Live at Pompeii 2016

Effects, guitars and amps Settings and setups

David Gilmour returned to the Roman Amphitheatre in Pompeii in July 2016 almost to the day 45 years after Pink Floyd filmed their legendary concert film at the same location. It’s a spectacular performance, with classic elements of a Pink Floyd show, a super tight band and David delivering some of his finest playing and tones.

Rattle That Lock saw David return to some of his classic guitars and effect pedals, including the Black Strat, ’55 Esquire “Workmate” and pedals like the Big Muff and Electric Mistress. As on previous tours, David experimented with new pedals throughout the tour and his rig saw many changes.

Effects, racks and additional units

Top of rack – top row
Electro Harmonix “ram’s head” Big Muff
Lehle parallel L
Electro Harmonix 1976/77 Electric Mistress
1 Chandler Tube Driver
2 BK Butler Tube Drivers

Top of rack – bottom row
Effectrode PC-2A Compressor
Demeter Compulator
Origin Effects Cali 76 Compact Compressor
Sovtek Civil War Big Muff
1 Boss GE-7 Equalizers
2 Source Audio Programmable EQ (one spare)
2 Providence Chrono Delays
2 Free The Tone Flight Time Digital Delays

A close-up of the pedal rack. (picture by The Guardian).

A close-up of the pedal rack. (picture by The Guardian).

The Skrydstrup SC1 Midi System Controller and David's notes.

The Skrydstrup SC1 Midi System Controller and David’s notes. (picture by The Guardian)

Comments to the effect rack

– The Lehle parallel L mixer was assigned to the Electric Mistress controlling the volume.
– Each EQ unit can be used for multiple combinations and patches.
– Each Tube Driver is set for different amounts of gain, providing clean boost, overdrive and distortion. David would also use the guitar volume control to adjust the amount of gain further.

- See the Rattle That Lock tour gear guide for more detailed information on the setup.

Additional units

Skrydstrup SC1 Midi System Controller
Skrydstrup XT+ Module
– main pedalboard, controlling the pedals and rack units, with options for either single effect switching or multiple effect patches.

Digitech Whammy 5
Peterson Stomp Classic tuner
Pete Cornish line selector (main guitars/slides)
Ernie Ball volume pedal main
Ernie Ball volume pedal for slides

Effect rack (left)
Skrydstrup MR10 Loop System
Univox/Shin-ei Uni-Vibe (custom rack unit)
Peterson Autostrobe 490 tuner

Effect rack (right)
Skrydstrup MR10 Loop System
Skrydstrup tuner splitter
Skrydstrup SC1 Interface
Skrydstrup Amp splitter / Interface

David Gilmour - Brighton 2015 effects

David Gilmour’s stage effect rack (Brighton, UK September 5 2015 – note that some of the pedals were swapped out during the tour – see list above).
Left rack: Skrydstrup MR10 Looper, MXR DDL II (not present at Pompeii), UniVibe, Peterson R450 Strobe Tuner
Right rack: Skrydstrup MR10 Looper, Skrydstrup tuner splitter, Skrydstrup SC1 Interface, Skrydstrup Amp splitter / Interface
(picture used with permission – Francesco Marinelli)

Guitars and amps

Fender Stratocaster “The Black Strat”
- 1969 black alder body with black pickguard, Fender 1983 ‘57 reissue maple neck and Fender ‘71 neck and middle pickups and a Seymour Duncan custom SSL-1 bridge pickup.
Gibson Les Paul Gold Top
- 1956 model with Gibson P-90 pickups and Bigsby tremolo system.
Fender Esquire “Workmate”
- 1955 sunburst ash body with black pickguard and maple neck. Fitted with a custom Seymour Duncan neck pickup.
Jedson lap steel
- Red, fitted with an EMG-H pickup. Open Em chord tuning (E B E G B E) for One of these Days.
Fender Deluxe lap steel (blonde)
- Blonde, stock pickups. Open G chord tuning (D G D G B E) for Great Gig in the Sky and A Boat Lies Waiting. Also used for High Hopes with an open Em chord tuning (E B E G B E).
Gibson Western 1959 acoustic steel string guitar
- With a L.R. Baggs M1 active pickup.
Taylor NS74 acoustic nylon string guitar

David Gilmour - Live at Pompeii

David playing his Black Strat and the ’55 Esquire “Workmate”.

David Gilmour - Live at Pompeii

David playing the blonde Fender Deluxe and red Jedson lap steels.

David Gilmour - Live at Pompeii

David with his ´56 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop (picture from Wroclaw ,Poland June 2016 – the guitar was also used for 5 A.M. at Pompeii) and the ’59 Gibson Western steel string and

2 Hiwatt Custom 50W heads
- With Mullard 2xEL34’s power tubes and 4xECC83’s pre-amp tubes. Modified for linked normal and brilliance inputs. David’s only using one head. The other is a spare.
2 Alessandro Redbone Special 55w tube head
2 WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinets
- with 4×12” Fane Crescendo metal dust cap speakers. David would normally have 3 cabinets in the setup.

