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Rig Rundown: J.D. Simo

Go gear-geekery deep with this Nashville ace who talks (and warns) about the addiction of playing vintage gear.

Premier Guitar hung with J.D. Simo in his studio in Nashville where he explains the secrets to keeping a vintage Marshall sounding its best and also how to keep it from never breaking down. But he warns that once you go down this rewarding path of obsession, there's no turning back.


These days J.D is pretty much a one guitar man. He depends on "Red," his 1962 Gibson ES-335, whenever it has six strings on it. When he breaks a string, he has a killer backup: Ed King's personal prototype of his Gibson Custom Collectors Choice Ed King 1959 Les Paul.


J.D. is all about classic Marshall tone. His No. 1 is an über rare purple, 1967, 100-watt Marshall Super Lead which he runs into a 1969 Marshall slant basket-weave 4x12 cabinet with two 25-watt Celestion Greenbacks in conjunction with two Weber CV123Fs. When not using a vintage Marshall, J.D plugs into his 1967 Fender Deluxe Reverb with a 12" Celestion Vintage 30.


Most of the time, Simo plugs straight into his amp. Ironically, the man that seldom uses pedals does have a signature Fuzz pedal: the J.D. SIMO SupaFuzz (S269), by Farmland FX.