NOTE: This website is frequently updated. Last update December 2013.
TONE BUILDING - What do each of the pedals David Gilmour used do and how do you set them to get similar Pink Floyd tones? Which pickups and amps work best for those tones? Here is a general guide to the gear and how to get the tones. There are audio clips demonstrating building basic Gilmour tones using some of the same gear David used. These clips are designed to show what each individual piece of gear contributes to the tone. This is not a comprehensive song by song list by any means, just a general guide based on my experience. I highly recommend you look at Gilmourish.com and The Tone from Heaven for much more detailed reference for all the gear David has used throughout the years. Those guys have really done their home work and have created very comprehensive websites on everything to do with David Gilmour's gear and tone, but for my website I wanted to focus on actual sound clips and settings for reference. Enjoy!
TONE BUILDING - Animals - The effects used and sound clips (coming soon)
TONE BUILDING - The Wall - The effects used and sound clips (coming soon)
NOTE - I have listed the gear and settings I use in most cases, for reference, but note that the tones may not exactly match your rig, depending on which amplifier you use, your guitar, pickups, and fingers.
David completely changed his sound for his 1984 solo album and throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. This was period where David was working constantly, making guest guitarist appearances on dozens of other artist's recordings, including Pete Townshend, Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney, Pete Cetera, Kate Bush, Supertamp, Warren Zevon, Arcadia, Rod Stewart, and Berlin. His sound remained somewhat consistent in this period, primarily created by the Boss HM-2 or Big Muff distortion blended with the slightly overdriven tone from certain amps. Here is a 14 minute medley of different solo tones from this period, many of which sound like exactly the same setup.
David Gilmour In Concert video from the Hammersmith Odeon in London, April 1984
The gear David used on his About Face album and tour in 1984 seems to be the same setup - Fender Twins, a Mesa Boogie 60w head, and Boss pedals. The Boss HM-2 and Mesa/Boogie are key to the tones of this era, although David was also still using a Rams Head Big Muff. He had been using the Mesa/Boogie for light overdrive tones since 1978. For this album he ran the HM-2 into a Mesa head, probably a Mark I or early Mark II, for a blend of the two tones. This combo was used for most of the heavy distortion lead sound for his solos. Gilmour described this exact setup in the November 1984 issue of Guitar World.
A boss chorus was also essential to these tones. David used variations on this setup for many of his guest appearances throughout the 1980's and early 1990's. Among those solos, David's guitar tones on Supertamp's 1985 song Brother Where You Bound and Pete Townshend's 1986 Deep End concert were amazing to me. It took a long time to figure out what David was using there, and the best combo I have come up with to exactly duplicate these tones (without the Mesa) is shown below - a blend of the HM-2 and a Big Muff Pi. Note that a Cornish Big Muff is shown (P-1), but any Ram's Head era Big Muff, or clone, should work. For amps, this setup works best with a Hiwatt DR103 or Reeves, but if you use a mid scooped Fender amp, like a Twin Reverb, it is best to use an EQ pedal to boost the mid range. A Strat equipped with EMG-SA pickups, with the SPC control set about mid way, is best for these tones, but it sounds good with standard Strat pickups as well.
This tone, especially the solos in Pete Townshend's Deep End concerts, is reminiscent of the tone from David's solo in the Pink Floyd song Biding My Time, recorded way back in 1969! The 1980's version of that sound varied throughout the '80's, only changing by the amount of delay and how much modulation was used. Sometimes the tone has more mid range, sometimes less. This is easily fine tuned with the Hi color knob of the HM-2. There are some solos from this period that sound like they are a different setup, such as the solo for Paul McCartney's No More Lonely Nights, I believe that is actually the same setup, only with an Electric Mistress instead of a chorus.
Most of the time David was using the bridge pickup with this setup, but occasionally he used the neck pickup on songs such as Deep in the Blues (with Les Paul), and the version of I Put A Spell On You he played with Mica Paris and Jools Holland in 1991. This setup sounds great with either pickup, but I suggest turning the guitar volume down slightly when using the neck pickup.
Here is one of my favorite HM-2 setups: Boss CS-2 compressor, Boss HM-2, P-1 with sustain dialed off, TC Nova delay at 540ms, ambient reverb delay from a Catalinbread Echorec, into a Fender Twin reverb in the left channel and Yamaha RA-200 rotary speaker cabinet in the right.
