Tim Henson's Guitars and GearPublished : - Author : Dan Kopilovic
Summary of Tim’s Rig
Tim Henson uses Ibanez guitars nowadays basically exclusively. His main guitar is his own signature model from Ibanez named THBB10. This guitar comes in black color, it features an American Basswood body, a Roasted Maple neck and fretboard, a Gotoh T1502 tremolo bridge, and DiMarzio Notorious pickup set – which is Henson’sown signature set.
Aside from his signature model, Tim uses a lot of different Ibanez guitars – like the white RG350SP3 that he was seen playing in some earlier clips on his YouTube channel, and the Ibanez Talman Prestige Series, which Tim used as an inspiration for his own signature model – at least when it came to pickups.
But, before he became a strict Ibanez player, Tim used a variety of different guitars. It looks like started out on something that resembles a Squier Stratocaster finished in dark blue color, featuring all black hardware. From there, he played a black Washburn, an 8-string Ibanez RGA8, and an Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci model.
List of Guitars, Amps, Effects, and Accessories used by Tim Henson (Polyphia)
Tim Henson's Electric Guitars
Squier Affinity StratocasterContinue Reading 2005
Tim can be seen playing this guitar in a video that he posted on his YouTube channel titled “Timi Hendrix”, with one of his first bands called the Chain Failure. In the video, Tim was probably around 12-13 years old, so this is probably one of his earliest electric guitars.
Unfortunately, the footage is so grainy that it’s impossible to tell the exact model and specs of the guitar. Based on the headstock shape and logo, the guitar was most likely a cheap Squier Affinity Stratocaster, probably fitted with a custom black pickguard, and with hardware either painted black or replaced with black one.
As far as the pickup configuration, this is also impossible to tell from the footage. It seems though that the middle and the neck pickups are single coils – at least based on how close the neck pickup seems to be to the neck. The bridge pickup could’ve been a humbucker since it seems to appear darker in color than the rest.
Ibanez RG350SP3Continue Reading 2009
Tim was seen playing this guitar in one of the earliest videos posted on his YouTube channel – on Feb 4, 2015. Tim would’ve been around 20 years old at that time. However, there are videos of Tim with the guitar going as far back as 2009.
Based on the looks, the guitar is an RG350SP3 model which features pretty unique specs. The fretboard is maple, which seems to be very rare on these models, and the two humbuckers seem to be non-original to the guitar.
Washburn Electric GuitarContinue Reading 2009
This is another guitar seen in one of Tim’s early YouTube videos. The video in question was apparently filmed in 2009 when Tim was only 16 years old, and it features the song “Voice of Entropy” off of the album Resurrect.
The exact make and model of this guitar are unknown as of writing this. The most likely candidate is Washburn since the guitar is equipped with the famous Wonderbar tremolo system.
Ibanez RGA8Continue Reading 2013
This guitar was used by Tim in one of his old YouTube videos, posted on October 14, 2013. In the video, Tim is playing a cover of Javier Reyes’s song “Luz Y Cielo”.
The guitar is an Ibanez RGA8, which is an 8-string model. According to the Ibanez Wiki, it was produced from 2010 to 2013, it featured a Mahogany body, a 5-piece maple/walnut neck, and a Rosewood fretboard. As far as hardware, it was equipped with two Ibanez LoZ8 active pickups and the FX Edge III-8 tremolo.
Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci BFR 6Continue Reading 2015
Tim was seen playing this guitar in a few of his earlier YouTube videos (screenshots below). Most of them are dating to around 2015 it seems.
Based on the looks, the guitar is an Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci model. Based on the fact that it has some unique features, like the figured maple top, gold hardware, and a headstock finished in clear lacquer, this was likely a BFR or “Ball Family Reserve” guitar. These are basically custom guitars based on existing models, but featuring these unique features.
Ibanez RG652AHM (Nebula Green Burst)Continue Reading 2016
Again, this is one of the guitars presented by Tim during the tour of his studio posted on his YouTube channel. According to Tim, this was one of the first guitars given to him by Ibanez.
This was one of the first guitars I’ve ever got from Ibanez. This was the first guitar that I ever had customized by the LA Custom Shop. It’s just a beautiful guitar. I don’t play it too much, it’s kind of here just for the looks and sentimental value.
The guitar is an Ibanez RG652AHM Prestige finished in Nebula Green Burst. It features an ash body, a five-piece maple/walnut neck, and a bound Birdseye maple fretboard. Originally, the guitar had all-black hardware and black pickups.
