Brian Bell's equipment

From Weezerpedia
The original (now stolen) '63 SG Melody Maker.

Brian Bell's Equipment has gone through many changes over the years, this page exists to list in detail the equipment that's been used in the past and present. Much of this article is derived and adapted from the old Weezer Equipment History Page on and was originally written by Karl Koch.


Pat playing Brian's yellow Kapa Challenger, 1994
Brian with his Fender Thinline, 1996
Brian playing his Gibson Les Paul Jr. on the music video for The Good Life
Brian's Les Paul Custom. Hultsfred Festival, 2001
Brian playing a Gibson ES-330
Brian playing his Epiphone Hummingbird. 2008
Brian playing the George Harrison Tele, 2019
Brian playing his Gibson Explorer, 2020

Pre Weezer

According to Brian on a Guitar World interview in 2017[citation needed], his first guitar was a Ibanez Roadstar II, this line of guitars was discontinued in 1991.

I wish I was lucky enough to start on a Gibson guitar. My first guitar was an Ibanez Roadstar II that I bought with my own money. I kind of wish that I had that guitar still, it was more of a Strat shape.

Brian Bell, [citation needed]

1993: Blue

Brian joined the band in the fall of 1993, halfway into the recording of the Blue Album. While none of Brians equipment is included in the album (Rivers re-recorded all of Jason Cropper's parts due to lack of time) he was playing a red 1963 Gibson SG Melody Maker at the time. According to Karl, the SG had a missing tremolo bar assembly and the headstock had the early rectangular shape. The pickups are believed to be Seymour Duncan Hot Rails.

The only modifications this guitar had were the tuning pegs, which Brian had replaced with locking tuners.

Before Weezer, I had a Gibson Melody Maker, which had an SG shape. I used to use a wound G-string, because tuning issues on the G-string have always been problematic. But just the weight of a wound G-string kind of hurt my finger after a while, so I switched that to a standard G-string.

Brian Bell, [citation needed]

Anyway, Brian has said it was a '63, while some folks insist its a '66. In any case, it had a very low 4 digit serial number (possibly #1030?) so it was old.

Karl Koch, [citation needed]

During this time Brian would also acquire a yellow Kapa Challenger that would not be used live. According to Karl, the guitar ended up being gifted to Brian's sister.

1993: After Blue

To replace the Kapa Challenger, Brian picked up a solid aluminum necked Travis Bean.

1995: Spring/Summer Touring

When both the Red SG and the Travis Bean were stolen from Brian, he picked up a Fender Thinline, which he usually used live for Surf Wax America, among other songs.

1996: USA

In '96, Brian started using a 1996 sunburst Fender Stratocaster which he still uses to this day. He also started using a Gibson Les Paul Jr. Double Cut, which can be seen in the music video for The Good Life.

2000: USA/Japan

When the band reconviened in 2000, Brian started using Rivers' old Gibson Les Paul Jr., as well as Rivers original back-up guitar, the 1994 Maroon Gibson SG. For his clean sound, Brian used a Fender Vibro King.

2000-01: Green Album

For the recording of the Green album Brian used Ric Ocaseks 1960 Gibson SG and Bobby Schneck's 1979 Gibson ES-335TD into a Vox AC 30 amp, for Island in the Sun and Knock-down Drag-out.

2001: Hooptie Tour

The band made some significant changes to their touring gear at the start of the Hooptie Tour, in order to adapt to extreme constraints of storage space and tour budget, as this tour was entirely a money-losing promotional thing. Some very compact gear was invested in, which would more than save money by eliminating the need for a huge truck. After much experimentation, the guitar techs recommended trying the Line 6 "POD" system, which is basically a very modern "virtual amplifier" which actually sounds really good, unlike the many rackmount systems of thew past which always sounded like a bad computer trying to copy an ampo sound (which is really what they were) The Pod actually DOES sound like real amplifier, so despite the extreme reservations of the band, they were tried out in rehearsals, and were an instant hit! So Rivers and Brian each got a guitar pod, and Mikey got a bass pod. The strange thing about the POD system is the POD's are kept offstage where the guitar tech's can service them if needed, so there is literally nothing on stage except the drum kit! The sound is sent directly from the POD's to the PA system, eliminating the need for speaker cabinets with microphones trained on them.

