Stevie Ray Vaughan
The man that needs no introduction.. Mr. Stevie Ray Vaughan! Stevie Ray Vaughan!! (see what I did there?)
Throughout the coming weeks I'll be updating with specific shows like Austin City Limits, Live at Montreux, etc.
Pedalboard / Wah
Stevie upgraded to whichever tube screamer was on the market at that time. From stevieray.com, both of his TS-9s had the JRC2043DD chips instead of the "better" sounding JRC4558D that is found in today's reissues. He used TS-9s the most throughout his career set as a boost.
Listed here are other pedals he used throughout his career now in reissue form.
Cry Baby Wah Guitar Effects Pedal
60's Vox V845 Classic Wah Wah Pedal
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
Ibanez TS808 Overdrive
Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face
In the early 1980's, Stevie used a Marshall 4140 2x12 Club and Country 100-watt combo amp for clean tone, and his two Vibroverbs for distortion. The Marshall's test date was February 18, 1980. (I have verified the serial number from a customs/insurance equipment list from 1983). Photos from 1981 show two Celestion G12-80 speakers. It had brown "elephant" cabinet vinyl and tan basketweave grill cloth. In 1983 Stevie was preparing to go on tour with David Bowie, but at the last minute dropped out. Before he did, however, Bowie's crew took the Marshall amp and painted the vinyl black and the grill cloth grey, presumably to approximate the look of other amps which would be on stage. Stevie's road manager, Cutter Brandenburg, recalls that after the paint job the Marshall letters would not stay on and they would catch in the guitar strings when Stevie leaned Number One against it for feedback. Some of the letters broke off, so photos show the amp with "Marshall," "Marsha" and "Marsh" before the remainder of the name was finally removed completely. All three of Stevie's roadies/techs from this era recall this amp. Once Stevie started making some money, he upgraded to larger Marshall and Dumble amps and traded this one in sometime after the spring of 1983, possibly as late as 1984. It was then owned by another Texas guitar player for many years. In May 2003, I purchased the amp. It still has the Bowie paint job and the Celestion speakers. In a 1983 interview, Stevie mistakenly suggested that this was a 200-watt amp that did not perform properly, peaking at 80-watts. It would not produce 200 watts because it was a 100-watt amp, but this amp will still rattle my windows!
1985: two blackface Fender Super Reverbs (4x10 EV's*), a 150-watt Dumble Steel String Singer (4x12 with four 100-watt EV's, and 6550 tubes), another Dumble 150-watt 4x12. The 4x12 cabinets were non-angled homemade cabs. Sometimes a 200-watt Marshall Plexi- Major was substitued for the second Dumble head. Stevie had two sequentially numbered* Fender Vibroverbs ca. 1963-64, (1x15) one often used to power a Fender Vibratone (not a Leslie). The Vibroverbs and Supers had 3/4" plywood baffle boards to accomodate the weight of the speakers. The EVM's larger magnets required repositioning some of the transformers in the chassis. In the later years, the Vibroverbs had Super Reverb-style transformers. The first channel from the phase inverter tube were disconnected, and the tremolo disabled (by disconnecting the wires from the intensity control - don't try this at home unless you want to turn yourself into a light bulb). Around 1989 Stevie also took a couple of 4x10 Fender reissue Bassmans on the road, but the speakers were replaced.
*The two Vibroverbs are often referred to as "sequentially numbered" 5 and 6, but equipment lists from the early 1980's prepared by the band reveal that the serial numbers were in fact 36 digits apart. The 5 and 6 are references to the production run number found on the tube chart on the amp.
John V. recalls working the stage in the late '80s and noticing an "old-style Fender footswitch ... and the top 4x12 cabinet had its top two 12's wired so that they could be shut off and their place in the speaker-wiring replaced with a line over to the JBL in the Vibratone Leslie cabinet, which was mic'd thru the PA. Switch choices: full 8x12 stacky, or six of the eight 12's in the stack plus the Vibratone. This slammed a lot of power into the single speaker in the Leslie and there was a box of replacement drivers on stage for it."
Tubes were typically Philips 6L6's and 12AX7's and GE 6550's. Mesa Boogie STR415's and STR387's were also used when they could be found.
Volume settings on stage usually started at 7 or 7.5, but would end up at 10 for "Voodoo Chile." Roadie Cutter Brandenburg recalls that Stevie would often run his hand down the bottom of the knobs, turning them all up as far as they would go.
Micellaneous studio amps forIn Step included an old Magnatone and Fender Harvard.
*One article referred to them as "EV's" another "EVM's."
Celestion Classic Lead 80 guitar speaker
Fender '65 Super Reverb 45-Watt 4x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp