On the back of the first Album 'The Stone Roses' we see 3 stomp boxes at the feet of John Squire. Two out of the 3 are an Ibanez Tube Screamer and a Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face. As for the 3rd one, it's been a bit tougher to work out but can now confirm 100% that it is an Ibanez Stereo Chorus (CS-9).I was emailed with a suggestion that it might actually be a MAXON NG-9 which is a noise gate pedal. This was due to the fact that the colour of the CS-9 is a light mauve sort of colour which wouldn't come out dark in a black and white photo. After amazingly finding a maxon noise gate pedal it was concluded that it couldn't be this pedal due to the way the pedals are connected. Simulating the connections from the OSM picture resulted in no sound!!!! Apparently, some of the early CS-9's were released in a dark red (an undercoat for the final colour perhaps?) This could explain the darker result in a black and white picture. Above is a picture of the same pedals acquired by myself. Squire started out with a fuzz face which was a silver/grey and black one, and at a later point is seen using a red and black one (as pictured below). You can tell the difference by the black and white photo's, as red will show up as a dark colour whilst silver/grey will show up as white. It is worth noting that all these pedals are considered vintage now. And because of this their price is suited accordingly. For an original TS-9 from the early to mid 1980's you'd be looking at about 150. For an original late 60's/early 70's fuzz face like the one above..... maybe 300-600+ depending on condition. And for an original CS-9 you should be able to get one for about 70 perhaps.

With the Fuzz Face it's all about the type of transistors you have in them, and to some people, how well matched they are for gain.In the early ones from about 1966-1970 germanium transistors were used, and then they were replaced with silicon ones. Inside the fuzz face there will be 2 of these transistors.I'm pretty certain that Squire used silicon transistors in his fuzz faces. Squire used his fuzz face in quite an interesting way.More on this later!!!

I received an email from a guy called Gabriele Fambrini suggesting that Squire's fuzz face may actually have been a CREST AUDIO reissue. This eagle eyed Squire fan had spotted that the knobs on Squire's fuzz from the OSM performance picture were the same type used on these 80's reissue fuzz faces and of course the Dunlop reissues (which weren't released in grey/silver at that time). By zooming in to the pic you can see the white line on the knob and also the little white dot on the skirting of the knob. This is, of course, not conclusive as it is possible that it is an original fuzz face with the knobs replaced. So at the moment, everything is leaning strongly in favour of Gabriele's discovery. The beauty bit of information here is that, if it is a crest audio fuzz face, they were all made with BC109C transistors which were hand picked/tested and matched by Dave Fox. Also, the resistors were a slight alteration from the 'normal' fuzz face circuit making the silicon sound good in the right places. So, this means all 2000 or so of the crest audio's will effectively give you Squire's fuzz sound!!!

After further investigation it is still up in the air between the crest fuzz and the vintage one. I did some lighting comparisons from the black and white osm pic and my crest and vintage fuzz faces. When putting them side by side and doing a 'spot the difference' Squire's fuzz looks more like a vintage one. The crest fuzz looks a bit too dark.

Squire's Full Pedal Line Up 89/90

Below are the only decent pictures I have ever seen showing John's effects pedals during 89/90. The first is a copy of a superb colour picture I only received from Ian Tilton and was taken at the Blackpool Empress Ballroom gig. It shows that his last 3 pedals are a wah-wah, ibanez tube screamer and a boss flanger. From the picture you can see John fiddling about with a pedal. I reckon this is the fuzz face (although it can't be seen clearly in this pic). Unfortunately, there were no shots taken from the other side of the stage. Although it is a cert that the cameras filming the gig will have shots of his pedals as they were situated over the other side of the stage. Strangely enough there is only 1 brief shot on the dvd of his pedals during the solo bit on resurrection, and you only just catch a glimpse of the flanger.(You won't see it if you've got your tv set to widescreen!!!!)It is very much a blink and you miss it affair.

The interesting thing about this picture for me is clarifying the order of the pedals.From the sound recording of this gig it is clear that he is definitely using a fuzz of some sort and also a chorus, plus his footswitch for the lead channel of the boogie.These must be present on the other side of the wah-wah. So it remains to be seen the order of the fuzz and the chorus in this chain.Not only that, but to clearly identify which type of chorus pedal was used. From the recording it sounds very much like an ibanez cs-9.In terms of the order you would normally expect the chorus pedal to be at the end of the chain.Although, as you can see from this picture the flanger is in that position.I think at this gig he had the chorus pedal inbetween the fuzz face and the wah.This is due to how the fuzz and chorus interact with each other.

