El Hombre - Billy Gibbons Tres Hombres Tone Drive Pedal
The El Hombre was sort of a happy accident if you will. We were heavily listening to early ZZ Top records at the time such as ZZ Top’s (First Album), Tres Hombres and Fandango. This was right around the time we lost Eddie Van Halen (R.I.P). We had learned how influenced Van Halen was by ZZ Top and we were truly listening to the music to hear those influences. It was quite remarkable how you can hear similarities not only in the guitar but in the backing vocals and the overall vibe of the music. We starting thinking how back then the options for equipment were so limited and guitar players used what they could. Making a mark for yourself as a player depended on your hands, your skills and your musicality and not so much your gear since it was so limited.
We wondered how Billy Gibbons got such great natural tones so of course we set out to learn about his gear. We already knew nobody had his hands at the time.
In the process we had been working on many new designs for overdrive circuits. One morning we decided to start sifting through some older designs that we were slated as Van Halen pedals. One popped out as simply amazing in terms of how natural it sounded but it also had a strange familiarity. We finally realized that an older design we had done was the magic bullet for those early ZZ Top tones. We ended up tweaking it a bit more and found it can do all of the ZZ Top tones from past to present.
We have found that the El Hombre is incredibly balanced, inspiring and motivating in which to play just about any style.
Anyone who knows us knows that we have almost too many OD’s in the mix but this pedal is so good none of us could deny the fact that it needed to hit the market ahead of some newer designs. Of course there was Tres Hombres but this pedal was aimed right at Billy Gibbons and his tone so of course that is where “El Hombre” came from. We would love to pass this pedal along as a ZZ Top drive but it is much more than that. Give it a try with any style of guitar playing and we are confident you will be happy!
The El Hombre is simple in format but complex in its abilities. The tone section is very effective allowing you to alter the drive style simply by adjusting the “Bite” control. When you bring the bite control up (Clockwise) it becomes more aggressive, turn it down (counter clockwise) making it smoother and more reminiscent of Dumble tones.
Please experiment because there is a myriad of sounds in such a simple pedal.
Push the volume up and bring the gain back for some amazing blues tones, push the gain and drop the volume for the smooth Carlton/Ford sounds.
Bring the “Bite” control up and get wide open “Plexi” sounds.
We are confident that this pedal can achieve any tone you need which is why we love it so much.