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Was SRV the first to have SRV tone?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by sax4blues, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well, that’s how all of his imitators sound to me. I’ve never heard him sound that way. Or the band.

    I think too many people have listened to too many imitators, and haven’t gone back to the real thing for reference.

    There has never been anybody in the entire history of electric guitar that sounded like Stevie Ray Vaughn. But somehow, the lame SRV imitator sound has become what people think of as his actual sound.
     
  2. Esquire Jones

    Esquire Jones TDPRI Member

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    I remember reading an article many years ago where Stevie said his early tone was sort of shrill or something similar. He was aware of it and consciously tried to sweeten things up. This may be his Dumble years- not sure.
     
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  3. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    That's kind of a paradox.

    No one will 100% be exactly what someone else is on an old school guitar setup. However, for SRV, many have gotten 99% there.


    Edit: We should have a non-stevie Stevie's thread.
     
  4. gcdcpakmbs

    gcdcpakmbs TDPRI Member Gold Supporter

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    IMO it was just Stevie. He could have played a number of setups. But I started listening to him on Tuesday nights at the Rome Inn. Loud, very loud. He told me once that he didn't like to sing, but nobody else could so he had to. But he had a really cool voice for that genre. That shuffle. That intensity. Passion. Not over produced. It was more of that than a particular tone.
     
  5. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    More likely his pre-Rene Martinez years.
     
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  6. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Snippets of Rory with a garnish of Jimi, downtuned with catenary wires for strings.
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I doubt it, but it was definitely him who refined it and used it consistently. Part of it was volume and wattage if you ask me. That big deep low end was huge strings also.. and most of it was all fingers.
    To me a TS808 does not get SRV tone alone. It must have been the EQ he used also. 808 tone is very middy and nasal (I hate em)
     
  8. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    A word about that shuffle, that is totally a “western” thing. Where I am in the midwest, that shuffle just wasnt quite the thing then, maybe more of a thing now, but being upstream from Memphis, blues bands really really have one foot into that Stax backbeat. Much less so that kind of shuffle that SRV kind of made famous.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  9. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’ve never heard any imitators get better than 70% there. It’s easy to sound like a strat into a cranked black face amp. It’s easy to add in the tube screamer. 99% of the people who do that definitely sound almost exactly alike. None of them sound like SRV to me.

    For the record, I’m not a super crazed fanboy. I was, when I was a kid growing up in west Texas. More than thirty years ago. Not so much now, even though there is no denying he was a huge influence early on.

    This is strictly credit where it’s due. Nobody has ever sounded like him.
     
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  10. Pcs264

    Pcs264 TDPRI Member Gold Supporter

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    Lots of good comments here, and +1 to daytookerjaabs for noting that SRV tuned down 1/2 step, which definitely changes tone. And I'm surprised that no one has mentioned SRV's strings: they were pretty heavy. I've read different gauges attributed to him, including .018-.074!!! Now there's a workout for your hands...
     
  11. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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  12. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    I know you're kidding. But his success was more than just his guitar wizardry. Think back to what was dominating the airwaves and MTV in the early 80s: synth pop bands with fashionable haircuts and outfits, and no edge. Catchy melodies but generic choir-boy vocals and musicianship that sounded (to me at least) like it was all programmed by corporate A&R types. SRV was the polar opposite. It's my long-winded way of saying that the hat helped.

     
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  13. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I’ve never heard of him going that heavy. Renee told me back in the day that he used a 13-56 set, and depending on how his hands were feeling/how much he was playing the high E could go as light as 11. But mostly it was 13.

    Things tend to get Paul Buyanized as time passes, though.
     
  14. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    I think there is a lot more legend than truth to the size strings he used. I read a biography on Stevie Ray and it said something to the effect that he frequently used lighter than .013 gauge sets.
     
  15. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    +1

    Unless you've got potatoes stuffed in your ears, you can tell SRV without much problem.
     
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  16. 4wotitswurth

    4wotitswurth TDPRI Member

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    This isn’t the best example, but this guy had similar style at times, and then some....

     
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  17. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree with JD that no one sounds like SRV, just like no one sounds like Hendrix. It's more than just amp tone and pickups, it's more than just the fact he played bridge cable for guitar strings. It's his right hand as someone else noted, but also his left hand and how they worked together to concoct his seamless and fluid phrasing.

    InStepampsbigger.jpg

    Here is he on a beat up old acoustic (starting about 1:10) and there's no mistaking it's SRV even WITHOUT amps and pickups.

     
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  18. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    I'm talking about, not so much overall sound, but the amount of people devoting lots of time to nailing every phrase/nuance as best they can.


    But, yeah, if you listen to an old live record the rawness of his approach and headroom in his setup is really obvious.
     
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  19. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Certainly he owes a lot to Albert King and Jimi and T-Bone Walker, for that matter. It seemed to me he just really loved the music he was playing, regardless of the giants he borrowed from.
     
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  20. notroHnhoJ

    notroHnhoJ Tele-Meister

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    I think SRVs lasting influence is on phrasing. My band did a short tour once opening shows for The Allman Brothers. It was really quite a treat to get to hear Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks go at it, and back forth every night. One thing that struck me was that even though neither one really had SRVs guitar tone, Derek really really has that kind of deep pocket, back of the backbeat kind of phrasing, really kind of a singing quality. Warren really kind of doesnt, coming from much more of a “pre-Stevie” kind of blues rock world, than Derek. I really thought it was possible to listen to the two of them and hear SRVs lasting influence, particularly on how different sounding Derek Trucks was from Warren Haynes.
     
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