Iconic Tones

48 minutes
Share the link to this page
You need to have access to the item to view this lesson.
One-time Fee
List Price:  $139.99
You save:  $40
List Price:  €129.04
You save:  €36.87
List Price:  £110.53
You save:  £31.58
List Price:  CA$191.55
You save:  CA$54.73
List Price:  A$211.24
You save:  A$60.35
List Price:  S$189
You save:  S$54
List Price:  HK$1,093.20
You save:  HK$312.36
CHF 92.16
List Price:  CHF 129.04
You save:  CHF 36.87
NOK kr1,065.65
List Price:  NOK kr1,491.95
You save:  NOK kr426.30
DKK kr688.26
List Price:  DKK kr963.60
You save:  DKK kr275.33
List Price:  NZ$228.66
You save:  NZ$65.33
List Price:  د.إ514.18
You save:  د.إ146.92
List Price:  ৳16,401.27
You save:  ৳4,686.41
List Price:  ₹11,627.39
You save:  ₹3,322.35
List Price:  RM658.58
You save:  RM188.18
List Price:  ₦204,567.22
You save:  ₦58,451.95
List Price:  ₨38,898.11
You save:  ₨11,114.54
List Price:  ฿5,122.47
You save:  ฿1,463.66
List Price:  ₺4,507.41
You save:  ₺1,287.92
List Price:  B$723.35
You save:  B$206.68
List Price:  R2,578.54
You save:  R736.77
List Price:  Лв252.74
You save:  Лв72.21
List Price:  ₩191,324.33
You save:  ₩54,668
List Price:  ₪513.44
You save:  ₪146.71
List Price:  ₱8,148.04
You save:  ₱2,328.18
List Price:  ¥21,970.72
You save:  ¥6,277.79
List Price:  MX$2,337.80
You save:  MX$667.99
List Price:  QR509.87
You save:  QR145.68
List Price:  P1,899.76
You save:  P542.82
List Price:  KSh18,247
You save:  KSh5,213.80
List Price:  E£6,597.01
You save:  E£1,884.99
List Price:  ብር8,034.09
You save:  ብር2,295.62
List Price:  Kz118,761.77
You save:  Kz33,934.36
List Price:  CLP$127,220.83
You save:  CLP$36,351.40
List Price:  CN¥995.39
You save:  CN¥284.42
List Price:  RD$8,234.17
You save:  RD$2,352.78
List Price:  DA18,814.36
You save:  DA5,375.91
List Price:  FJ$317.44
You save:  FJ$90.70
List Price:  Q1,086.15
You save:  Q310.35
List Price:  GY$29,254.27
You save:  GY$8,358.96
ISK kr13,791.40
List Price:  ISK kr19,308.52
You save:  ISK kr5,517.11
List Price:  DH1,394.74
You save:  DH398.52
List Price:  L2,480.57
You save:  L708.78
List Price:  ден7,947.19
You save:  ден2,270.78
List Price:  MOP$1,125.23
You save:  MOP$321.51
List Price:  N$2,569.81
You save:  N$734.28
List Price:  C$5,146.35
You save:  C$1,470.49
List Price:  रु18,594.99
You save:  रु5,313.23
List Price:  S/522.73
You save:  S/149.36
List Price:  K543.39
You save:  K155.26
List Price:  SAR525.04
You save:  SAR150.02
List Price:  ZK3,731.94
You save:  ZK1,066.34
List Price:  L642.02
You save:  L183.44
List Price:  Kč3,179.50
You save:  Kč908.49
List Price:  Ft49,522.43
You save:  Ft14,150.27
SEK kr1,086.34
List Price:  SEK kr1,520.92
You save:  SEK kr434.58
List Price:  ARS$124,480.29
You save:  ARS$35,568.34
List Price:  Bs966.19
You save:  Bs276.07
List Price:  COP$541,025.52
You save:  COP$154,589.76
List Price:  ₡71,687.89
You save:  ₡20,483.71
List Price:  L3,455.41
You save:  L987.33
List Price:  ₲1,051,715.43
You save:  ₲300,511.59
List Price:  $U5,389.29
You save:  $U1,539.90
List Price:  zł549.70
You save:  zł157.07
Already have an account? Log In


So the question I get asked most often is how do I get the fill in the blank of some famous guitarist time? And it's a tough one to answer because a lot goes into how particular guitar masters Tony's created. And you know there's a lot more than just equipment I mean if you think you can get you know you can sound like Robin Ford by saving up and buying you know, a $50,000 demo app and not learning how to squeeze a tone out of every night like Robin den. I mean, you're just wasting your money folks have been trying to get the the Brian made time, a few years with a treble booster an ac 30 but there are so many other variables, not the least of which being his handmade guitar that he is dead, built, and hand potted pickups, even down to the particular year the 6.6 months coins he uses for a pic I actually knew One of his guitar Tech's way back when, when I was working for Phil Collins, and he would always joke that you could have the exact same setup with another guitarist.

