Dave Grohl’s Vox AC30 Amp

This has been Dave’s main amp for many years, starting from the early days of Foo Fighters. Most often, he used it for the clean sounds, while using Mesa Boogies or other amps for the dirty tones.

As a an example of specific use, the amp was featured extensively on the There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999).

We focused on not using too many distortion pedals, and went for a cleaner, fatter, more natural overdrive. We used a Vox AC30 for pretty much everything on the record, tweaking the sound so that it broke up nicely when played loud.

Sometimes we’d double a track using an old Pro Co Rat, and then hard-pan the parts so that a super-distorted guitar was in the left channel and a grindy guitar was in the right. Then we’d sprinkle in lots of clean guitar overdubs.

Dave Grohl’s No Fuzz Zone, Guitar Player 1999

In the most recent years, Dave’s guitar tech simplified the rig somewhat, as explained in the interview below.

I got rid of the extra amps. Before, when he [Grohl] wanted a cleaner sound, the A/B box would get a signal from the Vox AC30, which sounded great. When he wanted a dirty sound, he would go to the Mesa Boogie, and there was a Marshall that was in the mix every once in a while.

I got rid of that and I bought a three-channel amp at the time, and now we use four-channel amps, so I can get a wide range of tones and sounds. I like the Mesa Boogie Road Kings because 1) they sound good, and 2) they’re bullet-proof.

Joe Beebe: Dave Grohl’s Guitar Tech (link offline)


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