YouTube guitar guru Rick Beato has been sharing some secrets from his studio, and showing off his enormous gear collection in the process.
His latest clip is a guided tour of his studio and its packed with little gear nuggets, memorabilia and some inspiring before and after pictures detailing the 2005 build. Beato reports it took four months at six days a week (plus a lot of help from his friends) to complete the project, and that they did all the building work, with the exception of electrical wiring and H-VAC installation.
Along the way we’re treated to a cross-section of his highly impressive guitar collection. The starting point, is perhaps obviously, Beato’s forthcoming signature Les Paul Special, but there’s much more hidden in the racks.
In his main rack, there’s a red 1972 Les Paul Deluxe (with mini humbuckers, Pelham Blues Les Paul Standard, 1990 white Les Paul Custom, 1956 Les Paul Goldtop reissue (with P-90s) and a 1959 Les Paul reissue and a Les Paul Classic (“with snot green fret markers”), which was favored heavily during his years as a session player.
He also points out his preferred Dunlop Max Grip nylon standard guitar picks, describing them as “The only ones I can hold onto anymore – probably because I’m an old guy”.
On rack two we see a PRS Custom 24, McCarty 594, Ernie Ball five-string bass guitar (a StringRay), Fender P-Bass, Rickenbacker 4003 bass, his well-known 2003 Yellow Les Paul Special, an SG with P-90s and a white Kiesel (a now-discontinued CT3, is our best guess)
Over on the third rack, Beato mentions a Martin D-28, 1957 Gibson Country Western, a custom-built Charvel San Dimas Style 1 with a rosewood neck and a custom Strat – both built by friend Dave Onorato, plus a Gibson SG in Pelham Blue.
Dotted about the studio throughout the rest of the 18-minute clip, there’s a red Gibson J-45, an Ibanez Pat Metheny, Strandberg headless electric, Fender Esquire, Fender Electric XII 12-string, 1997 Danelectro U2 single cut, a Taylor 12-string. And that’s just the stuff we can make out.
In the isolation booth, Beato takes us through some of his favored guitar amp choices, including a Magnatone (not coincidentally, it’s paired with an Iron Man II attenuator), a Darkglass Alpha Omega head and cab, MESA/Boogie Dual Rectifier, Park 18-watt head and cab, white Marshall JCM800 and his Marshall hand-wired Plexi reissue with a 1971 cabinet.
There are also numerous piles of pedals, including significant banks of Boss and MXR compacts, plus EHX and Universal Audio gear, alongside more pedalboard staples such as the Keeley Compressor and a Darkglass Alpha Omega distortion/preamp.
However, Beato saves his big reveal – the gear he keeps behind the camera – for last. Fans have been asking him to show the other side of the live room for years, and it turns out it’s full of combo amps, so we’re glad they asked…
Included in the pile is a Vox AC30, two Fender Deluxe Reverbs, a Fender Princeton, a Gibson Skylark, Keith Williams custom-built head, 1971 Marshall JMP and a Boss Katana, among others.
It’s an astonishing collection built across years of high-level playing and producing, but perhaps the most meaningful item is among the humblest – the 1974 Guild classical guitar that Beato says he has owned since 1977. “I loved that guitar,” says Beato. “I played a million gigs on it.”
It is the instrument that started it all and a nice reminder (especially to those of us feeling serious envy) that every collector – and every epic collection – starts with one guitar.
Check out the full video above and head over to Beato’s YouTube channel (opens in new tab) to subscribe for future updates.
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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.