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Pete’s Gear: Pete Townshend’s Guitar Gear History – An Equipment Overview

A year-by-year overview of the guitars, amplifiers and effects that Pete Townshend used on stage and in the studio throughout his career, both solo and with The Who, from 1956 to the present. Includes equipment detail pages on notable equipment.

Links within the references are either to a popup photo of the item in question (where available), a detailed equipment overview or a related website.

This information, along with all other content included in Whotabs, is intended for private study, scholarship or research. Associated images below are included for reference only and are property of the original owner. more >>

I’ve received a lot of questions about this over the years and thought I’d put something together to answer all at once. I don’t claim to be an expert on this, but here’s what I know or have compiled from various sources (magazines, websites, interviews, etc.) over the years. Feel free to use this as a resource, but no guarantees on accuracy. This is by no means an exhaustive list. So, if you’ve got additions, corrections or comments, contact Whotabs

Also note that this page is under constant development since its start in August 1999, with new tidbits and information being added all the time. A special thanks to all who have contributed suggestions, information and/or images, without which this information could not have gotten to where it is today. Got a contribution to this page? Contact Whotabs.

Pete Townshend Gear History, by year
Era Acoustic Electric Amplification/Effects Misc.

First guitar
(Christmas 1956)

Christmas 1956:

  • £3 Hyra guitar, “from [his] grandmother Denny like those found on the wall in Spanish restaurants.”

1957:

  • A five-string mandolin banjo (gift from friend of his father) and, later, a tenor banjo.

1957 (approx.):

  • Little Selmer amp, bought after two-year paper round. Thrown at his grandmother and destroyed.

1958–61 (the Confederates, the Aristocrats, the Scorpions)

An “unknown ‘Czechoslovakian’ acoustic guitar” for £3 from his parents’ antique shop “Miscellania,” on Ealing Common. “Good fingerboard and everything. It lasted quite a long time, but it got pinched in the end.”

Stage equipment: Detours (1962–63)

  • A homemade guitar body cut from a block of wood, Roger helped file the edges down. Pete then unscrewed the neck of his Harmony guitar, transferred it to his new solid guitar body and added some pickups.
  • Harmony single-pickup Stratotone, sprayed red;
  • 1961 Epiphone Wilshire solidbody electric bought from Roger Daltrey on “easy payments,” with a “small body and little black pick-ups,” later sold for the first Rickenbacker (a 1998).
  • Vox AC-15 that both Roger and Pete played through (acquired from former Detour Roy East).
  • Fender Pro with 1x15 JBL (purchased from John McLaughlin at Selmers);

Stage equipment: High Numbers/Early Who stage equipment (1964)

I Can’t Explain (1964) and Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere (1965)

1964 Rickenbacker 360/12 “Export” (12-string, Fireglo, old style)

Blonde ’64 Fender Bassman head and Fender Pro 1x15 blackface with internal speaker disconnected and then into Fender Bassman 2x12 cabinet or early Marshall 4x12 cabinet.

Stage equipment: 1965

Dec. ’65–Jan. ’66:

  • ’60s Grimshaw Short Scale semi-hollow (mfg. by Emile Grimshaw and Son; 3 (Rickenbacker?) toaster pickups, block inlays, trapeze tailpiece, tune-o-matic bridge, Rickenbacker truss-rod cover fitted on headstock)

May/June – November

Two Vox AC-100s with 4x12 Celestions and two Midax horns, and a Sola Sound Tone Bender (Mk I) fuzzbox. (See Max the Mod’s great description. [offline])

Beginning Nov. ’65:

Two Marshall JTM45 100 (1959 Super Lead or two 1959T Super Lead Tremolo) and heads; with two custom Marshall 8x12 cabinets.

Herco heavy-gauge nylon picks

My Generation 45 (1965)

Rickenbacker (Rose, Morris, Co., LTD) 1998 (3 pickups; vibrato removed)

Blonde ’64 Fender Bassman head and Fender Pro 1x15 blackface with internal speaker disconnected and then into two early Marshall 4x12 cabinets.

My Generation LP (1965)

Rickenbacker (Rose, Morris, Co., LTD):

  • 1997 (2 pickups, vibrato removed);
  • 1998 (3 pickups; vibrato removed);
  • 1993 (12-string)

Miscellaneous Fender amplifiers, including blonde ’64 Fender Bassman head, Fender Pro 1x15, through Fender Bassman and Marshall 4x12 cabinets.

Stage equipment: 1966

Jan. ’66:

’66:

Early 1966

Effects:

October ’66:

Marshall amps into two custom Marshall 8x12 cabinets (sawed in half as 4x12s).

Beginning November 1966: Marshall 1982A/1982B 100w 4x12 cabinets.

