Jimmy Page: how to buy his early Led Zep tones
Gibson Custom 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue VOS
Gibson’s 2014 R9s are the company’s most slavish reissues yet, and although they’re wallet-cripplingly expensive, there’s simply no substitute if you want to nail the tones Jimmy squeezed out of his #1 Les Paul from April 1969, when he purchased it from Joe Walsh for $500.
Fender American Vintage '58 Telecaster
Page’s main guitar throughout his time in The Yardbirds was the ’59 Telecaster, given its legendary ‘Dragon’ paintjob in 1967 and used both live and in the studio with Zeppelin until mid-1969 – resurfacing later on Stairway.
The ’58 American Vintage reissue is the closest production instrument in the current Fender catalogue, and every inch a killer choice for those exhilarating, white-knuckle early Page tones.
Page’s amp of choice during the first-album sessions was likely either a 1624T Dual-Tone or a modified 1690T Coronado.
Both models from the newly-revived amplifier brand will soon be available again via JHS in the UK.
Gibson SJ-200 Standard
When it came to recording the acoustic guitar tracks on Led Zep’s debut – Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Black Mountain Side and Your Time Is Gonna Come – ‘Little Jim’ borrowed an acoustic from his namesake on the London session scene, Big Jim Sullivan.
Page said Sullivan’s ’63 J-200, “Was a beautiful guitar, really great. I could play so easily on it, get a really thick sound; it had heavy-gauge strings on it, but it just didn't seem to feel like it.”
Lumpy's Tone Shop Lemon Drop
Jimmy Page was a fan of the Vox 4 and 7 Series amplifiers, also used by The Beatles during the Revolver era, and it’s likely that a UL4120 head featured on Led Zeppelin II, most notably on Whole Lotta Love and What Is And What Should Never Be.
The solid-state transistor preamps in these Voxes gives them an abrasive, fuzz-like overdriven quality, captured perfectly by the Lemon Drop stompbox. Whole Lotta Love in a box. Check out the full range at www.lumpystoneshop.com for more Zep and Beatles-inspired pedals.
Dunlop Cry Baby
Page used various wahs during the early years, but the GCB95 is arguably the best choice for replicating the sweep of the 1966 Thomas Organ design.
Listen to How Many More Times to hear Page’s creative wah work in action.
Xotic EP Booster
Maestro EP-2 and EP-3 Echoplexunits featured in Page’s backline throughout his Zeppelin career, and were used as much for a preamp boost as they were for tape echo effects.
The Xotic has fast become a must-have pedal on pro ’boards, and is great for giving riffs and solos that certain extra something. Also check out Dunlop’s new EP101 Echoplex Preamp (£115/$171).
Tone Bender fuzz
The Sola Sound MK II Tone Benderfuzz was an important part of Page’searly sound – listen to Dazed And Confused for kick-off – and the DAM version (£390) is an authentic, if expensive, recreation.
Numerous boutique versions of the original Hurst design are available, while the Rotosound RFB1 (£249) recreates another Hurst fuzzbox used onstage by Page in 1969.