PDA

View Full Version : Robert Cray gear question...


gitarboy
06-24-2007, 10:02 PM
Hey,
Anybody seen him live... is he playing lead thru the two Clubmans and rhythm thru a vibro-king or visa versa... also I'm assuming no pedals... :AOK

Thanks,
Steve

big mike
06-24-2007, 10:14 PM
Mr.Hanky's band just played with them, and i believe that's what he relayed.

ReddRanger
06-24-2007, 11:29 PM
I think he's got two Peavey Valve verbs in a rack as well. I think his website still lays out his gear set up.

Timmo
06-25-2007, 08:31 AM
This is what is so cool about tone/gear and makes the world go'round..............I have always HATED Robert Cray's tone!

I mean, it really makes me cringe...........:nono :D

BadAssBill
06-25-2007, 08:52 AM
I saw him live about 2 years ago...in the front row so that I really couldn't even hear much of the rest of the band. It was interesting just watching the guy do a show and hear almost nothing but him...one of the truly great players, writers, and singers of our time.

meterman
06-25-2007, 02:30 PM
This is what is so cool about tone/gear and makes the world go'round..............I have always HATED Robert Cray's tone!

I mean, it really makes me cringe...........:nono :D

I'm not a fan of his recorded tone, a bit sterile sounding to me. However I recently saw him open for Clapton & Derek Trucks and he sat in on Old Love, my god his tone and playing sent chills through the whole crowd it seemed. Definitely a tone meister live, fat, clean, sustaining, punchy, very expressive and he really worked the notes hard....

TimH
06-25-2007, 02:52 PM
I saw him on the Clapton tour and his live tone was the best of the 4 monsters...perhaps Trucks' tone was as good but so different it was hard to judge. I agree, big,punchy, glassy cleanish tone and great for his style.

hogy
06-25-2007, 02:58 PM
He sounded much better when he was playing Super Reverbs.

fe911
06-25-2007, 03:20 PM
I saw him play years ago with a boogie mark II. Couldn't get close enough to really see. Saw him a few years later with a fender. I thought he sounded exactly the same through both. As far as the Super Reverb,,, we all sound better through those!!!! I don't think people realize what a great live amp that is. One of the truly great penetrators!! Just a pain to be right in front of and lug around!!

monstermike
06-25-2007, 04:02 PM
The "Leslie" styled effect is actually a custom tube stereo vibrato made by his tech - it's the fabled circuit from a Magnatone amp. The Valverbs supply reverb and trem to the Matchless pair, and his delay is a fairly new addition.

I seem to remember reading that the Matchless amps are used for the clearer, glassier stuff (and the stereo vibrato, of course) and the Vibro King is for the dirtier, more direct tones. I could be wrong, though.

I do kind of miss the blackface Super/Twin combination he was using in the early 90's - just the sheer clarity and impact of every note - but I like his squishier recent tones, too, and his touch is so unspeakably great that it's not like it bothers me either way. He's one of my favorites of all time, and one of my biggest influences.

GearHeadFred
06-25-2007, 05:39 PM
I saw video of him on PBS playing at Clapton's Crossroads festival.. Many guitar "giants" were there.. Santana, Gibbons, John Meyer, Joe Walsh, Buddy Guy, EC himself... but Robert Cray played a song - I've forgotten the title - but I have never seen anyone *anyone* convey more raw emotion then he did in that performance.. Absolutely awesome!

mad dog
06-25-2007, 07:28 PM
Robert is one of the most exciting players I've ever seen live. Me, I love his sound, really appreciate his unique voice on the strat. He reminds me of Taj Mahal in a way. Both of them "sing" out licks on the guitar, and both project heavy emotional power on stage.

CocoTone
06-25-2007, 08:21 PM
Robert is one of the most exciting players I've ever seen live. Me, I love his sound, really appreciate his unique voice on the strat. He reminds me of Taj Mahal in a way. Both of them "sing" out licks on the guitar, and both project heavy emotional power on stage.

