The ’80s Shoot into the Future Like it’s October 21st of 2015 in this Def Leppard Rig Rundown

It’s like if Huey Lewis got his news from a Kindle: at first glance, the 5-foot high refrigerator racks in Def Leppard’s backline seem straight out of the ’80s or early ’90s. Marshall JMP-1? Check. Rocktron Intellifex? Check. Palmer PDI-05 cabinet simulator? You’d better believe that’s a check. I’m surprised I didn’t see an ADA MP-1. And yet right there, screwed into the same rails you’ll find an Axe-FX. Why the hell would you have a Palmer speaker sim and an Axe in the same rack?


Well it seems like Def Leppard’s rigs are Frankensteined as new gear is acquired, the old bolted in there with the new. In Phil Collen’s rig for example, the Axe-FX seems like it’s mainly there as a tone sculpting tool to shape a signal that’s already hit a preamp, that way when it hits the monitors and front of house it’s processed to their tastes. It’s pretty fascinating that they’re using it more as a direct box and eq than for its preamp or effects models.

By the way, how great is that full-sized RJM Mastermind floor controller, with its individual LED screens above each button? But be warned: the pairing of the RJM Mastermind and Effects Gizmo gives you incredible control over very complex rigs with very little tone loss, but it’s not for those of you who faint at the sight of a large price tag. If you want to put a toe in the water of midi control without dropping a couple Gs, try perusing yesterday’s Gear Gods post on small and inexpensive foot controllers.

Source: Premier Guitar

Written by

Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

Latest comments
  • The last few Rig Rundowns have been great.

  • Looks like the Bass tech REALLY didn’t want to do the interview.

  • Funny – that might be my old Palmer PDI-05. Sold them mine a couple of years back

leave a comment