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Billy Gibbons guitar sound?? What does he use?


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When I saw him in concert last summer he was playing a Billy Bo Gretsch through Crate amps. He still sounded like Billy Gibbons.

 

NOTE: I read a post by someone who says the multiple Crate amps on stage were for show and that he actually plays through a Fender amp but I have no way of verifying this. Take with a grain of salt.

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I've always thought that all the amps on stage were show and he actually used a small(ish) tube amp off stage somewhere. His sound seems too consistent for all the diff. amps he's had on stage.

 

But what do I know.

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Listen to the old ZZ Top stuff through a good set of headphones, and you'll hear the multiple (and doubled) guitar parts in the mix, often separated by a wide stereo image. That's part of his "big" sound, too. Gibbons has been notoriously secretive and contradictory about how he gets his tone - check out his book "Rock and Roll Gearhead" for some insight into his equipment, both musical and automotive. Also a nice photographic history of the band.

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Listen to the old ZZ Top stuff through a good set of headphones, and you'll hear the multiple (and doubled) guitar parts in the mix, often separated by a wide stereo image. That's part of his "big" sound, too.

 

Best way, hands down, to listen to old ZZ Top is on vinyl. They really FUCKED up the first few CD releases of their early albums. Even re-recording synth drums over the original mixes and shit.

 

I think CDs of the first 4-5 albums have come out now that are more true to the original recordings Shit, vinyl is the way to go in general, but (IMO) definitely the way to go if you are listening to music that wasn't originally mastered to CD.

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yes its true about the muddy waters house guitar .. im not saying he plays THAT guitar all the time ..(actually they sold it for charity)... just like Jerry Garcia has a guitar whose body is made of an old Chinese opium bed .. talking bout diggin up the mojo .. i need one made from the tusk of an albino elephant then ill sound better ;)

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starclubstern.jpg

 

This Masterbuilt Strat is sold in Hamburg. The star inlay is wood from the stage of the Star Club in Hamburg, where not only the Beatles played but like everyone else and their brothers and sisters. Having said that - a whole body made of wood of the stage would be much cooler wouldn't it?

 

Sorry for hijacking this ... but the talk about guitars made from wood from this or that mojo origin got me distracted.

 

+1 on the Rock'n'Roll Gearhear book ...

 

61DWE0ZEJKL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

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I read an interview once and he said his secret to "big tone" was small 1x12 combo amps. And it's true. I've ran several small 1x12 combos at one time with a splitter and it sounds like God.. With a stack, you get one amp with 4 or 8 mouths.. With 4 or 8 1x12's, you get a choir of slightly different voices. Sounds amazing.

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I read an interview once and he said his secret to "big tone" was small 1x12 combo amps. And it's true. I've ran several small 1x12 combos at one time with a splitter and it sounds like God.. With a stack, you get one amp with 4 or 8 mouths.. With 4 or 8 1x12's, you get a choir of slightly different voices. Sounds amazing.

 

 

Man, what do I owe you for this info bro? I'm planning to put together an amp rig for my bass soon. Do you think this same set-up would apply?

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I read an interview once and he said his secret to "big tone" was small 1x12 combo amps. And it's true. I've ran several small 1x12 combos at one time with a splitter and it sounds like God.. With a stack, you get one amp with 4 or 8 mouths.. With 4 or 8 1x12's, you get a choir of slightly different voices. Sounds amazing.

 

I've been meaning to try that. I have to get a splitter.

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Anyone know what he uses to get that ultra thick tone on songs like Tush and Beer Drinkers/Hell Raisers?

Those albums were Les Paul and Strat, 11s, Plexi Marshalls that he got from Jeff Beck, and whatever effects were lying around. Try to find some of the old Guitar Player interviews from the 70's. Billy used a '55 hardtail Strat a lot, as well as the Strat Jimi gave to him.

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Man, what do I owe you for this info bro? I'm planning to put together an amp rig for my bass soon. Do you think this same set-up would apply?

 

Should apply to most anything, but I think unless yer using an array of 1x15 combos you'd really be limiting yourself. Of course, if I could have an array of 8 Delta Blues 1x15's, I'd be in heaven..

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