Steve Hackett
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From the moment Steve Hackett joined GENESIS in the early 70s, his role in the band was to add texture to the music. His guitar tone(s) in Nursery Crymes and FOXTROT were a bit traditional in nature in that you can hear what STEVE was playing within the mix.  However, even back then, the line between some keyboard sounds (Tony would add FUZZ to his electric piano for example) and Steve’s sound sometimes was blurred.

By the time The Lamb rolled around, Steve started to add even more textures and tones to his guitar sound.  It should be noted that his live setup and his studio setup were quite similar, the only difference being a few added pieces of gear used in the studio.  Let’s start with Steve’s live setup.

Back in the early 70’s, without the aid of the internet, it was practically impossible to discern Steve’s equipment other than listening to the GENESIS tracks and from whatever press photos might be published in music magazines and by seeing GENESIS live (if you were close enough to the stage). So, most of the information gathered below either came from Internet knowledge and research or from Steve himself.  I must also add the Steve is most generours with his time and willingness to try and answer questions from events that occured about 40 years ago.


Let’s start out with the most obvious, Steve’s main guitar.  Steve acquired an original Gibson 1957 Les Paul goldtop (which he once tried to auction off on EBAY and then came to his senses and decided to keep this guitar).
Today, this guitar model is one of the most desirable to guitar collectors, due to its TONE, scarcity, and famous players who used this model.  Collectors will pay up to $250,000 USD for an original 57 Les Paul in excellent condition.  This guitar is so desirable, that many of the older LP that are beyond savings, are disassembled and sold as parts.  I have seen 57 bridges go for as much as $1500, so the idea of purchasing an original 57 LP is beyond reason for most guitar players. The photo on the right is an example of an original 1957 Gibson Les Paul goldtop and not a photo of Steve’s actual guitar.  Almost all vintage goldtops start to tarnish over the years (due to the application and type of paint used) which has a green hue. The chrome plated pickup covers and saddle also start to tarnish over the years, losing their original high shine.

But, needless to say, this guitar has a very desirable tone (even though no 2 guitars sound exactly alike, their are a lot of other similarities between guitar makes and models on their overall sound. I am not sure when Steve actually purchased his LP goldtop but he started to use it in the studio as early as FOXTROT (if not sooner).  Steve has been photographed with many GIBSON Les Paul models LIVE (I have seen tour photos and videos of a LP sunburst Deluxe with mini humbuckers and an LP Black Beauty) but in the studio, this was his main axe.

However, for The Lamb, Steve also used the CORAL electric sitar in the studio in more places than may first appear obvious.  This too was a very unique guitar and was first used by GENESIS and Steve in “I Know What I Like” from Selling England by the Pound LP.
This guitar was developed in the US by a small company in New Jersey and is pretty much a ONE TRICK pony guitar and as such, even though they are rare, aren’t priced CRAZY high as is the ’57 Les Paul.  Additionally, in the 90’s, Jerry Jones (a Nashville guitarist and luthier) produced an exact CLONE of the origianl CORAL version. However, even the Jerry   Jones model has risen in price over the years since they are no longer manufactured.  Jerry Jones went out of business in the mid 2000’s.  There is also a CHINESE knockoff version that sells under a few names, one of them ROGUE guitars. I haven’t played a ROGUE sitar but from what I have read, they are not built nor do the have the same sound quality of the original or Jerry Jones model.

If you carefully listen to “Counting Out Time” from The Lamb, you can clearly hear the CORAL electric sitar.  It is NOT the guitar sound of the crazy sounding SOLO (more on the guitar solo sound later), rather it is used in the background for some unique texturing.  Steve also used this guitar on other parts of The Lamb, which are now obvious to me but if Steve didn’t tell me he used this guitar (which I suspected and he confirmed), I probably would have missed its usage all together.  As far as I know, Steve never used this guitar LIVE during the LAMB tour probably because it was never used as the main guitar parts or solos on the tracks from the studio.  But, I can’t help imagining, that if there ever was an attempt by GENESIS to perform a reunion tour of The Lamb that perhaps one of the STEVE or Darrell Struemmer (if the G man incorporated the later touring band) might add this to the live arsenal and help make a LIVE verison of the LAMB sound more accurate and to fill out the LIVE arrangements.