Man, two of my favourite players mentioned in one post. You sir, have taste up the wazoo! TajMahal is the future elder statesman of the blues, and Cray made just about everyone at that Crossroads festival look like punks, cept for Buddy!!

CT.

gitarboy
06-25-2007, 09:56 PM
Guys,
Thanks for the responses... I specifically like the lead tone on his latest live CD the very last song on CD #2... I'm thinkin' it's the Vibro-King... but not sure. I'd be looking to get that tone in a smaller amp... any ideas, it's spanky, honky, with sustain but not much dirt...

Steve :drool

goodtone
06-26-2007, 09:21 AM
I saw Robert about a year ago and he was playiing through 2 clubmans and had a great sound. I think I read somewhere that Jimmy Vaughn used two Fender Super Reverbs for his sound years back and became a Matchless Clubman man himself.

hogy
06-26-2007, 09:31 AM
Yes, three guys whose playing and tone I used to absolutely adore went from Supers/Twins to newer amps, and all of them lost some of that great tone..

Jimmy Vaughn, Anson Funderburgh, Robert Cray, am I forgetting any?

jpastras
02-04-2008, 10:44 PM
I don't think he's lost anything with the new rig. Just different, and a great sound.

To the poster who mentioned digging the sound on the very last track on disc 2 of "Live from Across The Pond" - I think you might get that tone in a small package from a tweed deluxe with a 12ay7 in it.

Cray is my favorite player, bar none.

slider313
02-05-2008, 08:15 AM
I saw him on the Clapton tour and his live tone was the best of the 4 monsters...perhaps Trucks' tone was as good but so different it was hard to judge. I agree, big,punchy, glassy cleanish tone and great for his style.

+1 Totally agree.

6stringdavey
03-07-2009, 10:52 PM
I saw him at the Doheny Blues festival last summer and he was using Matchless. The PA went out during his set and he didn't miss a beat going into an unbelievable jam for about 15 minutes while they fixed it. Needless to say it was unbelievable. I will say that he is a soul singer first who happens to be a great guitar player versus most people who are guitarist first and mediocre singers second.

In Tune
03-07-2009, 11:56 PM
:bow+100 on Robert Cray!!!!! I would spend my cash to see him any day over Mayer. Not near enough love for the Crayster IMHO>:bow

daddyo
03-07-2009, 11:59 PM
I've got tickets for his April show here:)

douglong
03-08-2009, 12:36 AM
I have tickets to see him this Tuesday. Looking forward to it.

MightyGuru
03-08-2009, 01:04 AM
Young Bob is The Man on so many levels. Total mancrush on him.

Waxhead
03-08-2009, 01:43 AM
:bow+100 on Robert Cray!!!!! I would spend my cash to see him any day over Mayer. Not near enough love for the Crayster IMHO>:bow

+1 :bow

nmontz
03-08-2009, 09:27 AM
GearHeadFred.....This song at crossroads? Time makes two....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h53va2AIuYU

I like this clip too....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVuuh9Byvmw

Robert was the first blues show I ever saw when I was 14 or so. I went out and bought a strat right after that. I've seen him live about 10 or so times and met him once or twice. Robert will always be one of my favorite musicians.

To get back on the gear side....when I saw him open for clapton. He came back and played "Crossroads" with EC. Robert didn't use his usual rig but played on a single tweed twin on the side of the stage. His tone was massive to say the least. Sounded huge compaired to EC and Bramhall II. I imagine Robert sounds good on just about anything.

sanhozay
03-08-2009, 09:38 AM
His vibrato is fantastic! His sound can fatigue after awhile because he plays so clean and that damn strat sound becomes an onslaught of bell tones. But his playing when compared to others is always amazingly fat, yet delicate and full of dynamics.

sanhozay
03-08-2009, 09:43 AM
Oh, and I think his Matchless tone kills the Super Reverb tone. His notes benefit from a little more girth & fur. That airy, punchy Super Reverb and Strat tone after 90 minutes can feel like your ears are being peeled away like an onion. Sorry, but somebody should tell the blues players this. Yeah, step on a pedal on turn it down!

sanhozay
03-08-2009, 09:44 AM
And...that voice! Holly Shit! What a voice!

jumpnblues
03-08-2009, 09:58 AM
Yes, three guys whose playing and tone I used to absolutely adore went from Supers/Twins to newer amps, and all of them lost some of that great tone..