And you know what a won't even sound like Brian. So let's, let's make a deal Let's stop chasing Nirvana but we can get a long way in chasing down tones that have become, you know, iconic and a generally attainable With a few simple setups. We're going to go through the all the iconic decades of guitar tones with the help of my good friend rooster Olson, who has researched the progression of amps and guitars over time, so let's get started and over to you rooster. Okay, so we'll look at some of the earlier players with the goal of kind of remembering that all they had to deal with was their guitar and a cable plugged right straight into the amp. So when One of the earliest ones that would come to mind for us that is in our vocabulary would be Chuck Berry and he had just this plug right straight in.

I got the front pickup on my 335 I think everybody remembers that right? The next player that comes to mind that started really cropping up in the 60s would have been BB King. Same exact combination cable to amplifier, he used a Fender Twin. This is a Fender Pro. A Fender Pro is actually just half of a Fender Twin. Half the wattage, it has a smaller transformer, so a little bit less clean headroom.

But as time went on, this is a great assessment of a Fender Twin really at a lower volume. So BB right straight in front pickup had simple stuff like Alright, so then we fast forward ahead a little bit we get into the next known player that for me in a lot of other people would consider known Fender user from the 60s would have been Keith Richards. He came along, he played a lot of brown face circuitry, you know, you have to remember that they started out with the tweed circuitry. There wasn't a lot of known tweed users to be quite honest with you in the 50s. And the tweets stuff got really popular with a lot of people like Eric Clapton and stuff like that as time went on. Later on in life, they all started kind of looking back and going, Wow, those amplifiers are really juicy.

So to try to find some real Notable people like BB King and Chuck Berry and stuff like that, that use tweed, we kind of jump into brown face. That's the next era of Fender amplifier and Keith Richards definitely was a brown face user. And we'll get into that as we go on right now. We're gonna just show you how because my brown face he Here is a basement and that has a solid state rectifier. And if you were playing through like a brown concert brown face concert, let's say I know that Keith use those, they would have had a tube rectifier. So this scenario of a Pro Reverb is still a great representation of something that that would be reminiscent to what Keith would have been recording or playing to live from back in the 60s.

So here's a quick sample of that. Okay, so as we fast forward in time with Fender amplifiers, one of the next Notable players First of all, we had Chuck Berry then we had BB King, and then we fast forward Keith Richards and then Stevie Ray Vaughan came along in the 70s. And I mean other people to Billy Gibbons was Fender Super Reverb user and that's what some of the early records were. Come with before he was a martial user and so people like that are worth mentioning because they they really did state that blasting Super Reverb tone that was a 410 thing. We're going to be doing a demonstration with a strap into a viper locks that's the 64 Viper locks because it too has 10 inch speakers in it too does have a tube rectifier that's going to give us that sag and compression and those things that that Stevie relied on.

Stevie was a user of a TSH oh eight so I've got my I've got a green box down here turned on with just a little bit of hair on it just like how Stevie would have used it. If he would have had it on his front pickup situation. Then you would have heard him using it more like this. That's how he used him. against his little bit of a dry box to create some hair against his amplifiers. He was a really super loud player that relied on driving his amplifier fully you know we had discussed before output you know clipping and speaker overdrive and and then also you add some to the front too.

So once you get all three of those combinations going a little bit of push to the front, a little bit of output, clipping and some speaker drive then he would have used like, for a known song him this would have been kind of a close replication of what he did here. Okay, continuing the head will pop up into the 80s when Brian Setzer came out and got released he was playing through a basement still does today I have a 1960 Three baseman back here. And one of the things that you have to understand about getting Brian stone is you don't necessarily have to own the basement to get the tone, albeit it does very much help. He also plays through closed back cabinet, we're not going to do that we're going to play I have my basement going through the open back speakers of this just to illustrate that you can get the tone without having to own exactly the exact same gear.