Herco heavy-gauge nylon picks

A Quick One/Happy Jack LP (1966) and related singles

1960s Harmony 6- and 12-string acoustics, including:

Miscellaneous Fender amplifiers, Fender and Marshall cabinets, including:

  • Two Marshall JTM45 100 (1959 Super Lead or two 1959T Super Lead Tremolo) and heads; with two custom Marshall 8x12 cabinets.

Stage equipment: 1967

Strings (on Fender Stratocasters) Fender strings (likely Fender pure nickel wrap #1500 Spanish Guitar
[Smooth Round Wound]: .012, .016, .016p (substituted for .026w), .034, .044, .052)
.

Early ’67 (UK/Europe):

Marshall amps into one remaining custom Marshall 8x12 cabinet (sawed in half as 4x12s) and/or Marshall 1982A/1982B 100w 4x12 cabinets in two stacks. Some cabinets occasionally“dummies.”

Beginning May 1967:

One Marshall JTM 100 100w (1959 Super Lead and one customized Sound City “One Hundred” L100 100-watt heads (modified by Dave Reeves of Hylight Electronics — Hiwatt’s manufacturer, and previously of Sound City, a division of Dallas-Arbiter).

Cabs:

  • May: Marshall 1982A’s and 1982B’s in two stacks.
  • Summer: Marshall 1982A’s and 1982B’s, and Sound City 4x12s, in two stacks.
Effects:

Beginning February 1967: Grampian spring reverb unit (used for distortion)

Miscellaneous fuzz pedals, including Marshall Supa Fuzz pedal and Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone, all used occasionally.

March–April, June 1967 (U.S.):

July–August 1967 (North American tours)

August–December 1967 (North American tours)

Herco heavy-gauge nylon picks

I Can See For Miles (1967)

(Likely) Fender Stratocaster

(Likely) Fender Pro 1x15 (conflicting report as borrowed Sunn amps from Blues Magoos)

The Who Sell Out LP (1967) and related singles

1960s Harmony 6- and 12-string acoustics, including:

Miscellaneous electrics, including:

Miscellaneous amplifiers, including Fender, Marshall and Sound City.

Stage equipment: 1968

Early to mid-’68:

Beginning mid ’68:

  • 1968 Gibson SG Special (cherry, full black pickguard, white binding, bound dot-inlay neck with rosewood fingerboard, Schaller tuners, with P-90 “soapbar” pickups), modified with stock Gibson/Maestro Vibrola tailpiece removed (leaving visible screw holes) and strings attached directly to stop tailpiece. Gibson 340 Sonomatic strings, .012.
  • Miscellaneous Fender Stratocasters (phased out through summer ’68)

January 1968 (Australia/New Zealand):

Various and occasionally rented/borrowed Marshall and Sunn amplifiers.

Until mid-’68 (UK/Europe):

Each amp driving one 4x12 cab, arranged in two “stacks” — miscellaneous 4x12 cabinets, including Marshall 1982A and 1982B and Sound City 4x12s.

February–April 1968 (North American Tour):

June 28–29, 1968 (North American Tour)

July 8–14, 1968 (North America)

For these dates only, Sunn Orion solid state preamp and two 2x15 cabs (some abandoned at Canadian customs, 15 July, 1968).

Effects:

Miscellaneous fuzz pedals, including Marshall Supa Fuzz pedal.

July 20 to late-’68 (UK/U.S.):

Two or three (one as backup) customized Sound City “One Hundred” L100 amplifiers (modified by Dave Reeves of Hylight Electronics). Each amp driving one or two Sound City 4x12 cabinets, arranged in two “stacks.”

Effects:

Miscellaneous fuzz pedals, including Marshall Supa Fuzz pedal, Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face.

December ’68:

Two or three (one as backup) customized Sound City “One Hundred” L100 amplifier heads (chrome panel and large round control knobs), some with Hiwatt nameplate affixed, some no-names (modified by Dave Reeves of Hylight Electronics — Hiwatt’s manufacturer; customized to the eventual CP103 specification; four volume controls, treble and bass controls, no middle or presence); Each amp driving one or two Hiwatt SE4122 200w 4x12 cabinet, configured in two “stacks.”

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (original grey version).

Herco heavy-gauge nylon picks

Tommy LP (1969; recorded 1968–69) and related singles

Miscellaneous electrics, including:

  • Customized Sound City “One Hundred” L100 amplifiers (modified by Dave Reeves of Hylight Electronics, as above); Driving one Sound City 4x12 cabinet.
  • Miscellaneous Fender amplifiers, including Fender Princeton.

