The 1980s were a pronounced time of change in the world of music. When it comes to rock, hard rock, and heavy metal, these genres continued to progress in new directions. The guitar, of course, still held an important place in almost all genres. However, things couldn’t be left the same as it began to feel as if the 1970s. Guitarists began pushing boundaries by playing faster, heavier, and more aggressively.
Zakk Wylde’s talents were eventually recognized on an audition for Ozzy Osbourne’s band. The young, long-haired musician replaced the previous guitarist Jake E. Lee and went on to become one of Ozzy’s biggest collaborators if not one who would parallel the late Randy Rhoads. Of course, aside from his work with The Prince of Darkness, Zakk formed Black Label Society, a band that somehow managed to combine styles of The Allman Brothers Band and Black Sabbath into a very groove-oriented, southern metal subgenre.
What Guitar Does Zakk Wylde Play?
Zakk Wylde has a long history of playing Gibson Les Paul Custom guitars. He’s also known for his Wylde Audio guitars which are his own designs that he has teamed up with Schecter Guitars to produce. See the full list of Zakk Wylde guitars and gear below.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom, aka “The Grail”
|Finish||Black and White “Bullseye” Pattern|
|Years Used||1987 to Present|
Zakk Wylde’s most important guitar, his Gibson 1981 Les Paul Custom, is easily recognizable for its “bullseye” glossy finish. He got it from his friend Scott Quinn for a Gibson double-neck. The Les Paul Custom, which Zakk refers to as “The Grail,” already sported EMG 81 and 85 active humbucking pickups in place when he got it. However, some sources also claim that Zakk put them in after the trade.
At some point, this Les Paul was a pretty standard one, but Zakk is a guitarist who really wants his axes to stand out. It was scheduled for a paint job and it was supposed to have the classic Hitchcock “Vertico” kind pattern on the top. For some reason, probably because the whole thing was on the tight schedule as Zakk was preparing to go out on a tour, it turned out as a “bullseye” pattern. Zakk just went with it and this turned out to be one of the happiest accidents in the world of guitars.
Wylde used the instrument during the recording sessions of the “No Rest for the Wicked” album, his debut with Ozzy as well as for many of his solo and side projects with the Black Label Society. Needless to say, this particular guitar would become his trademarked model, Wylde has managed to become an icon through brutal shredding, riffing, and soloing in both studios and live performances with it.
Eventually, Zakk got a deal with Gibson to manufacture his signature line inspired by this modified Les Paul, but there’s no replica fit to parallel the original one. After a career’s worth of use, Zakk lost this guitar in the year 2000 as it, reportedly, fell out of a truck. It was returned to him three years later by a fan who bought it from a pawn shop at a pretty low price. The Zakk Wylde bullseye guitar models are legendary and the classic black on white is one of my favorites.
1989 Gibson Les Paul Custom, aka “The Rebel”
|Finish||Confederate Worn Out Flag Custom Details|
|Years Used||1990 to Present|
Another classic instrument in Zakk’s collection is “The Rebel”, a 1989 Gibson Les Paul Custom. Zakk acquired it sometime around the “No More Tears” sessions. The rebel flag finish, as well as beer bottle caps, were added by Zakk himself. Interestingly enough, the guitar was, for some reason, wrapped in paper and lit on fire by an unnamed man, right before a photo session with Ozzy. Luckily, it ended up taking only minor damages. The guitar took more damage during a small accident in Zakk’s home, ending up with a broken headstock. The guitar was sent to Gibson, they changed the neck but kept the original fretboard.
Wylde Audio Odin
|Finish||Cream with Vertigo Finish|
|Years Used||2015 to Present|
Back in 2015, Zakk Wylde launched his own company called Wylde Audio. Some of his first products include some wicked-looking Les Paul-like guitars, a model which he named Odin. He was seen playing more than just one Odin.
In some ways, they resemble Gibson Les Paul Custom models with all the binding and inlays. Other than that, the cutaway seems “warped” and the instrument has a sharp end on the top of its body.
