"Gear is important, but its purpose is to fine-tune your sound, not to make your sound," says Holdsworth. "That comes from the hands."
These days, Holdsworth is using a pair of Yamaha DG80 112 digital modeling amps loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s. "I use one amp for my clean sound, and one for my lead tone," he explains. "For the clean sound, I actually use a Crunch preset, but I have the Gain set very low, and the Master volume set really high. If I hit the guitar hard there’s a little growl in there. Then, I have two or three different EQ variations of that sound for different rooms. For the lead sound, I just use the Lead One preset, and I have five different patches with varying degrees of gain that I’ll cycle through on any given night."
MM: What amps are you playing currently?
AH: I was playing the DG80’s but they discontinued them…and again I’m using defunct discontinued equipment(laughter). Now I’ve been using a Carvin tube amp. I’ve been using that and really like it with 2 4x12 cabinets but most places we play are too small to get that stuff on, so I usually use the Yamaha rig in those situations. I’m still using the Yamaha UD tap delays…Rick Kurioki(sp) helped me build this unit that is 8 delay lines in one box. It became logistically impossible to move that kind of gear around and have any money left at the end of the gigs. Ha!