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How do I get a Chuck Berry Set-Up?

Not really so much for the guitar, but for the amplifier, foot pedals, etc. TWO PART QUESTION! Were foot pedals used in the 1950's?

4 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Chuck Berry's Amps were in the news recently from the 'Camp Bestival' festival this year. People wanted to borrow his amps, but they were told that "His vintage equipment was strictly off limits to anyone aside from Chuck Berry." He must keep his amp mods and settings guarded. The only 'effects' that he used were amp gain and volume. I've seen him in mid-60's films with early 60's Fender Bassman's; also a '60's Fender Twin Reverb Custom 15; and a '60's Deluxe Reverb (these have a 12" Jenson speaker, 22 watts, footswitchable for reverb and vibrato). Fender Amps like the Twin Reverb/Custom, Super Reverb and Dual Showman were the standard back then. -Note that MusicMan have a Twin Reverb (2x12) style amp that has a built-in phaser. The push/pull knob functions as a sweep control, so you can dial in any specific eq. setting across the phase sweep.-

    For guitars, Chuck Berry is known for playing Gibson Semi-Hollow body 'ES-335'-style electrics; usually with a 'Heritage Cherry' (on Mahogany) transparent finish. The guitar he played in Chicago from '53 up to his '55 'Maybelline' disc was a Gibson ES-350 T. Chuck actually played ES-345's for most of his career, but he played the ES-335 a lot in the '70's. Also, often played the luxury version ES-355. Foot pedals were used in the 50's. Before transformers allowed 'stomp-boxes'/pedals, (ie 1962 Maestro Fuzz Tone pedal); effects had bulky transformers and high voltage. There was the 1958 Watkins Copicat tape echo. In the '40's and '50's, Premier, Fender, and Gibson made amps with built-in effects like vibrato, tremolo, and reverb. The 1955 'Tremolux' and 1956 'Vibrolux' are two. There was also the 1950 Ray Butts EchoSonic Amp. Before this, it was studio effects, like Les Pauls 'Echo Chamber' et al. (rip Les..) note Chuck Berry is playing the Hammersmith in London on the 27th of this month.. Rock on!

  • 5 years ago

    Chuck Berry Guitars

  • Chuck Berry used Fender amplifiers. Early in his career it was a Fender Twin Reverb and a Gibson ES335. No effects pedals were used. Later on he also used and recorded with a Les Paul and a Fender Dual Showman amp. He interchanged that setup for most of his career and continues to do so today.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    I'm not in front of an amplifier to test my theory, but I would keep the gain a little lower, more clean but just to the brink of some gain coming in -- this owes more to the sound of a tube amp being turned up loud, so if you have a low-watt tube amp, keep it clean and turn it up! If you have a solid state, keep it fairly clean...bring up your gain or volume to the point where you hear some distortion, then bring it back just a hair. As far as tone controls, I'd throw more mids into the sound, maybe even a little higher than treble? You probably don't have to keep the bass up too high...I'd say start at about noon for all tone controls, then put Treble at about 1 o'clock, Middle at about 3 o'clock, and Bass at about 10-12 o'clock. (Or, if your controls are 1-10 numbers, try Treble: 5-6, Mid: 7-8, Bass 4-5). Use your bridge pickup for soloing for some bite and grit, and your neck pickup for a bassier rhythm sound. Don't take my word for it, though -- fiddle around a bit -- listen with your ears, not your eyes. :)

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