Angus is one of those guitar players who stick to one guitar pretty much for the entirety of their careers. In Young’s case, his guitar choice is the Gibson SG, which he used basically from the start. His first guitar was a 1970 or 1971 Gibson SG Standard finished in walnut and featuring a Lyre Maestro tremolo bridge. He used this guitar in the first few albums exclusively, and on the rest mostly just in the studio.
As soon as Angus’ first SG began seeing less stage light, more and more different SGs started to be introduced into his setup. In the earlier years, there was a modified 1970s Gibson SG Custom, most famously used at Hammersmith Odeon concert in 1979. In 1981, Angus also used a custom made SG manufactured by Jaydee, with custom-designed pickups and lightning bolt inlays.
For the rest of the 80s and 90s, and in the more recent years, Angus continued to use various Gibson SG models. Some of them were early 60s models, some were those from the 70s with larger pickguards, and some were from Angus’ own signature line produced by Gibson.
As far as the amps, Angus is best known for using Marshall Model 1959 Super Leads, although occasionally he used different Marshall models, as well as those from other brands. Most notably, both him and Malcolm used Wizard amps from around the mid to late 90s.
Angus Young Equipment Guide
Please note that this is just a quick basic guide for beginners. In reality, a lot of factors go into replicating someone’s sound, and it’s usually nearly impossible to achieve. To see the equipment that Angus actually used himself, and all that went into it, refer to the chronological list below.
Go for the SG
When it comes to guitars, buying something that will make you sound and feel like Angus is really a no brainer. You simply go out and buy an SG.
The best thing would, of course, be to buy one from Young’s Signature line. These guitars can, unfortunately, be somewhat pricey, as they are no longer being produced, and the people who own them are reluctant to sell them.
The second best option would be to go for basically any Gibson made SG – preferably, something like a 1961 SG Reissue. The third or budget option would be to buy an Epiphone G-400. This guitar will cost you only a few hundred dollars and for that price, it will more than good enough.
If you’re a beginner, get yourself anything with a decent sounding overdrive channel. A good budget option would be something like the Orange Crush 35RT, which is a pretty straightforward amp with only the reverb built-in as far as the effects.
The more expensive option would be to buy a tube amp. Based on price and features, it would be smart to buy something like a Marshall DSL40. This is a sort of an entry-level tube amp, with a Celestion speaker, and a decent 40W of power. It’s of course not a vintage Marshall Plexi, but it will do the job just fine.
Strings and Picks
If you wanna use what Angus uses, get yourself a set of Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings. These are basically your standard light set, starting from .009 on the high E string.
As far as picks, go for something heavy. Angus probably used more than just a few models throughout his career, but most recently, he was seen using Fender Extra Heavy picks.