One element of Rock and roll is all around being loud, proud, and also in your confront. No musician embodies that mentality even more than, the Motor City Madmale, Ted Nugent. He has actually been turning his amps approximately eleven and also pumping his high-feedback, greatly distorted tones via hollow-body guitars for virtually 60 years!

Photo by Ron Gallegos

Having a lengthy and illustrious career, developing some of the a lot of iconic guitar riffs of all time, consisting of “Cat Scratch Fever” and also “Stranglehost.” He was also named the greatest guitarist to ever come out of Detroit! Ted Nugent started playing music at an early age. He obtained his first guitar as soon as he was around 5 or 6, at some time about 1953. It was a “horrible” cheap acoustic guitar—as he explains it—however he learned to emulate the greats consisting of James Brvery own, Wayne Cochran, Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, and also Lonnie Mack, to name a few. He was constantly attracted to high-power performers and loved the soulful sound of the blues. From that suggest on, Ted has been responsible for the advancement and also translation of a blues structure right into the phenomenon that Hard Rock is known to be.

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What Kind of Guitar Does Ted Nugent Play?

Ted Nugent plays Gibboy Byrdland guitars. Other than his Gibkid Byrdland also, The Nuge additionally frequently offers Gibson Les Paul and also PRS models on phase. However, Nugent has never before necessarily been considered a collector. Over his career, he has actually found a couple of guitars he likes and often tends to stick with them.

See the full list of Ted Nugent guitars and also equipment listed below.

Gibboy Byrdland


Years Used1966 to Present

No other guitar has been “fondled” (as he so colortotally puts it) by Ted Nugent as a lot as the Gibkid Byrdland also. It has actually been his go-to guitar for the entirety of his career and is responsible for some of the a lot of iconic riffs in Rock and also Roll background, including “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Stranglehold.”

Ted Nugent didn’t find the Byrdland; it uncovered him. Way earlier in 1961 or ’62 when Nugent was just 13 years old, he checked out a Billy Lee and also the Rivieras concert (later recalled to The Detroit Wheels) and experienced the power of the Byrdland for the first time in the hands of Jim McCarty.

When Jim McCarty began playing his significant, soulful, bluesy solos, the young Nuge simply couldn’t believe the sound. The hollow-body guitar wanted to feedearlier so badly and produced “scary noises” that gave the notes new dimensions of sound. It was nothing prefer he had ever before heard before. Since he was so young and also incompetent, Ted Nugent didn’t rather understand what was really going on to create that sound, yet he kbrand-new he loved it. He had actually to have one.

Just a couple of years later on in 1966, Ted Nugent finally bought his exceptionally very own Byrdland. It was a brand-new 1966 Gibchild Byrdland also through a Florentine Blond end up, and also it automatically came to be his major player. He couldn’t obtain over the insane “snarl” he could get from the hollow body with the spruce archtop.

Not just might the Byrdland also produce heavy, fuzzy tones, but it was also one of the many functional guitars that Ted Nugent had actually ever played. Depfinishing on wbelow you put the settings, you can produce the sound and also tamong virtually any kind of guitar.

Although the Byrdland was initially arisen to be a jazz guitar, Nugent humorously says he “fixed” that. While most difficult rock guitarists shy amethod from hollow-body guitars bereason of the crazy feedearlier, Ted Nugent taken on it. As he put in an interwatch, “It’s not around controlling the feedback; it’s about succumbing to it.”

Nugent actually loves just how easily the Byrdland produces feedago and provides it to create his distinct tones. If you view him relocating roughly on stage, he’s not dancing (well, most of the time). Ted Nugent strategically positions himself in relation to his amps to gain just the right amount of feedearlier to develop the tone he’s looking for. According to Nugent, the Byrdland makes guitarists play in a different way, which is why his style is so distinctive. They don’t speak to him the Motor City Madman for nothing!

Over the years, Ted Nugent has actually collected between 18 and 26 Gibboy Byrdlands (the number appears to change depending on when you ask) in a variety of finishes. He commonly brings at least four or five on every tour. Here are a couple of of the most iconic:

1966 Florentine Blond Gibchild Byrdland – This was Nugent’s original Byrdland also he bought in 1966. It was the major guitar used to document some of the the majority of iconic Ted Nugent songs, including “Stranglehold” and “Cat Scratch Fever.” Nugent donated this guitar to the Hard Rock Café in London but admits he wishes he could obtain it back. It was his prized possession—guitar-wise, at least.

