ZZ Top early sound

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by davehall, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. davehall

    davehall Senior Member

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    I been tring to find info on Billy G's effects set-up on I Thank You and Waitin for the bus.One guy I found said it may be a Boss DS-1 pedal.Anyone have any idea.:hmm:
     
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  2. VoodooHighway

    VoodooHighway Senior Member

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  3. davehall

    davehall Senior Member

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    Thanks, Ace lots of info on there.Still couldn't find what I was looking for.He said about Billy using pedals and now there vintage.Did I miss something else he said.
     
  4. koen

    koen Member

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    Try emailing Terry Manning, he seems to like to share info.
     
  5. Monster

    Monster Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting that link, Ace. I have one of those old Legend combos he described (except mine is 100 watts), and had heard that it was one that BFG had used on some of his albums, but didn't have any credible confirmation of that info before now. It does sound a lot like the tone on Eliminator.
     
  6. st.bede

    st.bede V.I.P. Member

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    what about an old ratt?
     
  7. coldsteal2

    coldsteal2 V.I.P. Member

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    From that link....
    Rio Grande Amps I remember those
    i saw them use them live in Sacramento
    in 74 using them, they were loud as "F"
    the amp that through me was Billy using
    a Vox Superbeatle on Tejas.

    Back then they had short beards and Nudie suits
     
  8. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    I have always been a Big ZZ fan since I got a hold of a copy(vinyl) of Tres Hombres...Reading guitar mags with anything ZZ or Gibbons related, I found out that in the studio they used a set-up called amp cabin. It was a bunch of Marshalls, Fenders and whatever amps they had maybe 5-6 all facing inward in a circle and in the middle were a couple of microphones. All the amps were covered with makeshift plywood partitions to isolate sound.
    They would change the sound/tone that was needed for each recording by literally plugging and unplugging any combinations of all those amps. I always thought that was pretty cool. So that is what you hear on the early albums.
    I am not really sure what his live rig is, LP and a Marshall, but they used a lot more FX in the 80's on eliminator, lot's of delay etc.:hmm:
     
  9. smokin joe

    smokin joe Junior Member

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    Their first three albums were Marshalls, Jeff Beck got them stacks after they met in the early 70's. Fandango was Marshalls in the studio. Live, the photos tell it all, Fandango-World Wide Texas Tour '76 was Rio Grande amps from Jake Stack down in Chorpus Christi. I would guess Gibbons' first major change of amps were the Legends he used on Deguello, but I may be wrong, I played around with the 1-12 Legend when Rockin Robin in Houston was selling them, pretty cool amps, there's still a few out there to be had.
     
  10. Gary C.

    Gary C. Member

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    Rio Grande was just Marshalls with fake names on them,from what I've read.
     
  11. Monster

    Monster Senior Member

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    Gerald Weber claims in one of his books that Recycler is a 12 watt solid state Marshall into a 1 X 12 cab with a Celestion. Anybody know for sure?
     
  12. smokin joe

    smokin joe Junior Member

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    I think you're refering to the Rio Grande Amps which they got around the time Tres Hombres came out and used during the supporting tour for that album. They had the Rio Grandes, which were basicaly re-worked marshalls, before Fandango came out, they're pictured in the album shots. Everything up to DeGuello was mostly Marshalls. I have some recordings of their concerts from around 70 and 71 which was Marshalls and some from around Fandango which would be the Rio Grandes, the guitar tone is very similar.
     
  13. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    The difference between the studio and live guitar sounds on Fandango is interesting, too. The live sound to my ear sounds just like a big nasty OLD Marshall stack in a big room. Very middly, and big, but without a lot of definition. The lack of articulation sounds like the usual artifact of trying to record a big loud amp that's EQd for the room and not the tape.

    The studio sound by contrast is tighter than a rat's arse. There's also not a lot of air around the guitars. There's a bit of reverb and delay here and there, such as on blue jean blues, but for the most part the sound picture is small and tight without any ambient sound very prominent in the mix.

    I wonder if that was deliberate, or whether they were still learning the craft of making the guitar sound huge on tape.

    cheers,
    Splat
     
  14. smokin joe

    smokin joe Junior Member

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    I noticed that too, but if you listen to it on vinyl it does sound better, to me anyway. The Rio Grande Mud CD has reverb and echo all over the place, soudns very brittle I'm not crazy about it al all, they remixed most of that old stuff for CD which doesn't surprise me, but I think it sounds a whole lot better on vinyl. Tom Scholz has been quoted a few times about his preferrence for analog over digital. I agree with him.
     
  15. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    Me too.

    More than that, I'd rather record the sound of the amp AND the sound of the amp in the room and then mix them, instead of layering crap over it after it's in the can. I mean, you can always compress, add delay, re-EQ, flange, pan, etc etc etc etc, but if the basic sound you're playing with on tape (or hard drive) isn't any good, you're just trying to polish a turd. As everybody knows, you can't polish a turd: you can only roll it in glitter.

    Splat
     
  16. smokin joe

    smokin joe Junior Member

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    Oh man, absolutely. Listen to Sure got Cold After The Rain Fell from Rio Grande Mud on vinyl then listen to it on CD, it's like night and day.
     
  17. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    I first listened to Fandango on vinyl. When it came out. I'd been listening to Status Quo...

    Splat
     
  18. rodneyk915

    rodneyk915 Senior Member

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    :lol::applause:
     
  19. tarddoggy

    tarddoggy V.I.P. Member

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    I get that early Billy G. using a Lovepedal COT-50 and the Habeneros in the '96 Studio
     
  20. eddie_bowers

    eddie_bowers Senior Member

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    On the CD vs Vinyl thing there is a big difference between the CDs that have been in circulation since the late 80s and the re-mastered versions they have been slowly releasing since 2003. The original CD versions were all messed with in an attempt to make them sound more like Eliminator. The versions of the songs from "Chrome, Smoke & BBQ" are true to the original mix as well as the Remixed Tres Hombres and Fandango! from 2006.

    -Eddie
     

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