But a couple of very, very important components to get that tone is. I do have my delay turned on like how he has his Roland space echo. And so the thing about a space echo is it has a little drive knob on it that you can turn up and that adds that juice to the front of the AMP like how we discussed in the game section here on a non master volume amplifier, we're going to push it so that it gets a little bit of drive to the amp. If you pay attention that when Brian's up playing and he's singing and he's playing his rhythm parts. He's just doing his thing but when he gets ready to go do it Solo if the solo deserves that kind of tone, he walks back there and that's the knob that he's tweaking on that little Roland space corps echo back there is the is the drive thing.

So on my t rex down here, I too have a level of how loud that I want the whole pedal to be. So I've got it jacked up a little bit so that it's adding some drive into the front of my basement. That's a component that would really help in getting his sound, just a little bit of grain to the front using that slap back thing that we talked about in the rockabilly section of of the delays when we talked about that in the delay section. And then the almost the most important thing for Brian Brian sets or tone or gretch players is the filter Tron pickup. There's nothing that replaces it in my opinion. I don't think anybody else's opinion.

There's some great duplicate makers out there like TD Jones Brian uses TD Jones filter Tron pickups Actually, I have some filter drawings and a different gretch. These are original filter trends from 1967. So This recipe here is 67 gretch into 63 Fender basement, actually going through the original speakers and offender pro through an open back because we wanted to sparkle a little bit more, and we just had a 412 here, Brian would be using the 212 Fender cam that's actually sealed on the back. So here's a quick little representation of how to get that sound without necessarily having to own all the exact same gear. All right as we come out of the 80s and the Brian setser Era of Notable players that use Fender amplifiers to jump into the 90s here and the first one that comes to mind for me and many other great guitar players around.

We all think that Brent Mason was one of the biggest guys that changed our minds about a whole bunch of stuff. And I really think that Brent sound could be identified with a Fender Deluxe Reverb. I know that a lot of his earlier recordings were cut with Deluxe reverbs like any session player, he owns hundreds of amps and has his favorite go twos and whatnot, but I think it's safe to say on a lot of the earlier recordings, he was using his Deluxe Reverb. He also had a 68 Telecaster that has a maple neck on it, so it has a little bit more snap to it than what a rosewood neck would have to it. But I think one of the most important things to discuss when you're trying to chase a sound like Brent Mason's is, is if you look carefully on his guitar, which I had a GLA set for years that I have the same configuration in his he has a Stratocaster pickup, put in the center right here and Then he has a third knob added so you have tone and volume.

And if you listen to a typical Fender Telecaster plugged into a Deluxe Reverb, you'll have a sharp ice picky highs that that is why they put this pickup in and started doing what they did. So the third nom that's on Brent's guitar and many many players have this this option on their guitar now is called a blender knob. Okay, so if you're only reliant upon this rear pickup here to be your main pickup for your Telecaster bridge sound, then this thing angles back like this, getting even more of the high end of this high E string, right and then at angles so it takes take some of the sharpness away from your low E string by design on how the standard one was first put in. But if you can imagine if you put a Stratocaster pick up in the center right here, and then you don't turn it all the way on.

So it sounds like a Stratocaster pickup out of phase with that quack sound of number two sound you Don't want a five way switch, you just wire it in. And then you're able to take your third knob, like say if it's all the way off and just barely blend this pickup into this sound. So this one here is always on 10. But this one here gets bled into that pickup just ever so slightly. And that's really the signature sound that you hear. For Brent sound on the recordings at first caught our ear on all of the famous recordings from the pop country 90s world.

So we can give you a representation of a real fine Telecaster. I'm going through a compressor set, similar to how Brent would have his I actually have my nobles odr one overdrive on just to give me just a little bit of push to the front of my Deluxe. I know Brent uses all kinds of things like RC boosters and a lot of different things in the market to create just a little bit of hair if so he desires But the big thing about Brent sound is is having that third pickup on you're good tar and blend it in just ever so slightly because what that does is it teams those high ice picky highs and it gives it just a little bit more pleasant of a sound instead of the Telecaster sound that we had lived with up to that point you know that's all that we had to go by and whenever we picked up our Telecaster we expected for that, that snap to be there.

