Jimmy Page reveals the amp he really used to record Whole Lotta Love

Jimmy Page performs live with Led Zeppelin
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

While promoting his new Anthology photo book, Jimmy Page has detailed the guitar amp rigs that fueled Led Zeppelin’s earliest albums – including the setup he used for Whole Lotta Love.

During an exclusive, in-depth interview with Total Guitar’s Chris Bird, Page discussed how his transition from Fender Telecaster to Gibson Les Paul inspired his change in amp rigs.

“The amplifier on the first [Led Zeppelin] album is the Supro [Coronado 1690T] amplifier,” he confirms. “It fits great with the Telecaster, but with the Gibson [Les Paul] it was a really overdriven sound, right? And when I started doing studio work, I realized that that was a bit too radical for them at the time.

“So I got what everyone else was getting, so that psychologically it looked right, which was a Burns amplifier, which I had during the studio days. But when Paul Samwell-Smith left the [Yardbirds], he left his equipment behind – the [Vox] amplifier heads. I know them as Super Beatles.

“The way that I heard about those amplifiers was The Beatles had them because they couldn’t hear their instruments over all the screaming, so they wanted louder amplifiers, and Vox duly obliged.”

Page then reveals that the amp you’re really hearing on one of Zeppelin’s most iconic hits is, in fact, the same amp the Fab Four had been using for their larger tours.

“I was using the Super Beatle amps with the [Rickenbacker] Transonic cabinets,” he recalls. “That’s exactly what’s on Whole Lotta Love.”

It was only once the band began to tour more intensely that Page switched to his iconic Marshall setup – primarily because it was easier to get hold of replacement gear.

“By the time we get to 1969, we’ve got so much work ahead of us, and the road manager is getting really, really nervous about the amplifier going down and not getting a replacement,” Page reflects.

Total Guitar Jimmy Page cover

(Image credit: Future)

“So they’re saying, well, everybody else has got Marshalls, so I went to Hiwatt [Custom 100s] before I went to the Marshalls. But then I did go to Marshall because what they’d said was absolutely true – if it broke down somewhere you’d be able to find a shop that would have one.

“Once I’d done the second album, the Marshall is being used by the end of those tracks [recorded] in New York. I got those during that ’69 tour. So maybe Heartbreaker was done on a Marshall. And that’s how it stayed, with the Marshall cabinet all the way through.”

The full 17-page interview, which is available in the latest issue of Total Guitar magazine, spans Page’s entire career, with insight and exclusive photos of the gear and recording behind some of Led Zeppelin’s greatest albums.

You can order a copy of Total Guitar’s Jimmy Page special via Magazines Direct.

Page recently said he had “reconnected with guitar” during lockdown – but it’s unclear whether that will lead to new material.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Chris Bird

Chris has been the Editor of Total Guitar magazine since 2020. Prior to that, he was at the helm of Total Guitar's world-class tab and tuition section for 12 years. He's a former guitar teacher with 35 years playing experience and he holds a degree in Philosophy & Popular Music. Chris has interviewed Brian May three times, Jimmy Page once, and Mark Knopfler zero times – something he desperately hopes to rectify as soon as possible.