The Secrets Behind The Edge's Guitar Tone on U2's "Vertigo"

U2’s the Edge plays a Fender Telecaster in 2005
(Image credit: Phil Dent/Redferns/Getty Images)

Considering that U2 guitarist the Edge has been a bona fide tone geek for decades, it’s surprising that he didn’t discover the tweed Fender Deluxe amp until rather late in his career — 2004, to be exact; after his guitar tech Dallas Schoo bought him a 1957 Deluxe with the 5E3 circuit — when the Edge asked for a small amp that he could play at home and use to record demos. However, when the Edge acquired his first tweed Deluxe, he immediately put it to very good use — the amp inspired him to write the main riff for the song “Vertigo,” only 20 minutes after he first plugged into it.

According to Schoo, the Edge used only four pieces of gear in the studio when recording “Vertigo”: “a Line 6 DM4 stompbox, a vintage echo unit, a vintage Sixties Telecaster and a vintage Fender amplifier.” During a Guitar World interview he conducted in 2005, during U2’s “Vertigo” tour, the Edge revealed that the guitar in question was a 1966 Telecaster with a Lake Placid Blue finish, maple neck and Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. The “vintage echo” in question is undoubtedly the Korg SDD-3000 digital delay that has remained an essential element of the Edge’s signature clean tones since the mid Eighties.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.