Originally published on dolphinmusic.co.uk Wed July 04, 2007
If you want to know how to get Jack White's sound, here's a complete gear guide to help you with what you need to sound like the White Stripes frontman - red clothing not included...
Even though the White Stripes haven't released an album since 2007's "Icky Thumb", which went straight to number One in the Charts, they are still widely regarded as one of the most popular acts in the world today. Since they first struck stardom with hit-single "7 Nation Army", one thing many guitarists would like to know is how to sound like Jack White. Here's a quick Jack White gear guide...
Jack White's Pedals
The secret weapon of Jack White is his pedalboard, which has been subject of several discussions on web-forums, ever since they became famous. Fortunately for us mere mortals, his setup is very simple and he doesn't use anything too rare or obscure as far as FX pedals go. It's quite simple and involves these four pedals:
Guitar >> MXR Micro Amp >> Digitech Whammy >> Electro Harmonix Big Muff >> Electro Harmonix POG >> Amp
The MXR Micro Amp is used to boost the signal whenever he needs it – some sources say it's on at all times.
He uses the Digitech Whammy for solos (2 Octaves up) and that's one of his trademark sounds – the crunchy Big Muff and the Digitech Whammy at the same time... most of Jack White's solos are played like that.
Jack also uses the Digitech Whammy with the Octaves down setting, to make his guitar sound like a bass on “7 Nation Army”. As you can see, it's a very versatile pedal.
Jack White's main distortion is the classic Big Muff Fuzz pedal, which now has been painted red.
The POG is one of EHX's newest pedals, and was used for the guitar sounds on “Blue Orchid”, the first single from their previous album “Get Behind Me Satan”. It's unknown if he uses it for anything else. Unfortunately teh original version is now out of production and is fetching the same price as a small island on 2nd hand dealer sites. However, EHX have produced the POG 2 which offers the same functionalty with greater reliability. It will even let you save your settings and activate them with one click - perfect if someone changes your settings without asking!
Jack White also uses two other pedals, but which have nothing to do with his sound: the Boss TU-2 Tuner which has now been updated to the TU-3, and a pedal to cutoff the signal, to mute his guitar whenever he needs it - which the TU-3 is actually capable of doing too!
Jack White's Guitars:
Here, things get a bit more complicated...up until recently, when he started playing Gretsch guitars, Jack White only used old, obscure guitars such as the Montgomery Ward Airline, which used to be sold in department stores in the USA in the 60s. Somewhat hard to come by now!
Well...if you can't get hold of one on Ebay, the best idea is to get a good retro-style guitar. But it must be red, obviously, like all his guitars! Here's our 7 (Nation Army!) suggestions:
He also uses a Semi-Acoustic, 335-style guitar for some more bluesy numbers. A good and cheap suggestion would be the red Epiphone Casino Coupe guitar. Simple, cheap, sturdy and effective...
Jack Whites Amps:
Jack White's favourite amp is a super-rare Silvertone model, but he also uses a Fender Twin Reverb. In an interview for Guitar Player a few years ago, White said:
"The Silvertone is really rare," says White. "It took me five years to find it, and now I have two. The Silvertone gives me the crunch-and the crunch that comes from those six Jensen speakers is amazing-and the Twin gives me the reverb. I run both amps all the way up. I used to get upset because of that theory you get from sound guys-you know, 'Turn it down onstage and we'll pump you through the monitors.' I don't trust that. I need my amps pointed at me full blast. That's a weakness of mine, but I have to have it. I mean, it's just me and Meg up there, so the guitar has to be strong."
If you're looking for a more affordable alternative to the Fender Twin, you might like to try the Fender Blues Junior, which has the classic Fender tone and reverb in a small – but still quite loud – 15-watt amp.
Though, we must say, the Fender Blues Deluxe Cream of Wheat Limited Edition is ”totally” White Stripes! You can bet Jack White would love it!
If you want a crunchier amp, but can't get a Silvertone, then try the Orange Crush 35 RT Solid State 35W Combo Amp, that should give you all the crunchy sounds you need to get your Jack White tone nailed!
That's it, for the White Stripes sound, but if you want to learn more about which gear Jack White uses for his other bands, such as The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, check out our guide to Jack White's pedalboards.
We hope this info will have helped you to get the sound you want!