Guitar and amp setup

David’s current stage setup is in mono – all effects fed right into each amp. One Hiwatt Custom 50 head (reportedly set at the edge of breakup to get more grit) and one of the Alessandro Redbone heads are always on in combination.

All pedals, racks and amps are connected with Evidence Audio Lyric HC cables. Guitars to pedalboard are connected with Evidence Audio Forte cables. David’s using a wide range of different picks, depending on guitars, including Herco Flex Nylon 75s 1.01mm. All WEM speaker cabinets are mic’ed with Shure KSM 32 mics slightly off centre of the cone.

David Gilmour - Brighton 2015 amps

David Gilmour’s amp setup as seen at Brighton Centre, September 5th 2015. Two Hiwatt DR103 heads, with two Alessandro heads on top. The three WEM cabinets are each mic’ed with a Shure KSM 32 mic.

Further reading

See these in-depth features for more on David’s gear: The Black Stratocaster, Telecasters, Gibson Les Pauls, Slide Guitars, Hiwatt amps & WEM cabinets and Electric Mistress. See the Rattle That Lock 2015 gear guide for a detailed rundown of David’s recording setup.

Acknowledgements and credits

Official Rattle That Lock EPK, official David Gilmour live at Pompeii concert film and documentary, The Guardian (14 July 2016), Kit Rae’s David Gilmour tone building, and David Gilmour Gear Forum.

74 Responsesso far.

  1. joao zappa says:

    bjorn, do you know how david makes that harmonic note on the intro of sorrow? i’ve seen he pulling a string next to the headstock but dont know for sure.

  2. anthony crowder says:

    question on slide guitar .how does he achieve the sound for shine on crazy diamond the last segment shine_On_You_Crazy_Diamond_(Parts_VI_IX)
    what effects and delay times

    • Bjorn says:

      Back in the mid 70s he would use a silicon Fuzz Faze and there sounds to be some dealy coming from the Binson with possibly 300ms.

  3. David says:

    Has he changed his string gauge or something? He sounds a bit thin in some places, especially on the bridge pick up. Idk, it sounds a bit odd since he usually has a nice fat tone. Or maybe it’s because I’m not watching it on proper speakers right now?

    • Bjorn says:

      As far as I know he’s been using the same brand, GHS, and custom gauge setup since Wall. It’s documented in Phil Taylor’s Black Strat book. Checking your listening experience is always a good place to start and there could be a number of reasons why you perceive his tone as less fat but he does have a different setup compared to Pulse and Island and his amps are set for more grit and presence now.

  4. Ken Branca says:

    Question are the eq’s Pre or post tube driver

  5. Tom says:

    Hey Bjorn, I got a question, I know David isn’t using any modulation on The Blue but how does his guitar sound so.. “3d”? It sounds out of this world, is it the doppolas? I’m refering to the solo. Maybe is it the whammy? But as far as I know it’s just for the octave.. anyway thanks in advance!! Also thanks for the EHX Green Russian review!
    Cheers

    • Bjorn says:

      There’s no modulation but it sounds like there’s two different delays and the Whammy will create some modulation or a slightly processed flavour.

  6. Roger Sartori says:

    Hi.
    Watching the video of Gilmour in Pompeii, we see the Civil War muff but not the Ram’s Head on the top rack… he used both muffs on that show??

  7. Rodrigo Godoy says:

    Hi Bjorn

    Have you seen the BBC recently Gilmour interview? He uses a new guitar. It’s like the black strat, but is a new one, without relics…

  8. Matthias says:

    Hey Bjorn, thanks for your great work. I’ve got the CD Live at Pompeii. Comfortably Numb solo at minute 7:35 – one of the typical licks – between the bend and the pull-off, what is the little detail – which string is it one can hear? I was never able to play that lick as well as David. Are you? Best regards from Oslo, Matthias

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Matthias, that’s a blues riff in the pentatonic scale in B. Bend the G string on the 9th fret one whole note, pick the B string on the 7th fret and pull off the E string on the 10th string. He’s doing it really fast so it might sound different but that’s really what he does. Typical of BB King and it’s all over David’s playing.

  9. OTW says:

    Bjorn, a General question: How do you know all those things? I understand you listen, you look at photos available, but that may be just 30% of all Information posted by you. So what is your secret?

    Cheers OTW

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, first of all I’ve been researching David’s gear for 20 years and running this site for almost 15. You learn how to spot things and listen for the details. That being said, much of what you find in the album guides are information I’ve gathered for years with lots of contributions from others. I know a lot about David’s playing and gear but I couldn’t have created this site without the help and research provided by many of my followers and readers.

