“Some of the greatest sounds were created on junk!” Joe Bonamassa reveals the secret to getting great tones from affordable gear

Suited and booted, Joe Bonamassa plays a Les Paul onstage at the Royal Albert Hall
(Image credit: Harry Herd/Redferns)

Back in March, online marketplace Reverb uploaded a video of Joe at his Los Angeles home, commonly referred to as ‘Nerdville West’, recalling the famous sounds of Jimi Hendrix on his seminal 1970 Band Of Gypsys live album.

But there was a twist – as well as playing through the same period-correct vintage gear Hendrix himself would have been using, Bonamassa was also tasked with recreating the same sounds using modern products that were very much readily available and affordable, at almost 70 times less in cost. Unsurprisingly, the guitar legend was able to dispel a few myths in the process…

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).