2012 Gibson Les Paul Custom, aka “Maple Vertigo”
|Finish||Black and White “Vertigo” Pattern|
|Years Used||2012 to Present|
Yes, Zakk is remembered for the “bullseye” color pattern, but he never got the “Vertigo” guitar that he always wanted. That was until the 2010s when he got a certain Gibson Les Paul Custom. The instrument reportedly featured a camo finish, but Zakk later had it redone with the “Vertigo” pattern.
The guitar’s build materials make it a unique specimen. It has a rosewood body with a maple top, followed by a maple neck, and a maple fretboard. You don’t see that with any of Gibson guitars. Of course, it’s also loaded with Zakk’s favorite EMG 81 and 85 active humbuckers.
Gibson Custom EDS-1275
|Years Used||Unspecified to Present|
Being a huge fan of Gibson, it’s not a surprise to see Zakk playing the company’s legendary EDS-1275 model. While we can assume that he had more of these, two have been confirmed as a part of his large inventory. The black model with EMG pickups probably came into Zakk’s possession a bit later in his career. There’s also a white one that most likely bears stock Gibson humbuckers.
This double-necked SG came into action as a live staple for Wylde when he decided to invest himself even more so with the Black Label Society. As many guitar heroes do, Zakk has pledged his liegance to this industry classic and he has established that this is one of his favorite home six-strings, one that is only looking for another chance to get on stage.
Wylde Audio War Hammer
|Finish||Multiple/ Pelham Blue/ Pink|
|Years Used||2015 to Present|
This instrument is known for its unique looks, fusing the SG cutaways design, along with the Flying V body shape and headstock. Zakk has appeared live playing several variations of this guitar. It’s fair to say there are many Wylde Audio War Hammer guitars in his collection. In my opinion, this is one of the coolest looking Zakk Wylde guitars.
Gibson Les Paul Custom, aka “Mirror”
|Finish||Black with “Bullseye” Pattern and Custom Details|
|Years Used||1996 to Present|
Another of his lesser-known guitars is the “Mirror” Gibson Les Paul Custom. Zakk Wylde was originally seen with this instrument sometime in the later 1990s, although it’s not known when exactly the instrument was used. Nonetheless, it’s recognizable for the classic “bullseye” pattern, as well as some kind of reflective material that it’s wrapped in. Aside from the classic Les Paul Custom features, the instrument comes with Zakk’s favorite pair of EMG pickups.
1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom, aka “Camo”
|Finish||Camo With Black “Bullseye” Pattern|
|Years Used||Unknown to Present|
Not much is known about Zakk’s “Camo” Les Paul custom guitar. This is a 1978 model, although we would assume that only the body construction remains from the original instrument since it has a maple neck and maple fretboard. Be that as it may, Zakk put his beloved EMGs in it and has used it over the years. Later on, Gibson and Epiphone started making replicas of it.
2009 Gibson ZW BFG
|Finish||Black and White Custom “Buzzsaw” Pattern|
|Years Used||2009 to Present|
Although Gibson’s Les Pauls BFG models (or “Barely Finished Guitar”) aren’t that widespread, Zakk has one that was made especially for him. It has a unique black and white pattern on the top that he refers to as the “buzzsaw.” BFG Les Pauls also features a weight-relieved body with hollow chambers inside. Zakk’s model comes with EMG pickups.
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1957 Gibson Les Paul Junior
|Finish||Vintage Two-Tone Sunburst|
|Years Used||1989 to Present|
Back in the late 1980s, not long after Zakk joined Ozzy’s backup band, the singer bought him a birthday present – a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Junior. Ozzy remembered seeing Mountain’s Leslie West playing one of these when Black Sabbath was opening for them back in the old days. Recalling its awesome tone, Ozzy figured it would be a perfect addition to Zakk’s guitar collection. Bearing only one P90 and a wraparound tailpiece without a tune-o-matic bridge, it comes in handy for all of his clean tones in the studio.
