A Complete Noel Gallagher (Oasis) Gear Buyers Guide
Here’s a new, revised version of one of the most popular posts in our Guitar Blog. If you missed it first time around, now it’s the perfect time to catch up with our complete Noel Gallagher gear guide,
Considering that Oasis are one of the biggest bands ever, and Noel such an influential guitarist, who inspired many kids to pick up a guitar since the band released its debut single “Supersonic”, it’s quite surprising that info about Noel Gallagher’s gear is so sketchy and incomplete – no extensive gear interviews, no clear photographs of his pedalboard, etc…so it was about time we had a good look into what he’s been using over the years!
The job is not made any easier by the fact that Noel is a true “gearhead”. He collects guitars, amps and pedals and it’s quite difficult to find out what he was using at any given time – his setup changed several times, and there might be some pedals listed here, for instance, that he may or may not have used live but maybe just in records.
But, all in all, this guide is definitely (maybe) quite accurate still, so enjoy!
Early Years – 1994:
If you want to have a similar setup to his early, pre- Definitely Maybe days, here’s what we recommend:
Gear tip: the Vintage V100, is as good as the Standard Epiphone Les Paul, and made in the same factory! The Vintage Lemon Drop is probably BETTER than any Epiphone…faithful replica of Peter Green’s guitar. Green is one of Noel Gallagher favorite guitarists.
Pedal-wise, a trademark Noel Gallagher trick is to add delay on some guitar solos. So…get a delay pedal, it’s essential!
Like many skint, up-and-coming musicians who wanted to get some good affordable gear, his main guitar in the early years before the release of “Supersonic” was an Epiphone, the Les Paul Standard model, in cherry Sunburst. It might be the same one you see on the UK version of the “Supersonic” video.
|Noel’s early setup – click to enlarge!|
Ampwise, Noel had a quite interesting setup:
A Roland Space Echo RE-201 into a small Marshall Solid-State Combo and then into a Vox AC-30, as the photograph below, taken in January 1994 shows:
Noel loved, at the time, the crunchy sound of a good Marshall amp distortion, so he plugged it into the clean channel of a Vox AC-30…possibly a late 70s version with no reverb.
The Space Echo was probably used for the reverb and nice compression sound. Though, if he wasn’t using a Boss DD-3 at the time, then maybe the delay sounds you hear in tracks such as “Columbia” are the Space Echo.
In the first Oasis TV appearance, playing “Supersonic” (available on the Definitely Maybe DVD) Noel still had the Space Echo and Marshall, but the Vox AC-30 gave way to the WEM Dominator 25 watt tube Amp.
We have no info whether that setup was used in the studio for the “Definitely Maybe” sessions, but his live sound around this era (and then throughout the ‘Definitely Maybe’ promotional gigs) was great:
Really loud and distorted, a true “wall of noise” that was somewhere between the shoegaze noise Noel must’ve listened to a lot (and which was popular during the early 90’s) and the more classic rock sound he adopted later.
If you want to have a similar setup to his Definitely Maybe tour days, but you’re on a budget, here’s what we recommend:
- Ibanez TS-9 Tubescreamer (classic! For a cheap alternative, try the TS-7 Tubescreamer – very good!)
- Boss DD-3 Delay
|Noel with Les Paul and old WEM amp|
After Definitely Maybe was released, Noel may have still kept the Epiphone Les Paul for a while, but he quickly moved to Gibson ones:
He could be seen using a Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul (with open coil bridge pickup), and a black Gibson Les Paul Custom (first US tour, December UK gigs) which gained an “Oasis” sticker somewhere along the way.
And, of course, we can’t forget the beautiful late 70’s Epiphone Rivieras, in dark brown/ (really deep) Wine Red.
The late 70’s Epiphone Riviera that Noel and Bonehead used to play are quite different than the other Riviera models made before and since: they have humbuckers and stoptail bridges.
The original 60’s Rivieras (and the ones made up until recently) had frequensator tailpiece and mini-humbuckers. The Epiphone Riviera made in the early 90s are a mix of both: they had proper humbuckers but also the frequensator tailpiece.
Those late Epiphone Rivieras that Noel used are called MIJ (or Matsumoko) Rivieras, made in Japan from around 1978 to 1982.
Other Guitars: on the “Supersonic” single sleeve there are two guitars that Noel may have used in the studio but not live – a Gibson ES-335 (red) and a Rickenbacker Jetglo, either the 330 Jetglo or the 360 model.
