The Guitars of Linkin Park

Current Guitars

Brand: Gibson
Model: 2004 Flying V
Finish: Heritage Cherry
Years Used: 2005-Present
Special Features: Gibson Custombucker neck pickup (February 2016-present), treble bleed modification (February 2016-present)
Current Status: Active use
Notes: This has been my #1 guitar since I acquired it. It's definitely got some wear and tear on it, the pickguard's starting to get pretty yellow-looking, there are dings and scratches all over the thing, the output jack was replaced a few years ago, and I had to put extra shielding in the body cavity to cut down on crackling noises caused by static buildup (common on Gibsons - the nitrocellulose finishes on their guitars are notorious for being very static-y!). One unusual thing about this guitar - EVERYONE who has ever picked it up has told me that it's the lightest Flying V they've ever seen. Turns out it weighs just 6.4 pounds, but it sure doesn't sound "thin!" I swapped the stock 496R neck pickup out for a Custombucker in February of 2016, and also did a "treble bleed" mod at the same time - this prevents the loss of high-end frequencies when playing with the volume knob partially turned down.

Brand: Fender
Model: 2000/2001 Standard Stratocaster
Finish: Midnight Blue
Years Used: 2013-Present
Special Features: Tremol-No modification w/custom-cut back plate (April 2013-present), Schaller locking tuners (April 2017-present)
Current Status: Active use
Notes: I had been looking for a Strat for a long time, and finally found a good deal on a used one through the Used Gear section on Guitar Center's website - This guitar was at a store in Louisville, Kentucky, and while it was being sold as a "used" instrument, it still had the original plastic covering on the pickguard. Somebody apparently bought this thing new and hardly played it! I got it for $200 less than what a new Strat would cost. With the money I saved, I immediately purchased a Tremol-No and had it professionally installed, along with a new back plate with a bigger hole cut out of it for easier access to the Tremol-No itself. This device allows me to switch from a full-floating tremolo, to a tremolo that only moves downward (similar to the old "blocking off" trick in the back cavity), to a completely locked-down bridge that functions like a hardtail. This makes changing strings a breeze, and I can switch tunings easily when I need to as well. In the spring of 2017, I swapped out the stock machine heads for locking Schaller tuners with staggered posts (I ended up keeping the string tree on the headstock anyway though, something about the tone of the B and E strings didn't sound as good to me without it). I get a lot of compliments on how great this guitar sounds, and people are usually surprised to find out it's a Mexican Strat with stock pickups in it!

Brand: Ibanez
Model: 2007 RG3EX1QM
Finish: Transparent Grey Burst
Years Used: 2007-Present
Current Status: Active use
Notes: This is the guitar I bought solely because of my Youtube channel - I wanted something that fit in the "Linkin Park realm" of being geared towards drop tunings and modern high-gain settings. By sheer coincidence, the same day I got my refund check from my student loans during my second semester at Cuyahoga Community College, I walked into Guitar Center, saw this thing hanging on the wall, went "Hey, an RG with passive pickups and a fixed bridge, you don't see too many of those," tried it out, loved it, and bought it on the spot. The money I got back from my student loans was gone in a matter of HOURS, haha. It turns out that this was one of the Guitar Center/Musician's Friend-exclusive RG models, so you don't see a ton of them in this exact configuration. I see a lot with flame tops instead of quilted tops, and I see a lot with V7 and V8 pickups instead of the "Designed by EMG" pickups mine has (although these pickups are essentially just a V7/V8 set with EMG-style covers on them anyway). This guitar has a couple cosmetic features I don't care for, mainly the sharktooth inlays and the "powdered cosmo" hardware that looks like crap as it ages, but playing-wise, I love this thing. One of the nicest necks I've ever played.