But the blender knob on Brent's guitar on a 68 that gray one that's like actually like car primer gray is truly what kind of changed the sound of Telecaster at its time because it all a sudden it was just a little bit more kind. You could sit in a room and listen to it longer. It wouldn't be so ice picky and run you out. So anyway, here's some an example of just a simple chemistry in 1965 Deluxe Reverb, a Fender Telecaster and a compressor with just a little bit of hair on it. Okay, we'll talk about Marshall amplifier and some of the notable users and kind of how they came along in time and how things sounded. And you know, Jimi Hendrix obviously was one of the first people that was using the amps You know, there's a lot of British guys that were using them as well Hendrix kind of blew up did his thing.

While I was doing some, some homework for the preparation of this video, I actually went and listened to the original Purple Haze music video, it's just like the black and white one that's there. And it's it's kind of cool in the respect that you know, we talked about tone stack and Marshall earlier on and how they didn't have mastered volumes to get this crunchy tone. And you can tell in that video that that's out there available. They're all black and white one that he's just plugged into a Marshall and he just has it turned up to where it needs to go on stage. No fuzz pedal turned on. No univibe turned on no Wah pedals just a Fender Stratocaster on the bridge pickup and it's absolutely dry bone dry and with no drive literally no drive.

He's just counting on the drive of that that pickup from mid to late 60s Stratocaster straight into a fender. We have a JC JMP here and I just have the preamp, pulled back on it to somewhat emulate the tone stack of what would have been going on in whatever it was a 6768 69 Marshall, whatever he was using for that flavor, but so anyway, from my research, getting ready for this, this is pretty much the tone that was used on the intro of purple haze Alright, so we're still in the 60s here with the Marshall stuff and we wanted to just take a minute to maybe go over some of the Clapton stuff because it was really what he was doing at the time was just a little bit different than other people. He was tweaking with tone knobs he was taking advantage of having four knobs on his guitar as we're like the, the fender players of the time like Stratocaster users, they didn't really have the same options.

They still had tonal options with their guitar, but you couldn't blend quite as the same way that you could blend on a Gibson of its time. This is an 1864 Yes, 335 and it's hundreds of serial numbers away from the the 64 335 that Clapton actually used to play some of the songs that we're going to try and emulate. While we're still playing through this Marshall. He would have been using the Jtm 45 the blues breaker of the time, which had had a tube rectifier in it so it did have a little bit of a SAG. He was a he was a box user too. We had a couple boxes going on here and there you know you can check people rebuffed them People rebuffed that some say he used the Dallas rangemaster for a treble booster in front like many players like Ron and Brian May and a lot of those guys use treble boosters think he might have used a color sound fuzz pedal and in his day but but nonetheless, we don't have everything so we're still trying to show you how to get those tones without having to own the same gear.

So I do have a drive pedal turned on down to my pedal board and I do have the preamp turned up a little bit just to by emulating the same amount of drive. So what we've done to to chase the Crossroads tone is we've got our bridge picot flat out and I've got the the the neck pickup turned down to maybe six or so right around there and then is gently back the tone knobs off on both of the pickups until it starts to crack up a little bit you can kind of hear in that was quack not crack up a little bit. But anyway, so when you hear the quack come in, then you know that you're pretty much in the ballpark of where it's at. So anyway I've got my guitar preset here and it's ready to go through this Marshall here and we'll give you a little bit of a representation of how he got the sound for crossroads.

Alright, so then Clapton also played an SG, he did cut the crossroads, do it on his 335. And then here's a representation on an old vintage SG. This is a 63. So it has pattern sticker pickups in it. I think Clapton had a 68. So maybe the pickup configuration might have been just a little bit different.

We're basically using the same kind of combination that we use to get the Crossroads tones, we're going to do the woman tone, and in this scenario, we're going to use an SG. We're going to put it on the bridge pickup, we're going to turn the tone knob off and add our little bit of drive. So it's the same exact sound that we had for our sample earlier and give you a couple notes that are reminiscent From the woman town. Alright, so we'll fast forward not by very much, but we'll get into the late 60s here and Jimmy Page. Got to remember, page What didn't have a master volume amplifier either. So these guys were relying on all kinds of tricks and things like that to get their drive amount that they wanted out of their amplifiers.

A lot of that rolled forward even up into the 70s and things like that a lot of things didn't change. Just a good chunky Les Paul, and a good chunky martial will get you a ton of mileage if you're chasing these kind of tones. I'll give you a couple different examples of what Paige might have done with his how much game that he used, or maybe he used the same amount of game but he switched guitars so that one didn't have a real Good powerful sounding humbucking pickup in it you know use lipstick pickups and things like that. So anyway, we'll give you a quick example of two different drive thoughts of uni page. Alright, so Paige used to give zillion different guitars to cut records on and notably, a lot of people never knew that a lot of this stuff was actually cut on a Telecaster all that Stairway to Heaven and all those killer solos that he did on the studio that was all done on a Telecaster most of it.

