My Favorites

We often get asked about the guitars and other gear used in the Guitar Animal lesson videos. The collection seems to be growing a bit. More pictures and details will be added here soon. Any questions or comments, ask away!

The Guitar Animal Gear Family 1

Number One

This guitar started its life in 2013 as a Gibson USA Les Paul Deluxe ii flame top in beautiful vintage cherry sunburst and walnut back and sides. She originally came with black plastic, a set of Gibson USA pickups, chrome hardware, a built in 15db boost circuit and splits for each pickup. The tone and look were… less than amazing. Here at Guitar Animal we swapped out the black plastic for 50’s correct off white plastic and removed all the electronics in favor of more toneful things. This included a set of Seymour Duncan ’59 pickups in zebra, new USA pots and old style paper in oil Caps (0.22 before fade, yes they are really old parts). She is wired 50’s style and is out of phase (ala Peter Green) in the middle position (switchable to in phase with a push pull  pot). The neck pickup still splits and with the phase switch I can get either of the coils on the pickup (Cool!). We also swapped out all the hardware for 50’s correct nickel including knob pointers a lightweight aluminum stop tail and a no wire ABR that was easy to fit thanks to the Nashville-ABR conversion studs from Creamtone (Thanks Lonnie). A plain truss rod cover rounds out the build. We think that she now Looks AND sounds AMAZING! Check her out in many of our videos.

The Guitar Animal Gear Family 2

The Ice Blue Thinline Telecaster

This guitar is a custom built USA guitar. We started this build with an amazing MJT USA Tele body finished in a really cool aged ice blue lacquer (MJT makes the best aged finished bodies around). The neck is by Allparts and Fret repair applied the beautiful aged lacquer finish and dot aging (Thanks Mark). All hardware is vintage correct and aged to perfection. The scratch plate is vintage green (not too green) from Allparts and electronics are vintage Fender tele pickups with CTS pots and old caps. This is one of the best Teles I have ever played and has a Sweet Sound.

The Guitar Animal Gear Family 3

Blackstar HT-5R Amplifier

This Blackstar 5 watt tube amp is a very important part of my sound here at Guitar Animal studios. In fact we reviewed it here. It replicates the sound of my main Marshall rig very closely. This amp produces 5 watts of tube power using a 12BH7 power tube coupled with a 12ax7 (ECC83) pre amp tube. The amp features a wide array of outputs and an fx loop as well as multiple power outputs which can power a range of external speaker cabinets. Here at Guitar Animal studios, I always use the internal speaker. The only mod we did to this amp was to swap out the internal 12 inch loud speaker. The stock speaker was ok but I decided to upgrade to a Celestion Greenback 12 inch model and that really lets this amp shine. You can hear her in many of our lesson videos; I personally think that she sounds Fantastic.

The Guitar Animal Gear Family 4


This beauty is completely custom and built piece by piece at Centerville Music. Mad props to MJT Aged Finishes for the amazing translucent surf green solid swamp ash body. The flame maple Clapton-V shaped neck was custom made by MusicKraft. We added DiMarzio Area pickups, a beautiful pick guard, and appropriately aged the tuners and bridge to turn this baby into an amazing 56/57 Strat born in 2016. It’s not only sweet to look at, but it sounds killer!

The Guitar Animal Gear Family 5

The Tokai

This guitar is Trent’s favorite here at Guitar Animal. It’s a Tokai Love Rock model HLS historic spec ’59 Les Paul. Built in Japan for Musicland this guitar is closer to a 1959 Gibson Les Paul than anything Gibson makes today including the True Historic models. The scale length “string length” is dead on at 24.6 inches (just like a ’59 Les Paul) with the period correct Hollywood headstock veneer (18-degree headstock angle) and the pickup position is spot on. The neck angle is 3.8 degrees which gives this guitar the singing sustain that vintage Les Pauls are known for. The guitar sports a nylon (Delrin) nut just like the ‘50’s Les Pauls had. Featuring a solid Honduras mahogany body/ neck (no weight relief here) and a maple top the tone is built in. Finished in a beautiful “Violin Finish” with an Awesome Flame top this guitar looks as good as she sounds. The fingerboard is Madagascar rosewood which has the look and sound of Brazillian rosewood (check out the dark stripes). This guitar is fitted with a custom set of Sigil “Chicago ‘68” paf pickups wired ‘50’s style with paper in oil caps. Aged nickel covers and nickel hardware round out this beauty. The guitar is finished in thin lacquer, not poly so the tone is outstanding. This guitar is truly a “Beast”!  Thanks to Tokai Japan for building such an outstanding guitar.

The Guitar Animal Gear Family 6

The Gold Top

This guitar started out as a 2017 Gibson USA Les Paul Tribute T Goldtop. We figured that we would be replacing everything on the guitar so we purchased this guitar as a body/neck blank with no hardware or electronics (Thanks Stratosphere). The build started out with all Black plastic (ala early 1957 gold top specs). We tapped Toneman out of Indiana (Thanks Gary) to make the 50’s style wiring harness with Bourns pots and Paper in oil caps (0.15n-0.22b). Grover nickel Keystone tuners fit perfectly into the stock mounting holes. We used all nickel hardware including a lightweight aluminum stop tail and a Gibson ABR bridge. These were easy to fit thanks to the Nashville-ABR conversion studs provided by Creamtone (Thanks again Lonnie). The pickups (wired 50’s style) are low output PAF style (7.2n-7.6b) with nickel covers made by Gotoh.  A set of knob pointers, plain truss rod cover and Gibson Gold knobs finishes her out. We think that she has an amazing tone and we really dig the lower output pickups.

The Guitar Animal Gear Family 7

The Pine Tar Tele

This guitar is a custom built USA guitar. We started this build with a Knotty Pine body finished in flat black. The neck is Birdseye maple and looks fantastic. Both the neck and body were custom made from scratch by GuitarsByDesign. All hardware is vintage correct and aged to perfection. The scratch plate is flat black from Allparts and electronics are a Dimarzio hot T tele bridge pickup and a GuitarsByDesign custom made neck pickup.  CTS pots and old caps are the order of the day here. Simple but very effective, this is one of my favorite guitars and has an awesome tone.

The Guitar Animal Gear Family 8

Ibanez AVC9-OPN Acoustic

This concert size Ibanez acoustic guitar has a Thermo aged solid top and is completely stock. It needed nothing changed and absolutely sounds AWESOME. Thanks to Ibanez for making such a well-crafted guitar at such an unbelievable price point. Check out the Guitar Animal video review of this guitar.

The Guitar Animal Gear Family 9

White Jackson SDX

The Guitar Animal Jackson guitar started life as a Adrian Smith signature SDX model and features a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and Floyd Rose tremolo. The guitar has a basswood body finished in snow white and looks awesome. Mods for this guitar included a pickup swap (Seymour Duncan ’59 bridge pickup and Fender vintage noiseless neck pickup) a new pickguard (black mot single-humbucking with no middle pickup). The Floyd is blocked so it only drops the strings (ala EVH) and now has a three-way switch with the middle position out of phase (nod to Peter Green). This guitar will handle all of Guitar Animal’s locking tremolo needs and sounds great.


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