How To Sound Like The Arctic Monkeys – A Complete Gear Guide!
Arguably the biggest rock band in Britain right now, the Arctic Monkeys . Here’s a look at what gear they’ve been using in their gigs.
Firstly, it’s good to point out that their current setup is quite different from the one they used to have when they were touring their first album, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not”. Back then, they had a much simpler setup:
Singer/ guitarist Alex Turner had two Pro Co Rat 2 pedals, a Boss TU-2 Tuner and that was it. His amp of choice was an Orange AD30. His main guitar was a white Fender Standard Stratocaster. View Alex Turner pedalboard
Lead guitarist Jamie Cook ‘s setup was fairly simple too: A Fender Telecaster 62 reissue. His pedals were a MXR M-104 Distortion+ , a Electro-Harmonix Big Muff and, at least for a while, he could be seen using a T-Rex Dr. Swamp twin distortion pedal. View Jamie Cook pedalboard.
Both of them have always used a Dunlop DC Brick Power Supply.
Favourite Worst Nightmare gear
The second Arctic Monkeys album sounds much more varied than their first one, and, indeed, it is reflected on their choice of pedals. Both guitarists use more FX onstage now.
from left: Alex pedals, Jamie’s pedalboard (click to enlarge)
Alex: His setup is entirely different now. In a few gigs this year he was still using the two Pro Co Rat 2, but it didn’t look as if he was using them at their recent Old Trafford gig. Instead, he was using an Ibanez Ts-808 Tubescreamer, one of the most classic overdrive pedals out there, used by everyone from Noel Gallagher to Stevie Ray Vaughn.
His other pedals are:
- Hughes & Kettner Tube Rotosphere, a preamp pedal that simulates the sounds of a Leslie speaker. Great stuff, also used by Franz Ferdinand, Oasis and others.
- Danelectro Reel Echo
- Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man
It appears that Alex also uses a Boss LS-2 Line Selector. He’s been using a Vox AC-30, as well. His main guitar now is the rare, discontinued Fender Bronco, very similar to the Fender Mustang, the main difference being that the Bronco, originally a starter guitar, has only one pickup.
above: Arctic Monkeys and their Vox AC-30 amps
Jamie: The lead Arctic Monkeys guitarist has quite a elaborate pedalboard now. Apart from the ever-reliable MXR Distortion pedal, his setup has completely changed. It seems, looking at recent photographs, that he uses a Little Big Muff now…maybe because it’s smaller and he has too many pedals now? Who knows…the Dr Swamp is nowhere to be seem, and instead he has:
- one Electro-Harmonix HOG, a polyphonic guitar synthesizer pedal.
- two Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man
- one Electro-Harmonix Pulsar tremolo pedal.
Jamie also uses a Boss LS-2 Line Selector, some sort of Wah/ Volume pedal and, according to some, a phaser pedal as well (which sits between the Big Muff and LS-2, but is not clear on any photograph we’ve seen). View Jamie’s new pedalboard.
Jamie Cook’s main guitar now is an old Gibson ES semi-acoustic model. Amp-wise, he still sticks to Hiwatts.
If you want to get an “Arctic Monkeys sound” but don’t want to break the bank there are some quite good alternatives: A cheap Orange Crush 30 or Vox AD30 VT can get you all the crunchy tones you need. Squier Strats and Teles or an Epiphone semi-acoustic can do a good job and offer a good, affordable alternative, too. Dolphin Music has even a Arctic Monkey Bundle…worth a look!
- Fender Jazzmaster
- Fender Arctic White American standard Stratocaster (maple fretboard)
- Black Mexican standard Fender Stratocaster guitar (maple fretboard)
- black Fender Bronco with a black pickguard and rosewood fretboard
– Gretsch Spectra Sonic
– Ovation Viper
Amps and Cabinets
– Orange AD30T amplifiers (used in the past)
– Fender Vibroverb for clean tones
- Selmer Zodiac 30 watt for more distorted tones
Effects and More
– Pro Co Rat 2 distortion pedals
- Dunlop Univibe