Rory Gallagher’s Hawk II Tonal Expander/Booster

Rory started using this treble booster around 1974 – or around the same time that he started using a Fender Bassman amp.

I sometimes use a Rangemaster treble booster, though I’m using a Hawk II at the moment, which is much more expensive, but it gives more control.

Basically, when I stopped using the AC-30, I stopped using the Rangemaster. Then I got the Fender Twin, and started plugging straight into it. I was happy with that slightly cleaner tone for a while, but I went back to using the booster again with the Bassman about a year ago. Ideally, I could still plug straight in if I played at a lower volume, but with the piano and everything else in the band, you need something to make the guitar more piercing.

BRITISH ROCK GUITAR by Dan Hedges Guitar Player Books 1977

At some point in the late 70s, it sounds like he stopped using boosters altogether because he was no longer using the Fender Bassman on stage.

No. I usually use a pre-amp, to boost the amps and get those speakers flapping. I really only boost the mid-range. Up until recently, I was using a Hawk II, a small battery-operated treble and bass boost with three little graphic things on it which was quite handy, but with all these gadgets you always end up with slight noise from lights and so on, so I used to wrap that in tin foil.

‘I try to keep the balance between madness and technique’ Rory Gallagher talks to John Dalton, September 1978 issue of Guitar

But in the 80s, when he went back to the Bassman, he also went back to the Hawk II. So it seems that the Hawk II was only used with the Bassman.

I like combos miked through the PA – the Vox AC30 is my favourite. Sometimes I’ll link that up with a 50 watt Marshall twin combo. I’m fortunate enough to have a couple of the old Fender tweed covered amps – a Bassman and a Concert. I use them with a Hawk Booster, which was made by Di Marzio before he got into the pick-up business.

Rory Gallagher – February 1985 issue of Guitarist


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