Sound Like Slash: Amp Settings and Gear Guide

If you’re a guitarist, then you know that finding the right amp settings is essential. Especially to get the sound you want.

Slash is no exception, he’s famous for his killer electric guitar tone, and a big part of that comes from his amps.

Guns N’ Roses has been a very popular band for decades. This is because of a legendary tone created by Slash’s amp settings and guitar playing. But this can be recreated for anyone who is a fan of the band.

In this Killer Rig article, we’ll look at some of Slash’s favorite amp settings and see how we can apply them to our own equipment.

What is Slash’s Sound?

Slash’s sound is a hard-rocking, distorted guitar tone. It’s often imitated, but never quite duplicated.

It’s a signature sound that has become synonymous with the band Guns N’ Roses, and it all starts with Slash’s amps.

His guitar of choice is the Gibson Les Paul. This produces a warm tone with fullness and body, which is then run through Marshall amps.

Slash’s most used Marshall amp settings are:

  • Gain: 7.
  • Treble: 7.
  • Mids: 6.
  • Bass: 5.
  • Presence: 5.
  • Master: 8.

Slash uses a variety of different amplifiers to create his signature sound. But there are a few that he is most commonly associated with.

Find great AC/DC amp settings here!

How to Set the Amplifier Controls

Slash amp setting infographic.

Gain Control

The gain control is going to be one of the most important settings on your amplifier. This will determine how much distortion you get in your sound. For Slash, we’re going to want to set this to around 7 for most tones.

This will give you a good amount of distortion without making it too muddy sounding. If you have an amplifier that doesn’t supply a ton of bass, you can set this relatively high.

But if your amp is very bass-heavy, you will be limited to how high this control can be set without becoming boomy.

EQ Settings

The next thing we need to do is take a look at the EQ settings. This is where we sculpt the sound to our preferred settings.

These controls are very important! Especially when going for Slash’s tone because they will provide the bass and treble we need to get close.

  1. The bass control is an important knob. The Les Paul electric guitar is already somewhat warm sounding. The bass needs to be set so that it is full, but not muddy or boomy.
  2. Next, the mids setting will need to provide thickness to the sound without being too thin. This is done by setting the control at roughly noon, then adjusting to taste. Slash doesn’t have a scooped sound, so don’t turn it too low.
  3. The treble knob will need to be turned up somewhat high. This is because of the very warm-sounding guitar. You want your tone to have some cut in the mix and be present, so turn this up to around 7 and fine-tune it in small amounts.

Check out our awesome Van Halen amp settings, click here!

Popular Guns N’ Roses Songs And Slash Amp Settings

To nail Slash’s tone, you will want to practice setting your amp according to popular Guns N’ Roses songs. This way, you can get a feel for what his sound is and how to achieve it.

To help you out, we’ve included some of the most popular GNR songs and the settings used to create them.

Welcome To The Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle is one of the most iconic GNR songs. It has a very raw and in-your-face sound that is perfect for cranking up loud.

For this tone, you will want to set your amplifier to the following settings:

  • Gain: 7.
  • Bass: 6.
  • Mids: 5.
  • Treble: 7.
  • Presence: 5.

Add delay to this song using your effect pedal. Set it to taste based on how it sounds in the video.

Sweet Child O’ Mine

Sweet Child O’ Mine is another classic GNR song that has a very signature sound. This tone is a bit cleaner than Welcome to the Jungle, but still has that raw edge to it.

For this song, you want to set your amp up accordingly:

  • Gain: 6.
  • Bass: 5.
  • Mids: 6.
  • Treble: 7.
  • Presence: 4.

This song uses a lot of reverb, especially for the intro. Set it somewhat high until you feel it is close to the song.

It needs to be adjusted to taste, as every amp has a different reverb sound. A wah pedal is also needed for this song.

Paradise City

Paradise City is another one of those great rock songs that Slash is known for. This song has a bit more of a clean sound to start off, but then packs the punch right after.

Set your amp like this to get the tone right:

  • Gain: 6.
  • Bass: 6.
  • Mids: 5.
  • Treble: 7.
  • Presence: 5.

This song uses a lot of delay, so set it to taste. You might want to add some chorus as well to thicken up the sound.

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door is a great ballad that Slash is known for. This song has a very clean and emotive sound that is perfect for those who want to practice their lead playing.

For amp settings, I recommend:

  • Gain: 8.
  • Bass: 6.
  • Mids: 5.
  • Treble: 7.
  • Presence: 4.

