A Momentary Lapse of Reason 1987

Effects, guitars and amps Settings and setups

David’s setup during the Momentary Lapse recording sessions was very much a continuance of the About Face rig with mostly Boss and Fender units. His main guitar for the album was a Steinberger GL3T although the period marks the beginning of a long relationship with the red 1983 ’57 Stratocaster with the EMG pickups. David often refers to the album as “too much crash, boom, bang” but songs like On the the Turning Away and Sorrow are well placed among classic Floyd gems.

Effects recording sessions

Boss CS-2 compressor
Boss HM-2 distortion
Electro Harmonix Big Muff (“Ram’s Head”)
Boss GE-7 equalizer
Boss CE-2 chorus
Boss Digital Delay
MXR Digital Delay System II
Yamaha SPX 90 effect rack (for stereo chorus)

Note: Very little is documented from the sessions. David‘s main setup was a split signal with one lead directly into a Gallien-Krueger amp using its overdrive/distortion channel. The second lead was fed through a Boss Hm-2, Boss Digital Delay (possibly DD-2) and a Boss GE-7 into a Fender Super Champ amp. The intro on Sorrow was recorded with a Big Muff into a Fender Concert combo and the recorded signal was fed through Floyd’s Quad PA system at the LA Sports Arena.

David pictured with his two main guitars for Momentary Lapse of Reason; the 1983 candy apple red '57 reissue Fender Stratocaster and a Steinberger GL3T both with EMG SA pickups.

Guitars and amps recording sessions

Fender Stratocaster
- 1983 ‘57 reissue with maple neck, EMG-SA active pickups (with EMG-EXG expander and SPC midrange presence controls) and shortened tremolo arm (David might have used both the red and cream Strats but most likely just the cream at this point).
Steinberger GL3T
- White “mini-body” with TransTrem tremolo system and EMG SA pickups with EMG SPC presence control. The guitar was modified with a 5-way pickup switch and a mini toggle switch for the SPC.
Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
- 1955 model with Gibson P-90 pickups.
Acoustic steel string guitar

Fender 1984 Super Champ 18W
- 1 10″ Electro Voice speaker and one of each tube 12AX7, 12AT7, 6C10, 6V6GTA, 6V6GTA.
Hiwatt 1970’s SA212 50W combo
- 2x 12″ Fane Crescendo speakers and 2xEL34 and 4×12AX7 tubes.
Gallien-Krueger 250 ML MK II 100W
- 2 channel solid state with 2x 4.5″ speakers. David used this for boost with the speakers bypassed.
Fender Princeton combo
Fender Concert combo

Further reading

See these in-depth features for more on David’s gear: Big Muff, The Red Stratocaster and Hiwatt amps & WEM cabinets.

Acknowledgements and credits
A Momentary Lapse of Reason (album 1987), Delicate Sound of Thunder (album 1988), Delicate Sound of Thunder (concert film 1989), The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia by Vernon Fitch, “The Black Strat – A History of David Gilmour’s black Fender Stratocaster” by Phil Taylor, Guitar World Magazine (1988), Guitar Magazine (1988), Guitar World Magazine (1993), emginc.com. Thanks to Rafal Zychal, John Roscoe and Richard Mahon for help with research. See feature for other references.