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Andy Summers' rig on BUDGET (The Police years)

Posted on 29/05/2015 by ozzy in Summers-ish

Andy Summers' rig on BUDGET (The Police years)

Continues from Andy Summers' rig (The Police years), part I

How to come close to Andy Summers tone without buying expensive equipment.


Laney CUB combo

A low-priced tube Marshall amp won't deliver the tone of a Marshall JMP that you are after. In fact, it won't deliver a decent tone at all. The CUB series by Laney offers a range of a nice low-wattage clean sounding combos with slightly marshallish character. Available are the 5, 10 and 15-Watt tube models, and one 15-Watt amp head with a matching cabinet. Highly recommended!


Andy Summers Squier Telecaster project Squier Telecaster Custom would be a good starting point for your own take on the famous Fender Telecaster Custom of Andy Summers. You might find handful of ideas in the article Squier Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster project.

However, if you want to stay on the safe side, it will be much better to follow Andy's red 61' Fender Stratocaster. You will only need a Squier Classic Vibe '60s Stratocaster, or MIM Standard Strat, with rosewood fingerboard. Its stock pickups should be replaced with the period-correct Fender 57/62 pickups.

Squier Classic Vibe '60s Stratocaster


MXR Dyna Comp MXR Dyna Comp

Type: Compressor

A quite nice compressor based on the classic Ross circuit. The vintage "script logo" reissue has a nice smooth tone, but can only be powered by battery and costs twice as much as a the cheaper "box logo" model.

FYI: I personaly use the Warden by EarthQuaker Devices, which seems to work very well. It's clean, neutral sounding compressor with studio-style controls and features. And it's deadly silent, too.

Mooer Ninety Orange Phaser Mooer Ninety Orange

Type: Phaser

Mooer Ninety Orange is a copy of the MXR Phase 90, produced by now popular chinese manufacturer. It might be less smooth sounding than a "script logo" original, but still an excellent alternative for people on tight budget.

Mooer Eleclady Mooer Eleclady

Type: Flanger

Although this pedal doesn't work with distortion as good as the original, it's considered to be the best sounding clone of the Electric Mistress available. Very Summersish and highly recommended!

EHX Micro Q-tron EHX Micro Q-tron

Type: Envelope follower

The Q-tron was designed for the EHX by Mike Beigel, the inventor of the Mu-tron III and former owner of Musitronics Corp. By using the same analog circuitry as the original, he managed to keep the sound as close to it as possible.

MXR Distortion + MXR Distortion+, EHX Bass Big Muff Pi

Type: Fuzz / Distortion / Overdrive

In my opinion, there is no great sounding budget Muff on market. Fortunately, Andy's tone isn't based on that at all. However, if you really need to own one, try the Electro Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi.

The MXR Distortion+ or any similary sounsding dirt pedal set to mild overdrive will suffice. Most of a budget clones will do equaly well, too. You even might want to use a boost pedal to simmulate the mid-boost circuit built in Andy's Telecaster. (The solo in So Lonely, for example, uses both pickups out-of-phase plus the on-board booster.)

FYI: As for me, my Xotic SL Drive works perfectly for Andy's overdriven tones. It faithfully delivers sounds of the Marshall Super Lead and Super Bass amps. But it doesn't come cheap, of course.

EHX Memory Toy EHX Memory Toy

Type: Delay

The Memory Toy is a nice sounding analog delay that won't cost you a fortune. However, if you want to go serious, get an excelent TC Electronic Flashback, Flashback X4, or Nova Delay. They are reasonably priced and offer a simmulation of various types of delay, such as "tape" and "analog". (Andy have used the Flashback in his Circa Zero pedal board.)

EHX Pitch Fork EHX Pitch Fork

Type: Pitch Shifter, Guitar Synth substitution

Rather than to buy a second-hand Roland guitar synth on eBay, you might want to combine a pitch shifter with flanger and delay. Set the pitch shifter to the 5ths, play "strange" chords, and you may get close to the synth sound you are after. Don't forget fidling with the tone (yes, the tone!) knob on your guitar, too.

