Aerosmith "Combination"/Thin Lizzy Jailbreak - 70's Tone

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by B5Erik, May 10, 2017.

  1. B5Erik

    B5Erik Senior Member

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    Yeah, I found out a long time ago that less gain makes for a better tone, especially when layering rhythm tracks. Now you can take the gain down so much that you lose that bite (AC/DC's Razor's Edge album is a good example - it ended up kind of jangly instead of crunchy), but even moderate gain when recording multiple rhythm parts sounds pretty hard and heavy when you do the mix.

    I've used my, "Clean," channel to try and recreate that Aerosmith/Thin Lizzy tone, but it lacks that upper midrange crunch that you heard on the 75/76 era Aerosmith and Thin Lizzy albums. It gets just a little mushy. (I crank the highs and mids and cut the lows just a bit, but it still lacks that crispness and clarity - it's close, but not quite there.)

    So I'm thinking that there have to be some pickups that would be more conducive to that tone. I'm still wondering if T-Top clones would do the job.
     
  2. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    Sounds awesome, as one would expect from the 2204 circuit!

    BTW-the 2204 became available in 1976, as a JMP model. They did combos also. The JMP version of your amp is 2104. It became 4104 with the JCM model. First year models did not have cascading gain stages, so total gain was lower, giving them a very classic tone. Of course the later versions could have the same tone at lower gain settings.

    My first year 2204 (non-cascading).

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    I found a Les Paul with P-90's does a very good job of bridging the gap between single coils and modest output humbuckers. Something like Gibson's P-94 would probably sound great, sitting in that space between a 57 Classic and a traditional sized P-90.

    Joe's Strat tones were awesome (and un-strat-like) and Brad played a lot of P-90 Gibsons. And Brad's contribution to the Aerosmith sound was not insignificant.

    The P-90/P-94 would get you right in the Thin Lizzy zone, too. But sure, T-Top clones would be fine. Then you would have James Williamson tone, too. :thumb:





    http://www.lollarguitars.com/lollar-humbucker-pickups/raw-power
     
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  4. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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  5. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    I think ole Steve Hunter had a hand in that song as well.
     
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  6. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Senior Member

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    nice. i like the guinness touch. :) mine is the '82, with the g-12 65 speakers, and vertical inputs. i've debated swapping out the speakers from time to time, but i want to leave it original. all the times i have played live with that amp, it has never disappointed. it cuts through any stage setup, and not in a shrill, over the top way. it's mids are focused, and almost 3d. i like the open back cab, too. it really spreads the joy around. :)

    i put a really great sounding old sylvania ecc83 in it a few years back, and it really has a great sound. but i rarely crank the preamp beyond 5, even when playing live. it will get quite heavy after that point, but it's not a tone i go for. but it still sounds great. :)
     
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  7. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    I think the G12-65's would take some beating. Great speakers!
     
  8. B5Erik

    B5Erik Senior Member

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    OK, I've gotten really close.

    I went with the, "Classic Gain," channel on my DSL 40C, cranked the gain on the higher gain setting, and used my IC400 with the Guitarforce 'Superstar' bridge pickup. I had tried that already, but the tone had been a bit mushy, even with the highs and mids cranked. But I gave it a little more mids and cut back the bass more than I had previously and I got a tone really close to the 75/76 Aerosmith/Starz tone.

    I was thinking how the high output pickups became popular in the first place (to push old amps without gain) and used my highest output pickup (which also has phenomenal tone) and dialed in the EQ more than I had previously.

    I still want to try and see if I can get close to that tone with a lower output pickup on the modern gain channel (Gain 1, not the ultra gain 2 which is too distorted for my tastes). I may not be able to get that sound on that channel, but it will be interesting to see how close I can get.
     
  9. VicodinDream

    VicodinDream Senior Member

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    I think you will also find those Aerosmith songs for sure came from different guitars. Sweet Emotion was allegedly a strat. But I don't think Ttops would nail it. Closer to ACDC. Also the guys in Aerosmith were known even then for tinkering with stomp boxes. Joe liked his Tone Benders back then a lot. When I want to nail that time frame I go for my Catalinbread Katzenkoning. Easier than a pickup change. Around the same price lol.