Gibson Les Paul, aka “Red Bullseye”
|Finish||Red and White “Bullseye” Pattern|
|Years Used||1988 to Present|
Although it has never been officially confirmed by Zakk, his “Red Bullseye” Les Paul was originally made as the Standard model. It was made sometime in the 1980s and Zakk got it not long after joining Ozzy’s band. It saw significant modifications, most notably with the rad and white “bullseye” pattern on its top, as well as some other alterations that made it look more like the Les Paul Custom model. Needless to say, Zakk also put the active EMG 81 and 85 pickups in it.
Gibson Firebrand “The SG” Deluxe Finish
|Years Used||1983 to Unspecified|
The story goes that Zakk’s first-ever guitar was Gibson SG Firebrand Deluxe, basically a cheaper version of the legendary SG model. Featuring a “pelham blue” finish, he used it for a while after selling it to get a better guitar.
Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
|Years Used||Not certain, confirmed for the mid-1980s period|
Not much is known about Zakk’s Goldtop Gibson Les Paul. There’s a video of him playing it as a member of Zyris. But that’s about it.
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1980s Gibson Les Paul Standard, aka “Shattered Glass,” aka “Pope Page Dragon”
|Finish||The “Dragon” Custom Finish|
|Years Used||1984 to Present|
Another Les Paul that went through a lot of modifications is Zakk’s Standard that he got before joining Ozzy. While it used to be known for its “shattered glass” kind of pattern on the top, it now bears a finish similar to Jimmy Page’s old Telecaster. However, it originally featured a classic sunburst finish. It’s not exactly when, or whether, Zakk actually used it in action, but there have been some photoshoots back in his early days in Ozzy’s band.
Gibson Zakk Wylde Moderne Of Doom
|Finish||Black and Cream Striped Pattern|
|Years Used||2013 to Present|
Back in the 1950s, Gibson had this crazy guitar design that never really saw the light of day, called Moderne. Although the coming decades would probably not be welcoming to such an unusual instrument, Zakk Wylde teamed up with the company in 2013 for the release of his own Moderne of Doom model. But as it turns out, just like Explorers and Flying Vs, these were just ahead of their time. Zakk’s Moderne of Doom comes with a dual-wielding tremolo bridge and EMG pickups.
The Moderne model isn’t Zakk’s most popular guitar, but it’s certainly one of the most interesting ones, it’s almost a studio exclusive six-string that is considered one of Wylde’s most personal and private guitars.
|Years Used||2001 to Present|
Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell was Zakk’s close friend. Not long before Dime’s tragic passing, he gave one of his black Dean Razorback guitars to Zakk. While the instrument is still in his possession, Zakk used it only once on stage to perform “In This River” as a tribute to Dime.
Dean Splittail “Muddy Bullseye”
|Finish||Black and White “Bullseye” Pattern|
Zakk occasionally appeared with his Dean Splittail model. Bearing his staple “bullseye” pattern on the top of the body, the instrument is nicknamed “Muddy Bullseye.” Other than its rather unusual design, mashing SG and Flying V body shapes into one, it comes with some of Zakk’s favorite traits, including the active EMG pickups.
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Karl Sandoval Flying V (GMW RR-V)
|Finish||Black with White Dots/ White with Black Polka Dots|
|Years Used||Unspecified to Present|
Being a direct successor of the almighty Randy Rhoads, Zakk got in touch with Karl Sandoval to make him the classic “polka-dot” Flying V model. It was sporadically used in few live performances during the 90s needless to say, it made an impact.
Officially bearing the name of GMW RR-V, it’s also known as Karl Sandoval’s V. The instrument is used on Ozzy’s live shows to pay an homage to Randy.