But another interesting guitar that he used was his danelectro and I have a jerry jones which is basically a danelectro made out of Mason Knight has lipstick pickups. That's the most important thing about these. They're, they're kind of semi hollow and they made out of mace night and they're not supposed to be made out of high quality stuff because as soon as you do that, they're not a Don danelectro sound anymore. Anyway, so he's known for his danelectro. He cut cashmere and some other songs on it. So without changing the drive much from where we were at, from the last sample of the Jimmy Page thing that we just did with the Marshall and the Les Paul, by just changing to a lipstick pickup, and maybe we're going to use the center position right here.

So we're using both lipstick pickups, you can hear that it sounds like there's a lot less drive going on. But really, truly, that wouldn't change much here we just kind of changed the EQ a little bit so that it wasn't so muddy when we went here because we were grinding on that, that bridge pickup with our Les Paul in the last example. So anyway, this is a sample of cashmere with lipstick pickups. In a pretty low gain scenario. I've got the preamp pulled back to 50% on this Marshall here and I just have just a little bit of push go into it. They're not even really with the drive boxes with a boost box and so it's designed to try to stay faithful.

To the era of not using a preamp to get those sounds. And if you don't have that same stuff to get those sounds, then you can gain it up with your preamp a little bit. But if you're really truly chasing this sound, lipstick pickups are really the combination of what makes the the essence of that cashmere kind of sound. You'll hear it once I play it when it's not like buried in a Led Zeppelin track, but you have a guy just smacking on a guitar with it in the center position. All right, as we fast forward into more into the 70s we run them to great players like Joe Perry and Billy Gibbons and many many more that Fit the same criteria through the generation. Basically, a great sounding Les Paul, and just a standard, good, meaty martial tone, you know, they all use many, many different combinations when they made their records.

So we're kind of chasing live tones here, you know. But Joe, he was one of those guys that turned his volume down to clean up his rig a little bit here and there and, and Billy was you know, if you look at the history of Billy, you know, he was a Super Reverb user, yes, but he was a big time martial user as well, you know, and you can hear it in his tones and in the marriage of a bulk of their les Paul's, you know, so that there's not a whole lot to say about that because it really came down to their songwriting, their phrasing, their basic songwriting and their phrasing with their hands and whatnot. You know, tension to the strings or lack of tension to the strings. Those are all of the subtle nuances. That gives me all of those players that used generic combinations.

Les Paul to a Marshall, you know, he just can't beat that combination, then that's why it was used in so many records. So what differed those was with aforementioned, you know, with just their phrasing and their songwriting and whatnot. But here's a couple of examples of using that exact same thing. I've got a little bit of push coming from here I have a 69 Les Paul gold top, I have a Waller Imperial in the rear. And so it's a low wind pickup. It's not a hot long pickup or anything like that.

It's a faithful reproduction of a PA F. And I do have my preamp pulled back a little bit here, too, you know, because we're still trying to chase that Plexi era. These guys are Plexi users and Plexus didn't have master volumes, you know, even up into the 70s. They might have still been using 60 amps, you know. So, anyway, here's a couple of demonstrations of a few of the artists that we mentioned. All right, moving up into the late 70s is when Eddie Van Halen came along. And the, what became known later as the brown sound.

Very, very hard tone to achieve, indeed. When it was time for Eddie to finally get that original amplifier work done Of course, you're not going to just hand it to anybody and Reinhold Bogner got the job of actually working on that. And because of that it kind of made Reinhold Bogner a name in the industry just because of the tech work that he got to do to that amplifier. It's the thing that you have to keep in mind with the brown sound is, is a very act as us so you can take you know, your electricity, say it's at 120. When you plug into the wall, you can plug your amplifier into the variac. Plug the variac into the wall, the variax getting 120 volts, and now you turn that voltage down.