  10. Fantastic job as always, Bjorn!
    I really missed the Red Strat on Sorrow! :/
    Did you notice the Black Strat slightly out of tune on a few songs, like Coming Back to Life intro and Sorrow? Or I misheard?

  11. Vito says:

    Hi Bjorn, David used only muff pedal without boosted with the tube driver in the heavy dist tone?

  12. Thomas says:

    Thanks for all the work you have put into this site through all the years. I have some questions and a I see a few things that are not quite right, so I thought I would help out:

    – you list and show the MXR delay, but there is no MXR delay in the rack at Pompeii
    – You show 3 WEM cabs, but there were on 2 at Pompeii. There were 3 WEM cabs earlier in the tour.
    – You list an Alessandro Bluetick, but George himself said both were Redbone Specials on his website after attending an NYC concert and going back stage. He said David only uses the BT in the studio. I think that dark brown one has been mis-identified for years. If you go back and look at Astoria security videos from 2005 there is one with a dark brown case and blond from panel. I think that is the original Bluetick. David also used it with Jeff Beck in 2009.

    I looked over the signal chains for each song at Pompeii posted on the GG forum, and those contradict what you list, so I wonder which is correct?
    – Your Run Like Hell setting is missing the Electric Mistress
    – Your Time rhythm section lists a Tube Driver, but the signal chain does not
    – You say each EQ was assigned to one Tube Driver, but the signal chains show the Source Audio EQ#3 was used for just about everything, including cleans and muffs. I assume it was programmed with pre-sets. Also, sometimes Tube Driver #3 was paired with EQ#2, and sometimes #3.

    Delay Times I spotted during the concert –
    WDYWFM I can seen a delay time of 430 ms on the Flight Time A
    Money wet solo 350ms and 430ms on FT A and B
    CBTL solo 375ms on FT A
    The Blue 11ms on FT A and 430ms on FT B

    Thanks, and I hope that helps!
    Thomas

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Thomas, sorry for my late reply. Thanks for the info! Obviously, I didn’t go over the cut/paste I did from the Rattle That Lock tour info. He did do some changes along the tour and prior to this show.
      I’ve gone over the songs again and I can definitely hear the Mistress on Run. My source is part by ear and the footage I could find and I’m sure you guys have gone deeper than that. Still, I do hear some breakup in the tone as well and I can’t see anything listed that suggests that. I would think the Tube Driver boost is one but I haven’t seen anything. The PC-2A couldn’t do that alone with the settings David’s using.
      I’m also puzzled by the rhythms on Time. There’s definitely some breakup there if you listen with headphones. Could it be the slightly dirty Redbone?

  13. Matthias says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Thanks a lot for this great work.
    Do you happen to know how David sets up his bridge on the black strat: floating or flush against the body?
    Thanks in advance,
    Matthias

  14. Phil says:

    Thanks Bjorn! Good stuff!
    Something new in his delay settings is, that he sometimes used quarter + dotted 8th notes, like in Syd’s Theme ;)
    5 A.M. also has this, at least the album version.

  15. Sir Noodleford says:

    Björn: I love your blog and all that comes with it. My only comment on this particular entry: as I’ve watched the live DVD and as much as I know how you’ve grown weary of it (CN) I can’t help but say the way David played the 2nd solo on Comfortably Numb was like it was his last time playing it… right at the start he does that slide up to that high note, that he hasn’t done since (has he ever done it like that?) for me signalling something great to be witnessed. Followed by a very smoothly played section where he does some old familiar stuff, but played slow and thus creating something new and fascinating and interpreting it in a new style and in an unexpected way. Halfway through he looks like he’s doing it so effortlessly.. Along the way he keeps adding hommages to those other versions like a slight hint at the seagull part and a nod at the pulse flower-opening thingy lick. And those high bends.. And that repeated riff, where he focuses all his concentration to give everything at the grand finale, where he again doesn’t disappoint and adds that bulid-up.. and seeing Guy diggin in like he knows it too.. boy if he’d had those yamahas it’d have been him playing his own requiem..

    Nevermind the floydhead speaking ; )

    xxx

  16. Ric Mchls says:

    Thank you, Bjorn! Great job, as usual…

  17. Tomas Oteros says:

    Hi, master. Greetins from Cordoba (Spain). Still Gilmour using de Avalon U5 for acoustic?

    • Bjorn says:

      They’re not visible in the current rig but I haven’t found any footage showing what he might be using for the acoustics.

  18. Will says:

    Hi Bjorn, excellent work as always.

    Did anyone notice the Shine On VI-IX licks scattered about this version of One of These Days? Thought I was going mad when I noticed it at RAH in September but it’s definitely there!

  19. lapelcelery says:

    Hey Bjorn, Great article as always.

