How to Sound Like Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page Amp Settings Guide


Jimmy Page is one of the most iconic electric guitar players of all time so it’s no surprise that many players want to try and achieve his tone. In this amp settings guide, I’ll take you through the basic settings to sound like Led Zeppelin, some amp settings examples for their most iconic songs and how to tweak your controls if you’re struggling to dial in Jimmy Page’s tone with your rig.

Quick Guide to Led Zeppelin’s Amp Settings

To sound like Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, start with the following amp settings:

  • Gain: 5-6
  • Bass: 7-8
  • Mids: 6-7
  • Treble: 6-7

Remember that these are starting points and the exact settings you’ll need to use will depend on your guitar and amp. Keep in mind that it is very hard to sound exactly like Page unless you’re using an identical rig. However, in this guide I’ll help you understand the different settings and how to make adjustments if it doesn’t sound quite right.

The Basics

Jimmy Page’s tone can be hard to characterise but generally you’ll need moderate gain and a lot of bass to give it a full sound. The treble and mids will vary from song to song, with some tracks having a relatively scooped mids whereas others have it higher to give it the classic British rock tone. Let’s take a look at each setting individually.

Gain

If you have a solid state amplifier then you’ll need to set the gain control at around 6 to begin with. This will give you enough distortion in most cases, but some amps (e.g. Fender) may require a bit more. The aim is to get a heavy crunchy tone but without going into full heavy metal distortion. If you have a tube amplifier then you’ll need to crank it up quite high to get enough overdrive.

EQ/ Tone (Bass, Mids, Treble)

Some amplifiers have separate bass, mids and treble controls which allows you to full adjust the EQ, whereas others will have a single tone or EQ control which adjusts the balance instead.

The bass control adjusts the low-end frequencies and will usually need to be quite high to provide the tone with plenty of beef. Start with the bass on 7-8 and adjust from here.

The mids control affects how full the tone is. There is a bit of a debate as to how high the mids should be when trying to sound like Jimmy Page. Some players like to scoop the mids, meaning it is low in comparison to the bass and treble, whereas others boost it. It does depend on the amp and song though, so start with this at around 6 to give you a point to work from. If you are using single coil instead of humbucker pickups then this will probably need to be higher.

The treble control adjusts the high-end frequencies and affects how bright, crisp and clear the tone is. To provide the tone with enough definition but without sounding too harsh, start with this control on 7 and adjust upwards if it sounds muddy and downwards if it sounds too harsh.

If your amp has a single EQ/ tone control, set this in the middle position to start with. Adjust upwards if you want to favour more treble and produce a clearer tone and downwards if you want it to sound more full and heavy.

Some amps also have other controls such as presence and contour. Check out my complete guide to amplifier controls to learn how to adjust these controls and many more to get the best settings possible.

Make sure you also check out the brand-specific amp controls guide which is relevant to you, to get the most from your rig:

Effects

Jimmy Page did not use many effects and relied mostly on the Les Paul and Marshall to give him an iconic tone. However, towards the end his career he used Phaser, Delay and Fuzz pedals on some songs.

The only other pedals you may find useful are overdrive or distortion which will it easier to switch from clean to driven tones or can be used to improve the quality of the gain if you have a solid state amp. A compressor pedal can also be helpful to achieve a smoother distorted tone. Reverb is always useful as well if your amp doesn’t have it built-in.

Sounding like Led Zeppelin isn’t just about your amp settings, it’s about your skills too.
Check out this 14 day free-trial for Guitar Tricks to access over 11,000 lessons and 1000 songs to become a better player today.

We’ve been through the basics, now let’s look at some specific examples. In this next section I’ll give you some example presets for popular Led Zeppelin songs. These are not the exact settings used by Page, but they can be used as a starting point to help you get as close as possible to sounding like him. In the next section I’ll take you through some common problems and how to fix them if the tone doesn’t sound quite right using the presets.

Stairway to Heaven Amp Settings

  • Gain: 2 (5 for solo)
  • Bass: 6
  • Mids: 4
  • Treble: 8

Whole Lotta Love Amp Settings

  • Gain: 6
  • Bass: 7
  • Mids: 6
  • Treble: 6

Good Times Bad Times Amp Settings

  • Gain: 5
  • Bass: 7
  • Mids: 6
  • Treble: 6

Kashmir Amp Settings

  • Gain: 5
  • Bass: 7
  • Mids: 4
  • Treble: 7

Black Dog Amp Settings

  • Gain: 5
  • Bass: 8
  • Mids: 8
  • Treble: 7

Rock and Roll Amp Settings

  • Gain: 5
  • Bass: 7
  • Mids: 5
  • Treble: 5

Heart Breaker Amp Settings

  • Gain: 6
  • Bass: 8
  • Mids: 6
  • Treble: 4

I’ve also made an article with example amp settings for over 40 popular guitar songs here to help you sound more like your favourite players.

Common Issues

This is a very crucial section of the article. If you are struggling to dial in the best tone using the example settings above then you’ll need to make some tweaks to suit your guitar and amp. Here are two of the most common problems and how to adjust your amp to fix them. Remember to only make one adjustment at a time so you can target the problem in a more efficient manner.

Muddy Tone

  • Make sure you are using the bridge pickup and have your guitar’s tone/ volume controls on maximum
  • Turn the treble up
  • Turn the bass down
  • Turn the gain down

Weak and Brittle Tone

  • Increase the bass
  • Increase the mids
  • Increase the gain
  • Use a distortion/ overdrive pedal instead of your amp for the gain

Frequently Asked Questions

What amps did Led Zeppelin use?

Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page is best known for using Marshall amplifiers.

What guitar did Jimmy Page use?

Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin is best known for playing a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

Here are some more articles you might find useful:

Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

Recent Posts