Ibanez Talman TM1730VWHContinue Reading 2017
This was one of Tim’smost widely used guitars before he got his own Signature model. Apparently, he liked the pickup sound on the guitar so much that he based his own signature pickup set on it.
It’s just a Prestige Talman, there’s nothing really too special about it – other than it kicks ass and sounds really awesome! I used to use this guitar a lot, but then I got the Signature – which I based the pickup sounds off of this particular guitar.
The Talman was used by Tim on a number of occasions in his videos, most notably in the “Saucy” tutorial he posted on his Twitter account. This could mean that he used this guitar for that particular song in the original studio recording.
Ibanez AZ series (Pink)Continue Reading 2018
This is one of the guitars presented in Tim’s studio tour posted on his YouTube channel. Tim says this is one of the original six AZ guitars, that he had repainted pink.
This is one of the first six AZ guitars that ever existed. I had the LA custom shop refinish it to “clitoris” pink.
It’s nice because we have white on white on white. White strap knobs, white knobs, white pickups, white inlays, white logo.
The guitar is also among the ones that Tim uses live on tours with Polyphia, as can be seen in various concerts posted on YouTube.
Ibanez THBB10 SignatureContinue Reading 2019
This is Tim’s own Signature guitar from Ibanez, first introduced in 2019. Since its release, it became his main guitar, although he doesn’t use it exclusively, and still picks up his older guitars depending on the occasion.
The Ibanez THBB10 (Tim Henson “Black Beauty”) features an American basswood body, a roasted maple neck, and a roasted maple fingerboard with acrylic/abalone/acrylic block inlays. It’s produced in Indonesia, and it’s available in only one finish – black.
Ibanez AZ2402 Prestige (Ice Blue Metallic)Continue Reading 2020
This is one of the guitars presented in Tim’s studio tour, posted on his YouTube channel. Tim didn’t share much about this particular guitar – he just note that it’s a stock model and that it plays really nice.
It’s a stock AZ prestige from Japan. It plays really nice, and yeah, it’s pretty.
Tim can also be seen playing this guitar live on occasion, for example in his “Top 10 Riffs of the Decade” video.
Ibanez 8-String THBB8 PrototypeContinue Reading
This guitar is a one-off made for Tim at the Ibanez custom shop in LA, based on his old signature model, the THBB10. The body of the guitar was however based on the RG8 model, based on the overall shape, the control layout, and the bridge piece.
The overall design of course is all about the THBB10, with the black finish, roasted maple neck, acrylic/ abalone split block inlays, and gold hardware.
Tom was seen using this guitar in two videos posted on his personal YouTube channel. In the first video, posted in 2020, he played the song “God Hand” and gave a little tutorial on how to play it. In the second video, posted in 2022, he used the gutiar to play the song “Reverie”.12020
Ibanez TOD10 Custom (Neurotica)Continue Reading
Based on his Instagram and Twitter posts, Tim started using this guitar sometime in early 2021. At first, the guitar was just a plain silver model with custom ornate fretboard inlays. Tim calls this design the “Tree of Death”, and it takes inspiration from Steve Vai’s famous “Tree of Life” guitar.
Likely, this was a prototype or an early production model of Tim’s 2022 signature model from Ibanez, the TOD10.
By the time Polyphia released the music video for their song “Neurotica” the guitar underwent some major design changes. The top of the body was covered entirely with a huge metal-looking piece designed and made by an artist called Nusi Quero. This sort of design is also seen in Scott LePage’s and Clay Gober’s instruments.12021
Ibanez AZ Custom ShopContinue Reading 2021
Tim was seen playing this guitar in a video cover of the song “Butter” that he did with the drummer Luke Holand. The video was posted on Tim’s personal YouTube channel on June 10, 2021.
From the looks of it, this is probably something made by the Ibanez LA Custom Shop, since it does not really match any of the models that Ibanez currently sells. It obviously based heavily on the AZ model – it has the same body shape and the same neck/headstock, and the usual H/H pickup setup that you see on most AZs.
The things that separate this guitar from the standard model are some of the more premium features, like the type of wood used for the body, and the gold hardware all over the guitar, but unfortunately, the specific details regarding these features are unknown. The body top wood looks like it could be maple, but it’s hard to tell from this angle.
Ibanez RG8527ZContinue Reading 2022
This is the guitar that Tim used on “Ego Death”, both in the original music video and on the play-along he released on his personal YouTube channel.
The Ibanez RG8527Z is a seven-string model from RG series. It features a flamed maple top and African mahogany body, as well as its titanium-reinforced maple neck with a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard. The guitar is equipped with Dual DiMarzio PAF 7 pickups, Edge Zero 7 tremolo bridge, and Gotoh tuning machines.
