Gary Moore’s Guitars, Amps, Effects Collection

Summary of Gary’s Equipment

Gary is probably best known for using Gibson Les Paul guitars. More precisely, a guitar most often associated with him is the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, once owned by Peter Green of the Fleetwood Mac, and now in the possession of Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. Another one worth singling out is the Les Paul Standard nicknamed “Stripe” that was used on Gary’s most popular track, Still Got the Blues.

Gary playing one of his numerous Gibson Les Pauls. Montreux 2010.

Aside from the Les Pauls, one of Gary’s main axes was his trusty 1961 Fender Stratocaster finished in fiesta red, most famously used in 2005 at the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar concert.

Regarding amps, Gary is pretty much a Marshall guy. He used various models, from the 1959 Super Leads, to Model 2204s, Marshall JTM45 Reissues, and Marshall 1959 HWs. In between he’d use a VOX AC30 (Colosseum II era), various Fender combos, and Soldanos.

As far as the effects, depending on the era, you’ll find that Gary used different types of pedals. Few worth pointing out are the Marshall Guv’nor that he used on SGTB and Ibanez Tube Screamer (TS-9 and TS-10) which he used throughout his career. Gary is also known for using rack effects units such as the Roland SRE-555 Chorus Echo which he used for tape echo in the 90s, and the Roland SDE-3000 Digital Delay.

Lastly, as his main choice of strings, Gary usually went for Dean Markleys either a .010-.052, or occasionally a .009-.048 set. For picks, his early choice at least was to go for extra heavy thickness celluloid picks, similar to those sold by Dunlop today – the 483P05XH Genuine Celluloid Extra Heavy picks.

Chronological list of Guitars, Amps, Effects, and Accessories used by Gary Moore

Electric Guitars

1959 "Peter Green" Gibson Les Paul Standard

This is one of the most famed electric guitars in rock and roll history. Prior to Gary Moore, the guitar was owned by Peter Green (Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac), who was one of the players responsible for popularizing the Les Paul guitar model. This guitar, coupled with Eric Clapton’s Les Paul “Beano Burst”, and Jimmy Page’s […]

Acquired circa 1970
1950s Gibson Les Paul Modified

This guitar was presumably used by Gary during his time playing with Skid Row, until around 1971. It can be seen on a video recorded during the band’s performance on German TV music show Beat Club. The guitar pretty much disappeared after mid-1972. If you happen to know what happened to it after and with whom it ended […]

Acquired circa 1971
Gibson Melody Maker (DiMarzio)

Gary was seen using this guitar with Thin Lizzy. More specifically, he used it during the bands Sydney Opera House concert in October 1978, on songs Are You Ready and Baby Drives Me Crazy (last two of the set). Originally, this guitar would have a single-coil pickup, but it looks like Gary replaced it with […]

Acquired circa 1978
Fender Stratocaster (Custom made, DiMarzios)

Gary was first seen using this guitar on December 20th, 1978 at the Stardust Night Club Dublin, during a gig with The Greedy Bastards (a band consisting of the whole Thin Lizzy lineup and two Sex Pistols members – Paul Cook and Steve Jones) [20-12-1978 STARDUST, Artane]. The Strat was subsequently used by Gary during the […]

Acquired circa 1978
1955 Gibson Les Paul Junior

Gary was first seen using this guitar during the Thin Lizzy 1979 Black Rose Tour. According to Gary, the guitar used to belong to Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. [Gary Moore at No.73, 1987] Unfortunately at this time, not much is known about the guitar. Gary likely got it between mid and late 1978, when he […]

Acquired circa 1979
Charvel/Jackson Custom (Red)

After leaving Thin Lizzy during the band’s US tour in 1979, Gary traveled to Los Angeles in an attempt to make a solo rock presence and ended up recruiting a couple of people and forming a band called G-Force. At the same time, he went to the Charvel guitar shop on a recommendation from a friend and ended up […]

Acquired circa 1980
Charvel Custom “Leopard”

Seen around 1980 on a few photoshoots and in the video for the G-Force song, “Hot Gossip”. Based on the logo on the headstock, the guitar seems to have been made by Charvel and was likely among the first few that Gary every received from Grover Jackson. Not a lot to be said about this […]

