CLIFF BURTON EFFECTS KICK ASS!...but, how did he do em?!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by diego_sanchez21, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. Hey,

    I love MetallicA and most of all bass players I love Cliff Burton. His effects were the best but one question remains... howda hell did he get such a kickass sound!??! Just take for example Anesthesia, that song is only bass and it kicks ass badly.

    If someone knows which pedal should i get or which ones, please post, seriously i would be deeply thankful and overjoyed :bassist:
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    His and my weapons of choice:

    EH Big Muff into a Morley Power Wah Boost!
  3. ImNotGeddyLee

    ImNotGeddyLee Guest

    Mar 13, 2001
    Providence RI
    i just really do not see it at all... I am sorry but i have tried multiple times to listen to and enjoy anesthasia and cliff burtons sound but it is just god awful... it sounds like someone who normally plays guitar (poorly) soloing (poorly) on a bass running through a very plastic sounding distortion and a very obnoxious and obtrusive wah pedal. I know i will probably just adding flames the fire here but i really cannot see what the deal with this guy was. (ok granted some of his basslines were ok for the music but his solos were just horrible)
    tobias3469 likes this.
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Well, you're not Geddy Lee either...

    Sorry, just had to throw that one out there. :bag:

    Cliff was the only classically trained member of Metallica, and I too said the same thing you are quite a few times in the past. I started on Metallica during Load, and I remember thinking to myself, 'holy crap, there was someone before this guy?' and there was. Honestly, I can't compare the two, apples and oranges, guitars and basses, Cliff and Jason. Jason's the reason I play bass, but now, covering Cliff's songs, I've realized his genius and why Jason looked up to him so greatly.
  5. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I didn't know we could say ass here so freely.


    Anyhow, that put out of the way, I'm with INGL on his sound and style. I haven't really thought it was all that good, no matter how much I listen to it.
  6. Berns

    Berns Guest

    Hey Diego!

    Im glad to see there is still Cliff worshippers out there. Cliff Burton is the guy who inspired me to pick up the bass...

    I can understand how his choice of effects would be unpleasant to some people (though to me they sound kick-ass, like you said) but i can certainly NOT understand how someone could not see the amazing talent, technique, speed, and precision of his bass playing.

    I recomend the video 'Cliff Em All' to all you non-believers. If after that you still don't like him, thats fine. It will be an educated oppinion.

    Anyway, what i really wanted to say is...

    The secret behind Cliff Burton was not his effects. It was his Rickenbacker ;)


  7. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I think alot of Cliff's tone had to do with his rig. I think he was playing a Boogie D-180, which has got a pretty killer distortion to it. He may have played through a guitar amp for Anesthesia.

    I think tpylons is right, he mainly just used a distortion and a wah, but I think he used a delay and a volume pedal for the intro to Damage, Inc.
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I too think the sound on Anesthesia is crap.
    Like, real crap.
    I still like Cliff for he was a marvellous musician, but I can't say I dig the tone on this song.
  9. bladebass

    bladebass Guest

    Mar 17, 2006
    cliff got his bass sound from his 2 bass guitars he used/played
    & by playing & useing his hand's/fingers
    also from the effects pedal he used which was a
    morley pro distortion wah volume pedal
    cliff was a player one of the best bass players ever to pick up a bass guitar,he opend the door's for lots of bass players as he showed the world,hey it's not just a bass it's a bass guitar, cliff was true to his music & to him self, we can appreashate cliff's music/bass solo's he added a kickass sound to metallica & was a killer metal bass player
    ihad the honnor to see'em in conncert on the master of puppets tour cliff ripped up a badass bass solo & paused as his bass sound echoing & ring out faded away as he goes rite into playing The Star Spangled Banner,
    a great loss to the world of bass players
    cliff is & was my mentor he was one of the reasons i started to play bass guitar,no body played the bass like cliff DID,
    his sound style & the way he played the bass guitar
    opened the door's & paved the way for many bass player's to come,as he riped & rip's it up with the
    that four string mother F**KER

    R.I.P. cliff burton you will & are greatly missed
    by friend's family & fan's around the world.:bassist:

    late BlaDeBaSS
  10. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    That's a hell of a first post. ;)

    Anyway, I am not the biggest fan of Anesthesia. Kinda Sterile. But, he was a great bassist. Orion is pretty good proof of that. What people don't realize is that he was a big part of the songwriting in Metallica. He would come up with a lot of riffs on bass, and James/Kirk would double them.
  11. much as I love Cliff, Cliff didn't 'show the world' that it wasn't just a bass. Plenty of bassists before him did that. And he certainly didn't use a "morley pro distortion wah volume pedal". He used a Morley Power Wah Boost pedal, and an original Electro Harmonix Big Muff. That and he used 4 basses ;)
  12. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    Jup, and also I didn't think he came up with a lot of riffs that 'hetfield and hammet just doubled'...
    In the booklets he's not mentioned a lot in writing credits so...