(Empress Ballroom pic by Ian Tilton )

The next pic is taken from one of the gigs in Tokyo.(Assuming Squire doesn't have anything to the left of the fuzz face) It clearly shows all the pedals used at this gig.Unfortunately, not all the pedals are easily identifiable due to the pic being in black and white.However, it is clear he has added a couple more to his arsenal since the Blackpool show and re-arranged them which would inevitably create a different sound.The pedals after the wah wah look very much like boss pedals which have quite a recognisable design, not to mention their reputation for being great quality which would also be fitting with the rest of Squire's choice of equipment.

So, now that we have the line up. Let's check them out individually.


Here we have a Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face.Squire's pedal is either an original Fuzz Face, probably made in the late 60's/early 70's, or a Crest Audio Re-issue made in the late 80's.The ones pictured (right) are my original and crest audio version.There are different colours of Fuzz Faces, but they are mainly either red and black, or grey and black.The earlier ones tend to be the grey and black colour, which are also now re-issued.This pedal gives quite a thick distortion sound that is a bit bassier sounding than regular distortion.It has only 2 controls: Volume and Fuzz.What more do you need?

Generally, John would use this pedal for intro's, guitar solos and sometimes on chords where he wanted them to sound big.This is the pedal that John would use during the following songs:-She Bangs the Drums (guitar solo), Where Angels Play (guitar solo), Standing Here, Fools gold and I am the Resurrection (guitar solo).There's a great example of the fuzz face in the end section of 'I am the Resurrection' starting at 4:48 on the cd. Check it out!

It seems that Squire used his Fuzz Face in unison with his Tube Screamer. In other words, when he wanted to use the fuzz face it would get layered on top of the Tube Screamer.This creates an astonishingly powerful sound. From what I can  gauge, the fuzz face doesn't seem to be used with the Gretsch due to various reasons (higher output pickups, excessive feedback etc).


This is an Ibanez tubescreamer pedal. Yes, it really is that colour!! Although not the easiest colour on the eye, these pedals are sought-after by guitarists everywhere. Their purpose is mainly to produce overdriven sounds, pretty much like turning a valve amp up high to get that slightly broken up sound whilst retaining a fair level of cleanliness. They are not heavy metal pedals, so don't be expecting to get your Korn tunes going with one of these! If you are using a guitar with humbucking pickups then you will probably get enough drive out of it to play sustaining lead lines or a fair amount of distortion for power chords. But with single coil guitars think more along the lines of the stones 'brown sugar'.

John went through a transitional period with this pedal. When he used the two fender twins, there was no distortion available from the amps. This pedal became his 1st choice for distortion. Then, sometime during 1989, he acquired a Mesa Boogie mk III amp and this pedal's job description changed!! (see the amps and settings pages for more details). If you want to recreate the roses guitar sound this pedal is an absolute MUST.

Squire's tubescreamer will be likely built in the early 1980's. My pedal pictured right is also an original from this time. These are the one's to get as they contain a different chip which the new re-issue ones don't have. The chip is JRC4558D which you can still buy today, but the word on the street is that they don't sound the same as the originals as they are made in a different factory now. Unfortunately even the re-issues are going for about 100. Originals probably about 150+


Squire used one of the many variations of the Wah Wah pedal made by Jen in Italy. This is identified by the white skirting on the pedal. Wah wah pedals have been used since the 60's and 70's. The circuit in the Jen wah's is virtually identical to the Vox v846 wah pedal. Most people buy the dunlop crybaby these days but you can get a vintage Jen one for much the same money. What's the difference? Well, the answer is not much in my opinion. Having tried a dunlop crybaby and a vintage Jen crybaby on a recording, the only sonic difference I could tell was that the Jen wah had more bass when the wah was in the cocked back position and when playing any lines on the high E string it seemed to give more wah effect than the dunlop. Like most pedals, a lot of the reputation of a popular pedal is narrowed down to 1 component. In this case, it's the type of inductor and how many windings it has. My Jen wah has the red fasel inductor. As for windings, I'm not sure!