Acquired circa 1980
1961 Fender Stratocaster

Gary started using this Strat in 1981 while recording with Greg Lake. According to Gary’s guitar tech Graham Lilly, the guitar was initially meant for Greg, but it ended up with Gary. […] A chap turned up to the studio, with a couple of guitars. Gary was there and he was sold one first. It was an […]

Acquired circa 1981
1956 Gibson ES-5

Gary got this guitar in 1981 while recording with Greg Lake. The story of how he acquired it varies, but the guitar originated from a guy who came to the studio where Gary and Greg were rehearsing. The same guy sold Gary his 1961 Fender Stratocaster. A chap turned up at the rehearsals, or to […]

Acquired circa 1981
Ibanez Roadstar RS1000

Around 1983/84 Gary endorsed and occasionally used Ibanez guitars and equipment. He was most often photographed with a cherry sunburst RS1000 model. In most cases, the photos from photoshoots, but there is at least one that shows Gary actually playing the guitar on stage – which means that he did indeed use the guitars. The […]

Acquired circa 1983
Charvel San Dimas (White, Modified)

This guitar started out as a standard Charvel San Dimas, probably given to Gary by Grover Jackson probably sometime in 1983. As such, the guitar was used occasionally in 1983/84, but by October 1985, it went through some serious modifications. Embed from Getty Images Before moving onto the mods, it’s worth noting that the original […]

Acquired circa 1983
Charvel San Dimas (Red, Modified)

Gary received this guitar sometime in the early 1980s together with another white Charvel, both of which were modified later on by his guitar tech Keith Page. The red guitar in its original state was a Stratocaster replica with three single-coil pickups with an addition of a Floyd Rose tremolo and a locking nut. Sometime in 1985 […]

Acquired circa 1983
Hamer Phantom Prototype

Gary was seen with this guitar on a couple of photos taken in the 80s. The first one is the often referenced photo of Gary’s guitar collection, and the second one shows Gary holding the guitar. In the second photo, the guitar has a hand-written signature on it, so it could be that this photo […]

Acquired circa 1984
1983 Fender Stratocaster '62 Reissue

Gary bought this guitar in mid-1984 as a replacement for his old ’61 Stratocaster which was stolen and then recovered some time prior. One of the (Stratocasters) is a real old one- like a ’61. I guess it’s pink. It’s my main one that was stolen before I went on tour and it was later […]

Acquired circa 1984
1984 Hamer Explorer

Gary received this guitar directly from Hamer in late 1984. It featured natural finish on a flame maple top, two full-sized humbuckers, and a stoptail bridge. Gary was photographed with the guitar on a couple of occasions, but to our knowledge never in a live or studio setting. The guitar is currently owned by John Marks/Rare […]

Acquired circa 1984
1980s Hamer Special

Gary first used this guitar sometime around 1985, and it can be seen during a gig played with Phil Lynott that year on Channel 4’s ECT show. The guitar was likely made specifically for Gary, although it was mostly based on a mid-80s Hamer Special model. It featured white finish on a mahogany body, two DiMarzio […]

Acquired circa 1985
SynthAxe

This guitar was most famously used in the Out in the Fields video released in 1985.  The SynthAxe is a fretted MIDI controller that uses electronic synthesizers to produce sound. It was created in the mid-80s by Bill Aitken, Mike Dixon, and Tony Sedivy, in a joint venture funded by Richard Branson, but less than 100 units were […]

Acquired circa 1985
Ibanez Roadstar II RS 530 BK

This Ibanez was most famously used in the music video for the song “Out in the Fields” with Phil Lynott (1985). The guitar is a RS 530 BK model, and it features a flat top with red body bindings, 24 frets neck, a Pro-Rock’r tremolo bridge, and standard passive Ibanez pickups. Please note that Gary […]

Acquired circa 1985
Hamer Phantom A5

This guitar was featured on a photo taken of Gary’s guitar collection sometime in the late 80s. It is unknown whether Gary ever performed live with it or used it in the studio (if you happen to know, leave a comment). Gary’s Phantom A5 featured red finish, triple-coil pickup in the bridge, and a slanted single-coil pickup in […]

Acquired circa 1985
1980s Fender Stratocaster ’57 Reissue

This is one of the guitars that Gary was seen playing in Out in the Fields video with Phil Lynott (1985). It was also used during the 1997 European tour, and, most notably, it was used on Live At Montreux DVD, 1997, on the track Business As Usual. The guitar is a vintage ’57 reissue, featuring a maple […]

