• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

What amp should T-Bone Walker should have played?

Jonny D

Member
Messages
1,283
As I couldn't sleep for awhile last night, I listened to the Imperial Recordings of T-Bone Walker. One things really struck me...he could have really benefited from a great amp.

What amp would you have picked to hear him through?
 

Ferret

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,904
I like his sound the way it is. What's missing? I actually like and play 40s style amps. If you think he's missing natural overdrive, you can get that from a Gibson or Supro/Valco style amp if you want it. And Tiny Grimes already provided a precedent, as did some of the live recordings of Charlie Christian. What amps did he actually play?
 

mr tom

Member
Messages
1,289
Maybe a Marshall stack or a Dumbo Stupor Overdrive? Sheesh. (Sorry, OP. I'm one of those strange listeners who thinks T-Bone's recorded legacy could hardly be improved upon.)
 

shinebox

Member
Messages
474
T-Bone would have benefited greatly from a triple rectifier for better bottom end thump with the front end being slammed by a boss metal zone and some tasteful flanging, delay for rhythmic repeats and an auto wah. I curse that era and all the sh•tty gear that came with it
 
Last edited:
Messages
14,369
I don't know which amp he should have should used, but I hear Sharon Osbourne is having Zakk Wilde replace all of his guitar parts.
 

Jonny D

Member
Messages
1,283
Sigh. I should have seen the blooming field of over-reactions to what I am saying from TGP.

1) I am NOT saying that his music needs to be improved upon. It is what I chose to listen to in the middle of the night for God sake.
2) I am NOT trying to change his genre and looking for utterly different tone.

If you actually took the time to listen to much more than a few songs of his catalog, you would know that there are definitely instances of quite thin tone from his very robust playing.

I am just saying what amp would wonderfully fit his playing and bring through everything that he is bringing to the table.
 

michael patrick

Loud and proud
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,058
A2758555.jpg
 

Sheherezadeh

Member
Messages
1,049
I don't object to the concept, myself. I do occasionally hear recordings where the playing is great, but the tone is not (and we have threads regarding it, for that matter). And there are numerous examples where players have changed rigs and their tone improved (or deteriorated, in some cases - Clapton anyone?). Of course, some can't seem to get great tone no what they play it through (or poor tone in other cases). I can't say I'm familiar enough with T-Bone's output to give much of a specific suggestion though.
 

Ferret

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,904
Sigh. I should have seen the blooming field of over-reactions to what I am saying from TGP.

1) I am NOT saying that his music needs to be improved upon. It is what I chose to listen to in the middle of the night for God sake.
2) I am NOT trying to change his genre and looking for utterly different tone.

If you actually took the time to listen to much more than a few songs of his catalog, you would know that there are definitely instances of quite thin tone from his very robust playing.

I am just saying what amp would wonderfully fit his playing and bring through everything that he is bringing to the table.

I venture to say that the reason you got that sarcastic reaction, although not from me, is that his tone is an integral part of a sound that made him a guitar icon. I would call his tone dry, as in dry martini, not thin. It was his sound, as a total package, that made him stand out as the father of electric blues guitar. He was one of an increasingly large group of early electric guitarists but he was far and away the most influential. But I think what really generated the reaction to your OP was the fact that quite a few guitarists who went on to by guitar heroes in their own right began their careers with a failed attempt to copy his sound, e.g., B.B. King and Chuck Berry. It has often been observed that nobody has succeeded in copying his sound. His licks and tone are instantly recognisable, and I haven't the slightest doubt that he could have got a sweeter, fuller or warmer sound had he wanted. As he played he moved his pick hand from neck to bridge and changed his picking dynamics to simulate the differences in tone most of us get by changing pickups. And to those who hear his Capitol recordings for the first time, it comes as a surprise that he only had a neck pickup to achieve his tones. Many a guitarist has acknowledged that they tried and failed to get the T-Bone sound. They could all nail his licks close enough. But they couldn't nail the tone or pick dynamics.
 

Jonny D

Member
Messages
1,283
No doubt about his playing and tone being a particular type, but even within his catalog you have a fair diversity of tones. I am not looking to plug him into a 5150, but I think he could have done some magic with many wonderful amps. Some of his songs have GREAT thick tone AND amazing dynamics. Some seem to suffer from recording and equipment issues that (imho) minimize the amazing impact of what he is doing.
 

bobcs71

Member
Messages
5,665
If TGP was around then he probably would have used a '51 Nocaster > Timmy > Dumble!

(Trying to be funny but I do like my Timmy!)
 

DaGlenster

Member
Messages
1,022
This is what i found that is out there. Bassman (50's), EH-150 before that. I recently got a 1936 Gibson Eh-150 and that is a very good amp. The microphone channel is one of the best amp overdrives I have heard. i have 5 Fender Tweed amps and 2 GA-20 and I'd put the EH-150 up with any of those amps.

T-Bone Walker Bio


Aaron Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker.
Born: May 28, 1910, in Linden, Texas. Died: March 16, 1975, in Los Angeles, California.
Guitar: (All Gibsons) ES-250 (1930s-1950s), ES-5 (1950s-1970s), ES-335 (early 1970s). T-Bone occasionally used a Gibson Barney Kessell model in the 1960s-1970s.

Amp: Fender tweed 4x10 Bassman. In the late 30s and early 40s, T-Bone is reputed to have plugged into a Gibson EH-150.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom