There’s this issue of the old, defunct but often awesome Guitar Shop mag I have that runs down Dave Gilmour’s live gear from every period of Pink Floyd. Crazy! Actually too much stuff to put in here, but I had to get something in so here we are.
The thing that kick-started this post is the fact that the solo in “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II” was ampless – at first. Dave said:
The solo in ‘Another Brick in the Wall, Part II’ was done straight into the board. After it was recorded, the signal was then put through an amplifier to add that kind of amp tone.
Recording direct apparently was a rarity for him, and too bad he didn’t say what the amp was.
Here we go. Gilmour fans check me on this.
> ’79 black Strat, ’62 neck with rosewood board, DiMarzio pickups. According to the excellent site Gilmourish.com, in ’76 David installed a “DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup with black cover. The pickup is featured on Animals (album and tour), David’s 1978 solo album and live promo clips and The Wall (album only).” DiMarzio still makes the FS1 and says “it’s louder (about 25% more power) than a stock single-coil, and smoother and fatter-sounding all-round.”
> Guitar had a switch that allowed him to turn on the neck pickup at any time, though he says: “I use the treble pickup virtually all the time.”
> For tuning stability he screwed down the six screws on the top of the Fender trem faceplate as far as they would go because “he felt this kept the bar in better tune,” according to Guitar Shop.
> He used three trem springs in the studio, but four live.
> Strat was shielded.
> 10-gauge Ernie Ball or Gibson Sonomatic strings.
> Herco heavy picks.
Gilmour is kind of an effects nut. Here’s what his effects looked like at the time (late ’70s), according to Guitar Shop:
> Electro-Harmonix Big Muff
> MXR Phase 90
> EH Electric Mistress flanger
> Orange Treble/Bass Booster
> Arbiter Fuzz Face
> “custom tone pedal”
Doesn’t say what order the pedals were in, but that’s because it might not matter. “Each effect could be individually bypassed or configured in any sequence, and there were three outputs for various amps.
“This is almost like today’s MIDI rack processors…using old analog technology.”
The Guitar Shop article says Gilmour liked to dial in a good clean tone, then get it dirty with stomp boxes. Assume that’s why he has two “fuzz” units: The Big Muff was actually supposed to be a distortion box that provided singing sustain, and seems to have been used on The Wall.
Gilmour also used a Maestro Rover, a Leslie-type effect.
> Guitar Shop says David used two 100w Marshall stacks, but Gilmourish makes no mention of these (except for a ’60s Marshall plexi (Super Lead) on the Animals tour. Instead the site talks about Gilmour’s famous Hiwatts: “…three Hiwatt heads (two mains and one spare) powering four WEM cabs. He also had a Mesa/Boogie head, which he used as a pre-amp for overdrives set up in a send/return chain to the pedal board.”
> Two 200w Yamaha Leslie amps with WEM 4x12s. According to Gilmourish.com, the cabs were “WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinets with Fane Crescendo speakers with metal dust caps.” Believe these were 100w or possibly 80w speakers (per speaker).
> “David experimented with various Fender Twins and Mesa/Boogies.”
> He told Guitar Shop, “I’ve found that if you use a big amp, it only works in big rooms. And little amps work in little rooms. Most of the tones that sound like that come from fairly large amplifiers in fairly large rooms. But I’ve got tiny Fender amps that sound positively enormous if you get them in the right place. It’s quite amazing.”
Is there anyone here who’s weak?
[Believe the Tele-looking guitar is his ’55 Fender Esquire with custom neck pickup, given to him by Seymour Duncan.]