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.

He also had a Boss TU-2 Tuner. Apparently, according to many different sources, his amp back then was a Hiwatt Custom 50-Watt 2×12 Combo

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.

click to enlarge click to enlarge

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:

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.

click to enlarge

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:

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 '62 Jazzmaster Electric Guitar 3-Tone Sunburst Brown Shell Pickguard

– Fender Arctic White American standard Stratocaster (maple fretboard)

Fender American Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar Olympic White Maple Fretboard

–  Black Mexican standard Fender Stratocaster guitar (maple fretboard)

Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar Black 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

Fender '64 Vibroverb Custom Guitar Combo Amp

–  Selmer Zodiac 30 watt for more distorted tones

Effects and More
– Pro Co Rat 2 distortion pedals

Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal
– Boss TU-2 tuner

Boss TU-2 Chromatic Stompbox Tuner
– Ibanez TS-808 Vintage Tubescreamer overdrive pedal

Ibanez TS808 Vintage Tube Screamer Reissue
– Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere MK2

Hughes & Kettner Tube Tools Tube Rotosphere MKII
– Danelectro Reel Echo

Danelectro Reel Echo Tape Simulator Pedal
– Boss LS-2 Line Selector

Boss LS-2 Line Selector/Power Supply
– Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man

Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man Pedal
– Dunlop DC Brick Power Supply
Dunlop DC-Brick Multi-Power Supply

– Dunlop Univibe

Dunlop Uni-Vibe Effect Pedal



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~ by itsstecole on October 21, 2009.

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