Epiphone Graveyard Disciple
|Finish||Black with Custom Details|
|Years Used||2008 to Present|
Sometime in the late 2000s, Zakk teamed up with Epiphone for a rather unusual guitar with a coffin-like body design. He used one of these for a while, most likely only for live shows. It bears a body made out of mahogany, two EMG active humbuckers, two simple controls for volume and tone, as well as a Floyd Rose tremolo bridge. The design is complemented by a cross inlay on the headstock. The whole design was conceived by Zakk himself after being inspired by Bo Diddley’s rectangular-shaped Gretsch model.
|Finish||Black and White “Bullseye” Pattern|
|Years Used||2004 to Present|
Back in the mid-2000s, Zakk designed his first guitar, which saw its release with Epiphone and Gibson. Once again, this is a special mix of the SG and Flying V body designs, along with Zakk’s famous features that you can find on his Les Pauls, including the well-known “bullseye” black and white pattern. And, once again, we have a rather unusual inclusion of a maple neck, which you usually don’t see very often on Gibson’s instruments. Other than that, we have a mahogany body and a rosewood fretboard.
Zakk got his Gibson ZV models, and the company released a limited run of these. Epiphone continued producing cheaper versions of the model in larger numbers.
Andy Beech The Glory
|Years Used||1993 to Present|
Now going into some of his custom-made instruments, Zakk has a special single-cutaway model made by luthier Andy Beech, who also worked as the guitarist’s tech. Since Wylde is a Gibson fan, the instrument comes with a chambered mahogany body fitted with a flamed maple top.
However, the body shape is slightly different, with more pronounced bouts and a sharper cutaway. Additionally, the headstock design is pretty unique but somewhat resembles those winged Dean headstocks. Other than that, it has some finely designed details, like bindings on the body and the fretboard. There’s a tune-o-matic bridge with strings going through the body. You may know this guitar from Ozzy’s “Live and Loud” video release.
Gibson Chet Atkins CE
|Years Used||1989 to Present|
While you wouldn’t really expect to see a signature Gibson Chet Atkins acoustic guitar in a metal musician’s inventory, Zakk Wylde is really fond of this guitar. Using it from the early days in Ozzy’s band, most notably for “Mama I’m Coming Home,” he still takes good care of this nylon-stringed beauty. Although some sources have labeled it as the SST model, this seems to be the CE one since it features the classic soundhole design.
|Finish||Natural/ Dove Graphic Pickguard|
|Years Used||1993 to Present|
Another really interesting acoustic guitar that passed through Zakk’s collection is Gibson’s beautiful and folk-riddled Dove model. He was seen using it during the mid-1990s for Pride & Glory project’s live shows. However, it’s not certain whether she still has the instrument in his inventory. With a sitka spruce top and maple back and sides, the Dove has a rich and bright tone, as well as a relatively powerful projection for an acoustic guitar. This is one of my favorite Zakk Wylde acoustic guitars.
Table Showing the Guitars Zakk Wylde Used at Each Point of His Career
|Gibson||Les Paul Goldtop||Goldtop||Unspecified-Present|
|Gibson||1978 Les Paul Custom, aka "Camo"||Camo With Black "Bullseye" Pattern||Unspecified - Present|
|Gibson||Custom EDS-1275||Black/ White||Unspecified- Present|
|Karl Sandoval||Flying V (GMW RR-V)||Black with White Dots/ White with Black Polka Dots||Unspecified- Present|
|Gibson||Firebrand "The SG" Deluxe Finish||Pelham Blue||1983-Unspecified|
|Gibson||1980s Les Paul Standard "Shattered Glass," aka "Pope Page Dragon"||The "Dragon" Custom Finish||1984-Present|
|Gibson||Les Paul Custom, aka "The Grail"||Black and White "Bullseye" Pattern||1987-Present|
|Gibson||1957 Les Paul Junior||Vintage Two-Tone Sunburst||1989- Present|
|Gibson||Chet Atkins CE||Natural||1989- Present|
|Gibson||1989 Les Paul Custom, aka "The Rebel"||Confederate Worn Out Flag Custom Details||1990-Present|
|Gibson||Dove||Natural/ Dove Graphic Pickguard||1993-Present|