Noel Gallagher has always loved Semi-Acoustic guitars, throughout his career, and altough he’s used many other types of guitar, we can safely say semi-acoustics represent the quintessential Oasis sound, thanks to their warm, full-bodied tone.
If you’re on a budget, try the Tanglewood TH502 – unbeatable value for money, truly excellent guitars. Again, they are as good as Epiphones.
Here’s some more pics:
|Noel and his Les Paul Custom (left) and Epiphone Riviera|
His main amp appears to be a Marshall Stack then – Marshall JCM 900 100 watt head w/1960A & 1960B 4×12 cabinets.
By the end of 1994/ early 1995 (Live By The Sea DVD) Noel Gallagher’s pedalboard definitely had the following pedals:
- Vox V847 Wah
- Ibanez TS-9 Tubescreamer (classic! For a cheap alternative, try the TS-7 Tubescreamer – very good!)
- Boss DD-3 Delay
Some say he also had a Boss CS-3 Compressor and a Boss SD-2 Dual Overdrive. One of Noel’s favourite tricks was to use lots of delay and scratch his guitar strings with a metal slide…definitely one of the most fun things a guitarist can do onstage!
Some reports suggest that Noel only used the TS-9 for solos, relying on the Marshall distortion.
THE BIG TIME – What’s The Story (Morning Glory) To Knebworth, 1995-1996:
Noel’s setup changed little during this time, still sticking to his favourite guitars, amps and FX pedals from the previous tours. One notable addition to his pedalboard was a classic Boss PH-3 phaser pedal used for some psychedelic swirly sounds during live “jams” such as “I Am The Walrus” on the “There And Then” DVD.
|In a promo photo released during the recording of “Some Might Say”, Noel is seen holding a Gibson Non-Reverse Firebird, awith an Orange stack in the background.|
According to some sources Noel used 2 Orange Overdrive 120 heads w/2 4×12 cabinets, but a Marshall Stack was still a favourite.
On the credits of “What’s The Story (Morning Glory)” it also says that Noel used an e-bow.
And then there was…MAINE ROAD!
|It was at Maine Road that Noel Gallagher debuted his most iconic guitar – the Epiphone Sheraton Union Jack|
Some might say it’s a Epiphone Riviera, but they are wrong…the headstock gives the clue: it’s a 60’s Epiphone Sheraton alright. Unlike the new Sheratons, the 60s version looked very similar to the 60’s (and to the most recent) Riviera, as both featured frequensator tailpiece and mini-humbuckers. It was a present from then girlfriend Meg Matthews, and customized by a London luthier.
Maybe most of you realize this, but some might not: It’s worth noting that Noel Gallagher’s signature guitar, the Epiphone Supernova, is an entirely different thing from the Union Jack guitar he played at Maine Road, and we’ve found no evidence he’s ever played it. He just posed with it. The guitar – excellent as it is, by all accounts – is just an expensive piece of merchandise…and quite different than the original Union Jack guitar: the Supernova has stoptail bridge and humbuckers, as opposed to frequensator and mini-humbuckers, making it closer to the Epiphone Sheraton II or the 70s Epiphone Riviera.
|The 60’s Epiphone Sheraton quickly became one of Noel’s favourite guitars, and could be seen at several gigs – not the Union Jack, but a sunburst model|
Sadly discontinued, the Epiphone John Lee Hooker Signature Sheraton I (not the commonly found Sheraton II) looked exactly like Noel’s. Some sites say Noel Gallagher played one – he might, but not before 2000, when the guitar was released. So the guitar we see him playing at 1996 gigs – including Knebworth – must be an older model.
FROM THE BE HERE NOW “WILDERNESS YEARS” to FAMILIAR TO MILLIONS (2000):
Where Did It All Go Wrong? After the halcyon days of Knebworth, all of a sudden Oasis were not cool anymore in the eyes of many, despite their still huge popularity, and one of the reasons was “Be Here Now”, the drug-fuelled Britpop opus and nail in its coffin.
But, on a guitar point of view, no one can complain – Noel Gallagher sounded wilder and louder than ever!
