The year was 1987. I was ten years old. Even though my older sister typically listened to bands like Depeche Mode and They Might Be Giants, she had just come home with a new cassette tape – Guns n’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction.
Looking back, I was listening to some pretty crappy music. Poison and Whitesnake totally ruled my jambox, but this new band struck a chord with me. This music was aggressive. This music was honest. This music was rock and roll.
Although I didn’t yet play an instrument, I was very familiar with the electric guitar. I could tell that this band’s guitarist, Slash, was playing with a different goal in mind than many of the guitarists of the 1980s, who seemed more concerned with how many notes they could pack into a solo.
Now, more that 20 years later, Slash has become perhaps the definitive lead guitarist of the past two decades. Of course, with that stature comes great influence. These days, a guitarist with great influence has the opportunity to attach their name to the guitar and gear of their choice.
This page is meant to be the Internet’s definitive guide to Slash guitar gear. Enjoy!
Slash Guitar Gear on DunlopTV.
Check out these two videos from DunlopTV. The video on the left features the man himself, discussing the guitar gear he uses on stage and in the studio.
The second video features Adam Day, who has been Slash’s guitar tech since the beginning of Guns N Roses. Adam takes us backstage at a Velvet Revolver show to run through the finer points of Slash’s live gear.
Slash Signature Guitar Gear
Slash and his signature tone have always been associated with the classic Gibson guitar through a Marshall amp combination. It’s natural that both companies, plus others, would want to promote that fact by releasing Slash signature products.
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul Standard Plus Top
The Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul Standard Plus Top was designed and produced in close cooperation with Slash himself.
With the goal of making a powerful and professional Slash signature model available to all players, Slash and Epiphone recreated all of the personal specifications of Slash’s favorite Les Pauls. “I was really happy to get involved with Epiphone because there are a lot more people that would be interested in getting a good guitar for a little less money,” Slash says. “Something that actually sounds really good, and will last a long time, and be able to provide you with everything you need out of a really good quality guitar.”
The Epiphone Slash Les Paul features a solid mahogany body, a highly-figured maple top, and a vintage-correct long neck tenon that extends well into the body pickup cavity, for more wood-to-wood contact and sustain. With Slash’s personal choice of pickups, Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro humbuckers, for the rich crunch and singing leads he’s famous for. Also included is Epiphone’s new LockTone stopbar/Tune-o-matic system, which secures the bridge and tailpiece to the guitar even without strings, while adding as much as 20 percent more sustain. Slash’s favorite Dark Tobacco Burst finish, nickel hardware, and machine heads with vintage tulip buttons round out this powerful tribute to an iconic guitarist.
Gibson Slash USA Signature Les Paul
Gibson USA’s Slash Signature Les Paul Standard is a heartfelt tribute to Slash and the guitar he’s used for more than 20 years to create some of the most powerful and popular hard rock of all time.
Working closely with Slash, Gibson USA recreated his favorite Les Paul Standard. “I’ve got one of these on the road right now,” Slash says. “It’s probably one of the best live guitars that I’ve had in a really long time. It’s all the best qualities of Les Pauls rolled into one. All in all, it’s a pretty badass guitar.”
The magic of this guitar is in the details. An Antique Vintage Sunburst finish is applied to a solid mahogany body with a AA maple figured top and dark black. The body featuers Gibson’s period-correct weight-relief structure, along with a pair of Seymore Duncan Alnico II Pro humbuckers–the same pickups Slash uses in all his Les Pauls — for sweet, vintage tone. The Slash-designed solid mahogany neck is given a thin, comfortable profile to Slash’s personal specifications, and Slash’s skull and crossbones, top hat logo, and signature adorn the headstock. A custom-made, smooth black case featuring Slash’s logo accompanies every guitar. The Gibson USA Slash Signature Les Paul is a limited-edition run of only 1,600 guitars worldwide.
Gibson Slash Custom Signature Les Paul
Gibson Custom Shop’s Inspired By Slash Les Paul Standard restores Slash’s No. 1 guitar — one of two Les Pauls he received from Gibson in 1988 — to the way it was just before he used it to make musical history.
“This is the replica of the original 1988 Les Paul I had before I beat the hell out of it,” Slash says. “It’s sort of a trip for me to see it because it looks actually like the guitar after I had it refinished in 1988. This is what it looked like when it was brand new.” Slash’s beloved Les Paul made its debut on the lengthy tour to support Guns N’ Roses’ seminal first album Appetite for Destruction. The two-year tour began in clubs and small theaters and ended in stadiums, and at every stop Slash used his Les Paul to redefine the role of guitar hero and reintroduce hard rock to its raw and rebellious roots.
