A favorite PAF sound: Steve Howe's ES-5 on Fragile

mrblooze

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I know that "The PAF Sound" is a subject that has been thrashed repeatedly, but, ok, here we go again:

I think one of the best, and most overlooked "Great PAF Sounds" is Steve Howe and his ES-5 on Fragile, especially during South Side of the Sky. It's just raw PAF. Not over-driven (much), but with a sound as good as any of those usually put forward to tout the PAF, IMHO. Not better than any other---they're all unique, and I'm not saying any one is better than any other. Everyone has to decide that for themselves, if they can (and good luck to ya. I can't).

But for some reason, this one album, especially the sound Howe got on that one track, resonates with me. Maybe I just don't get out enough, or read enough threads here, but my impression for years has been that unless it's installed on a Burst, recordings of songs with non LP guitars equipped with PAFs otherwise get a little overlooked.

Don't get me wrong: few things sound as good as the music recorded with PAF equipped Bursts (and for dissenters, listen to any Allman Bros recordings up to Eat A Peach; live, studio, it doesn't matter), but does anyone else look outside of recordings with Bursts and think to themselves that they just heard an incredible PAF tone?
 

mrblooze

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absolutely. that's an amazing track on a great album. Also love the guitar sounds on the Yes album
Another great example of Steve Howe's tones, but on his ES-175. If I recall correctly, he bought that one new when he was 19. 1965? So that wouldn't be likely to have PAFs... T-Tops? But incredible tone.
 

2Muchgear

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Just went back and listened…have heard the song 500 times, easy, but not for quite a while. That’s a sneering guitar sound. On the edge of nasally feedback. Mmmmm, luscious. Great playing of course.
 

gball

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I'm with ya - that's my favorite song on an album with a lot of amazing tunes. My favorite Howe tones are on Yessongs (he just rips it up live) but that is a great tone youve pointed out.
 

mrblooze

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I'm with ya - that's my favorite song on an album with a lot of amazing tunes. My favorite Howe tones are on Yessongs (he just rips it up live) but that is a great tone youve pointed out.
If you haven't heard any of it yet, Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two is Mecca for Yessongs fans. Seven shows from that tour, including the one from the Nassau Coliseum that was used in the movie/album. And yeah, Howe years it up...

It's cool to see him play the Coralin instead of the Line 6 Synthaxe for Close to the Edge. I've seen Yes three times in recent years, including the Fragile/Close to the Edge show and the 50th Anniversary show in D.C... And he still tears it up---
 

gkelm

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Just went back and listened…have heard the song 500 times, easy, but not for quite a while. That’s a sneering guitar sound. On the edge of nasally feedback. Mmmmm, luscious. Great playing of course.
Same here…just listened. Glad or have the reminder to go back and listen to probably my all time fav band. Howe was always unique in his time and playing.
 

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