    As an extra note, and I’ll try and find you the exact source, I read a recent interview with Phil Taylor (may have been in the Guitarist article about the Endless River’s gear) where I’m sure he said that Gilmour actually ended up swapping the neck pickup in the original Black Strat for a fender Fat 50s like in the CS versions, as he’d suggested he might in previous interviews.

    • Bjorn says:

      In the Guitarist February 2015 issue, Phil talks about how they tested different pickups for the Replica and NOS Strats and that they settled for the Fat 50s neck but that was for those guitars. The original Black Strat is still described with the 1971 neck and middle from the bullett Strat and the SSL1c that they istalled in 1979.

  20. Frédéric says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Thank you for this another great article. Lots of great stuff to learn from.
    Just one thing:

    Faces Of Stones – Solo 2 – Big muff?
    My ears tell me it is a Tube Driver, just like on On An Island…

    I really like this track. There’s a bit of Knopfler mood in the studio version.
    And live, it was a stunning moment for me. The Pompei version is beautiful.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Frédéric! Hope all is well :) I was a bit confused about the tone when I first heard it and it sounded too smooth for a Tube Driver. I listened to it in headphones and you’re right. It’s definitely a TD. It doesn’t have that throaty Muff tone and harmonics. I’m a bit puzzled still though. The solo on Faces and Island is much smoother, with more sustain, than say What Do You Want and Fat Old Sun, which leads me to think that it’s a combo of two TDs. I’m pretty sure that What Do You Want at least, is the distortion TD and not the OD, which probably means that Faces is a combo of the distortion and boost… or so it sounds to me. What do you think?

      • Frédéric says:

        I haven’t checked it back, but I recall having noticed on the Bluray that during the second solo of Faces Of Stones at Pompei, David had the bridge-middle tone knob somewhere aroung 8. I don’t know if the bridge pickup is connected to the tone pot or not, but this may have some incidence…
        Also, don’t forget his EQs. How do the Source Audio settings differ from the old GE-7’s?

        That’s true that adding a second TD to a first one bring more mids. I don’t know if he did this here. To me, this could be a matter of compression…

        • Bjorn says:

          Sounds to me that his guitar on Faces is mixed differently than on WDYWFM as well. It’s obviously more of a lead but the tone seems to be a bigger part of the band mix and a bit wider. I don’t know. Hard to tell about the details but you’re right about the TD anyway :)

  21. Matteo Bossetti says:

    Great job mate! I never figured out what the configuration of the first and last part of Sorrow is. Do you have the description somewhere?

  22. Jae says:

    Great read Bjorn! I’m glad to see that Dave decided to go with a simpler setup this time. One thing I read that got my attention was where you wrote that Dave’s Strat has ’71 neck and mid pickups plus a Seymour Duncan SSL-1 in the bridge. Is this something he did for this show?

    • Bjorn says:

      It’s the same setup he’s had since 1979. The SSL1c was a custom wound pickup from Seymour Duncan. It’s the same as the current SSL5.

      • Jae says:

        I understand about the bridge pickup, I should have been more clear, I was asking if he had changed the pickup selection in his custom shop strat for this show, or has he gone back to using the original set. Sorry for the confusion.
        Thanks again,

        • Jae says:

          Just wanted to add that I would love for Fender to reproduce the workmate tele as a custom shop guitar. I have lusted after that beauty since About Face came out on Vinyl.

        • Bjorn says:

          He used his original Black Strat for the show, with the 1971 Fender neck and middle pickups and the custom wound Seymour Duncan SSL1c bridge pickup.

  23. Scott H says:

    Thank you Bjorn for all your hard work on this outstanding article

  24. Michel Giroux says:

    What is an MIDI system controller?How does it work,(in a nutshell),and is it the same as a “switcher?

  25. Jeremy Groves says:

    Once again, you are the man! The go between from men to gods.

  26. Michael says:

    Bjorn you’ve done it again, very nice work friend! And I think I can safely speak for us all when I say it is very appreciated!

  27. Machu Franck says:

    I was waiting for this ! Thanks a lot Bjorn :)

  28. Great stuff Bjorn!! There’s some tones on this tour I’ve been trying to crack for ages, especially Sorrow; turns out I just need a better Civil War clone! I sympathise with your struggle to get accurate delay settings, on both the album and the Bootlegs I can’t even hear delay on most of the songs, unless it’s the Boonar on Shine On and possibly the intro to Coming Back to Life. His compressor settings sounded fine to me when I saw him in Toronto, but they’re definitely a little much at some points on the record; I miss the days of the CS-2! I’ll definitely be sticking to a more Division Bell-era clean/drive tone for some of these tunes, but I’m chasing that Fuzz tone for sure! Thanks again for the hard work you put into this Bjorn, I can’t express to you just how much I appreciate it!

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