He was using some fuzz pedal for the first time, a Coloursound Tone Bender. The Coloursound myspace page lists him as one of the clients. Great pedal, dearly priced. (For cheaper options, the Boss FZ-5 and the Electro-Harmonix Double Muff are great for vintage gritty tones like the Tone Bender)
He still used his Epi Sheraton a lot, but during the “Be Here Now” tour his main guitar seemed to be the Gibson Silver Florentine (Les Paul Semi-Acoustic):
Of course, he famously appeared with a Gibson Flying V on the “Do Y’r Know What I Mean” video, and posed with a Blue Fender Jaguar, but posterity has not registered whether he played them on records or gigs:
AND THEN COMES “Go Let It Out” and “Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants” (2000) and here’s a very accurate list of pedals Noel Gallagher used, in the Jools Holland Oasis special, in 2000 on BBC:
- Vox V847 Wah
- Boss HR-2 Harmoniser
- Ibanez Tubescreamer TS-9
- Boss LS-2 Line Selector
- Sib Echodrive
- Boss RV-3 Digital Delay/Reverb (now discontinued, replaced by the Boss RV-5)
- Way Huge Aqua Puss Delay
- Hughes&Ketner Rotosphere
The Hughes & Kettner pedal is an excellent “Leslie Speaker” simulator, used in tracks such as “Who feels Love?”
Noel Gallagher also began using Rickenbacker guitars…including a white Rickenbacker 330 which used to belong to Paul Weller, and used when The Jam performed “Beat Surrender” on Top Of The Pops! Weller is a good friend of Noel and gave the guitar as a present.
|Rickenbacker 330 (left) and Fender Telecaster (paisley)|
But his main Rickenbacker was a 330 Mapleglo…beautiful guitar…used for “Go Let It Out” and “Who Feels Love”:
FROM 2000 TO NOW – NOEL GALLAGHER’S CURRENT SETUP:
Guitar-wise, Noels current favourite is a Gibson ES-355 with Bigsby, in Cherry. This is NOT an ES-345 as reported in some sites. However…Noel also has a Gibson ES-345! But it’s a non-bigsby model, also in cherry
|Noel and his ES-355 (left) and ES-345. The 345 has no Bigsby and no diamond inlay.|
|Also, another favourite guitar is the Gibson Trini Lopez, as seen on the video for “Lyla”.|
Noel also uses the El Dorado guitar straps.
He can also be seen with a Les Paul, as well as the occasional Telecaster. And here’ sa few pics for you:
|Above: Fender 60s Telecaster, White…a new one is quite affordable!|
His pedalboard/rack / amps have ballooned so much, it’s quite hard to keep track of what’s his current gear and how it all works! We managed to find info on two similar but different recent setups, which as far as we can see are almost 100% accurate!
One surprising thing is that his main amp now is the little (but great) Fender Blues Junior!
Click on the images to resize:
We can see (almost) clearly that he now uses a Dunlop Crybaby 535Q Wah, still uses an TS-9 Tubescreamer, has a Danelectro Dan-Echo delay, a discontinued Boss PN-2 tremolo/pan, and still used the LS-2, Echodrive and Rotosphere pedals. According to the scheme, the LS-2 is used to bypass a Line 6 rack delay, which can indeed be seen in the pictures.
The other rack-mounted gear include a Korg DTR-1 Tuner (now surpassed by the DTR-1000), TC Electronics 2290 delay, compressor, Furman PL8 Power Supply, signal splitter and noise redction boxes…
His main amp sound are 2 Blues Jrs run through THD Hotplates into Marshall 4x12s (with Celestion G-12’s) There are two heads too: a vintage Vox AC-50 head, and also an Orange head…some mention OTR-120 but could also be a different Orange one. Other amps mentioned as being used by Noel are Clark Beaufort Combo and Clark Tyger Combo, but we found no more details about it, so we’re not sure!
So far so good, but we found more recent (2007) pictures which seem to update the info above a bit!
Huge new Pedalboard, maybe some MIDI controls for the racks as well? Who knows. Between the TS-9 and the Wah there’s a new pedal, dark purple, which fits with the boutique Analogman King Of Tone. According to their website “In spring 2004 Noel Gallagher from Oasis got one and is using it a lot along with his mini bicomp and Boss DD-6 with high cut mod”. We can see that the Dan-Echo is gone and there’s a Boss delay there…so it must be the Boss DD-6 as mentioned by Analog Man!
Like Gem Archer, now Noel uses a Line 6 DL-4 pedal, widely regarded as the best delay available, used by 9 out of 10 rock stars, apparently!
The SIB Echodrive, Boss PN-2 and LS-2 Line Selector remain.