In order to be complete, Steve also made use of his K. Yairi classical guitar on The Lamb in the studio only.  You can clearly hear it during Hairless Heart but he also used this guitar in other parts of the studio recordings (again, mostly for textures, and in the most unlikely places).
Steve’s Yariri guitar was built around 1973 in Japan and I think it was the 5050 or 9001 model but I am not sure.  To the left is a photo of a 5050 which looks like the guitar that Steve now tours with for the classical guitar sound.

I remember reading or hearing back in the 70s that Steve already started to grow and groom his fingernails on his right hand for his picking tone when using the YAIRI but not sure if he was actually doing this that far back.

So, that about finishes up the guitars that Steve used on recording The Lamb so let’s move on to the amplification used on the album.


Moving on the amplification, I remember seeing The Lamb LIVE from the 4th row center and looking at Steve’s live RIG.  I could see he was using a pedal board but had a real hard time making out his amplification.
So, years later, I do know Steve used an amp head and a speaker cabinet and not a combo amp during the LAMB tour and recording sessions.

The amp head was an H&H IC100 amp head (H&H has since been shuttered).  This was a tranny head with 2 channels.  It had some effects built into the amp head.  The effects built in were a spring reverb, a sustain/distortion effect and a unique tremolo effect.
  It also has a switch for STAGE and STUDIO that basically changes the output volume of the amp head and a BRIGHT and NORMAL input channel on Channel 1. Channel 2 is a more simple input and has no access to the sustain or tremelo built in effects nor a BRIGHT and NORMAL input nor the STAGE and STUDIO switch. The photo to the right is the IC100S which did not include the reverb effect and does somewhat show the lit up panel effect when powered on which is one of the unique features of this amp.  Most amps have a jewel or LED light that comes on when it is being powered but the H&H IC100 also has this cool luminessence mode which only lights up the know of the pots and looks really cool in low lighting.

This is a rare amp head but not that known or is it that desirable by collectors.  Other than the rareness, this amp is not too expensive (if you can find one, they go for about $200 USD) in the vintage world market.  There are only 2 other somewhat famous users of this amplifier, that is Marc Bolin from T-REX and Eddie Van Halen (not sure what model Eddie might have used but I have read that he did use an H&H amp).

This amp can be extremely loud for a tranny amp and quite frankly doesn’t sound that good as you add volume. Not like a Marshall, that starts to add the warm Marshall compressed, over-driven sound.  This amp sounds more flabby the louder the volume.  The spring reverb is really cheap sounding but at lower volumes and combined with the HIWATT cabinet, this amp does have a very unique tone which apparently Steve liked and helps him get his unique sound on The LAMB album.

As mentioned above, Steve used a HIWATT speaker cabinet along with the H&H amp.  The HIWATT Steve used was an SE-4123 with purple FANE speakers.  This combination speaker cabinet (HIWATT and purple FANES) is very rare and highly desirable and you can expect to pay close to $2000 USD for a vintage model today.
  There are a few speaker clones that attempt to recreate the purple fane sound but nothing compares to the original PURPLE fane sound. 
The cabinet is a 4x12 speaker configuration.  The photo to the right clearly shows the purple labels on the fane speakers.  There are many versions of FANE speakers used in early Hiwatt cabinets, so make sure that they have the purple fanes if you are willing to pay the premium price of a vintage Hiwatt cabinet.

