Even though it’s the Year of the Tiger, here’s another Ratt post – this time on Robbin Crosby, who died some years ago of drug addiction. This info, from the April 1987 Guitar Player, is not comprehensive gear-wise but sheds some light on his sound and on what he and Warren used on Dancing Undercover.
All quotes are Robbin’s.
“First we tried plugging everything into everything, and running it through this, that and the other. On Dancing Undercover we went through about 20 Marshall heads and as many old bottoms as we had. We tried vintage Celestions, the 30-watts, and Electro-Voices.
“Finally we came up with three or four good amps and really only one cabinet – an old, beat-up, funky Marshall with 25-watt Celestions. It just has that twang to it, that classic Marshall sound.
“So rather than the high-tech stuff, we both plug straight into a good little Marshall amp for most of the album. We didn’t over-process, over-equalize or do anything to it.”
“I own a lot of guitars, but only a few that are of any value. My ’58 Gibson Flying V is my pride and joy. I got that last year.”
For recording “I use the same guitar that I use live. In the past and on this record, it’s always been that Jackson [Firebird shape]. I used to prefer my red Flying V-shaped one, but I switched over to the Firebird-style body. For some reason, it just sounds a whole lot better. [Many folks have noted that different guitar body shapes have different tonal characteristics.]
“I use Seymour Duncan’s Allan Holdsworth pickup [described on the Duncan forum as "similar to an Alnico 2 JB model with two rows of screws," but they don't make it anymore. It's got a double row of screws in it. If I can't get those, I use a regular Jeff Beck model.
"In the past I leaned towards wide necks, just for the spread of the strings [bear in mind that Robbin was 6' 6" tall]. But my new guitars have a little more standard neck size, and I think that I play them better.
“I don’t mind if a neck is a little bit flat, as long as it’s wide enough. I don’t like my action too low, and I only use Floyd Rose whammies. The Kahler is too flimsy for me. I have the Floyds butted down so they can’t go up. I rest my hand on the bridge sometimes, so I can’t really have it floating.”
> Influences: In the GP interview, Robin twice mentioned trying to sound like Billy Gibbons style-wise. He also noted that two shred guitarists in one band was not a good idea, in his opinion.
> Writing: “Stephen [Pearcy, singer] is a pretty good guitarist, so he comes up with some of the initial riffs. Warren and myself come up with them too. Usually either Stephen or myself will come up with the initial riff on guitar….”