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zZounds' Iconic Rigs Series

zZounds' Iconic Rigs Series

Get the gear -- and tones -- of your favorite artists!

From the moment you pick up a guitar, you're chasing after the tone of your favorite guitarists -- even if you aren't aware of it. Just think back to when you first started: there's always a certain player or band that first made you think, "I want to do that!" or "I want to sound like that!" Although a goal for many guitarists is to establish your own signature sound, little tone tricks or playing techniques from other players trickle into your own repertoire, whether you read about them in magazines or online, or while playing with a buddy from back home. The enormous effect that "guitar gods" like Hendrix or Van Halen have had on the masses is immeasurable.

Join zZounds as we celebrate the impact these heavy-hitting guitarists have made on the shape of rock 'n roll (and beyond) over the past 50 years with our Iconic Rigs Series. With each Iconic Rig, we take a closer look at the gear that gave a favorite player their voice. After all, with a few tweaks in your own tone -- and a lot of practice -- you could someday be on a list just like this.

Discover more iconic guitarists in our Legends of Tone series »

Chuck Berry

While it's simple at first glance, Chuck Berry's "bipartisan" combination of Gibson Memphis guitars and Fender combo amps laid the foundation for generations of guitarists. Berry's catalog is so influential, that his hit song "Johnny B. Goode" was the only rock 'n' roll song to be included on the Voyager Golden Record, sent into space in 1977. Those big barking tones on "Maybelline" and "Johnny B. Goode" were the work of Berry’s gorgeous white 1957 ES-350 T, loaded with Gibson’s then-new PAF humbuckers. Once the ES-335 was introduced in 1958, Berry was an early adopter, and has been seen throughout most of his career rocking a red 335. The marriage of hollow-body Gibsons and high-powered Fender combo amps created one of the most iconic tones of the 20th century.

You might not have a 1957 ES-350 T at your disposal, or be able to require that a pair of Fender Showman combos be on stage at every one of your gigs -- so we sifted through our inventory and found our picks to help recreate Chuck Berry's iconic rig.
Check out the gear of Chuck Berry »


Arguably one of the most iconic guitarists of the last 30 years, Slash has found a way to transcend the label of simply being a great guitarist within the guitar-playing community, to being synonymous with the instrument by the entire public at large. From the unmistakable top hat and low-slung Les Paul to his searing blues-infused rock 'n' roll riffs and licks, Slash has become a ubiquitous ambassador for guitarists around the world. As lead guitarist for Guns N' Roses, Slash's Snakepit, and Velvet Revolver (among many other side projects), Slash's playing style and distinctive Les Paul + Marshall tone has cemented his legacy as a hard rock icon.

If you happen to love aggressive, raw, and unfiltered rock 'n' roll, then you can't deny the influence Slash has had on players over the last three decades.

Check out the gear of Slash »

Randy Rhoads

Frequently considered by many players and fans as one of the best guitarists of his generation, the late Randy Rhoads combined heavy metal riffs with neo-classical leads, resulting in a unique style that influenced countless guitarists from the '70s through the present. Originally a founding member of Quiet Riot, Rhoads is perhaps best known as the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne's earliest solo material, riffing his way through the Prince of Darkness' first two albums and solidifying his legacy as one of metal's greatest guitarists.

With his trusty Gibson Les Paul Custom, as well as his signature V guitars, Marshall amps, and MXR pedals, Randy helped forge the sound of heavy metal in the '80s and beyond.

Check out the gear of Randy Rhoads »

Kirk Hammett

Having shred upon countless stages in behemoth metal act, Metallica, since 1983, Kirk Hammett knows a thing or two about what it takes to achieve blistering tone. From Kill 'Em All to Death Magnetic, Metallica's sound and rigs have evolved, but Hammett's guitar work continues to cut like a knife.

Luckily, thanks to a slew of signature gear, you don't need a toiling guitar tech to nail that screaming "Disposable Heroes" solo. Check out this edition of our Iconic Rigs series and learn more about Kirk's searing thrash-metal tone!

Check out the gear of Kirk Hammett »

Eric Clapton

Look up any "greatest guitarists" list by any publication, and more likely than not, you'll find Eric Clapton somewhere near the top of the list. Forever a blues purist, Clapton has made blues guitar playing his life's calling, resulting in three Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions (solo, Cream, and the Yardbirds) and millions of records sold worldwide.

From Gibson to Fender to Marshall, Clapton has had his hands on a ton of guitars and amps throughout his career. zZounds' Iconic Rigs Series explores the gear you can use to land the classic Slowhand tone!

Check out the gear of Eric Clapton »

Tony Iommi

After losing several fingertips on his fretting hand in a bizarre factory accident, it didn't seem like Tony Iommi would ever play guitar again. What could have been a career-ending incident ended up fueling Iommi and shaping a playing style that would influence generations of hard-rock guitarists. Widely considered to be the godfather of metal, the Black Sabbath axeman is known for his simple, yet heavy riffing; three-semitone drop-tuning technique; frequent use of dark tritones -- and, of course, for 40 years' worth of heavy music around the world.

You don't need a wall of Laney full stacks to achieve the tone of Tony Iommi (although that would be pretty cool). Read on to learn about a few key pieces of gear that will help you along your way to riffing like metal's elder statesman.

Check out the gear of Tony Iommi »

Jimi Hendrix

Though his mainstream career was a flame that burned quickly and brightly throughout the mid-late '60s, the impact that Jimi Hendrix has had on the guitar-playing world is nothing short of legendary. With a unique tone shaped by road-worn Marshall Plexi full-stacks, distinctive "flipped-over" Stratocasters, and the unabashed use of gritty fuzz, wah and modulation effects, Hendrix paved the way for generations of players seeking pure tonal freedom.

You don't have to be a southpaw, or light your favorite guitar on fire, to channel the raw, psychedelic vibes of Jimi Hendrix. Learn more about some key ingredients you can use to achieve the Hendrix tone!

Check out the gear of Jimi Hendrix »

Eddie Van Halen

As one of the most influential guitarists of the last four decades, Eddie Van Halen pioneered a slew of virtuoso techniques and led the way for super-saturated overdrive. From intricate rhythm playing and tapping to incredibly slick, lightning-fast leads, Van Halen not only helped create an era of highly influential hard rock music, he defined it. Aside from his exceptional playing, Eddie's tone was all about cranking out an aggressive, grind-y midrange with crunchy tube saturation that became his signature sound -- the so-called "brown sound."

While most of us will never have the chops to compete with Eddie's own playing, we can certainly attempt to emulate the guitar hero's sound. Learn more about EVH's famous tone, his signature gear, and how to incorporate his sound into your own.

Check out the gear of Eddie Van Halen »

Jimmy Page

Combining unmatched swagger on stage with focused vision in the studio, Jimmy Page has undeniably established his legacy as a member of the highest echelon of rock stardom. Images of Jimmy playing on stage with a Les Paul and Marshall stacks behind him have been irreversibly etched into our minds over the years.

Known as the mastermind behind much of Led Zeppelin's success, Page has experimented with hundreds of combinations of guitars and amps in his quest for the ultimate tone. Since you could probably take an entire college course on the subject, join us as we take a closer look at just a handful of the iconic pieces of gear that Jimmy made famous.

Check out the gear of Jimmy Page »

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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as you Pay® installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as you Pay® plans.

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2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference. price match details »

3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses. shipping details »

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Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you. return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission. customer service »
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