Joe Bonamassa explains his seven-amplifier rig: “What’s the point of playing guitar if you can’t be loud as hell?”

It features vintage Marshalls, Dumbles and Fender amplifiers.

Joe Bonamassa

Image: Daniel Knighton / Getty

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Joe Bonamassa has given fans on Twitter a tour of the rig he’s using for current live shows, which features seven different amplifiers.

Bonamassa detailed his rig in a video shared on Friday (26 March) – watch it below.

The seven-amplifier setup includes a pair of vintage Marshall heads: a 1986 JCM800 50-watter and a 1987 Silver Jubilee 100-watt model. According to the bluesman, “these stay on the entire time” as his “anchor sound”.

Bonamassa explained that he usually runs four amplifiers in tandem at a time, topping off the Marshalls with either a pair of Fender Joe Bonamassa ’59 Twin-Amps, or a pair of Dumble Overdrive Specials. The rig also includes a Benson-built Leslie cabinet, and a secondary Twin just for the onstage Theremin.

“It’s all kind of linked together with a bunch of wires. And it’s loud as hell,” Bonamassa said. “See that’s the point – what’s the point of playing guitar if you can’t be loud as hell?

Further along in the video, Bonamassa’s attention turn to his pedalboard – dubbed the ‘boomer board’ – which was built by Dave Friedman in 2012 and sidelined for a few years while he was using a more minimal setup.

The board’s signal chain includes a Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere, a Boss DD-2, an MXR Flanger, an Ibanez Tube Screamer, an Electro-Harmonix Pog, a Fulltone Supa-Trem (which is always on), as well as Bonamassa’s signature Way Huge Overrated Special and Dunlop Fuzz Face.

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