Stone Temple Pilots
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equipment

Robert DeLeo's Equipment

Robert DeLeo uses a wide variety of basses, guitars, amplifiers, cabinets and effect pedals/processors for recording. He mainly uses Schecter Model-T basses live. He started out in Los Angeles with a selection of MusicMan Stingrays, but abandoned them after he formed a band with Scott Weiland. Here's an overview of the basses, guitars, amps and effects he uses. You can find more detailed information and images below. If you have any additional information about this equipment, please contact me.

Bass Guitars
Signature Basses
Guitars
Amps & Speaker Cabinets
Effects & Footswitches

Chronology

Robert now mainly uses the Schecter model-T bass. He's been using it since 1997. In the studio, DeLeo has also used an unidentified upright, a '50s Danelectro Longhorn baritone guitar, '66 Fender Precision, '70s Fender MusicMaster, '76 Rickenbacker 4001, G&L-2000, and an Orlando, which Robert describes as a "Japanese bass from the '60s that's like a Gibson version of a Vox Beatle bass."

Robert uses SIT strings, gauges .050-.105. His live rig consists of three 2x12 and three 4x10 Eden cabinets, an old Alembic F-1x preamp, and a QSC MX 1500 power amp. His favorite studio setup-copped from Chris Squire producer Eddie Offord-splits his signal between a '67 50-watt Marshall Plexi guitar head / '69 Marshall keyboard 8x10 and a '59 Bassman with a custom 1x15.

Robert: "That bass tone stands the test of time. I crank it up-there's a lot of guitar to cut through, and the Marshall gives me midrange. It's that nasal, honking sound. You're gonna hear guitars, no matter what. But if the music isn't happening, the first thing you say is, 'Where's the bass?' You don't ever ask about the guitars. I ride [producer] Brenden O'Brien during the mixes: 'Put that bass up!' Generally, he's on my side."

Robert has explained the setup of his gear in the various guitar magazines. You will find the collected information in chronological order here.

The Beginning

Born on February 2, 1966 in Montclair, New Jersey, DeLeo was raised in Point Pleasant Beach, on the shore near Asbury Park. Right from the beginning, his was a ’70s AM-radio world. “I was hearing a lot of different kinds of music, probably because I was the youngest one in the family. Cat Stevens would be playing in one sister’s room, I’d hear Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the other sister’s room, and my older brother, Dean, would be playing Led Zeppelin. I heard Larry Graham and the stuff Bootsy was doing with James Brown, and it just blew me away. Songs like the Spinners’ ‘It’s a Shame,’ Al Green, and players like John Paul Jones, who brought a James Jamerson style to rock—that’s what got me interested in bass.”

DeLeo started on guitar, and by the time he was in high school, he had grown enamored with progressive rock. “I listened to John Entwistle, and I got into Chris Squire, whose tone I loved. By the early ’70s he was already switching to roundwounds and going through guitar amps. He wanted to be heard! I learned Steve Howe’s ‘Mood for a Day’ [from Yes’s Fragile] in tenth grade. But there weren’t many cats my age I could play with, because they didn’t really know how to play.”

When his brother’s cover band needed a bass player, 16-year-old Robert picked up a Fender Precision, a Sunn head, and a 1x18 cabinet. “For our first gig I had to learn 30 songs in two weeks: ‘The Real Me’ by the Who, ‘Red Barchetta’ by Rush, and anything from Yes to U2 to Duran Duran and the Beatles. No lessons, no theory—it was all by ear. It was natural. And being six foot two, I just felt more comfortable with the bass.”

"When I moved out to California in '86, I bought a MusicMan StingRay because of Louis Johnson, I could literally pick up those basses-the real Leo Fender ones-for a couple hundred bucks. I loved the tone of that bass-the low end and the snap on the top-but I wasn't really into the midrange. I wasn't slapping anymore, and I wanted to create something that could be heard in a rock format.

In 2007, Robert said about the heavy '70s Stingrays: "I really liked the way those basses felt. I was so used to the heavy, old Seventies basses that I purposely had Schecter make me basses out of really heavy ask. But some years have gone by--," he chuckles. "I'm not saying I'm old, but I'm not quite as young as I used to be. I picked up those basses recently, and man-that shit is heavy!" he laughs. "It is really heavy, and it just doesn't appeal to me anymore. So I just had Schecter make me some new basses that were lighter, and with passive pickups. I'm really digging the way those feel and sound. So those are the ones I'm going to be bringing out when we tour."

Robert: "When I started working at Sunset Custom, I put together a J-style version of what I use now, with a thumbrest that marked the position of that one Music Man pickup. I used that on Core. Later, it seemed like the PJ setup was more voicing I was hearing for the band's sound; this bass just made a lot more sense that way. It took awhile to get there." Schecter has a 5-string version of the Model-T, but Robert doesn't play it: "I'm old-fashioned. I don't know if I could get around on a 5."

