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Steve Vai and Derek Trucks’ secret weapon? Speaker isolators

IsoAcoustics Stage 1 isolation board
(Image credit: IsoAcoustics)

It’s easy to get wrapped up in picks, cables, speakers and the like in our quest for electric guitar tone, but one thing you might not have considered is speaker isolators - which, as it turns out, form an important part of Steve Vai, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi’s guitar rigs.

As IsoAcoustics releases its new Stage 1 Board, the Ontario-based firm has released a video featuring Grammy-nominated producer/engineer Greg Wurth (Steve Vai) and Brian Speiser (FOH for Tedeschi Trucks Band), discussing the tonal benefits of the isolation technology.

Essentially, isolators decouple guitar amps from a venue’s stage, keeping guitar tone consistent from night to night, and improving low-end clarity thanks to reduced resonance.

IsoAcoustics’ Stage 1 Board pairs with the company’s Stage 1 isolators, but offers a portable platform for use with any amp up to 200lbs (90kg) in weight.

The IsoAcoustics Stage 1 Board ($39.99) and isolators ($129.99 for a pack of four) are available now - see IsoAcoustics for more.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, 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 a decade-and-a-half 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.