Rock’s biggest “DJ” proves that, though his gear hasn't changed since the early ’90s, he still can rip out fresh ideas with ease and flair.

The guitar that’s probably most associated with Tom Morello has to be his Frankensteined “Arm the Homeless” “super strat” that he’s had since 1986. Morello admits the story on the guitar’s evolution is murky, but the only thing from the original custom-order instrument is its body. He apparently spent upwards of two years trying every combination of pickups, necks, electronics, and trems to appease his tonal aspirations, but finally settled on honing his craft through practice rather than gear lust. The final conglomeration of parts have been in place for 30 years and includes a set of EMG pickups, a knock-off graphite Kramer neck scooped up from the bargain bin at Nadine’s, and an Ibanez Edge trem/bridge. And as they say, the rest is history. For this one, he uses Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkys (.009–.046, for all vibrato-equipped guitars) and always grabs Dunlop Tortex Jazz III picks.

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