ZZ Top first Album Gear

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by ALEXtheSERBIAN, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. ALEXtheSERBIAN

    ALEXtheSERBIAN Junior Member

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    Hi guy's, I'm new member on LP forum and wish all the best to all of You people around the world, I want to ask, does anybody knows for sure what was the ZZ Top's equipment on the FIRST ALBUM if Yes, it will be nice to know the sources. Thank You !
     
  2. sonicsamurai

    sonicsamurai Member

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    pretty much the same as it always has been I think Pearly Gates into fender amps via some fuzz
     
  3. ALEXtheSERBIAN

    ALEXtheSERBIAN Junior Member

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    Thank's sonicsamurai for quick replay, it will be nice if we know exactly which fuzz(rangemaster, or similar box...etc.) and which Fender amp and speaker, it is really specific and cool vintage sound
     
  4. sonicsamurai

    sonicsamurai Member

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    he uses so much gear i think u'll find it very hard to nail it all, and i would be very suprised if he had only used one fuz [edal on the whole album - as i recall he uses several linked up. he may also have used a marshall on the arly stuf, although i've never really seen him that associated with the brand - i think he's more famous for fenders. i think wikipedia does list some of his fuzz pedals
     
  5. voices

    voices Senior Member

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    You should check out his book-"Rock and Roll Gearhead".

    In it, he goes into some detail about what guitars and amps were used on particular songs and albums.

    Don't believe a word when he says he has a genuine Moderne tho.:laugh2:
     
  6. JLH

    JLH Senior Member

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    great question, great album and killer tone. I read the book, no specifics. I get that tone from my tube amps and some good pickups, early break up, middle position pickups, good electronics and years of playing and technique. Its all about the feel, the technique and touch.
     
  7. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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    Actually, Marshalls are a big part of his sound, the reason you dont see it as much is because in the 70s they had Marshalls rebranded "Rio Grande", and to this day he still uses a late 60s plexi preamp for this live rig

    As far as the first album, I was pretty sure he was using Marshalls at that point, but I cant find anything to support or refute that. I'm have a Guitar World special Billy Gibbons issue where he talks about his gear in those days, I'll look it up and post some quotes when I can.

    [​IMG]
    (you cant see Billys rig in this early shot, but Dusty is using 2 Marshalls, and they both got theirs at the same time)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    (no amps, just a cool shot)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ("Rio Grande" amps)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ALEXtheSERBIAN

    ALEXtheSERBIAN Junior Member

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    At first, I'm big fan of that kind of sound and I'm really happy to see all Your answers and replays.I have also a few old Les Pauls, one of them with original 59 PAF's, and pluged in my 66 plexi 4x10 Bluesbraker Super tremolo Amp in the lessensitive input and full loaded without any pedal thats very close to this sound and as one of You said years of enjoing and listening and playing.But to be really objective the sound i hear is a little bit more dry.
    I think if You check this Guitar World this couldt be bingo with informations.Thank's!
     
  9. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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    Prime Cuts: ZZ Top - Guitar World

    “That Marshall amp, which was a trusted friend through the first six records, was an import brought over by Jeff Beck’s at-the-time tech. I had four of those babies, and they were my main road amps for years. I ran them through cabinets with those [Celestion] Greenback speakers. They still retain a distinctive, rich, enjoyable tone and are well worth owning. I must, however, advise anyone fortunate enough to find one to beware of the variable power plugs. The 220[-volt] setting doesn’t work very well outside of the 220 countries, as I can tell you from experience. We had more than a few paper-clip nights over the years [due to blown fuses].”

    Dear Guitar Hero: Billy F. Gibbons - Guitar World

    You have always had fabulous tone. What amps and guitars did you use on ZZ Top's first few albums?
    -Rick Paulus


    "Thanks very much. We have been fortunate to enjoy the luxury of a spot-on crew, and we've maintained an archive of each instrument, amp, drum kit and ancillary devices used on each track. It's all on record, and any piece of gear can be lifted from the vault for most particular sounds. At the heart of almost everything we've done, however, is Pearly Gates run through either a Marshall or an old Fender. That simple-but-deadly combination is still tough to beat."

    Why don't you use Marshall amps onstage anymore?
    -Scott Cronn


    "Marshalls are still present in our lineup and remain the cornerstone for our guitar and bass tones, though their presence may not be as visually apparent. We're using the Marshall tube preamp and loading that into Marshall's now out-of-production 120/120 power amp. "
     
  10. ALEXtheSERBIAN

    ALEXtheSERBIAN Junior Member

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    Bravo benjammin420, I have found the same text looking forward the guitar World title, here is the link with full text,ZZ Top: Cars, Guitars, & Three Unlikely Rock Stars - Guitar World, so the gear was Pearly with '68. 100 w Marshall played live in studio.I think this conversation is not the end but begining of constructive discusions in the future.Thank You all guys, ALL THE BEST from Belgrade, Serbia, one of the most funyest citys in Europa, shure with the nicest girls You have seen in Your life and best food you can taste!
     
