|30 KICK-ASS MARSHALL ARTISTS
BY JIMMY LESLIE
Guns N’ Roses emerged from the L.A. club scene at the height of its mid-‘80s glory days. Co-piloted by singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash, the band was a throwback to the raunch an roll toxicity of Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses’ 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction became an instant classic, and it featured classic tones provided by Slash’s Les Paul/Marshall combination.
In 1991 Slash told GP a tale of renting “a hundred Marshalls” just to find one that satisfied him before recording Appetite. He added that he went through the same process before recording their follow-up, Use Your Illusion. He was using Marshall Jubilee Anniversary amps on stage, and was freaking out about how he’d lost all but one of the in the “St. Louis incident” – i.e., riot.
Slash’s amp tribulations ended when Marshall designed a signature amp for him in 1996 based on the Jubilee. It was the first-ever signature Marshall. Slash said, “This is the amp that has made six pretty successful albums, done countless sessions, survived two riots – and I wouldn’t even consider trying anything else.”
He told GP in 2000 after recording his solo album Ain’t Life Grand, “I used my Slash Marshall-head and one 4x12 cabinet – the same rig I always play through. I use two heads onstage and two 4x12s to switch from clean to dirty sounds, but only one half-stack is used at a time. The head for the clean sound is set up with Groove Tubes KT88s, and the settings are: Presence 0, Bass 9, Middle 3, Treble 5.5, Output Master 10, Lead Master 0, and Input Gain, 4. The “dirty” head is loaded with Groove Tubes EL34s, and the controls are set: Presence 7, Bass 7, Middle 4.5, Treble 7, Output Master 6, Lead Master 10, and Input Gain 6.5.”
Slash has never been big on effects. “I’ve always thought the guys with the best tone are the ones who just grab a guitar and make it sound like something solid,” he said. Slash’s signature sound is about as solid as it gets.