1961-1964 Ebony Gibboy Byrdland – One of Nugent’s main Byrdlands is a vintage Ebony design. He’s not rather certain on the year, but at various times Nugent himself said it was a 1964, while his guitar tech dubbed it a 1961 design. Either way, the babsence Byrdland also has been a maincontinue to be on Nugent’s guitar rig for years. You have the right to view it in action in this video of “Cat Scratch Fever” from ago in the 1970s. Over years of use, the end up has actually cracked and checkered, yet it just makes the guitar look also better! Nugent sweats a lot on phase and actually ruined the original pickups. He reinserted them via Burstbucker 2 pickups. This is probably Nugent’s favorite Byrdland also besides his original ’66.

“Great White Buffalo” Alpine Gibchild Byrdland – The Great White Buffalo is an Alpine white Byrdland with a couple of tradition touches. On the shoulder, Ted Nugent’s name is inlassist in gold lettering, and also two big arrows cross over the entire ago of the guitar. The rest of the guitar is stock, via a couple of headstock repairs after being completely damaged off after a show. You have the right to watch this guitar in action on the song “Great White Buffalo” (of course), while Nugent sporting activities a Native American headdress.

Regardless of his three the majority of iconic guitars, Nugent states he can’t pick just one Byrdland also as his absolute “favorite.” They all sound so good and have their very own unique functions. Whenever before Uncle Ted gets a new Byrdland also, he numbers the guitar with a wood-burning tool. He additionally adds his initials, TN. While many purists think it destroys the guitars, Nugent thinks it gives them a special uniqueness.

Most of Nugent’s Byrdlands are vintage models with a sharp single cutameans. Whenever Ted Nugent takes the phase, you’re practically guaranteed to view a Gibson Byrdland or 2.

Gibchild Stars and also Stripes Custom Les Paul


FinishAmerihave the right to Flag
Years Used2008 to Present

It’s no key that Ted Nugent is one of the proudest Americans out tbelow. He’s known for being rather outspoken when it involves his political beliefs and also his love for the U.S.A. To display his love for his nation, he gained a custom-made Gibchild Les Paul with an American Flag end up.

Ted Nugent had been utilizing Gibson Les Pauls for a couple of years, however roughly the mid-2000s, he commissioned his Gibboy Stars and also Stripes Custom Les Paul. Almany instantly, it became among his primary players on phase. In fact, from around 2008 on, Nugent provided his Stars and also Stripes Custom on phase even more than any type of other guitar—even his Byrdlands!

According to Nugent himself through a personal Facebook post, his Stars and also Stripes LP attributes dual Gibchild humbucker pickups that are increased to the point of nearly emotional the strings. They have to be cshed to get all that screaming rock and roll goodness! It also functions a smaller neck than the majority of Les Paul models to fit Nugent’s smaller hands.

Other upqualities incorporate a Gretsch strap pin on the pickup selector to make it much easier to use and witch hat tone and also volume knobs for “maximum sweaty Teddy traction.” All in all, it’s a bonafide, patriotic, rock and also roll machine built for the Motor City Madman himself.

You can view the Stars and Stripes Custom Les Paul in action in nearly any kind of Ted Nugent performance from the mid-2000s on. Check out this powerful performance of “Never before Speak Believing” from 2016. There is fairly a bit of ranting prior to the song starts, however the awesome solo more than provides up for it!

The Stars and also Stripes Custom isn’t the only Les Paul in Uncle Ted’s arsenal. He additionally had 2 prized vintage Les Pauls, sunburst 1959 and 1958 models, that frequented the phase in the late ‘90s and also early 2000s.

In 2020, Ted Nugent determined it was time to thin out his repertoire and also put his ’58 and ’59 LPs up for auction. He still has the Stars and also Stripes practice, and also the 2 continue to rock stperiods almost everywhere the civilization. This is quickly one of the a lot of legendary Ted Nugent guitars of all time.

PRS Ted Nugent Custom


FinishCustom Stripes
Years Used1985 to Present

Around 1985, a young Paul Reed Smith was looking to market some of his practice guitars to some renowned rockers to make a name for himself. He didn’t have actually a manufacturing facility or really a company yet, simply a couple of well-built guitars and also a dream. At the moment, there was no one bigger than Ted Nugent.

Of course, PRS wasn’t as famous back then as it is now. He couldn’t simply waltz backphase and also talk to The Nuge. So, as the dedicated businessguy he is, Smith pulled a stunt. He threw a couple of of his practice creations under his arm, ran to the venue wright here Ted was playing, and also yelresulted in the males at the door, “Oh guy, I’m late! Where’s the stage?”

