Blues Power

“I’M JUST TRYING TO FIND THE most tone I can,” said Stevie Ray Vaughan.
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“I’M JUST TRYING TO FIND THE most tone I can,” said Stevie Ray Vaughan. “Sometimes, I find it, and sometimes I want to choke my amp. Sometimes it’s effortless, and sometimes it’s a struggle. But the chill bumps are worth it when you get them.”

SRV’s tone quests often involved platoons of amps. While recording In Step in 1989, for example, his tech Cesar Diaz set up two 200-watt Marshalls (atop 4x15 and 8x12 cabs), two ’64 Fender Vibroverbs, a Dumble Steel String Slinger head, a Marshall JCM 800 half-stack, and a ’62 Fender Twin. For this month’s comparison of high- and low-end SRV rigs, we’ve chosen a slightly more manageable live setup from the mid ’80s (prices shown are “street”).

POSH

GUITAR

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Fender Custom Shop Stevie Ray Vaughan Lenny Tribute Stratocaster ($17,000)

AMP SETUP 1

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Fender Custom Series ’64 Vibroverb x 2 ($2,499 each)

AMP SETUP 2

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Fender Vintage Reissue ’65 Super Reverb x 2 ($1,499 each)

OVER DRIVE

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Ibanez TS808 Vintage Tube Screamer Reissue ($179)

WAH

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Vox V847 ($89)

STRINGS

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GHS Nickel Rockers ($5.49; though you’ll need to assemble SRV’s custom gauge of .013, .015, .019, .028, .038, .058)

TOTAL

$25,269.49

POOR

GUITAR

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Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster ($179, plus cost of “mailbox letter” stickers)

AMP SETUP 1

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Fender G-DEC 3, 30-watt ($399)

AMP SETUP 2

Stick to the single G-DEC for the classic Fender tones. After all, you’re poor!

OVER DRIVE

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Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer ($99)

WAH

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Vox V845 Classic ($69)

STRINGS

Same ($5.49)

TOTAL

$751.49

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