Marcus King might play vintage gear on record but this rig tour shows he takes modern "off the shelf" pedals on the road

Marcus King
(Image credit: Sweetwater / YouTube)

Marcus King demoing his guitar tones – what's not to like here? We're loving the straight-to-camera treatment in Sweetwater's new rig tour video below with one of the finest young players around, but moreover we like the fact most of King's pedals he uses live are widely available in stores.

No Klons here, and MXR features heavily. He's a fan of cranking the settings of his MXR M300 Reverb during the trippier sections of his shows. "It's also a really great pedal for regular reverb," notes Marcus. "If you've got a gig and you show up and the rig has no reverb on the amp, if you're a reverb junkie like me it's a really good reverb pedal to have in your arsenal."


(Image credit: Future)

And while Marcus uses a real vintage Echoplex tape echo unit in the studio, he settles for Dunlop's compact delay pedal take on it for his pedalboard. "This is a pretty good tool to have if you want to get spanky with it," adds the guitarist before demoing some lovely slapback echo on his ES-345 'Rig Red' signature

The MXR/Dunlop theme goes on with a Micro Amp Boost, Phase 100 ("Never a bad time for any phase"), Rotovibe, 'John Schofield in a box' MXR Chorus and DVP4  mini volume pedal. "I always have a Tube Screamer on the 'board too," adds Marcus, but there's no vintage mojo here. "It's just a regular old TS-9, straight off the shelf – you can grab it just about anywhere," he notes.

"I don't travel with a lot of vintage gear," Marcus adds. "Things are getting moved around a lot and my old ones are at the house."


(Image credit: Tru-Fi)

His choice of tremolo pedal isn't so mainstream though. While Marcus used the tremolo from a small vintage Gibson amp (and a real '59 Burst) on his recent Youngblood album, he's recreating it with a $199 Ultra Tremolo from Portland, Maine's Tru-Fi. "This is a really great tremolo pedal that gets all the sounds that I need it to," explains Marcus as he shows how the Ultra Tremolo's knobs are large enough to adjust with his boot. Useful! 

Marcus is also using Tru-Fi's Two Face fuzz to chase his Youngblood recorded tones – based on the late '60s Fuzz Face with 1969 germanium and 1970 silicon modes. As Marcus demonstrates with both modes in the video above, it sounds incredible. 

But the South Carolina musician saves the most praise for his wah pedal – "the greatest pedal every made". And it's a standard CryBaby "right off the shelf."

"It makes everything sound cool." We feel the same about you, Marcus! 

• Marcus King interview: “If you get a Marshall stack to sing just the right way you can almost emulate a Tina Turner or Janis Joplin"

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.