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Stage equipment: 1969 (e.g., Woodstock – from The Kids Are Alright)

Early ’69 shows:

Remainder of ’69:

Three or four 1968/1969 Gibson SG Specials as above (see ’68);

Gibson 340 Sonomatic .012 strings (with a .016 for both B and G strings):
.012, .016, .016, .032, .044, .056.

Early ’69:

Two Sound City “One Hundred” L100 amplifier heads (chrome faceplate panel, one with large round control knobs, one with Hiwatt-style chicken-head knobs), some with Hiwatt nameplate affixed (modified by Dave Reeves of Hylight Electronics, as above). Two heads each driving two 200w Hiwatt SE4122 4x12 cabinets with 50w Fane speakers; speakers configured in two “stacks.”

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (original grey version).

Beginning August ’69:

Three amps rotated, with one amp as backup:

  • one Sound City “One Hundred” L100 amplifier head (round-knob version with chrome panel and Hiwatt nameplate, modified by Dave Reeves of Hylight Electronics), as above;
  • two customized (to the eventual CP103 specification, just no “The Who” faceplate; four volume controls, treble and bass controls, no middle or presence) master-volume Hiwatt DR103 100w amplifier heads. Two heads each driving one 200w Hiwatt SE4122 4x12 cabinet with 50w Fane speakers; speakers configured in two “stacks.”
Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (original grey version); pedal used for more drive during leads and outro flourishes).

Guitar effects at board through PA:
Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Stage equipment: 1970 (e.g., Live at Leeds and Isle of Wight)

Three or four 1968/1969 Gibson SG Specials as above (see ’68), Gibson 340 Sonomatic .012 strings (with a .016 for both B and G strings):
.012, .016, .016, .032, .044, .056.

Amps:

Three amps rotated, with one amp as backup. Two or three customized master-volume Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100” (third amp as backup). One Sound City “One Hundred” L100 amplifier head (round knob version with chrome panel and Hiwatt nameplate, modified by Dave Reeves of Hylight Electronics) continued in use through 1970.

Two heads each driving two 200w Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets with specially voiced (for increased bass response) 50w Fane speakers or SE4122 4x12 200w cabinets with 50w Fane speakers; speakers configured in two “stacks.”

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (original grey version); pedal used for more drive during leads and outro flourishes)

Guitar effects at board through PA:

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Clamp-style capos

Studio Equipment (1970) (e.g., singles and
Aborted EP with Naked Eye, Postcard, Now I’m A Farmer, Water)

Gibson SG Special (for The Seeker)

Wurlitzer EP-200A electric piano (see: my.stratos.net/~riderz/ wurlitzer.html)

Record Plant pre-Who’s Next sessions (March 1971)

Who’s Next LP (1971) and related singles

1959 Gretsch 6120 orange Chet Atkins Hollow Body (a gift from Joe Walsh)

Additional guitars:

’59 Gretsch into Edwards Light Show pedal steel volume pedal, Whirlwind cable, ’59 Fender 3x10 Bandmaster (all a gift from Joe Walsh).

Miscellaneous Fender amplifiers, including Fender Princeton.

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Going Mobile (1971)

1968 sunburst Gibson J-200

Guitar into ARP 2500 synth envelope follower.

Baba O’Riley “synthesizer program” (1971)

1968 sunburst Gibson J-200

1959 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins setup from ’71.

Same Gretsch/Bandmaster setup as 1971, above.

1968 Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ.

Won’t Get Fooled Again and Won’t Get Fooled Again “synthesizer program” (1971)

1968 sunburst Gibson J-200 1959 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins setup from ’71. Same Gretsch/Bandmaster setup as 1971, above.

1968 Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ processed by an EMS VCS3 mk1 synth. The VCS3 is set up so that a low-frequency oscillator (LFO) switches the volume of the organ off then on in the rapid fashion that we can hear. Also, another LFO is sweeping the filter (tone) of the synth back and forth. (Rich Rowley)

Stage equipment: 1971

1966–1970 Gibson SG Specials (as ’68), some with tailpiece as described above, others — later in ’71 — custom-made Gibson SG Special, natural color, with stop tailpiece/bridge and Gibson Tune-O-Matic.

Occasionally:

Gibson Sonomatic .012 strings:
.012, .016, .016, .032, .044, .056.

Amps:

Three Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100” (one amp as backup).

Two heads each driving two 200w Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 or SE4122 4x12 200w cabinets, configured in two “stacks” (SE4122 phased out through ’71). (See ’70 for details.) Cabinets miked with Shure SM-57 or SM-58 microphones.

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (original grey version; switched to die-cast version mid/late ’71).

Guitar effects at board through PA:

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Stage equipment: 1972

  • One to three Polaris White Gibson SG Special (usually pre-1965 models), with two P-90 pickups, small black pickguard. Maestro vibrato and tailpiece removed.

