Well if you’re exhausted after reading about Joe’s amps, and the possible frustration that can come in realizing that many of them are either expensive, hard to find, or both, well, his pedal selection should be a bit of fresh air. Joe likes to point out that everything on his pedal board can be bought at your local music store (or at least online). So, let’s get started.
Joe’s main overdrive pedal is an Ibanez TS808 Reissue. It’s extremely popular in the blues and rock arena, and as mentioned, is available just about anywhere. No matter what style of music you play, a TS808 will likely be a great addition to your board.
Also found on Joe’s pedalboard is a Way Huge Pork Loin. Joe is good friends with Jeorge Tripps, the founder of Way Huge, so it’s no surprise he loves his pedals. The Pork Loin is a little different than most overdrive pedals, in that it allows a blending with your clean signal through a knob on the pedal’s exterior. It also has a few internal trim pots to tailor the tone to your liking.
Bonamassa has also had a Carl Martin Hot Drive ‘n Boost, as pictured below.
In a world where guitarists drool over analog this and analog that, it’s refreshing to see that Joe’s delay of choice is a plain old, off-the-shelf Boss DD-3. He plays it with “all of the knobs at 12:00” – which may or not work for your particular setup – but it is a great sounding delay that works well. Joe owns several of them.
For his reverb, again, his choice is fairly simple – a Boss RV5 Digital Reverb pedal. Nothing fancy, but it sure delivers a great tone for Joe and his setup.
And for awhile now Joe has been a fan of the Fulltone Supa-Trem, a simple but great sounding tremolo pedal that adds a unique depth to his tone when he wants it.
Finally, Joe’s board also sports a Boss CH-1 Super Chorus as pictured below.
Bonamassa also has a great relationship with Dunlop, and they have produced two signature pedals for Joe, a fuzz-face and a wah. Neither are limited in number, but they do produce a limited amount at a given time, so sometimes they are hard to find in stock. Be patient – they usually come back in a month or so.
The Joe Bonamassa Fuzz-Face was the first signature pedal to come out, and it has garnered rave reviews, especially with the humbucker crowd, since many of the other fuzz-faces out there are more adept for single coils (Hendrix, Eric Johnson, etc). It features a copper-like finish that is meant to age over time.
The second signature pedal is the Joe Bonamassa Cry Baby. As Joe puts it, when he uses a wah, he wants people to know it. This pedal helps him do that. Again, it is specially voiced to work well with his typical guitar – a Les Paul. So if other wahs haven’t worked out for you, you might give this one a try.
Finally, Joe has stated that he likes the Whirlwind AB pedals to do his amp switching. Although he has been seen using the Lehle models in the past, he has said that he likes the Whirlwind pedals better.
Of course if you’re playing through two amps simultaneously, you may only need one of these if you have FOUR amps like he does, so you can switch on/off the two that you like for the moment. Happy stomping!