Paul Gilberts red triple humbucker guitar

Im sure most of you are familiar with Intense Rock 2. Paul uses a red guitar with 3 hum buckers in most of it. I love the sound he gets out of this guitar. Does ANYONE know what pickups are in it? That guitar specifically has a very sharp powerful attack and even hammer on pull off licks almost sound picked! Also the neck pickup is super thick w loads of gain but still retains some clarity. I’m hoping someone can pull through and shed some light on this set up! This guitar was definitely different from what he is known for playing.

I’m almost certain he used dimarzio back then… maybe still?

SD in bridge

Best I can tell, that was an Ibanez custom shop job that eventually evolved into what was marketed as the Ibanez Ghost Rider. Around the period Intense Rock 2 was filmed, I think Gilbert was still mainly using the DiMarzio PAF Pro, though it could also be a Tone Zone. He’s also used the Super Distortion at times, but based on how it sounds, my guess would be PAF Pro.

Edit: My comments above were about bridge humbucker. For the neck, PAF Pro is still a good guess, but I haven’t dug deep into it.

Edit 2: I don’t have the link, but Paul said either about this guitar or another of his 3 humbucker guitars that the middle pickup was wired to work only as a single coil; he just liked the Ace Frehley look of 3 humbuckers. And on the DiMarzio website, there’s a blurb from Paul about the Super Distortion being the first aftermarket pickup he ever bought (and it was popularized by Ace).

Well apart from the guitar I think important factors for his sound back then are his ADA MP-1 Preamp, with not so much gain and quite hard pick attack. That’s what he mentions in one of the intense rock videos IIRC. He also mentioned to heavy gauge strings, I think 11s to tame his vibrato but as we have learned from Rick Beato heavy guage strings rather lead to muddyness but crystal clear highs.


That particular guitar I’m sure used PAF pro’s. At that time he was using a bunch of different Dimarzio models, and that was one of them, and one he stuck with a lot after. It looks like a PAF pro, and sounds like a PAF pro. It’s kind of a bright twangy pickup that has a pretty distinct sound. I’m not sure what he was using as far as an amp in that video, likely just some practice rig he had. Between then and the terrifying guitar trip he was endorsed by ampeg, and used the VL series, until moving to Laney which is a very similar amp. All the ADA stuff was a little earlier, THAT is the sound you hear on the first intense rock video with the purple ibanez. Another trick to that sound too is that he would ride the volume quite a bit, and he has bright/treble peaker cap installed which is typical of most ibanez models. That gives that extra clank when he rolls down.

:+1: :smiley:
you guys are the best