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|9/2/1999 7:23 PM|
|anonymous||Best Ed Emulator?|
What commonly-available stompbox is best at emulating the sound of a 100-watt Marshall amplifier, all knobs at 10, run at 90 VAC with a variac?
|9/2/1999 7:30 PM|
|Book Of The Day||
The Ultimate Tone, Volume III by Kevin O'Connor
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|9/3/1999 1:28 AM|
Anon2, I'm pretty much inclined to agree.
Anon: try a Tech21 SansAmp pedal. It is a recording preamp, not designed as a stompbox, so if you use it in your FX chain you should expect a little extra noise.
There is no such thing as a "Marshall-in-a-box," but this SansAmp is very, very interesting. Used as a stompbox and running into my BF Bassman, it can make it surprisingly hard to tell that I'm playing a Fender amp. With it set up to imitate a Marshall, I get a unique low-fi version of the Malcolm Young tone--a medium-gain crunch that smells like Plexi. Of course it has its limitations--it's not the real thing and you can tell if you listen. But it's still very very useful.
The coolest part is the way it changes the sound of any effects that precede it. I use it last in my FX chain, so I can choose between "amps," by turning it on or off. A Dynacomp or TubeScreamer sounds very different going into a Fender than into a Marshall, and the SansAmp mimics this effect to some extent. Running a Big Muff into it yields some hilarious thundering, splattering low notes, kind of like the sound of explosions overloading a mic in old WWII combat film footage. Cool.
|9/3/1999 1:58 PM|
This would appear to be the Holy Grail of distortion stompbox design. I just listened to a bootleg CD of VH circa '76 ("Eyes of the Night"), and a few things struck me about the guitar sound (besides virtuosity, imagination, intensity, etc.)
1) Very compressed-sounding.
2) Unlimited sustain combined with crispy attack and clear note separation; nowhere does the guitar sound like mud, although it is very distorted.
3) Lots of amp noise.
4) Simple effects (slow phaser or heavy tape echo) add drama during certain passages.
The inimitable combination of extreme clarity and extreme distortion is what eludes players and builders seeking to emulate the VH sound, IMO. I think that it's key to approach it as a basically clean tone pushed beyond the limits, rather than a distorted tone from the get-go. Other opinions?
|9/3/1999 3:13 PM|
So is this bootleg CD a live recording, or studio?
I'm in agreement with your perceptions of the tone being distorted and clean at the same time. It would be nice if this could be achieved with one amp, or one super-stompbox, but it really can't. You need at least two signal chains (many more is better) run in parallel, one distorted and one clean for instance. This means separate amps & speakers on stage, or parallel recording tracks which are altered differently prior to mixing.
It's easy to forget that many recordings start with a straight dry guitar signal, which gets modified by adding reverb and other effects to separate copies of the dry signal, then blended back together in just the right proportions for the most fantastic sound. This "artificially produced" sound is what we hear upon playback, thinking that this is what comes out of Ed's "amp". Even at a live concert, certainly in larger venues which VH commands, there is the enhancement created by the sound reinforcement system, different reverberation times of the left stage speakers and the right stage speakers as perceived by your listener location.
For a live playing situation, you could achieve a multi-tonal enriched sound by using multiple amps (different types or same type with different settings, effects, etc) and even different speaker types in the various speaker cabinets connected to each amp. One box surely won't get it.
|9/3/1999 3:43 PM|
Live. I found out about this on a VH fan website; cost me $20 at local used-CD shop.
|9/3/1999 4:57 PM|
Let us in on this. Where do you find this recording?
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