|Effects, guitars and amps|
David’s 2006 On an Island tour was hugely successful not only because of the attendance but also in terms of his playing and tone. The grand finale at the shipyard in Gdansk is considered by many as one of David’s finest moments.
As on On an Island David returns to his classic sounds with a rig that’s very close to what he travelled with in the mid 70s including a brand new Pete Cornish pedal board and the legendary Black Strat. The period also includes several TV-appearances and the Barn Jam sessions in January 2007.
Pedal board effects listed as in chain
(send return – Whammy)
Pete Cornish G-2
Pete Cornish P-1 (labeled “Muff”)
BK Butler Tube Driver #1 (clean volume boost)
BK Butler Tube Driver #2 (overdrive)
(send return – UniVibe)
(send return – volume pedal)
Pete Cornish T.E.S. Tape Echo Simulator (based on Boss DD-2)
(send return – additional delays)
Digitech WH-1 Whammy
Dunlop Wah Wah
Pete Cornish “reversed wah” switcher (for Echoes)
Conn Strobo tuner (various appearances)
Ernie Ball volume pedal
Ernie Ball volume pedal (for “Sound on Sound”)
Pete Cornish line selector (main guitars/slides)
Effects added in May, lying ontop of the board, connected via send/return
Electro Harmonix Big Muff (“triangle”)
T-Rex Replica delay
Roland SDE-3000 delay (ontop of rack, for “Sound on Sound”)
Furman PL-8 Power Conditioner
MXR Digital Delay System model II
Pete Cornish “Sound on Sound” unit
Digitech IPS 33B harmonizer
Univox Uni-Vibe (custom rack unit)
Peterson R450 Strobe tuner
2 Avalon U5 mono instrument class A DI Preamplifier
- upgraded to 3 in May for the summer European tour.
Notes: The pedal board was constructed by Pete Cornish in early 2006 to be used as David’s main board for the On an Island tour. The board featured Cornish custom tube preamps between each effect to ensure minimum signal loss. All pedals were placed upside down allowing David to see the control knobs in the dark on stage.
– The BK Tube Drivers was especially ordered from Butler Audio early 2006. They both have one Yugo 12AX7 tube each.
– The Boss GE-7 is modified by Pete Cornish to give a flatter response at “0″.
– The Pete Cornish P-1 or Precision Fuzz is a straight clone of David’s old “ram’s head” Big Muff included in the old Animals/Wall stage board.
– The Demeter Compulator is a compressor based on the tube rack compressors often used in recording studios. The sound is similar to a MXR Dynacomp, but much more dynamic. The unit has a gain control with a possible 30db volume drop, – this allows to adjust the volume to the other effects or turn it up to max 26dB for pickups with weak output.
David also had the 1999 Pete Cornish All Tubes MKI pedal board on stage lying next to the effect rack as a backup. David is also seen trying out an Electro Harmonix Big Muff “ram’s head” and a Robert Keeley Fuzz Head at the Bray rehearsal studios in May.
The Sound on Sound effect was something David introduced on the 2001/02 acoustic shows. He wanted to be able to play Shine On without using keyboards and developed this technique of sustaining a chord with delay and playing on top of it. The Sound on Sound effect, isn’t an effect in form of a pedal but rather the effect achieved when splitting the signal in two with a long delay assigned to one channel. David strums a chord and makes a volume swell with the volume pedal assigned for the Sound on Sound channel. The signal travels to the Sound on Sound unit (basically a A/B router unit made by Pete Cornish) and into the Roland digital delay, which is set to 1500ms lasting about 20 seconds. The signal then travels into a Hiwatt and WEM cabinet used only for this effect. Gilmour lowers the volume pedal and plays a solo fed through the “normal” signal path, while the Sound on Sound pad is sustained by the long delay. The pattern is repeated for each chord.
Fender Stratocaster “The Black Strat”
- 1969 black alder body with black pickguard, Fender 1983 ‘57 reissue maple neck and Fender ‘71 neck and bridge pickups and a Seymour Duncan custom SSL-1 bridge pickup.
- 1983 ‘57 reissue, candy apple red alder body with a white pickguard, maple neck, EMG-SA active pickups (with EXG mid-cut/expander & SPC mid booster) and shortened tremolo arm.
Fender Custom Shop Telecaster
- 2006 1950s reissue/replica blonde ash body with a white pickguard and maple neck.
