U2 - Atomic: Adam

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1984>1985 era - gear





Fender – Jazz Bass

Fender – Precision Bass

Ibanez - Musician




Boss SCC-700 effects selector

Furman – Parametric Equalizer

Ibanez UE 400 – Multi-effects

Ibanez HD 1000 – Digital Delay

Ibanez – Stereo Chorus

Moog Taurus pedals




Alembic Stereo Pre-Amp [2]

Ampeg SVT bass head (used just as a pre-amp)

BGW 750B's and a BGW250B [2]

Harbinger cabinets with four 15-inch Gauss speakers. [4]

JBL 2410 high frequency drivers




NADY – 700 series  wireless system

Rotosound – strings





* per Musician magazine. January 1985 *


Adam Clayton plays a Fender Precision, Ibanez Musician and Fender Jazz bass through an Ampeg SVT bass head (used just as a pre-amp) and four Harbinger cabinets with four 15-inch Gauss speakers. He uses JBL 2410 high frequency drivers, two BGW 750B's and a BGW250B. That's not all. What about that Furman parametric equalizer and two-way crossover? And dig those Moog Taurus pedals hooked to a Boss SCC-700 effects selector, Ibanez UE 400 and Ibanez HD 1000 digital delay! All of this rigged up to two Alembic pre-amps. Fredom of movement? Clayton has plenty courtesy of a Nady 700 series wireless system.


International Musician and Recording World, December 01, 1984

Adam Clayton puts his Fender Jazz and Precision basses through two different amp setups: an Ampeg SVT 8-10", "which has a very midrange sort of sound, great for the more aggressive, driving songs," and an Alembic preamp/750-watt BGW amp/two Harbinger 1-15" cabinets combo "for the more R&B-ish songs. That gives me a very dry, clean sound with lots of bottom and a cutting top." Clayton uses Rotosound heavy-gauge strings, while his only effects are Ibanez's UE-400 multi-effects unit and HD-1000 harmonics delay, hooked up to custom foot switches.

The bassist, whose bushy blond hair has been tamed into a shorter, more urbane look, is U2's unadulterated rocker. "He doesn't lose sight of the essence of rock & roll," praises Lanois. While he insists he's as committed as the others to the new direction, Clayton professes an intense dislike for synthesizers. "I like to hear guitars, bass and drums," he shrugs, adding that unlike Bono and the Edge, he wasn't a particular fan of Eno's ambient records. "They're...fine, but they're not rock & roll, as far as I'm concerned."


The Stoking of Unforgettable Fire
By Daniel Lanois


Adam Clayton -- Fender Jazz and Precision basses; Ampeg SVT amp with eight 10" speakers, BGW 750-watt amp with Harbinger cabinet housing one 15" speaker and two horns, miked with an Electro-Voice RE20 and a Neumann U87.

Most of the time we used no effects, just a big flat-out sound that was very obnoxious and loud. In fact, sometimes I'd solo the bass and think, "This can't be, we can't use this; it's horrible, rumbly, filthy -- and upsetting!" But then I'd get home and listen to the song, and it'd have something.

We used a combination of DI and from the amp. On "Wire," which has the best bass sound on the LP, we used two amps miked and no DI.



* per U2 Magazine. Vol 10. February 1984  *


ADAM: Bass Guitars - Fender Precision Bass, Fender Jazz Bass, Ibanez Musician Bass. Amps - Ampec SVT Stack, Harbinger 516 Cabinets, BGW 750 Power Amplifier, Alembic Stereo Pre-Amp. Effects - Ibanez Stereo Chorus, Ibanez Digital Delay. Roland Phase Shims.

U2 - Atomic: Then And Now
* click on photo for main U2 Atomic site *