Gilmour’s Gear: The Effects
As featured in “Andy’s Corner” on ProGuitarShop.com
The Effects of David Gilmour
Alright y’all! You’ve been asking and patiently waiting
so this week we’re going to have a look at the effects
pedals used by David Gilmour. This is a long and extensive topic so we’re going to keep it simple and focus
on the more well-known and most-used of his effects.
If he used a certain effect once, on one song in one
studio session, it may not be mentioned here. However, there are plenty of resources on the intrawebz
that will be able to tell you some of the more obscure
effects in his arsenal. So let’s get started and see the
final piece of the puzzle in Gilmour’s legendary tone.
We all know David loves his fuzz pedals. Heck, who
can blame him? We all love fuzz pedals and he is one
of the primary reasons why! In 1968 he had a pretty
basic setup; Vox wah, Binson Echorec, and a Fuzz Face.
This originally was the NKT 275 germanium model until early 1971 when he switched to the BC108 silicon
version. The germanium tones can be heard on “
Corporal Clegg”, “Let There be More Light”, and “Nile Song”.
The silicon version had more gain and a brighter tone
and became his main fuzz until the mid 70’s when he
switched to the Big Muff and Pete Cornish P1. Because
the silicon Fuzz Face was more difficult to control with
his volume knob, the switch to this model led David
to incorporate a DeArmond volume pedal into his rig.
Check this out:
David’s Fuzz Face Settings:
Fuzz: 100% Volume: 70-100%
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David would roll down the guitar volume to adjust the
gain for a milder fuzz/overdrive on rhythm parts. Between
1971-1975 he also used a Colorsound Power Boost with
the silicon Fuzz Face to add even more gain and sustain.
The silicon transistor Fuzz Face is recognized by it’s bright, edgy
fuzz with rich sustain, while the germanium transistor Fuzz
Face is slightly muddier, warmer and closer to an overdrive.
Somewhere around 1974-1976, David switched over
to using a USA made “Rams Head” Big Muff. Originally given to David was from Phil Taylor and this
is purportedly the main one used in the studio. A
second one was purchased by Phil for David’s touring rig but due to the inconsistent builds of Big Muffs
at the time, the #2 didn’t sound the same. In comes
Pete Cornish. He modified #2, matching component
values to sound like #1 at David’s request. Along with
this modification, Pete also added a buffer to make it
compatible with the routing system on David’s custom pedal board.
This #2 Muff has seen use in tours
from 1977-2006 and could possibly
still be on his board today
Occasionally integrated into David’s touring rigs were
Pete Cornish custom fuzz pedals as well. These were
referred to by many names such as the Cornish Fuzz,
and PC Fuzz but most people will recognize them
by the name of the commercial version (released in
2006) called the P1. Around 1974-75 he was sent
seven of Gilmour’s Big Muffs and asked to select
the one he thought would be the best to reproduce
with improvements. In 1976, Pete built one of the
first “boutique” fuzz pedals into Gilmour’s custom
pedal board. This was one of these reproductions
with power supply decoupling, input/output buffers,
reduced PCB size, and the best available components.
It’s unclear how much this was actually used during