Occasionally:

Gibson Sonomatic .012 strings.

Amps:

Three Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100” (one amp as backup).

Two heads each driving two 200w Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets, configured in two “stacks.” (See ’70 for details.) Cabinets miked with Shure SM-57 or SM-58 microphones.

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (die-cast version).

Effects at board through PA:

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Relay synthesizer/guitar sound (1972)

Guitar is being processed through an ARP 2600 synth. The guitar output is fed into the audio input of the voltage-controlled filter (VCF) section of the synth. Using the sample-and-hold function, the output is connected to the VCF, which automatically turns the frequency (tone) of the filter to different, random positions in a rhythmic style. (Rich Rowley)

Join Together and synthesizer sound (1972)

1959 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins setup from ’71.

Same Gretsch/Bandmaster setup as 1971, above.

Synthesizer sound. ARP 2500 or ARP 2600, Lowrey Berkshire Deluxe TBO-1 organ. The Jew’s harp on the intro is an ARP synth. It sounds like a four- or eight-bar loop that Pete built the rest of the song on. The organ part that comes in two bars before the vocals is interesting as it’s the same setting as Baba O’Riley, only set to a much slower speed. The organ is also fed through a low-pass filter, which can be heard on the demo. (Rich Rowley)

Quadrophenia LP (1973)

Same Gretsch/Bandmaster setup as 1971, above.

Miscellaneous Fender amplifiers, including Fender Princeton.

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Stage equipment: 1973

January 1973 only (TV appearance):

1956 Gibson Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty”

Occasionally, throughout ’73:

Throughout ’73:

Six to eight Gibson Les Paul Deluxe guitars, some with pickguards removed. Mostly cherry sunburst models, and occasional Gold top.

Gibson Sonomatic .012 strings.

Amps:

Three Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100” (one amp as backup).

Two heads each driving two 200w Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets, configured in two “stacks.” (See ’70 for details.) Cabinets miked with Shure SM-57 or SM-58 microphones.

Beginning late ’73:

One to three Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100”; and/or one to two Custom Hiwatt 100 model DR103W 100w amplifiers (i.e., not CP103 models); (one amp as backup).

DR103W is similar circuit to CP103, with no “The Who” faceplate, and five 12AX7/ECC83 preamp tubes and four EL34 power tubes. Controls are, from left to right: four inputs, four volume controls (two for “Normal Vols.,” two for “Brilliant Vols.”), Bass, Treble, Master Volume, Standby, and Mains.

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (die-cast version).

Guitar Effects at board through PA:

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Tommy Soundtrack LP (rec. 1973–74)

Miscellaneous electrics, including:

Stage equipment: 1974

Six to eight Gibson Les Paul Deluxe guitars, some with pickguards removed, with Alan Smith’s handwritten numbering system. Mostly cherry sunburst models, and occasional Gold top.

Gibson Sonomatic .012 strings.

Amps:

One to three Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100”; and/or one to two Custom Hiwatt 100 model DR103W 100w amplifiers (i.e., not CP103 models); (one amp as backup).

Two heads each driving two 200w Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets, configured in two “stacks.” (See ’70 for details.) Cabinets miked with Shure SM-57 or SM-58 microphones.

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (die-cast version).

Guitar effects at board through PA:

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Who By Numbers LP (1975)

Miscellaneous Fender combos. Same Gretsch/Bandmaster setup as 1971, above.

Squeeze Box (1975)

Fender G banjo with Scruggs heads

Stage equipment: 1975

Six to eight Gibson Les Paul Deluxe guitars, some with pickguards removed, with Alan Rogan’s straplock system and large-block letraset numbering system. Mostly gold top and cherry sunburst models.

Gibson Sonomatic .012 strings.

Amplification:

Three Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100”; and/or one or two Custom Hiwatt 100 model DR103W 100w amplifiers (i.e., not CP103 models; see ’73 for details); (one amp as backup).

Two heads each driving two 200w Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets, configured in two “stacks.” (See ’70 for details.) Cabinets miked with Shure SM-57 or SM-58 microphones.

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (die-cast version).

Mid ’75

Some shows with Acoustic 270 amplifier atop amplifier rack as preamp.

PA equipment on signal, applied to guitar signal:

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Stage equipment: 1976

Early ’76:

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe guitars with mini-humbuckers modified with DiMarzio Dual Sound humbucker pickup with black surround in middle position, with two additional switches: a two-way coil-tap for the Dual Sound, the other a three-way pickup selector (Dual Sound on/off or all three pickups on). Control cavities enlarged to house extra switches with a larger backplate custom-made. No large-block numbering on most of these guitars. Mostly gold top and cherry sunburst models.

