The Wall 1979-81

Effects, guitars and amps Settings and setups

In addition to a variety of different guitars David got a new smaller Pete Cornish board that he used on the recording sessions together with the Hiwatt amps and Yamaha rotating speakers. His raw and aggressive tone suited the album’s dark sound and it also feature some of his finest work. The huge scale of the stage production required two setups – one main setup consisting of the Animals amp rig and Pete Cornish board and a smaller rig that was used during the second half of the show in front of the wall.

Pete Cornish pedal board and additional effects recording sessions

Pedal board effects listed as in chain.
Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (BC109, modified with a tone circuit)
Electro Harmonix Big Muff (“Ram’s Head”)
Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress
MXR Dynacomp
MXR Phase 90
Pete Cornish (ST-2) Treble and Bass Booster
Pete Cornish custom vibrato pedal
Pete Cornish custom volume pedal

Additional units
MXR Digital Delay System I

Note: The board dates from February 1979 and although it’s described as David’s studio board he might also have used single pedals during the sessions notably on early demo sessions.

David's second Pete Cornish pedal board dates from February 1979 and was used for the main part of the Wall recording sessions. The board was later used on the Division Bell recording sessions and by Tim Renwick on the 1994 tour.

Pete Cornish pedal board and additional effects 1980-81 live performances

Pedal board effects listed as in chain
Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (BC109)
Electro Harmonix Big Muff (1973 “Ram’s Head”)
MXR Phase 90
Electro Harmonix Small Stone
Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress
Pete Cornish (ST-2) Treble and Bass Boost
Cry Baby wah wah
MXR Dynacomp
(send/return for additional effects)
Pete Cornish tone pedal
Pete Cornish volume pedal
(send/return for MXR DDL)
MXR Noise Gate/Line Driver

Additional units
MXR Digital Delay System I
2 Boss CE-2 Chorus
Conn Strobo tuners

Note: This board was originally designed in early 1976 for the Animals recording sessions and tour and was also used on David’s first solo album in 1978. The board was used as David’s main stage board for the Wall tour. For a wider stereo effect the signal out of the board was split and fed through two Boss CE2 chorus pedals.

David's main pedal board on the Wall tour was originally constructed for Animals recording sessions and tour in 1976. The board now featured a couple of updates including a Big Muff, Electric Mistress and Pete Cornish ST-2 overdrive. Notice the two Boss CE2 chorus pedals to the right of the board. These were used for the split signal out of the board creating a stereo effect.

Pete Cornish “mini” pedal board (front stage) 1980-’81 live performances

Pedal board effects listed as in chain
Electro Harmonix Big Muff (1973 “Ram’s Head”)
Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress
Pete Cornish custom volume pedal
(send return to MXR DDL)

David, Snowy and Roger each had a mini board constructed by Pete Cornish that were used during the second half of the show when they performed outside the Wall. David's board featured just a Big Muff, Electric Mistress, volume pedals and send/return for the delay. The inlay shows the board with a switcher pedal on top for the MXR Digital Delay.

Pete Cornish pedal boards

David had three different pedal boards for The Wall. Pete Cornish made him a new board for the recording sessions and the mini board that were used while playing infront of the wall during the second part of the show. David’s main board for the show was an updated version of the Animals board. All three boards had two inputs for each guitar and three outputs for each of the amps. The signal is fed into the board and divided into a Conn Strobo Tuner and a master bypass. The main signal is then fed through a filter that equalizes the input/output volume to avoid any signal loss and match all effects. See this feature for more on David’s Pete Cornish Animals pedal board.

Guitars and amps recording sessions

Fender Stratocaster “The Black Strat”
- 1969 black alder body with a black pickguard, Charvel flamed maple neck and Fender 1971 neck and middle pickups and a DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup.
Fender Esquire
- 1955 sunburst ash body with black pickguard and maple neck. Fitted with a custom Seymour Duncan neck pickup.
Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
- 1955 model with Gibson P-90 “soapbar” pickups.
Fender Baritone VI
- Run Like Hell recording sessions.
Fender Telecaster Custom
- 1959 three colour sunburst alder body fitted with a custom Stratocaster neck pickup and rosewood neck.
Jedson lap steel (blonde)
ZB pedal steel guitar
Ovation Custom Legend 1619-4 acoustic steel string guitar
- Comfortably Numb recording sessions with high octave tuning.
Ovation 1613-4 acoustic nylon string guitar
Martin D12-28 12-string acoustic guitar
Martin D35 acoustic steel string guitar

Hiwatt DR103 All Purpose 100W heads
- with Mullard 4xEL34’s power tubes and 4xECC83’s pre-amp tubes.
Yamaha RA-200 revolving speaker cabinet
Alembic F-2B tube preamp
- Yamaha preamp.
WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinets
- with 4×12” Fane Crescendo speakers.

