Billy Gibbons gets his pedals on Amazon – and his favorite brand starts at $15

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top performs at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on June 04, 2022 in Lincoln, California.
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Billy Gibbons is known for his wild custom guitars and wall of Magnatone amps, but as it turns out, his pedalboard is populated by some serious cheap stompboxes – all available from Amazon.

The revelation comes from Larkin Poe, who recently revealed what they learned on tour with Gibbons – and his unlikely gear choices. The band, led by sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, recorded with Gibbons for his 2021 solo album Hardware, and toured with him in 2022 for the Outlaw Music Festival dates.

We confirmed their story with Gibbons’ old tech, and found that his pedal choices were far less exotic than we expected.

“Billy is one of the more gear-obsessed people that we’ve ever crossed paths with,” laughs guitarist Rebecca Lovell.

“Every time we see him, he’s always got some new pedal or some new system that he’s preaching the gospel of. Most recently it was these mini pedals connected by these adorable mini jumper cables. He’s like [does gruff Gibbons impression] ‘Girls, I’m gonna send you a link. Check your emails! I’m gonna have my tech send you one. I tell you what: shorter signal path, purer tone! Cleaner tone!’”

We at Guitar World were intrigued, so we contacted Gibbons’ former tech for comment. We assumed the guitarist would be rocking some boutique exotica for this “purer tone”, but it turns out his gear choices are much more down to Earth.

The tech told us Billy’s favorite pedals were made by Rowin, Mosky and Mimidi, all ultra-cheap budget brands. Mimidi pedals are mainly available from Amazon, and their initial offering was a mini fuzz for just $15. Mimidi’s current lineup starts around $35, while Mosky are best known for a DOD 250 clone that sells for $18.93 on AliExpress. Rowin offer a range of analog and digital mini pedals, starting at $31.99.

Megan Lovell, Larkin Poe’s lap steel wizard, was amused seeing Gibbons do battle with the micro-pedals in his cowboy boots.

“The one I loved was this mini pedal, like this big [makes a rectangle with her thumbs and index fingers], and then he was like ‘but they’ve got an even tinier one!’ He pulls out another box and it’s the size of a postage stamp! He said, ‘This is my fuzz and this is my slap echo.’ It’s like, ‘How do you find this stuff?’ I don’t know, he must have some really pointy-ass shoes.”

Despite her amusement at Gibbons’ gear, Rebecca says she’s learned some lessons from his approach.

“I appreciate Billy because even at this point in his career where it would be very easy and tempting to just skate and tune out, he really gets into the mechanics and the nuts and the bolts of his performance,” she smiles.

“Typically, our conversations hang in the gear domain. He’s still just as ever zoomed-in on his guitar playing and his rig. It’s really sweet. I think what we can take from it is that you’ve got to constantly reinvent yourself. Reinventing your playing, reinventing the tones you’re getting. It’s really inspirational staying out of the rut.”

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Jenna Scaramanga

Jenna writes for Total Guitar and Guitar World, and is the former classic rock columnist for Guitar Techniques. She studied with Guthrie Govan at BIMM, and has taught guitar for 15 years. She's toured in 10 countries and played on a Top 10 album (in Sweden).