Brand: Ibanez
Model: 2003 AX7221
Finish: Pewter Grey
Years Used: 2003-Present
Special Features: 8-ball sticker between pickups
Current Status: Active use
Notes: I had been playing guitar for a couple years, and had just started getting into learning Linkin Park songs, when I decided I wanted a 7-string to play With You and Runaway without having to down-tune like crazy. I want to say I got this guitar at the same time I got my Fender Champ...anyway, this guitar has a great tone, but it doesn't stay in tune very well, it's ridiculously neck-heavy, and I never really ended up using a 7-string much outside of playing those two songs, so I rarely pick up this guitar these days. I'm planning on trading it in and buying a better 7-string eventually, but it's pretty far down on my to-do list...

Brand: Yamaha
Model: 2000 EG 112
Finish: Black
Years Used: 2000-Present
Special Features: Seymour Duncan SH-1N bridge pickup, middle/neck pickups removed, non-original pickup selector switch, "aged" body covered in numerous stickers
Current Status: Active use
Notes: This was my first guitar, I got it for Christmas in 2000 (I thought for YEARS that it was 2001, but I found an old family photo from Christmas in 2000 where I got this guitar - we moved into a different house in 2001, so I've actually been playing for a year longer than I thought!). It came in a starter pack with a strap, a small practice amp, an instructional VHS tape (oh jeez, VHS? I'm old...), etc...for a starter pack guitar, this thing is actually pretty decent! I've done a lot to it over the years, I swapped out the bridge pickup for a Seymour Duncan '59 (I accidentally bought the neck version of the pickup, but it sounds surprisingly good in the bridge!), removed the other two pickups and left the selector switch to act as a "killswitch," and plastered the thing in stickers. The "inlays" are actually white electrical tape, and I went through a phase where I thought "relic'd" guitars looked cool, so I threw this thing around a bit and sanded some of the finish off. We all do dumb stuff when we're 16, right? Anyway, this guitar is still part of my arsenal, I mainly use it for alternate tunings that I don't typically use (mainly when I'm covering songs like "Rebellion" or "Easier to Run" for my Youtube channel).

Brand: Guild
Model: 1982 X-82 Nova
Finish: Black
Years Used: 2005-2010, 2015-Present
Special Features: Custom artwork, aftermarket Kahler tremolo
Current Status: Active use
Notes: This is an ABSURDLY rare guitar - Guild's production numbers show that only 460 of these instruments were produced between 1981-1984. I've never seen another one in person! This guitar was originally purchased from the old Wright Guitar shop in northeast Ohio by my uncle in the mid-'80s. The Kahler tremolo was installed at the same time the guitar was purchased. My uncle passed away from cancer at a very young age a couple years later, and my dad kept this guitar locked up in its case for many years afterward. Once I had been playing for a few years, he finally got this thing out again and let me start using it. It was my #2 guitar after my Flying V for a while, until I bought my Ibanez RG in 2007. I still used this guitar quite a bit after that, up until I moved to Minnesota in 2010. Knowing the sentimental attachment my dad had to his brother's guitar, I decided to leave it with him when I moved. My brother used it pretty extensively after that. After my dad passed away in the summer of 2015, my brother surprised me and told me I could have this guitar back if I wanted it. I haven't really gotten a chance to put it back in playable condition yet, but I'm very happy to have it back in my possession, as it's something that will always remind me of my dad.

Brand: MS Guitars
Model: MS #2 (Custom guitar)
Finish: Bronze Sparkle
Years Used: 2006-2010, 2015-Present
Current Status: Active use
Notes: This is one of three instruments my dad built under the "MS Guitars" name - the other two were a short-scale bass and a vintage-looking 3-pickup guitar with a Bigsby-style tremolo on it. I want to say this guitar was an 18th birthday/graduation present my dad put together for me, but my memory isn't the best. This guitar has a bit of an identity crisis going on, it has a body style like a Jackson/Kramer or some other kind of "80s shredder" guitar, but it has single-coil pickups and totally sounds like a Strat! The paint on this thing is really cool too, my dad mixed a ton of powdered bronze in with the paint before he finished the guitar, and it sparkles spectacularly under the right lighting. It's kind of an oddly-proportioned guitar, the body is TINY, so much so that it almost looks like a kid's guitar at first glance, but it's actually a full-scale instrument. Like the Guild, this is one of the guitars I didn't bring with me when I first moved to Minnesota, but I re-acquired it in 2015 after my dad passed away.

