“I’d love to have all vintage stuff. There’s just something different about using an original version of a legendary pedal”: John Notto reveals what’s on his pedalboard

John Notto (left) and his pedalboard
(Image credit: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

The affection that Dirty Honey’s resident guitar hero, John Notto, has for Gibson Les Pauls and Marshall amps is already well-documented. With those two at his disposal, Notto has been helping carry the torch for riff-based hard rock this year.

But what about his pedalboard? Well, as you can probably imagine given his amp of choice, overdrive pedals aren't a priority…

“I don't rely on overdrives, especially since I’m a Marshall Plexi user. Most of my pedalboard is filled with effects that I hope the listener can distinctly hear and identify. I like transparent-sounding overdrives but tend to steer clear of compression pedals. But my concept is ever-changing. It might be the ADHD – or I just haven’t found the golden tone yet!

“I start with my tuner, a TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Noir. From there, I go into a SoloDallas Schaffer Replica. It’s kind of like an overdrive but more of a treble boost. That goes into my wah, the Dunlop GCB95 Cry Baby Standard. Next is the MXR Tap Tempo; I have a great relationship with MXR, and they sent that over to me while I was on tour because I needed something small to save 'board space.

“After that, there’s my Fulltone Octafuzz, which leads us to the Electro-Harmonix Nano POG. That’s a polyphonic octave pedal, and I love it. After that, I have a newer addition, an MXR Six Band EQ. These next three pedals are in a loop: my MXR Uni-Vibe, a chorus/vibrato pedal; the Dunlop EP103 Echoplex Delay; and my MXR Reverb.

“While I love my MXR stuff and respect the new boutique pedal makers, I’d love to have all vintage stuff. That’s the stuff you stay with forever. There’s just something different about using an original version of a legendary pedal. I can’t afford it now, but that’s the goal.”

John Notto's pedalboard

(Image credit: Future / John Notto)

If I had to choose one pedal for a full show...

“I think it’d be the SoloDallas TSR. It’s perfect for solos and my rhythm playing. It’s the perfect boost, and it doesn’t change the fundamental tone of my Marshalls. It makes them hotter, and they sizzle just a little bit more. Not only could I do an entire Dirty Honey show with that pedal, but I could easily do life with that pedal.”

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.