Mid-’76:

Six to nine Gibson Les Paul Deluxe guitars with mini-humbuckers modified with DiMarzio Dual Sound humbucker pickup with white surround in middle position, with two additional switches: a two-way coil-tap for the Dual Sound, the other a three-way pickup selector (Dual Sound on/off or all three pickups on). Control cavities enlarged to house extra switches with a larger backplate custom-made. Large-block white Letraset numbering for Alan Rogan, Pete’s guitar guru/tech, to identify different guitar and capo settings.

Gibson Sonomatic .012 strings.

Amplification:

Three Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100” (one amp as backup).

Two heads each driving one or two Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets, configured in two “stacks.” with one or two cabinets containing JBL K120 speakers (likely the bottom cabs); Fane 50w in the rest. (See ’70 for details.) Cabinets miked with Shure 548 microphones.

Custom-made Gelf preamp unit atop amplifiers. At least one show in ’76 with two Gelf preamp units and only one Hiwatt amplifier.

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (die-cast version).

Occasional use of additional Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi, (likely mkiii USA-made version) sitting atop amp rack cabinet.

PA equipment on signal, applied to guitar signal:

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Rough Mix LP (1977)

Stage equipment: 1977–78 (Kilburn/ Shepperton: The Kids Are Alright soundtrack)

Three or four Gibson Les Paul Deluxe guitars — including nos. 1 and 5 — with mini-humbuckers modified with DiMarzio Dual Sound super distortion pickup in center position (as ’76, above).

Gibson Sonomatic .012 strings.

’77:

Three Custom Hiwatt 100 model DR103W 100w amplifiers (see ’73 for details) and one Hiwatt amplifier head model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100” (two amps as backup).

’78:

Three Custom Hiwatt 100 model DR103W 100w amplifiers (see ’73 for details), with one amp as backup.

Two heads each driving one or two Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets, configured in three “stacks,” (one stack as backup) with Fane 50w and JBL K120 speakers.

Effects:

Effect pedal is the Univox Super-Fuzz (die-cast version).

Additional Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi, (mkiii USA-made version) sitting atop amp rack cabinet.

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Who Are You LP (1978)

Gibson Sonomatic .012 strings.

Who Are You synth:
An overdriven ARP 2600 synth. The overdriven guitar is fed into a voltage-controlled filter (VCF), which is being controlled by a low-frequency oscillator (LFO) triangle wave. The LFO is set to the tempo of the song at eight pulses per bar, making the tone of the VCF rapidly rise and fall in time with the song. The next step is to make each pulse from the LFO to trigger sound alternately from the left and right sides of the stereo picture. (Rich Rowley)

Stage equipment: 1979–1981

September to December 1979:

Six to eight Gibson Les Paul Deluxe guitars, modified as ’76, above.

Gibson Sonomatic .012 strings.

Beginning September ’79:

At first, one or two, then, as the Les Paul Deluxe is phased out, six to eight Telecaster-style guitars custom-built by Schecter and Roger Giffin with “Super Rock” coil-tapped humbuckers and Gibson-type toggle switch, some with Sperzel locking tuners. (9/79 MSG shows were introduction of the Telecasters; Les Paul Deluxe completely phased out through end of 1979.)

1980 only:

Occasionally: Rickenbacker 12-string (Jetglo; unknown model)

Amps:

Three Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100” (one amp as backup).

Two heads each driving one or two 200w Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets, configured in two “stacks” (bottom cabinets occasionally dummies) with specially voiced (for increased bass response) Fane 50w and JBL K120 speakers. (See ’70 for details.) Cabinets miked with Shure SM-57 or SM-58 microphones.

In-line pedal effects:

Non-LED MXR Dyna-Comp pedal plus Roland rackmount Dimension D flanger/phaser.

PA desk effects on guitar signal:
  • Roland RE-555 rack mounting Chorus Echo
  • Ashley SC55 stereo limiter
  • Stereo parametric equalizer
Monitor desk effects on guitar signal:

(only audible on stage)

  • Delta Lab DDL (for phasing)
  • Dynacord DRS-78 digital reverb system
  • MXR modular phaser and flanger rack

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

(’81) Sabine capos.

Empty Glass LP (1980)

Miscellaneous acoustics, including:

Miscellaneous electrics, including

Miscellaneous amps, likely including

Rough Boys (1980)

Roland GR-300 guitar synth

MESA/Boogie combo, modified four-channel 1970 Hiwatt custom DR103 head and 4x12 cabinet and Alan Rogan’s Ampeg B15N and a Roland Jazz Chorus 2x12 combo.

Face Dances LP (1981)

Miscellaneous Fender amplifiers, likely including:

You Better You Bet (1981) synthesizer setup

You Better You Bet: 1964 Rickenbacker 330S/12 Fireglo 12-string painted black.