"Core" (1992)

Robert: "I was green. I knew what sound I wanted to get; I just didn't know how to achieve it. I ended up using a J-Bass version of the Model-T, a G&L L-2000, and an Ampeg SVT 8x10 because they were reliable."

"Purple" (1994)

"I recorded most of Purple with my Schecter J-Bass and the live rig-three 2x12 and three 4x10 Eden cabinets, an old Alembic F-1X preamp, and a QSC MX 1500 power amp. I might have used the '66 P-Bass. I liked the tone I got live, but it just didn't translate in the studio the way I wanted. I also used this '60s hollowbody called a Limgar on 'Creep.' 'Pretty Penny' was my first attempt at an upright, and for 'Big Empty,' I played the Orlando. It records great. I use flatwounds."

"Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop"(recorded 1995/1996) & "Talk Show" (recorded 1996)

For STP's most musically diverse album, Robert used a variety of basses, effects, and setups-though his Marshall/Bassman setup saw the most action. Brother Dean DeLeo played a funky, octaved bass line on the opener, "Press Play," using a Hagstrom 8-string with a pick. Robert picked up a '50s Danelectro Long Horn baritone guitar for "Pop's Love Suicide" and a Fender MusicMaster (played through an MXR Phase 90 pedal) for "And So I Know." Ever the Yes fan, Robert used a '76 Rickenbacker 4001 for "Art School Girl."

Since 1997, DeLeo's main bass has been the Schecter model-T. He built the first prototypes himself while working at L.A.'s Sunset Custom, which later became Schecter Guitar Research.

No.4 (1999)

"If you sat in a room with the amps and heard the tone on 'Down,' you'd go, Man, that sounds like shit-like the blob rolling into town! But in the context of the song, it takes on this life of its own. I used a SansAmp Bass Driver DI to grind it up a little. "On 'I Got You' I used the '66 P-Bass with my Marshall and Bassman. I always wanted to have the tone I liked from those early Andy Williams and Englebert Humperdinck records: the sound of flatwound strings on a P-bass with the tone all the way up." Robert also used his Orlando on "Atlanta" and the '66 P-Bass for "Sour Girl." He cites the big, wide sound of "Pruno" as an example of his favorite Marshall/Bassman tone.

Shangri-LA DEE DA (2001)

"'Days of the Week' is a poppy song, so I tried to get as much girth and hair on that track as possible. The bass is pretty fat. We actually recorded 'Hello, It's Late' as a shuffle during the Purple sessions; we built it with a click track and me playing a Fender Rhodes electric piano. I tracked the bass on the Orlando with flatwounds that have been on since '93, and I used a bit of SansAmp distortion. For the beautiful solo on "Black Again," DeLeo played up near his Model-T's 12th fret and used the Electro-Harmonix Bass Micro Synth. "I love that thing. I had a lot of Electro-Harmonix effects when I was a kid, but they all broke. I got one just before we started recording, and it played a good part on this album. I also used it on 'Transmissions from a Lonely Room.'"

"Army Of Anyone" (2006)

"It always comes back to James Jamerson for me. I just really dig what that guy was doing," said Robert. Jamerson is the prism through which Robert understood groove-"The jazz bass feel that John Paul Jones had with Zeppelin was very much along the same lines, sonically, of what Jamerson was doing"-and his sound provides the cornerstone of DeLeo's approach. Most of "Army of Anyone" was recorded on a stock 1961 Fender Precision, and for the ballads he went the whole Jamerson and fed up that P-Bass through a '66 Ampeg B-15 flip-top, just like the master used.


Bass Guitars

Schecter Model-T

Schecter T-Model Schecter T-Model Schecter T-Model

This is Robert's main bass guitar. It's a Schecter Model-T 4-string, but it comes in different configurations. Pictured above are two versions with a light and dark fretboard. Schecter has a 5-string version of the Model-T, but Robert doesn't play it. "I'm old-fashioned. I don't know if I could get around on a 5." Click here for a wiring diagram of this bass (PDF).

Thanks to Sandra for the pictures in the middle and on the right. They were taken in Detroit, Michigan on June 4, 2008.


Schecter Model-T (Dark Pickguard)

Schecter T-Model Dark Pickguard Schecter T-Model Dark Pickguard

This is a lesser-used Schecter T-Model 4-string, which features a dark pickguard. It may have an alternative tuning. Thanks to Sandra for the pictures on the left and right. They were taken in Detroit, Michigan on June 4, 2008. The middle picture is thanks to dml5089 and was taken on August 9, 2008 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


Schecter Model-T (Gold)

Schecter Model-T Gold Schecter Model-T Gold Schecter Model-T Gold

This is a lesser-used Schecter T-Model, it was used on the 2002 Stone Temple Pilots tour.