  11. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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  12. ALEXtheSERBIAN

    ALEXtheSERBIAN Junior Member

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    Thank's for inviting, ben, do You know is out there existing any video material of ZZ Top '74. World Tour something we hear from Fandango live site of the record, it will be interesting to find something like that, have seen just a few videos from that period on You Tube.Thank's!
     
  13. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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    this is the earliest footage Ive seen, from 76. There are some live recordings on Suger-megs.org, but they quality isnt great SugarMegs Streaming Server

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1-q6WHxA4E&feature=related]YouTube - ZZ Top Live 1976 Largo Maryland Chevrolet[/ame]
     
  14. joebonsai

    joebonsai Senior Member

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    .....by all the Billy F. Gibbons sound and gear thing, don't forget, these albums are mostly all remastered
    example: if you hear a big reverb on the drum-fill of La Grange it's the remastered version. The original albums are MUCH dryer and totally direct.
    He, or they also screwed a LOT on the guitar tone!!!!
    I'm still searching for some old CD's .....no luck, or try to find the original records
    Man ....THAT'S THE TONE!!!!!

    Hi Alex
    Welcome to the forum!!!
    were are the :photos::photos::photos::photos::photos::photos:?????????

    PLEASE post them in the vintage dep.

    :hippie:
     
  15. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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    I remember reading a guitar magazine about 20 years ago about how they recorded Billy's guitar on the early ZZ albums. They had something they called "Amp cabin" that they used in the studio. It was essentially a bunch of Marshall, Fender and some other amps all facing inwards in a circle with plywood piled over the top of the amps and a microphone placed in the middle of them.

    Billy would have his guitar plugged into several amps at a time and they would change the guitar Tone by unplugging some of the amps or plugging different amps in until they got the Tone they wanted for a particular track.
     
  16. Greg's Guitars

    Greg's Guitars Senior Member

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    I remember getting " Fandango" on 8 track and literally wearing it out in a week....
     
  17. dju

    dju Junior Member

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  18. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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    That makes alot of sense to me, I always thought, particularly on the track Just Got Back From Babys, that the guitar sound had a more textured sound than you could get from one amp, it sounds both clean and dirty to me, a Fender and Marshall in unison would account for that for sure :hmm:
     
  19. Texas07R8

    Texas07R8 Senior Member

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    The CDs from back in the day don't sound quite like the vinyl LPs. If you truly want to get that pure early Top sound you have to hear the first three albums on vinyl, you will be blown away!

    I was very fortunate to grow up in the years where I had the pleasure to see bands like Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top back in their prime. I was born in Texas but moved away at age 5, we settled in the New Orleans area where my mom's from and my dad's folks are close by as well.

    Back in the early 70s New Orleans was a favored venue for the hard rockers, it's the party town and they knew it and toured that city often.

    I went to the ZZ Top Fandango concert at the Warehouse in New Orleans. While the albums live side is very muffled, almost like a blanket was on the mikes or amps I can tell you it didn't sound like that live. I recall The warehouse wasn't the best venue for a concert but there was something to be said about that old warehouse. It was next to the river and was a dirty dank old warehouse that used to be used for storage of barges and ships unloading at wharfs downtown.. I think tickets were 4 or 5 bucks. Heck I remember seeing Zeppelin in Baton Rouge in 75 and the event was called "An Evening with Led Zeppelin" the show was over 3 hours and it was just Zeppelin, no openers and the ticket was $7 for General Admission, back then there was no such thing as reserved seating.

    One of the very cool things about the Fandango show that night was that most people don't know who the opening band was, if I hadn't been there myself I doubt I'd have known either. It was the one and only Robin Trower. OMG! It was so frikkin cool! Our band back in the day "Shadowfax" played mostly Top and Trower tunes and this show was total nirvana.

    I remember a concert shortly after Top/Trower at the Warehouse where you could get in free if you brought a carpet scrap at least a yard square. That old building was just a concrete floor and had big old wooden beams scattered about holding up the big open room's roof. I can't recall how many people the place held but it wasn't small and wasn't huge either. I remember seeing a young and smokin hot Stevie Nicks there in 76-77 and I was front row. She had on black hot pants, fishnets, tall boots and a tuxedo type jacket with long tails and a tophat with all that beautiful blonde hair flowing out from under it. God that chic was hot back then!

    Sorry to ramble but reading about early ZZ Top makes me think a lot about all the shows I saw of them from the mid 70's through last summer when I got to meet them backstage in Dallas.
     
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  20. Beerdog80

    Beerdog80 Banned

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    This thread should become a sticky :thumb:
     

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