ZZ Top in a box???

Discussion in 'Pedals' started by gypsyseven, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. gypsyseven

    gypsyseven Senior Member

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    I would like to add a little ZZ Top to my sound, so which pedal would give me that with a Fender Blues Deluxe(Jensen C12N) and a BB1 & BB2 equipped Lester....
     
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  2. gypsyseven

    gypsyseven Senior Member

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    Oh, of course that classic ZZ Top sound from the earlier recordings like Rio Grande Mud and so on....
     
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  3. matthew bear

    matthew bear Senior Member

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    wave cannon... that's my new answer for everything though.
     
  4. So What

    So What Senior Member

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    It is less about the pedal, and more about amp settings.

    A good drive pedal, that doesn't get muddy, for starters. I've never tried the one you mentioned.

    I use a TS 909, or a Bad Monkey.

    TS 909 was $150, Bad Monkey was $50. Price doesn't = quality.

    Then, set your amp with the Treble turned down, mids up, and bass up. If you have a "Presence" knob, turn it all the way off. No Reverb either.

    You will need to tweek the settings to suit your ears, and gear.

    BG also lowers the pickups, and raises the Pole pieces on his pickups. This brings out some treble and note clarity. Again, you will have to experiment.

    And finally, learn to use pinch harmonics. I hold the pick very short, and at an angle. This allows my thumb to touch the string immediately following the pick. It takes some practice, but if I can do it, anyone can.

    A lot of good info here:

    Rig Rundown - ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons - YouTube

    Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) - Guitar Lesson How to play blues - YouTube
     
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  5. So What

    So What Senior Member

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    One more thing....

    While it is widely publicized that BG used "Pearly Gates" for ALL recordings. I personally don't believe it. Especially in the early days, which you are after.

    I just read an article, referring to BG's book on guitars, which stated that he used a 52 Tele on 'Jesus just left Chicago". We all know he has an affinity for Teles.

    A lot of the early stuff sounds like he has some single coil guitar in there. Either as the primary track, or the "fill" track.

    In the 80's BG supposedly used Dean Guitars for Eliminator and Afterburner. But Dean went overseas, so he went back to Gibson. Again, I got this from an internet article, so consider it as valid as any other internet info.
     
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  6. GrouchyDog

    GrouchyDog Senior Member

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    BFG used some kind of small Fender tweed amp for the early recordings, did he not? If so, how would a Red Llama or a Les Lius do for capturing that vibe?
     
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  7. So What

    So What Senior Member

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    No clue.

    I was under the impression that he used Fender Bassman amps.

    And let me clarify...while I happened to jump in here to offer help to the OP, I am by no means an expert on all things BG.
     
  8. snaredrum

    snaredrum V.I.P. Member

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    aaah... the BFG chaos is back!

    so, first album he used either a small fender or a marshall stack, with either a les paul or a telecaster etc etc :laugh2:

    for my money, get a Wampler tweed 57 or whatever they're called. Or, for cheapo, the joyo American. i got some KILLER BFG tones out of that thing, double so with the cheap tube screamer hitting the front of it.
     
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  9. gibsonguitar1988

    gibsonguitar1988 Senior Member

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    Fulltone PlimSoul. It sounds exactly like ZZ. You can't make it NOT sound like Texas! David Grissom has some video out there using it and it's instant Gibbons tone.

    That said I'm pretty sure a Tweed Champ was used on most of the early stuff. And for sure Pearly on stuff like Just Got Paid, Tush, etc.
     
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  10. gypsyseven

    gypsyseven Senior Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeOCbuB7DGc]Caroline Wave Cannon - YouTube[/ame]


    Sounds pretty cool!
     
  11. So What

    So What Senior Member

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    @ snaredrum...

    Stairway To Heaven was played on a telecaster, Another Brick In the Wall (part 2) was played on a Les Paul.

    I love this statement.
     
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  12. snaredrum

    snaredrum V.I.P. Member

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    yeah, it's a funny world isn't it? :D
     
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  13. GrouchyDog

    GrouchyDog Senior Member

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    Oh no - it's sLaShToNeZ Mark II... :laugh2: (OP - j/k)

    I think early BFG is one of those players whose tone was as much attitude and style as gear. That said, I'd start with a bright pickup in a Les Paul into a small tweed amp. As for pedals, I dunno. I'm not an experienced tone-chaser so I probably should just lurk in this thread... :cool:
     
  14. snaredrum

    snaredrum V.I.P. Member

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    i started BFGing about three years ago, and it's kinda why i'm on this site to begin with.

    it's funny though, as on record he seems to prefer fenders, live it's all about the Marshall JMP1.
     
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  15. mcsdan

    mcsdan Senior Member

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    Yeap, got one of these and can get zz top sounds out of it.
     
  16. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    +1,

    although I will say this, the red llama gets close too... BFG is one of those killer tones I've chased for years... and a lot of it is in technique/playing... the doesn't play hard, uses light strings, and a heavy pick(peso, sometimes) and lets his amps do the work... layering a tubescreamer on top of my vt999 also got some good 'just got paid' tones

    I've been wanting to get one of those joyo american pedals to try that out for BFG and neil young type tones... since the les lius and formula #5 are so $$$
     
  17. gypsyseven

    gypsyseven Senior Member

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    Got some good tones today with my Black ยด65....
     
  18. Batman

    Batman Senior Member

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    I had and sold the Formula No. 5. The Red Llama is closer in tone and, IMO, a better sounding pedal for BFG and Neil Young. I find either the Red Llama or a Scarab Deluxe gives me passable Tweed type tone.
     
  19. jcsk8

    jcsk8 Senior Member

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    That video is SO interesting. Noticed that they said the original PG prototype is very heavy and used as a spare guitar. And the main guitar is hollowed (chambers), NOS gibson parts and Gibson pickups. Also the headstock say Gibbons. Amazing.
     
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  20. Hamtone

    Hamtone Senior Member

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    Bk butler tube driver with a burr brown op amp and a good tube. Automatic cranked gibbons sound
     
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