Schecter Model-T (Black)

Schecter Model-T Black

This is a lesser-used Schecter T-Model, it was used on the 2002 Stone Temple Pilots tour.


Schecter Model-T (White)

Schecter Model-T White Schecter Model-T White Schecter Model-T White

This is a lesser-used Schecter T-Model, it was used on the 1996 Stone Temple Pilots tour (pictures middle and right) and again in 2001 (picture left).


Schecter Diamond J

Schecter Diamond J Schecter Diamond J Schecter Diamond J

Robert has been using this bass since the "Core"-tour. He's pictured on the left while performing "Wicked Garden" on the Late Show with David Letterman in 1993. The pictures on the right are from the 2001/2002 tour in support of "Shangri-LA DEE DA".


Schecter Diamond J (Sunburst)

Schecter Diamond J


Schecter J-Style Custom

Schecter J-Style Custom Schecter J-Style Custom Schecter J-Style Custom

Schecter J-Style Custom Schecter J-Style Custom Schecter J-Style Custom

This is a custom bass Robert built himself while he was working at Sunset Custom in Los Angeles, which later developed into Schecter Guitar Research. It's a dark blue custom bass that closely resembles the Schecter Diamond J. It has dice for knobs and was eventually outfitted with a "Phillies" sticker.

Robert: "When I started working at Sunset Custom, I put together a J-style version of what I use now, with a thumbrest that marked the position of that one Music Man pickup. I used that on Core. Later, it seemed like the PJ setup was more voicing I was hearing for the band's sound; this bass just made a lot more sense that way. It took awhile to get there."


Orlando

Orlando Orlando Orlando

Robert used this bass when he recorded "Big Empty, "Atlanta" and "Hello It's Late". He also used it on the performance for MTV Unplugged in November 1993. He describes this bass as a "Japanese bass from the ’60s that’s like a Gibson version of a Vox Beatle bass" or a "scroll-headstock Hofner." In 2001, he noted that the flatwound strings had been on the instrument since '93 when he recorded "Hello It's Late" with it through the SansAmp.


G&L L-2000

Robert used a G&L L-2000 bass when he recorded Stone Temple Pilots' "Core" album in 1992. He said: "I was green. I knew what sound I wanted to get; I just didn't know how to achieve it. I ended up using a J-Bass version of the Model-T, a G&L L-2000, and an Ampeg SVT 8x10 because they were reliable." Unfortunately there are no pictures of Robert with this bass. If you have any pictures, please contact me.


Limgar

Robert said in an interview in 1997: "I also used this $100 bass called a 'Limgar'. The only other one I've seen belongs to (collector) Teisco Del Rey. It's a very kooky-looking Sixties hollowbody bass. We used that on 'Creep'." Unfortunately there are no pictures of Robert with this bass. If you have any pictures, please contact me.


'61 Fender Precision bass

Most of Army of Anyone (Firm Music) was recorded on a stock 1961 Fender Precision, and for the ballads he went the whole Jamerson and fed up that P-Bass through a '66 Ampeg B-15 flip-top, just like Robert's biggest influence James Jamerson used.


'66 Fender Precision bass

Robert: "On ‘I Got You’ I used the ’66 P-Bass with my Marshall and Bassman. I always wanted to have the tone I liked from those early Andy Williams and Englebert Humperdinck records: the sound of flatwound strings on a P-Bass with the tone all the way up." He also used this bass on "Sour Girl".


'76 Rickenbacker 4001

Rickenbacker 4001 Rickenbacker 4001 Rickenbacker 4001

Robert used this bass on "Art School Girl" from the 1996 album "Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop". Robert is very much into vintage gear, and loves to learn about how his favorite players from the old days got their sound. So when Eddie Offord, who produced The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Yes-songs, Tales from Topographic Oceans, and Relayer (1969-1974, all on Atlantic), was being considered to man the boards for the debut album from Stone Temple Pilots, Robert made sure to quiz him about Chris Squire's studio setup. "I have Yes Fragile in my car right now, and I think that record still holds up," he said in 2007.

"What Squire was doing on that record still blows me away." Part of Squire's secret had to do with playing up the guitar side of the bass guitar, Robert said, using the "Rickosound" stereo output of his Rickenbacker 4001 to split the signal between guitar and bass amps. "I think what he was doing was running one side through a [Fender] Bassman and one side through a Marshall," he said. "That's what I heard from Eddie." Robert also has a Rick, a '76 4001. Although he used it for several STP recordings, it was left in the closet for the Army of Anyone sessions (although he did take it out for the first video shoot). But he did employ a version of Squire's dual amp setup. "Quite a number of years ago, I managed to pick up a Marshall keyboard cabinet, with 10"s in it. It's from '68 or '69-they only made them for a couple of years-and I tell you, man, that thing just sounds really great in the studio.