(Extra info courtesy of Grahame Rae): "I'd also like to mention the ICAR pot.  I don't know what ICAR is, but the pots, it turns out, have a special taper which is why it behaves differently to modern wahs.  Modern reproductions are expensive. The key differences between old and new wahs are; the skirt, the inductor, the lack of a buffer on the old one, the pot, and the "tone suck" caused by the Single pole switch.  All part of the sound though!  Squire's one in the pic is a Crybaby Super - the super bit means it has a DC jack.  Though when you realise a battery can last 1000 hours in one, it's not all that super :-)"

John first gave us a taste of his wah wah antics on 'Elephant Stone'. His use of the wah wah over the intertwining notes to the intro of the song almost sound like an elephant blowing away through it's trunk. Whether intentional or not, Squire managed to make his guitar sound like an elephant!! Later versions of this song show extremely innovative use of the pedal and sliding chord shapes to create what I call a 'super wah' effect. This can be heard from the Blackpool Empress Ballroom recordings. The track 'Waterfall' has excellent rhythmic use of the wah wah during the end section when things start to get intense. 'Fools Gold' was John's next wah wah offering. The funky guitar licks a more prominent feature in the mix than Elephant Stone.Squire's command of the subtleties available from this pedal are a brilliant lesson in being as creative as possible with the tools that you've got.Essentially the song has a 70's style guitar sound, but Squire makes it his own by teasing and squeezing different shapes and sounds from the pedal. Not simply the unimaginative 'oooo-wah-ooo-wah' sound that you often hear other players opting for.As the roses were swimming around in the funky stuff for a bit, 'One Love' was produced in the same vibe as 'Fools Gold'. The use of the wah wah not so frequent this time. However, less is defintitely more here. When the intro kicks in there are some nice sweeping wah sounds over the initial chords and licks.


There are 3 boss pedals which can vaguely be made out. The pedal at the top of the picture is Squire's Ibanez Chorus (featured further down). The next one below that is a mystery pedal which we'll check out in a moment. The next one is the Boss flanger BF-2. This is identifiable via it's extra trim round the control panel. The one nearest the wah is a Super Phaser pedal.This has a sort of flange/chorus/wah effect all mixed together. Squire used this pedal as a sort of alternative to the chorus at the Tokyo gigs.'How on earth can you tell it's that pedal from the little pic?' I hear you say.Well, Mr Macauley kindly loaned me his copy of the book 'The Stone Roses Document' which has a much clearer picture. Plus I've had an amazing amount of assistance from a very nice chap in Edinburgh called Grahame Rae who has spotted amazing detail to confirm/rule out loads of things regarding identifying Squire's gear.


Another pedal in the Boss range. The BF-2 Flanger. This purple pedal is in my view the best flanger available. It was a veteran pedal in Squire's set up and served him well in the sound quality department. This pedal is commonly known for being able to emulate a jet engine type of sound.

Squire would use this pedal mostly for intense sweeping sounds over chords during various sections of tunes live.E.g End of She bangs the drums, "You're eyes are gazing back from...." middle 8 bit in Sally Cinnamon, Made of Stone chorus, spacey sounds during the instrumental of Resurrection etc.If set up for the jet engine sound, the pedal can really give a sound like you are about to take off at 1000mph!! It's certainly great fun to strum through a chord and hear the this effect full on. It can also be set up for more subtle chorus type sounds and wierd wobbly sounds, although Squire seemed to opt mainly for the sweeping swooshy sounds.

These pedals have risen in price quite recently and are probably about 80-90 brand new. It may sound quite a lot but boss pedals are fantastic quality and well worth the money. It is a very versatile pedal and is certainly worth putting in the time to experiment with it. This will make the money spent a bit more justifiable. Personally, I feel the jet sound alone is worth the money!!! Again, from the Tokyo picture it may seem impossible to tell it's a flanger but it's the only boss pedal that has an extra trim around the control panel which can be seen from the pic if you get eagle-eyed. This pedal can also be seen from the blackpool pic at the end of Squire's pedal chain.

?????????? (??-?)

This is a bit of a mystery pedal!! I've had a LOT of emails on this. Unfortunately, it's usually from people who have done no, or very little, research on it. Because of this, I have been doing some work on this recently and wanted to show how I've come to the conclusions that I have. From the Boss pedal book, which lists every pedal ever made including production dates etc, I initially got it down to 17 possibles that were being produced up until 1989.
Here's the shortish list!

