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Luke's guitars and gear

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Steve Lukather's main guitars 1977-2004.

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Gibson 1959 Les Paul Standard Sunburst

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Valley Arts Robot

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MusicMan Axis Luke Model, signed by Jeff Beck

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MusicMan Luke Radiance Red

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MusicMan Luke Black Pearl Old

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Adamas SMT 1597-4G Unidirectional Carbon Fiber Top

Lukather (June 2001): "I'm afraid with any gear you won't sound like me, really even if you DID have the exact gear you wouldn't. People think it's the amp and guitar that get the sound... Well, it is not. It HELPS to have great gear but we all sound the same thru any gear. I have played thru EVH's amps, I played Jeff Becks Strats... I still sound like me playing thru their gear! Hahaha, that's the way it is. Just groove and sound like yourself and have FUN!!!"

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Luke's purple MusicMan "Luke" and his Ovation-Adamas acoustic guitar.

Guitars: 2x MusicMan "Luke" electric guitars, black sparkle and purple. Ovation-Adamas 1597-4G acoustic guitar.
Strings electric guitar: Ernie Ball Super Slinky .009.

Lukather (December 2001): "The LUKE guitar stays in tune better now without the Floyd Rose. I have never had a problem and my guitars are STOCK... the same as everyone else. I can't say enough great stuff about MusicMan-Ernie Ball. Simply but... the very best there is out there today! If you DO have a problem call them and they will fix it."

Lukather (October 2001): "My guitar is exactly the same as yours. No "special" frills or anything. If I did that, it would be bullshit. I want you all to know that what I play you play. I LOVE these guitars so much. MusicMan is the BEST guitar I have ever played and I have them all, believe me.
Tunings... well I use different ones from time to time. Try drop D on the low E and the high E. It has a nice ring to it. I used this tuning a few times on the Luke album. There are many options. Try the Keith Richards tuning. Take the low E off the guitar and tune it G-D-G-B-D and you can play every Stones tune with the right voicings. Try it. You'll be standing on the table playing Start me up with a bottle of Jack and a hard on immediatly, hahaha!!!"

Lukather (July 2001): "My guitars are not limited to 999, but it made me laugh to think that. We have sold a LOT more than that already anyway. They are a fine guitar and I'm proud to play it and it's the SAME guitar you have, no extras for me. I could do the gig with your guitar and I wouldn't even notice, except for a little sweat in the fretboard."

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Luke's teardrop picks.

Lukather (November 2001): "I use small teardrop picks, smaller than my big thumb nail so I can use my fingers as well. I really don't think about it much. It's all in the hands and the heart... Sounds like bullshit but it's true. I sound like me no matter who's guitar or amp I use!"

Lukather (July 2002): "I get my picks thru MusicMan-Ernie Ball and they are a stock heavy jazz pick. I have silly things on them for every tour. I have used these since I was around 15-16 years old, along with just my fingers as well."

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Luke's pedal board.

Lukather (October 2002): "I do not use a fuzz tone. It's all #3 channel distortion. I DO have a custom tube screamer I use on special occasions but it's pretty much just the Bradshaw pre-amp!"
Lukather (April 2002): "I use a Roland keyboard volume pedal but it's pretty much whatever you like that feels good. The pedal is early in the chain so that when you fade out the delays keep going and you're not fading out your entire sound. You guys gotta understand, I am NOT a tech kinda guy. Bob Bradshaw designs all my stuff. He has since 1984. I am putting together a brand new rig as I write this. I tell him what I want and he does all the brain work to make it happen and he pretty much knows what I want."

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Luke's amps and effects racks.

Amplifiers: the VHT classic power amp for the dry clean through the mid channel and the VHT stereo effects amp for the stereo effects through the left and right channels.
Pre-amp: Custom Audio Electronics 3+ (CAE 3+, Bob Bradshaw) with three sound switches: clean, dirty and very dirty.
CAE rack gear: guitar volume controller GVCA-2, dual stereo mini mixer, black cat vibe, super tremolo, two 4x4 audio controller, hush guitar silencer, Furman power conditioner.
Effects: 2x Lexicon PCM-70 delays, T.C. G-Force for the left and right wet channels (mid channel dry clean amp sound), Jim Dunlop rackmount wahwah, Line6 mod pro studio modeller.

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Luke's amps and effects racks.

Lukather (December 2002): "I use 2 vintage (at this point, hahaha) PCM 70 delay systems. I love the way they sound. Nothing else I have tried is quite the same. I use a pan delay and a circular delay that are stock settings from 1985. Hard to find these days. I have a DRY signal in the middle and the 2 outside efx speakers."

Lukather (July 2002) "I went back to where I was with my gear circa 1990-91, but with subtle improvements. BRADSHAW baby! That pre-amp for me is better than the Rivera and was the sonic blue print for the Bonehead. I hadn't played thru my CAE-3+ in 5 years and when I plugged my Bradshaw in, it blew my mind. I then broke out my VHT power amps... and yes again... warmth, tone... I rest my case. I still have my PCM 70's... vintage now and some cool Line 6 stuff. Very small and compact and it sounds better than ever! I used this rig on my new Xmas record coming fall 2003. As for the new Toto record I used a stock 1/12 Marshall combo plugged direct and all EFX used are from the console. I did this for 2 reasons. One is to dispell the myth that my GEAR plays for me and not the other way around. Second I wanted to see just how many DIFFERENT sounds I could get with this simple amp and my most loved MusicMan guitars which are also stock. When you listen you be the judge."

Lukather (November 2001): "I EQ my amps with the mids pulled down a bit, a little + for highs, and a little + for lows. That's the simplest way to put it."

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Luke's speaker cabinets 2002.

Speaker cabinets: left and right cabinets for stereo (VHT stereo effects) sounds, centre cabinet for dry clean amp (VHT classic power) sound. According to Geoff Banks there are Peavy speakers in the cabinets.
Microphones: 3x Shure KSM-32-studio-microphone.

Lukather (December 2002): "Right now I am using a set of 1 by 12's that Eddie Van Halen gave me. Not sure what speakers are in there but they sound really good. I JUST bought 3 pairs of Custom Audio Electronics speakers that Bob Bradshaw designed and they are KICKiNG! I will start using them on the Europe run starting in January 2003."

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Luke's speaker cabinets 2003.

Luke's new Custom Audio Electronics speaker cabinets that he started to use during the Europe Toto run in January 2003. The left and right cabinets for stereo (VHT stereo effects) sounds, the centre cabinet for dry clean amp (VHT classic power) sound.

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