With a pair of Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups and the gentle aging of Gibson Custom’s Vintage Original Spec series, one of the most legendary guitars of all time has been restored to its original glory, complete with a Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish, faded to perfection. Crafted of the finest woods, the guitar is made of a carved maple top, one-piece mahogany back, and rosewood fingerboard. Each Inspired By Slash comes with a Gibson Custom Shop case and Certificate of Authenticity.
Gibson Custom Inspired by Slash Les Paul Standard (Aged and Signed)
Only the renowned Gibson Custom Shop, working with master luthier Tom Murphy, could reproduce Slash’s favorite Les Paul so accurately that Slash himself couldn’t tell his original from one of these Murphy-aged masterpieces. “It’s a replica of my 1988 Les Paul Standard, and this one is basically identical,” Slash says. “I actually got this confused with the real guitar at one point when they first made it. It comes with all the scratches and belt buckle nicks and cracks in the neck that the original had. It’s pretty amazing to see this. It looks exactly like it.” Virtually the same guitar Slash has cherished as his main guitar for more than 20 years, the new Gibson Custom Inspired By Slash Les Paul Standard is a painstaking tribute to the instrument Slash made history with. Down to the finish wear and authentic cigarette burn, every feature and detail has been faithfully recreated by hand, using the delicate, time-intensive aging process that Murphy pioneered and perfected. Along with the carved maple top, one-piece mahogany back, and rosewood fingerboard that form the tonal backbone for every Les Paul, Slash’s Tom Murphy model is suited specially for crunching hard rock tone with a pair of Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups. And with a thin, comfortable neck profile, the guitar not only looks like Slash’s Les Paul, but feels and sounds like it too. Each guitar comes with a Gibson Custom Shop case and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Slash.
Find a Gibson Slash Signature Les Paul Dealer
Dunlop SW-95 Crybaby Slash Wah Pedal
Two pedals in one! Like the guitarist himself, the Dunlop SW-95 Slash Wah is revolutionary and a classic, all at the same time.
It sports a hot rod, metallic-red finish and a cutting edge, high-gain circuit for a different and distinct sound. It also has a modified Fasel inductor for sweet, singing top end and upper midrange bite and sparkle on the wah. 18V operation yields tons of extra headroom. LED indicators for distortion on/off and wah on/off modes keep you clued in at all times. Top hat not included.
Dunlop SW-95 Crybaby Slash Wah Pedal Features:
- High gain distortion circuit
- Fasel inductor circuitry tuned to Slash’s specs
- 18V operation
- LEDs for distortion on/off and wah-wah on/off
Marshall JCM Slash Limited Edition Amp
No longer in production, the Marshall JCM Slash Limited Edition Amp was the first Marshall Amp in history to bear the signature of an artist. Released in 1996, The JCM Slash Signature model was an authentic reissue of the Marshall amp Slash has sworn-by since day one, the Jubilee 2555 100 Watt head.
Here’s some info that Marshall released at the time:
“This hand-wired, all-tube amp (3x12AX7s, 4xEL34s) successfully marries the power of the 800 Series with a highly versatile pre-amp that includes a footswitchable “Lead Master” control, effectively making it a two channel head. This enables the user to switch instantly between rhythm and lead tones with a mere tap of the foot,” explained Marshall’s US product manager, Nick Bowcott.
The Jubilee’s Series Effects loop also enhances the amp’s versatility. In addition, a push/pull function on the Input Gain control (when “pulled out”) injects a subtle but effective distorted edge to the unit’s rhythm tone. A High Output (100 Watt )/Low Input (50 Watts) switch and a DI jack adds flexibility.
The JCM Slash Signature Limited Edition comes complete with a manual with forewords written by both Jim Marshall and Slash, a certificate of authenticity, complimentary footswitch and a custom snakeskin style cover featuring Jim’s and Slash’s signatures. Specially made angled (1960ASL) and straight front (1960BSL) 4×12 cabinets loaded with Celestion “Vintage 30” speakers are also available in these snakeskin style signature covers.
Again, the Marshall JCM Slash Limited Edition Amp has been out of production for quite a while, but if you’re trying to find one, search on eBay.