    Great player though!!
  13. Vosk

    Vosk Guest

    I love it how most Metallica fans can't spell :p.

    But yeah, russian muff > morley wah should do it.
  14. I totally understand you're a big Cliff fan and it sucks to see some one else say something that is not positive about him that sucks but everybody has different tastes and you have to learn to take it with a grain of salt I also think Cliff was talented but Anesthesia wasn't as impressive to me as his work within the songs and welcome to Talkbass! Oh by the way it helps to take a deep breath and hold it before reading your post because I noticed halfway through that I really needed to take a breath of air but oh well I guess I made it through ok well anyway like I said welcome to the forrum and I hope you find it very entertaining and usefull I sure do!
  15. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Inactive

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    Acctually, according to the April 2k6 issue of Guitar World's Bass Guitar, he used a Morley Fuzz/Wah combo pedal. It's in the sidebar section of page 29. The title is: Top of the Cliff: His Gear and Tone...

    This was discussed at length on here, not too long ago, when it was discovered that Cliff couldn't have owned a Big Muff Pi as they began production after he died. I acctually just bought the mag today and have been looking on Morley's site at the discontinued product documentation and there are at least two morley fuzz/wahs that were made around the time of Kill 'Em All: 1) the BFW FUZZ WAH (Black Gold series) and 2) the CFW COMPACT FUZZ WAH (Compact series)

    So, just so you know, I'm not "flaming" you. I think that a separate fuzz and wah can, and will, get the "Cliff" tone, but it just appears that everyone has been mistaken on the EHX+Morley=What Cliff Used issue.

    Anyway, I too love all the early Metallica (Kill -> Master), and think that the "Pulling Teeth" tone is great, especially for a metal bass solo :bassist:

    Now there's an arrogant view... ;)
  16. Interesting, but where did they get that information from and how do you know it's right?

    The original (not the US and Russian reissues) Big Muff pedals were first made in 1971, shortly after the company was founded. And the Morley Power Wah Boost was certainly around by the time Kill 'Em All was recorded, if not earlier in the late 70s.
    rulyongo likes this.
  17. jamesblue


    Mar 27, 2005
    I like Burton, BUT he's not a big influence on me.
    I started on guitar, I'll admit that, and my first few bands did Matallica stuff.
    The bass is supporting the songs, I think Cliff did a GREAT job at supporting the songs, better than Jason!!!
    But, Cliff's tone to me is not original, it's very good and fit, but had been done before. Not to say it's easy or someone else could have done what he'd done.
    I think the other membes of Matallica have said if it were not for Cliff the band would not have went as far as they have gone.
    Master of Puppets was/is GREAT music!
    I think Cliff should be listed with the greats of BASS, in the hard rock/metal arena he's the leader in style and influence.
    He's the Bootsy of metal, if you will.
  18. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Inactive

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Both are on my pedal board too!
  19. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Inactive

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    Like I said: Bass Guitar (April 2006). It has Cliff on the front, and on the page after the sidebar on him and his gear/tone, there is a section on how to play a couple of songs. With that there is another pic of Burton on stage and has a shot of his FX. There are three, of which the middle one is a Morley Wah (very recognizable ;) ) with TWO switches. Now, on a wah that's just a wah, and maybe a volume, there would be only one.

    Also of note is the fact that the artical(s) are all about the last 24 hours of cliffs life, and are all done by people who interviewed him/were there at that time.

    Oh and about the Muff issue, I'm talking about the general thinking that he used a Sovtek Muff (big and green). In the pic I mentioned, there is a green pedal, but it's definatly NOT big enough to be an EHX pedal of any kind!

    Looking on the Morley website's DL section at the discontinued stuff, and noting that the morley is chrome, it's more than likely that it is a SLDW DISTORTION WAH VOLUME cause the slimline series were origanally made chrome, then latter black. Again, according to the Morley website.

    Oh, and again, I'm not saying that you can't get Cliff's tone with separate pedals, I'm just saying that it's not what HE used...

    On a sidenote, the articals (in particular the interview of Hammet, on life after Cliff) have given me a different perspective on the band, and what the hell happend to the band's sound. Also, the comment that Hammet makes on Trujillo's sound compared to Cliff's gives me great hope that there new album will be heavier and bassier than even St.Anger (on which Bob Rock plays bass).
  20. Cool, thanks. I'll have to pick up that issue.

    But you said the Morley pedal in the picture was chrome? Then why couldn't it be a Power Wah Boost (which does have two switches)?