- Learn which amps Jimmy Page used throughout his career with Led Zeppelin
- What made Jimmy Page’s guitar tone so good?
- Find out how to get this tone for yourself
- Also, check out our article on which pedals Jimmy used as well as 3 Essential Pickups Jimmy Page Used To Get His Tone.
Led Zeppelin, and by extension, their guitarist Jimmy Page, are known as one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
They rose to prominence in the late 60s and early 70s, and are often credited with developing the sounds that would define rock and heavy metal throughout the 1970s and beyond.
While Jimmy is known for using a variety of amps in both the studio and on stage throughout his tenure with the Led Zeppelin name, he did tend to lean towards a few particular amp models over others.
In this article, we will explore some of the amps that Jimmy Page was known for using, as well as some current modern-day production models you can get right now to help you nail the sound of Jimmy Page.
What Amps Did Jimmy Page Use?
Page used a plethora of amps and despite there being more than 50 years since Led Zeppelin’s debut album, the gear and equipment he used has been fairly well-documented thanks to their avid fanbase.
The amps that Jimmy Page used included:
- Supro 1690T Coronado
- HiWatt Custom 100 DR118
- 100 Watt Marshall amplifier
- Vox UL4120
- Super Beatle
- Orange AD30
Let’s go over each of them.
Supro 1690T Coronado
The Supro 1690T Coronado tube combo guitar amplifier is a bonafide blues monster, with its robust Class-A, 35-watt dual 6L6 output stage.
- Articulate and refined sound
- Extremely versatile
Jimmy himself confirmed that the amplifier used on the first Led Zeppelin album was a Supro Coronado.
This was played in conjunction with his Telecaster (and occasionally a violin bow!) and was also used in his work with The Yardbirds.
Whilst Jimmy’s amp choices changed throughout his career in Led Zeppelin, he actually used the Coronado later in their discography for the recording of the Stairway to Heaven solo.
- Why Stairway to Heaven is Banned in Guitar Stores
- The Led Zeppelin vs Spirit Lawsuit: Everything We Know
The amp was modified from two 10-inch speakers to contain one 12-inch speaker and has 24 watts of power, two channels, and an in-built tremolo effect.
Check out The Met’s listing of the actual amp Jimmy used for more.
Hiwatt Custom 100 DR118
During the earlier tours of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy used a series of Hiwatt Custom 100 DR118 amplifiers.
These were reportedly played from January 1970 to September 1971 and came with volume, brilliance, bass, mid, treble, presence, and master volume controls.
Brilliance in particular is essentially just another presence control but helps boost those super-high frequencies while rolling off a little bit of the low end. A feature not found on most modern-day amplifiers.
Led Zeppelin II and III
Jimmy’s relationship with Marshall amplifiers is well known and throughout Led Zeppelin II and III he liked to use the old-faithful 100 Watt Marshall amplifier.
It’s also likely Jimmy used a Vox UL4120 during the Led Zeppelin II and III periods, although Jimmy himself mentions that he believes he used a Super Beatle amp.
Riley Maher of Whole Lotta Led stated:
”..Though Page says he thinks he used a Super Beatle on LZII, this is actually the amp he is likely referring too for some of the tracks.
He says he acquired the Super Beatle amps during The Yarbirds, but there is no evidence of him using a Super Beatle during the Yardbirds, but there is evidence of a Vox UL4120 in April 1968.
Probably the most substantial evidence for this being used on some LZII tracks is it being seen at Olympic Studios in June 1969.
What Is and What Should Never Be and Whole Lotta Love were both recorded there according to the album notes, you’ll notice a very similar tone between the two as well.”
Led Zeppelin IV
During the Led Zeppelin IV period, and throughout their stadium success, Jimmy still used Hiwatt amps. but the Marshall SLP1959 became a staple in his setup during the 1972-1973 touring era.
Later tenure with Led Zeppelin and further career
Jimmy really used a plethora of amplifiers during his time in Led Zeppelin and later in his career.
He has been known to use Orange amplifiers, and in fact during their live recording, ‘The Song Remains The Same‘ in 1976, an Orange amp can actually be seen.
He also used an Orange AD30 when on tour with the Black Crowes as recently as 1999, and since then he has switched between the Single Channel and Twin Channel versions of the same amp.
What amp settings did Jimmy Page use?
It would be impossible to accurately state the exact amp settings that Jimmy used throughout his time as a musician, after all such an extensive career both live and in the studio would demand many different types of tone.
Typically, Jimmy’s settings leaned towards the treble side but without scooping too many mids. Some suggested settings for recreating a similar tone to Page are:
- Treble: 8
- Mids: 6
Bear in mind that the Led Zeppelin sound isn’t really ‘one size fits all’ and these settings will vary from track to track, but it’s a good place to start.
Experiment with gain depending on your amp until you feel you are at the right spot. The tone will vary from amp to amp, but remember that it’s easy to end up using too much distortion so err on the lower-gain side where possible.
Of course, much of Jimmy Page’s tone came from his expressive playing, but that’s not to say that choosing the correct gear won’t get you close to that famous sound as well.
Check out our article on which pedals Jimmy used.
If you’re going for an overdriven tone, humbuckers will offer a much thicker and warmer sound than single coils. A Les Paul-style guitar will go a long way in helping you towards Jimmy’s famous tones.
Whether you're after the looks or the tone, the Epiphone Les Paul Special delivers the goods at a great value.
- Iconic 1950s Les Paul copy
- Very affordable but great quality
- An array of versatile tones
That being said, he was also known for using a Telecaster. But as a general rule, their single-coil pickups may produce a thinner tone than is desired for that signature Jimmy tone.
In terms of amplifiers, you can see from this article that Jimmy didn’t just use a single brand of amplifier.
To get you close, we’d stay away from super high gain amps and opt for things like a Marshall or Vox amplifier. The Marshall DLS series is a great place to start, including the DSL 40.
Whist Jimmy wasn’t famed for his use of Vox amps, their biting tone really compliments his playing style. A model like the AC10 is a great place to start for this.