which he played on the song Back in the USSR

Fender Custom Rosewood Telecaster

This was the guitar used in the final live Beatles concert, on top of the Apple building, Saville Row, London. Fender specially made this guitar just for Harrison. This guitar was first used during the Abbey Road Sessions.
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Celebrity Rig of the Month (April 1) - James Hetfield (Metallica)

Hey, guys, I'm doing the April 1 Celeb-Rig on none other than James Hetfield.

Hetfield plays the rhythm tracks, lots of harmonies, and an occasional solo in Metallica, writes most of the lyrics, vocal melodies, and arrangements.

Back when Hetfield was just a kid, his brother got an acoustic guitar. His brother soon lost interest, and that sparked Hetfield to play it. Hetfield didn't know that the left hand was to be used for fretting, so he just did a lot of playing with the right hand on open strings until he figured it out.

Now, on to his gear since the early days with Metallica 'til now:


The first "main" guitar he had with Metallica was the White Epiphone Flying V. James installed a Seymour Duncan Invader into the bridge position and an unknown Seymour Duncan in the neck.

"I got my white V in 1980, " James Hetfield recalls. "It was the second guitar I ever owned, and I probably bought it for $200. I knew it was a copy, but we treated it as a real Gibson. I wanted a white one because Michael Schenker of U.F.O. had one, so I needed one, too. The neck snapped on it twice on tour. It's been glued quite a few times. It's got Seymour Duncan pickups in it, with a little more output for the crunch than the originals had. The only other thing that's customized is the artwork [laughs]. That was the first guitar I started scratching stuff into."

The White Flying V copy was used to record Kill 'Em All and on the following tour.

The White Flying V copy was also used to record Ride the Lightning, and he also used a White Gibson Explorer.

The White Explorer was made in 1984, and was "cream white" with no pickguard and the 3-way switch near the volume/tone controls instead of on the tip of the sticking out part. It originally came with Gibson 496R and 500T pickups, but they were changed to EMG 81/81 in 1987, because they had tighter bass. It's got a black headstock, dot inlays, and chrome hardware. James put a piece of white tape on the corner, and it's got the "SO WHAT!" design. It was last used on the MONSTERS OF ROCK tour.

Master of Puppets recording had the same two guitars being used.

However, on the Master of Puppets tour, he got a Jackson Mustaine V (Now called King V). Jackson wanted him to endorse it.

It's got a poplar body, neck thru design, and an ebony fretboard. This is one of the ones with a TOM bridge, not a Floyd Rose. It had Jackson Sharkfin inlays, LSR Tuners, and Duncan humbuckers. James exchanged the Duncans to EMG 81s in 1987. James used this guitar to play "The Thing That Should Not Be" until Jaymz broke the neck down the middle.

For the Garage Days Revisted EP, he used the White Gibson Explorer #2. This one was the same as above, mahogony body & neck, white w/ black headstock, dot inlays, EMG 81/60, and the MORE BEER! sticker.

It was last used on the ...And Justice for All tour.

During the recording for ...And Justice for All, Metallica became endorsed by ESP.

For recording ...And Justice for All James used the following:

-The "SO WHAT!" White Gibson Explorer
-White ESP Explorer #1
This was James' first ESP, and it was used a WHOLE LOT. The headstock brok many times, and now it's safely residing in the "House of Guitars" (641 Titus Ave. Rochester, NY) the place where the "Kill 'Em All" album was recorded.
It?s got a mahogany body, (likely) a mahogany set neck, a rosewood fingerboard, EMG 81/60 combo, and middle finger inlays. Also, on a piece of tape on the bottom left corner James wrote ?EET FUK? It was used only on the ?AJFA tour, and can be seen on the Live Shit: Seattle DVD for most of the songs.

-White ESP Explorer #2
This was James? second ESP. It is his favorite ESP, as well. It was used live, but he gave it a live-retirement, so that he could use it in the studio, because he was afraid that it would get messed up live. It?s his main studio guitar. James changed the look of this guitar VERY drastically in its life. It originally started out saying ?SO FUCKING WHAT!? on the bottom left corner, then a ?mud flap woman? was added to the upper right corner, among other things. Very recently it?s had a PusHead do-over, as well as was given a more tinted yellow look and some wicked new paintjobs.
It?s got a mahogany body, most likely a maple neck with neck thru construction, a rosewood fretboard, and dot inlays. I believe it originally had 81/81, but now has an 81/60 setup.