Brand: Fernandes
Model: 2006 Dragonfly Pro
Finish: Gun Metal Blue Satin
Years Used: 2012-Present
Special Features: Fernandes Sustainer pickup system, disabled tone control, autographed/personalized
Current Status: Active use
Notes: This guitar was previously used by Linkin Park's Brad Delson as a backup guitar, and it ended up being used for a couple live performances of "No More Sorrow" in June of 2011. The following year, I developed a friendship with Brad's guitar tech Sean Paden and did some work for his Green Guitar Project line of eco-friendly guitars. As a thank-you for my work, as well as a way for the band to recognize my own website (yes, they're aware of it!), Sean and all six members of the band autographed/personalized the guitar and sent it to me as a surprise gift. I don't really use this guitar much, both because of all the signatures/writing on it, and because it doesn't have strap buttons (they were removed along with the strap lock assembly before the guitar was sent to me). However, I have used it on a few recordings, most notably the droning "feedback chords" at the start of my remix of "Lost in the Echo."

Brand: Yamaha
Model: 2017 FGX800C
Finish: Natural
Years Used: 2017-Present
Current Status: Active Use
Notes: After many years of playing an Ovation acoustic/electric that wasn't exactly my cup of tea (see below), I finally sold it in September of 2017 and bought this more traditional-styled Yamaha acoustic. I haven't had a chance to do the initial setup work I want to do to it (mainly just adjusting the height of the bridge saddle and adding an upper strap button), but I'm VERY happy with this guitar - I played three identical models (plus the very similar FSX series version of the same guitar) and picked what I felt was the best one of the bunch. I foresee myself doing a LOT of recording with this guitar in the future.

Brand: Cordoba
Model: C3M
Finish: Natural
Years Used: 2016-Present
Current Status: Active use
Notes: One of my sophomore guitar classes at McNally Smith College of Music required that I have a classical guitar, so I bought this cheap Cordoba to fulfill that need. Not a bad instrument for 200 bucks...I literally never played classical at all before buying this thing, but I did well in the class, and I do like the tone of nylon strings in certain situations, so I'll probably end up using it on some stuff here and there.

Brand: Schecter
Model: 2014 Diamond-P Custom-4
Finish: Vintage White
Years Used: 2015-Present
Current Status: Active use
Notes: I joined Generic Jack as their bassist in May of 2014, and spent almost my first year in the band borrowing a Yamaha bass from our guitarist, Mark. I bought this bass in February of 2015, I actually bought it direct from Schecter as it had been discontinued and they were liquidating their remaining stock at a heavily discounted price. This thing sounds MASSIVE. We actually spent some of the band fund on finding me a new bass amp to play through after I bought this thing, because Mark's old Fender Bassman just couldn't handle how much output this bass has (my current bass rig consists of a Gallien-Krueger 800RB through an old Guild/Hartke 4x10 cab, for anyone who's curious - Mark ultimately paid for it, so I don't consider it "mine" and it's not listed elsewhere on this site for that reason). I love the finish on this thing too, you can't go wrong with a black pickguard on a white instrument.

Inactive Guitars

Brand: Aria
Model: 1970s Les Paul (Copy)
Finish: Tobacco Sunburst
Years Used: 2000-2005
Current Status: In storage
Notes: This is a Japanese "lawsuit-era" Les Paul copy guitar, and it was actually the first guitar that I learned to play on, before I got my Yamaha. This guitar also belonged to my uncle, like the Guild. Unfortunately, this guitar has a lot of electronic components that need to be replaced, so I never got to play it plugged in. I still played with it a bit in the early years of my playing, but by the time I started using the Guild, I had pretty much quit using this guitar. My brother in Ohio still has this guitar, and is planning on installing new electronics and hardware to make it playable again...unfortunately, this guitar suffered a headstock break in 2017 after falling off a guitar stand, which only makes the needed repairs even more extensive.