Guild Crossroads Acoustic/Electric Guitar
Although not officially a Slash signature model, Slash did have a hand in the design of the acoustic/electric double neck Guild Crossroads guitar.
Guild no longer manufactures this guitar, but here was the product information released by Guild when the Crossroads was introduced in 1998.
Designed by guitarist Slash, who first sketched the guitar at a roadside diner in Hollywood, the Crossroads model is both an acoustic and an electric. The carved mahogany body is solid under the six string and has an acoustic sound hole and chamber under the twelve string. The guitar features a custom double neck 6 and 12, a high gloss lacquer finish, a maple top, a mahogany neck, Seymour Duncan pickups, and a Fishman transducer and preamp. Comes factory equipped with long-lasting Guild L3 50 phosphor bronze strings.
The Crossroads is truly a no-holds-barred guitar which players can use for any style to change quickly from acoustic to electric, without having to switch from one guitar to another midway through a live performance. Slash specified that he wanted to create the same Guild tone that he uses in the studio, but live on stage. This guitar can do both.
Just like the Marshall JCM Slash Amp, your best bet to find a Guild Crossroads guitar is on eBay.
Other Gear in Slash’s Set-Up
Of course, Slash can’t slap his name on every piece of gear in his set up. This section is taken from an interview Slash’s guitar tech Adam Day gave in Total Guitar Magazine in 2004.
Slash’s main rhythm sound was achieved with a combination of three Marshall heads: his Slash Signature Series model, a regular JCM800, and a 1973 model 1987 four-input non-master volume head. This mix was then run into a Marshall 100Watt cabinet loaded with 25Watt Celestion Greenback speakers. A classic Vox AC-30 valve combo was added for some sonic variation.
Adam: “In the past we’ve used three or four Marshalls and blended them together to create one voice. However, this time we tried the AC-30 in the mix.”
Clean rhythm sounds on the album were created with a 1956 Gibson Les Paul plugged into the Vox, which is also fitted with Celestion Greenbacks.
In the past, Slash’s amps used to be screaming in the studio. But during the recording of Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums, he switched to an old JCM 800 with 65/50 output, setting the preamp on 2, the master volume on 8, and ran it through a Marshall 100Watt 4×12 cab. The result was essentially all output distortion and output gain – a very different sound for the guitarist. This setup led to the development of a Marshall Slash Signature head, based on the JCM800 model. He first used this amp with his Slash’s Snakepit project.
Live, all the rigs are bigger and louder than ever. Slash’s sound is a mix of an incredible six Marshall heads: two Slash Signature 25/55 tops provide his distortion sound feeding two Marshall 4×12 cabs on the back line. An additional pair of signature Marshalls modified with KT 88 output valves handle his clean tones. A further head is used to power his Heil HT-1 talkbox. The cautious rocker also carries yet another Marshall Slash head as a spare.
All his cabinets are straight Marshall 1960-styled units fitted with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers. While the guitarist has experimented with different cabs and speakers, he ultimately returns to this familiar setup.
While Slash always takes to the stage with a variety of guitars, his main instrument for Revolver will be his new Gibson Signature Series Les Paul – a replica of a classic 1959 model (still considered the very best) with an aged tobacco sunburst finish.
The guitar is fitted with a Fishman Power Bridge piezo for an acoustic guitar tone – it has an onboard switch to select the piezo pickup, humbuckers or both. He will also travel with a pair of custom-made BC Rich guitars – a 10-string Bich, set up for six-strings, and his famous Guns N’ Roses-era Mockingbird. He will play his Guild Crossroads double neck guitar on stage too – a unique combination of an acoustic and an electric guitar that he helped design. Slash will perform all of his acoustic parts live on this amazing guitar.
Slash’s pedals are run through the effects loop of his dirty amp and include an MXR 10-band graphic EQ and a Boss DD-5 digital delay. The latter is kicked in for soloing – the EQ provides a midrange boost to enhance feedback and to boost leads.
The only effect that Slash will operate himself onstage is a custom-made rack-mounted Dunlop Crybaby wah system. This also enables him to run up to four pedals at various locations on the stage. Adam typically handles all effect and amp switching offstage, including a Heil HT-1 voice box.
