Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dave Navarro Gear Guide

ADHD's Gear Guides at any Budget. I'm a firm believer that the tone comes from the hands. If your trying to achieve a certain guitar hero's tone you have to not just have the chops but you've got to get down their style of attack with your picking hand as well. That said every step you take toward finding the right gear is often very inspiring and WILL get you closer to “that” sound. I'm going to break these down into Guitars, Pickups, Pedals and Amps.

Dave Navarro Gear Guide.

Dave Navarro is one of those guys who just doesn't care about what guitar nerds think of him, and for some reason that seems to get under the skin of a lot of guitar players. But lets give the guy some credit, he's been a member of two of the most influential alternative rock bands in history, and been an A list session player for literally dozens of artist from Michael Jackson to Nine Inch Nails to Glen Hughes. He has an amazing cover band Royal Machines which brings out all kinds of guest stars and has done quite a bit of TV.

Guitars – Dave has used Ibanez guitars, Gibson Les Pauls and Fender Strats but his main weapon of choice is his signature Paul Reed Smith

PRS Dave Navarro Signature – Dave busted up most of his Ibanez guitars while on tour with Janes Addiction in the late 80's and borrowed a PRS from a friend. He was blown away by the quality of the instrument and ordered one right away. A few years later he settled on a white Custom 24 which stood out from the rest of the PRS line.

PRS SE Dave Navarro – The incredibly well built PRS SE line is one of the best built budget lines in the industry. Dave was cautious, wanting it to be as close to the original as possible. It's an excellent budget friendly model.

Note: the PRS Signiture line has been dropped for the time being but Dave is still an advocate of the guitars. Any Custom 24 in the Core, S2 or SE line up will get you there. 

Ibanez RG Series - Dave used Ibanez guitars in the early days of Jane's Addiction and has recently pulled one out for older songs. The Ibanez Premium and Prestige lines are well built but heads up if your looking at the budget models, some are fine, others have problems.

Pickups – Dave's Pickups haven't changed at all since his early days with PRS. A PRS HFS in the bridge and a Vintage Bass in the neck.

Seymour Duncan Hot Rodded Humbucker Set – I've mentioned this set on the site before and I still recommend it to anyone who needs a good versatile 2 humbucker set. It's the number one replacement set for a reason.

Pedals- While Dave likes to try out new pedals every so often, his live rig is a “if it ain't broke don't fix it” type situation. Wah, overdrive, chorus, and 2 delays. He's also been known to also throw in a phaser or an octave pedal at times.

Dunlop Hendrix Wah – While he has a couple of others Dave's choice has always been the Hendrix wah. It's simple, it sounds good, it works.

IbanezTS808- So sometimes this is a TS9 or a Boss OD1, Dave is not picky he just needs something to boost the mids for solos. 

Boss CH-1 Chorus – Dave sometimes has two of these, one for the clean sound and one to add some shimmer or thickness to the leads. It's been used by everyone from David Gilmour to Zakk Wylde.

Boss DD-3 Digital Delay - Dave loves delay. Check out his solo on Three Days. He keeps 2 or sometimes 3 on his board. One for ambient repeats, One for harder repeats that he likes to play with. Sometimes he has a third one for the cleans.

Visual Sound H2O - Not what Dave uses but it includes a beautiful sounding chorus and an analog voiced digital delay. Well built and well priced considering what you get, this is the new version of one of my favorite pedals. 

Amps – In the studio Dave likes to use a lot of different amps including a Bogner Uberschall, a Vox AC30, a Fender Twin, and Fender Deluxe. But his work horse for many years now has been a pair of Marshall JCM900's nicknamed Tangerine and Peach.
By the way, which one is Peach?

Marshall JCM900 - Dave Navarro played JCM900's since they came out. There is an internet rumor that Dave has his 900's modded but he says he hasn't. A lot of guys don't care for them because they can be bright sounding if not cranked up. And like a lot of Marshalls, some sound better than others.

Fender Deluxe Reverb – For larger gigs Dave needed something to use for cleans at louder volumes other than his Marshall's. A favorite of players everywhere, it makes a killer pedal platform to work with.

MarshallDSL40C – For a cheaper alternative the little brother of the DSL100 is hard to beat. It has a nice clean tone and a killer lead channel for all types of rock and blues.

UPDATE 2022- on the YouTube channel ToneTalk Dave talked about playing in his cover band Royal Machines. He said that he was playing with guys like Steve Stevens and Jerry Cantrell and was impressed with their Friedman amps so he called up Dave Friedman and ended up buying a Friedman BE Deluxe which he has been using ever since. Friedman designed the BE Deluxe to be a Swiss army knife of Marshalls. Navarro stated that he gets that Marshall high gain sound while being very clear and being able to hear each string better and that it cleans up much better so that he doesn't need the Fenders anymore. 

Obviously there are a lot of alternatives out there but these are a great place to start your tone search. 

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