Brand: MS Guitars/Prestige
Model: MS #3 (Custom guitar/restoration project)
Finish: Red Sunburst
Years Used: N/A
Current Status: In storage
Notes: This is one of three instruments my dad built under the "MS Guitars" name - the other two were a short-scale bass and a custom guitar that he built for me. This guitar was built for my brother in 2006, around the same time he built MS #2 for me. This guitar started life as a 1960's "Prestige" guitar (one of many different names Teisco Del Rey put on their U.S. import guitars during the '60s), which my dad bought in extremely poor condition and restored to nearly-new condition, save for putting his own logo on the headstock. I never really used this guitar for anything, but I figured I'd include it here since my dad's other two instruments are included.

Brand: Ibanez
Model: RG420EG
Finish: Spiderweb Black
Years Used: 2015
Special Features: Red and blue hardware
Current Status: Active use (my brother)
Notes: This is one of my brother's main guitars. I used it to record my Youtube videos for "Nobody's Listening" and "Don't Stay" during one of my visits to Ohio, since he keeps this guitar in Drop B tuning anyway. This guitar has custom "Spider-Man" hardware - whoever owned this guitar before my brother was clearly a fan, as they painted all the hardware red and blue to go with the spider web graphic on the body!

Brand: Yamaha
Model: 1990's RBX250
Finish: Natural
Years Used: 2009-2010
Current Status: In storage
Notes: Prior to acquiring my Schecter, this was my favorite bass I had ever played. My brother was selling some other gear at Guitar Center one day in 2009 (I was with him because he couldn't drive yet), and we saw two of these old Yamaha basses hanging on the wall for 100 bucks each. Both of them had considerable wear on them, but sounded awesome! He decided to buy the less beat-up of the two, and it turned out to be an extremely reliable instrument. I used this bass to record a few tracks during my last couple years in Ohio, most notably my collaborative cover of "In Pieces" with Alex McMillan. Prior to getting my Schecter, I was considering buying this bass from my brother since he wasn't using it anymore, but I would've had to wait several months before I could visit Ohio again to pick it up, so I bought the Schecter instead (which did turn out to be a better instrument, so I made the right choice).

Brand: MS Guitars/Telestar
Model: MS #1 (Custom bass/restoration project)
Finish: Natural
Years Used: 2004-2008
Current Status: In storage
Notes: This is the first of three instruments my dad built under the "MS Guitars" name - the other two were a custom guitar that he built for me, and a vintage-looking 3-pickup guitar with a Bigsby-style tremolo on it. This bass was actually built sometime in the early 90s as a do-it-yourself restoration project my dad decided to do (he was always tinkering with ideas like this). This bass started life as a 1960's "Telestar" bass (one of many different names Teisco Del Rey put on their U.S. import instruments during the '60s), which my dad bought in extremely poor condition and restored to nearly-new condition, save for stripping the original finish in favor of a glossy natural look, moving the location of the wood block on the pickguard so it would be more convenient as a thumb rest, and putting his own logo on the headstock. I ended up using this bass a little bit while I was in high school, as I often played bass for our vocal jazz group (we had a drum/bass/piano trio that backed them up), and I also played bass in jazz band my junior year. I THINK this bass was also used a little bit with Felonie Cassette...I want to say I used it to record "Frankenstein," since that song's tuned down half a step. Regardless, I haven't used this bass for a long time, but my brother and his various bands have used it over the years, and he still has it.

Brand: Squier
Model: 2004 MB-4 "Skull and Crossbones"
Finish: Black
Years Used: 2005-2008
Current Status: In storage
Notes: My parents bought my brother this bass when he decided he wanted to get into playing music. It isn't a bad bass for being a Squier, although the neck could be a little stronger (it flexes/warps way easier than it should). This bass actually saw a considerable amount of use, it was used by Bullets for the Beautiful's bass player Eddy during the one show I played with them in 2005, as his bass wasn't working at the time. I also used it on two tracks on the Felonie Cassette EP, "I'll Stay Here" and "Kissed a Cadaver." My brother and his various bands used this bass a lot more over the years than I did, obviously.

