Early Billy Gibbons tone from a pedal? LaGrange didn't quite get it IMHO.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Burstbucker, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Burstbucker

    Burstbucker Member

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    Don't get me wrong, the Bogner LaGrange is a nice sounding overdrive, I have one on my board.....BUT.....it isn't capable of getting those old, old early ZZ Top sounds found on their first three or four albums.

    Billy's guitar tone on those records has an almost fuzzy sound blended in with that good old tube crunch that we all love. Very interesting guitar tone!

    But no matter what gear that I've gone through over the last twenty years, none of it has THAT sound. It's a real mystery to me.

    I had a Fuzzy Drive pedal years ago, that was cool but wasn't really in the same ballpark.

    Any ideas out there on how to get the Reverend's old 70s tone?
     
  2. flyingmusicman

    flyingmusicman Member

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    Have you tried a Tweed Deluxe?
     
  3. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    Did he use guitar pedals to get those sounds?

    The idea of getting those cranked amp sounds from a pedal is that the pedal does the job of approximating what happens between a player, guitar and amp. It's never going to be perfect.

    Les Paul and a cooking 5e3 will get you in the ballpark.
     
  4. Stratburst70

    Stratburst70 Member

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    Keeley 1962x?

    Any old-school MIAB should get you in the ballpark as long as you have a PAF-loaded Les Paul or vintage-style Strat.
     
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  5. Burstbucker

    Burstbucker Member

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    No, actually I've never tried a tweed Deluxe. I'm guessing that it's an amp that can get dirty when cranked?

    I have a 70s Twin Reverb loaded with a pair if Weber VST California 12" speakers, a real Clean Machine!

    Then I have two old Traynor YBA-1 BassMaster 50 watt heads, a 1970 and a 1972, awesome Bassman/early Marshall tones but way loud when pushed.

    I also have an Orange Tiny Terror 112 combo, a cool little amp that has a pretty awesome crunch tone.

    But despite all of that great gear and countless pedals, I've never really ever gotten that old Gibbons guitar tone. I've gotten some great tones but nothing really close to that early ZZ Top tone
     
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  6. flyingmusicman

    flyingmusicman Member

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    I highly recommend trying a 5e3 (tweed deluxe) whenever you get the chance. The cool thing is that you can find them a lot of places from kits to small builders to specialty shops, but be aware that a lot of builders employ at least one or two mods. I'm a huge fan of a stock 5e3 circuit through the proper speaker (Jensen P12Q or P12R). I know what you mean about having difficulty getting THAT tone, and until I got my 5e3 I'd been using a couple of bassman circuits, 50 and 100 watt marshalls, among others, and never really nailed it; the 5e3 really tied the room together! I'd focus on the amp and not an amp-like 5e3 pedal to get Gibbons' early sound. Try it with a Tele and Les Paul, I think you'll be in heaven. :)
     
  7. HeavyCream

    HeavyCream Member

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    I would look into Tweed and Brownface pedals. I’m looking at the CTC Falcon as a next purchase for the same reason, early Rev. If you got the bucks, sure, just get a Tweed Deluxe. Gunna get pretty loud, though. You still might want a good Tweed pedal, or an attenuator.

    AFA a MIAB for BG, MP Loud N Proud. It’s kinda like La Grange but has more of a 4-holer, descendant of Tweed Marshall attitude. I’m very much enjoying mine. It can do all kinds of other stuff too. Clapton, Page, Hendrix, Green, .......
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  8. doc

    doc Member

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    Get an attenuator and use one of your Traynors cranked up. Should be lots closer than any pedal out there.
     
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  9. Dr.Picklebottom

    Dr.Picklebottom Member

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    his tone is all over the place, song to song on the same album, much less over his career.

    hes a perfect example of the player sounding like him regardless of what he was using.
    hes a story teller, he loves making up lies about what he did to get tones.

    it wouldnt surprise me if he just walked into a studio, picked up a guitar, and started playing while the engineers tried a few amps and recorded w/ o even knowing what has was playing through.

    just find a nice sounding low gain marshall sounding tone and stop worrying about it. knowing what i do about ourselves, youve probably got the right gear, youve just got it set up w too much gain. wild guess, though.
     
  10. GenoVox

    GenoVox Member

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    Pedal-wise.....

    [​IMG]


    Amp-wise... THIS:
    When I first got my SV20 and played my PRS through it, the first big "revelation" moment was, "Whoa! Early Billy Gibbons tone!". Quite a treat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  11. Burstbucker

    Burstbucker Member

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    Dang. I just missed out on a good used one about a month ago, it was a Weber 100 watt mass attenuator.

    Totally kicking myself for dropping the ball on that deal.
     
  12. JK1965

    JK1965 Silver Supporting Member

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    The early ZZ Top tone that you are talking about in a lot of cases a Fender 6g3 Brownface Deluxe. That was his secret weapon in the studio as it has that Marshally thing going on but also it’s own thing. They are very middy amps. Thick n chewy.
    They are simple volume/tone circuits and at 18 watts they sound massive.
     
  13. Patrick B

    Patrick B Member

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    I have read the same thing about George Thorogood. He never knew what amp he was recording with because the amps were in a different room. He would walk into the studio, plug in and record without knowing what he was using.
     
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  14. ChristianDK

    ChristianDK Member

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    Mythos Chupacabra aims at the sound of the first couple of ZZ Top records.

     
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  15. tonedover

    tonedover Supporting Member

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  16. tonedover

    tonedover Supporting Member

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    Best ive done is a good tweed pedal for that billy gibbons / neil young in my head
     
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  17. Burstbucker

    Burstbucker Member

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    That Mythos pedal looks interesting but pretty scarce.

    I think that there's an old Marshall Power Brake for sale at a local pawnshop, maybe I should check to see if it's still there but it would have to be able to work with 8 ohms as that is what I have for speaker outputs on my old Traynors.

    Not sure how well an old Power Brake would stack up next to something like that Weber100 watt Mass attenuator that I just missed out on.
     
  18. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    The Trombetta Bone (Bosstone type) fuzz pedals get a really good ZZ type sound. Lotsa character. Also the Rockett WTF which is based on those. Probably other Bosstone variants too.
     
  19. gproud

    gproud Member

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    Something Tweed/Brownface-ish will help get you there. I can cop a pretty decent Gibbons-esque tone with an OCD (v1.4) on LP mode and the drive around 1-2 o'clock into the clean channel of my Traynor YGL2. Low output humbuckers are key to it as well IMO...
     
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