It was first introduced in 2010, but some changes were made to the design over the years. In 2018 the titanium neck reinforcing rods were removed and a new Rhodonite Pink finish was added and was available exclusively by retailer Ishibashi in Japan, and in 2020 the fingerboard was changed to Macassar ebony.
Ibanez TOD10Continue Reading 2022
This is the 2022 Tim Henson signature model by Ibanez, officially revealed on December 1, 2022. The guitar is obviously heavily based on the AZ series, a model which Tim used extensively over the years, and is very familiar with.
The TOD10 features a basswood body finished in silver and a roasted maple neck with an ebony fretboard and custom “Tree of Death” (therefore the “TOD”) inlays. It is equipped with a pair of Fishman Fluence Tim Henson signature series pickups, which are active pickups, meaning they are battery-powered and offer higher output than passive pickups. This is a big change from Tim’s previous signature model, on which he used standard passive pickups.
Also worth pointing out is that with the release of this new signature model, Tim’s old signature Ibanez, the Ibanez THBB10, has been discontinued and you can no longer buy it new.
Tim Henson's Acoustic Guitars
Alvarez Acoustic GuitarContinue Reading 2015
Tim used this guitar in an old video posted on his YouTube channel, where he played a short acoustic version of “Bittersweet”. Although the video was uploaded in 2019, it was taken years earlier, probably around 2014-15.
The guitar that Tim is seen playing here seems to resemble model #5222 the most. But, Tim’s guitar has fancy pearl headstock and fretboard inlays, and it has a different fretboard end, with a cut-off. This may indicate that this was some sort of an Artist Model, but so far, we haven’t been able to find an exact match.
If you’re an Alvarez expert yourself, and you happen to know more about this guitar, please be sure to leave a comment below.
Ibanez SC500NContinue Reading 2020
Tim bought this guitar in Cologne, Germany sometime in 2020. He used the guitar for a while and then approached Ibanez about making a Tim Henson signature gutiar based on this model. Ibanez was at first skeptical because the SC500N sold terribly when it was available, but they eventually gave in and agreed.
Tim really wanted to make the guitar, so he sent Ibanez all the positive feedback he got from fans when he asked them on social media whether they would like a nylon string guitar, and he sent them a demo of “Playing God” which he recorded on the SC500N.
There wasn’t really a market for it. When I had asked Ibanez about it, they were like – yeah, it just didn’t do well. And I was like – this guitar is fu*kig awesome, and I would like a modernized version.
I tell the story all the time, I had to convince them (to make it).
Takamine TC132SCContinue Reading 2021
Tim performed with this guitar in a video posted on his YouTube channel titled simply “playing a guitar“. The video was published on March 30, 2021.
Aside from this, there’s not much to be said about the guitar. It appears to be a Takamine TC132SC, which is among their top-of-the-line models. It features a solid Cedar top with Rosewood back and sides, and it has a built-in CTP-3 preamp.
Ibanez TOD10N Prototype (The Bread Guitar)Continue Reading 2021
This is the second prototype of the TOD10N that Tim received, sometime in early to mid-2021. The only time Tim appeared with the guitar was in a video on his personal YouTube channel titled “Playing my new guitar”
In an interview with Rick Beato (see source below), Tim mentioned that he dubbed this guitar “The Bread Guitar”, because of its color. He also noted that he gave the guitar to Steve Vai after the band finished the record sessions for the song “Ego Death”.
They made the second one, and this guitar you can see it on my YouTube channel – it’s the white, bread-looking guitar. It looks like bread. Because I was like do the top white and leave the rest unfinished, and just ended up looking like bread.
We actually ended up giving that guitar to Steve Vai, kind of as an appreciaction, a thank you for being on our recording, being such a cool dude, and a mentor.
Tim Henson of Polyphia: Redefining the Boundaries of Guitar Playing
Ibanez TOD10N Nylon-String GuitarContinue Reading 2022
This is Tim’s first-ever acoustic signature guitar, revealed together with his electric signature model, the TOD10, by Ibanez on December 1, 2022. The guitar was based on the Ibanez SC500N, which was a model that Ibanez sold only for two years, between 1998 and 2000. Apparently, it was so unpopular, that the company deemed it a complete failure.
Tim bought one of those guitars while on tour in Cologne, Germany, and ended up loving it. He contacted Ibanez and asked whether they could produce a signature model for him similar to this, and they agreed after Tim sent them a demo of “Playing God”, which he recorded on the SC500N.