Slash Books, Music, and Swag
The Book: Slash
The Author: Slash with Anthony Bozza
The Run-Down: From one of the greatest rock guitarists of our era comes a memoir that redefines sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll
He was born in England but reared in L.A., surrounded by the leading artists of the day amidst the vibrant hotbed of music and culture that was the early seventies. Slash spent his adolescence on the streets of Hollywood, discovering drugs, drinking, rock music, and girls, all while achieving notable status as a BMX rider. But everything changed in his world the day he first held the beat-up one-string guitar his grandmother had discarded in a closet.
The instrument became his voice and it triggered a lifelong passion that made everything else irrelevant. As soon as he could string chords and a solo together, Slash wanted to be in a band and sought out friends with similar interests. His closest friend, Steven Adler, proved to be a conspirator for the long haul. As hairmetal bands exploded onto the L.A. scene and topped the charts, Slash sought his niche and a band that suited his raw and gritty sensibility.
He found salvation in the form of four young men of equal mind: Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, and Duff McKagan. Together they became Guns N’ Roses, one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time. Dirty, volatile, and as authentic as the streets that weaned them, they fought their way to the top with groundbreaking albums such as the iconic Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion I and II.
Here, for the first time ever, Slash tells the tale that has yet to be told from the inside: how the band came together, how they wrote the music that defined an era, how they survivedinsane, never-ending tours, how they survived themselves, and, ultimately, how it all fell apart. This is a window onto the world of the notoriously private guitarist and a seat on the roller-coaster ride that was one of history’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll machines, always on the edge of self-destruction, even at the pinnacle of its success. This is a candid recollection and reflection of Slash’s friendships past and present, from easygoing Izzy to ever-steady Duff to wild-child Steven and complicated Axl.
It is also an intensely personal account of struggle and triumph: as Guns N’ Roses journeyed to the top, Slash battled his demons, escaping the overwhelming reality with women, heroin, coke, crack, vodka, and whatever else came along.
He survived it all: lawsuits, rehab, riots, notoriety, debauchery, and destruction, and ultimately found his creative evolution. From Slash’s Snakepit to his current band, the massively successful Velvet Revolver, Slash found an even keel by sticking to his guns.
The Book: Reckless Road: Guns N’ Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction
The Author: Marc Canter
The Run-Down: When teenager and amateur photographer Marc Canter set out to document his best friend Saul Hudson’s rise as a rock guitarist in 1982, he never imagined he was documenting the genesis of of the next great rock ‘n’ roll band. His friend became the legendary guitarist Slash, and Canter found himself witnessing the creation of Guns N’ Roses front and center.
The candid shots contained in Reckless Road, taken as the band toured in 1985-1987 and made the legendary album Appetite for Destruction, capture their raw, blood-sweat-and-tears performances as well as their intimate moments. Containing original gig memorabilia including show flyers, ticket stubs, set lists, press clippings, and handwritten lyrics as well as in-depth interviews with band members and the people closest to them, Reckless Road offers an explicit, first-person perspective readers won’t find anywhere else.
Podcast Interview with Slash and Marc Canter
I had the pleasure of meeting Slash and Marc Canter at the 2008 BookExpo America. They were there to promote Reckless Road and they were kind enough to stop by the booth I was working at to record an interview. We spent about 10 minutes talking to us about the early days of GnR. It’s a pretty cool interview. The interviewer (not me…that is me setting up Slash’s mic in the photo) even tried to bait Slash a bit with an Axl Rose question, but Slash was very PC in his answer.
In case you’re wondering, Slash was super-cool. The show was closing for the day and he totally did not need to stay and talk to his. He was very nice and gracious, and was even cool to a lady who ambushed him with a free squirt gun she thought he had to have.
Listen to the podcast:
Just in case you need to expand your music collection…
Slash Tee Shirts and Collectibles
Mcfarlane Slash Action Figure – 6-inch action figure – One of rock ‘n’ roll’s most famous and accomplished guitarists in a signature pose complete with leather jacket and tophat. Includes support base, guitar, amp and speaker.
Shop for Slash Action Figures
Slash Tee Shirts – Check out these officially licensed Slash tee shirts.
Shop for Slash Tee Shirts
Guitar Hero III
Of course, Slash is also on the cover of the Guitar Hero III series of video games.
Even if you can’t play a chord, let alone the opening riff to Sweet Child O’ Mine, Guitar Hero gives you the chance to rock out like Slash, even if if is only in your living room.
Shop for Guitar Hero III Products
Watch Slash Rock Out!
After absorbing all of this information your mouth is probably watering just a bit for some good old Rock. Here’s a great video of Slash from the G n’ R days, playing the theme to The Godfather.