3 Early Gary Moore Phases and Gear

February 9, 2011 | By | 6 Replies More


Wow. A man dying so young and out of the blue (no apparent sickness or substance abuse) is a body blow in the guitar community. RIP Gary!

Had to do a tribute of sorts. Thought for a while about what to do, here’s the result. Hope you enjoy. (Diehard Moore fans, please contribute any gear details I’m missing in the comments.)

Thin Lizzy, 1978

I’m not sure it gets much better than this band, this era. Damn!

Gear: Les Paul, stock pickups, Echoplex, Marshall JMPs – not sure if they are 2203s (master vol 50-watters) or 2204s (100w MVs), he used both.

Gear: Les Paul Junior, Humbucker (looks like a DiMarzio Super Distortion), Marshall JMPs.

Solo, 1984

This was Gary’s rock-sliding-into-metal phase, before he got sick of it. Like many classic rockers, he got more gainy as the years went on. Here he’s using Marshalls, tough to see which ones exactly in the vids below.

Here are some gear/tone bits from the October 1984 issue of Guitar Player mag.

GP: What equipment did you take on your latest tour?

Gary: Fender Stratocasters and Marshall amplifiers – either two or three amps and one bottom with each. I never use them in stacks. I think you get more balls by using one cabinet because it drives the speakers harder. It’s a more contained sound.

Are your Strats stock?

Yeah,they’re all stock. [But later he says] I had the frets done too. Fender frets are very sharp,and so I had fatter ones like on Les Pauls put in – Jim Dunlops.

How many springs do you leave in the tremelo?


Do you use any effects onstage?

I use a Roland SRE-555 Chorus/Echo and a Roland SDE-3000 Digital Delay, which has a programmable memory. The echo you hear from me all the time is kind of a medium-length repeat from the 555, which I use a lot. It’s on almost all the time, especially on the solos. But when I’m playing through a fast rhythm part or something,I leave it off because it turns into a mess otherwise.

Do you use the chorus section of the SRE-555?

No, I don’t like the sound of the one in the 555 very much, so I just modified the chorus preset on the other unit and gave it more depth and a bit more range. It suits me better. It’s a slow chorus – a bit more subtle. In general, I don’t like how the choruses mess with the pitch.

Are fuzztones included in your setup?

I use a Boss Distortion (DS-1) on the Stratocaster. I found it’s a really good unit for my particular guitar because it complements the sound. Having gone through just about all the other distortion units available, this is the one that doesn’t make your guitar sound thin. It doesn’t take away the natural sound. It just gives the Strat a real kick up the ass. In fact,I have it on most of the time. I don’t use it on the Les Paul, though – I go straight into the (mixing) desk.

Les Paul Junior, P-90, no DS-1?

Here, before the solo, he clearly steps on a pedal that seems to thin out his tone a bit.

Still Got the Blues, 1990

For a time, Gary used Soldanos, which caught the ears of many big-name players in the ’90s. Eventually he went back to Marshalls.

This was written on his website at one point: “The Soldano amps have not been used since 1993, as various new-model Marshall amps have taken over as Gary’s main amps. Recently the DSL 100 Marshall amp has been used….”

Also: “Gary tended to only use the clean channel on the SLO100, with the Crunch switch in, rather than switching channels on the amp. Any further crunch/boost/distortion would be added by one of” these pedals: Marshall Guv’nor (Mk 1), Ibanez TS10 Tube Screamer.

For many tunes on the album “Still Got the Blues” he used a stock ’59 Les Paul Standard, a Marshall Guv’nor pedal, a Marshall JTM45 reissue amp, and a Marshall 1960B 4×12 cab loaded with Electro-Voice 12M speakers.


> He apparently liked 10s and extra-heavy picks.

They’re jammin’ again!

Category: Boss/Roland, Celestion speakers, DiMarzio, Echoplex, Electro-Voice speakers, Gary Moore, Ibanez effects, Les Paul, Les Paul Junior, Marshall, Soldano, Strat

Comments (6)

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  1. Ben Sp says:

    Great article! Knew you’d come through…
    Love the first Lizzy clip; I laughed out loud at 4:32.
    Here’s Cowboy Song/ Boys Are Back from the same show:
    RIP Gary

  2. rockerjt says:

    Look at the headstock on that guitar. It is a small one. Based on that, I would think this to be a modified Melody Maker, wouldn’t you think?

  3. James says:

    Gary’s spare guitar in the Sydney video is a Gibson Melody Maker. The only mod is the installation of a DiMarzio PAF. It’s not a Super Distortion.

  4. pete says:

    As James posted…it`s a Gibson Melody Maker….I know because I bought it from him in 1980……

  5. Chris says:

    The 2203 is a 100 watts and the 2204 is the 50 watter. You have them backwards.

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