|Andy Beech||The Glory||Natural||1993- Present|
|Gibson||Les Paul Custom, aka "Mirror"||Black with "Bullseye" Pattern and Custom Details||1996 - Present|
|Gibson||ZV||Black and White "Bullseye" Pattern||2004 - Present|
|Epiphone||Graveyard Disciple||Black with Custom Details||2008-Present|
|Gibson||ZW BFG||Black and White Custom "Buzzsaw" Pattern||2009 - Present|
|Gibson||2012 Les Paul Custom, aka "Maple Vertigo"||Black and White "Vertigo" Pattern||2012 - Present|
|Gibson||Zakk Wylde Moderne Of Doom||Black and Cream Striped Pattern||2013 -Present|
|Wylde Audio||Odin||Cream with Vertigo Fnish||2015- Present|
|Wylde Audio||War Hammer||Multiple/ Pelham Blue/ Pink||2015- Present|
Zakk Wylde Amplifier Overview
Marshall JCM800 2203
Years Used: 1987 to Present
Of course, it’s not a surprise to know that Zakk Wylde is a Marshalls guy. In the earliest days of involvement with Ozzy Osbourne, he began using the good old JCM800 2203 heads. These classics became really popular among metal musicians, especially for their ability to create really heavy tones when paired with overdrive pedals, like Ibanez’s Tube Screamer. Being classic British amps, these come with EL34 tubes in the power amp section, a trait that helps them deliver more of those mid-range-heavy tones.
Marshall JCM800 2203ZW
Years Used: 2002 to Present
Zakk Wylde loves the 2203 model so much that he even had his 2203ZW limited edition signature model with Marshall. The collaboration began in 2002 and these amps included 6550 tubes in the power amp section. The story goes that there are only 600 of these ever made, and they all sold pretty quickly. Just like the original old versions, these amps feature pretty simple control layouts.
Marshall JCM 800 4210
Years Used: 1987 to Unspecified
Another Marshall model associated with Zakk is the JCM800 4210 amplifier. This is a combo version of the legendary JCM800 head, bearing only one G12M-70 12-inch speaker. Other than that, this amp has two channels, clean and distorted, and has a total output power of 50 watts. As for Zakk, the story goes that he used one of these in the studio back in his early days with Ozzy Osbourne, most likely on his recording debut with Ozzy, 1988’s “No Rest for the Wicked.”
Lee Jackson Metaltronix M-1000
Years Used: 1988 to Unspecified
While we’re at it, “No Rest for the Wicked” also allegedly saw Zakk Wylde using Lee Jackson Metaltronix M-1000 amp head. However, it’s not certain whether he used it in the studio or just for live shows, as there’s some conflicting info on the matter. However, Zakk did confirm that the amp saw extensive use during the tour in support of the record back in the late 1980s.
This 100-watt head is somewhat similar to classic heavy Marshall tones. It comes with four EL34 power amp tubes, as well as five 12AX7s in the preamp section. But what makes this amp so interesting, and probably way more versatile than classic Marshall JCM800 heads, is the inclusion of more detailed controls. The most important one is the “mid-shift” feature, which is a 6-position switch, allowing you to further shape the mids.
Wylde Audio Master 100
Years Used: 2015 to Present
When Zakk started his company Wylde Audio back in 2015, it wasn’t just electric guitars that were on the menu but amplifiers as well. Inspired by classic Marshalls, they made the Wylde Audio Master 100 amp head. To put it simply, this one is an absolute beast, delivering high gain heavy tones, the kind that Zakk prefers. However, these amps were produced for a brief period and it’s not completely certain what came to be of them.
Marshall AVT 20 Valvestate 2000
Years Used: 2010 to Present
Now going back to his Marshalls, Zakk has the AVT 20 Valvestate 2000 model that he uses for backstage practice before live shows. It’s a pretty simple little combo amplifier, featuring 20 watts of power, one 10-inch speaker, as well as a tube-driven preamp section with a single 12AX7 tube in it. Although a hybrid amp designed for practices and home use, it was intended to replicate some of the classic JCM800 and JCM900 tones at a reasonable price level.