Below are sound clips and info on the primary pedals and gear needed to create the fuzz/distortion tones heard in solos from songs like On the Turning Away, Sorrow, and Comfortably Numb from the Pink Floyd live albums Delicate Sound of Thunder and Pulse. I have included a basic description of what each pedal does in the signal chain, and detailed information about David's huge rig used for Pink Floyd's Momentary Lapse of Reason tour. Some very detailed info about David's Pulse rig and gear can be found at The Tone from Heaven website.
THE MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON LEAD TONES - Determining what David actually used in these 1987 album tones can be a bit tricky, since David, his Backline tech Phil Taylor, engineer Andy Jackson, and author/researcher Richard Mahon all seem to contradict each other on the exact gear used. There is very little information about what David actually used in the studio for the MLOR sessions, but looking at the effects we know David used just prior to and just after MLOR, we can get an idea. He was still using the Boss HM-2 combined with a Mesa/Boogie amp head (used an overdrive) for his lead distortion sound, along with the Boss GE-7 equalizers, a Boss compressor, a chorus and delay. This gear was also used in 1984 for David's About Face album and tour. The guitars he was using, a Strat and Steinberger, were both equipped with EMG-SA pickups, so the SPC EQ control of the EMG pickups control is likely part of that tone. David and producer Bob Ezrin have stated he used a Fender Super Champ and a Gallien Kruger ML250 amp in the studio for most of the tracks. The one song we have definite (but contradictory) studio gear info about is Sorrow, so I use that as the basis of the album setups, and my ears.
Author Richard Mahon detailed the rig on his Spare Bricks website, with info from engineer Andy Jackson. He refers to the Sorrow intro here, but Jackson also said this was the main setup for the whole album:
Phil Taylor, David's backline tech, remembers slightly differently in his Black Strat book:
David himself actually stated the setup back in 1988, just a year after recording it, so it was still fresh in his memory. He is talking about the Sorrow intro here:
"That very nasty distortion you hear at the beginning of the song is basically the result of the Steinberger going through two little amps in the studio - a Fender Super Champ and a Gallien-Krueger. I use a Boss Heavy Metal distortion pedal (HM-2) and a Boss digital delay pedal (Boss DD-2), which then goes into the Fender Super Champ. And that in combination with the internal distortion on the Gallien-Krueger was how I got that particular sound."
So Richard and Phil both say the Sorrow intro was a Big Muff into a Fender amp, but David says it was the two amp setup of the HM-2 into the Champ, and Gallien Krueger distortion. All we can get from that is that both pedals and both amps were used in the album sessions, but I happen to think the HM-2 was used for most of the lead solos on that record, including the On the Turning Away solo, as that is what it sounds like to my ears, but that dirty Gallien Kruger amp distortion is also part of that tone. This is simply another one of David's blended, two-amp setups. If you listen to some of the solos on About Face, including Let's Get Metaphysical, and compare it to the OTTA solo, you will hear the same basic tone.
A detailed setup and sound clips for the On the Turning Away solo can be found on this page.
On the Turning Away solo - Here is one of my early attempts at the studio version of this solo tone using only the HM-2 for distortion. It is a poor replication of that tone, not quite as smooth, and missing the GK amp distortion element that makes up half this sound. Strat with EMG-SA pickups (SPC control on 4-5), Boss CS-2 compressor, Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal, Big Muff, Boss GE-7 equalizer (set for mids boost), TC Nova delay, Boss CE-2 chorus, into a clean Fender Twin Reverb.
THE DELICATE SOUND OF THUNDER LEAD TONES - The one Gilmour lead solo sound I really desired to replicate is the one heard in the 1987-1988 tour and on Pink Floyd's Delicate Sound of Thunder release, recorded in August 1988 at the Nassau Coliseum in New York. Here is a 22 minute selection of solos from DSOT and other concerts from the 1987-88 tour featuring this lead tone.
Here is a selection of solos from the November 1, 1987 show in Miami, Florida, where you can hear the lead solo distortion tone is essentailly the same setup for each song.
I actually prefer all these live 1987-1988 lead solo tones much more than the MLOR studio recordings. The lead tones heard on Sorrow, On the Turning Away, and Comfortably Numb from DSOT all sound like the exact same setup to me, and slightly different than earlier in the tour. For the live sound, David basically used the same gear as on his About Face album and tour in 1984, and the Boss HM-2 is key to that tone. The 1987 Bob Bradshaw signal chain drawings for the MLOR tour rig indicate David ran the HM-2 into a Mesa Boogie Mark III amp head, which was used as an overdrive in David's signal chain. This was the same combo David had been using since 1984.