1977 Yamaha E70 organ. Both You Better You Bet and Eminence Front use the same setting, called “Auto Arpeggio.” When chords are held on the lower keyboard, it automatically plays the notes of the chord up, down, up and down, random, etc. (Rich Rowley).

Chinese Eyes LP (1982)

1968 Gibson J-200

Miscellaneous Fender amplifiers, likely including:

Same Gretsch/Bandmaster setup as 1971, above.

It’s Hard LP (1982)

Miscellaneous amplifiers, including:

Eminence Front (1982) synthesizer setup

Eminence Front: Schecter “Telecaster”-style with Parsons/White B-Bender (used on Eminence Front and One at a Time)

1977 Yamaha E70 organ. Both You Better You Bet and Eminence Front use the same setting, called “Auto Arpeggio.” When chords are held on the lower keyboard, it automatically plays the notes of the chord up, down, up and down, random, etc. (Rich Rowley).

Stage equipment: 1982 (e.g., Who’s Last) and 1985 (Live Aid)

Six to eight “Telecaster”-style guitars custom-built by Schecter and Roger Giffin with “Super Rock” coil-tapped humbuckers and Gibson-type toggle switch, Sperzel locking tuners.

Amps:

Three Hiwatt amplifier heads model CP103 “SUPER WHO 100” (one amp as backup); occasionally, one Custom Hiwatt 100 model DR103W 100w amplifier (see ’73 for details) used instead of a CP103 amplifier.

Two heads each driving one or two MESA/Boogie 200w 4x12 closed-back cabinets, configured in two “stacks.” Cabinets miked with Shure SM-57 or SM-58 microphones.

Effects:

Manny’s medium and heavy picks

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

White City (1985)

Same Gretsch/Bandmaster setup as 1971, above. Miscellaneous Fender amplifiers, including:

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Stage equipment: 1985–1986 (e.g., Deep End)

Into direct box into PA.

Fender combo amplifiers, including blonde 1963 Fender Twin, blonde (’62–’63) Fender Vibrasonic.

Shubb capos and Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Iron Man (1989)

Miscellaneous acoustics, including:

Miscellaneous electrics, likely including:

Miscellaneous amplifiers, as well as the Scholz SR&D Rockman Sustainor studio unit.

Stage equipment: 1989 (e.g., TKAA 25th Anniversary tour)

  • Blonde Takamine FP360SC 6-string acoustic/electric cutaway with Kaman active transducer pickup, onboard preamp and active parametric EQ;
  • Takamine EN-20 non-cutaway model.

Into Demeter direct box into PA.

Ernie Ball bronze medium .013–.056 strings.

Four rack-mounted channel-switching MESA/Boogie Studio preamps (one for electrics, one for acoustics, two for backup spares), into Demeter direct boxes into onstage mixing console, fed to PA and to wedge monitor.

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Psychoderelict (1993)

Miscellaneous acoustics, including:

Miscellaneous electrics, including:

Miscellaneous amplifiers, including:

Stage equipment: 1993 (Psychoderelict)

Via Shure Wireless System into Demeter direct box into PA.

Via Shure Wireless System to amps.

Two rack-mounted MESA/Boogie Studio preamps into Demeter direct boxes, to onstage mixing console, to PA.

MXR Dyna-Comp compression pedals (one for each preamp/guitar) plus another (unknown; overdrive?) control pedal.

Pete’s Guitar (St. Paul, Minn.) medium and heavy picks.

Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.

Stage equipment: 1996–1999 (solo shows)

(TV appearance, ’96):

Ernie Ball nickel strings: .011, .015, .018, .032, .042, .052.

’96:

Two rack-mounted MESA/Boogie Studio preamps into Demeter direct boxes, to onstage mixing console, to PA.

’98/’99:

Fender Vibro-King with control pedal. Trace Acoustic amplifier, foot-switchable for mock-acoustic sound from Fender Strat.

Stage equipment: 1996–1997 (Quadrophenia tour)

Three or four blonde (Antique Natural) Gibson J-200 models with Fishman Acoustic Matrix pickup system, via Shure Wireless System into Demeter direct box into PA.

Reported as D’Addario .011 (likely .013)–.056 strings.

Olympic White, Torino Red and Gold Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster models with Floyd Rose vibratos (some with locking nut), modified with extra knob-controlled (knob located just above cord jack on guitar body) Fishman piezo transducer saddle-pickup system for mock-acoustic sound; stereo output; stereo signal sent to splitter box, with magnetic pickup signal to amp; piezo output to direct box, to board.

Ernie Ball nickel or D’Addario strings: .011, .015, .018, .032, .042, .052.