Marshall Zakk Wylde MG15MSZW Microstack
Years Used: 2002 to Present
Although a fan of big Marshall stacks, Zakk also has his signature line of the company’s “microstacks.” The MG15MSZW model comes with one small solid-state amp head, featuring 15 watts of output power and two channels. This is accompanied by two speaker cabinets, each bearing a single 10-inch speaker. It’s a cute little amp that’s perfect for practice sessions, yet still able to deliver great tones and, above all, Marshall’s classic aesthetic qualities.
Zakk Wylde Pedals and Effects Overview
Boss SD-1 Super OverDrive
Years Used: All throughout his career
But those Marshall amps need a proper overdrive pedal that would push them over the limit, right into those heavy yet pleasant-sounding territories. For this purpose, Zakk’s main choice has always been Boss’ SD-1 Super OverDrive. The pedal is pretty simple, bearing only three basic controls for volume, tone, and gain. However, SD-1 is known for its “sharper” tone, which helps Zakk create his own kind of tone. In fact, he’s so fond of these pedals that Boss eventually made a limited run of SD-1 with Zakk’s famous “bullseye” pattern.
Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble
Years Used: 1993 to Present
Another Boss pedal model that he’s fond of is the CE-5 Chorus Ensemble. Chorus is one of the crucial parts of Zakk’s tone, both for rhythm and lead sections. He uses it to slightly “thicken” the tone, which further enhances the heaviness.
The CE-5 is a continuation of Boss’ long-running line of compact chorus devices. The pedal has been present on the market since 1991. However, the 1990s versions featured all-analog circuitry with classic BBD chips, whereas later versions are all digital-based. We can’t say for sure which one Zakk actually has, but it’s a safe bet to assume that it’s the old analog one.
Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Years Used: Late 1980s and the 1990s
Before getting the CH-5 pedal, Zakk was using Boss’ CH-1 Super Chorus. It found its way into his signal chain way back in his early days with Ozzy Osbourne, mostly for live shows. The pedal was released back in the late 1980s and is still sold to this day. And just like with the CE-5 pedal, CH-1 Super Chorus was originally an analog device, featuring the MN3007 BBD chip. But going from 2001 and onwards, it was turned into a digital chorus effect.
MXR ZW38 Black Label Chorus
Years Used: 2010 to Present
Zakk Wylde’s collaboration with MXR continued over the years as they’ve also released the ZW38, known as the Black Label Chorus. Since Zakk is a well-known fan of the effect, this particular pedal was designed to fit his needs, delivering a clear yet pleasant-sounding chorus that would enhance his heavy tones. Packed in MXR’s classic casing, the pedal’s design resembles the aforementioned overdrive. But what’s really interesting with this chorus is that it allows a bit more versatility in tone shaping compared to Boss stuff.
ZW358 Zakk Wylde Signature Rotovibe
Years Used: 1989 to Present
Ever since Zakk joined Ozzy’s band, he’s been fond of the classic Dunlop’s Rotovibe pedal. At the first glance, the pedal seems like your average wah. However, this is technically a chorus and vibrato device, and the rocking part is a real-time control for the effect’s speed rate. There’s also a depth knob on the side that further lets you shape your tone. But although a chorus and vibrato device, its primary function is to imitate those classic rotating Leslie speakers which were very popular in the 1960s and the 1970s.
After using the pedal for a long time, Dunlop released Zakk’s signature version of this effect. It’s a bit more intense compared to the original version and also features a different kind of design and finish.
MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay
Years Used: 2009 to Present
Zakk prefers to use MXR’s Carbon Copy, which is an analog device when it comes to the delay effect. Although somewhat limited with the maximum delay time, due to the nature of BBD chips, Carbon Copy is well-known for its smoother-sounding tones compared to most of its digital competitors on the market. It’s been confirmed that Zakk mostly uses it for Black Label Society live shows, but we have no doubts that it found use with his Ozzy gig as well.