Karl Koch, [citation needed]

For songs in E tuning, Brian kept using the 1995 maroon Gibson SG and a mid 70s Gibson Les Paul Jr. (both previously used by Rivers.)

He also acquired a 1972 cream colored Gibson SG Custom.

2005: Make Believe Tour

A Gibson Les Paul Junior Special J-90 in red was used during the Make Believe Tour. Other guitars of this time were the previously used Gibson Les Paul and Brian's Fender Stratocester.

2007: Album 7 Sessions

Brian acquired a red Gibson ES-330 with dog tag P90 single coil pickups that started showing up in pictures while the band was recording the Red Album. The guitar showed up again for the live debut of The End of the Game at Jimmy Kimmel Live.

2008: TV Appearances

For the 2008 MTV Live session of Thought I Knew we can see Brian playing an Epiphone Hummingbird with an additional pick up over the scarf hole. This guitar also shows up in the Video Game Awards performance of The Greatest Man That Ever Lived.

2010: Raditude and Hurley touring

Brian used a Gibson ES-355 on these tours.


On January 8th Brian shared a picture on Instagram playing a 1954 Gibson J200 acoustic guitar with the caption: Acoustics and espresso... This song is coming along!

2014: Weezer Cruise

During the Weezer Cruise, he started using a Gibson SG Original, and the Gibson SG Explorer previously owned by Rivers Cuomo.

2014: Everything Will Be Alright in the End

During the recording process, Brian used a butterscotch Fender Telecaster American Standard.

2015: Touring through the USA

Brian used a Gibson Les Paul in sundburst and a Gibson SG in white during that tour. A Gibson Explorer with a silver glitter impact board was also used.

2016: White Album Tour

On this tour, Brian is using two Gibson Explorer guitars, a typical Hard Rock guitar. One is white with a black impact board, the other one is completely black with a white impact board. It seems he also used his Fender Telecaster Thinline.

He has also used a sunburst Harmony Rocket H59 from the 60s.

2018-19: Black Album tour

On March 27 Brian uploaded a video to Instagram testing a prototype of a Fender Custom George Harrison Tribute Telecaster, he then posted on April 6th that he bought it and was later seen on the Black Album tour.


On January Brian posted on his Instagram that he acquired a black 58 Les Paul Custom with the caption: It arrived today! A ‘58 Les Paul Custom. I’m thinking of naming her Franny after Luther’s dog. I can’t wait to unleash her (pun not intended) on our upcoming Hella Mega Tour! This guitar can be seen on the official video for Hero

He also uploaded a video playing classical guitar on an unbranded classical guitar. It is not known how long he's had this guitar.

2021: Hella Mega, Van Weezer, Ok Human

The Sunburst Strat made a comeback and Brian has been using it to play All My Favorite Songs. He mostly uses his two Explorers.

Bringing a very solid, sturdy guitar though, is the right thing to do, so I found that Gibson Explorer has the best of both worlds, a good tone and also a battle ax; you can go to battle with that thing. I like to have one that is used for what we call "Weezer tuning." (...) If I break a string, which I rarely do anymore, then I have a backup, which is another Gibson Explorer.

Brian Bell, [citation needed]


Brian's POD rack. 2001
Brian's pedalboard during the Hooptie Tour in 2001.
Brian's pedalboard in 2010.
Brian's home amp, 2021.

1993: Blue

Brian used a 2x12 Marshall cab and the oddball Mesa Engineering amp that Rivers bought. After Rivers got the Marshall SL-X head, Brian got Rivers' Mesa Enginneering 60-watt (pictured inside the Blue album) as his amp.