FYI: I use the EHX Pitch Fork in conjunction with the Eleclady and Flashback. The result is very, very convincing.

Danelectro Tuna Melt Danelectro Tuna Melt

Type: Tremolo

Originally, back in the 70s/80s, Andy haven't used tremolo effect at all. It hadn't become part of his rig until the Police reunion tour in 2007 (see Andy’s Reunion Tour rig). He emloyed the Empress Tremolo on stage to create deep tremolo effect in Walking in Your Footsteps. The Empress Tremolo is an excellent pedal, but definitely not a budget one, so if cost is the issue you will have to look elsewhere.

The Boss TR-2 Temolo is perhaps most obvious (and safe) choice to go with. However, you may want to check eBay for an extra-cheap, but surprisingly nice and warm sounding Danelectro Tuna Melt, or, sadly, now discontinued, Line 6 Tap Tremolo, featuring a tap tempo function. The Super Pulsar by EHX is a truly creative tool that will satisfy even the most demanding player.

BTW: Think of Gilmour's tremolo in Money, or Roger's in One of These Days.

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Andy Summers' rig (The Police years)

Posted on 16/05/2015 by ozzy in Summers-ish

At the very beginning of the birth of The Police, Andy Summers' rig was rather sparse. To Guitar Player magazine he revealed: “I had simple tools: a Telecaster, a Fender Twin, and maybe an MXR Phase 90. The next thing I got was a chorus, and that, along with the Echoplex, became very characteristic of the Police sound. I probably got up to four pedals taped to the floor before I could afford a custom Pete Cornish pedalboard with a MuTron, a couple of fuzz boxes, an envelope filter, chorus units, and phasers, all of which I’d combine with the Echoplex.”

Andy Summers, The Police

Times have changed though, and so has Andy's equipment: "Onstage I've been using the same set-up for about the last three years," he explained to Musician magazine in 1984, "which is two reworked, souped-up Marshall 100-watt tops, two 4x12 cabinets, (I'm not sure what the speakers are because my faithful roadie changes them all the time). I use them at about half-volume, with not a lot of presence. I also record occasionally with a Bolt amp. I also have a Peter Cornish custom-made pedalboard which contains an MXR Phase 90, an MXR Analog Delay, a Mutron III envelope follower, a fuzz, an Electro-Harmonix flanger and a Dyna-Comp compressor. I carry two Echoplexes on tour, both of which are about fifteen years old. I combine the analog delay and the Echoplex to get some double rhythm effects. The board has a master effects on and off button, so you can pre-program effects together without having any effects on, then just hit one button and have them all come on together."


Marshall JMP 1959 Super Lead, 1992 Super Bass

During the Police years, Andy Summers played two 100-Watt Marshall heads, acquired in the late '70s, with two 4x12 Marshall speaker cabinets. Those amps either could be the Marshall JMP 1959 Super Lead, or 1992 Super Bass. It's hard to tell which of them exactly as they both look the same. The Marshall Super Bass was initially designed for bass players, but many guitarists decided to use them too. They had slightly less gain and were smoother sounding than their Lead counter-parts.

Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Along with the Marshalls, Andy also used a Roland Bolt and Roland JC-120 solid-state amps.

"I like to use two Roland JC-120s, because they’re real clean and hard. They suit guitar synthesizers almost more than the regular." (Guitar Player magazine, 1986)


The main guitar of Andy Summers' then, was his old battered, heavily modified Fender 61' Telecaster Custom that he purchased from his student in Los Angeles. The Telecaster was closely followed with the red Fender 61' Stratocaster that seems to be his main guitar today.

The other Andy's guitars include several models of Hamer that he endorsed in the De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da music video, Aria Pro (Next to You, live at the Old Grey Whistle Test) , Guitarman 12-string (Synchronicity I, Synchronicity concert video), Gibson 335 and Les Paul (both Ghost in the Machine album), Roland G-303 guitar, used to control his Roland guitar synth (Don't Stand So Close To Me), and many other guitars. Perhaps too many to mention.


