Thom Yorke’s Guitars and Gear

Thom Yorke’s Electric Guitars:

Fender Telecaster Thinline

Fender Telecaster Thinline Thom Radiohead This model was heavily modified over the years. It started of as a stock black 1969 reissued model by Fender. At some point Thom changed the pickguard to a white classical Telecaster one.

Later on, he completely removed the pickguard, replaced the bridge pickup with a black single coil and installed a black uncovered humbucker in the middle position (you can see the guitar at this stage on the Live at Reading 1994 video recording).

The guitar also has a sticker just behind the bridge displaying the rising sun flag.

1974/75 Fender Deluxe Telecaster

Fender Deluxe Telecaster Radiohead Thom bought this Tele in the 1996, and played it for nearly 10 years after that. The guitar had a few mods done to it, including the removal of both tone knobs and replacing one them with the Gibson-style pickup selector, and using a hard-tail bridge. Aside from that, the guitar was pretty much stock, including the original Fender pickups, and a maple neck.

Thom had a few stickers on the guitar, the Apple and the X-Girl logos. The colorful Apple logo was covered with a white tape at some point.

Fender Telecaster Custom

Fender Telecaster Custom Acquired about the same time as his Deluxe, Thom modified it in a similar fashion, removing the tone knobs and replacing them with pickup selector. As opposed to his Deluxe model, this Tele had a normal 3-saddle bridge.

Thom had an Apple logo sticker just behind the bridge.

Fender Telecaster Blonde

Fender Telecaster Blonde Radihead This is one of Thom favorite Telecaster. The guitar is heavily modified; it features a maple Stratocaster neck, black pickguard, hard-tail bridge, two hambuckers, and the input jack has been placed on the front panel.

Fender Jazzmaster

Fender Jazzmaster Radiohead
This Jazzmaster was made around 1963/65, and has a black ash body, stock Fender pickups, and a rosewood neck with white binding. Thom had the original bridge replaced with Mustang-style one, and the rhythm circuit removed.Thom also plays a white Jazzmaster with red tortoise pickguard, which is his main Jazzmaster since 2008.

Gibson SG Standard

GIbson SG Custom Red Thom’s bought and used his first SG until 1995 when it was stolen. He had atleast one more SG in the 1990s. Both were cherry red, and pretty much stock.

As of more recent days, Thom has started playing a 1964 cherry red SG. He first appeared on stage with it around the end of 2006.

Rickenbacker 330

Rickenbacker Fireglo 330-12 Thom bought this guitar in the late 1990s and played it mostly for the live performances of “Lucky”.

Gibson ES-125T

Gibson ES-125T Used on the stage with beginning in the 2001. This guitar is pritty much stock. Thom added a “Piece” sticker to the headstock.

Gibson ES-330

Gibson ES-330 Played on-stage on the songs like “Nice Dream” and “Little by Little”. The guitar is painted in sunburst and left completely stock.

Thom Yorke’s Acoustic Guitars:

Takamine EN10-C

Takamine EN10-C Of of Thom’s early acoustic guitars. He played it on many live occasions (see: Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees).

EN10-C feature mahagony back and sides, cedar top and a rosewood neck.

Alvarez/Yairi DY 87-12

alvarez dy87 This was a guitar Thom played briefly for his solo performance Montreal on March 27, 1995. The guitar featured cedar top with laminate back and sides, and had a violin sunburst finish.

Lakewood M14

Lakewood M14 One of the Thom’s more recent guitars. He started using it around 2000, and played it until 2011. The guitar is fitted with a Fishman Rare Earth Blend pickup.

Martin 000-18

Martin 000-18 Thom started playing around 2001. It can be seen on the video recording of Radiohead’s acoustic gig in 2003 at Le Réservoir, Paris.

Gibson Hummingbird

Gibson Hummingbird Thom’s main acoustic during the late 90s/early 2000s. The guitar features mahagony back and sides, pruce top, a decorative pickguard and rosewood bridge and fretboard.

To see this guitar in action, check this video: Thom Yorke plays “The Clock”

Gibson B25

Gibson B25 Thom played this guitar live in Austin (see the video). It has the same pickup as his Lakewood M14 (Fishman Rare Earth Blend).

Gibson CL-30 Deluxe

 Gibson CL-30 Thom used this guitar during a live acoustic gig in 2005 at the Methodist Central Hall in London.

The guitar has African Bubinga back and sides, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboart. Some of the custom features include gold Grovermatic tuners, pearl headstock logo, and abalone trillium inlay and rosette.

Thom Yorke’s Guitar Amps:

Fender Twin Reverb “Silverface”

Fender Twin Reverb Silverface This was Thom’s main amp until 1995, and he most likely recorded the first two albums on it.

Fender Twin Reverb Reissue

Fender Twin Reverb RI Thom bought couple of these amps in 1996, to replace the Silverface which was stolen. He used them on “OK Computer” and on the following tour.

Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker Combo Amp

Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker Combo Bought in 1998 and used on “Kid A” and “Amnesiac”. Thom sold it in 2006.

Vox AC30

Vox AC30 Used briefly during the 1996 tour along his Fender. In 2001 he started using it more often, and it eventually replaced the Bluesbraker as his main amp. He also has two AC30 with Dave Peterson mod, which he carried on tours from 2002 to 2006. (thanks to David Karp for pointing out the mistake)

1960s JMI Vox AC30 

JMI Vox AC30 This is Thom’s most recent amp. He bought it in 2007, and used it for “In Rainbows” (see Radiohead in Rainbows – From the Basement) and the following album “The King of Limbs”. He also uses it with Atoms for Peace.

Thom Yorke’s Guitar Effects:

As a fill-in rythm guitarist whos main focus is on vocals, Thom does not use a great variety of pedal effects. His pedalboard features these couple of main effects:

Pro-Co Turbo Rat Distortion
Thom used this pedal from the early beginnings in 1993.

Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
He started using the Boss delay pedal around 1996, and eventually switched to a newer model (DD-5) in 2000.

– Marshall JMP-1 Pre-Amps
Not exactly a guitar effect, but nonetheless a crucial part of his setup.


Of course, Thom does use a couple of more pedals next to these. Here’s a short list of some of them (more to be added):

– Marshall ShredMaster – Used during the “OK Computer” tour.
– Boss PS-2 Pitch Shifter – Used from around 2000.
– Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb
– Tech 21 XXL Overdrive
– Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler- Started using around “In Rainbows”  release.
– TC Electronic NR-1 Nova Reverb
– MXR M104 Distortion+
– Boss RV5 Digital Reverb
– Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer
– Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner

Thom Yorke’s Guitar Strings:

Thom Yorke’s Guitar Picks:

– Thom seems to be using the same picks as Jonny Greenwood – the Dunlop .60mm Nylons, although this shouldn’t be considered a constant.

Contributors: harry.jc, Jason


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