Brand: Univox
Model: 1970s 'Lectra
Finish: Sunburst
Years Used: N/A
Current Status: In storage
Notes: This was my uncle's bass, it's basically a copy of the Hofner "violin bass" that was popularized by Paul McCartney with The Beatles. Much like the Aria Les Paul copy, this bass has numerous electronic componenets that need to be replaced, and since I had access to my dad's custom-built bass, I never really used this thing for much other than just messing around. It's a cool instrument though, and I'd like to have it fixed up one of these days. My brother currently has this bass packed away somewhere.

Former Guitars

Brand: Epiphone
Model: 2005 G1275 Custom
Finish: Heritage Cherry
Years Used: 2005-2009
Current Status: Sold (July 2009)
Notes: I had this thing for a few years, and while the visual appeal of the doubleneck was cool...I didn't have much use for it. I'd pick it up, try noodling around on it, and just end up playing "Stairway to Heaven" or "Hotel California." And even though this was approximately a $900 instrument, it still suffered from poor craftsmanship like most other Epiphones I've seen over the years. It didn't intonate properly, the output jack was too tight to plug a cable into without popping the hex nut off of the threads, and the frets were VERY poorly installed. I ended up selling this guitar in July of 2009 to buy an Amtrak ticket to visit a friend in Minnesota that I met through the LPU...her name was Katie. The following year, I moved in with her. In 2014, we got married. Yeah, I think selling this guitar was a good choice!

Brand: Epiphone
Model: 2006 Les Paul Junior
Finish: Vintage Sunburst
Years Used: 2006-2009
Current Status: Retired/destroyed (October 2009)
Notes: I bought this cheap, $99 guitar to function as a backup in case I broke a string on my Flying V during a show or something. Unfortunately, I quickly found out that it was way too crappy of an instrument to even fill that role. I expected shoddy craftsmanship, being an Epiphone...however, I did NOT expect the intonation on the G string to be a quarter step sharp when the other 5 strings were in tune, on a wraparound tailpiece with no means of adjusting individual string intonation to begin with! This guitar was completely useless for anything that required using the G string. I briefly used it as a baritone guitar, but it sounded awful tuned down that low. It sat in my guitar rack collecting dust until one night in October of 2009, when I was really upset over some family drama, grabbed it, and threw it across my room like a Frisbee. The impact snapped the headstock completely off and left a hole in my bedroom wall. Not satisfied, I picked it up again and threw it down the stairs, which ripped several pieces of fretwire completely out of the fretboard. I felt stupid about the hole in the wall, but I felt like the guitar got what was inevitably coming to it...had I not destroyed it that way, I probably would have brought it to a show at some point and destroyed it on stage. Oh well. My brother kept the body from this guitar, repainted it blue, found a neck to go with it, and made a guitar for himself. I think he ended up lighting that one on fire at some point...? Clearly this guitar was cursed, haha.

Brand: Ovation
Model: 2004 CK057
Finish: Crimson Red Pearl
Years Used: 2004-2017
Current Status: Sold (September 2017)
Notes: I put a lot of miles on this guitar...got it while I was still in high school, and played it until I was almost 30 years old! I dropped this guitar backstage during rehearsals for my high school talent show less than a year after I got it, and broke a large chunk of the headstock off (it broke in a really odd fashion, the crack went vertically through the low E and A tuning pegs). My dad fixed it for me, and I had no issues with it in the following years, but it always bugged me that the crack was visible. Anyway, I had a love/hate relationship with this guitar...I always felt like I could never get the action low enough for my liking, I didn't care for the way the round back made the guitar "lean" at an awkward angle against my body when I tried playing it standing up, and being that most of the body was made of plastic, it didn't sound very good unplugged. I found myself borrowing acoustic guitars from other people for gigs pretty frequently once I started doing solo gigs in 2011! The last time I used this guitar was at the St. Paul, Minnesota memorial gathering for Chester Bennington in August of 2017 (I performed a short Linkin Park cover set), and I ended up trading it in for my Yamaha the following month.