Seeing a man running approximately the door of a Ted Nugent concert via a bunch of guitars, security let him best in. When he made it backstage, Smith talked to a couple of of the roadies, verified them his guitars, and they agreed to let him accomplish Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent loved the guitars so much that they were instantly included to his arsenal. He believes that the player shouldn’t adapt to the guitar. It’s vital to take the moment to shop approximately and find the right one that feels the best. His tradition PRSs did just that. He was one of the first significant artists to endorse PRS guitars.

According to Ted Nugent, the PRS guitars had actually a specific capcapability that various other guitars didn’t. He might execute points via them that he couldn’t carry out through any other type of guitar, also his beloved Byrdlands. The intro arpeggios on “Little Miss Dangerous” according to the man himself, were just feasible bereason Ted has actually his PRS.

Nugent’s PRS models are all custom produced him by Paul Reed Smith himself. They all have dual humbuckers, tremolo tailpieces, 24-fret necks, and also practice striped finishes. You can commonly find Nugent on stage through either his zebra-striped or tiger-striped PRS.

Ted Nugent’s zebra-striped PRS was among his main players once he joined the superteam Damn Yankees with Tommy Shaw from Styx, Jack Blades from Night Ranger, and also a then-unknown drummer Michael Cartellone who would certainly later on join Lynyrd Skynyrd. You deserve to watch Nugent’s zebra PRS in the music video for “High Enough” from 1990.

Fender Duo-Sonic


Years Used1959 to 1965

Although Ted Nugent started playing guitar when he was around five or six (somewhere roughly 1953), he didn’t get his initially “good” guitar until about 1959. When he realized he was severe about playing music, Nugent made a decision he essential a correct instrument.

The young Ted picked up a few odd work to scrounge some money—consisting of a record path, marketing nightcrawlers, washing cars, raking lawns, and shoveling snow. He lastly scraped up enough cash to pay off his very own brand-new Fender Duo Sonic.

The Fender Duo-Sonic is a guitar made for players that didn’t desire a Tele or a Strat. It features two single-coil pickups to provide that legendary Fender tone yet with a neck constructed for basic playcapacity and also a three-way switch in the horn. It’s a good instrument for innovative players, prefer Nugent.

Ted wanted the Duo-Sonic because, at the time, he was into The Ventures, and also it kind of looked favor among their guitars. However before, there’s not much information around his original Fender Duo-Sonic, however it was the guitar he offered to land also his first big gig. In 1962, he won the Battle of the Bands with his initially act the Lourdes and also got to open for the Beau Brummels and the Supremes at among the newest clubs in Detroit. It was a huge deal that aided launch his music career.

Shortly after the big break, The Nuge made a decision that he didn’t really desire to be favor The Ventures and also moved into a harder rock scene that he would eventually aid to create. His Fender Duo-Sonic offered him well, yet it was time to move on to bigger and better things. By 1965, it had actually been reput initially by an Epiphone Casino prior to establishing his sight onto his beloved 1966 Gibchild Byrdland.

Epiphone Casino


Finish1965 to 1966
Years UsedVintage Sunburst

Following his The Ventures phase, Ted Nugent went with a brief Beatles phase. Back in the beforehand 1960s, they were the “hard rock” of the time! As any Beatles fan deserve to attest, there’s no cooler guitar than the Epiphone Casino.

Around 1965, Ted Nugent traded in his The Ventures-esk Fender Duo Sonic and also a few hundred dollars for a Vintage Sunburst Epiphone Casino, just prefer Paul and John offered to play.

The Epiphone Casino is a hollow-body guitar, which is a lot different than the solid-body Duo-Sonic Ted Nugent was playing. Not only was did it get more feedearlier from the amp, but it additionally featured dual humbuckers rather of the Fender single coils.

While his Epi was a step in the right direction, it didn’t fairly take Nugent to wright here he wanted to be. After a very brief run together, Ted Nugent traded his mostly brand-new Casino for his beloved 1966 Gibchild Byrdland. The remainder is background.

Timetable Showing Each Guitar Ted Nugent Has Played at Each Point of His Career

FenderDuo-SonicUnspecified1959 to 1965
GibsonByrdlandEbony/Alpine/Sunburst/Natural1966 to Present
PRSTed Nugent CustomCustom Stripes1985 to Present
GibsonStars and Stripes Custom Les PaulAmerihave the right to Flag2008 to Present

Ted Nugent Amplifier Overview

It takes many amps to produce such a loud, hefty, rock and roll sound. Amps have filled the phase for many kind of of Ted Nugent’s over 6,000 concerts. He originally began through Fenders and also over time switched over to Peavy and also Kustom amps. Here’s a rundvery own of The Nuge’s amps.

