Metallica fan recreates James Hetfield's Ride The Lightning guitar tone with a Marshall JCM 800 and Tube Screamer

(Image credit: Metallica)

When you grow up listening Metallica and playing electric guitar, the tone of their seminal records can often feel like an unobtainable goal as you wonder why a Boss Metal Zone and a Marlin Sidewinder through a Gorilla amp isn't making you sound like The Call Of Ktulu. Tell that to Australian YouTuber LambChopper678 – he keeps getting spookily close.

Admittedly, he invests in the right gear, and after his impressive work on the Master Of Puppets rhythm tone with Neural DSP Mesa/Boogie Mark C++ plugin (and producer Flemming Rasmussen's notes from the sessions), he's turned his attention to its 1984 predecessor, Ride The Lightning.

No Boogies here; Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett used a JCM 800, dimed with a Tube Screamer. But, as always, there's a little more to trying to recreate an iconic metal record's tone at home than that and LambChopper678 always goes the extra mile. The results speak for themselves. 

As well as a TS-9, he adds the Master Effects PMEQ pedal to simulate the recording console's character. This is a three-band parametric EQ that was actually designed for players to get closer to the Master Of Puppets studio tone that used the Aphex EQF-2.

The Fortin Zuul+ is then used as a noise gate to keep everything tight, and Empress Effects Reverb adds ambience. 

And don't worry about those parrots in the video, there's no cabs blasting in the room – headphone monitoring with Two Notes Torpedo Captor X saves their little birdy ears. 

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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.