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Paul McCartney's Rig

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by bassist4dalord, Sep 15, 2008.


  1. Hello. I've really been lovin Paul's tone lately, and was wondering what kind of rig Paul used back in the 1960's. Vox? Any and all info would be great! Thanks!
     
  2. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Vox T100 cab and me thinks a AC100 head (prototype), well at least documented ('62-'66)
    Also, selmer (After 66). one of which was a selmer zodiac prototype.
     
  3. GM60466

    GM60466

    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    In 1969 he was using a SVT with the first version of Wings.

    G
     
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    Paul got good tone with several different basses and several different amps ...

    basses - Hofner, Rickenbacker, Wal, Yamaha, Fender jazz, etc ...

    Amps - Fender bassman, Vox, Acoustic 360, etc ...

    He also plays pick and fingerstyle.

    These days he favours the Hofner because of the light weight.
     
  5. Rob Martinez

    Rob Martinez

    Sep 14, 2005
    Flatwounds are important to Paul's sound too. Remember, Ricks and Hofers are very different animals, but both sound like Paul, as HE played them and he used flats on both.

    I honestly think the amp is secondary, though it would make sense to use a Vox, Ampeg, or something similar, rather than, say, a Trace Elliot or Hartke.

    These days Paul uses Mesa Boogie and Ashdown, so really, his tone has more to do with his playing and type of strings.
     
  6. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    IIRC, I remember reading there was a lot of skepticism on exactly when Paul move to Rickys, one such example is the song "Drive my car", which may have been the first, but It's also said that "Paperback writer" was the first also, according to Geoff Emerick.

    In '66 he started recording more exclusively with Rickys (Rubber soul sessions and Revolver,, but still toured with hofners at that time.

    Also, post beatles, in wings, he also had a Wal 5 string he used a bit too. "Free as a bird", would be an example of a few low "c" notes (3 times during George's solo in the song, to be exact)
     
  7. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    He never used the Wal in Wings, it wasn't till the late 80s/early 90s that he used the Wal 5 string. As a huge Paul McCartney fan I find his 5 string playing compelling with unbelievable tone. The records "Flowers In The Dirt" and "Off The Ground" feature the Wal quite a lot, and Paul used the lower string liberally, incorporating it as just another string on the bass.
     
  8. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Yeah, well you could be right. Only factor that comes into play is:
    None of us were there to confirm or deny it :)

    I can only go by what I've read, according to studio folk and such.
     
  9. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    While that is a funny thought, I think the OP was asking a serious question.
     
  10. GM60466

    GM60466

    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    video from his post Beatle gig is Scottland proves it.
    G
     
  11. McHaven

    McHaven

    Mar 1, 2005
    I believe around the time of the switch to the Rickenbacker, Paul became a big of DI'ing the bass. I've never felt any sort of amp was crucial to Paul's sound. Paul is always going to sound like Paul.
     
  12. plexibass

    plexibass

    Jun 30, 2005
    Rumbledore likes this.
  13. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    An SVT - Really? With the Rick. That's cool.
    He used an Acoustic 360/361 in the mid/late 70's touring with Wings.

     
  14. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Considering he was still in The Beatles in 1969, and the fact that there's never been a published photo of him with an SVT, I highly doubt it.
     
  15. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    Hadn't he started his solo stuff in 69? Maybe it was 70 ... anyways, the Beatles last sessions were 69 (Abbey Road). Yeah, Paul with an SVT in 69 sounds very unlikely but I didn't believe he ever used a Jazz with the Beatles until I saw a pic of him in the studio with a lefty Jazz.
     
  16. GM60466

    GM60466

    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    In the documentray film Jame Paul McCartney there is footage of the first gig in Scottland. There is an SVT on stage with Paul

    G
     
  17. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    That's why I never say never. I'll check that out.

     
  18. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Hmm..I seem to remember that as a large Fender, like a Dual Showman. I'll check it out.
     
  19. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Check out this book, Recording the Beatles. http://www.recordingthebeatles.com/

    It describes the specific speakers, amps, tape machines, DIs, and a variety of purpose-built boxes for audio processing that were used in Abbey Road Studios -- for every song. In early days, they recorded Paul's bass by micing one of the custom studio monitors borrowed from Studio 3. The engineers hated the quality of Paul's gear and apart from the Hofner, did not use any of it in the studio.
     
  20. I have the book and would be glad to help the OP out with options for the given McCartney era. That book is the most well researched and informative one out there on Beatles gear.
     

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