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This page is my own humble tribute to my favorite band :
Led Zeppelin

Though you'll find a lot of _great_ sites about LZ (some of them are below ), mine is just my humble tribute to the music and the guys behind. I've added my personal selection of web references.
I'm trying to get as much information as possible about all kind of guitars, amps, gimmicks Jimmy may have used either in the studio or on-stage. If you have any information, please contact me (I'll give due credits !).
A few questions I had myself not so long ago, and links about trading & bootlegs :

Jimmy's Guitars, Amps, Gimmicks...

The information below has been compiled from a bunch of interviews : Guitar World Jan. 91, Nov. 91 (reprint of Trans-Oceanic Trouser Press 1977), and a couple of others... Please contact me if you want to add something or if you think something is wrong and/or inaccurate.
Altair Tube Limiter
Jimmy started using this device to record acoustic guitars on LZ III (Friends), he first heard it on the album 'Six String, Twelve String' by Dick Rosemenie (Vanguard, impossible to find ?).
The (obscure) British amp used on SIBLY
Danelectro Sixties
Usually used in modal tuning DADGAD (WS / BMS, Kashmir). Features concentric volume/tone controls and a Quan Badass bridge.
Used when Jimmy played bass for the Yardbirds after Paul Samwell-Smith left

Amps used in the early years both in the studio and on-stage
Used throughout the album Presence.
Mainly used during post Zep years
Used during the late Yardbirds and the early Zep (LZ I recorded almost exclusively with this model for electric parts, he used it on stage also).
Jimmy had also a 1966 model equipped with a Stringbender.
Made especially for Jimmy by the Gibson Custom Shop for plating STH on-stage, serial number 911117. Features an A/B selector switch in the upper corner of the pickguard, that allows for inclusion of one or both guitars in the circuit. Jimmy often used to leave both guitars active for sympathetic resonance. Master volume and tone control for each neck, but only one pickup selector for both.
Mainly used on LZ I (BMS, BIGLY)
Equipped with a Bigsby vibrato, Jimmy used it a lot during the session days (especially with Them, Kinks, Who). Got lost/stolen by TWA somewhere between Boston, MA and Toronto in 1972.
Used for recording WLL
Flamed Top, no serial number at the rear of the headstock, changes have been made. The back pickup cover is of chrome instead of nickel and it has gold Grover tuning heads and a white selector cap.
Gift from Joe Walsh, serial number 91703. Head modified to look like a '58 model head. A pair of spring loaded buttons have been attached beneath the lower edge of the scratchplate. One for choosing between pickups in series or parallel, the other allow the choice of ordinary or phased sounds. Regular potentiometers replaced scrapped in favor of two pairs of push/pulls allowing coil-tapping on either pickup and the option of employing all four coils in parallel. Modifications made by Jimmy's recording studio maintenance techy Steve Hoyland.
The gizmotron was an hexaphonic mechanical string bowing device invented by Lol Creme and Kevin Godley of 10CC, it never took off and was some kinda financial disaster), it has been described by Jimmy as a 'hurdy-gurdy type of thing'. It existed in two versions : 4 or 6 strings (bass or guitar). The Gizmotron works by having a rubber wheel for each string and a key for each wheel, such that pressing down on the key engages the wheel with a rotating shaft and the guitar string. The shaft rotates the wheel which then excites the string.

"To try and explain, it is a unit which you fix to the bridge and body of the guitar - causing quite a substantial amount of damage I might add!!! - It basically consists of a small motor which revolves a smooth cylindrical bar sealed in the casing of the unit. On top of this there are a series of buttons connected to little plastic wheels that have serrated edges; when pressed, one side of the wheel is turned by the revolving cylinder and the other serrated side rubs against the string, creating, if punctuated the way I have on this track, the said effect. You can either play chords or single notes." Marty Willson-Piper

The more popular E-Bow is a similar device, but limited to only one string at a time, the strings adjacent to the one being excited are damped by the E-Bow mechanism, and it's difficult to switch from one string to another.

Jimmy may have used it on Carouselambra and In The Evening to produce the drone sound (ITL also ?)

Note : Thanks to John McIntyre for his help.
Fender copy, probably the first guitar Jimmy ever played at 13
Might be related to Jimmy's symbol (ZoSo) ???
Hollow-body, one of the first guitar Jimmy played (after the Grazioso)
Acoustic guitar used on first three albums along with the Gibson J-200.
Used on Friends.
Maestro Echoplex
Tape delay heavily used both on-stage and in the studio
Jimmy used a lot of Marshall 100-watters (most of them modified) both in the studio and on-stage.
Jimmy got this one after LZ III recording (he was using the Gibson J-200 and the Harmony up until then)
MXR Phase 90
Phasing unit, can be heard on TWS, ALS
New Vista
Unit used by Jimmy for working out demos and a lot of overdubs
Octave Doubler
Hand-made unit by Roger Mayer (also responsible for Jimi Hendrix customised units), used on D&C
Transonic Amps
The Supro Amp was made in the 50's. This Amp has a wonderful tube sound that just can't be replaced by transistors. It has 4 inputs. A killer reverb (for blues) and rich distortion when pushed. If you canfind one, buy it, they are _very_ rare... Jimmy once told that after an interview where he told he used this type of amp, he was no longer able to buy one !

Jimmy used in throughout Led Zeppelin I.

Theremin Instrument
Invented in 1919 by Leon Theremin (1896-1993), this unique instrument is still popular today in experimental music circles. The Theremin is played by waving one's hands near two metal antennas: one for pitch and the other for volume. The antennas vary the frequency of two oscillators. To create the sound, a fixed oscillator is mixed with the variable pitch oscillator and their difference (or beat frequency) is amplified.

Jimmy used it a lot both in the studio (WLL) and on-stage.

There are a lot of different Theremin, check out The Theremin Instrument Page by Jason B. Barile.

Vox AC30
Used (along with other amps) on LZ III.
Vox Wah-Wah
Modified by roger Mayer

The guys behind the music...


Photos Copyright (c) Jim Marshall

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