1.  Vibrato VB-2
2.  Limiter LM-2
3.  Digital Reverb RV-2
4.  Noise Suppressor NS-2
5.  Digital Delay DD-2 + DD-3
6.  Digital Space-D (Digital Dimension) DC-3
7.  Super Feedbacker & Distortion DF-2
8.  Turbo Overdrive OD-2
9.   Heavy Metal HM-2
10. Digital Metalizer MZ-2
11. Pitch Shifter PS-2
12. Compressor/Sustainer CS-3
13. Dynamic Filter FT-2
14. Digital Sampler/Delay DSD-2 + DSD-3
15. Turbo Distortion DS-2
16. Chorus CE-3
17. Super Chorus CH-1

What to rule out next? Well, it's definitely has 4 knobs on it so that get's rid of 2. The Chorus CE-3 and the Noise Suppressor NS-2

That leaves 15.

Now, for the next stage.

The pedal has a trim round the control panel so this rules out ones that are the same colour all around the control panel ( Heavy Metal HM-2 and the Digital Metalizer MZ-2).

13 left.

1.  Vibrato VB-2
2.  Limiter LM-2
3.  Digital Reverb RV-2
5.  Digital Delay DD-2 + DD-3
6.  Digital Space-D (Digital Dimension) DC-3
7.  Super Feedbacker & Distortion DF-2
8.  Turbo Overdrive OD-2
11. Pitch Shifter PS-2
12. Compressor/Sustainer CS-3
13. Dynamic Filter FT-2
14. Digital Sampler/Delay DSD-2 + DSD-3
15. Turbo Distortion DS-2
17. Super Chorus CH-1

From this point on there's not really any more visual clues as to what the pedal actually is. The best route to take from here is to use logic and then look at the alternatives. So this pedal is near the end of the chain which usually suggests it's some modulation or time based effect. This is because you normally have all your distortions and drive pedals at the start of the chain. Squire seems to follow this principal from the Tokyo picture. Let's see which pedals we're left with using this theory.

1. Vibrato
2. Digital Reverb
3. Digital Delay
4. Digital Space-D
5. Pitch Shifter
6. Digital Sampler/Delay
7. Super Chorus

7 left. Let's go through them one at a time and look at likelihood of use.

1. Vibrato - mmm......from the Tokyo bootleg the only place I can tell this might be used is at the start of Standing here. Seems a bit mental that he might have a pedal to use for all of 4 or 5 seconds. Not impossible, just unlikely. The place in the chain is ok though!
2. Digital Reverb - He has a dedicated digital reverb in the midiverb II so unless he needed a specific reverb effect that the midiverb couldn't give him then it's a bit surplus to requirement. I'm very familiar with the midiverb reverbs and can't hear anything from the Tokyo gig that would warrant a dedicated pedal. Again, position in the chain is ok.
3.  Digital Delay - Same sort of thing as the digital reverb really. Again, no noticeable delay sounds that couldn't be got from the midiverb during the Tokyo bootleg. Position in the chain is also ok.

4. Digital Space-D (Digital Dimension) - This one is 'in my opinion, the most likely. Here's the description from the Boss pedal book 'By applying two-phase modulation in stereo, this fully digital, hybrid chorus effect achieves a stunningly spacious sound, and a clear tremolo with less of the modulation feel of ordinary chorus. With 4 control knobs and stereo output, the DC-3 is capable of sensitive, natural effects, as well as versatile spatial processing for multilayer chorus effects with greater depth and breadth.' So, from what I've read about these is that they are like a normal chorus but the tremolo effect isn't as crazy as when you increase the depth. The thing about the spacious sound seems like it would only really work when connected in stereo (which Squire doesn't do!) so I can't see any real change from a chorus here. 


5. Pitch Shifter - Again, no evidence of it from the Tokyo bootleg.
6. Digital Sampler/Delay - No evidence of any sampling or delays not achievable from the midiverb from Bootleg.
7. Super Chorus - A bit odd if he's already got the ibanez chorus at the end of the chain. The only reason I can think of this one being valid is if his ibanez chorus was being a bit temperamental and needed some sort of backup.

Having just done things logically and still not arrived at anything conclusive, I thought I'd explore this hunch I had that it might be the Super Feedbacker/Distortion DF-2.

Why this particular pedal?

Well, after thinking it might be the Vibrato pedal VB-2 on the intro of Standing Here, I started thinking about the feedback he also gets at the start of Standing here and wondered if it was brought about by natural means or from a pedal. This eventually led me to the DF-2. Another thing was that on the studio version of Standing Here I could never seem to emulate the controlled feedback he seems to get during the intro. On a secondary note, I also thought "I don't recognise the distortion he uses on this song as coming from a tube screamer and it's certainly not from a fuzz face."After checking one particular demo on youtube of this pedal in use, I am fairly certain now that he used this pedal for the intro and the guitar solo to Standing Here.