How it originally was:

How it changed:

Last edited by MetalUpTheAss at Apr 1, 2006,
White Explorer #2 (Cont)
PusHead do-over:

-Black ESP Explorer
This was James? first black ESP, and certainly the longest-survived live guitar. He experimented this guitar with pickups, Seymour Duncans, EMG 81/81, and finally decided on EMG 81/60. He uses it to this day either backstage or during the actual concert.
It?s got a mahogany body, very likely a neck thru maple neck It has an ebony fretboard (a first for James), and black hardware.

After this album/tour, he got more ESPs for doing the Black Album.

Black Album Guitars

James used LOTS of guitars for recording Metallica (The Black Album), and during the subsequent tour

-White ESP Explorer #2 (The favored one, The ?SO FUCING WHAT? one)
-White ESP Explorer #1 (EET FUK, middle finger inlays)
-White Gibson Explorer #1 (?SO WHAT!? one)
-Satin Black ESP Explorer
This is one of his first ESP Customs, mahogany body, maple neck w/ neck thru construction, an ebony fretboard, dot inlays, black hardware, ?ESP Custom? logo on headstock, EMG 81/60 setup, an Oakland Raiders sticker between the pickups, and a big ?FUK EM UP? sticker on the lower left corner. It has a satin black/almost purple paintjob.

-Black ESP Explorer (Snake Inlays)
Features the Black Album snake on for its inlays, it?s got an ebony fretboard, mahogany body, neck through maple neck, black hardware, and an EMG 81/60 setup. This was his D-tuned guitar for Sad But True.

and a closeup of the inlays:

-Black ESP Explorer
Looks very much like some of his earlier ones. It?s a black Explorer with dot inlays. The most easily distinguishable part is the ?ESP Custom? on the headstock. It?s basically the same as the others but a custom shop. EMG 81/60, ebony fretboard, mahogany body, neck thru maple neck.

-Black ESP Explorer The first black ESP Explorer he had, detailed above.
-Black ESP Custom Explorer w/ Deer Skull Inlays
This was another one of his black mahogany Explorers with neck thru maple neck. It?s got the ?ESP Custom? logo on the headstock, an ebony fretboard, and deer skull Jagermeister inlays. It?s got black hardware and an EMG 81/60 setup. Later on, this Explorer was given a black diamond plate. This was the basis for the JH2, and the JH2 promo picture is actually of this guitar, not a real JH2.

Pre-diamond plate:

Last edited by MetalUpTheAss at Apr 1, 2006,
After it was given a diamond plate:Post diamond-plate:

-Black ESP Custom Explorer w/ NRA Logo Same as most of his guitars but with an NRA (national rifle association) logo.

No pics, sorry!

-Black ESP Custom Shop Explorer w/ Man to Wolf inlays
Same as most of his Explorers, only it has a Man-To-Wolf inlay.

-Black ESP Custom shop w/ Single Coils
Same as most of his guitars but it?s got an EMG 81/SC/SC (or 81/SA/SA or 81/S/S) setup, and instead of an ebony fretboard it has a rosewood fretboard. It?s got some random mini-toggles, and was occasionally used for Nothing Else Matters.

-ESP Custom Shop Doubleneck Explorer
Mahogany body, maple neck through, either set or thru. It?s a 12/6, both necks have EMG 81/60, and it?s got duck inlays.

-Gibson Explorer
This was James? early 90s fuck around guitar, used in the Tuning & Attitude Room, it?s got all the standard Gibson Explorer specs, black pickguard on black body, and EMG 81/60 pups. One volume, one tone, 3-way moved to the vol/tone area instead of on the horn.

-Olympic White Danelectro 12 string

-Blue Jerry Jones Danelectro Longhorn Baritone (Sad But True Main Riff)
?I used a Jones Danolectro 6 String Bass copy for the main riff on 'Sad But True.' It sounded great, more chunkin' than my regular guitar tuned down to D, and it's really fun to play. I knew it needed a push in terms of heaviness-it was already an ugly riff, but it needed to get a little uglier.?

