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Re: Fender or Rivera?

6/24/1997 1:01 PM
Jim Salman
Re: Fender or Rivera?
Are you sure those weren't a pair of blackface Vibroverbs (40 watts, one 15" speaker) EJ was using? I had read that he had recently stopped using the pair of Twin Reverbs for clean tones and had started using Vibroverbs instead.  
Eric Johnson is definitely an incredible and beautiful guitar player!!
And now, a word from our sponsors:

6/24/1997 1:32 PM
Dave Charneski

Yes, they were blackface Deluxes. I walked  
up to the stage before the show and could  
read the face-plate very clearly. ALSO, in  
the latest Fender Frontline magazine, EJ is  
interviewed and mentions that he has been  
using Deluxes on his latest tour.  
It was actually kind of funny to see the  
little Deluxes sitting there next to the  
Marshall 100W rig! Also, it's interesting to  
note that Eric is suffering from tinnitis  
and is making every effort to dramatically  
reduce his stage volume. For example, his  
Marshall was angled AWAY from where he was  
standing at center stage. Also, there was  
a clear plexi-glass partition set up around  
the drummer shielding all the locations  
on stage where Eric stood throughout the  
night. (There was no partition on Roscoe  
Beck's side of the stage.)  
So, it was very instructive to see a world-class  
player relying on small amps (primarily) to  
get great overdrive tones and to protect his  
hearing at the same time. The audience volume  
level was also very comfortable as well. (This  
has inspired my band to take another look  
at how we do our sound. We currently don't  
mike the guitar or bass amps and, as a result,  
our stage volumes tend to get excessive. I  
took to wearing custom ER-15 ear plugs about  
six months ago! Our audiences comment that  
the volume is very comfortable, but the stage  
volume is just too high for safety. We use  
100W amps currently and use power soaks or  
low power switches were applicable to get  
our power amp overdrive tones. However, maybe  
it'd be easier and sound better to get smaller  
amps and just mike everything! It would also be  
impossible to change amp settings during the  
show to get any louder on stage - protect  
that hearing!)  
All in all, it was a VERY enjoyable show. The  
whole band played their tails off. They all  
made it look very easy, as if they were taking  
a stroll in the park...very inspring.  
Dave Charneski
6/24/1997 5:27 PM
Jim Salman

Wow. I wish I saw that show.  
Yes, two Deluxes do seem mismatched with a 100W Marshall! Maybe a 50W Marshall would make more sense. (Gee, I already own two Deluxe Reverbs - a 1965 and a 1968 - maybe if I could get a plexi half stack I would sound JUST LIKE Eric Johnson - Hah!!)  
I agree, smaller amps are the way to go, if at all possible. I find that excessive stage volume tends to diminish the musicality of the performance - it gets harder to hear subtleties and to play with good dynamics; everything turns to mush as your ears get fatigued.  
I played in a 10-piece R&B band (with 3 horns and 3 female vocalists) for 3 years. Even though the music was not anything like hard rock 'n roll, the stage volume was sometimes way too loud. It was often tough cutting through all those vocals and horns blaring out of the stage monitors. I kept having to use more powerful amps to hear myself playing clean rhythm parts. From now on, I'd like to get by with nothing more than 30-45 watts through one or two 12-inch speakers.
6/25/1997 8:38 AM
Dave Charneski

Regarding your hitting the road with the  
twin Deluxe/Marshall setup, let me know  
when you'll be in the Rochester, NY area! :>)  
As for excessive stage volume, I agree with  
you 100%! Our band is playing blues and  
jazz-rock flavored blues and it definitely  
requires dynamics and subtlety. That gets  
much tougher to do as the volume increases!  
We primarily play unmiked and have recently  
been talking about going miked all the time  
so that we can REDUCE stage volume and get a  
better spread/mix of the instruments out in  
the audience. In my case, with a 2x12 closed-  
back cab, the people primarily in front of me  
can hear me just fine. But those to either side  
sometimes claim they can't hear me clearly  
during solos, etc. That Tone-Master cab sounds  
great but is just very focused. Miking the cab  
solves that problem.  
As for your 10-piece band with the female  
vocalists, I bet that sounded great! I love  
that stuff. In fact, I have a friend (who  
also happens to own a music store) who plays  
guitar in a similar style band and it's really  
a treat to see them play. He also complains  
about cutting through. He uses a GT Soul-O-75.  
I guess it takes a pretty savvy soundman to  
get the mix just right in such a band! I think  
it also helps if there is about a 6-10dB  
difference between your "rythym" and "lead"  
volume, coming out of your amp. Have the  
soundman adjust the board for a good mix  
while you're playing rythym. Then, when you  
kick into solos, it should stand out fairly  
well. That has seemed to work OK for us...but,  
then again, we're only a 4-piece with harp and  
You mentioned preferring 30-45W amps with 1 or  
2 12" speakers. Do you use several amps or just  
one? I used to use two (one overdriven through  
a Power-Brake and one running crystal clean),  
but got tired of hauling all that equipment!  

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