We can’t see them on the photographs, but some sites state that Noel has purcahsed the Crowther Hotcake pedal and the Pete Cornish SS2. The Pete Cornish website states that Noel purchased a custom SS2 fuzz pedal in 2005…
As for his amps…the setup is almost the same…except there’s no Orange head to be seen, just one Blues Junior, a Fender head into a Fender Cab (on top of a Marshall cab). There’s also a Line 6 Pod Pro (now surpassed by the Pod XT Pro model)
|This picture shows the current amp setup of Noel Gallagher (click to resize)|
Getting The Noel Gallaghet Current Tone:
Getting a basic Noel-like setup won’t be that expensive, really. Go for a Fender Blues Junior, into a Marshall MG412 cab, which is not as good as the more expensive Marshall cabs, but should do the Job if you want to keep things cheap – this setup would cost just a bit more than a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, for instance! The Blues Junior is a fantastic little amp, especially when you select the “fat” mode – nice crunchy tube tone…into a cab, it usually sounds amazing.
And, finally, here’s a few more pictures of Oasis and Noel Gallagher’s gear so you can have a nose and se if you can find out anything else!
Click on thumbnails:
NOEL GALLAGHER ACOUSTIC GUITARS:
We decided to leave them for the end. As a typical singer-songwriter, Noel is never far apart from a good acoustic guitar. His favourite is and will always be an Epiphone EJ-200 or, as of late, the Gibson J-200, both sunburst…as you can see in several photos.
List of acoustic Guitars:
Gibson J-45 Acoustic
Gibson L-200 Acoustic
Epiphone Custom EJ-200 Acoustic
Epiphone Frontier Acoustic
Apart from Gibson and Epiphone, the only other brand Noel has used quite a bit has been Takamine, who make some really nice guitars…View Takamine
Takamine EF-325SRC Acoustic
Takamine FD -460SC Acoustic
Takamine EG 335 12-string Acoustic
Takamine NV360S Acoustic
Also used a Guild 12-String, as shown on “Sad Song” live at Jools Holland (“Definitely Maybe” DVD)
EXCLUSIVE OASIS INSIDER INFO:
A “Guitar Player Blog” reader, Lloyd, got in touch with us, with some first hand info we’d like to share with you. A friend managed to get some really good pics of Noel’s and Gem’s pedalbaords. And here’s what could be seen. Thank you for the info, Lloyd!
“I am having a litlle bit of trouble making a copy of the photographs at the minute, from the images i can see that noel has:
Boss Chromatic tuner, Dunlop Cry Baby Wah, Mr. Echo stomp box (the first one, not the mr. echo plus!), Tubescreamer TS-9, The Boss DD-3 delay pedal…well, he has 3 of them in his current set-up!!! There is a stomp box that was made up by his head roadie and guitar-tech Jason Rhodes for which i have no idea of its purpose, Boss PN-2 Trem/pan, LS-2 Echodrive, There is one more pedal that i dont know what it is, its a grey pedal with a similiar shape to the boss pedals but with a more rounded front. The pictures were taken just after a soundcheck whilst onstage, positioned in-between the two floor monitors is another Echodrive which is not connected up at all, however i have been informed that he does sometimes use them both. There is no sign at all of a line selector however the way the system has been set up neither Noel or Gem actually press the actual pedals there are small rounded chrome buttons each lebelled with the type of effect that it is connected up to, so there may be a line selector especially built in to the system. Gem has: Boss Chromatic tuner, Vox Wah-Wah, Pro-Co Rat Distortion Pedal, Boss Tremolo TR-2, Boss DD-3 delay, Boss RV-3 digital reverb/delay (now Boss RV-5) Boss AC-2 acoustic simulator (now replaced by the Boss AC-3) Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler, I hope that this email has been a lot of help to you and wish you all the best with your site, if you ever need anymore help or info jus drop us an email.”
The Boss PN-2 Tremolo/ Pan is a classic and quite collectible pedal, also used by people such as Graham Coxon (Blur) and Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine). You can still find it on eBay if you’re lucky, or, if you want to save some bucks, you could get the Behringer copy, the TP300 Ultra Tremolo/ Pan. Either way – you’ll need two amps to mak ethe most out of it.
The most recent studio photograph of Oasis (shot during the recording of “Dig Out Your Soul”) appears to show an old Boss CE-1 Chorus somewhere, too…but we couldn’t see clearly what was most of the gear, apart from the usual Vox Amps (AC50?), Line 6 DL4…
OASIS CANADA 2008 TOUR – GEAR INFO!
|Oasis live, Toronto 2008|
- By the looks of it, he’s using two Hiwatt bass cabs – looks like the Hiwatt Celestion Loaded 4×10″ + 1×15″ Cab. If that’s right – pretty cool choice!
We hope you enjoyed this guide! We’ll keep updating it whenever we find new info.