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KIRK's EQUIPMENT CHRONOLOGY



KILL 'EM ALL

Guitars
Gibson Flying V #1
Black w/ white pickguard
2 pickups which were eventually changed to EMG 81s in 1987
2 volume controls, 1 tone, triangle layout, set neck
Was the main recording guitar for the first four albums
The neck is glued on
Can be seen: "Cliff 'Em All" inbetween "No Remorse" & "Metal Militia"
Last time used live: "Master of Puppets" gigs

Gibson Flying V #2
Red w/ white pickguard
1 Seymore Duncan pickup, the other pickup was taped over
2 volume controls, 1 tone, straight line layout, set neck
Can be seen: Is an infamous picture of Lars holding 2 V's while getting
hit with a sledgehammer.
Last time used live: "Kill 'Em All" gigs

Fernandes Flying V
Black w/ white pickguard
1 bridge pickup, set neck
1 volume control, 1 tone
Can be seen: "Cliff 'Em All" - ("No Remorse")
Last time used live: "Kill 'Em All" gigs

Amps
Marshall 2-100 watt head and 4x12 cabinets
he also used James Hetfield's modified Marshall amp

Effects

Boss distortion pedal


RIDE THE LIGHTNING

Guitars
Jackson Randy Rhodes Custom
Black, EMG 81 humbucker
Neck-through body, string through body (no stop bar, only
tune-o-matic)
Kirk picked this guitar up at the Jackson factory while they were on tour. The guitar was just finished. In fact, he had to wait 2 hours for the glue on the nut to dry and for the guitar to be setup and strung!
After the "... And Justice For All" tour, the guitar became mostly a D-tuned guitar
Can be seen: Cliff 'Em All - (Creeping Death),
and Live Shit: San Diego- (Sad But True)
Still used live

Fernandes Stratocaster #1
Black w/ white pickguard
3 single coil pickups (lace sensors?), Bolt-on neck, Floyd Rose trem
1 volume control, 2 tone
Unknown graphic below trem
Can be seen: "Cliff 'Em All" - ("The Four Horsemen")
Last time used live: "Master of Puppets" gigs

Amps
Marshall 100 watt head and 4x12 cabinets


MASTER OF PUPPETS

Guitars
Same as on previous albums

Amps
Mesa-Boogie Mark 2C amp (re-wired as a pre-amp)
Marshall 100 watt power amp
Marshall 4x12 cabinets


GARAGE DAYS RE-REVISITED

Guitars

Same as on previous albums

Amps
Same as on Master of Puppets


... AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

Guitars
ESP M-II #1 "Skull and Crossbone"
Black, 2x EMG 81 humbuckers
Skull and Crossbone inlays, reverse headstock
Pushead skull sticker on body
This guitar was Kirk's original ESP MII. The headstock is slightly different than his following ESPs, the flat part is on the side of the headstock on this guitar, while the following ones are flat at the top of the headstock. Also, the skull inlays on this first ESP are oriented differently than his other one. The skulls are up and down when the guitar is in its stand, and his second one the skulls are up and down when the guitar is actually being played.
This guitar now resides at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio.
Can be seen: "Live Shit: Seattle" - ("The Four Horsemen")
Only used live: "...And Justice For All" gigs

Gibson Les Paul Custom
Black, white binding on body, tune-o-matic bridge
2x EMG 81 humbuckers, gold hardware
2 volume, 2 tone
Can be seen: "Live Shit: Seattle" - ("Welcome Home (Sanitarium)"),
"Cunning Stunts" - ("Guitar/Bass doodle")
Still used live

Tom Anderson ProAM (x2)
Ash, Basswood body and Floyd Rose bridge
The neck and middle pickup are ultrasonic stacked single coils and the bridge is a Tom Anderson H3. This one has a Floyd with a switcheroo switching system. The finish is a black & white bowling ball. The neck is maple/ Pau Ferro and has TA standard back shape with a 1 11/16" nut width EMG 81(neck), Anderson single coil pickups (during "Justice" tours)
For recording "Metallica" and "Black" tours: EMG 81(neck), EMG-S single coil pickups
Bolt-on neck, dot inlays
Can be seen: "Live Shit: Seattle" - ("Seek and Destroy")
Last time used live: "Black Album" gigs

Jackson Soloist
Red w/ black pickguard
1x EMG 81, 2x single coil pickups
Floyd Rose bridge, bolt on neck
Can be seen: "Live Shit: Seattle" - ("The Thing That Should Not Be")

Amps
Mesa-Boogie power-amp
Mesa-Boogie '88 preamp

Effects
Aphex parametric EQ

Around the time of "...And Justice for All", Kirk starts using a midi based and controlled system. Presets are controlled for each song (EQ, wah ect.) and can be changed off stage by his roadie Ian Ferguson. There is a large ammount of gear in Kirk's sound.


