Jim Root Amp Settings – Get that Iconic Slipknot Sound!

Author: Dedrich Schafer | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

Slipknot is arguably one of the biggest bands in metal. They are as synonymous with the genre as bands like Metallica, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden.

Their sound has shaped modern metal and laid down the foundations for the modern metal guitar sound. One half of Slipknot’s guitar duo, Jim Root, has cemented himself as a modern guitar hero.

But how do you create the modern sound of metal? In this article, I will do a rundown of the gear Jim Root uses, as well as the settings to recreate his sound.

Root’s Guitars

The most interesting part of Jim Root’s entire rig is perhaps his choice of guitars. Because of the heavy sound of his band, Slipknot, you might expect him to play Ibanez, Jackson, or something similar.

But instead, Root plays predominantly with Fender guitars. Specifically, he plays Teles and Jazzmasters.

These guitars aren’t really associated with such a modern metal sound, but rather softer genres like country, blues, and jazz.

His main guitar is his signature Fender Telecaster. It is fairly similar to a standard Tele, with the notable differences being its ebony fretboard and its two EMG active pickups instead of single coils.

He also plays a signature Fender Jazzmaster. It also has an ebony fretboard and EMG active pickups like his signature Tele.

Squier also has a few similar, budget-friendly, guitars Like the Squier Contemporary Jazzmaster which has active EMG-like pickups. Although it doesn’t have active pickups, the Squier Affinity Telecaster is also a great budget option.

Root’s Amps

While Root has used a number of amps throughout his career, in 2008 he switched to Orange amps and they have been his main amps ever since. He has said that he likes Orange amps for their creamy mids, their massive headroom, and Orange’s “less is more” approach.

His amp head is an Orange Rockerverb. A powerful amp that has found its way into the rigs of many modern metal guitarists. The Rockerverb is paired with a 4×12 Orange cabinet to help drive the amps massive power.

If you are looking for something on a budget, you don’t have to look too far. Orange actually has a few excellent budget-friendly amps on offer.

The OR15H and the very popular Terror are both fantastic amp heads that pair great with the 1×12 PPC112 cabinet. And if you are looking for a combo amp, then look no further than the Rocker 32.

Root’s Pedals

Jim Root has a few pedals in his arsenal, but overall, his pedalboard isn’t anything too crazy.

The Electro-Harmonix Nano Small Stone is a phaser pedal that Root says he uses on nearly every Slipknot song. This pedal is used to add color to harmonies and octave parts.

It is a great pedal for any genre, not just metal. The Nano adds a very nice swirl to your guitar sound.

The DigiTech X-Series Synth Wah is used to add some additional flavor to riffs and licks. It can mostly be heard in the song Eyeless. The X-Series can be a bit hard to come by these days, in which case the Electro-Harmonix Micro Q-Tron is a great alternative envelope filter.

Whenever Root wants to give his lead tone a bit of a push, he uses an MXR GT-OD. The GT-OD is a great overdrive pedal that provides a smooth and warm tone without coloring the tone too much.

For delays, Root uses the MXR Carbon Copy. This is a very popular delay pedal due to its wide range of delays to its ease of use. The Carbon Copy can create anything from snappy, slap delays to huge, expansive delays, all at the turn of a dial.

Root’s Amp Settings

Recreating Jim Root’s sound is actually much easier than many other metal and even non-metal guitarists.

If you dial in a modern metal tone, then you are already about a third of the way to achieving the Slipknot guitar tone.

When it comes to Slipknot amp settings, the most important settings are the gain and the bass. Those two settings should be set quite high, almost maxed out. The mids and the treble can be kept at around halfway.

Basic metal settings:

  • Gain – 8
  • Bass – 8
  • Mids – 5
  • Treble – 6

The cleans are a bit more of a scooped mids sound. Bass and treble are turned up, with bass turned up more, and mids turned to less than half.

Clean settings:

  • Bass – 10
  • Mids – 4
  • Treble – 8

All you need to do then is simply adjust the settings according to your amp. There is also a slight variation between songs. Here are the settings for some of Slipknot’s most famous songs.


  • Gain – 8
  • Bass – 9
  • Mids – 5
  • Treble – 6

Before I Forget

  • Gain – 9
  • Bass – 8
  • Mids – 5
  • Treble – 7

The Devil in I

  • Gain – 7
  • Bass – 8
  • Mids – 6
  • Treble – 7

Wait and Bleed

  • Gain – 7
  • Bass – 7
  • Mids – 4
  • Treble – 6

Root’s Strings

To counteract the twangy sound of a Tele and Jazzmaster, while also adding some extra low end to his sound, Jim Root uses heavy gauge strings. He also specifically has his own custom-wound Dunlop strings.

But any Dunlop Heavy Core strings will do just as well. Either .011, .012, or .013 depending on what is comfortable for you.

Root’s Mask

Slipknot is famous for the masks that each musician wears on stage. Their masks are almost just as important as their sound.

If you want to truly recreate Jim Root’s guitar sound, I would argue that you need a mask as well. Something unique, and intimidating, but is also a great representation of who you are.


Jim Root is well-known in both guitar circles and among Slipknot fans for his ability as a guitar player and a songwriter. It can be argued that without his sound and talents, Slipknot might not have been the band they are today.

And without Slipknot, many other bands might not have existed. Like so many other guitarists before him, Jim Root is the source of inspiration for so many others. That is why understanding his sound is so important, especially if you’re looking to get that much desired Slipknot guitar tone!

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About Dedrich Schafer

Dedrich is a guitar player, songwriter and sound engineer with extensive music production and studio experience. He mostly listens to classic rock and punk bands, but sometimes also likes listening to rap and acoustic songs.

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