Four rack-mounted MESA/Boogie Studio preamps (two for backup spares), into Demeter direct boxes into onstage mixing console, fed to PA and to wedge monitor.

Monitor desk processing (audible only in monitoring):
  • Summit Audio DCL200 Compressor/Limiter

Manny’s medium and heavy picks.

Shubb capos.

Rack-mounted Korg Tone Works Digital Tuner DTR-1 Pro.

Stage equipment: 1999

Blonde (Antique Natural) Gibson J-200 models with Fishman Acoustic Matrix pickup system into Demeter direct box into PA.

Olympic White and Torino Red Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster models, some modified with extra knob-controlled (knob located just above cord jack on guitar body) Fishman VMV Powerbridge piezo transducer saddle-pickup system for mock-acoustic sound; stereo output sent to splitter box; with magnetic pickup signal to amp, piezo signal to direct box to board.

Ernie Ball nickel strings: .011, .015, .018, .032, .042, .052.

One or two Custom Hiwatt 100 model DR103W 100w amplifier (i.e., not CP103 model; see ’73 for details) and one (or two) Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinet(s), set up as half-stack.

Effects are an MXR Dyna-Comp (used in some shows; LED version) into a Boss OD-1 Overdrive (used all shows).

Stage equipment: 2000 (Lifehouse shows)

Fender Acoustasonic Jr. 40w/40w stereo 2x8 combo amplifier.

Shubb capos.

Stage equipment: 2000 (“From the Bush to the World” Who tour)

Two blonde (Antique Natural) Gibson J-200 guitars with Fishman Acoustic Matrix pickup system. Reported as .011–.052 strings (though more likely .013–.056).

Five Torino Red, Shoreline Gold and Olympic White Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster models, and — for the first few 2000 shows — a Shoreline Gold Fender Stratocaster with a white pickguard (not a Clapton Signature model, but had the same Gold Lace Sensor pickups). All modified with the Fishman VMV Powerbridge piezo transducer saddle-pickup system (controlled by knob located just above cord jack on guitar body) for mock acoustic sound. Stereo output, with piezo to onboard EMG buffer preamp; stereo signal sent to splitter box; with magnetic pickup signal to amp, piezo signal to direct box to board. Fender tremolo systems on some, Fishman Powerbridge Tremolo on others, both set for floating tremolo. Sperzel locking tuners.

Second leg: four to six Torino Red (two capoed at 3rd fret) models, one Shoreline Gold model and one Olympic White model.

Ernie Ball nickel strings: .011, .015, .018, .032, .042, .052.

Amps are two Fender Vibro-King 60w 3x10 combos (beginning of tour with two; later cut down to one; with one sitting to the rear in spare), each into a Fender Vibro-King 212 Speaker Enclosure. Fender two-button footswitch controller. SM-57 or Shure KSM44 microphones.

(Note: One Hiwatt 100 model DR103W 100w amplifier (i.e., not CP103 model; see ’73 for details) and one Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinet set up as half-stack is available in case of emergency; for first leg, sitting directly behind stage amp; for second leg, not visible from stage.)

Effects are an MXR Dyna-Comp (now has both LED and non-LED versions available) into a Boss OD-1 Overdrive.

Note: Equipment for 6 June 2000 Javits Center benefit show in New York has same amplification as ’99 shows.

Shubb capos.

Ernie Ball picks and custom-printed picks

Stage equipment: 2001 (solo shows)

Stage equipment: 2001–2002 (Who tour) (e.g., Encore Series)

Two blonde (Antique Natural) Gibson J-200 guitars with Fishman Acoustic Matrix pickup system (likely .013–.056 Ernie Ball strings).

Torino Red, Shoreline Gold and Olympic White Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocasters, modified with the Fishman VMV Powerbridge piezo transducer saddle-pickup system (controlled by knob located just above cord jack on guitar body) for mock acoustic sound. Stereo output, with piezo to onboard EMG buffer preamp (residing behind second rear body cavity, with tone controls); stereo signal sent to splitter box; with magnetic pickup signal to amp, piezo signal to direct box to board. Fishman Power Bridge Tremolo set for floating vibrato. Sperzel locking tuners.

Ernie Ball nickel strings: .011, .015, .018, .032, .042, .052.

Tweeter Center, MA, 26 July 2002:

Sunburst (dark orange to black) or black Fender Stratocaster with two P-90 pickups; two standard control knobs; Fishman Powerbridge piezo transducer saddle-pickup system (with extra control knob) with vibrato; white pickguard; maple fretboard (used on Baba O’Riley only).

Camden, NJ, 27 July 2002:

Black Fender Stratocaster with two P-90 pickups; two standard control knobs; Fishman Powerbridge piezo transducer saddle-pickup system (with extra control knob) with vibrato; white pickguard; maple fretboard (used on I Can’t Explain only).

