A Saucerful of Secrets 1968

Effects, guitars and amps Settings and setups

In his first year with Pink Floyd, David Gilmour would continue to use much of the same gear that Syd Barrett had used before him, including Fender Telecasters and Selmer amps. In fact, during the early months of 1968 and the recording of A Saucerful of Secrets, David would borrow Syd’s guitar and amp in addition to using his own gear.

Pink Floyd did numerous TV appearances and toured Europe and North America relentlessly throughout 1968. Part to promote their new album, A Saucerful of Secrets, but also to make sure that although losing an important member, the band was as vital and relevant as ever.  

The period stretches from the handful of 5-piece performances with both Syd and David in January 1968 to the release of More in late spring 1969.

Effects recording sessions and live performances

Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (germanium transistor)
Vox wah wah
Binson Echorec II

Guitars and amps recording sessions

Fender Telecaster
– Early 1960s all stock with a white ash body, white pickguard and a rosewood neck.
Levin western acoustic steel string guitar

Selmer amps with matching speaker cabinets

Note: There are different reports on which Selmer amp model David Gilmour used during the recording of A Saucerful of Secrets. Like Syd, he might have used a Treble n Bass 50w MKII but the Stereomaster 100w is seen both during the recording sessions and seem to have been favoured for live performances.

Both the Selmer Treble n Bass and Stereomaster had a tone similar to an early Marshall, although not as mids focused and higher volume settings would produce more of a fuzz-like tone. 

(left) Bouton Rouge TV-show, Paris, France, February 20. 1968 (David’s first TV-appearance). David is seen using the Telecaster he got from his parents for his 21st birthday in 1966. This got lost on the band’s visit to the States in July. Up against the Selmer Stereomaster and cabinet in the back is Syd’s identical Telecaster that David borrowed as a spare. (right) – Surprise Partie TV performance for French ORTF TV, September 7. 1968. David’s using the white Stratocaster he got as a gift from the band just prior to their US tour in July.

Guitars and amps live performances 1968 – spring 1969

Fender Telecaster
– Early 1960s all stock with a white ash body, white pickguard and a rosewood neck. This is the guitar David used with the band Bullitt prior to joining Pink Floyd.
Fender Telecaster
– Early 1960s all stock with a white ash body, white pickguard and a rosewood neck. This was Syd Barrett’s guitar that David would use as a spare during early 1968 TV and live performances. 
Fender Stratocaster
– 1966-67 all stock with a white ash body, white pickguard and a rosewood 4-bolt neck with a large headstock.
Fender Telecaster
– Natural brown body, with maple neck and white pickguard. The neck pickup has no cover – either modified or replaced by a Stratocaster pickup. (used from spring 1969).
Levin western acoustic steel string guitar

Selmer Stereomaster 100w head
Selmer 2×12″ All Purpose speaker cabinet
Selmer 1×18″ Goliath speaker cabinet
– seen used from autumn 1968

Note: The natural brown Telecaster is first seen at the Royal Festival Hall show UK, London April 14 1969. David continued to use the guitar for a number of performances 1969-71. According to Phil Taylor’s book The Black Strat, the guitar was mainly used for performing Atom Heart Mother (1970-71).

(left) David is playing a Gretsch copy by French luthier Jacobacci on Samedi et Compagnie ORTF TV Paris, France September 21. 1968. (middle) David sometime early 1968 with his mid 1960’s Telecaster plugged into (probably) a Marshall 1967 Super Bass and two VOX cabinets. (right) David playing a Gibson ES 355 on Forum Musiques, ORTF TV Paris, France January 22. 1969. The guitar belonged to Harry Vanda of The Easybeats, who also appeared on the show.

Miscellaneous equipment

Pink Floyd is seen using different in-house or borrowed gear throughout 1968. Part of the reason is that they often filmed TV shows in France and other parts of Europe during day time and early evening and went back to the UK to perform shows and festivals later the same night – see pictures above. 

The band also didn’t bring their own PA system to the States in July 1968 and can be seen using different speaker cabinets and PAs provied either by the venue or headlining acts. 

Further reading

See these in-depth features for more on David’s gear: Early Years 1968-69, Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face, Binson Echorec, The White Stratocaster and Telecasters.

Acknowledgements and credits
A Saucerful of Secrets (album 1968), BBC Top Gear (live recordings 1968-69), Sound Magazine (Guitar Heroes 1983), Binson.Com, VintageHofner.Co.Uk, WatkinsGuitars.Co.Uk, Inside Out Pink Floyd biography by Nick Mason, In the Flesh by Povey/Russell, thanks to Rafal Zychal for help with research. See feature for other references.