If this is the mystery pedal then it's position is a bit odd in the chain. However, if he uses it when I think he does then it won't be affected by any of the pedals before it so its position in the chain is perfectly fine.


This is my 1980's original Ibanez stereo chorus pedal. It is from the desirable '9' series. This is the second Ibanez pedal Squire has in his set up. Basically all the pedals made in the 9 series from Japan during the 80's are good.

Most chorus pedals do the same job. They are designed to give a warm layer to your basic sound. The have a certain amount of versatility in such a way that you can have a subtle or very intense amount of effect. Most of them sound much and such the same to me. However, this one ads a slightly bell like tone to your notes. It adds a nice sparkle when playing clean licks on guitar etc. Squire had this pedal set up for quite a subtle effect most of the time. If used in this way, it is the type of effect you have on pretty much all the time. Just something to spice up your basic sound. Think of it as the Eau de toilette of guitar effects!! I have seen them priced at about 50-60 which I think is a bargain. They aren't that hard to get hold of, but I can see these pedals going up in price a lot over the next few years.

Recommended listening for this pedal: The intro to adored (Blackpool) when the clean guitar bits start, also from the Blackpool gig 'Made of Stone' the clean guitar solo after the 1st chorus.


As you will maybe notice from the Tokyo 89 stage pic at the top of the page. Squire uses this footswitch which is linked to his mesa boogie mark III amplifier. It is for switching between the Rhythm1 channel (which is basically a clean sound) to the Lead channel (Distorted sound). It is connected via the footswitch socket underneath the input socket on the front pannel of the amp (pictured right). This footswitch usually comes with the amp along with another footswitch for changing to the other rhythm channel. They can also be purchased as replacement footswitches for your mesa amp from

The use of the lead channel on the Mesa Boogie has been somewhat confusing...............until recently! (More on this in the amps section). You can hear it on quite a few of the bootlegs from 89. Certainly from the Empress Ballroom gig through to the European shows October 1989.


This is an Alesis Midiverb II multi-effects processor. This is the piece of kit that Cressa would operate for Squire when the Roses played live. Basically it houses 99 preset sounds. This means that you can't alter the sounds on the unit AT ALL!! That's the bad news.......the good news is, if you get one of these units you can immediately access all of the exact effects Squire used.(more on these exact effects in the settings page.)

Its forte is reverbs and is still used in studio's throughout the world today because of this. It is also a very quiet effects processor. Some of the ones on the market make all sorts of noises and are not much kop really!! Cressa would press the numbered buttons on the right hand side of the unit just before Squire would need the sound called up. So, he must have had him well trained as to which presets he needed and when.I  am quite surprised that Squire didn't have a midi-board to operate this as opposed to needing a human being with you to change your guitar sounds everytime! I suppose it did look quite cool having someone dancing away and fiddling with some buttons at the same time. So anyone that thought Cressa was an unessecary member of the roses THINK AGAIN!! However, Squire could have shelled out the extra 50-60 to get the board and changed the sounds himself. Maybe it would have taken up too much space on stage. I used a midi board with 'FOOLS GOLD' to change the sounds on my midiverb II as I didn't have access to a cressa type geezer!! Along with the pedals it does take up a lot of room.
(Above) is a view of the midiverb from the back. This is probably the view we are most used to seeing of it. It's puzzled me as to exactly how Squire hooked this up to his amps and pedals for years, as there are a few ways to do it. However, I am now 99.9% certain I know how he did it due to encountering various problems with alternative setups. Squire would go from his guitar straight into his pedals, then from his pedals into his tuner, then from the ouput of the tuner into the (usually right) input of the midiverb (although I don't think it matters which one you use). The output of the midiverb would go into the input of the boogie and the other side ouput (Left) on the midiverb would go to the input of the fender twin reverb.

The Midiverb II is a great piece of kit. Although by todays standards it is quite primitive. I think you could get one of these for about 50-100. I can't remember how much it was when I got mine. But it has certainly given me many hours of enjoyment sifting through all the different effects. In the settings page this unit will be featured quite heavily but with today's technology you might be able to get a close match on various fx units.

(Tokyo pic courtesy of

Note: All the settings on pedals and amps etc on this page are not meant to be suggested settings.That is just how they were when they were photgraphed.

!!!!!!!!!! NEW INFO !!!!!!!!!!!!! : I now have all the info on Squire's rack set-up circa 1990. Check out the AMPS page for full details.