August 20, 2013 - submitted by Steve, United States of America

Q. Hey Oracle, my name is Steve from United States. My favorite guitarist in the world is Jonny Buckland, and I always had a question about his rigs...
I know he uses Fender Deville, but wondering if he's using stock speakers or others and what are some of his drive pedals that he uses to get the sound? If you could answer this for me, that will be the most awesome thing that will happen in my whole life...


The Oracle replies:

Steve from the U.S, you're about to have the most awesome thing in your whole life happen (well, for now).
I asked Matt Mc Ginn to answer this one as this is very much his domain. He's given quite a detailed response:

Hope the following helps and isn't too techy! You're right, Jonny uses two 2x12 Hot Rod DeVilles live, hooked up in stereo for exta-silly delay effects.  The amps are so loud we have to have one facing backwards, along with an equally earsplitting (ask Bash the drum tech) Marshall 1960BX 4x12 cab driven by a reissue 100w Superlead head.  All Marshall pieces are stock but the Fenders are modded - they have Celestion Vintage speakers in, plus the pots have been changed so they effectively only go up to three instead of eleven, twelve, or whatever it is. They're the same vol, but the knobs are easier to use, is all.  And a pair of DeVilles is plenty loud enough, even running at two and a half! You might notice more stuff than this piled up behind him on his riser; that's cos we have a spare of everything, plumbed in and ready to go. 

As for Jonny's tone, it's achieved in a quite old-fashioned way, which is to say we don't use master or gain, we just turn it up a bit.  This, coupled with the humbucker pickups he has on most of his guitars, means he never really has a properly clean tone at all.  It sorta starts off slightly dirty and just gets muckier, depending how hard he plays and what pedals we decide to switch on.

There's all sorts of distortion and gain effects; Power Screamers, Rats, screwy echoes that break up, that sort of thing.  Most stuff we punch in is running pretty hot too - if there's a meter on a device you'll be seeing a little red!
You can have a look at the FX setup at their website.