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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

How'd He Get That Sound

Stevie Ray Vaughn has always been known as one of the best tone masters of all time. Oh yeah, we all know he was terrific guitar player and soulful singer. His chops were terrific... but how did he get that tone. Well, he started out with being a great player and having great fingers, but here are a few of his secrets. He was known to superglue skin from other parts of his body to replenish his fingertips from the tremendous abuse that he took using super heavy strings (like 15's). I wouldn't advise this unless you have developed great style and hand strength. Better to play with 10's and clean than with 12's and sloppy. He had a great guitar, a standard Fender strat pretty much totally unmolested (except that he had a left handed trem bar put on with the theory that it gave him a Jimi vibe to his sound)although not used in this video. He could pick up any strat at guitar center and make it sound right. It just wouldn't feel right to him. All players are like that... and they hear subtle differences that we would never pick up. He played primarily through Fender Vibroverbs, Vibrolux's and Super Reverbs, both black and silver faced. It was with these amps that he got the beautiful full clean tube overdriven tone and dynamic tremolo that made his sound. Play one of the amps if you're a player. And don't be fooled into thinking that the new ones are just as good. They aren't. Get one of the old hand wired silver face or black face (or tweed if you got the dough) and give them a shot. Stevie used a silver face Super Reverb extensively as well as a brownface Vibroverb. The Vibroverbs are now over the top but you can still get the silverface AB763 amps pretty cheap... and they sound great. That 40 Watts into 4-10" stock speakers (Jensen, Oxford or CTS) can make magic even an amateur can really appreciate... immediately!
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