HM-2 > Mesa/Boogie overdrive > Delay > Chorus >Fender Twin. The chorus is an ESSENTIAL color to this tone. Here is all the gear used in the 1987 live rig:
Below are David's actual pedal and EQ settings based on the August 1987 pedal board photo shown above and close ups seen in the First in Space back stage crew film from 1987. How you set the GE-7 equalizers depends entirely on the amp and speaker cabinets used, so David's exact settings may not work on your setup. I use the Boss CE-2 or Boss CE-5 for the lush chorus effect, in place of the SPX-90 II that David used. David himself switched to the CE-2 later in the tour.
THE DELICATE SOUND OF THUNDER RIG - By the time of the August 1988 shows when the Delicate Sound of Thunder concert film and live album was recorded at the Nassau Coliseum in New York, David had added more pedals and swapped the Fender Twins for Hiwatts with the preamps bypassed. A Fender Twin style preamp (the Alembic F2-B) was used instead to keep that warm Fender tone in the rig. The amps still sounded similar to the '87 leg of the tour, but were now essentially a combination of the Fender Twin preamp sound and the Hiwatt power amp sound, for the best of both worlds. The Mesa/Boogie mark III was removed and replaced with a rack mounted Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp. The pedal board had also changed, as shown below. Still present were the HM-2, TC booster, Big Muff, and Boss EQ's. David also added the Cornish P-2, a Boss CE-2 chorus pedal, an extra CS-2 compressor (Thanks to John Roscoe and Bob Bradshaw for confirmation of signal chain).
Pink Floyd filmed and recorded concerts across five nights in August 1988 at Nassau Coliseum in New York. The Delicate Sound of Thunder album was assembled from those recordings and released in November 1988. Below is a selection of solos from Pink Floyd's August 20th date. This is a very good soundboard recording, so you are hearing the tone of David's guitar basically as it sounded coming out of his speaker cabinets, without additional mixing and processing as you hear on the DSOT album. This is more raw than DSOT, but more like what it actually sounded like. Other than diferent delays and modulation effects used for certain songs, the lead distortion tone basically sounds like the same setup on every song.
David Gilmour's modified August 1988 Bob Bradshaw/CAE rig
David Gilmour's rack mounted Mesa/Boogie 2 channel Studio Preamp. The design and layout are similar to the Mesa Mark III, with the same versatility and 5 band graphic EQ, using circuitry similar to the Mesa Mark IIC+. The clean channel is basically a Fender Blackface Twin Reverb circuit. Since David was already using a Fender Twin style preamp (the Alembic F2-B), it is presumed he was not using the clean channel, but was using the distortion channel as an overdrive to blend with his distortion pedals. However, photos of David's Mesa MKIII settings from early and late 1988 show it was set in rhythm 1 'Fender' mode, for a slightly dirty Fender clean sound. Photos of David's Studio Preamp show the same, with the lead drive and master knobs set to 0, but the Lead Fat and Lead Bright switches are in the on position.
MY DELICATE SOUND OF THUNDER SETUP - As noted above, David changed from using Fender Twins to using Hiwatts later in the MLOR tour when DSOT was recorded, but he had the Hiwatt preamp stages bypassed and used a Fender twin style premap instead (the Alembic F2-B) so it still had the warm, mid scooped Fender sound. The Mesa/Boogie Mark III amp or a Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp (it is not clear when it was changed) was still used as an overdrive to blend with David's distortion pedals when Delicate Sound of Thunder was recorded, across several nights in August 1988. I get very close to the DSOT live lead solo tones just using the Boss HM-2 as the main distortion driver into a Ram's Head Big Muff with the sustain dialed almost off, through a Fender Twin Reverb or Hiwatt. The HM-2 distortion is an excellent driver into a Big Muff for DSOT tones, and this combo is a true blend of the characteristics of both pedals - the bright mid range squawk of the HM-2 distortion and the thunderous low end tone of the Big Muff. The H color knob on the HM-2, which one would assume raises or lowers the treble, is actually tied to the mid range EQ, so the unique mid range is always there. That is part of this pedals siganture tone, and what makes the DSOT lead tones instantly recognizable.
