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Clapton's amps through the years

Husky

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Ritchie Fliegler explains Eric Clapton's Tweed Twin:

RF: ...Clapton’s amp was modified, like that means better than the way it was. That thing was a mess. The transformer set is like from a 1978 Super Twin, with two CTS speakers out of a 100 watt Bassman – a '73-74 type of thing. That was it. That’s Clapton’s amp. Clapton loves that amp. It’s one of those things that you’ll hear, “Hey, Clapton’s amp was modified." I guarantee you that if someone came to me and said, “Hey man, I want you to modify my amp,” and I say, “Great, I’ll put in this 1978 Super Twin transformer set and two speakers from this 100 watt silverface Bassman,” that’s not what they’re talking about. They want the full snake oil treatment. So when he wanted a spare for it because he absolutely loved the sound of that amp, we made him another one exactly like it. We found a used Super Twin and we took the transformer set out of it. We bought a 100-watt Bassman for $50 from someone who was about to throw it in the garbage. We cleaned the caps up and threw it in there and he said, “Yeah, that’s it – that’s great!”and we would all kind of laugh and send it on its merry way.

TQR: I was told by somebody that particular amplifier was a mid '50s Twin which had two rectifier tubes and two 6L6’s, and the two rectifier tubes were taken out of the socketry wiring and four 6L6’s were put in.

RF: That certainly sounds legit. I’ll buy that, but I don’t remember.
I know ancient post but this is not correct information so I feel compelled to correct it, the amp Richie is talking about Eric hated instantly and never used, it was a brown with a brown panel, the wrong amp. After that, I built as requested 3 low power Tweed Twins while at Fender which Eric happily used for over 2 years. These amps were a copy of the amp Cesar Diaz modified for him, basically a low power tweed Twin but made to be more reliable so they could handle the road abuse. Everything about those amps was custom including custom wound output transformers and 200 year old pine. They started to sound fuzzy to him after a few years because they had the wrong preamp tubes in there (12AX7 instead of 12AY7) and is when he switched to Cornell, after the mistake was discovered he continued to use them some more. Again the amp Richie was talking about was made by someone else and he never used it. There is a post from the sale of two of those amps in this thread and I see one still has the wrong preamp tubes in it ;-)
 

CDaughtry

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I know ancient post but this is not correct information so I feel compelled to correct it, the amp Richie is talking about Eric hated instantly and never used, it was a brown with a brown panel, the wrong amp. After that, I built as requested 3 low power Tweed Twins while at Fender which Eric happily used for over 2 years. These amps were a copy of the amp Cesar Diaz modified for him, basically a low power tweed Twin but made to be more reliable so they could handle the road abuse. Everything about those amps was custom including custom wound output transformers and 200 year old pine. They started to sound fuzzy to him after a few years because they had the wrong preamp tubes in there (12AX7 instead of 12AY7) and is when he switched to Cornell, after the mistake was discovered he continued to use them some more. Again the amp Richie was talking about was made by someone else and he never used it. There is a post from the sale of two of those amps in this thread and I see one still has the wrong preamp tubes in it ;-)
Hey John!!! Welcome to the Forum. We REALLY hope you keep coming back and contributing!
 

MojoJones

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And of course the Champ on Layla! So much controversy whether it was a tweed or silverface...
It's been said that he used a Pignose on a lot of Layla, which makes sense, once Bobby Whitlock said that given how thin and small his tone is on a lot of cuts from that record...
 

joeh77

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Mar 20, 2015
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I like this thread! The tiny Marshall mini-stack on top of the Leslie at the Cream shows cracks me up! Wish I could remember what he was playing thru the first time I saw him in '82-probably still with the Music Man amps.
I bought a brand new MM 110 RD 50 in the '80's based on the back cover of the "Backless" album cover!
 
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Tonekat

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He had the Music Man stacks when I saw him at Saratoga (NY). Santana opened and then jammed with Clapton for the encore.

I was glad that even though it was heavily rotated on the radio at the time, he did not perform "I Shot The Sheriff".
 

Tim

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"I saw Eric about 13 years ago and he used Vibroverbs, except for one song when they stuck a Tweed Twin on top of the cabs. Then they went back to the VV's. He sounded much better then I expected him to."