Under construction...

Other Instruments:
Rogue Electric Mandolin
Hohner Piedmont Blues Harmonica set (Keys of C, D, E, F, G, A, and Bb)

Amps:
2008 Fender FM 100 half stack (FM 100H head/FM 412 cabinet)
2003 Fender Champion 30 DSP (w/line-out jack modification)
Orange CR-3 Micro Crush PiX Mini Amp
Marshall MS-2 Mini Amp
Danelectro Honeytone Mini Amp

Amps not in use (all of these are currently at my mom's house in Ohio):
1971 Traynor YBA-3 Custom Special head
1970s Traynor YT-15 2x15 cabinets (2x)
1970s CMI Electronics SG Systems head w/built-in 3-way Maestro phase shifter
1970s Gibson G-80 combo amp (Needs restoration)
1964 Fender Bassman head (Blackface serial #981 w/AA864 circuit - needs restoration, but VERY cool!)

Pedals/Effects:
*Pedaltrain PT-2 pedalboard with the following signal chain (effects that I run in front of the amp):
1. Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
2. Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer
3. Coffin Case BDFX-1 Blood Drive
4. Digitech WH-5 Whammy
5. Ibanez LF-7 Lo-Fi Filter
6. Fender 2-button footswitch (Channel select/"Drive/More Drive" functions, only used with my FM 100H or other Fender amps with the same switching configuration)
*Homemade pedalboard with the following signal chain (effects that I run in the effects loop, or if I'm using an amp without a loop, these come immediately after my first board):
1. Boss GE-7 Graphic Equalizer (Currently used as a clean boost with all EQ faders "flat" and the volume boosted)
2. 1980s DOD FX60 Stereo Chorus
3. Electro-Harmonix Epitome (Micro POG/Stereo Electric Mistress/Holy Grail Plus all in one pedal)
4. Boss FS-5L footswitch (used for channel switching on my Fender Champ)
*Other pedals/effects:
MXR M222 Talk Box
1970s Marlboro Sound Works QSB-II Quadra Sound Blender
1980s Ross Distortion
DOD FX69 Grunge Distortion

Former pedals/effects:
Boss GT-8 Effects Processor (Sold, May 2010)
Boss OC-3 Super Octave (Sold, May 2013)
Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner (Retired January 2016, given away September 2017)

Software:
Stagelight 3.0
Adobe Audition 3.0 (I've previously used predecessors Audition 1.5 and Cool Edit Pro 2.0 as well)
Audacity 2.0.5
IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3
IK Multimedia SampleTank 3
IK Multimedia T-RackS CS 4.7
Melodyne Editor 2.1
Guitar Pro 5
Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch 2.2
MixMeister BPM Analyzer 1.0
Avid Media Composer First (Used for video editing)

Hardware:
HP Envy 15 laptop (Running Windows 7)
Tascam US-122L recording interface
Tascam TM-78 condenser microphone
Sony MDR-7506 studio headphones
Audio-Technica ATH-M20X studio headphones

Other Equipment:
Snark SN5 clip-on tuner (Used for tuning my Cordoba since it has no electronics)
Heet Sound Products EBow Plus
Kyser capos
Dunlop brass slide
Levy's guitar straps
Dunlop strap locks
Dunlop Tortex picks (.88 for guitar, 1.14 for bass)
Stringjoy strings (I used Ernie Ball strings for 15 years before switching to Stringjoy in late 2016)
Monster Cables
Dunlop System 65 Guitar Maintenance products
Big Bends Nut Sauce (My Strat would NEVER stay in tune without this stuff!)