Updated: February 15, 2021 by Richard Cole
In the recent history of music, and electric guitars in general, there were a lot of great artists who really gave us some of the most unique hits ever since a guitar was plugged into an amp for the first time.
People of different skill levels, with great creative capacities showed us that electric guitar is a powerful tool. On the other hand, you have a small group of guitar players who belong to a completely different level of excellence. One such guitar player is Joe Satriani.
What makes him so special is that he didn’t just master the art of guitar. No, he took it to a completely different level. Many guitar players have experimented with sound during the course of their careers, but Satriani took it one step further. He turned the art of playing guitar into alchemy.
Satriani mastered this instrument like only a handful of other people have. When you have a master of his caliber, you will definitely want to know what kind of gear he used to create his own sound. While most of us will never reach his level of skill and brilliance, at least we can try to mimic his tone and have fun with that. Let’s take a look at Joe Satriani gear.
As someone who can be rightfully be called an experimental guitarist, Satriani used almost every available tool that he could get his hands on during the span of his career.
There were numerous guitars, effects pedals and amps that he went through before establishing which setup works the best for him. Let’s start from his guitars.
If there is one brand that became a synonym for Joe Satriani, it’s Ibanez. He stuck with this brand ever since he first picked up one of their guitars. As his popularity grew, Ibanez recognized his potential, and approached him to create a series of signature guitar models based on his recommendation.
Satriani is actually one of the rare artists who actually plays signature model guitars. His journey with Ibanez started back in 1988 when he got a hold of one of their models and installed some Dimarzio pickups on it.
These days he usually uses Ibanez JS-1000 and JS-2400 as his main guitars. He actually has several guitars that alternates during his performance. Each one has a different set of pickups, and tuning.
For example, one of his JS-1000 has Dimarzion pickups while another will have Seymour Duncans. Aside from his love for Ibanez, Satriani is known to pull out a Gibson Les Paul from time to time or even a Stratocaster.
In terms of amps, Satriani used all kinds of heads and combos. He worked with Peavey, Vox and Marshall on numerous occasions. However, he seems to prefer what Marshall has to offer. In his 2000 tour, he used a Marshall 60-100 head and two Marshall straight cabs fitted with 25 Watt Celestion speakers. This is more or less his go-to setup.
Effects pedals Satriani uses, or has used is pretty extensive. He worked with Vox on designing special effects pedals of his own, and that’s what he’s been using the most lately. We’re talking Vox Time Machine, Vox Ice 9 overdrive, Vox Big Bad Dual Wah and more.
When it comes to stock pedals, he is a fan of Boss and their modulation range. DD-3 Digital Delay, OC-2 Dual Octave and Boss BF-3 Flanger are just some of the pedals you will find on his pedalboard. He is a surgeon of sound, and pedals are his scalpels. Needless to say, he has at least two or three different models for every possible operation.
Joe Satriani gear is pretty extensive by anyone’s standards. This man is a true sound wizard, and trying to mimic his tone can prove to be a very daunting task. He uses so many different models of pedals that it’s really hard to keep up with his pedalboard.
Satriani simply knows exactly what setup is necessary in order for him to deliver the performance his audience expects, which is usually the one that pushes the upper limits of his gear. Joe is a rare breed, and there aren’t many guitar players like him out there. Similarly, his choice of equipment is unique as well.