"I wouldn't mind knowing his set-up when he did the 2002 live album, One More Car, One More Rider. That was a beautiful, singing tone. Some have said he was using Marshalls then, but on the live clips from that show you can see various Fenders."

In this video he's using Vibro Kings, his best tone with a strat imo -
 

LeonC

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I saw Cream and of course, Clapton was playing through Marshall stacks then. That, to me, was his best live sound. After that, I have to say, I dug the sound of the Dominos live at the Fillmore. Was he using MusicMan amps for that performance? I was under the impression it was, but I don't know for sure.
 
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I saw Cream and of course, Clapton was playing through Marshall stacks then. That, to me, was his best live sound. After that, I have to say, I dug the sound of the Dominos live at the Fillmore. Was he using MusicMan amps for that performance? I was under the impression it was, but I don't know for sure.
He was using a Fender Showman.
Music Man was founded in 1974.
 

LeonC

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He was using a Fender Showman.
Music Man was founded in 1974.
Makes sense! Yeah, hard to recall how long ago Derek and the Dominos live was recorded...but I just looked it up and it was 51 years ago! Dayyyumm!!
 

akstrat61

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Going to see him in Nashville in a couple weeks. I expect to see Vibrokings, but you never can tell.
 

jrgtr42

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I've seen him a few times. AFAIR he was using the ltweed twins for those shows. 2 of them above one another, with a couple more behind as backups.
 

TM1

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Those EC Amps that Fender makes now for him all have Mercury Magnetics transformers. They are clones of the original 50's transformers.
 

57gold

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Was lucky enough to see Cream at MSG on the first night of their short reunion tour in 2005. Loved the show and the folks who joined us; had reserved my firm's box at The Garden before the show was officially announced. The Chairman's assistant said, "there is nothing scheduled for that night, are you sure you have the right dates?"

Had seen EC when he was touring in support of Ocean Blvd in 1974 at the Yale Bowl (Musicmans), then a couple of times in late 1980s to mid 1990s (Soldanos), in 2000s with Fender Tweed Reissues.

At the Cream show, was hoping he would be playing a Gibson through a Marshall or Cornell version, but he stuck with his standard rig - Lace Sensor Strat and Tweed Reissues. He played great, his tone was not Cream like. Lace Sensor mid boost through a Reissue Tweed is not good tone nor anything like the great tones he achieved in the late 1960s. For that matter, Doyle B II's tone at last couple of EC shows eclipsed the star's by a wide margin (vintage guitars into Marshall Plexis); even my barely guitar tolerant wife noticed the difference.
 

Cranknfrank

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Was lucky enough to see Cream at MSG on the first night of their short reunion tour in 2005. Loved the show and the folks who joined us; had reserved my firm's box at The Garden before the show was officially announced. The Chairman's assistant said, "there is nothing scheduled for that night, are you sure you have the right dates?"

Had seen EC when he was touring in support of Ocean Blvd in 1974 at the Yale Bowl (Musicmans), then a couple of times in late 1980s to mid 1990s (Soldanos), in 2000s with Fender Tweed Reissues.

At the Cream show, was hoping he would be playing a Gibson through a Marshall or Cornell version, but he stuck with his standard rig - Lace Sensor Strat and Tweed Reissues. He played great, his tone was not Cream like. Lace Sensor mid boost through a Reissue Tweed is not good tone nor anything like the great tones he achieved in the late 1960s. For that matter, Doyle B II's tone at last couple of EC shows eclipsed the star's by a wide margin (vintage guitars into Marshall Plexis); even my barely guitar tolerant wife noticed the difference.
I read where Eric said that they actually tried the vintage gear (Les Paul, Marshall) in those Cream rehearsals but it just didn't work. There's some pics on the internet from those rehearsals that show EC playing a cherry sunburst Les Paul. I have to say that it looked a little odd after seeing him playing Strats since the early '70's.
 

akstrat61

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Seeing Eric tonight in Nashville. But from the videos of the previous shows on this tour, looks like he is using his tweed Twins.
 

ADP

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He uses a 310 Tweed bandmaster and a low power twin. But most importantly, He's Eric Clapton.
 
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