Aside from the basic echo effect controls, there’s an additional switch for the modulation effect, which is, in this case, essentially a mild chorus. There are also two trim pots inside of the pedal that let you set some of its parameters. By adding this effect, you get tones that are pretty close to those old school tape-based delays, like the Binson Echorec.
MXR M68 Uni-Vibe
Years Used: 2006 to Present
Going further into Zakk’s signal chain, there’s also MXR’s M68, which is a more compact version of the legendary old Uni-Vibe effect. Yet another variation on chorus and vibrato, M68 gives it a bit of a different twist. Sure, you have the expected volume, speed, and depth parameters, but there’s also an additional “vibe” switch. When pressed down, the pedal completely removes the dry signal from the mix, giving those crazy old school tones.
MXR EVH Phase 90
Years Used: 2011 to Present
Being a huge Eddie Van Halen fan, it’s not a surprise to see Zakk using the classic MXR Phase 90 pedal, the EVH signature edition. This is one of the simplest pedals available on the market, and the main improvement compared to the standard Phase 90 is the addition of the “Script” switch on its front panel. This feature brings the pedal back to the old “Script Logo” version, giving it some serious vintage vibes. Other than that, it has a simple on and off footswitch and a speed control knob. Other than that, the pedal is also visually pleasing with Eddie Van Halen’s famous black and white stripes on a red background, just like on his legendary “Frankenstrat” guitar.
MXR ZW90 Wylde Phase
Years Used: 2008 to Present
Of course, Zakk also got his signature version of this classic effect pedal, labeled as ZW90, or Wylde Phase. Looking at the pedal, this is pretty much like the original Phase 90 pedal, with only some slight differences. The most obvious one is the aesthetic aspect, giving this pedal a “worn out” paint job, along with some of Zakk’s classic graphics. Although there’s just one simple knob for the effect speed parameter, the effect can get a bit more “aggressive” when it’s pushed to higher levels.
Dunlop Jimi Hendrix JH1 Wah
Years Used: 1987 to Present
Ever since the late 1980s, Zakk has been rocking Dunlop’s classic JH1 Jimi Hendrix signature wah pedal. It’s in many ways similar to the original Cry Baby from the old days. The main philosophy behind this pedal was to recreate what we can hear on Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” all while keeping it very simple
Zachary Phillip Wylde, born Jeffrey Phillip Wielandt and known popularly as Zakk Wylde. Aside from BLS, he was also the leader of a brief-lasting band Pride & Glory, a unique Black Sabbath tribute called Zakk Sabbath, and has released a few solo albums as well.
Zakk’s unique style of playing, which includes extensive use of blues scale played aggressively with some pretty wide vibratos, is complemented by an immensely heavy tone. But it’s not just high-gain settings and pure raw aggressiveness that defined him, but rather a distinctive “in-your-face” sound that pretty much any metal fan can recognize when combined with his playing style and choice of notes.
However, this tone is not that easy to replicate. There have been plenty of exciting guitars, amps, and effects in his collection that helped Zakk achieve superstardom. With this in mind, we decided to take a closer look at his equipment over the years and share some stories behind all of the stuff that makes him sound the way he does.
There are few guitarists like Wylde in the music industry, although it might be overshadowed by his charisma, Zakk is a generous player that spaces room for other segments and instruments on the song to take the lead. As an all-rounded player, this man knows how to build a backup line, before delivering a heavy riff-driven guitar and shred brain-melting solos into the audience. With stagecraft derivated from the likes of Randy Rhoads- his iconic predecessor- and his presence as a parallel to Eddie Van Halen, Wylde is one of those aces that may not seem to have changed the course of music, but rather cemented the power of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal into modern culture.
My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and guitars for as long as I can remember. I started this website with some of my friends who are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high-quality guitar and music-related content.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 years old and am an avid collector. Amps, pedals, guitars, bass, drums, microphones, studio, and recording gear, I love it all.
I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. With my engineering experience, I’ve developed as a designer of guitar amplifiers and effects. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, built, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and electronics. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music community.