No pics

-Red Vincent Bell Coral Sitar
Used for beginning of ?Wherever I May Roam?

No pics

-Butterscotch Fender Telecaster
Equipped with B-Bender. Used for the beginning The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly opening melody of ?The Unforgiven?

-Hetfield Natural Strat
Has an alder body, maple neck & rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, gold hardware, 3 EMG single coils, a white pickguard, and a 5-way switch.

-Black Gibson Moderne (Stock w/ gold hardware)

-Gretch White Falcon II
This belongs to Bob Rock, a White Falcon he used for the end of the chorus of Nothing Else Matters.

No pics

-Red Gibson SG Doubleneck

No pics

-Guild 12 String
Used for the choruses of ?Nothing Else Matters? where the E was tuned to D

No pics

-Tom Anderson electric
The majority of ?Nothing Else Matters? was done on this guitar.

No pics

-Aria Nylon String Acoustic
This was a gift from Cliff Burton. Cliff would often carry this with him wherever he went, tuned to drop C. The acoustic in ?The Unforgiven? was possibly this.

No pics

-Fender Shenandoah Steel String
This was used for its ?shimmery, high end qualities? used on the tail of ?The Unforgiven?

Damn! That?s it for all of the Black Album/tour guitars!


Gutiars used in the LOAD period.

-White ESP Explorer #2
Favored explorer, ?SO ****ING WHAT? and later on the PusHead drawings, used for recordings.

-Gibson Les Paul

No pics? guess what they look like?

-The ?52 Reissue Telecaster with B-Bender
See above

-Bob Rock?s Gretsch White Falcon
See above

-1963 Gibson SG
Given as a gift from Bob Rock, this SG is from 1963, the year James was born.

-Black Dommenget Les Paul
Supposedly made for James. Nothing else is known about it other than Ed Roman owns either this one or another one now. Features 81/85

Those were used for recording, for live he also used:

-Ken Lawrence Explorer #1
This is the one he used on S&M, the one most people talk about, especially as the ?natural wood one.? This was made by Northern Californian Luthier Ken Lawrence, who is primarily a bass maker. Ken did pretty much all of the work on this by hand. James brought in one of his ESPs so that Ken could take the measurements. In fact Ken is actually making James a Les Paul style guitar too. Although James wants it to be a traditional LP shape, Ken?s encouraging him to do something different and new. We?ll see.
Anyways, back to this guitar, it?s got a mahogany body, a Chechen top, a Chechen headcap, Chechen rear control plate, a mahogany neck, Central American rosewood fingerboard, 22 frets, Custom Petroglyph inlay shows people hunting the beast, a modified Ken Lawrence headstock, and EMG 81/60 pickups. There are fiber optic side markers, which light up red when they are switched on.
If you want, Ken Lawrence WILL build you one of these? expect to shell out $6,500 though!

This came out in ?96, used for lots of older songs, especially during the Kill/Ride medley. James moved the strap location to near the input jack inside one of the horns. It?s got Sperzel tuners, the Metallica star at the first fret, EMG 81/60, and red flames on the body and headstock.

-Black diamond plate ESP Explorer w/ Deer skull inlays
Description above

-Black ESP Custom Explorer w/ snake inlays
Description above

-Black ESP Explorer w/ Dot Inlays (the first one)
Description above

-Black ESP Custom Explorer ELK
Barbed wire inlays, custom wood burned Elk by Dino Muradian, rosewood fingerboard, 81/60, also the Metallica star burned into the back.
Dino Muradian on James' Wood Burnt Elk Skull Explorer: "Another very fulfilling meeting," Dino recounted, "was the occasion when I met Metallica's James Hetfield (the one I worked that custom ESP-Explorer with a stag scull on it for), and with Kirk Hemet, also in Seattle, also in 1995. These two guys, really heavy metal animals on stage, real gods for so/too many younsters, made me feel like ... Michelangelo, backstage, just before their concert in The Sonics Arena. Clean, very nicely mannered, even shy, they both impressed me a lot then, so now I'm kind of a fan of theirs."

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