Ted Nugent’s go-to amp head is the Peavy 6505+. When you require straight-up raw power, this is the amp for you! It boasts 120-watts of tube-thrust insanity that will blow audiences amethod in even the biggest stadiums. The 6505+ is great for developing gainy “liquid inferno,” as it says on the product web page.

On stage, Nugent’s 6505+ heads are pushing multiple Peavy 6505 412 240-watt 4×12 cabinets for also even more insane rock power. When you absolutely, positively have to be heard (perhaps also in external space), this is the amp setup you require.

Surprisingly, this setup is actually a little bit quieter than what he supplied to playearlier in the 1970s and also ‘80s. His previous rig was so loud that he ended up being deaf in one ear. He “quieted” his amp erected so he have the right to actually hear his band also and also proccasion damage to his one good ear. He offers just a “couple” 120-watt heads and also 240-watt cabinets, and also they’re not also turned to complete volume. He admits this isn’t a musical choice; it’s out of necessity to save his hearing.

Back in the late ‘80s and also early ‘90s, Ted Nugent started to make a readjust ameans from his typical Fender amps for something through a more powerful tone. Well, there’s nopoint even more “in your face” than a Peavy.

Ted Nugent’s initially Peavy suffer was with the 5150 tube head. This amp was initially designed as a signature model for Eddie Van Halen. It was 120-watts of pure rock power. Nugent immediately fell in love and has offered Peavy amps ever since. He used the Peavy 5150 throughout his time through the Damn Yankees.

The Peavy 5150 was inevitably discontinued as soon as Van Halen and also Peavy parted ways in 2004. While the EVH brand also ongoing to produce its own 5150 amps, the 6505 models took their place in Peavy’s lineup.

In later on shows, Ted Nugent has actually been watched on phase rocking via Kustom Quad 100 DFX heads and cabinets mixed in with his Peavy amps. The Kustom Quad 100 DFX is a 100-watt tube head through an tremendous lead obtain rise, which Nugent constantly loves! To add a small more flair, Ted Nugent’s Kustom head has customized zebra-striped paneling.

The powerful 100-watt head pushes matching Kustom Quad 100 DFX 2×12 combo amps for also even more rock and also roll power. It’s not difficult to gain feedearlier from his hollow-body Byrdlands with this setup!

In his at an early stage days, Ted Nugent offered almost specifically Fender amplifiers. Back in the mid-1970s and also into the ‘80s, The Nuge would blow away stadiums through a number of Fender Twin amps lining his side of the phase.

The Fender Twin Reverb is a go-to for everyone from clean jazz and blues players to heavier rock and also alternate powerdwellings. It features 85-watts of tube-pushed combo perfection. It’s a timeless for a reason!

Back in the day, Ted Nugent would have actually eight of these powerhomes stacked on stage, carrying unmatched volume to stadiums everywhere the civilization. According to Uncle Ted himself, this setup was practically as well loud also for him. As he so colortotally defines, “Birds would fly by at 100 yards and also poof into nopoint bereason the sound was so loud.”

After years of utilizing eight 85-watt amps on stage, Ted Nugent ended up being deaf in his left ear and also had to revert to a slightly smaller rig (if you count 120-watt Peavys as “smaller”).

You can watch this impressive Fender Twin setup in this live variation of “Stranglehold” from 1978.

Back in the late 1950s once Ted Nugent gained his initially “good” guitar, the Fender Duo-Sonic, he played it through a tiny 45-watt Fender Bassman amp. It was a smaller sized tube-moved combo amp that might get loud and also distorted sufficient to make any budding musician happy. After all, Ted wasn’t playing stadiums simply yet.

The Fender Bassmale had actually such a great tone that Ted Nugent stuck to Fender exclusively for decades. Even once he necessary more power as his mirrors acquired bigger (and louder), he upgraded to Fender Twin amps—simply a lot more of them.

Ted Nugent Pedals and Effects Overview

Although he’s taken into consideration among the more innovative guitar players when it concerns tone, Ted Nugent doesn’t actually use many kind of pedals or impacts. He prefers to let the guitars and also the amps produce his tone, specifically by utilizing feedago. To him, you simply can’t beat the pure sound of a guitar plugged straight into an amp.

Here are the exceptionally few effects that have actually been on Nugent’s pedalboard over the years.

Whenever before Ted Nugent is in a specifically fun mood, he’ll action on his ovariety MXR Phase 90 to include a little uniqueness to his tone. He doesn’t use it regularly, however he says he hits it “for kicks and giggles” sometimes.

