Gear Rundown: Stephen Carpenter

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Gear Rundown: Stephen Carpenter




Hailed for their crushing waves of guitar, Carpenter’s signature ESP B-8 is one of the main guitars used in the studio and on tour. The alder wood and 27-inch baritone is fitted traditionally with EMG 808’s. Capenter’s 8-string sword helps maintain their low tuning and heavy open palm chugs.



Used less frequently in the past, but featuring heavily in their latest releases, the ESP T7B shows a stronger force in a more modern equipped instrument for a band such as the Deftones. This particular guitar has the bottom strings tuned standard in drop D and the seventh string tuned to D as well.


Still a baritone and fitted with EMG 707’s, this particular model helps hold together the heavy notes played as well as the shimmering leads that sore over hard biting riffs. Having 24 jumbo frets to wrap around the dark maple neck and heavy ebony body, Carpenter carries a bigger sound with a more solid tone bouncing back. As apparent on the Deftones latest release Gore, songs such as ‘Acid Hologram’ find the balance between soft melodies and grappling heavy tones which defines the Deftones’ signature sound.



Marshall 1960B Cab

As like many musicians before Stephen, the Marshall 1960B Cab seems to be the benchmark for professional the guitarist. Seen frequently amongst other Orange amps in his 2011 tour circuit, Stephen’s Marshall 1960B cabinet is fitted with classic Celestion G12T-75 which contribute to the classic clear tone and when warmed and conditioned provide 300 watts of power.


Marshall 9200 Mono Block Power Amp

This golden box provides the voice for many classic rock guitarist. Being a rack mounted power amp, the simplistic appearance brings a clean and evidently rough sound that once Carpenter’s guitars are plugged in, breath life into the  sluggish (in a good way) royal tone. The Marshall Mono Block helps distinguish the fuzz and provides high end playing to cut through the mix and add texture to Chino’s blistering vocals.



ZVEX Lo-Fi Loop

Starting at the other end of the conventional pedal spectrum lies the hand painted ZVEX Lo-Fi loop pedal. This Phaser/Sampling looper helps bring the weird vibrato warped sound that seems to be used more frequently in the softer/jam sections of Gore. The radio sparkle sound also helps bring other pedals into a different light when heard, which is why this pedal out does it self in many forms.


Eventide PitchFactor

Used throughout Carpenters 2011 tour circuit, the Pitchfactor is another pedal that seems to be gaining notice in the guitar world. The complex pitch-shifting pedal allows so much flexibility in means of modulating sounds on top of sounds. Stephen seems to use this pedal for rhythmic patterns and layering on his fuzz effects. Throughout the Deftones acclaimed Koi No Yokan the apparent theme or use of synth textures can be traced back to this pedal. In the starting moment of ‘Prayer/Triangles’ in Gore, the dripping lead followed by an underlying rhythmic section, demonstrates that the Eventide can be used as a main player or simply a supporter in getting the sound to where it needs to be.


ZVEX Fuzz Factory

Seen amongst Carpenter’s pedal layout is the relative to the above mentioned. Hailing from the ZVEX family, the fuzz factory may be small, but the American made green rectangular stompbox allows the most acute changes in details to your sound. Fitted with five specific knobs, Carpenter’s particular punchy sound from his overdrive channels is defined by this pedal. The guitars hold a massive stake in the Deftones sound that is more than obvious in their latest release Gore. Crashing guitars intertwined with melodic seas of ambience and chorus are the handy work of both guitarist and their equipment of choice.