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Eric Johnson on the custom G3 pedal he might “actually put out on the market”

“Whatever I use needs to sound good from the beginning,” says the guitarist.

Eric Johnson performing

Image: Robert Knight Archive / Getty Images

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In a new interview, Eric Johnson offers a rundown of his G3 gear, which includes a one-of-a-kind custom pedal that he swears by for the jam during the show’s finale.

Summarising his G3 rig, Johnson tells Guitar World: “It’s basically my regular rig that I always use. But I come out with just one pedal and one amp for the jam, and we’ll go right into it. I look at it as a separate deal, but for my set, it’s the same setup as any other show.”

The guitarist, who recently spoke of his love for tube amps over digital modellers, says: “I have three distinct setups, and I’ve never found one amp that would do all three just how I like them.”

“So I selected three different amps for this tour – which is kinda what I always do – that would handle all three of those tones. And then, for the jam, I take one amp and that’s it.”

He explains: “Well, it’s more than just the one in that I’m also using a custom-made pedal by Bill Webb of Austin Vintage Guitars. It’s an overdrive/distortion with a real tube. So I go out there with one pedal, my one cabinet, and my guitar.”

“I keep it simple for the jam because it doesn’t require me to dig into all my sounds, you know? I can just have a couple of different sounds and it works.”

Johnson adds that the design for the pedal was his idea, saying: “I told [Bill] what I wanted to do, but he put it together. I had an older version that was also custom-made but not quite the same. We’ve been working on this new custom-made thing for a couple of years and designed it together.”

“It’s to the point where we might actually put it out on the market.”

Asked if the pedal is related to the overdrive-equipped Strat he’s also working on, Johnson replies: “That Strat is another thing that Bill Webb and I designed together. It incorporates the part of the pedal that creates the sounds I get when I use the Bill Webb pedal. But the pedal has two overdrives, whereas the guitar has just one.”

“It’s interesting because I’m using that guitar for the jam, and I won’t lie – it’s kind of nice because I can just walk on stage with only a guitar if I want to, hit a switch, and have a bunch of cool stuff at my disposal.”

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