Jimmy Vaughn, Anson Funderburgh, Robert Cray, am I forgetting any?


hogy,

Just curious, do you think all of them lost some of their great tone or do you just prefer their past guitar tone? I personally still like Jimmy's and Robert's tones a lot. Do I like them better than their prior tones? Robert's, yes. Jimmy's not necessarily, but I like it just as well. I liked Robert's past tone but thought it was a little thin sounding vs his current sound.
Anson's tone is a little more complex for me. I like his live Dr.Z tone about as well as his Super Reverb tones. Live, his Dr.Z sounds gorgeous. But recordings don't seem to capture that tone very well. So, I prefer his SR tones on recordings. I would really like to see Anson try the new Dr.Z EZG-50 blackface clone or perhaps an Allen or Headstrong SR clone.
I know Anson and he doesn't want to return to a vintage SR as they don't travel well and his old ones required a lot of maintenance. Thus my suggestions for a boutique, SR clone. I've read a lot of very positive comments on the new Dr.Z EZG-50, but not heard one myself except for clips. Anyway, I enjoyed your post.


Tom

In Tune
03-08-2009, 10:07 AM
And...that voice! Holly Shit! What a voice!

The dude has got Soul....UH HUH.... UH HUH :bow

2tone
03-08-2009, 11:35 AM
I'm a big Robert Cray fan. I first saw him touring around the Northwest blues circuit. He played old Ampeg Gemini's and a 335 and a Les Paul. No strat or Super..those came later, and the sound had a cleaner,leaner punch and articulation. But my favorite era was the Gemini's with the Gibsons...Totally raw, rich, and the songs were more low down and dirty!This was beofre he became widely known..

GearHeadFred
03-08-2009, 11:46 AM
GearHeadFred.....This song at crossroads? Time makes two....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h53va2AIuYU

That's it.. The poor YouTube quality robs a lot from this performance. I purchased the DVD of this concert and it's MUUCH better. I don't care for the tone on the 2nd clip nearly as much. Just my opinion.

SanJozay - I respectfully disagree.. No pedal on earth can sound like a cranked Super Reverb! I run a Hot Plate (attenuator) with mine.. It's a much better method of controlling the volume on a tube amp, IMHO.

FenderBigot
03-08-2009, 11:55 AM
I saw him open for Huey Lewis & The News in the 80s when "Strong Persuader" was a hit... he blew them off the stage! I've appreciated him ever since... a true bluesman, that's why you don't see him stepping on pedals. BUT... I don't really like is tone as much today as when he was playing through Fender amps a few years ago... to each his own.

docmh
03-08-2009, 12:21 PM
I love Robert's playing and tone. He has his own style for sure. I saw him last year, and he was using the 2 Clubmans and the Vibro-King. His tone was awesome. Real clean and sparkly. You could hear every note
crystal clear. I'm kind of tired of hearing all overdriven, distorted guitar sounds these days, so it's real refreshing to me to hear a stellar clean tone. I love how he he plays all these great rhythm parts behind his vocals, not just straight chording, which is hard to do if you're singing at the same time, and he's got that great Gospel, Sam Cook style voice on top of that. Plus he's a great songwriter. Whew! His live album Across the
Pond shows off his playing, tone, singing and band really well. It's one of my favorites.

jumpnblues
03-08-2009, 02:18 PM
Oh, and I think his Matchless tone kills the Super Reverb tone. His notes benefit from a little more girth & fur. That airy, punchy Super Reverb and Strat tone after 90 minutes can feel like your ears are being peeled away like an onion. Sorry, but somebody should tell the blues players this. Yeah, step on a pedal on turn it down!



