How to Capture the Magical Tone of Slash

I'm super pumped about today's episode because I'm a child of the 80's and 90's and I proudly displayed a Guns N' Roses and Metallica posters in my room all throughout high school. Appetite for Destruction and the Use Your Illusion albums were the soundtracks of my youth and for that reason, Slash will always hold a special place in my heart.

I still remember clearly the day I saw the November Rain music video premier on MTV with Slash playing his solo with the church in the background or watching Terminator 2 with my best friend and just absolutely loving You Could Be Mine. Such good memories.

On that note, we'll just be covering Slash's tone with Guns N' Roses. We're not going to be discussing his solo work, Velvet Revolver, or Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators gear.

At the core of Slash's tone during Appetite for Destruction days is his Marshall 1959T Super Tremelo amp. There is a lot of debate about the exact details of this amp and which exact one was utilized. Assuming the facts are correct, this version of his amp was known as "Stock 39" and was owned by S.IR>, a rental company in Los Angeles. It was modded by Tim Caswell, who used the amp's unused tremolo circuit to produce more gain, and a master volume control was added as well.

So, this amp was his main amp in those early days along with his Marshall 1960 4x12 cabinet with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.

Since then, he has had a number of other significant amps including his Marshall JCM800 and Marshall Silver Jubilee 25/55 which was mainly used for live performances. This Jubilee amp later became a signature amp bearing his name called the Marshall JCM 25/55 Slash Signature. Only 3,000 units were created from 1996 to 1997 and Slash has used it quite extensively on tours since then.

Another one of his signature amps is his Marshall AFD100 Slash Signature amp which is a recreation of Marshall 1959T Super Tremelo amp we just discussed. As you can see, it is just a modern take on the classic.

If you are looking for some ballpark amp settings, here is a good place to start.

Presence: 8
Bass: 5
Middle: 8.5
Treble: 7
Volume: 10

 
At this point we have discussed his amps in detail, let's go ahead and talk about his guitars. Slash has way too many guitars to discuss in this one video so we'll focus on the one of type guitar he is best know for and that is the Gibson Les Paul.

The most notable one is his Gibson 1959 Les Paul. Slash has two of these guitars that he bought in 1987. It's his main stage guitar and according to Slash "it just feels right." It is always tuned down half a step and features Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro humbuckers.

Now, there are a number of other guitars we can mention but there are just too many to cover especially since Slash's career expands beyond Guns n'Roses. We'll save those guitars for another conversation.

With that said, let's get into the fun part - Slash's pedals. Just like his guitars, he has a ton, so we'll focus on the most significant ones.

A keyword for this next part of our discussion - MXR. Slash utilizes a lot of pedals from this brand, the first being his MXR M234 Chorus Pedal which provides that shimmery sound on songs like Paradise City.

Speaking of Paradise City, the middle solo's "fat and colorful sound" is achieved with Slash's MXR SF-01 Slash Octave Fuzz pedal. This pedal released in 2013 and obviously didn't exist during the early days of Guns N' Roses but anyone looking to get that Slash sound, this is a great modern addition to any pedalboard.

Some other MXR pedals worth noting are is MXR M108 Ten Band Graphic Equalizer and MXR MC406 Buffer pedal. Again, these are modern additions which will help you get closer to that Slash tone.

Slash also uses uses a Dunlop CryBaby 535Q which has since been upgraded to his Dunlop SW95 Slash Signature Cry Baby Wah Wah. This was pedal is a huge part his sound making it another excellent addition.

And finally, we can't forget about delay. You can achieve Slash's choice of delay with either the BOSS DD-3 or more sophisticated BOSS DD-500. According to the folks at Guitar World, you are going to want a dotted-eighth note delay with about five-to-six repeats. It's also important to note that a 50/50 wet/dry mix is important for a combination of rhythmic delays and reverb-like decay.

So, there you have it. That is some of the most important pieces of gear in Slash's arsenal. It's basically Gibsons with Marshalls and who doesn't love that combination.

If there is another musician you would like me to cover, please leave a comment below and I'll add them to the list and cover them in a future video and post.

Until then...

Keep exploring.

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DISCLAIMERS: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This blog post was not paid for by outside persons or manufacturers. No gear was supplied to us for this project The content of this blog post and video are our opinions and not reviewed or paid for by any outside persons.

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