In 1978, Andy acquired a Pete Cornish custom build pedal board. It contained an MXR Dyna Comp, MXR Distortion+, MXR Phase 90, MXR Analog Delay, EHX Electric Mistress, and Mu-Tron.

 Andy Summers (The Police) pedal board

MXR Dyna Comp script logo MXR Dyna Comp

Type: Compressor

Songs: Deathwish, Bring on the Night, Message in the Bottle, Walking on the Moon

MXR Phase 90 script logo MXR Phase 90

Type: Phaser

Songs: Hole in My Life.

Andy's prominent modulation effect on Outlandos d'Amour: "sort of scotch-taped to the floor". Also used by Sting on his bass (live recordings of Shadows in the Rain, Bring on the Night).

EHX Electric Mistress EHX Electric Mistress

Type: Flanger

Songs: Walking on the Moon, De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da, Driven to Tears, When the World is Running Down... to name a few.

Althought often mistaken for chorus, the Electric Mistress flanger(!) has always been an essential part of the Police sound.

When Andy used the "real" chorus, he seemingly used a unit built-in the Roland JC-120 solid-state amplifier. (This circuit was later "repacked" into a single pedal, known as a Boss CE-1.)

Another chorus effect Andy Summers acquired was the Boss CE-3: Released in October 1982, Andy had used it soon after, on the Synchronicity concert in Atlanta. Since the CE-3 was just sitting on his pedal board, meaning it wasn't built-in, it can be assumed that he was just trying it out.

Musitronic Mu-Tron 3 envelope follower Musitronics Mu-Tron III

Type: Envelope follower

Songs: Hungry for You, Flexible Strategies, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic

A touch-controlled funky-sounding effect, easily mistaken for normal wah-wah.

MXR Distortion+ script logo MXR Distortion+, EHX Big Muff

Type: Fuzz / Distortion / Overdrive

Songs: Fall Out, Next to You, Truth Hits Everybody

In fact, I didn't find any verifiable proof that Andy Summers used any of those. So this is purely based on my, and other people's hearing. Hence subjective. That said, the MXR should have been identified correctly though: "I have an MXR Phase 90, Electro-Harmonix flanger, MXR fuzz, an analog delay, a Mu-tron III, and a compressor." (Guitar Player magazine, 1982)

MXR Analog Delay MXR Analog Delay + Maestro Echoplex, Roland Space Echo

Type: Delay

Songs: Reggatta de Blanc, Deathwish, Can't Stand Loosing You, Tea in the Sahara ...and many more

Delay has always been instrumental for Andy's tones. In Can't Stand Losing You he got a double rhythm effect by using of two Echoplexes. Tea in the Sahara was all done with a Stratocaster and an Echoplex. For a certain period of time, he also used a Roland Space Echo.

Roland GR-300 guitar synthesizer Roland GR-300, GR-100

Type: Guitar synthesizer

Songs: Don't Stand so Close to Me, Secret Journey, Darkness, Oh My God, I Burn for You, Once Upon a Daydream

By the Regatta de Blanc, Andy acquired a Roland GR-500 guitar synthesizer. The band was working so hard on the road, that he haven’t had a chance to get acquainted with it. Later on, he used Roland GR-300 for a couple of songs, such as Don’t Stand So Close to Me, on Zenyatta Mondatta, as well as for material from the Ghost in the Machine album.

Andy usually used the Echoplex and flanger in conjunction with the synthesizer. To achieve the same effect, which is in the middle of Don’t Stand so Close to Me, he used a "Duet" switch, which adds an extra interval - typicaly the 5th - to any note that's being played. Additionaly, he has being opening and closing the foot-controled filter of the synth, to get the setup working as intended.

In his Police Reunion Tour rig, he replaced his old Roland synth with the Eventide Harmoniser.