METALLICA

Guitars

ESP KH-1 Flying V "Devil"
Black w/ white, EMG 81 humbucker, 1 volume control
Dancing devils inlays
Similar model available ESP KH-1
Can be seen: "Live Shit: San Diego" - ("Last Caress")
Only rarely used live
Still used live

ESP KH-2 M-II #2 "Skull & Crossbones II"
Black, 2x EMG 81 humbuckers, 2 volume and 1 tone control
Skull & crossbone inlays
A red "Caution HOT" sticker now covers a large chip in the finish below the bridge, and a small sticker saying "Kirk's Guitar" above the neck pickup.
Similar model available as ESP KH-2
Can be seen: "Live Shit: San Diego" - ("Harvester of Sorrow")
Still used live

ESP KH-2 M-II #3 "Ouija"
Black, 2x EMG 81 humbuckers, 2 volume and 1 tone control
Ouija board graphics between the pickups
Half moon & star, star inlays
Similar model available as ESP KH-2 Ouija
(The ESP KH-2 Ouija with the 'Half Moon & Star' inlays are the later constructions and the ones with the 'Skull & Crossbones' inlays are the earlier constructions of the signature ESP KH-2 "Ouija" serie)
Can be seen: "Cunning Stunts" - ("Ain't My Bitch")
Still used live

ESP Eclipse #1 "Spider"
Black, 2x EMG 81 humbuckers, 2 volume and 1 tone control
A pushead designed spider graphic is located below the trem
Similar model available ESP KH-3
Can be seen: "Live Shit: San Diego" - ("Enter Sandman")
Still used live

ESP KH-4 M-II #4
Black, with mother-of-pearl pickguard
2x EMG 81 humbuckers, 2 volume and 1 tone control
Neck-through-body, rosewood fretboard, dot inlays
Floyd Rose bridge, black hardware
You can see the order form for this guitar in the Live Shit book. Kirk uses this guitar with his Roland VG-8 midi processor for recording.
Similar model available as ESP KH-4
Never used live

Fender Stratocaster
Cream with white pickguard, 3 Fender Lace Sensor pickups,
1 volume and 2 tone control
Bolt-on neck, rosewood fretboard
Can be seen: "Live Shit: San Diego" - ("The Unforgiven")
Last time used live: "Black Album" gigs

Ibanez RG470
Black, Ibanez Infinity pickups
(humbuckers at neck and bridge, single coil at mid)
1 volume and 1 tone control
Bolt-on neck, rosewood fretboard
Floyd Rose Bridge, black hardware
The guitar has been beaten up pretty bad, the bottom of the guitar is duct taped together.
Can be seen: "Live Shit: San Diego" - ("Guitar solo (Mistreated)")

Gibson Flying V #3
Black w/ white pickguard
2 Gibson PAF pickups
2 volume controls 1 tone, straight line layout, set neck
Gold hardware, tune-o-matic bridge
Can be seen: "Live Shit: San Diego" - ("Fade to Black")
Only used live: "Black Album" gigs


Amps
Roland Jazz Chorus 120
Mesa-Boogie Triaxis preamps
Mesa-Boogie Mark IV amp (re-wired as a pre-amp)
Mesa-Boogie 100 watt power amp
Mesa-Boogie 4x12 cabinets

Studio:
Marshall cabinets with 30 watt speakers
VHT power-amp

Effects

Bradshaw preamp

For the "Black Album" gigs and beyond, equip manager and bass roadie Zack Harmon designed speaker coffins for consistant tone. These were essentially large road cases housing a speaker cabinet, sound dampening and fixed positon microphones (maybe: Senheiser 421s).