So your amplifier only sees say, maybe 108 volts, 110 volts, somewhere down in there wherever it starts to brown out. And that's how the how it got coined the name the brown sound, but if you listen to the sound, without having that knowledge, on the original Van Halen one Van Halen two records, it really does kind of have like a Karmali kind of brown sound is to where it's not abrasive, you know, it's not real high end and Trillian and because It's really high game, you know, it's kind of browned out but that that's how the brown sound kind of come to be is by using that very act. So even Eddie changed his tone as time went on. He signed endorsement contracts with other companies and started using chorus on his guitar, which was different from Van Halen, one of Van Halen two. So what we're doing here is we graduated away from the JC, the GMP, the 50 watt GMP we went over to this more modern tone stack here, because we can kind of gain up a little bit.

I think something that really exposes Eddie sound on a couple of songs that come to mind is well women in love is is really typifies that brown sound. It's just a gorgeous gorgeous guitar sound that he uses on the intro right there are a lot of people have tried to emulate that sound. And then drop dead legs is another song in my opinion that it really exposes The true brute power of the AMP that he's using because when he turns it way down, and he plays the intro, you can hear him turn his volume up right before the downbeat drops to the song. And if you have an amplifier that's turned down or you're using heavy compression master volume and it's not, it's not really turned up that high, when you turn your volume up a knob up on your guitar, you don't hear it go up.

It just thumbs just from just because he turned the volume up. It just it exposes that part of the the sheer brute power of the the amplifier that is recording within the studio. And so I'll try to give you a couple demonstrations of that by using just this angle. I don't have anything else turned on on the pedal board and just plugged in there second to my guitar, and I've got a Tommy Anderson would just humbucker on the back so it's not a high gain. humbucker another thing that you have to keep in mind with Eddie sound Is that in his original old guitar he used a low wind I think it was a 59 Yes 335 pickup and, and a 335 pika has less wines on it than what a Les Paul did so they were meant to be a little bit cleaner You know, that's why at 335 is typically a little bit more high end here than what a Les Paul is a little bit more dark.

It has to do with one being hollow body one being solid but the lower wind pickup is a huge combination of any sound from back in that original day. Other players that grew up in that same era like in Bay Malmsteen he too uses a low wind pickup he doesn't use this brute you know 16 or whatever you know are actively pickup with a battery to for sheer pushing power. They're using lower wind pickups and they're using their amplifiers to really get that bone crushing cool power. But anyway, here's a couple of examples of, of just as songs that Edie is written and played, played through an end goal with the tone staff turned back quite a bit. But nonetheless, it was the only combination I could find that I had here To be honest, that actually got that you could kind of illustrate the low volume knob being turned up and hearing a little bit of brute force there.

So here you go. All right, so we're still traveling through martial and getting higher gain. You know, we ran out of ran out of gain from the GMP we graduated to a JCM 800. And we ran out of gain there basically. And that era kind of fit Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and all the master volume. euros and Americans alike you know that we're making music with those amplifiers to the days and then as things got more modern than we needed even bigger, chunkier tone, and everybody started kind of D tuning their guitars, my guitars actually in standard tuning, and I'm drop D right now, a lot of what you would listen to out there might be tuned down to E flat and then drop that so you have a drop D flat or even a whole nother half step more than that's pretty common too.

So your E chords actually your D chord, you drop that nine you have drop c so we're not quite down that far because I only have 10s on this guitar and But anyway, this gets us into high gain land. And, you know, one of the players that came into that error that had taken the sound you know, if you look back on on Ozzy records and you go, Well, I mean, yeah, Randy had an excellent sound, he used a Marshall stack and an xR distortion Plus, you know, so he was using the distortion box to get his gain. And then you kept going through the players and nobody was really high gain yet because the decades hadn't gotten that far yet, you know, but when Zach finally hit there and started writing with Ozzy started brought in is dropped the tunings and things like that and dropsy tunes or whatever it is, and, and so here's a representation of what happens when you continue to push the the tone stack gain into more of our modern day.

All right, we're going to tackle the the ever elusive thousand pound violin sound of Eric Johnson that was used through his Marshall Plexi. So you have to step back in time a little bit actually, you know, he get back into the 80s actually when Eric came out, but he's always used to Plexi and he uses a Fuzz Face. And I've taken a pose face and I plugged it into a Marshall before and I wasn't quite able to find that zone. A lot of it has to do with Eric's hands, things like that. But I have seen other people get that tone without owning the exact same things and so, I'm going to show you how I kind of somewhere get in the the same range of that sound. So I have a fuzz box down here.