Having a compressor like a Dynacomp or an old Boss CS-2 on the front end helps with the clarity and harmonics. David always used a GE-7 in a loop with each effect pedal, to fine tune each effect for his amp/speaker setup. You do not really need the EQ pedal unless you think you need a slight mids boost. David's EQ settings are shown above. I rarely use an EQ pedal for this setup, but typically I use a gentle curve of the sliders on the GE-7, starting at zero on the ends, and curving up to just past the first notch in the middle, creating a slight mid range boost. That and the SPC mid range boost control of the EMG SA pickups give it that bright EQ. David used an SPX-90 II rack effect for his lush chorus sound early in the tour, but by 1988 he had switched to using two Boss CE-2 chorus pedals (for stereo). I use a Boss CE-2 or Boss CE-5 chorus.
Below are soundclips using the Hiwatt setup shown above. These were played using an EMG-SA pickup equipped Stratocaster into Reeves Custom 50 (Hiwatt clone) with a 540ms delay from the TC Nova, and a lower volume ambient reverb type delay from the Catalinbread Echorec. A Ram's Head Big Muff is shown in the photo above, but I used a Pete Cornish P-1 (a modified Big Muff circuit with a buffer) in these recordings. The SPC control of the EMG Strat was set around 5. Note a standard Strat with standard pickups also sound perfectly fine with this setup.
David's whole rig evolved quite a bit through the 1988 and 1989 tour. Bob Bradshaw/CAE assembled the original pedal board, rack effects, and switching system, but Pete Cornish was brought in to fix some problems and rebuild the switching system. The pedal board continued to change, but it still had the Boss distortion (an HM-2 later changed to a MZ-2), Big Muff (an EHX Ram's Head, then later a Pete Cornish P-2), TC booster, and Boss EQ's on board. David also added a second Boss CE-2 chorus pedal, another CS-2 compressor, a Tube Screamer, and a Rat with a GE-7 equalizer. The Mesa/Boogie Mark III had been replaced with a Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp, probably in late 1988 or early 1989.
David Gilmour's July 1989 rig from Pink Floyd's show in Venice
Closeup of another version of David's pedal board and rack setup, from late 1989, or 1990. Identical to the Venice board above, but a Rat and extra Boss GE-7 have been added. The HM-2 was replaced by the new MZ-2 Boss Digital Metalizer, and the Mesa Mark III amp was replaced with a rack mounted Mesa Studio Preamp
THE PULSE LEAD TONES - David's live tones for the Pink Floyd 1994 Division Bell tour were very similar to his 1987-89 tones, although I prefer the latter. Some very detailed info about David's massive Pulse rig and gear can be found at The Tone from Heaven website. Photos of the rack and pedals are shown below, with David's actual settings (notice the tick marks). David's rig for this tour was a heavily modified version of the 1989 rig, with an updated switching system by Pete Cornish. The TC Booster and Mesa/Boogie were taken out of the setup and most of the lead solo tones were from the Tube Driver / Russian (Civil War) Big Muff combo.
TONE BUILDING WITH EMG SA ACTIVE PICKUPS - Here are some basic late 1980s through mid 1990s Gilmour tones using some of the same pedals and pickups David used. Fender Deluxe Stratocaster with EMG DG-20 SA active pickups, exactly the same pickups used in David's red strats from the mid 1980s through the 1990s. Used on the Momentary Lapse of Reason and Division Bell tours, as captured on the Delicate Sound of Thunder and Pulse CDs. All clips are played with a Fender Stratocaster through a clean, loud Fender Twin Reverb. There is an article and sound clips illustrating the difference between EMG SA pickup and vintage style Strat pickups HERE.
Pedals used, listed in chain order - Guitar > Boss CS-2 compressor > B.K. Butler Tube Driver > Red Army Overdrive (early Sovtek Big Muff, same as Civil War Muff) or V2 Ram's Head Big Muff > Boss GE-7 equalizer > Boss CE-2 or CE-5 chorus > TC Electronic Nova delay > Amp
Tone Build Example #1 - EMG DG-20 bridge pickup with pedal settings shown above. Playing Pink Floyd's Time solo, similar to The Delicate Sound of Thunder tone with a Ram's Head Big Muff and mids boost from a Boss GE-7. I turn each pedal on in sequence to hear what each contributes to the tone. Note that each pedal adds minimally to the tone, but when combined they complete the sound. Also note that the tone still works just as well without the Tube Driver and compressor, but with less drive to the Muff sustain should be increased. The primary pedals are the Muff, EQ, chorus, and delay.
