Sound Like Pink Floyd: Amp Settings And Gear Guide

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour has a tone that has inspired guitar players for many years. While his equipment has changed many times over the decades, his inspiration has not. How can you use your gear to sound like David and create such wonderful tones?

In this Killer Rig guide, we’ll show you how to get David Gilmour’s tone with some quick start Pink Floyd amp settings.

What Is The Pink Floyd Sound?

The Pink Floyd sound is a blend of psychedelic and experimental rock. It’s characterized by extended jams, unusual time signatures, and complex song structures.

Gilmour’s guitar playing is an integral part of this sound. His tone is instantly recognizable. To get the Pink Floyd sound, you’ll need to use some specific equipment and settings.

If you have a clean amp, some settings to start with would be:

  • Gain: 3
  • Treble: 7
  • Mids: 7
  • Bass: 6
  • Reverb: 5-6

David Gilmour has used a variety of different amps and guitars over the years. But there are a few key pieces that have been essential to his sound.

The most important part of Gilmour’s tone is his use of effects pedals. He uses a wide range of pedals to create delay, reverb, and modulation effects.

Not sure what amp settings actually do? Check out my guide to amp controls and settings to get up to speed!

Pink Floyd Amp Settings

To get the Pink Floyd sound, you’ll need to use a few specific amplifier settings. These settings will help you to create the delay and reverb effects. They are essential to the Pink Floyd sound.

But before looking into amp settings, there are a few things to consider.

  1. David Gilmour used amplifiers that were clean with lots of headroom. His sound was found by using effects pedals like fuzz, compressor, delay, and reverb to name a few.
  2. Guitars like the Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster are also quite important to the Pink Floyd tone. Having one that is similar will help you get their sound.
  3. If your amplifier has built-in effects, this will be helpful. If not, you may want to consider getting some pedals.

Have all the right gear? It’s important to know how the controls on your amplifier will affect your sound.

Pink Floyd Amp Setting Infographic

The Gain Knob

The gain knob is important for getting the right amount of distortion. Gilmour generally kept his amps set to a clean sound and used pedals for crunch or fuzz.

But the gain knob will affect the thickness of your tone. The lower it’s set, the thinner it will sound. So keep that in mind when setting this control.

You don’t want to set it too low as you will be missing certain frequencies in your tone. But it can’t be too high, either, or the sound might be overly distorted.

You might like our Arctic Monkeys amp settings here!

Equalization Controls

The EQ controls on your amplifier will help you to fine-tune the sound. The treble, mid, and bass controls will all affect the overall tone.

Pink Floyd has a brighter, present tone, and so the settings are important to recreate this.

  1. Begin with your treble and mid-settings around 6-7 on either control. This will present a bright and somewhat thick sound from the top end of your tone. If you find that it’s a bit harsh, turn the treble down a bit at a time.
  2. The bass knob will need to be set around 5 or halfway on your amp. From here you can adjust it to warm up the sound and add bass. Just try to prevent the tone from becoming boomy as effects will also add warmness when applied.

Presence Control

If your amplifier has a presence control, this can be handy when trying to give your sound more clarity.

Once the effects are layered on thick, the presence control may be used to give your tone a much-needed boost.

Popular Pink Floyd Songs and Their Settings

While Pink Floyd has changed a lot over the many decades. Their fundamental tone is relatively the same.

David Gilmour has always relied on clean, high-powered amps and a lot of effects. Even though the gear has changed a bit.

Let’s take a look at a few popular Pink Floyd songs and the settings you can use to capture their tone.

Comfortably Numb

One of the most popular Pink Floyd songs is comfortably numb. This song has a very specific sound that is essential to their live shows.

For the verses and a few other parts, the guitar is following along with the rest of the instruments as support. For these parts, your guitar amp settings will need to be for a clean tone.

Here are great settings for Comfortably Numb:

  • Gain: 4
  • Treble: 6
  • Mids: 6
  • Bass: 5
  • Reverb: 3-4

This can be easily done with a Fender or Hiwatt amplifier. The solo parts can also be recreated by using a fuzz pedal in the front of the amp. Or, if you prefer, a distortion pedal can be used if you don’t have a fuzz.

Visit our page on the Beatles amp settings for more great sounds.


The song Money is another popular one by Pink Floyd. It has a catchy riff that is essential to the sound.

To get this tone, you’ll need to have a good fuzz pedal like the Big Muff Pi. There is also a tremolo part done on the guitar that requires the effect set fairly high.

For the amp settings, you’ll want to use these:

  • Gain: 4
  • Treble: 7
  • Mids: 6
  • Bass: 6
  • Reverb: 3-4

These settings will work great when using a Fender Stratocaster guitar. You will also need effects that will help to add depth to the parts.

Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2

This is a very fun Pink Floyd song with a recognizable introduction. The guitar in this song is a lot more present and uses many effects.

To get the tone, you’ll need to set your amp like this:

  • Gain: 4
  • Treble: 6
  • Mids: 7
  • Bass: 6
  • Reverb: 3-4

These settings will be best on a clean amplifier with a single-coil style Guitar. For the most part, the guitar is clean, but any leads will then require the use of a fuzz pedal.

David Gilmour Hiwatt Amp Settings

If you own a Hiwatt amplifier like the DR-103, then you will be able to get David’s tone quite easily.

The speaker cabinet that would be preferred if possible is a Marshall 4×12. He used them for some specific settings.

Use these settings if you have the Hiwatt amp and Marshall cabinet combination:

  • Normal Vol: 8
  • Brill Vol: 7
  • Bass: 3.5
  • Treble: 4
  • Middle:8
  • Presence: 6.5
  • Master Vol: 3

If you have a different speaker cabinet, then the setting will need to be adjusted. This has a rather large effect on the sound.

Additional Tone Tips

Having issues trying to recreate Gilmour’s sound with your gear? Here are a few additional tips to help you out.

  • Humbuckers pickups can do this tone, but they will be a lot warmer sounding. For optimal results, the single-coil pickups and Stratocaster guitar arrangement will be best.
  • A fuzz pedal is used to get the crunchy sounds, primarily. But a good low-gain distortion or overdrive model can do similar tones. Make use of what you have.
  • A lower watt tube amplifier is just fine to get these tones. If you are not able to crank a 100-watt amp, then a lower power version is better. This will let you work the tubes harder and get a better sound.
  • If your amplifier doesn’t get as clean as you like, that’s ok! Simply use the volume control on your guitar to back it down. This has the added benefit of getting the crunchy parts simply by turning up the volume control.
  • If your tone is too harsh and bright sounding, use some effects to help warm it up. By applying delay or reverb, you can add depth, which will change your sound. Don’t forget to make use of the guitar’s tone control as well.


As you can see, getting a good Pink Floyd tone is not too difficult. With the right settings and equipment, you can recreate some of their most popular sounds. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your gear to get the best results.

Just make sure to upgrade your effects to get close. They are a very important part of this sound. Plus, as a guitarist, they will always be needed.


What amps did Pink Floyd Use?

David Gilmour used Hiwatt amplifiers for their clean and loud sound. There were many settings used throughout the years. They changed with the use of different speaker cabs and circuits.

What guitars did Pink Floyd use?

Pink Floyd used a variety of guitars, but the most common ones were Stratocasters. These guitars provided single-coil pickups that were perfect for their clean sound.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!