John Frusciante’s Ibanez Soundtank Pedal

access_time First seen circa 1990

John was seen using this pedal on a photo taken on January 26, 1990, in Kawasaki, Japan. As far as the exact model of the pedal, although some sources claim it’s a CS5 Chorus, it seems impossible to tell for sure based on the photo below.

John Frusciante. January 26, 1990, Kawasaki, Japan.

The label does look purple on the photo, but the whole stage is basically the same color, probably because of the stage lights. So even though it’s possible that it’s a CS5 (purple label), it could also be an Ibanez Powerlead (pink-ish label), or even one of the pedals with a blue label, like the flanger or a phaser. There were a ton of these pedals all looking pretty much the same aside from the label, and it’s impossible to tell anything for sure.

Be that as it may, given that the photo was taken in Japan, and Ibanez is a Japanese company, it could be that this was simply something that John pickup up while being there. It was not seen on any other occasion.

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access_time 1990

Ibanez WH-10 Wah

This is John’s favorite wah pedal, and the one that he has been using consistently with the Peppers, probably from around Mother’s Milk era, all the way to Stadium Arcadium. He explained that he prefers this pedal over something like a Dunlop CryBaby because Ibanez has a wider frequency range. I have an Ibanez wah-wah pedal, because it has a wider range than the others. I use a Fuzzface and […]

access_time 1991

Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion

This has been one of the longest-running pedals in John’s arsenal. The first time it was mentioned by John is all the way back in 1991, around the time of the Blood Sugar Sex Magic studio sessions, and ever since then, it has been used extensively on pretty much all of the albums John did with the Peppers. I have an Ibanez wah-wah pedal, because it has a wider range than […]

access_time 1990

Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble

John used this pedal from around 1990, and all the way until his departure from the Peppers in 2010. Usually, the pedal was used in the studio as a sort of a splitter, as John would plug his guitar into it, and split the signal between his Marshall Major guitar and Marshall Bass head. While playing live, the Boss CE-1 was used for the same purpose, although here splitting the signal […]

access_time 1991

DOD Stereo Chorus

John used this pedal during the BSSM studio sessions to split the signal between a Marshall guitar and a Marshall bass amp that he used together for a lot of the recording (not all though, as he went straight into the board on occasion, and used a few more different Marshall amps). Although he does not mention the exact model, the most likely one is the FX65. I used two […]

access_time 1991

Dallas/Dunlop Fuzz Face

John used this pedal early on, circa 1991. It is, unfortunately, unknown to which extent he used it, and if he used it at all during the BSSM studio sessions or just while playing live. Also, since there are no photos (to our knowledge) of him with the pedal, it is unknown whether he used a vintage model, or something like a 1990s Dunlop JH-2 Fuzz Face. I have an Ibanez wah-wah […]

access_time 1991

MXR Phase 90

Used in the early days during the Mother’s Milk/BSSM era. During the recording of the Californication album, however, John borrowed an MXR Phase 100, but as the band went on tour, he seemed to have purchased a Phase 90 for himself and used it live from then on. It is unknown whether he used this phase shifter exclusively, but it seems to have been on John’ pedalboard most of the time […]

access_time 1999

MXR Phase 100

Among others, this pedal was used at the ending of the song ‘Parallel Universe’ from the 1999 album, Californication. If you’re listening to the studio version of the song, you start hearing this effect at around 3:20. I borrowed an MXR Phase 100 from the people who were recording next door. I was looking for a way to approach that solo, and the Phase 100 worked out well. [Guitar Player […]

access_time 1999

Boss FZ-3 Fuzz

This fuzz pedal was used by John during the early part of the Californication tour, circa 1999 (as seen on his pedalboard during live performances). It was also seen on the photo published by the Guitar Player magazine in September 1999, apparently taken during the studio session. This obviously means that the pedal was possibly used on Californication, although it is unknown on which songs specifically. However, without any direct […]

access_time 2005

Moog MF-105 MuRF

According to an interview John gave to Guitar Player magazine in 2006 (source available below), he used the Moog MuRF on the solo for ‘Tell Me Baby’. The effect was also featured on the second verse of ‘Dani California’ (listen to the video below). The second verse begins with a couple of guitars playing in harmony. After they were recorded, I ran them through a Moog MF-105 MuRF (Multiple Resonance […]

access_time 2002

EHX Holy Grail Reverb

John started using this effect pedal around the time of the ‘By the Way’ release, circa 2002. It was seen regularly on his pedalboard during the album tour, which means that the same unit was also likely used during the studio sessions. The pedal was also used extensively during the ‘Stadium Arcadium’ era. Holy Grail and the Clean Sound Apparently, the way John had it set-up most of the time […]

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