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Mark Knopfler’s 2019 guitar rig has been revealed

Mark Knopfler performs live
(Image credit: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images)

Back in May, the guitar world was rocked by the revelation that tone icon Mark Knopfler had switched to Kemper Profiling Amps for tour dates in support of new album Down The Road Wherever - and now we have more details on the gear that’s populating the rest of his rig.

In a conversation with Guitar Player, longtime Knopf tech Glen Saggers dished the dirt on the Dire Straits legend’s electric guitars, tunings, strings and just how those Kempers were set up.

Mark’s amps were profiled at British Grove studios over a period of months, and then those profiles were refined during band rehearsals

Glen Saggers

“For the recording of Down the Road Wherever, we used three signature Stratocasters, along with Mark’s vintage Strats,” Saggers reveals.

“He also relied on his custom Pensa guitars, his signature Les Pauls, a Grosh Electrajet and a Danelectro 59 DC tuned to open C and set up for slide.

“All electric guitars are strung with D’Addario XL110s, except for one Strat, which is strung with D’Addario XL115, and the Danelectro, which is strung with D’Addario EJ21.

“On tour, we’re using Kemper Profilers. We carry two, the main unit and a backup, and both are powered via a Furman Power Conditioner to avoid power spikes. Mark’s amps were profiled at British Grove studios over a period of months, and then those profiles were refined during band rehearsals.”

Those string gauges are particularly pertinent, since Knopfler had previously told Guitar Player that they affect the way he writes.

“Even a different string gauge can create something completely different,” he mused.

“Very often I’ve found that if I’m playing something with very heavy strings, I’m not bending them, and it leaves room for something else to happen.”

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.