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zZounds' Legends of Tone: David Gilmour

Spacey, Groundbreaking Sound

Upon joining Pink Floyd in 1967, David Gilmour may not have thought he'd create a sound that would help guide generations of budding musicians along their path to psychedelia. Equipped with his trademark Stratocaster and a legion of effects, Gilmour sent Pink Floyd's sound into the stratosphere with soaring solos and a wealth of sustain. Known for his tasteful placement and ratio of heavy riffs to blues-influenced, expressive solos, David Gilmour has earned his place among history's great guitarists.

You may not need the "0001 Strat" or an original Dallas Arbiter fuzz to channel the ethereal tones of David Gilmour. Read on to learn about a few key pieces of gear that will help you along your way to building a wall of tone -- brick by brick.

Check out more legendary artists in our Legends of Tone video series »

Fender American Elite Stratocaster

Widely known for playing a variety of Stratocasters, Gilmour shaped his tone with an array of maple necks and single-coil pickups. Originally owned by Seymour Duncan and later bought by David Gilmour from guitar tech Phil Taylor, the "0001 Stratocaster" is possibly the most recognizable of Gilmour's guitars. With a maple neck, white finish and gold pickguard, this Strat had a distinct look, leading it to be featured in the 2004 Strat Pack show, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster.

If you can't get your hands on the one and only "0001 Stratocaster," Fender's American Elite Stratocaster bears many of the same traits as Gilmour's beloved Strat and would prove to be a worthy replacement.

EMG DG20 David Gilmour Wired Pickguard

As seen and heard in our Legends of Tone: David Gilmour video, this wired pickguard from EMG gives you the power to transform the Strat of your choice into a Pink Floyd tone machine. For nearly 15 years, this exact EMG pickup configuration has been installed in David's main Stratocaster. The pickguard features ivory SA single-coil pickups wired with an EXG guitar expander, SPC presence control and master volume. Since it's pre-wired, you can quickly and easily install this pickguard without picking up a soldering iron -- and be shredding like Gilmour in a matter of minutes.

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Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi

Featured on some of David's most iconic performances, including that legendary solo on "Comfortably Numb," the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi has played an integral role in his rig since the mid-'70s. Originally introduced to Gilmour in 1974 by guitar tech Phil Taylor, the Big Muff Pi ended up finding its way onto its first Pink Floyd recording with 1977's "Animals." A Big Muff distortion pedal, dialed back and paired with a boost pedal and powerful amp, creates the bedrock of Gilmour's illustrious lead tone.

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TC Electronic Viscous Vibe UniVibe Pedal

David Gilmour's use of the original Japanese Uni-Vibe began in the early '70s with the writing and first performances of Pink Floyd's 1973 album, "Dark Side of the Moon." Featured in classic songs like "Time" and "Breathe," the Uni-Vibe is thought to be a signature element of Gilmour's sound. While it may be hard to get your hands on an original, the TC Electronic Viscous Vibe is a fully digital recreation of the late '60s Uni-Vibe. It features speed, intensity and volume controls, as well as switchable chorus, vibrato and TonePrint.

With a budget-friendly price and a wealth of fine-tuning options, the Viscous Vibe is the key to tapping into your own Gilmour-inspired tone.

Catalinbread Echorec Binson Echorec Recreation Delay Pedal

The Binson Echorec 2 is perhaps the most definitive piece of equipment associated with David Gilmour's innovative tone. With a design that nowadays would be considered pretty cumbersome, the Echorec 2 was a standalone unit that featured a specially designed steel/alloy disc or drum, which carried a durable flat metal 'tape.' The drum was driven by a powerful AC motor, which kept the transport very stable. Record and playback heads were arranged around the drum. Due to the Echorec's questionable reliability and constant need for cleaning, Gilmour eventually moved on to MXR digital delays, but thanks to Catalinbread, you can bring home a faithful Echorec recreation of your own.

The Catalinbread Echorec replicates the functionality of the Binson, with the added ability to change the delay time, going from classic Binson short multi-head echoes, to longer delays that maintain the syncopated multi-head rhythms.

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David Gilmour Tone of Your Own

Looking to channel Gilmour's tone on songs like "Time" and "Comfortably Numb"? We'll delve into using key pieces of gear to emulate the quintessential Pink Floyd sound on the zZounds Blog!

Check out our Legends of Tone: David Gilmour video!

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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as you Pay® installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as you Pay® plans.

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Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference. price match details »

3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses. shipping details »

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Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you. return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission. customer service »
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