Guitar Tech Reveals Dave Murray Is Using Axe-Fx III for Iron Maiden Shows, Details His New Custom Shop Strat

Recently, Iron Maiden shared a new video on their YouTube channel, featuring guitarist Dave Murray’s tech Colin Price. In the video, Colin gave fans a look into Murray’s guitars and rig that the musician is using live with Iron Maiden. Saying how they’ve “had some changes,” Colin first showed Murray’s brand-new Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster, explaining (transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs):

“First of all is our new baby direct from the Fender Custom Shop. It’s an Andrew Hicks, Master Built — who is a lovely man. Alder body, Olympic white [finish].”

And, what’s interesting is that the instrument doesn’t come with the usual expected maple neck. Colin continued:

“Speculation about the neck? It is, in fact, walnut with a rosewood [fret]board. Stainless steel frets, Dave Murray Seymour Duncan-loaded pickguard, available from all good stores.”

Iron Maiden - Davey's Rig

“It’s just a lovely thing. It’s the first brand new guitar we’ve had in a while which he’s playing on, I’d say, 80 percent of the set. It’s that good. Massive thanks to Andy for sorting this out in a very short amount of time. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s a lovely thing.”

Over the years, Dave Murray was most often seen with his Strat in a tobacco burst finish. However, as his tech now explains, this instrument is now taking a backseat. Colin said:

“The tobacco burst is now our number 2. Because this is way over 20 years old and it’s just nice to give it a little bit of a rest. Semi-retirement, I think. But yeah, there she is. Still going strong.”

IRON MAIDEN - Hellfest 2023 - Full Show 17/06

However, the instrument served its purpose as the guys from Fender used its neck measurements to create the new Masterbuilt Custom Shop Strat:

“Also, a big shoutout to Big Red and Billy Siegle from Fender for sorting this out. Because Big Red came along and measured this incredibly thin neck. And he was able to replicate it on the new guitar exactly. So there is no difference between the two.”

During the video presentation, Colin also revealed that Murray is now using two Fractal Audio’s Axe-Fx III Turbo units. These are a departure from Dave’s commonly used Marshall amps, particularly the JMP-1 preamps. Heading over to the rig, Colin said:

“Moving on from the vault, we have our very new and extremely sexy Fractal [Audio] Axe-Fx III Turbos which have now taken over from the 30-year-old Marshall JMP-1s.”

Iron Maiden – The Writing On The Wall (Official Video)

But, funnily enough, Dave is still using the JMP-1 preset on the Axe-Fx:

“We’re just using the JMP-1 setting in there so it’s just a direct copy. More reliable, more flexible, more sexy, more knobs, more flashing lights, what’s not to like?”

As of this moment, Iron Maiden are on their The Future Past Tour where they’re playing some old classics, even giving some of them live debuts. For instance, on their first show of the tour this year, taking place on May 28, the band finally played “Alexander the Great” from the 1986 album “Somewhere in Time.”

Iron Maiden: Alexander The Great Live First Time Ever - Ljubljana, Slovenia 5/28/23

Iron Maiden are also doing a lot of the songs from their latest album, 2021’s “Senjutsu.” Looking back at the album and some lengthy songs that it features, last year, in a chat with Vintage Guitar, Murray said:

“Even from the very first album, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ was seven or eight minutes long. It stems from the start, really, and has continued through the band’s history. A lot of songs, like ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ or ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ are supposed to be that way. They run off and it makes sense with the melodies. You’re creating something that’s building.”

“I think it’s just part of the identity of Iron Maiden; a lot of our albums start with a slow, moody part then jump into an upbeat section. It does vary. And it’s not verse/chorus/verse/chorus. Things go off then come back again! It’s the strength of the guys’ writing. It’s about the songs.”

The Future Past Tour - Opening Night

During this interview, Murray also praised the band’s producer Kevin Shirley:

“Kevin’s a lovely guy and a great producer. He’s got a lot of really good energy and brings it to the album. He’s always encouraging and bringing out the best in everybody. Everything was always on ‘Record,’ so all the magic moments were saved – as well as stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor (laughs)! Especially now with digital (recording). The good thing with Kevin is we get the analog sound using modern technology. He’s amazing.”

Photos: adels (Davemurray), YouTube screenshot


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.