1994: Lush Tour

Sometime in late 1994, Brian upgraded to a "tall" Marshall 4x12 of almost the exact same vintage and specifications as Rivers'. He also picked up a vintage Marshall head, a MK2 Master Model 100w Lead dating from the late 70's. The head is still used frequently, in recording especially.

1994: Live Tour

To do the clean sounds of "Jonas" and other songs, Brian started splitting his signal, one going to the Mesa [later Marshall], the other going to a vintage early 70's Fender Twin amp, switching back and forth with a footswitch.

2000: USA/Japan

Brian used a 70's MK2 Marshall through 1 tall Marshall cab.

For his clean sound, Brian used a Fender Vibro King.

2000-01: Green Album

For the recording of the Green Album both Brian and Rivers used several amps and cabs. Karl states that they used: Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amp, Marshall slant 4x12 cabinet w/ 25 watt green back Celestion speakers, Marshall 100w (modified), formerly owned by Warren Dimartini of Ratt and a Marshall slant 4x12 cabinet with 25w green back Celestion speakers.

Note: The Marshall slant 4x12 cabinet w/ 25 watt green back Celestion speakers [reissue of vintage cabinet] became Brian's touring cabinet at this point, post recording.

2001: Outloud Tour

Brian acquired a new cabinet: a 100w (4 speakers of 25w) Marshall "1960", powered by a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier. His MK2 head was his back up.

2001: Hooptie Tour

Brian uses the Schure U4D wireless system, but the signal is sent back to his pedal board before going to the POD. Brian's pedalboard routing goes through the POD footswitch, to a ZVEX Super Hard-on into an Ibanez Tube Screamer, into a TC Electronics chorus flanger, into a Boss GE-7 Graphic Equalizer (set for mid frequency boost, used in Tired of Sex), into a Boss TU-2 tuner, used only as a mute switch. Then the signal goes back to the Line 6 POD Pro.

For his clean sound, Brian is set up with the Tweed Blues sound (similar to a Fender Tweed), but modified, with some mid and gain cut out, making it extra clean sounding. The "dirty" sound is the "Brit Hi Gain" sound, which is essentially a hot rodded Marshall jcm 800. Also, for "Crab" and "Hash Pipe", Brian adds some "vomity" flange effect, via the footswitch.

At this point, everyone switched over to an in-ear monitor system, where tiny wireless headphones are worn by each band member, through which a custom mix is pumped, depending on what the band member requires. This eliminated the need for monitor wedges all over the stage, which made things a lot easier during the Hooptie Tour with its tiny stages. The band has fallen in love with the system (also after major uncertainty and doubts), as they get a much more consistent sound night after night.

Karl Koch, [citation needed]

2010: Raditude and Hurley touring

Brian's 2010 pedalboard included 2 Boss tuners (one for electric and one for acoustic), 2 Boss DS Distorions, an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb, a Boss FS-5L footswitch and a Dunlop Heil Talk Box.

2021: Preparing for Hella Mega

During the months prior to Hella Mega, Brian uploaded several videos of him playing along Van Weezer and OK Human songs, he later posted a picture of his amp on Instagram with the caption: NERD ALERT: If anyone cares, I’m playing through a cheap solid state amp (not plug ins) with built in distortion. Handle’s customized by yours truly.

This amp is a 15w Peavey Rage 158.


Brian behind both his Nord Stage 2 and his REV2

Brian has used a Nord Stage 2 88-Key Stage Keyboard for most of his piano and synth sounds and started using the Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet REV2 since at least 2018-19.


1993: Blue

Brian used GHS Boomer strings, in the TNT gauge, with a wound .24 G string substituted. He has always used Jim Dunlop plain gray pics, from the very thin .38 thickness up to the .73's, usually settling on the .60s.

1997: USA

Brian switched to GHS Boomer .11 gauge strings.

2000: USA/Japan

Around here Brian switched to GHS Boomer .10 gauge strings.


On July 13th 2017 Ernie Ball announced that they had a partnership with Weezer.




See also