    Aerosmith also did not use a lot of big Marshalls in the studio. IIRC they used Ampeg's, and Music Man's.

    The pickups I'd recommend are the Seth Lover, The '59, or Saturday Night Special. Come to think of it, I've never seen Joe Perry play the combination riff on a Les Paul.
     
  10. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    I went back and listened to the whole rocks album today, and I'm really wondering if the fuzz/ampeg/strat answer isn't correct... some of the songs definitely sound like a marshall, but others do seem to have that more low-gain fuzz tone... less middy than a lot of the LP-plexi tones.

    maybe look into the SFT pedal from catalinbread?... on the 'stoner' setting... I'm looking for the demo now
     
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  11. David Garner

    David Garner Senior Member

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    Basically a low to mid wind PAF will do it. Mine are Wolfetone Dr. Vintage. 57 Classics, Seths, Ants, 59s, etc. will all get you there.
     
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  12. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    T-Top or clone! I have the real deal for a neck pup and a Vineham '6070' in the bridge. It's a little hotter than a T-Top, pairs with the neck pup beautifully. Vineham'S '6070 Classic' is more the real deal. Or contact cooljuk if you want to buy from the US.
     
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  13. t-bone2112

    t-bone2112 Member

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    Fairly early on in Aerosmith, Joe and Brad were using Ampeg V4 amps. I think by the time Rocks came out, they were using Music Man Hybrids (tube pre-amp, solid state power stage). Both played a lot of Strats and Les Pauls around that time. Joe and Brad both had some nice vintage Les Pauls that they played a lot at that time.

    Don't know much about Thin Lizzy equipment other than both of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson played a lot of Les Pauls during that time.

    It's funny you mentioned Combination and Jailbreak as far as tone. I know those songs well (my band in the late 70s played a lot of Aerosmith and Thin Lizzy), but I never cared for the guitar tone in those two songs specifically. I've found it quite easy to get that sound; my MIK Epiphone Les Paul played through a Peavey Classic 30 using the master volume and no overdrive/distortion pedal nailed that tone (no longer have that guitar or amp).

    I really don't think it should be difficult to get it.
     
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  14. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    Our cover band does it with little fuss. Lead guitarist uses a Mesa DR and an EVH (Music Man). I use my Northern with an Orange TT goosed by a Bad Monkey.
     
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  15. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Though during the T Top era, may be safe to say they were playing more PAF type stuff.
    OR...maybe one of these:
    [​IMG]
    Brad has one too.
     
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  16. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    I dunno if they played vintage or new in the 70's. But for any RAWK tones, the T-Top is a safe bet, IMO. For this, better than a PAF tone.
     
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  17. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    I think the amp is more crucial to the tone than the pickup. I Usually use a Duncan JB and through the JTM45 (with a Tube Screamer) sim on my Helix I can easily get very close to the Thin Lizzy sound.
     
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  18. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    I got my first real amp in 82 as well....the 4010 combo with a g12-65. Best amp I ever owned. I was the kid with the best tone out of all my peers! It wasn't even until i sold that amp that I realized how fabulous it was. it sucks when you start with the best...the bar is forever too high after that!

    After I sold that one I bought a pair of 4212s .... these were the 2X12 combos, but they were not in the same league. Good but not fabulous. My amp tech at the time told me the major difference was the addition of "diode" clipping, which the 4010 or your 4104 did not have. I listened to your 4104 clip and yeah....that's the sound I remember. Awesome!
     
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  19. David Garner

    David Garner Senior Member

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    I agree for the most part. However, using the same amp (a Marshall 18 Watt), I got that tone immediately when I went from the 498t bridge pickup to a 57 Classic. A hot wind is just not going to have the same tone as a more vintage wind, for that type of music.
     
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  20. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Senior Member

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    I would stay with something no hotter than, say a 59/Custom Hybrid. The Whole Lotta Humbuckers or Saturday Night Specials would be good choices, too. The rest is amp/effects selection and technique.
     
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