Summary of John’s Gear
John’s choice of equipment is best separated into two groups. There’s the gear used in his first stint with the band and during the BSSM era. And, there’s the stuff he used once he re-joined the Peppers in the late 90s.
As far as guitars, the first era started off with a few odd guitars. One is the 1980s Performance Custom, and there was a couple of Ibanez RG700 series guitars. By 1990, and the release of Mother’s Milk, John started using Fender Stratocasters almost exclusively. According to John, the Blood Sugar Sex Magik album was almost completely recorded on a 1958 model. Another notable guitar from this period was a 1966 Fender Jaguar, used in the “Under the Bridge” music video.
But whatever John used during the first era, he lost during the years he was inactive. The only guitar he owned in 1998 when he re-joined the band, was a red 1962 Fender Jaguar which he purchased a year prior. But, he felt like he needed a proper guitar, asked Anthony for a loan, and went to Guitar Center and bought a vintage 1962 Fender Stratocaster. This Stratocaster would become his main guitar, which he used extensively in the studio and live ever since then.
John uses the D’Addario EXL110 on most of his electric guitars, including the 1962 Fender Stratocaster. On the Gretsch however, he is said to use a heaver set, the EXL145.
Other notable guitars from this period include a 1955 Fender Stratocaster and a 1960s Fender Telecaster Custom. This Strat has a maple neck, and it’s his second-most used guitar, and Tele he uses often on “Can’t Stop”. Also, worth mentioning is the 1955 Gretsch White Falcon, which John considers to be “the nicest guitar” he owns. This guitar he used to record “Otherside”, and “Californication”.
On amps, ever since the release of Californication, John relied on a combination of a Marshall Major 200W and a Marshall Silver Jubilee. But, in the studio, John would most often run the Marshall Major together with a vintage 100-watt Marshall Super Bass.
John is also known for using a wide variety of effect pedals. Among them is the Ibanez WH-10 Wah, which John swears by as the best Wah he ever used. He also uses a Boss DS-2 Distortion, which is a regular on John’s pedalboard. And a Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble – used in the earlier years to split the signal between his amps.
As far as accessories, for picks, John uses the orange Dunlop Tortex .60mms. Also, in the past, he used Levy’s-made guitar straps, but since the release of Unlimited Love, he seemed to have switched to Lekato straps. Also since the release of the newest album, John started using the ILITCH BPNCS Hum-Canceling System on his ’62 Stratocaster at least.