Steve told me he also used a FENDER Champ amp on The Lamb in spots and he was sure he used the Fender Champ “all over Foxtrot”.  The Fender Champ is almost like a beginner’s amp for guitar players.  It has 6 watts and an 8 inch speaker but it overdrives at lower volumes and has been used by many guitar players in the studio for acheiving some very large amp sounds.  The original Fender champ amps from the early 70s are somewhat desirable. 
For an amp that cost $29 USD new in the early 70s, a vintage, great condition, all original Fender champ today demands around $500 USD on the collectors market.

This amp has minimal options, take is, 3 pots simply labeled, VOLUME, BASS and TREBLE.  That is all and not much more to say about this little work horse of an amplifier.  I was quite surprised to hear that Steve used this amp in the studio from time to time but “The King of Tone” never ceases to amaze me.

Lastly, Steve also used the LESLIE speaker cabinet (as an effect) in quite a few sections of The Lamb.  Most easily heard on the intro to Cuckoo Cocoon but it used quite frequently all over The Lamb on other tracks as well.  For those not familiar with a Leslie, it was primarily a special speaker cabinet with spinning ports (a high and a low) mostly used by keyboard players and Hammond type organs.  I can only guess that Steve used Tony’s leslie cabinets when tracking the Leslie effected guitar tracks but none of my inquiries with the lads can cofirm nor deny exactly what leslie was used.  It was simple too long ago for them to remember. You can see a photo of the leslie speaker model Tony used on Tony’s gear page.


The effects used by Steve for The Lamb starts to get very interesting.  I would say that Steve’s effect rig grew over the years and the added effect used first on The Lamb was the Synthi Hi Fli (more on that later).  Steve used the same pedal board layout that he used on Selling England.  He also used the ECHOPLEX tape based delay effect.
  To the right, is a live photo of Steve’s setup and his pedal board.  The bottom photo identifies which effect and in which order these pedal effects were chained. The ECHOPLEX label is for the footswitch that simple turned the tape delay effect on and off.  The tape delay effect was located on a rack table to Steve’s right. You can barely see it in the photo to the right of Steve’s right leg.  The was an additional Schaller volume pedal that is lost in the shadows on the pedal board as well (more on that later).

From Right to Left, the effects Steve used were:

The Cry Baby WAH WAH pedal.  This was an early version of the pedal that was manufactored by THOMAS organ company in Chicago, IL.  This model is now fondly referred to as the STACK of DIMES model due to the capacitors used in the pedal (they resemble a STACK of DIMES). 
Steve didn’t used the WAH WAH pedal as you might expect.  Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Sly and the Family Stone used that familiar WAH WAH sound for the guitar but Steve simply used this pedal as a TONE device.  He would have it engaged and just move the pedal to either a treble boost or treble cut mode to create different overtones to his guitar sound. The photo on the right shows an orignal Stack of Dimes WAH WAH pedal.  These original vintage pedals are quite rare and do demand a premium price in the collectors market.  Expect to pay about double for this vintage model as compared to a modern Cry Baby pedal.

Next in line was the Coloursound Ocivider.  Steve used this pedal to great effect on Selling England by the Pound but hhe recalls using it once only  on The Lamb during The Slipperman.
This pedal adds an octave pitch to whatever pitch is played on the guitar.  Some folks thought that Mike’s FUZZ bass sound was really Steve doubling Mike’s parts using the OCTIVIDER but that is not the case.  Like I mentioned, this pedal was hardly used on The Lamb. An all original, early 70s Coloursound Octivider goes for about $500 USD in the collectors market.

Next in line is the Marshall Supa Fuzz.  This fuzz effect originally was produced during the 60s and it was used in a ton of the pyschedlic era recordings.  The original version of this fuzz pedal was based upon the TONE BENDER, also from
Marshall with some tweaks to the electronics that created a slightly different fuzz effect. An original Marshall Supa Fuzz is quite desirable and is quite expensive in the vintage collector’s world, fetching prices over $1500 USD. Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend are only a few who used a variation of this fuzz pedal. Steve used this pedal in conjunction with the Shaftesbury DUO Fuzz to create a unique tone. Steve has mentioned that it gave him a violin type sound when both fuzz were used together.  Steve did tell me that he almost always had the volume pot turned low when using this pedal, just enough volume to distort the sound without adding too much compression and noise in the signal chain. 