Also, but not a Fuzz Face, but a pause box. And, and I'm doing a little trick here with mine as I'm using the orange squeezer side. my mic compressor and so if I was able to take my martial and turn it up quite a bit louder to where I'm getting more natural compression out of the amplifier and sustain out of the amplifier, then I likely probably wouldn't have to use the orange squeezer but we're trying to show you how to get these at you know, not real real loud volumes and you might be able to get these in your home studio and things like that. I know I have tried them in my studio at lower volume just by using a couple of different pedals and a couple of different thoughts to fake it out. But this is going through this Marshall up here. I have the preamp on it pulled all the way back to two and a half so I'm kind of treating it like a Plexi I don't want to jack the preamp up on it you know I want for it to kind of just be a pedal foundation.

Something to carry my fuzz because my fuzz truly is the preamp sound of this sound. So that's all I have. I have everything else is turned off. I have some delay added to it but I have the orange squeezer Feeding the front end of the fuzz box to give me a little bit more lasting sustain because we're at a lower volume and I do have the preamp pulled back. If you turn the preamp up and try to get more grain out of here, it kind of detracts from what your fuzz is doing to the input in the preamp. of of the amplifier, they don't interact as well.

I think that it's clean the fuzz pedal more into a cleaner amp I think gives them the sound little bit better. I'm also not using a humbucker here nor am I using coil tap into my humbucker I'm using just a straight humbucker. This is a Dave Grissom so it has a pretty low wind pickup on it to begin with. And then I'm shutting my tone knob completely off. I've got my presence and my treble all the way turned back to two. And then I've got bass in mid up at 12 o'clock here.

So I'm doing a lot to kill a lot of the high end frequencies that you would get and just by not using a single coil I think that that helps trim some of the high end back. So here's using completely different gear than what Eric Johnson signal flow is different guitars. Got the same cable, but that's about it. Orange squeezer space rocket fuzz box with the toggle switch all the way up. That's the setting that I have on it. And my level in my tones are pretty much at 12 o'clock.

I think my tone is cocked back to by 1130 or 11 o'clock but that's it. I have the level set at 12 o'clock. And I already explained the marshal the marshals on the on the high gain side we're going through a 412 and this is trying to get into the land of the thousand pound violin sound of Eric Johnson All right, we'll take a quick look at Vox amplifiers. Most people I guess would agree that are session players and people like that that gretch inbox is kind of a marriage together. George Harrison certainly put Gretsch on the map, you know and use box amplifiers and and you know, if you get used to listening to that recipe and together as a thing on records, then it's going to roll over into many other people's records and it certainly did. I think it's kind of standard for any session player to have Vox and gretch in his palette, it's as important of a as a recipe to tone as a Les Paul and a Marshall would be, you know, or a Telecaster in a Fender amplifier, you know, it's a thing.

I'm just going to take a minute, I'm not going to bore you with playing George Harrison riffs or anything like that. But instead, I'm just going to go through some of the pickups selections here in a little bit of drive in there. And you can kind of hear that this is an El ad for very chinee on top has a beautiful low end to it. And you can probably pick some of these tones out on on maybe records that you've heard in the past. I'm not really I'm just going to make some stuff up on the spot. But it's the tone.

It's the recipe. So anyway, 67 gretch into 1965. This is a box Super Reverb Twin. It's a great panel, the 6360 fours, they're a copper panel. This is right after that this is the trap zoid style head, box ac 30 doesn't quite get much better than that. So anyway, here's a couple Examples of what a Gretsch real original Gretsch from the 60s sounds like plugged in through a legitimate box.

By the way, I have this going through the same speakers in my Pro Reverb. So it's an open back configuration like how a box ac 30 combo would be. So I don't have anything on turned on here to set tiny little bit of delay, and then I'll show you clean and then when I go to dirty, I'm just going to turn my Nobels overdrive on just a little bit so there's just a little bit of gain there. And you can kind of hear the different tones that filter Tron pickups in box amplifiers make together All right, and Another notable player that came along that I associate with a Bach sound. I know just like all players, we all own tons of different amplifiers. But if you look into the early parts of their career and what records were made a lot of times that kind of tells you that they deviated from that later a little bit.

So Mike Campbell from Tom Petty, definite Vox user, using blackface benders and stuff like that on tours and these these days and stuff like that, but I have the same combination of Duesenberg like the mike Campbell. This is a star player TV, his his are just painted different, basically same pickup configuration. But this guitar has A wonderful marriage with a box amplifier too. So I thought I would just take a moment I wanted to play the exact same kind of a line that I was playing like an indie kind of band kind of sounding line and just run through a couple of the drive settings and just so you can hear another marriage into a Gretsch besides just filter Tron pickups, but, but something that you would hear on probably on records to you know, do some Burg into a box amplifier. So here's a couple of samples of that.

