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Derek Trucks Sound


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I am trying to develop a preset that gets me close to the Derek Trucks sound. He uses a cranked Fender Super Reverb so the closest amp model is a Twin Reverb. I want to get the clean, long lasting sustain that he gets with the cranked amp. I am playing a Gibson LP Classic Premium Plus with Classic burst buckets. I only have the amp, a 2 by 12 cab and a 4 by 10 cab. Also I end up with a 63 Spring Reverb. DT can sustain notes and get 4-5 notes to sound when he plays slide on one string. When I try to do this, I get about 2-3 notes and they trail off pretty quick. 


He does not use any affects to get his sound. So I am hoping to emulate this. So here are my settings so for:


Gain 8, bass, 2, mid 3, and treble 8. Presence is at 8 also. Master is on 10. The preset sound pretty good, but like I said the sustain is not quite there. By the way I am playing thru a Tech 21 Deuce Deluxe Power Engine. The volume is close to the top. 


Any ideas as indicated I am not looking to add pedals. 

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Just because Derek Trucks doesn’t use pedals on stage (or in the studio?) doesn’t mean that you can’t to get the sound you want.


Adding a compressor will get your notes to sustain better - the LA compressor would be a good choice in the front end - or even a boost/EQ somewhere in the chain.

A lot of slide players use two compressors in series and the Origin Effects SlideRig pedal built that way.


Remember that all live recordings will have Front of House applying compression/limiting/EQ to every sound source individually so you won’t get “the sound” from just an amp & cab

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I'd think the Super Reverb is closer to a Deluxe Reverb - the twin has much more clean headroom.  And that amp overdrive would be where the sustain comes from.

I've noticed Derek is a very traditional player - he rides his volume constantly.  So I'd say he's the variety that drives his amps pretty much max (give or take what he would want as max overdrive) and then drops the volume back on the guitar.  When he is soaring at the peak of the solo I'd say he's pretty much wide open - and definitely well and truly into amp overdrive.  He just sounds cleaner because he's backing off the volume a lot of the time. Watch him on video for constant volume knob fiddling.

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It's likely to also be the interaction between him, guitar and amp at high volume - a real amp in the room thing.


I had a play with a 2 x amp arrangement using the deluxe vib, and the princess running drive and master flat out, taking some tops off, and bumping the bias up a little - ran that into a pair of DT25s, with an alt path to a dual cab arrangement of the 2x12 matchless H30 and the 2x12 Interstate cabs into monitors.


Set the DT25s to about 1/4 master and cranked my monitors - the alt path was loud but didn't interact in the same way as the DT25 path and which was a bit more sensitive to picking touch and guitar volume. They remained clean until the guitar was fully opened up, and I hit hard, and they sustain a lot more than the monitors - but it's pretty loud.


I found this illuminating


Even the Alessandro AZZ amp that Trucks currently plays is very similar to a Fender Super Reverb; it is just larger and more powerful. This gives the amp more headroom, which means that Trucks can crank it without the amp breaking up or distorting. This actually sets him aside from a lot of other blues guitarists, most of whom seek out amps that break up and overdrive at lower volumes.

The main difference between these guitarists and Trucks, is that Trucks predominantly plays with a clean sound. And it is really this which dictates his choice of amp. He requires a certain volume and power to cut through the mix (there are 2 drummers and a horn section in The Tedeschi Trucks Band!) and he wants to be heard without his sound distorting.

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"Getting close is good enough". What I mean is, we could all play thru Mr. Trucks current rig, and it wouldnt sound like him. Why? Because we don't have his hands and technique. That is part of the tone's unique to him. So getting close is good enough. ; )

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Getting close is good enough - yep agree with that.

But to the other conversations about "clean" guitar sounds.................

Guys, use your ears!

If you can't hear the amp overdrive in the high points of these solos.......

Clean is an interesting conversation - Tim Pierce admits all over his channel he never runs his amps clean - but he plays lots of parts people might call clean...... don't confuse a bit of overdrive with obvious distortion.  It's that nice harmonic content of driven valves.

That guitar in the solos below is cleanish when he turns down and well into overdrive when he's pushing the high points of his solos.

Volume interacting with strings produces additional sustain - it's really feedback - but before it takes off into howl. Overdrive (which produces natural amp compression) enhances that and makes it easier to control.

With a good match of volume, drive and your relative position on stage, infinite sustain is very possible without a lot of distortion.  You just have to play your amp.

Watch the volume knob!  Why is he doing that?  It's his drive control!

If you aren't getting it from your setup, it's probably running too clean - but a little compression will probably help you with what you want - doesn't matter that Derek doesn't need it. He's getting it from how he's running his amps.



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