Amps are two Fender Vibro-King 60w 3x10 combos (initially with one sitting in rear in spare; fourth leg with both up front in line), each into a Fender Vibro-King 212 Speaker Enclosure. Fender two-button footswitch controller. SM-57 or Shure KSM44 microphones.

(Note: One Custom Hiwatt 100 model DR103W 100w amplifier (i.e., not CP103 model; see ’73 for details) and one Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinet set up as half-stack is available in case of emergency.)

Effects are an MXR Dyna-Comp (now has both LED and non-LED versions available) into a Boss OD-1 Overdrive.

Shubb capos.

Ernie Ball picks and custom-printed picks

Stage equipment: 2004–2005

Two blonde (Antique Natural) Gibson J-200 models with Fishman Acoustic Matrix pickup system. (.013–.056 Ernie Ball strings or Ernie Ball Regular Slinky #2146 .012–.054).

Torino Red, Shoreline Gold and Olympic White Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster guitars, modified as 2001–2002.

Madison Square Garden, NY, 23 May 2004:
  • Four Torino Red (in standard tuning)
  • Two Shoreline Gold (with capo)
  • Two Olympic White (tuned down half-step for Love Reign O’er Me)

Possibly Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom #2215: .010–.052.

Amps are:

SM-57 or Shure KSM44 microphones.

Effects are a compressor pedal (appears to be an MXR M-132 Super Comp into a Boss OD-1 Overdrive.

Shubb capos.

Stage equipment: 2006–09

Blonde (Antique Natural) Gibson J-200 models and Gibson Signature SJ-200 models with Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend pickup/preamp system.

Torino Red, Shoreline Gold and Olympic White Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster guitars, modified as 2001–2002, except now with stereo signal sent to Pete Cornish Custom Design piezo/magnetic splitter (Pete Townshend s/n 0602, built August 2006).

Ernie Ball nickel strings: .011, .015, .018, .032, .042, .052.

Amps are:

Effects:

Until August 2006: Effects are a compressor pedal (appears to be an MXR M-132 Super Comp into a Boss OD-1 Overdrive.

Beginning September 2006: Custom effects board, by Pete Cornish Custom Design (Pete Townshend s/n 0601, built August 2006 [h/t Drew Matich]; or a second unit, Pete Townshend s/n 0609, built January 2007), featuring:

  • Effects:
  • Features:
    • LED meter on the input and level controls
    • Nominal unity gain
    • Compressor modifications to accommodate the 25db active mid-boost on the guitar.
    • Dual mono outputs (one to a Cornish splitter box; one in a line run as a spare for troubleshooting)

Splitter

Pete Cornish Custom Design “A/B/C” splitter:

  • A to onstage Vibro-King(s)
  • B to offstage Vibro-King(s)
  • C to another Cornish splitter, which would bring in the rear (spare) Vibro-King(s). (Spares are powered on, but on stand-by so that the amp can’t be accidentally be brought in by PT.)

Shubb capos.

Monitor mixer rig

Custom monitor mixer rig at Pete’s stage left, containing:

  • One Crest XR-20 rack mixer
  • Two power amps
  • Headphone power amp
  • Headphones (used for acoustic numbers to avoid feedback through stage wedge monitors from Fishman Matrix Blend pickup.)

Mixer receives:

  • Sub-mix of drums, each melody instrument and vocals.
  • Compressor and T-Rex echo pedal on aux send.
  • Output sent to large monitor wedge at Pete’s left.
  • Same setup for headphone mix.

Stage equipment: 2006 (solo appearances)

Endless Wire (2006)

Stage equipment: 2010–present

Blonde (Antique Natural) Gibson J-200 models with Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend pickup/preamp system.

Torino Red, Olympic White, and Black Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster guitars, modified as 2001–2002, with stereo signal sent to Pete Cornish Custom Design piezo/magnetic splitter.

Ernie Ball nickel strings: .011, .015, .018, .032, .042, .052.

Amps are:

Effects:

Custom effects board, by Pete Cornish Custom Design (Pete Townshend s/n 0609, built January 2007), featuring:

  • Effects:
  • Features:
    • LED meter on the input and level controls
    • Nominal unity gain
    • Compressor modifications to accommodate the 25db active mid-boost on the guitar.
    • Dual mono outputs (one to a Cornish splitter box; one in a line run as a spare for troubleshooting)

Splitter

Pete Cornish Custom Design “A/B/C” splitter:

  • A to onstage amps
  • B to offstage amps
  • C to another Cornish splitter, which would bring in the rear (spare) amps. (Spares are powered on, but on stand-by so that the amp can’t be accidentally be brought in by PT.)

KSM313 ribbon microphone.

Shubb capos.