Acquired circa 1985
1959 Gibson Les Paul SGTB

This guitar (serial number #9-2227, nicknamed “Stripe”) was bought in 1988 with the help of Gary’s guitar tech Graham Liley. The previous owner was Phil Harris, who on Graham’s request came down to a studio where Gary was rehearsing and offered him two of his guitars – both late 50s Les Paul Standards. Gary ended up […]

Acquired circa 1988
Hamer Vector

Gary acquired this guitar sometime in the mid-80s. The most notable appearance was during the recording of the music video for Ready For Love in 1989, and on the photos in the booklet from the Empty Rooms (Summer 1985 Version) vinyl. The guitar was finished in light blue, and it featured a single humbucker in […]

Acquired circa 1989
Squier Stratocaster (SGTB tour)

The information about this guitar was provided by its current owner according to whom it was at some point used by Gary. The guitar is Korean-made and based on the serial number (S908261), built sometime between 1988 and 1993. Unfortunately with these guitars, it’s apparently very hard to tell for certain the exact year of […]

Acquired circa 1990
Fritz Brothers Bluesmaster (Sunburst)

Based on the info posted on the auction of this guitar in 2016, Gary acquired it in late 1991, after trying a similar guitar that was owned by George Harrison. Apparently, Gary used Harrison’s guitar to record a song from the 1989 album After The War and then felt he needed his own guitar to […]

Acquired circa 1991
Fritz Brothers Super Deluxe (Blue)

Gary was seen using this guitar during a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1992 on the song The Sky is Crying, and in 1993 during the Live Blues concert on the song Too Tired. According to the official spec sheet, the guitar featured light-blue finish on a semi-hollow Telecaster style alder body with a solid […]

Acquired circa 1992
Fender Stratocaster (HSS, Floyd Rose)

Gary used this guitar during the Dark Days In Paradise tour in 1997 as his main tremolo guitar. It was used on I Have Found My Love in You and Like Angels, among others. The guitar is an American-built Stratocaster with an EMG humbucker in the bridge position and a Floyd Rose tremolo installed in place of the standard […]

Acquired circa 1996
1960s Gibson ES-355TD-SV

Gary was first seen using this guitar during Live At Montreux show recorded in 1997 on the song One Good Reason. He picked it up again two years later at the same place to play a few songs including I Loved Another Woman and Need Your Love So Bad. The guitar featured cherry red finish, an ABR-1 […]

Acquired circa 1997
1963 Fender Stratocaster (Natural)

Gary used this guitar towards the later part of his career. For instance, it can be seen on the Blues for Jimi: Live in London DVD/BlueRay, filmed in 2007, on the 40th Anniversary of Jimi Hendrix Monterey concert. According to the info posted on the 2016 auction of this guitar, the Stratocaster was given to […]

Acquired circa 1998
Gibson Signature Les Paul

This is the first official Gary Moore signature model issued by Gibson. It was released in 2000 and produced until 2002. Gary himself used it often alongside his vintage Les Pauls. The guitar was mostly based on a ’59 Standard, although it did feature some very noticeable differences. The body was finished in amber burst […]

Acquired circa 2000
Gibson Les Paul Doublecut

Seen during Live in Montreux concert in 2001 on the song The Prophet. According to the 2016 auction of the guitar, Gary also used the guitar during the studio recording of the song (Back to the Blues, 2001). The guitar (serial number 91188401) is essentially a double-cutaway version of the standard Gibson Les Paul guitar with 24 frets […]

Acquired circa 2001
Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop "Class 5"

Gary Moore used this guitar for a couple of songs at the tribute concert for Phil Lynott in Dublin on August 20, 2005 [Gary Moore and Friends: One Night in Dublin – A Tribute to Phil Lynott]. The concert featured guest appearances from three Thin Lizzy guitarists Scott Gorham, Eric Bell, and Brian Robertson as well […]

Acquired circa 2005
Gibson Firebird

Gary acquired this guitar around 2005 and used it occasionally on stage in the following years. The guitar was completely stock, with two mini-humbuckers and a fixed bridge. As far as the usage in the studio, Gary has said that he used the guitar on the song Preacher Man Blues from the 2008 album, Bad for You Baby. […]

