Rig Report

Dweezil Zappa

  • By Sarah FitzGerald @tonereport
  • February 11, 2014

EFFECTS (and, erm, AMPS!)

{for a slideshow of all of Dweezil's effects gear, visit the digital Tone Report Magazine on the web}

For Zappa Plays Zappa, Dweezil needs an extremely flexible platform so he can recreate a huge variety of tones—and the heart of his rig on this tour is built around two Fractal Axe FX IIs. You might think that he has two because one is a backup—but you’d be wrong. The Fractals are each paired up with a set of stereo monitors—Dweezil doesn’t use traditional amps on this tour; instead he uses the amp models inside the Fractal. Each Fractal can be run in stereo or in mono, set to just output to either right or left (Dweezil often sends them to one side only to help maximize each unit’s DSP).


Though the Fractals are capable of almost anything, Dweezil is still a pedal nerd like the rest of us, and he has two pedal rigs at his disposal. In addition to simply wanting to draw from a variety of tonal sources, Dweezil has a tendency to run out of DSP on his Fractals so using external pedals helps him save on processing inside the Fractal units. His main pedalboard down front includes his foot controllers for the Fractal units—an MFC-101 for switching and a pair of volume pedals and pair of expression pedals that pair up with each Fractal. The other pedals on this board are pedals that are fed into both Fractal units:


·      Polytune Mini

·      SolidGold Funkzilla

·      Paul Trombetta Tornita

·      TWA Triskelion

·      SolidgoldFX Electro Man

·      TWA Triskelion

·      Wampler Dual Fusion

·      Solidgold Zeta Drive

·      Toneconcepts Distillery

·      MFC-101 foot controller

·      4 expression pedals

·      Dunlop Wah

·      Dedicated expression pedal for tremolo

Dweezil has a second board atop his stage monitors that holds pedals that he routes to one Fractal or the other using an RJM Effect Gizmo for routing and switching. This board includes:

·      3 Eventide H9s

·      Wampler Velvet Fuzz

·      Zen Drive

·      Line 6 Dynamo Flange (custom built for DZ)

·      Pigtronix Quantum Time Modulator

·      Paul Trombotta Rotobone (2)

·      COG Effects Tarkin

·      SolidGoldFX Rosie


Using this set up, Dweezil gets every tone he needs and though the rig is a little more complicated than your garden variety club rig, it’s also strangely beautiful in it’s overall simplicity—which is weirdly perfect considering it’s being used to recreate the complicated but strangely beautiful music of Frank Zappa.

Tone Report thanks Dweezil Zappa and crew for their time and overall awesomeness. The Zappa Plays Zappa tour continues through March 2014—if you have a chance to go check out this rig in person, we highly recommend it.

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  1. fano boss

    Dweezil is underrated and under appreciated as a musical genius

  2. Reuben Marks

    Back in the old days (1972) I was more familiar with Captain Beefheart than Frank Zappa, but I do have a few albums by Zappa. The only way to familiarize yourself with Frank Zappa is to listen to Frank Zappa. He was a great musician and imitated no one.

  3. Jeff

    Yeah, u r riight about this, it’s been a while since last time i read a post i like so much! I am just totally agree with you!! Keep writing on! Thank you for your post!!

  4. Yadi

    Conferi, curti, e sempre adeimri Zappapai e o Zappafilho. Falando em lembrar, nos idos da pedra lascada da internet, me lembro que rolou uma animae7e3o do Don t Eat ... que fim tere1 tido?Valeu, estemo bom gosto cara![]s

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