How to Get Stevie Ray Vaughan Tone
Running behind on articles for the site as I lost a hard drive and cannot locate my copy of Cakewalk to
provide sound examples of pre-distortion EQ settings. In the mean time I thought a quick article on SRV's
Tube Screamer and EQ stomp box settings would worth while.
SRV used different amps in different situations. The mainstays always being a pair of sequentially
numbered Fender 1x15 Vibroverbs, depending on the size of the venue you would also see a pair of Fender
Super Reverbs known for their ability to produce loud clean sound with little breakup. While the
Vibroverbs would give that much desired "tube breakup" at relatively low volumes, the Supers would be
blended into the overall sound for sheer power.
The Effects Pedals
There are two ways to attack the SRV sound both using a Tube Screamer. If you can crank your amp use the
Tube Screamer to push the power tubes into overdrive. This is how SRV used the pedal, for more gain not
distortion. In other words, he used the TS to push the power tubes harder into overdrive.
To achieve this set the Level to max or where there is no volume increase between pedal off and on, the
distortion to maybe 2 (8 o'clock) and the tone to full.
Sound limitations keep you from cranking your amp use the following as a starting point. Set your Tube
Screamer to the following: Level 40% (or no volume increase), Tone 50%, Distortion 70%. Also, this will
work with any overdrive pedal not just the Ibanez Tube Screamer series. For the EQ you will want a slight
boost around the 200 and 1.6 frequencies with a little more boost 3.2 and higher frequencies. The EQ is
basically setup to restore some of the frequencies that are lost using the neck pickup.
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer Effects Pedal Original Reissue
Boss GE-7 Equalizer Pedal