I can appreciate what you're saying re the Fender ultra clean tones. I had a Matchless Clubman 35 head and cab and thought it had a great blues tone. In fact, I wish I still had one. Very versatile amp, very pretty, "organic", and "woody" tone. My fav EL-34 amp. They tend to give people who use them a unique tone. That's why I think they make a superb blues amp. One of the most touch sensitive amps I've ever had. I think they're great and for me would be one of my top 5 or 6 "desert island amps". Having said all that, I'm head-over-heels in love with my Louis Electric Tremblelux and KR-10/12, and being a tweed guy I'm not about to trade or sell them. But I'd sure like to once again have a Clubman to complement them.


Tom

moonpieface
03-08-2009, 08:44 PM
another fan here. i saw robert last september after he had done his across the pond cd, in a small venue. i was not able to catch him when he was on tour with eric. such a fat bouncy sound. he was playing through a vibro-king sandwiched in between two matchless clubmans.

darrenwatson
03-08-2009, 10:29 PM
I opened for Cray on his 1987 and 1988 tours of New Zealand. He was a monster of tone.
The first show we did his amps hadn't arrived and they made him play through a Roland JC120 4x10!!??!! I SWEAR he still sounded killer! It's in his hands, man.

And the singing!??!!! The best. That's all.

david90678
10-01-2012, 01:31 PM
Matchless Amplifiers

WesWagner
10-01-2012, 01:38 PM
Isn't he using an hd500 straight into the pa nowadays?

LARRY GERSHON
10-01-2012, 01:42 PM
What incarnation of clubman's is he using, i think they went thru several incarnations tube wise, just curious.

jayn
10-01-2012, 01:55 PM
Yes, three guys whose playing and tone I used to absolutely adore went from Supers/Twins to newer amps, and all of them lost some of that great tone..

Jimmy Vaughn, Anson Funderburgh, Robert Cray, am I forgetting any?

Totally agree - although, I'd still go to see any of them if the chance arises...

I see Richard Cousins is back with the band too - they lost a lot of groove, IMO, when he left in the 90's. Good to hear...

Samsun19
10-01-2012, 01:57 PM
What incarnation of clubman's is he using, i think they went thru several incarnations tube wise, just curious.

For several years, Cray stayed with the early octal pre amp Clubman.... 6sh7 According to a conversation I had with Phil, many years ago....

Not sure if Cray ever switched to a 12ax7 version or not.

I saw him with the octal's and his tone was fab....

LARRY GERSHON
10-01-2012, 02:00 PM
What is the deal with that pre amp tube 6sh7- never heard it used in anything else?

Samsun19
10-01-2012, 02:15 PM
Sampson wanted to use an octal.... As you probably know, octals were used in several amps from the 50's... He chose the 6sh7, because it was a very popular tube, in radios or tv's, so there was a large supply of the 6sh7, and were inexpensive.

The original Clubman was a ata6, 6sh7, 12ax7 pre-amp section... And was an amazing sounding amp, not quite like any other amp made before.... with it's own voice.

The problem was the 6sh7 could go microphonic.... Matchless grew tired of explaining to complaining customers, that was just the way it was.... So they ended up with the ef86, and 2 12ax7's that's still current... since, late 1994....

I owned the original version, and chose not to upgrade it.... The 6sh7 Clubman is still my favorite....

playthecray
10-01-2012, 06:09 PM
Guitar: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster
Amps: 2 Matchless / Clubman 35
1 Fender / Vibroking
Rack: Zack Manufacturing / Vibroman 1.0
TC Electronics / 2290
Samson / Wireless
Peavy / Valveverb
Korg / DTR-1 Tuner


I am have seen Robert live several times. He always sounds amazing. I love Jim Pugh on keys as well.