I love his chunky, kinda metallic (no not as in the genre, as in the sound) tone, but I can't get a sound like his.

Like that.

I checked the settings thread, and it didn't give me what I wanted. I'm using a Les Paul so I'm wondering if its the single coils that give it its sound, or maybe its his heavier strings?
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- Ibanez RG1570 Mirage Blue
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Watt
The singlecoils I think.
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singlecoils try using a compressor
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Single coils, definitely. It's also his amp(s).

I'm not too sure if he was using thick gauged strings at this performance. Yes, they're thicker than your typical strat strings, but I heard he couldn't use those real heavy strings because it really messed up his hands and fingers or something. I'm most likely wrong, but I know a lot of it is because of his amp(s) and the single coils.
single coils, heavy strings, aggressive picking are pretty much essential to get the SRV sound.
As well as pushing an amps to is limit and sticking a tube screamer in front of it.
"All I'm gonna do is just go on and do what I feel." - Jimi Hendrix

he usually tunes 1/2 step down and uses thicker strings....he also just uses some amazing amps...I remember hearing he used custom made ones called "Dumble" at some point...and the single coils do get that slappier sound that you're talking about.
Randall RM100/Basson Cab
DBX166XL/BBE Sonic Maximizer
Boss NS-2, sCream Cheese 2.0 OD, Zakk Wylde wah
Custom Epiphones
Monster Cables
Awe-in-One picks..and more
things SRV does to get "his" tone:

1. Use 12 gauge strings
2. tune 1/2 step down
3. use fender strat with texas special single coil pups
4. use the side of your pick instead of the tip
5. pick more upward so the strings kinda hit down on the frets
6. use cranked fender amps (blackface's mostly)
7. use a ts808 in front of the amp for a lead boost

thats SRV in a nutshell, hope it helps.
Last edited by JayLacelle at Nov 14, 2009,
Strat, rather vintage-style single coils although a bit hotter (the Texan ones), thick strings (.12 or .13 as far as I remember), p-ups set high, string action also set high, half-step down tuning, some kind of Fender blackface amp and you're done.

EDIT: Beaten to it
The components of SRV's tone (gear-wise) has been outlined above. He also had incredibly strong hands and fingers which added to his tone.

Looking at your gear you're going to struggle. Strats are perfect (obviously) but a humbucker guitar is just not going to do it that well.
try using compression, single coils and in particular hot single coils, the set he actually used are called texas specials and believe me with a well set up amp you can play them well, i lean more to Little Wing myself
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I don't believe he ever used texas specials...

But really, a good single coil is key to his tone.
He did use a dumble later in his days but the amps that were key to his tone were 2 super reverbs and a couple vibroverbs, cranked up but not dimed.
Also boost with a tube screamer.
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I can get a pretty good SRV tone using a Fender Blues Jr, my Strat with Lindy Fralin Blues Special pups, and an Ibanez TS808.
Single coils, barbed wire for strings, TS808, super reverbs/dumbles, a cool hat.....oh yeah don't forget the feather boas, gotta have those!