Gibson Les Paul Gold Top
- 1956 model with Gibson P-90 “slim/soapbar” pickups and Bigsby tremolo system.
Gretsch Duo Jet
- 1958 model with Bigsby tremolo stystem.
Jedson lap steel
- Red, fitted with an EMG-H pickup. Open Em chord tuning (E B E G B E) for High Hopes.
Fender Deluxe lap steel (blonde)
- Blonde, stock pickups. Open G chord tuning (D G D G B E) for Breathe, Wot’s…Uh the Deal and Great Gig in the Sky.
Gibson Western 1959 acoustic steel string guitar
- With a L.R. Baggs M1 active pickup.
Taylor NS74 acoustic nylon string guitar
- High Hopes.
Weissenborn acoustic slide guitar
- With a L.R. Baggs M1 active pickup. Open Em chord tuning (E B E G B E) for Then I Close My Eyes and Smile.
- Then I Close My Eyes intro.
3 Hiwatt DR103 All Purpose 100W heads
- With Mullard 4xEL34’s power tubes and 4xECC83’s pre-amp tubes. Modified for linked normal and brilliance inputs. Two main heads and a third for the “Sound on Sound” unit. There’s also spotted a 4th head backup behind the rack.
3 WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinets
- with 4×12” Fane Crescendo speakers. One of the cabs was used for the “Sound on Sound” unit.
David is seen with several variations of his main rig during the tour, scaled down for TV-shows and special appearances. He is also spotted trying out different guitars during rehearsals.
- 1950’s model with tobacco sunburst body with maple neck, seen at the Black Island Studios prior to the tour.
- 1959 model with three colour sunburst alder body and rosewood neck, seen at rehearsals at Bray Film studios May 18th. This is the same Telecaster used during the 1974-75 and 1977 tours.
Rickenbacker “frying pan” A-22 lap steel
- Barn Jam sessions January 2007, Jam #166
Hiwatt 1970’s SA212 50W combo
- 2x 12″ Fane Crescendo speakers and 2xEL34 and 4×12AX7 tubes. Modified to allow a normal and brilliant input combination. 60th birthday party and 2006 TV-appearances.
Alessandro Bluetick, 20w Tube Amp
- European summer outdoor shows, Abbey Road August session and Barn Jam sessions January 2007.
Yamaha RA-200 revolving speaker cabinet with an Alembic F-2B tube preamp
- Barn jam sessions January 2007.
Magnatone 280-A 50w combo
- Odeon, Leicester Square, London premiere of the Remember That Night DVD and barn jam sessions January 2007.
Fender 1956 tweed Twin 40w combo
- Odeon, Leicester Square, London premiere of the Remember That Night DVD.
David used a wide range of pick including Herco Flex 75, D’Andrea custom 354’s (white), Fender 354 (tortoise) and Fender 351 (medium). All electric guitars were strung with GHS Boomers (custom set 0.10-0.48 for Strats and 0.10,5-0.50 for the Les Paul), Ernie Ball Earthwound Light’s on the acoustics and D’Addario EHR360 half rounds on electric lap slides. David used his old Hiwatt heads that Phil Taylor bought from Dave Reeves in medio ’74. The heads was overhauled by Pete Cornish prior to the tour, early 2006. The WEM cabinets are are mic’ed with one Shure KSM 32 each. All instruments, pedals and amps were connected with Evidence Audio cables.
Evidence Audio cable setup:
– On stage, David is using the Melody for his Strats, lap steels and other electric guitars, while in a studio setting he prefers the Lyric HG.
– Lyric HG for acoustic guitars.
– Lyric HG between Cornish pedalboard and additional effect units.
– Siren speakercables between head and cabinets, and used to rewire the inside of combo amps and cabinets.
Acknowledgements and credits
Remember That Night (concert film 2007), Live in Gdansk (album and concert film 2008), davidgilmour.com, demeteramps.com, alessandro-products.com, Total Production Magazine (2006), petecornish.co.uk (The Birth of a PedalBoard feature), Thanks to Rafal Zychal, Martin Campbell, Eivind Mørk Engdal, John Roscoe, Frederic Peynet and Tony Farinella for help with research. The feature is also based on the shows in Amsterdam, Holland and London, UK which I attended. See feature for other references.