Metallica Live Rigs

by Boogie on November 28, 2011

in Mesa Boogie Artists, Mesa Tones & Tips, Photo Galleries

Metallica Roadcases

Metallica Roadcases

The story of MESA/Boogie and Metallica goes back about as far as the origins of the band itself. James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett have both used Mesa products in their live rigs and studio recording since the Mesa Mark IIC+ hit the streets in the early ’80s . The Mark IIC+ played a significant role in the recording of some of early Metallica’s most recognized music and while you don’t always see the gear they’re playing on stage, the rigs pictured below have been the mainstay of the band’s live sound for over of 15 years.

First, let’s take a look at Kirk’s rig.

Kirk Hammett's LIVE Mesa/Boogie Rack with Rackmount Dual Rectifiers

Kirk Hammett's LIVE Mesa/Boogie Rack with Rackmount Dual Rectifiers (click to enlarge)

A big part of Kirk’s live rig are Rackmount Dual Rectifiers. It’s a very simple rig comprised of DBX Quad gates, Digital Music Corp GCX Expander switching racks, T.C. Electronic G Major FX Processors and Dunlop DCR-ISR Rack Wah.

Next up is James Hetfield’s ‘Papa Het’ rack.

James Hetfield's LIVE Touring Rig with Mesa/Boogie Triaxis, 2:90 and Amp Switchers

James Hetfield's LIVE Touring Rig with Mesa/Boogie Triaxis, 2:90 and Amp Switchers (click to enlarge)

James’ rack is a little more involved and loaded with Boogie gear. The core of the preamp switching and FX integration happens via Mesa/Boogie Amp Switchers controlled with Digital Music Corp.’s GCX Expander switching units. The Boogie amps being switched are two Triaxis Preamp’s run into a 2:90 Power amp. One Triaxis is set to the Mark IIC+ mode while the second Triaxis is used for clean sounds in the Green Clean mode. Like Kirk, James also has DBX Quad gates and T.C. Electronic G Major FX Processors along with a few extra pedals kept in the rack. The signal runs out of the 2:90 into two Mesa Traditional Straight 4x12s for a true stereo mix.

And the Mesa gear in Metallica’s racks doesn’t stop with the guitar. Bassist Rob Trujillo runs Rackmount Dual Rectifiers in his rig for distorted bass blended with his clean amp sound. Heavy bass crunch…

Mesa is proud to have been a part of the Metallica sound for over 25 years and the rigs you see above have been delivering the band’s live sound for just as long. It’s been an amazing 30 year run for Metallica and we at Mesa are looking forward to many more…

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jerry December 11, 2011 at 11:42 am

I’d like to see their old racks/road cases too,with the 2C+ heads.
Monte has many pictures. :)

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monty jay December 2, 2011 at 6:34 am

Great to see Metallica coverage on here!! Awesome rigs, always loved em. Thanks!

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