'50s Danelectro Longhorn

Danelectro Longhorn Reissue

The Danelectro Longhorn is a baritone guitar that Robert used on "Pop's Love Suicide' from the 1996 album "Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop". The instrument pictured is not Robert's. It's a recent re-issue model used as an illustration only.


'70s Fender Musicmaster

Danelectro Longhorn Reissue

Robert played the Fender Musicmaster through an MXR Phase 90 pedal for "And So I Know" from the 1996 album "Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop". The instrument pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


Signature Basses

Schecter Model-T Diamond Series Robert DeLeo 4-string bass

Signature 4-string

This is one of two "signature" Diamond Series Robert DeLeo basses made by Schecter in April 2000. It features a deeply contoured ash body with a 34", 22-fret bolt-on rock maple neck. Seymour Duncan designed P/J-style pickups are controlled via a master volume, and a concentric pan and master tone. Two choice of high gloss transparent finishes are available: Vintage White with a Rosewood fingerboard (pictured) and 3-Tone Sunburst with a Maple fingerboard. Deluxe chrome hardware is standard on both versions. The instrument pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


Schecter Model-T Diamond Series Robert DeLeo 5-string bass

Signature 5-string

This is one of two "signature" Diamond Series Robert DeLeo basses made by Schecter in May 2000. The Robert DeLeo Model T 5 String Bass features a deeply contoured ash body with a 34", 22-fret bolt-on rock maple neck. Duncan Designed P/J-style pickups are controlled via a master volume, and a concentric pan and master tone. The instrument pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


Guitars

Acoustic Guitar (Guitar Holder)

Acoustic Holder Acoustic Holder Acoustic Holder

Robert uses this acoustic guitar onstage in a guitar holder, so he can switch between bass guitar and acoustic guitar without actually having to pick up and put down the instruments.


Acoustic Guitars

Acoustic Unknown Acoustic Unknown Acoustic Unknown

Robert uses many different acoustic guitars. Unfortunately, it's hard to tell from pictures which one is which.


Amps & Speaker Cabinets

Alembic F1-X Pre-amp

Alembic

Alembic

Alembic

The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


Ampeg SVT 8x10

Ampeg

Robert used the Ampeg SVT 8x10 when he recorded Stone Temple Pilots' "Core" album in 1992. He said: "I was green. I knew what sound I wanted to get; I just didn't know how to achieve it. I ended up using a J-Bass version of the Model-T, a G&L L-2000, and an Ampeg SVT 8x10 because they were reliable." The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


'66 Ampeg B-15 flip-top

Ampeg B15 Flip-Top Ampeg B15 Flip-Top Ampeg B15 Flip-Top

Most of Army of Anyone (Firm Music) was recorded on a stock 1961 Fender Precision, and for the ballads he went the whole Jamerson and fed up that P-Bass through a '66 Ampeg B-15 flip-top, just like Robert's biggest influence James Jamerson used. The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


'69 Ampeg BT-22

Ampeg BT25 Ampeg BT25

Robert: "I have a '69 Ampeg BT-22 combo, which is the 2x12 combo that Keith Richards made famous on Exile on Main Street [Rolling Stones label, 1972]. I think it's pretty much a miniature SVT. What I did was I unplugged the speakers from that, and fed it into the Marshall keyboard cab. That was with an A/B box, and on the other side there's a '61 Bassman with a 15" in it. And also, there's a direct out to a James Demeter tube direct box."

Pictured is an Ampeg BT-25, because there are no pictures available of the BT-22. The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


Eden 2x12 cabinets

Eden 2x12 Eden 2x12

The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


Eden 4x10 cabinets

Eden 2x12

The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


'59 Fender Bassman

Fender Bassman Fender Bassman

The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


'61 Fender Bassman

Fender '61 Bassman

The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


'67 50-watt Marshall Plexi guitar head

Marshall Plexi Head 50Watt Marshall Plexi Head 50Watt

The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


'69 Marshall keyboard 8x10 cabinet

Unfortunately there are no images available of this cabinet.


QSC MX1500 poweramp

QSC MX1500

QSC MX1500

The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


Effects & Footswitches

Electro-Harmonix Micro Synth

Electro-Harmonix Micro Synth

Robert used this effect on "Transmissions From A Lonely Room" and "Black Again" from the "Shangri-LA DEE DA" album (2001). The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


Tech21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI

Tech21 Sansamp BDDI

Robert: "If you sat in a room with the amps and heard the tone on "Down," you'd go, Man, that sounds like shit—like the blob rolling into town! But in the context of the song, it takes on this life of its own. I used a SansAmp Bass Driver DI to grind it up a little bit." The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


MXR Phase 90

MXR Phase 90

Robert used this effect on "And So I Know " on the "Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop " album (1996). The equipment pictured is not Robert's. It's used as an illustration only.


 

 

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