Source: Guitar Player magazine,,

The article continues in... Andy Summers' rig on BUDGET (The Police years), part II

Andy Summers - Guitarman 12-string guitar Andy Summers - Aria Pro guitar Andy Summers and Sting with their Hamer guitars

Andy Summers - advert of Roland GR-300 guitar synth and G-303 guitar Andy Summers - advert of Hamer Phantom guitar Andy Summers - advert of Hamer guitar

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Squier Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster project

Posted on 17/08/2014 by ozzy in Summers-ish, The Blog

I have been The Police fan since 80s, always wanting to own a Telecaster, but the original Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster costs more than my car, ...sadly. Well, it was only natural that I started a project called the PMASTTSO -- Poor Man's Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster Sort Of.

I based my project on a Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster Custom, an inexpensive, good sound, good look guitar crafted in China. If I wanted to stay within my budget I didn't have many other choices here, especially as Fender doesn't produce double-bound sunburst Teles in Mexico. This guitar was actually quite a good deal worth every penny spent, so all is good, and no problem so far. Perhaps its weakest point is the bridge and saddles. The pickups are OK, allegedly Toneriders.

Squier Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster project

My mods:



Squier Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster project Squier Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster project Squier Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster project

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Andy Summers’ rig (The Police Reunion Tour 2007)

Posted on 14/06/2014 by ozzy in Summers-ish, The Blog

In the early years of The Police, Andy Summers' rig wasn't that insanely crowded with so many different pedals and effects as is today. It mainly consisted of a MXR Dyna Comp, Maestro Echoplex and/or MXR Analog Delay. The most important thing that helped him to acquire his distinctive tone was an EHX Electric Mistress flanger, which was set up for a mild, chorus-like flange. To nail his tone with a budget stompboxes, the first thing you need to get is a Mooer Eleclady (see review here). Next, you need a MXR Dyna Comp compressor, and last but not least, you need an inexpensive analogue delay pedal such as EHX Memory Toy. In case you want to go on, Andy also used the Musitronics Mu-Tron III (Too Much Information, Flexible Strategies), MXR Phase 90 (Hole in my Life), a fuzz/overdrive, a Roland guitar synth... etc... though from now on, it's starting to be a little bit complex...

Andy Summers rig

Police Station

The most of the stomp boxes and effect processors of Andy Summers' 2007 tour rig are loaded in an off-stage rack. The effects could be operated on-stage by Andy, through the switching system placed on the pedalboard A, or off-stage by his guitar tech, who's equipped with the identical switching system as Andy.

Pedalboard A:

Moog Moogerfooger MF-104Z Analog Delay -- Boss RC-20XL Loop Station -- Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner -- Boss FV-500H volume pedals to control the Lexicon PCM-70 and Eventide Eclipse.

Pedalboard B:

Bob Bredshaw (CAE) switching system -- Boss FV-500H volume pedal -- Dunlop Cry Baby wah.

Off-stage rack:

Rack-mounted equipment...

Furman PL-Plus Series II Power Conditioner -- Eventide Eclipse Harmonizer (effects processor) -- Lexicon PCM-70 (effects processor) -- TC Electronic D-Two (delay) -- TC Electronics 1210 (spatial expander + stereo chorus/flanger) -- Carvin DCM-150 (solid state stereo power amp - clean)

Stomp boxes...

Klon Centaur (overdrive) -- Red Witch Empress Chorus -- Red Witch Moon Phaser -- Custom Audio Electronics V-Comp (tube compressor) -- Zoom G2.1Nu (multi-effect) -- Lovepedal Eternity Overdrive -- Maxon OD-9 Overdrive -- Keeley Compressor -- GD2 Cream-Tone (overdrive) -- Z.Vex Fuzz Factory -- Fulltone Ultimate Octave (distortion/fuzz/octaver).

Amp & Cabs

Suhr / Bredshaw Custom Audio Amplifiers OD100

Mesa 2x12 Rectifier series cabinets


Fender Custom Shop replica of his '61 Fiesta Red Strat (main)

Fender Andy Summers Tribute Telecaster (a Custom Shop replica of his famous '63 Sunburst Tele)

Source: Photos Bob Bredshaw, Custom Audio Electronic

Andy Summers’ rig (The Police Reunion Tour 2007) Andy Summers’ rig (The Police Reunion Tour 2007) Andy Summers’ rig (The Police Reunion Tour 2007)

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