Tone Build Example #2 - EMG DG-20 bridge pickup with pedal settings shown above. Playing Pink Floyd's Time solo, similar to Pulse tone with a Civil War Big Muff and mids boost from a GE-7. I turn each pedal on in sequence to hear what each contributes to the tone. Either the Tube Driver or compressor could be removed from this chain without drastically affecting the tone, though there would be less drive.
Tone Build Example #4 - EMG DG-20 bridge pickup solos tones with pedal settings shown above. GE-7 set for treble and bass boost. I turn each pedal on in sequence to hear what each contributes to the tone.
Tone Build Example #5 - EMG DG-20 bridge pickup with pedal settings shown above. Playing Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb solo. GE-7 set for treble and bass boost. I turn each pedal on in sequence to hear what each contributes to the tone.
SORROW INTRO TONE - The intro to Sorrow is one of my favorite tones. I Prefer the live versions of Sorrow from Delicate sound of Thunder and Pulse to the studio version. The intro tone is monstrous and alive with feedback. An integral component to the unique feedback sound is the EMG DG-20 bridge pickup with the SPC control on 10, but single coil pickups can also be used. The tone is definitely generated by a Big Muff with the sustain full on. David had a Ram's Head Big Muff, a Civil War Russian Big Muff, and a Pete Cornish P-2 Muff on his boards for these tours. The Delicate sound of Thunder version is the Ram's Head Big Muff and I believe the Pulse version is the P-2 because it has more gain than a Civil War Muff, though the Civil War Big Muff patch on David's pedalboard can be seen on is some of the filmed performances of this song. There is also a Boss CE-2 chorus being used, a long delay, a Tube Driver set to boost the Muff, and a compressor being used to increase the gain and sustain. The sustained feedback is enhanced and fed by David's very loud tube amplifier. It is tricky to get just the right feedback to make this sound work, but the key is to load the gain and sustain with a compressor or Tube Driver to drive the Muff and, most importantly, amp VOLUME. Too much feedback and you have an overloaded mess, and too little you have to wait for the feedback. I have found the guitar needs to be a certain distance from my amp to get the feedback to come when I need it, and standing with the guitar in relation to the amp in different ways produces different types of feedback. You will find the Muff with sustain maxed will be very noisy with both a Tube Driver and a compressor running, but you won't hear the noise it when playing, and the notes are almost constant with few quiet parts.
Sorrow Tone Build - EMG DG20 bridge pickup with pedal settings shown above. GE-7 set for treble and bass boost. I turn each pedal on in sequence to hear what each contributes to the tone. This one needs to be loud to get the feedback, and I turn the SPC control on my EMG strat wide open
Sorrow Intro with Ram's Head Big Muff - Big Muff, Boss CS-2 compressor, Tube Driver set for light boost, Boss CE-5 chorus, and TC Nova delay set at 540 ms. EMG DG-20 Strat into a very loud Fender Twin Reverb.
DAVID'S SPC and EXG SETTINGS - See this page for for photos and settings from various songs for David's EMG controls, specifically the SPC control on his EMG fitted Strats.
PULSE TONE DEMOS BY FRÉDÉRIC PEYNET - Here are some excellent Pulse tone examples using an EMG Strat and a Koch Studiotone amplifier by Frédérick Peynet (Deck from the Gilmour Gear Forum). Frédérick is among the best at capturing these tones with his gear and playing.
PULSE BIG MUFF COMPARISONS - David used three Big Muffs in his Division Bell rig - the "Ram's Head" Big Muff, Pete Cornish P-2 Muff, and "Civil War" Sovtek Big Muff. The Ram's Head has a deep, dark tone with the mids "scooped" out. It has a wilder, more out of control feel, and a huge thundery sound. The P-2 is a more refined Big Muff with added mids (less scooped), and more controlled, uniform, and smooth tone, yet still retains the high gain of the Ram's Head. The Civil War Big Muff has a very smooth tone with slightly less gain than the other two, and more bottom end. Below are comparison clips using a Strat fitted with EMG DG-20 pickups (EXG off, and SPC on 5) and a Fender Twin Reverb.
TONE BUILDING WITH VINTAGE STYLE SINGLE COIL PICKUPS - When I use vintage style pickups I can get a very similar sound to the SPC control in the EMG SA active pickups in David's red strats used on the Momentary Lapse of Reason and Division Bell tours by adding a Boss GE-7 equalizer set for a slight mids boost. Depending on how the mids are voiced in your amp and the mids in the pedals used, you may want to add a mid boost to create this tone, or in some cases it is better to remove some of the mids from the tone and bring up the bottom end with an EQ.
