What guitars do Deftones use?

Deftones are known for their innovative guitar tones and their eclectic selection of guitars. The band’s main guitarist, Stephen Carpenter, uses several different guitars onstage and in the studio. He primarily plays a custom-made ESP Eclipse II electric guitar with EMG 81/85 pickups. Other guitars he is known to use include Fender Stratocasters, a Gibson Les Paul Standard, a Jackson Soloist SL2H, and Ibanez RG models.

The History of Deftones and Their Guitar Sound

Founded in 1988, the Deftones have developed an unmistakable sound which has captivated fans across generations. From the beginnings of their formative years in Sacramento, California, the Deftones have evolved from a regional act to one of heavy metal’s most enduring and acclaimed bands.

While many people recognize the powerful chugging riffs and catchy hooks associated with lead guitarist Stephen Carpenter, few realize that it took over two decades for him to reach this point musically. The band’s early albums featured experimentation with punk, thrash metal and industrial music as they sought out a unique blend of heaviness and melody. In fact, during their initial gigs on the local scene at places like A-1 Studios (now known as Crystal Lounge) they were billed as ‘Experimental Heavy Rock’.

It was only after eight studio albums – including such landmark efforts as Around the Fur (1997), White Pony (2000) and Diamond Eyes (2010) – that Carpenter found his own definitive guitar sound which continues to be heavily utilized today. His signature style has been described by critics as ‘ambiguous’ due to its ability to employ both light treble tones within heavier melodies. Coupled with effects pedals like phasers or flangers along with a love for wah wah tones, he has created some instantly recognizable yet ever-changing sounds over recent years.

Chino Moreno’s Main Guitars and Gear Setup

Chino Moreno is the lead singer and guitarist of alt-rock powerhouse Deftones, who have released eight full length albums since 1995. In their two decades of music making, the band has continuously evolved and pushed their sound forward. Chino Moreno’s signature guitar tone has been at the center of this sonic journey. Through a combination of experimentation with different guitars, amplifiers and effects pedals, he has been able to dial in his own unique soundscape.

At the heart of his rig is an iconic Ernie Ball Music Man silhouette that he often plays through Mesa Boogie heads and cabs. He also uses a variety of vintage Fender Stratocasters as well as Fender Jaguars for specific tones during live performances or studio recordings. For some crunchy distortion sounds, Chino utilizes both Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedals as well as Electro-Harmonix Big Muffs fuzz boxes. Rounding out his arsenal are several MXR phase shifters to further add texture to his lush guitar layers.

As far as accessories go, Chino relies on custom Dunlop Tortex picks while onstage in order to produce an optimal attack when playing complex riffs or intricate leads lines overtop one another. He employs various special pick guards – including designs by Arizona luthier David Richter – in order to give certain songs even more character than what can be achieved through just tone alone.

Stephen Carpenter’s Signature 8-String Guitars

When discussing the Deftones, one of the most frequent topics of discussion is what guitars they use. While all members have used various instruments over their decades-long career, Stephen Carpenter’s signature 8-string guitars have become iconic for fans and guitarists alike.

Carpenter first began using an 8-string in 2009, when Ibanez released his signature S series model – The SCG08. This instrument featured several key modifications from a traditional 7-string electric guitar, including two additional strings which allowed him to create a fuller tone. He has since collaborated with Ibanez on further variations of his signature model, such as the Iron Label RGIR27E and RGIR20EBT models. These 8-strings feature special pickups designed by Carpenter himself and are designed to produce lower frequencies than traditional 7 or 6 string models.

In addition to collaborating with Ibanez on these signature 8-strings, Carpenter also had a hand in designing Schecter’s Hellraiser C7 FR model – another iteration of his iconic sound. With its custom black gloss finish and unique coil tapping capabilities, this instrument is popular amongst both professional musicians as well as amateur enthusiasts alike who strive to replicate the unique tones found on Deftone’s records such as White Pony or Diamond Eyes.

Frank Delgado’s Use of Sampled Sounds and Effects Pedals

Frank Delgado, keyboardist and turntablist of the Deftones, has become a master in creating unique sounds on the guitar. He is known for using sampled sounds and effects pedals to create his signature sound. His use of looper pedal devices to layer multiple notes simultaneously allows him to craft deep atmospheres that add texture and dimension to the music. He also makes use of heavy delays and echo effects, combined with reverb-drenched drones, to create a hypnotic atmosphere that adds an extra layer of complexity.

Delgado’s soundscapes are further enhanced by his proficiency in manipulating analog synthesizers. He uses an array of vintage instruments from Moog and Oberheim synths, as well as modern controllers like those from Native Instruments or Korg. By combining these different elements together he creates lush sonic landscapes full of ethereal tones that evoke emotion and moods within the listener.

In addition to traditional effects pedals and synthesizers, Delgado also incorporates samples into his playing technique. Using drum machines or samplers he layers snippets of audio loops over each other creating complex grooves which allow him to keep up with intense shredding parts while at the same time adding unique textures throughout a song’s progression. These sample-driven sounds truly set apart Delgado’s style from any other guitarists in rock music today, making it impossible not to recognize his influence when listening to Deftones’ music.

Bassist Sergio Vega’s Preferred Basses for Live Performances

The Deftones are well-known for their signature blend of hard rock and atmospheric shoegaze, and their unique sound is largely credited to the distinctive sounds produced by the band’s four instruments: guitar, bass, drums and vocals. In particular, it’s the tone of bassist Sergio Vega that stands out from the rest – his low end frequency brings a fullness and energy to each song.

When playing live shows, Vega has two main choices for basses – either an Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray 4 or an Ibanez ATK1200EX. These instruments both feature active pickups and EQ controls which provide Vega with extra control over his tone when playing in venues large or small. With its 5-string configuration, the Ibanez model is great for providing extended range and versatility; whilst its reduced weight makes it perfect for long tours on stage. The Ernie Ball Music Man model offers traditional growl with a classic style that fans love hearing onstage. Both models allow Vega to deliver deep bass grooves with clarity due to their active electronics system – giving him plenty of options when dialing in tones during sets.

For recording sessions however, Vega has recently been experimenting more frequently with vintage Fender Precision Basses. Favored by countless players throughout musical history including Bootsy Collins, Paul McCartney and Jaco Pastorius; these iconic instruments have all but defined what we expect from a good electric bass sound today. When combined with fuzzy effects pedals such as Big Muffs or Earthquaker Devices’ Bit Commander; this combination creates a dynamic soundscape which can be heard on many of Deftone’s most recent tracks like “Sextape” from their critically acclaimed album “Koi No Yokan”.






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