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Famous Guitar Gear

Stephen Carpenter and Deftones

Since November 2008, Deftones bassist Chi Cheng has been in a coma but earlier this month came a progress report: Chi is now able to lift his leg on request, demonstrating his ability to understand requests and an increase in brain function. It’s incredible that, over three years on, support is still pouring in via One Love for Chi and it’s making a difference.

All this reminded me how incredible Deftones are, with axe-man Stephen Carpenter providing the crushing riffs behind their most powerful songs. On 2010’s Diamond Eyes these riffs come courtesy of Stephen’s ESP signature eight-string guitars, but previous tunings have ranged from E standard (Adrenaline) to drop F# on a seven-string (Saturday Night Wrist). All of Stephen’s eight-stringed guitars are equipped with EMG 808 pickups, while the seven-strings he uses for older songs have EMG 81-7s.

Although the guitar lineup is straightforward, amps are a little more complex. Steph runs a Marshall JMP-1 preamp and Rocktron Intellifex into two Marshall EL34 power amps and then two Marshall 1960 4×12 cabinets. Running parallel to this is the Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3, on what looks to be a somewhat outdated MacBook. A Furman Power Conditioner keeps everything hum-free.

Professional: Steph's pedalboard (photo: Chris Kies)

Finally, there are the pedals. Steph’s pedalboard is among the neatest ever seen on a dirty stage, all thanks to the obsessive-compulsive wizardry of Bob Bradshaw at Custom Audio Electronics. CAE’s recent collaborations with MXR make me think he’s pushing the latter’s pedals a little too hard here but there are some wacky ZVex options on the floor too, though when they actually get used I have no idea.

So, that’s about it. Thanks to Premier Guitar for the rig rundown video, and EDGG’s thoughts remain with Chi and his family. Until next time!

About Michael Brown

Michael is a journalist, musician and general guitar geek who works for Total Guitar and Guitarist magazines. He also freelances on the side, most often for Drowned in Sound. You can view his work here.


One thought on “Stephen Carpenter and Deftones

  1. Nice setup. That’s an interesting and impressive looking pedalboard.

    Posted by Gary Lacey | February 18, 2012, 2:32 am

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