MIDS BOOST - Below is a typical mid boost setting on the BOSS GE-7 to mimic the mid boost sound David used in the mid to late 1980's and early 1990's, when he used EMG SA pickups with the SPC control set at about 50%.
MIDS CUT - In this example I am actually cutting the mids back to get a darker tone. Clips with Fender American Std Stratocaster with Seymour Duncan SSL-5 bridge pickup, which is a replica of the custom wound SSL-1 pickup in David's Black Strat. All clips are played with a Fender Stratocaster through a clean, loud Fender Twin Reverb.
Pedals used, listed in chain order - Guitar > Boss CS-2 compressor > Red Army Overdrive (early Sovtek Big Muff, same as Civil War Muff) > B.K. Butler Tube Driver > Boss GE-7 equalizer (pictured with mids scooped rather than boosted) > Boss CE-2 chorus > TC Electronic Nova delay > Amp
Tone Build Example #4 - Solo tone example with vintage style bridge pickup. Mids reduced (scooped) and bottom end raised with a soft V shaped on the GE-7. I turn each pedal on in sequence to hear what each contributes to the tone.
In 2006 David Gilmour's third solo album, On an Island, gave us some new guitar tones and some incredible guitar solos. David's live performances during the OAI tour, featured in the Remember That Night DVD and the Live In Gdansk CD and DVD, were stellar and showcase his playing in top form. I like the tones from the tour better than what I hear on the studio recording for On and Island, though the studio recording features some very interesting work. Overall, David's solos were very unmodulated this time around. This was a stark contrast to much of his previous work which featured chorus, flanger, vibe, and other modulations. David's trademark wet delayed sound was still present. The album had a more of an acoustic feel than previous work, but there were still plenty of overdrive and distortion guitar solo tones, especially on the subsequent tour. The Pete Cornish G-2 seems to have been the feature pedal for most of David's guitar solos, and David's trusty B.K. Butler Tube Driver was the primary overdrive pedal. The Cornish P-1, which is a high quality Ram's Head Big Muff circuit, was also used for some solos.
See my page of sound clips and gear I use for getting the On and Island studio and live lead tones HERE.
Below are sound clips of some of the pedals David Gilmour gear has used for his lead fuzz/distortion solo tones from the Animals era to today: Ram's Head and Civil War Big Muffs, the BK Butler Tube Driver, and the Pete Cornish G-2 and P-2. This section is designed to illustrate what the differences are so it can be determined which effect was used on which song. Descriptions of each pedal are in this section.
I should also note that although there seems to be a popular belief that David used Pete Cornish effects like the P-1, P-2, and G-2 heavily, David's gear tech, Phil Taylor, has stated that is not the case. He said this in a reply to a poster on David Gilmour's website blog, circa 2008.
BK BUTLER TUBE DRIVER, RAM'S HEAD BIG MUFF, CORNISH G-2 - Clips play in that order. The Tube Driver drive is set to max to get it into distorted overdrive territory. The Ram's Head is pure vintage Big Muff tone, and the G-2 brings a tone that is sort of in between the two. Strat with SSL-5 bridge pickup and CS'69 neck pickup into a Fender Twin Reverb.
RAM'S HEAD BIG MUFF and CORNISH P-2 - The Ram's Head is a darker and grittier tone with the mids scooped out of the tone by the circuit, perfect for David's late 1970's tone through the 1980s. The P-2 is a much smoother and brighter tone with more mids, good for David's late 1980's though 1990s tones. Strat with EMG-DG20 pickups into a Fender Twin Reverb.
RAM'S HEAD BIG MUFF, CORNISH P-2, and CIVIL WAR SOVTEK BIG MUFF - Same pedals as above but adding the "Civil War" Sovtek pedal. It is darker sounding like the Ram's Head, but with more bottom end, and more mids, but not as much as the P-2. Strat with EMG-DG20 pickups into a Fender Twin Reverb.
PETE CORNISH PEDAL COMPARISONS - Here are clips comparing the P-1, P-2, and G-2, using the settings shown above. Strat with SSL-5 bridge pickup and CS'69 neck pickup into a Fender Twin Reverb. The P-1 has been used on The original Wall tour and the On an Island tour. The G-2 was used for the On an Island studio recording and tour. The P-2 was in David's touring board for the second half of the Momentary Lapse of reason tour, likely as a backup for David's "Civil War" Big Muff, which was his primary distortion pedal. Read my reviews of these three pedals here.
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