The MXR Phase 90 is among the most well-known phaser pedals on the industry. It has actually been supplied by guitar legends choose Eddie Van Halen, Josh Homme, and also Dave Grohl, just to name a few. It provides players a smooth, watery result that adds a tiny additional flavor to both lead and rhythm parts.

Eincredibly guitarist needs a little wah power eincredibly now and then. When Uncle Ted feels like rocking a wah solo, he provides the Dunlop Cry Baby Wah. The Cry Baby has actually been a standard for many kind of legendary guitarists over the years. Although he doesn’t use it frequently, he still keeps the Cry Baby on his pedalboard, simply in case, the mood feels simply appropriate.

The Boss DD-3 digital delay is a standard delay pedal that provides guitarists from budding beginners to proficient rockers the echoey sound they’re in search of.

Of course, Ted Nugent doesn’t really usage an echoey tone. He prefers straight-up, in-your-challenge rock and also roll. Although he has actually a Boss DD-3 on his pedalboard, The Nuge admits that he hasn’t stepped on it in years. It’s simply a pretty challenge.

Similar to his various other impacts pedals, Ted Nugent also has a Boss CH-1 Super Chorus on his pedalboard, however he doesn’t use it often. It’s there simply to include a small flavor to his tone from time to time.

The CH-1 is one more traditional for guitarists everywhere the civilization. It adds that little “shimmer” to lead and also rhythm parts that really make them stand also out. Of course, Ted Nugent doesn’t need much of a shimmer to stand also out. He does that plenty well on his own!

Guitar Cables

Although it might not be taken into consideration an result, Ted Nugent features a lot of his impressive tone to his guitar cables. While a lot of musicians usage wireless packs to make relocating about the stage a little bit easier—specifically those who percreate high-energy mirrors favor Ted Nugent—The Nuge still provides standard cables to connect his guitar to the amps.

Although he doesn’t specify the brand, in a rig rundvery own, Ted Nugent states he supplies “substantial fat guitar cables” to save his gain-pushed tone pure from the guitar to the amps and also out right into the audience’s ears. According to him, there’s no better way to produce a pure rock and also roll tone than ssuggest plugging an excellent guitar directly into a good amp. The simpler and also more direct, the better. Ted Nugent has never been one to beat around the bush.

Although he played in smaller sized bands throughout his youth, Ted Nugent assisted create his first actual band also in 1965, when he was 17, dubbed the Amboy Dukes. In spite of Nugent’s anti-drug and also alcohol beliefs, the Amboy Dukes were taken into consideration a psychedelic rock band. The band also enjoyed modeprice success via a couple of mainstream albums and even obtained to play via legends choose Joni Mitchell, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, and also BB King. In 1982, Ted Nugent assisted develop the supergroup Damn Yankees via Styx guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw, Night Ranger bassist/vocalist Jack Blades, and also drummer Michael Cartellone. The Damn Yankees played together for eight years till 1989 and also saw major success. Their self-titled album went double platinum in the United States!

After his scolor through Damn Yankees, Nugent went back to the solo spotlight and also continues to rock stages everywhere the world through his high-octane, blues-moved rock and roll.

In 1975, following the Amboy Dukes disbandment, Nugent began his impressive solo career. He composed a number of major hits, consisting of “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Stranglehold”, tunes that would certainly propel him right into legendary condition. In the late ’70 and also well into the ’80s, there was hardly a bigger name in the Rock and Roll scene than Ted Nugent!

In enhancement to his musical career, Ted Nugent is additionally an outspoken activist for the second amendment. He has actually composed numerous books and also showed up on TV mirrors regarded searching and also shooting.

Whether or not you agree via his politics, there’s no doubt that Ted Nugent is one of the finest guitarists to ever before come out of Detroit, furthereven more, his ability set is balanced between his singer-songwriter condition and guitar-slinging. Even in his 70s, Uncle Ted still maneras to provide high-power performances that audiences won’t shortly forget—possibly for much better or worse. He’s no stranger to shooing flaming arrows on phase, sometimes at among his guitars! If you’re trying to find straightforward, feedback-ridden, in-your-confront rock music, it’s tough to beat the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent.


My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and also guitars for as long as I can remember. I began this webwebsite through some of my friends that are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high-quality guitar and music-connected content.

I’ve been playing guitar because I was 13 years old and am an avid collector. Amps, pedals, guitars, bass, drums, microphones, studio, and also recording equipment, I love it all.

I was born and also elevated in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s level from Youngstown State University. With my engineering suffer, I’ve emerged as a designer of guitar amplifiers and impacts. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, developed, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and also electronic devices. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music area.

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