Stevie Let there be no doubt – the most significant factor to his tone is the man himself, his playing style and his passion.
Broken down even more – it’s what he plays, how he plays it and what equipment he used to support him, that produced his overall SRV signature style and tone.
Few artists have been so widely discussed among guitar players in terms of tone influence.
Players around the entire world have tried to replicate Stevie Ray Vaughan’s licks and tone, and it sure as hell is not easily done.
We believe it’s his brute force and powerful technique that makes true fans recognize SRV by only hearing two seconds of a full-tone double string bend-and-shake lick from “Live at the El Mocambo”.
This brute energy and control in his hands enables him with a technique and string touch that forms all his notes.
Another good example of how powerful string control makes great tone is Kirk Fletcher.
He does great things with great tone and rather light gauge (010, if we remember correctly from a You Tube clip from D’addario).
But, after having said this – SRV hung on to some specific pieces of gear and ways to use his gear, that made his tone as we know it. Strings It is not just the matter of big strings, it’s the relation between string gauge and the power in your hands and fingers. He had no problems with bending and shaking 013, 015, 019 strings for hours.
The overdriven tone with sustain and harmonics can only come from cranked amps and/or pedals.
This is a big topic itself, we have to leave it out for now.
But you can experiment with two, three or maybe four amps that are dialed in differently, some cranked, some clean, some with pedals in front, some that gives you tight and punchy bass response and some that gives you singing lead tone.
You will experience a big, compound and complex tone that gets you closer to the SRV feel.