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ZZ TOP amps?

khudson

Member
Messages
306
I saw ZZ Top in NY recently - I noticed they had stacks of red tolexed amps (24 total - I'm sure most were for backup & stage design) and they only had the number "50" labled on them with no brand name. Does anyone know who makes these amps & what they are? Thanks...
 

Shane S

Member
Messages
1,683
They are made by Crate. I think most of Billy's live sound comes from a Marshall amp into a Demeter ISO cab with a Tone Tubby speaker. But it does not matter what they guy plays through, he always sounds great.
 

pureoldsound

Member
Messages
749
They are the VFX series by Crate..I had one for couple of months then returned it to the store.....the DSP chip on those amps had some issues producing some noise. They were not willing to fix it so back in went....
 
Messages
2,931
These are fantastic amps. If you want that Marshall Hot-Rodded sound...this is it. The price is outrageously good (i.e. low), and they have some of the best tube tone I have ever heard at any price.

I loved mine, but the wife sais either lose that or the Zinky, and, well, you know the rest.
 

Red Planet

Member
Messages
4,347
I think the stacks you saw were for looks. In a recent TQ article he said he uses the Marshall Rig into the ISO Cab and uses two Crate V50's hidden for his stage volume. My guess is the stacks were for promotional use only.
 

hasserl

Member
Messages
4,711
Originally posted by Red Planet
I think the stacks you saw were for looks. In a recent TQ article he said he uses the Marshall Rig into the ISO Cab and uses two Crate V50's hidden for his stage volume. My guess is the stacks were for promotional use only.
Why would he bother with fake amps on stage for promotional use, then turn around and tell TQ he's using a Marshall. Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
 

GuitarNorton

Member
Messages
1,766
I love the mans tone and have been into them since the first LP but don't think you can believe a thing he says about what he was playing through at a given time.
 

kevin hart

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,685
from what i've read i believe he uses the crate amps as on stage monitors. he can hear them on stage, but his front of house sound is a marshall jmp-1 preamp, an eq, a marshall power amp & the iso cab, then out to the front of house mixer. he uses an eq with presets & uses a spectrum analyzer to adjust the eq presets so that each guitar he plugs in to the rig gets eq'ed to come out sounding like his pearly gates guitar. he uses a big open g chord on each guitar to adjust the eq settings. sure does work at keeping his sound consistant no matter what guitar he's using.
 

Red Planet

Member
Messages
4,347
hasserl Your answer would be the allmighty Dollar.

It aint no secret he uses his Marshall/Other stuff rack for his PA sound. He has recently been using the Crate stuff for Onstage volume which I'm shure sounds fine but I would guess hes getting paid for it. My guess would be the wall of Crate stacks were there for whomever to see them. My guess would be he is honest to the TQ readers cuase he is a Tone Freak Gear Head and a Half. I'm shure he dosent use either of those rigs soley while in the studio. He probably pulls out an arsenal of cool little amps and gadgets.

I know for a fact he is currently tinkering with a Balls 18 watt 2x12 combo and had stated he was gonna use it on his next recoding.

For practicallity he probably use the Marshall rig for Live. Less Varibles. Hes an old fart like myself and probably is getting like myself in his old age Practical.

But most of this is just my opinion so take it with a grain of salt.

I saw em the last time they were in Atlanta and there was no rig to bee seen.
 

cr8z4life

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,738
I dont think we will ever know unless you get backstage.....the guy owns amps from Marshal, divided by thirteen, mojave......

I do know I cant wait for Gretsch to release the billy-bo .....really want to check out that guitar!
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,157
Lisa Sharken spent a lot of time researching his rig around the Rhythmeen time and came up with a description like Mr. Hart's. He does spin a lot of stuff and it's very hard to say what the truth is about what he's using but that seems most likely.
 

Rock Fella

Member
Messages
2,567
i have footage with billy playing on a stage full of "orange" cabs, for promotion ?.............i think so

i think the crate issue is the same, somebody waving the dollar in front of him.

something with me says small combo mic`ed thru big pa, though divided by 13 clippage with el84`s had gibbons tone all over it.
 

hasserl

Member
Messages
4,711
Eh, hard to say I guess. But IMO Billy's best tone was on ZZ's earliers records, Rio Grande Mud, Tres Hombre's; those were the days.
 

wichita

Member
Messages
8,236
And that rig was even weird....
That was the RIO GRANDE amps, which of course were Marshalls with larger 4-12 cabs.
I actually had 2 of the RIO GRANDE 4-12 cabs for a while. They were bigger than Marshall 4-12's and had no handles on them at all. Sort of a front loaded hiwatt kind of a thing.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,157
Originally posted by hasserl
Eh, hard to say I guess. But IMO Billy's best tone was on ZZ's earliers records, Rio Grande Mud, Tres Hombre's; those were the days.
I agree. I enjoyed his recent, highly compressed tone until I heard the first three albums and it really spoiled me for the subtlety and dynamics he used to use...
 
Messages
2,931
Completely agree with that early tone.

Although the newer stuff had some kitschy feel to it (and I liked watching the video's :D ), nothing came close to that early tone of Deguello.

And the opening to 'Thunderbird' still gives me chills.
 

Red Planet

Member
Messages
4,347
I agree he had a couple with so so Tone but I disaggree with it all being the schiznit on early stuff.

Have you guys listened to his sound on Loaded off of Rythemeen?
That is cool as it gets.

I cut my teeth on all that old ZZ. One of my favorites is Coco Blue. :dude
 




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