This song uses a pinch of reverb and high-gain settings for the solo. The sustain you need will require a higher setting. But for the rest of the song, simply roll down your volume to get a lighter gain tone.

November Rain

November rain isn’t as guitar heavy as some of the others. As such, you really only need a clean tone.

Any clean tone will work here, and you can set yours to be somewhat flat. It’s not meant to stand out. The real magic for Slash comes at the solo. This is where he gets his chance to shine.

He is using his neck humbucker on his Gibson guitar. His amp is set like this:

  • Gain: 6.
  • Bass: 5.
  • Mids: 6.
  • Treble: 7.
  • Presence: 5.

This will provide you with the warm solo tone he played in November Rain. If your amp doesn’t quite sustain as long, turn up the gain a bit. Just don’t add too much bass. The neck pickup is already thick.

Slash Tone Tips

Tried out some settings but are still trying to get your sound to match that of Slash? Here are some tips.

  • Your choice of guitar is very important, Slash uses a Les Paul for good reason. The tone is warm and full, with a good amount of aggression. The controls are also very versatile, which is helpful. But the big thick mahogany solid body is part of this tone!
  • Your choice of guitar strings will also contribute to the Guns N’ Roses tone. Slash uses Ernie Ball Paradigm strings with a gauge of 11-48. These are thicker strings, which gives him a larger and more aggressive sound.
  • Your choice of amplifier is also important. Slash uses Marshall amps, but there are others that can come close. If your amplifier has a more British sound and is somewhat bright, then it may work. If your amp is very dark and bass-heavy, it might be more difficult.
  • When your sound is too thin, take advantage of the tone controls on your guitar. While most players set these to the max and forget about them, they are great tools to help shape your tone.

Gear to Help Get Slash’s Tone

In order to get Slash’s sound, you’ll need a few things that are exclusive to his unique rock tone:

Want to learn how to get great rock-tone amp settings, click here!

Les Paul Guitar

Slash signature, Les Paul.

Part of Slash’s trademark look is a Gibson Les Paul hanging from his shoulder. This guitar has always been his first choice because of its warm, full and rich tone. It also has great sustain! It’s perfect for lead playing and is as aggressive as he would need.

He now has his own signature Les Paul models that are standard guitars. But with Slash’s personal requests to make them his own.

They come with burst-bucker alnico pickups. Plus orange drop capacitors, and Slash’s signature and logo on the instrument. They come in two finishes, appetite and November burst, and are a great start to getting his sound.


Slash is most commonly associated with Marshall amplifiers. He’s used them throughout his career, and they’ve become synonymous with his sound.

He has his own signature Marshall amplifier called the JCM Slash 2555SL head. This amp is essentially a reissue of the JCM 2555 Silver Jubilee. All with some voicing tweaks as requested by Slash himself.

He has also used amplifiers like the JCM 800 and other Marshall heads. If you have one, then you can get his tone with the settings in this guide.

And as of November 9, 2023, Slash has begun working with Magnatone. They have released a new 100 watt amp head and cabinet. If Slash approves of this tone, now you can have it too!


Boss DD-3 delay pedal.

Slash is also well-known for his use of effects pedals. He has a few that he always uses when he’s performing or recording.

The MXR M234 Analog Chorus is one of his favorites because it adds depth and dimension to his sound. The clean tone in Paradise City uses this chorus pedal, which gives it the sound we know and love about it.

He also uses the CAE boost by MXR. This is a boost as well as an overdrive. But Slash only uses this pedal for the boost it offers. There are many great options that can also do this well, so the CAE is not mandatory.

You will also find the Boss DD-3 delay and MXR 10 band EQ in his pedal board. The DD-3 is used to add delay to Welcome to the jungle and Rocket Queen. And the EQ is used to boost certain frequencies.


There are many factors that go into getting the Slash tone. But with the right gear and a bit of practice, you can get close. Just remember to have fun and experiment with different settings. At least until you find what works best for you!


Does Slash use a Noise Gate Pedal?

Yes, Slash uses a noise gate pedal to help control his sound. This is especially important when using high-gain settings on his amplifier.

The MXR Smart Gate is a great choice for those who want to get the Slash tone. We also suggest the Revv G8 as it’s also a great noise gate!

Which pickups does Slash use?

Slash uses a Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro in the neck position. Plus, a Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 in the bridge position.

These are great pickups for those who want to get a thick and warm sound. They are also good for those who want to experiment with different tones.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!