Rig Rundown - Steely Dan’s Walter Becker
PG's Jason Shadrick caught up with Steely Dan techs to check out the gear Walter Becker used for the band's summer 2011 tour. Watch the video below (and click here to see our Jon Herington Rig Rundown):
Always the experimenter, Becker brings a number of guitars with him on the road including models from Sadowsky, Hahn, Frye, Fender, Fano, and Kauer.
Becker’s main guitar is his signature Walter Becker model Sadowsky. It features custom Lollar P-90 pickups, spalted maple top and swamp ash body. In the neck/middle and middle/bridge settings, the pickups are wired for hum cancelling output. The tiny three-way switch control a special preamp that offers separate buffer and gain boosts. The third knob has a push/pull feature that activates the neck/bridge combination with the 5-way switch in either the neck or bridge positions. All the Sadowsky guitars are strung with Ernie Ball .011s.
Quite the tonal alchemist, Becker relies on a bevy of different amps, cabs, and speakers. At the moment, he is using amps from Suhr, Bogner, Marshall, Ampeg, 3 Monkeys, Retro Channel, and Satellite. According to Becker’s tech, Dave Rule, nearly any combination of amp and cabinet is possible on any given night, however there are a few mainstays: primarily a ‘70s 50-watt Marshall 2204 MKII through a Marshall 4x12 cab loaded with NOLA Celestion speakers and a rubber grill cloth used in conjunction with a Suhr Badger 18. He also employs a 3 Monkeys Virgil, Bogner Ecstasy, Retro Channel RR1, and Satellite Mudshark.
Walter Becker’s pedalboard is in constant flux, but when we caught up with him it included a Sonic Research tuner, Barber Tone Press compressor, Eventide Pitch Factor, Eventide Space (which he uses only for reverb), Moog Moogerfooger MuRF, Pigtronix Envelope Phaser, Boss Noise Suppressor NS-2, and an MXR Carbon Copy. Next to his pedalboard is his Bogner channel switcher. He uses a Lehle 1at3 SGoS switcher to go between different amps and cabs.