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How to Sound Like Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix’s status among guitarists is godlike and remains utterly undimmed since his death in 1970. His tone and technique laid bare the instrument’s possibilities, while his performances displayed vision and virtuosity previously unseen in blues-based guitar. Forty-one years later, Hendrix remains the touchstone for guitarists everywhere, the undisputed overlord of the electric guitar.

If your aim is to replicate Hendrix’s gear with total authenticity, be prepared to pay dearly. Original late Sixties and early Seventies Fender Stratocasters cost between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on their condition. Expect to pay even more if you simply must have a left-handed version. For those willing to accept a modern equivalent, the Fender Classic ’70s Stratocaster will get you close to Jimi territory for $956.99. If you’re broke, consider a Squier Standard Stratocaster, which — at $332.99 — is far better than you’d expect. For amps, a new Marshall 100-watt 1959SLPX “Plexi” head costs about $3,000, while the 1960AX/BX Angle/ Straight 4x12 cabinets run $1,500 apiece. If you’re feeling the pinch, check out Marshall’s MG100HDFX head ($569) and the MG412 A/B cabinet ($450). But bear in mind, whatever amp you choose, it should be a Marshall if you’re serious about getting the Hendrix sound.

As for effects, Dunlop makes numerous pedals like the ones Hendrix used. Their Jimi Hendrix wah-wah has the same specs as an original Sixties unit and costs $169. The Dunlop Uni-Vibe costs $344, and you can score either the Jimi Hendrix Octave Fuzz pedal or the Jimi Hendrix Classic Fuzz pedal for $133. If you want all of Hendrix’s sounds in one pedal, look no further than DigiTech’s Jimi Hendrix Experience pedal. At $249, it combines seven signature guitar tones lifted from the original Hendrix recordings.