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Eric Johnson reveals his at-home pedalboard

Eric Johnson's Pedalboard
(Image credit: Eric Johnson; Chris McKay/Getty Images)

Eric Johnson is renowned for being something of a tonehound, with a meticulous approach to fine-tuning his guitar rig – the result is a sound frequently cited as as one of the all-time greatest tones.

But what does he use when he's not on the road? Here, the Texas guitar legend lets us in on his rarely seen at-home pedalboard.

“Here’s a little pedalboard setup I use sometimes for home practice. It doesn’t have all the variety of tones as my main ’board, but it’s enough for me to get the basic sounds I like to use. I don’t usually record at home unless I’m making a demo of ideas, so this group of pedals is perfect for practicing and writing.

“My guitar is plugged into the silver double loop box [top left photo, bottom right], the main output of which goes into a Catalinbread Belle Epoch tape echo, then to a TC Electronic SCF Stereo Chorus+. From there, the signal goes to one or two amps.

“Send A of the loop box goes to a [Hermida Audio] Zendrive [2], then to a [Hermida] Dover Drive and back to the return jack of the A loop box. This side of the loop is used for dirty rhythm or lead sounds. I leave the Zendrive on all the time for a slightly crunchy rhythm tone, and I turn the Dover Drive on or off, depending on what kind of lead tone I want.

“Send B of the loop box goes to a second Belle Epoch pedal, then back to the return jack. That side of the loop box is used for clean rhythm; if I want more wetness, I turn on the second Belle Epoch.”

IF I HAD TO CHOOSE ONLY ONE PEDAL FOR A FULL SHOW: 

“It’s hard to decide between a B.K. Butler Tube Driver and a [Dunlop] Fuzz Face.
Do I have to decide?”

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Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.