All right, so continuing on with box amplifiers you can't really have the discussion without bringing up by Brian May sound. Fortunately, I do have this amplifier from his same era I've seen in some videos that he does use Super Reverb twins and some of his amps. There's a lot of things to discuss about Brian Mays tone because it's so unique. For starters, his box ac 30, he has all of the knobs completely on 10 all the chicken heads are all facing this way and his tech states that in the the information that's available online. We have to find a workaround for that because I can't put my Vox on 10 if I blew my box up, I'd be very, very bombed. Brian has quite a few of them.

But nonetheless, this is the workaround for it see Bryan has his pickups have some special phasing stuff on them and he's able to go like humbucker humbucker. Or he can change both of those humbuckers to singles and he can put those out of phase and he has a lot of little tricks down here on his guitars that he can do and I don't know anybody that that owns a guitar that actually has those phasing tricks unless you're buying Brian May reissue guitar, I think that they must include that in the on there, but it's very, very unique and it's what gives it that notched kind of Phase II kind of sound. It has a very, very mid heavy notch to the sound. So, earlier in in the, in the tutorial, we talked about getting a Brian May sound with a cocked Wah sound because once again, we were finding the cue of that EQ so we could get that notch sound in this set up here.

I'm in my head Acts effects. And there's a, there's a model of the metal zone distortion in there. And that stock model in there has that notch EQ sound to it. Very, very believable as a matter of fact. And then because we're not gutting our amplifier all the way up, we're not going to get all that extra compression out of our amplifier. So I've added my compressor so as a workaround to try to find the Brian May chemistry of his sound without owning the same gear.

Once again, I'm gonna stay tone knobs all the way up volume knobs all the way up. Only on humbucker in the rear, I have a Ross style compressor turned on. So not real hard compression, just something to give me a little bit more sustained because I'm not going to get it from turning my amp on town. And then through there, I miss everything else in my pedal board. That's all I got on is just that compressor. It goes into my x effects and then my x effects hits the metal zone and then at the end of the signal flow in the x effects, then I have my delay turned on 800 milliseconds.

When Brian runs his rig, he runs a wet dirty rig on stage. So he has his primary box ac 30 in the center. And then when they Mike that then that can has the availability of going straight front to house. That way he's not getting the arena sound before it gets to the arena. He's feeding them a dry signal. And then if you can imagine, you know, if you have side fill monitors on stage, then Brian has another box ac 30 for his left side and an additional box ac 30 for his right side that both get mics so he has three amplifiers that are all miked up, ones dry, it goes straight to Front of House, left and right go in through a little mixing thing and that enables them to put 800 milliseconds on one of the wedges or side fills and 1600 on the other.

So you're getting you know for It's a two to one ratio basically is what it is on his delay. So it just gives you that real swimming, delay sound front of house, they can treat it how they want. But we've put 800 milliseconds on our primary amplifier. So we just have a wet rig going on. But nonetheless, it's what we're doing is a workaround to his rig. So if we had additional amplifiers, it'd be pretty easy to set that up.

But we're doing it so that you can hear it in a sense of how do I get that sound and not blow my whole room out? How do I get that sound and not have to pay $5,000 for each amplifier, so on and so forth. So anyway, this is our work around with the gear that we own to nail the the Brian May sound. One thing that you could probably hear in this example that will be just a skosh different than Brian's is is is Brian uses a six pence coin and that coin has got its rated on the edges and so when you use Pick, it sounds a little bit more polite when you listen to his solo on his record, it's got this little edginess that's abrasiveness kind of to it and when you look at the detail in between his pickups and things like that, you can actually see the shavings from his six pence coin from meeting up with the strings because the six Pence is actually softer than the nickel string is so it's shading some of that coin as it comes off.

So I'm going to play it with a pic so it'll sound just a Scotia more polite really isn't the best way that I can think to put it. Then using a serrated edge of a coin. So anyway, here goes I'll give you a sample of how I've dialed in Brian May sound

Sign Up


Share with friends, get 20% off
Invite your friends to LearnDesk learning marketplace. For each purchase they make, you get 20% off (upto $10) on your next purchase.