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Shredder Extraordinaire and major Hendrix enthusiast Joe Satriani was fortunate that the stars aligned so he could do the full Experience Hendrix Tour. He had played the San Francisco date of the first tour, but scheduling conflicts always seemed to prevent him from joining the nationwide festivities. But after finishing the last Chickenfoot tour, Satriani finally had the time to pay homage to the man that inspired him to make guitar his life. And, going through the whole experience facilitated some new gear and tone discoveries.
“At the start of the Chickenfoot tour, I noticed that my Peavey JSX rig sounded more specialized for someone playing lead guitar all night,” he said. “I had Marshall send me some different stuff to try out in Vienna, and I ended up using a JVM410 for the rest of the tour. It made such a profound difference, because I’m playing rhythm guitar most of the time in that band.” After his last stint on the road with Chickenfoot, he decided to have an amp shootout at SIR studios in San Francisco, and there he rediscovered his love for a certain Marshall head. “I was shocked to find that using a Vox Saturator into a Marshall 6100 Anniversary head’s clean channel was really the best sound. Part of it was the fact that it was a better 6100 than the older ones I had. Plus, I didn’t have the Saturator back when I was using those amps.”
Satriani is well known for his dual-humbucker Ibanez guitars. But for the Experience Hendrix tour he decided to bring some single-coils into the picture. “I have some prototype Ibanez JS guitars with three DiMarzio singlecoils, and they sound great combined with the Marshall and Saturator. Those three work together really, really well.”
Satch’s guitar rack cradled the new Ibanez JS2400WH (the first 24-fret Ibanez JS) and two prototype JS series guitars with DiMarzio single-coilsized dual-rail pickups. His set for the night included “Third Stone from the Sun,” “Foxey Lady,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and the show closer “Red House.”
Powered by a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus, Satriani’s versatile pedalboard featured a Vox Big Bad Wah, Boss OC-2 Octave, Voodoo Lab Proctavia, Vox Saturator, Zvex Ringtone, Boss DM-2 Analog Delay, and two of the guitarist’s signature Vox Time Machine delay units.
Satriani’s Marshall 6100 Anniversary 100-watt head and 4x12 cab. The head and 6101 combo were released in 1992 to commemorate Marshall’s 30th year in the amp business.