The Final Cut 1983

Effects, guitars and amps Settings and setups

The Final Cut marks the end of the Waters Floyd era. During a bitter time for the band the album is written and recorded largely by Waters alone and David and Nick are hired as session musicians. Still the album feature some of David’s finest work and for many a much more honest sound than on The Wall with the classic Black Strat, Big Muff and Yamaha RA200 rotating speaker cabinets.

Pete Cornish pedal board and additional effects recording sessions

Pedal board effects listed as in chain
Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (BC109)
Electro Harmonix Big Muff (“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
Tremolo/vibrato effect

Note: David mentions that he used a Cornish board for the sessions although it’s not documented whether he used the Wall studio board or the Animals/Wall stage board. Roger Waters did play some of the guitars – mainly acoustics but also electrics and some of the sounds and effects might not be David’s.

Guitars and amps recording sessions

Fender Stratocaster “The Black Strat”
- 1969 black alder body with a black pickguard, Charvel 22-frets maple neck and Fender 1971 neck and middle pickups and a Seymour Duncan custom SSL-1 bridge pickup
Gibson Les Paul with tremolo arm
Ovation Custom Legend 1619-4 acoustic steel string guitar
Martin D12-28 12-string acoustic 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.

Note: The Les Paul with tremolo arm was mentioned by David in an interview with Sound Magazine in 1983. It’s not known which Les Paul this is but a fair guess is that he’s referring to the ’59 Gibson Gold Top with Bigsby tremolo system that was later used on On an Island.

David’s Gear on Final Cut

In an interview with Guitarist magazine dating ‘95, Gilmour says; “We went in and did some guitar overdubs for that album in Wax studios (…) and we took the big guitar gear. (…) We just put the big stuff in and Phil Taylor wasn’t around. I had someone else who wasn’t a roadie or anything to take it in, I told him more or less what to plug in and we just turned it on and it instantly sounded great! We did all the guitar stuff just there and it was so easy. I don’t know why, that room for some reason at that particular time just worked so great.”

So it’s fair to assume that his “big gear” was the stuff he used on The Wall, with the Pete Cornish pedal board and all. Judging from the original demo tapes (“The Final Cuttings” bootleg), David just came in, did his stuff and that was more or less it. Some of the songs aren’t close to finished, but David’s tracks are as we hear on the album. Roger Waters also insisted on that Gilmour had to agree on not being co-producer or there would be no album.

In another interview dating right after the album’s release in ‘83, David says to Sound magazine; “I used both the Fender guitar and a Gibson Les Paul, both with tremolo units on them. For amplifiers I used a Hiwatt 100 and two 4×12’s. I’ve got two Yamaha-type Leslie things that I have going at the same time. I’ve got a pedal board with a whole bunch of effects stuck on it. I use a DDL echo machine, chorus pedals, flangers, fuzz boxes…”

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, Alembic F-2B preamp, Yamaha RA-200 and Hiwatt amps & WEM cabinets.

Acknowledgements and credits
The Final Cut (album 1983), The Final Cut demo tapes (1983, Sound Magazine (“Guitar Heroes” 1983), Guitarist Magazine (1995). See feature for other references.