Kirk Hammett: "I used a Bradshaw because the mids were clean and the low end sounded real percussive. The harmonic distortion also sounded nice and dirty. For the highs we used two Marshalls. We combined all the sounds and put the Bradshaw pre-amp through a VHT power-amp. We put it all through Marshall cabinets with 30-watt speakers and blended all the room mikes. My sound is a lot thicker and punchier than before, and I think it's better than ever. For the majority of the leads on this album I used a third ESP guitar. I also used my 1989 black Gibson Les Paul Custom. For the clean sound, I used a '61 stock white Strat [stratocaster] and a Fender blac- face Deluxe. I also used a '53 Gibson ES-295 style, and an ESP Les Paul Junior with EMG pickups."
source: GuitarWorld issue of '91


LOAD

Guitars

ESP KH-2 M-II #5 "Mummy"
Original graphic from the movie "The Mummy" staring Boris Karloff
2x EMG 81 humbuckers, 2 volume and 1 tone control
'The Eye of Horus' inlays
This guitar can not be ordered, because Kirk owns the rights of the drawing
Can be seen: "Cunning Stunts"
Still used live

ESP Wavecaster
Hollow plexi-glass Telecaster body filled with blue wave machine fluid,
rosewood fretbard
1x EMG 81 humbucker, 1 volume control
This is one of two guitars made by ESP. It was initally supposed to be a lava lamp, then a snow globe. The guitar is filled with the same fluids as a wave machine.
Can be seen: "Cunning Stunts" - ("Am I Evil")
Only used live for "Cunning Stunts"

ESP LTD
Black, dot inlays
Seymour duncan humbucker (bridge), single coil (neck)
1 volume and 1 tone control
Can be seen: "Cunning Stunts" (Kirk's guitar-smash)

Amps
Roland Jazz Chorus 120
Mesa-Boogie Mark IV amp (re-wired as a pre-amp)
Mesa-Boogie Triaxis preamps
Mesa-Boogie 100 watt power amp
Mesa-Boogie 4x12 cabinets in sound coffins described above

For amplification, Hammett uses a Marshall JMP-1 preamp, and a Mesa-Boogie Rectifier preamp into a Mesa-Boogie Strategy 400 Stereo power amp. Effects and preamp switching are accomplished with a BRADSHAW RSB 18R Rack Switcher with a remote pedal board. Kirk's tech, Justin Crew, uses the pedalboard enabling Hammett to have free reign of the stage. This also keeps the stage less cluttered due to the size of the pedalboard.


RE-LOAD

Guitars

Gibson Les Paul Standard
Cherry Burst
Gibson PAF pickups, gold hardware
Can be seen: "Memory Remains" video

Dan Electro U2
Black with white pickguard
Standard lipstick pickups
Can be seen: "The Unforgiven II" video

Godin Multiac
Blonde
Used for accoustic sets during the "ReLoad" tours

ESP Semi-Acoustic Eclipse
Red, semi-hollow mahogany body, rosewood fingerboard, dot inlays
Piezo electric pickup with active EQ system, 1 volume control
Used for the acoustic parts of the live show

Amps
Roland Jazz Chorus 120
Mesa-Boogie Mark IV amp (re-wired as a pre-amp)
Mesa-Boogie Triaxis preamps
Mesa-Boogie 100 watt power amp
Marshall JCM 900 preamps
Marshall 4x12 cabinets in sound coffins described above


GARAGE INC. / S&M

Guitars
ESP Eclipse #2
Black, tune-o-matic bridge, black hardware
Neck-through-body, rosewood fretboard
EMG 81/81 pickups, 2 volume and 1 tone control
Pushead spider inlays at frets 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9
Skull and crossbone inlays at frets 12, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 24
This guitar is similar to the one ESP made for Kirk during the "Black Album" gigs (the KH-3 model) except it is missing the Spider graphic and the Floyd Rose trem.
This guitar is used to be played D tuned.
Can be seen: "MTV's: Metallica at Roseland Ballroom" - ("The Small Hours"). Could possibly be the replacement for his Jackson Rhodes.
Still used live

Amps
Same as on previous album
Kirk also used Wizard 4x12" cabinets during the "Garage Inc." gigs


SUMMER SANITARIUM TOUR

Guitars

ESP M-II #6 "Frankenstein"
Its body's graphic is Boris Karloff as "Frankensetin's Monster"
2x EMG 81 humbuckers, 2 volume and 1 tone control
The writing THE MONSTER IS ALIVE! as inlays 2 red lights as the graphic's eyes, inlays glow green in the dark
Still used live

Amps
Same as on previous tour


Kirk's ESP guitars (unless otherwise noted):
Are built or overseen by Matt Masciandaro. Kirk's guitars are maple neck-through-body designs with alder bodies. All of the ESP guitars have rosewood fretboards. All hardware (tune-o-matic bridges, stop piece, or Floyd Rose bridges and arms, and tuners) is black. Most have Fender style 3 way slot switches, 2 volume controls (one for each pickup) and 1 tone.

 
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