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What's Al D. playing these days?

FlyingVBlues

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Messages
153
I’ve been friends with Al since 1973 when he was playing with Barry Miles. Al’s Burst is a ’58 that he purchased from Larry DiMarizo. I think he got it in 1978 or 1979. The guitar has a version of the Super Distortion pickups that were customized to Al’s specs. He has the same pickups in the 1971 Les Paul Custom he started out with. DiMarzio used to sell them as Al Di Meola Signature pickups, and I think you can still special order them. When Al bought the Burst it was a poorly done refin with issues, and Al had it redone in black. The Black PRS he has been using was a custom guitar that Paul Reed Smith built for him right before the tour started. He was using the PRS at the start of the tour and switched back to using Les Paul's after he played in D.C. in February.

On the Elegant Gypsy and More tour that he just completed he was using a Fuchs Overdrive Supreme ODS-100 with a few minor tweaks and a custom footswitch that Andy Fuchs built for him. He has two of them, with one serving as a backup. The cab he is using is a Feiten 212 with ET-65 speakers. On his pedalboard Al has a Polytune Tuner, Xotic SP Compressor, MXR Phase 90, Fulltone OCD, Xotic EP Booster, Diamond Stereo Chorus, Neunaber Wet Reverb, MXR Carbon Copy, Skreddy Echo, and a Hilton Pro Volume Pedal. He’s also using the GigRig G2 switching system on his board. The wiring is done with George L cables.

On both the Elegant Gypsy tour and his acoustic tours Al has been using a Conde Hermanos nylon-string guitar with a RMC Acoustic Gold pickup with deluxe Sensor Saddles installed in the bridge. The RMC pickup goes into a RMC Poly-Drive II preamp which is then plugged into a Roland VG-88 via a 13-pin DIN cable. Al uses the nylon string patch on the VG-88 which he has tweaked along with a touch of reverb and parametric EQ. The output of the VG-88 goes to an Alesis multi-fx 12 channel sub-mixer and then to the FOH board.
 
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CPM55

New member
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
184
Definitely great info FlyingVBlues...Al seems like a great guy...I have been to multiple shows of his in the past and he always delivers and post show is always gracious to visit. His '58 is one of the most mysterious Gibson Les Pauls ever because every time you turn around the story changes...nice to have it cleared up. I kind of thought that it was a '58 because I remember a ?Guitar Player? magazine article a million years ago talking about Al with the feature being along the lines of Technique vs Feeling etc...the usual in regards to Al (whom I feel is actually an amazing composer as eveidenced by a lot of his subsequent work over the years...even though his early work is what hooked me...the recent Elysium is actually excellent BTW). In that old article there was a pic of Al sitting with his guitars all around him and the description claimed it was a '58...sunburst at that time. I had also heard that it was purchased through Dimarzio and yes, it is the same one as the Black LP that he has played since and has had featured on several of his CD covers etc. Seems like on the tour he has also used a few re-issue Gibson Les Pauls, including a burst and a Black Beauty...not sure if they are loaned out to him or are his. I don't care too much for the PRS...but he obviously likes them and has a relationship with Paul going back years...I've always thought Gibson missed the boat with Al. Thanks for the info!
 

johnct3

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Messages
96
Any idea what gear he used on the album No Mystery? I mean in details...not like Les Paul and Marshall. Which year LP? Standard? Custom? Thanks!! Great info!
I’ve been friends with Al since 1973 when he was playing with Barry Miles. Al’s Burst is a ’58 that he purchased from Larry DiMarizo. I think he got it in 1978 or 1979. The guitar has a version of the Super Distortion pickups that were customized to Al’s specs. He has the same pickups in the 1971 Les Paul Custom he started out with. DiMarzio used to sell them as Al Di Meola Signature pickups, and I think you can still special order them. When Al bought the Burst it was a poorly done refin with issues, and Al had it redone in black. The Black PRS he has been using was a custom guitar that Paul Reed Smith built for him right before the tour started. He was using the PRS at the start of the tour and switched back to using Les Paul's after he played in D.C. in February.

On the Elegant Gypsy and More tour that he just completed he was using a Fuchs Overdrive Supreme ODS-100 with a few minor tweaks and a custom footswitch that Andy Fuchs built for him. He has two of them, with one serving as a backup. The cab he is using is a Feiten 212 with ET-65 speakers. On his pedalboard Al has a Polytune Tuner, Xotic SP Compressor, MXR Phase 90, Fulltone OCD, Xotic EP Booster, Diamond Stereo Chorus, Neunaber Wet Reverb, MXR Carbon Copy, Skreddy Echo, and a Hilton Pro Volume Pedal. He’s also using the GigRig G2 switching system on his board. The wiring is done with George L cables.

On both the Elegant Gypsy tour and his acoustic tours Al has been using a Conde Hermanos nylon-string guitar with a RMC Acoustic Gold pickup with deluxe Sensor Saddles installed in the bridge. The RMC pickup goes into a RMC Poly-Drive II preamp which is then plugged into a Roland VG-88 via a 13-pin DIN cable. Al uses the nylon string patch on the VG-88 which he has tweaked along with a touch of reverb and parametric EQ. The output of the VG-88 goes to an Alesis multi-fx 12 channel sub-mixer and then to the FOH board.
 

FlyingVBlues

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Messages
153
Any idea what gear he used on the album No Mystery? I mean in details...not like Les Paul and Marshall. Which year LP? Standard? Custom? Thanks!! Great info!

Al used a 50 watt Marshall non-master volume Plexi head that was modified by Harry Kolbe and a Marshall cab with Celestion greenbacks. He had a couple of them and they're currently sitting in his home studio. He usually had all of the controls on the amp set to 10 except the treble contro,l which was set to 1. For pedals he used a Coloursound fuzz pedal as a boost and a Mutron II phaser. Most of the guitar parts were done with his 1971 Les Paul Custom with the DiMarizo Super Distortion pickups that were customized to Al’s specs.
 

johnct3

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Messages
96
Al used a 50 watt Marshall non-master volume Plexi head that was modified by Harry Kolbe and a Marshall cab with Celestion greenbacks. He had a couple of them and they're currently sitting in his home studio. He usually had all of the controls on the amp set to 10 except the treble contro,l which was set to 1. For pedals he used a Coloursound fuzz pedal as a boost and a Mutron II phaser. Most of the guitar parts were done with his 1971 Les Paul Custom with the DiMarizo Super Distortion pickups that were customized to Al’s specs.

So it wasn't the goldtop? I thought he used the goldtop a lot on that record? I thought No Mystery was goldtop and Romantic Warrior had the Custom on it? no? And thanks!
 
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