Acquired circa 2005
Gibson SG Standard

In Jack Bruce’s (Cream bassist) 1998 instructional film titled “The Cream of Cream” Gary appeared as a guest guitarist, and perhaps as a nod to Clapton picked up an unusual instrument for him – a Gibson SG. The film features interviews with Jack and separate segments during which the bend composed of Jack, Moore, and Gary Husband performed some […]

Acquired circa 2006
Gibson Les Paul ’57 Goldtop Reissue

Used occasionally towards the later part of his career, most notably during the Avo Session in 2008. The guitar is a reissue model of Gibson’s 1957 Les Paul Goldtop, and it featured a mahogany body with a carved maple top and a glued-in mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard. It was equipped with two Custom Buckers […]

Acquired circa 2008

Acoustic Guitars

Takamine PTS-015

As far as the acoustics, at least in the early years, Gary pretty much stuck with one brand – Takamine. Everything we know about these guitars comes from a photo taken of his personal guitar collection in 1985 – since Gary was rarely seen playing acoustics live. On the mentioned photo Gary was seen sitting […]

Acquired circa 1985
Takamine 12-String Custom

This guitar was seen on the 1985 photograph of Gary’s guitar collection. According to the International Musician interview from that same year, Gary used it on Victims of the Future. I’ve got some Takamine acoustic guitars which I really like. I use a 12-string on stage in the intro to Victims Of The Future. It’s black, […]

Acquired circa 1985
1989 Takamine CP132SC

This guitar was sold through Bonham’s auction in June 2016. According to the info provided by the house, Gary used the guitar on Nothing’s The Same from 1992 After Hours album, and With Love, Remember from 1994 Ballads and Blues. The Takemine CP132SC is a nylon string classical model featuring rosewood back and sides with a solid cedar top. […]

Acquired circa 1992
Lowden 022 Custom

This guitar (serial no. 3617) was used by Gary around the Baker Bruce Moore era circa 1993. According to the info posted on the auction page of the guitar, it was used to some extent on the trio’s only album “Around the Next Dream”. Aside from that, Gary used it on April 27, 1995, on […]

Acquired circa 1992

Amps

Marshall 50W Head

According to Gary himself, he acquired his first Marshall amp when he was 16 years old. Just to figure out when this might have happened, Gary turned 16 on April 4, 1968, and he joined Skid Row around midway through that year. So likely, the amp was purchased around the same time that he joined. […]

Acquired circa 1968
Hiwatt Custom 100

Gary used Hiwat 100W Custom amp while playing with Skid Row, circa 1970/1971. He played the amp through a pair of Wem 4×12” cabinets. Embed from Getty Images

Acquired circa 1970
Orange Matamp OR200

Seen on the 1971 footage of Skid Row performing on the German TV program, Beat-Club. At that time, Gary played a customized Gibson Les Paul.

Acquired circa 1971
1970s VOX AC-30

The following info was provided by the amp’s current owner. This hand-wired VOX AC30 amplifier, manufactured around 1974, was used by Gary Moore when he was in Colosseum II. According to Gary himself, the amp had gone missing in 1977 while touring. The amp’s story Later that year it finds it’s way to Robin Millar, […]

Acquired circa 1975
Gallien-Krueger 250RL Amp

Allegedly used at the start of the Run for the Cover tour circa 1985. The amp was used very briefly together with some Marshalls, at least according to the auction page of this amp. It seems that after that, Gary moved onto a smaller Gallien-Krueger Series II 250ML combo amps, which he ran through Marshall […]

Acquired circa 1985
Gallien-Krueger Series II 250ML

This amp was first mentioned by Gary in an interview he did with International Musician in November 1985. They look like little practice amplifiers, but they are actually a lot more elaborate. They have their own stereo chorus built in, two channels, a very dirty one and a very clean one, and a compressor which […]

Acquired circa 1985
1971 Marshall Model 2022 20W

Gary acquired this amp sometime around 1986. According to Cosmo Verrico, Gary had used it extensively throughout his career, most notably on Blues For Greeny and Wild Frontier, although it’s unknown to which extent exactly. The first album that the amp was used on was the 1987 release Wild Frontier, it is impossible to say […]