David's two main guitars for the Wall live shows - The Black Strat, now featuring a Charvel maple neck and a custom wound Duncan SSL1 bridge pickup and the 1955 Fender Equire fitted with a custom Duncan neck pickup.

(left) David used a Gibson Les Paul 1955 Gold Top for several songs during the first half of the show including Another Brick in the Wall (part 2). (right) David playing a mandolin during the shows finale after the Wall was torn down.

Guitars and amps 1980-81 live performances

Fender Stratocaster “The Black Strat”
- 1969 black alder body with a black pickguard and Fender 1971 neck and middle pickups and a Seymour Duncan custom SSL-1 bridge pickup and a Charvel flamed maple neck.
Fender Esquire
- 1955 sunburst ash body with black pickguard and maple neck. Fitted with a custom Seymour Duncan Stratocaster neck pickup. Used on Run Like Hell with dropped D tuning.
Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
- 1955 model with Gibson P-90 soapbar pickups.
Fender Stratocaster
- 1959 sunburst body with stock Fender pickups, white pickguard and a 1963 rosewood neck. This was used as a spare.
Telecaster
- Flamed sunburst body with binding, Filtertron pickups, tremolo bridge and a Charvel maple neck. Probably used as a spare.
Ovation Custom Legend 1619-4 acoustic steel string guitar
Ovation 1613-4 acoustic nylon string guitar
Electra Mandolin

Amps and speakercabinets main stage rig
3 Hiwatt DR103 All Purpose 100W heads
- with Mullard 4xEL34’s power tubes and 4xECC83’s pre-amp tubes (one head was a spare). Modified for linked normal and brilliance inputs.
Mesa/Boogie Mark I 1978 60W head
- 4×6L6 and 2×12AX7 tubes. The amp was used for boost and distortion.
2 Yamaha RA-200 revolving speaker cabinets
Alembic F-2B tube preamp
- Yamaha preamp.
4 WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinets
- with 4×12” Fane Crescendo speakers.

CLICK FOR BIGGER IMAGE. David’s main rig for Wall live performances: 1. Conn Strobo tuner, 2. Alembic F-2B tube preamp, 3. MXR Digital Delay System I, 4. 3 Hiwatt DR 103 100w heads (the one to the right is a spare), 5. Mesa/Boogie Mark I 1978 head, 6. 2 Chaeffer Vega Wireless System transmitters, 7. Roland CR-78 Compurythm metronome.

Amps and speakercabinets front stage rig
Hiwatt DR103 All Purpose 100W head
- with Mullard 4xEL34’s power tubes and 4xECC83’s pre-amp tubes. Modified for linked normal and brilliance inputs.
WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinet
- with 4×12” Fane Crescendo speakers.

Note: This second smaller rig (one Hiwatt head with one WEM cab) was used while the band performed in front of the wall during the second half of the show.

Guitar and amp setups

David used Herco and Guild heavy gauge teardrop picks. All electric guitars were strung with Ernie Ball (Stratocaster 0.10-0.48/ Telecaster 0.10-0.44) and acoustics with Gibson Sonomatic E340L. Speaker cabinets were mic’ed with Shure SM57 microphones.

Further reading

See these in-depth features for more on David’s gear: Pete Cornish Animals Effects Board, Big Muff, Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress, The Black Stratocaster, The #0001 Stratocaster, Telecasters, Slide Guitars, Alembic F-2B preamp, Yamaha RA-200 and Hiwatt amps & WEM cabinets.

Acknowledgements and credits
The Wall (album 1979), Is There Anybody Out There The Wall Live ‘80-’81 (album 2000), 1979 The Wall demo tapes, Guitarist Magazine (“Relics” 1995), “In the Flesh” by Povey/Russell, “Comfortably Numb – A History of the Wall” by Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon, “The Black Strat – A History of David Gilmour’s black Fender Stratocaster” by Phil Taylor. Thanks to Richard Mahon, John Roscoe, Rafal Zychal and Pete Cornish for for help with research. See feature for other references.