Joe Bonamassa's Guitar Rig

Joe Bonamassa's Guitar Rig

There are few players more obsessive about their gear and tone than Joe Bonamassa. So much so, that he has his own museum, called Nerdville, housing probably the largest collection of 1959 Gibson Les Pauls in the world!

Joe Bonamassa’s Guitars

Bonamassa’s signature sound is synonymous with the ’59 Les Paul – widely considered the holy grail of electric guitars, fetching as much as £100,000 in mint condition. With their P.A.F humbuckers, they are known for sounding thick, but very open and clear, with less output than a modern style humbucker. The instrument is famed for its sustain and has the perfect midrange tonal characteristics for blues and rock n roll. Whilst Bonamassa plays a variety of guitars, his overwhelming favourite is the Les Paul.

Joe Bonamassa’s Amps

It’s only right that he plays his holy grail guitars through holy grail amps – Bonamassa is a famous user of the extremely rare and expensive Dumble amplifiers, (namely the Overdrive Special). But his sound doesn’t just come from one amp. He often pairs one or even two Dumbles with Marshalls or more recently Tweed Fenders. His favourite Marshall is the Silver Jubilee, and has used this in countless shows. Nowadays he tends to prefer late ‘50s style tweed Fender amps, such as the bassman and the twin, offering everything from classic Fender clean tones to crunchy vintage overdrive.

Joe Bonamassa’s Pedals

Bonamassa has gone through lots of different pedals throughout his career, so there’s plenty of choice when it come to finding something for you. He has often favoured brands such as Way Huge, Fulltone, and Boss for many of his pedals. But the core of his sound has always come from the guitars, amps, and a bit of reverb and chorus. He then tends to use overdrives, fuzzes, and delays to layer on top.