Moving along the pedal board, the aforementioned Shaftesbury DUO fuzz effect pedal was next.  This pedal was originally manufactured by Shin-ei see in JAPAN and rebranded as the Shaftesbury by MORRIS ROSE(a music store company) in the UK.  Shensei was the OEM for many branded versions of the same electronics for this pedal which included the UNIVOX Super Fuzz (not to be confused with the Marshall SUPA FUZZ) and the Companion and JAX fuzz effects.
These fuzz pedals all sound the same, due to the OEM nature of the pedal and the Shaftesbury demands the highest price on the collector’s market (over $800 USD) and the other branded names sound the same but are more in the $500 USD range. There are two versions of the pedal, the FY1 and the FY2.  The Shaftesbury was based upon the FY2 model. This is the fuzz pedal MIKE used for his famous FUZZ BASS sound all over The Lamb (more information in Mike’s equipment section). Wattson makes an exact duplicate of this fuzz box, available now.

Lastly in the pedal board chain was the Schaller Volume pedal (hidden by the shadows in Steve’s live leg photo above). This is simply a volume pedal that works quite smoothly and adds no color to the sound. Steve uses this effect to volume swell into notes, thus hiding the pick attack of the sound.  You can hear this technique on The Lamia.
This pedal may be rare but does not carry a premium cost in the collectors world since it doesn’t really do anything but let you control volume with a foot pedal.  I think I paid $30 USD for my original vintage 70’s Schaller volume pedal it was just locating one for sale that was difficult.

Post the pedal board comes the Echoplex tape delay/echo effect. 
Steve uses this effect almost all the time for solos and fuzz effected guitar parts.  As mentioned earlier, Steve used this same basic pedal board for The Selling England album and if you ever wanted to get this Firth of Fifth solo sound, you now know the effects chain you will need.  This effect has a sliding tape head that controls the time between the original sound and the echo begin sound.  The first knob allows you to control the feedback of the delayed effect, creating echoes and the second knob controls the blend of the original sound and the delayed sound.  Nothing fancy, quite straightforward, but when used creatively, a quite magical effect.  An original Echo Plex isn’t that desirable, in that it is almost impossible to get replacement tape cartridges.  Their are many effective modern replacements for this effect most notably the FULLTONE TTE but you do want the tube amp version of this device in that the tube versions to add some warmth to the echo sound versus a digital type delay.

Last but not least, was the famous SYNTHI HI FLI. This is the HOLY GRAIL of guitar effects in the collector world. A fully functional, original HI FLI with the pedals will set you back over $5000 USD.  There were only 350 of these units manufactured and Steve used this sparingly on The Lamb, most notably the whacky guitar solo on Counting Out Time.
There are way too many features and functions of this device to cover them all here but you can do a WEB SEARCH to find out more information.  A few other notable guitar players employed the Synthi Hi Fli, David Gilmore from PINK FLOYD on MONEY and Richie Blackmore from Deep Purple.  There is one other source for this device from a small hobby company in the UK called, “DIGITANA”, which has licensed the name and the permission to recreate this device using original parts and rebuilding them from scratch.  The company is owned by Steve Thomas, who meticuosly builds these units by hand.  I know that he has built less than 15 of these recreations over the last few years and the waiting list is filled.  I purchased the fifth unit he produced and by the time I paid for shipping and VAT/import tax to the US, the unit cost about $4000 USD. But it works perfectly and sounds exactly like the original Hi Fli.  You can check out more information at the following at,

Use the arrow key to see the project gear being used to sample and recreate the LAMB LAID DOWN ON MIDI.