In 2020, we were on tour in Europe, we were in Cologne, Germany, and we to a pawn shop. I saw this Ibanez nylon-string, and it was like an S-shaped body and it had a nylon headstock. I picked it up, and it had all the upper frets access…
And I was like – wow, this sounds crazy. Polyphia riffs through a nylon-esque guitar. So, I bough it, it was like 700 euros.
Tim Henson of Polyphia: Redefining the Boundaries of Guitar Playing
Tim Henson's Amps
Peavey Ultra Plus AmpContinue Reading 2014
Tim mentioned this amp in the interview he did on the Music is Win channel on October 21, 2020. Based on his wording, he owned this amp when he was a lot younger, probably around the early 2010s.
I’ve never actually like owned an amp, like a real amp. I guess the only amp that I ever owned was like a Peavey Ultra. Way back in the day.
EVH 5150III Combo AmpContinue Reading 2015
This was Tim’s (and possibly Scott’s as well) main live amp for a short time around 2015. It can be seen in Dunlop Sessions video posted on August 17, 2015, and Tim talked shortly about it in his 2020 interview with Music is Win.
I’ve never actually played an amp. Like – owned any amp. I guess the only amp I’ve ever owned was a Peavey Ultra – way back in the day. Then, I think we were playing 5150 combo amps for a little bit.
Tim Henson – Music is Win interview
Orange Rockerverb 50/100 MKIIContinue Reading 2016
This appears to have been Tim’s main live amp until around 2021. The amp can be seen on numerous concerts of Polyphia, usually played through a single Orange PPC412 cabinet.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell whether this is a 50W or 100W version of the Rockerverb because they look basically the same. The only thing that differentiates them visually is the lettering on the logo, which is hard to see in any of the footage.
Marshall Amp HeadContinue Reading
Tim’s most recent live rig features four Orange PPC412 cabinets, all with custom cabinet cloth designs. Usually, there are no amps visible on stage, since everything is run through Axe-Fx preamp, but in some of the videos, there’s what looks like a Marshall amp in the background, sitting on a Marshall cabinet.
The amp is de-branded, so it’s not 100% a Marshall, but based on the overall design, and the gold control plate, it likely is one.
As far as the exact model, that is at the time of writing this a mystery. It has a single input and nine different controls – which doesn’t seem to fit any of the more popular Marshall models. So maybe it’s an off-brand amp, or something custom-made. If you happen to know more, as always, leave a comment below.12020
Tim Henson's Effects
Fractal Audio Axe-Fx IIContinue Reading 2015
Tim seems to use this preamp/effects processor currently primarily in his live gigs, usually played through a bunch of Orange amps/cabinets.
Right now we play the Orange, but it’s the Axe-FX running through the Orange.
Tim Henson – Music is Win Interview, October 21, 2020
Tim also has one of these at his home studio, but as he pointed out in his Studio Tour video, he doesn’t use it much at all. However in the past, on Polyphia’s first third albums, the Axe-FX II was actually his main effects processor and was used on all of those albums.
Tim Henson's Strings
Dunlop Electric Guitar Strings (9-42)Continue Reading 2015
These are the guitar strings that Tim used a while back, as he explained on his AskFM page, way back in 2015 (his AskFM page is now deleted).
Dunlop Super Brites 9-42. Not sure if they’re available yet, we were sent prototypes and ended up really liking them!
Tim Henson – AskFM
In more recent years, he’s moved onto different sets, and no longer uses these. Also, no one really knows the exact set he’s referring to here, it could be the “Super Bright” set, but that seems to be discontinued and not available anymore. If you’re in the market for something similar, the Dunlop DEN0942 could be a decent choice.
10-52 Electric Guitar StringsContinue Reading 2019
In the October 21, 2020 interview with Music is Win, Tim explained that he uses 10-52 gauge strings. Unfortunately, he does not specify the model or the make – but based on the fact that his signature Ibanez THBB10 comes equipped with D’Addario EXL110, it’s very possible that Tim is using D’Addarios well.
If so, the D’Addario EXL140 is the most likely candidate, and it features the following gauges: .010, .013 .017, .030, .042, .052.
Other than that, he could also be using Ernie Ball’s Skinny Top Heavy Bottom set which has the exact same gauges as the D’Addario set.
Tim Henson's Accessories
Dunlop Sharp 1.14mm Purple Guitar PicksContinue Reading 2019
According to the information posted on Polyphia’s Facebook page, Tim uses the Dunlop Sharp 1.14mm picks.
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