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For You Gear-heads...

Posted by Eric Jerardi Friday, August 17, 2007

I've been getting a lot of inquiries regarding the guitars, amps, effects, etc. that were used for the "Restless" recording sessions, as well as my current live set up. So for all of you gear heads and tone geeks - here's the poop: In the studio for the "Restless" sessions, I simply set up my usual live rig, got a great tone with my strat, then I never touched a knob on my amps from that point forward. There are so many different tones on this CD, however they were derived from different guitars, while the amp set up stayed constant. I used six different guitars during the recording - and again never messed with the trebble, mids, bass, volume etc. The amps were my work horse 1964 Super Reverb and a little 1953 tweed Deluxe loaded with an early 60's JBL D-120 F 12 inch speaker. The punch of the tweed deluxe with the JBL, and the pretty, smooth sound of the Super work perfectly together. The only exception was on the song "Get Back" where I used the Super with a Marshall JMP - 50 watt combo amp loaded with 2 EV 12L speakers. This amp will hurt small children undoubtedly. There are two things that most people overlook when trying to achieve a great guitar sound - good cables and voltage. I exclusively use George L's for all of my cables. Do yourself a favor and look into these - they truly sing unlike any other cable on the market, and I've tried them all. As for voltage, this is so very important and always overlooked - if you are using an older tube amp, realize that they are sounding their best at 117 or 118 volts (on old Fenders, it says 117 volts right on the back pannel). When you are in a studio - the power is pristine and strong - at Young Avenue Studios in Memphis where we cut the record, it measured 123 volts. Nothing will kill your tone more than that - it becomes brittle and thin sounding under these conditions - the amps just won't give. So always carry a multi-meter with you, turn it to volts, then insert the probes into each side of the outlet and get the reading. In the studio I used a variac to bring down the voltage to 117 - then the amps came to life - I use this practice in live settings too. As for effects - I use a Vox "Clyde McCoy" wah wah, into a TS9 tube screamer, into an MXR "scroll" phase 90, into a TS808 tube screamer into a Boss tuner out to a Morley A/B/Y splitter box. Keep in mind that I always use non-alkaline batteries in the old pedals because they sound better due to the fact that they have weaker voltage. These new super 9volt batteries measure more like 10.5 or 11 volts which gives more effect to straight signal ratio - which sucks.

The guitars used on the recording are as follows - in no particular order - and I won't tell you which song matches each guitar - I think it is obvious: My beloved, thrashed, red "62 Strat 1965 dead stock Strat (this guitar made most of the record - thank you Roger) 1960-something Fender Mustang (out of phase) 1960-something Guild "Starfire IV" Early 70's Les Paul Standard with P-90 pickups

Drop me a line anytime with questions - I'm here to help brothers and sisters. Thank you for enjoying "Restless" - I'm a proud papa/producer.



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