Acquired circa 1986
Marshall JTM45 2245

Allegedly, Gary acquired an early version of the JTM45 reissue amp, which at that time in 1989 was still in state of development. He used the amp first on his 1990 album Still Got the Blues. One of the guys from Metallica goes up to [producer] Bob Rock and says, ‘This is the sound I […]

Acquired circa 1989
Soldano SLO100

Gary was seen using Soldano SLO100 amps in the early 90s during the Still Got the Blues and After Hours tours. Apparently, he only used the clean channel on the amps, and used either a Guv’nor or a TS10 to add the punch to it. Marshall Guv’nor Pedal ( Mk 1), Ibanez TS10 Tube Screamer […]

Acquired circa 1990

Effects

Roland SRE-555 Chorus Echo

Used first around early 80s, and at least up until 1987, and the Wild Frontier tour. I use the Roland SRE 555 as my standard onstage tape echo all the time at quite a low level, so you’ll only really hear it when I stop playing. It’s just for adding depth. Gary Moore – International […]

Acquired circa 1983
Boss CE-3 Chorus

In the early to mid 80s Gary started using a number of Boss pedals, including a Boss CE-3 Chorus. He used this pedal as his main chorus effect, since he didn’t like the chorus on his Roland SRE-555 Chorus Echo. The chorus I only have because the chorus on my Chorus/Echo isn’t very satisfactory to […]

Acquired circa 1983
Boss OC-2 Octave

Used around early 80s, alongside some other Boss pedals, like the CE-3 Chorus and the BF-2 Flanger. By 1984, the pedals were gone, and only the Boss DS-1 Distortion remained. I’m using less of the little Boss pedals then I did last year – in fact the only one I use is the overdriver/distortion. Gary […]

Acquired circa 1983
Boss DM-2 Delay

Seen in the early 80s interview that Gary did with Rock School (if you happen to know exact date when this was filmed, please post it in the comments). Likely, the pedal was replaced in 1984 with the Roland SDE-3000 Digital Delay.

Acquired circa 1983
Boss BF-2 Flanger

One of the pedals that was part of Gary’s pedalboard in the early 1980s. The flanger wasn’t used much at all, according to Gary, maybe once per gig, and it eventually was removed from the chain. Beginning with 1984, Gary got his flange effect from a Roland SDE-3000 rack unit. I think I use the […]

Acquired circa 1983
Boss DS-1

Used from the early days on his Stratocaster guitars. According to Gary, the pedal gave Strats the exact amount of “kick” that he wanted. I use a Boss Distortion (DS-1) on the Stratocaster. I found it’s a really good unit for my particular guitar because it complements the sound. Having gone through just about all […]

Acquired circa 1983
Roland SDE-3000 Digital Delay

Gary started using this unit around 1984. Prior to this, he relied on having a large number of effect pedals, and he felt he needed to downsize. I’m now using the Roland SDE3000 digital delay which is programmable. The interesting thing about that is I don’t have to touch it. I can do the whole […]

Acquired circa 1984
Marshall Guv’nor (Mk 1)

According to Gary, this pedal was a key component in creating the Still Got the Blues sound. One of the guys from Metallica goes up to [producer] Bob Rock and says, ‘This is the sound I want,’ and plays him ‘Oh Pretty Woman’ from “Still Got The Blues”. Then they proceed to go through all […]

Acquired circa 1989

Strings

Dean Markley Electric Guitar Strings

Gary seemed to have used Dean Markley guitar strings most often. Based on his own statement, he used either a .010 set (Dean Markley 2504B – this set is heavier on top than a standard set) or a .009 set (Dean Markley 2508). I string my guitars with Dean Markleys—sometimes .010-.052, and sometimes a .009-.048 set. […]

Acquired circa 1991

Accessories

Ibanez Extra Heavy Celluloid Pick

Gary used custom branded Ibanez picks during the 1984 Irish tour. Based on the photos, these were extra heavy thickness, in the standard 351 shapes.

Acquired circa 1984
Contributors: Wayne, M. Giordano, M. Beckmann, John D., djhorrocks, hitteg, Paul, Carlo, Russ, hproding, Rob Aartsen, chris-r1968, jmdirectlyfromjm, rsniders, Wes, Wilma, Manfred, ingemar

GroundGuitar is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.