Slash's Pedalboard: The Guitar Effects Pedals Behind His Sound

Going through the history of rock music, rarely will you ever stumble upon a man as influential as Guns N' Roses axeman Slash. What's more, he's known way beyond the boundaries of the rock genre, with all kinds of music fans praising Slash for his guitar playing skills, making him one of the biggest legends of modern music. But with this in mind, a huge part of Slash's quality comes from his amazing guitar tone. Of course, many are familiar with his Gibson Les Pauls, some other guitars like the B.C. Rich Mockingbird, as well as his extensive use of Marshall amps. But another great component to the greatness of his tone is his signal chain. In this brief review, we will take a look at Slash's pedalboard and the guitar effects he's been using over the years.

First off, Slash keeps himself in tune using the Boss TU-3 pedal. This one is a classic, used by many guitarists worldwide, both amateurs and professionals.

Being an old school kind of guy, Slash will have some of those classic pedals that have been present in the market for decades. A good example is the MXR Distortion Plus, which is a rather simple yet really effective dirtbox with only two controls.

While we're at MXR, he's also a fan of another one of the company's classic effects, the MXR M101 Phase 90. Although this little phaser has only the speed parameter control on it, it's been praised for its unique tone. This one is also adored by other guitar legends, most notably Eddie Van Halen.

It's also known that Slash is a fan of Eddie Van Halen, which can also be seen when you take a look at his pedalboard. For instance, aside from the aforementioned MXR phaser, he also has the signature Eddie Van Halen flanger MXR EVH-117.

There are many ways to shape one's tone, and an EQ is an important part of a professional tier pedalboard. Slash had some EQ pedals over the years, including the classic Boss GE-7 and the MXR M-108. Both of these are great pedals, although the M-108 is a 10-band EQ, giving some more options over tone control.

However, there is one extremely important effect that you'll often see and hear him use – the wah-wah. Being a notable user of the Dunlop Cry Baby, Slash has his own two signature models, the SW95 and the SC95. But while these are great pieces, he's often using the rack-mounted wah with an external foot controller by Dunlop, called Cry Baby DCR-2SR. This one is unlike any other wah, with completely customizable parameters, allowing the player to tweak the different frequency ranges. And it's not exactly cheap.

Aside from the classic wah pedals, Slash also uses some of those that imitate the fixed wah, or the so-called "cocked wah," effect. The particular models that he uses are the Dunlop QZ-1 Q-Zone and the MXR KFK Q Zone. Interestingly enough, the second one is a signature model of Slayer's Kerry King.

Slash is also a huge lover of some octaver and octa fuzz pedals. The octa fuzz pedals give that classic "broken amp" fuzz tone, along with a bottom octave. However, he has a signature pedal of his own, the MXR SF-01 Slash Octa Fuzz with both the lower and higher octave added. It's a pretty versatile pedal, allowing separate control for the levels of these octaves, in addition to the volume, tone, and gain knobs.

With all the different effects in his signal chain, it's pretty much expected of him to have a noise suppressor pedal. He's known for using Boss NS-2 and the MXR Smart gate pedals. Both of these are products of great quality.


There are, of course, some other pedals that Slash has been using, but these are some of the main ones. At a quick glance, you can clearly see that this is not much of a complicated setup but that there are some specific pedals that he's into. In case you want to replicate his tone, you can start with the MXR Distortion Plus and the Slash signature Cry Baby, or even the regular classic Cry Baby GCB95. In case octa fuzz pedals are too expensive or you can't find any, a simple fuzz and an octaver, or even just an octaver, might do the trick. As for phasers, the MXR Phase 90 is pretty great and affordable and will definitely be a good addition to your pedalboard.

Combining this with a classic Les Paul guitar with a pair of decent humbuckers on it will be enough for you to replicate some of Slash's classic tones. At the same time, you also need to bear in mind that Marshall amps are the main driving force behind his tone.

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1 comment

  • Sorry but most of this is insanely wrong.

    Check YouTube, his guitar tech breaks down the rig.

    Rig Rundown – Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, Duff McKagen, & Richard Fortis


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