Boston, UFO/Schenker, Rhoads - How did they get that tone?

Discussion in 'Tonefreaks' started by B5Erik, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    IMHO, "that something rattling or vibrating very fast" is the resonance of the wah permanently enabled... but that's not necessarily one of our garden variety wah"s.

    What I've said in my previous message translates some mods and experiments that I've done. When the "sweep cap" is changed for a 4.7nF in a Cry Baby and when it's used as a cocked wah @ 80% or 90%, the resonance happens between 1500 and 2000hz (and this sound can be generated by a 535Q or Dime wah with its selector on the 3rd or 4th position, BTW).

    It's the kind of resonance "naturally" produced by a high gain PU like a JB - that Michael has abundantly used as a bridge pickup with MSG, if memory serves me... or was it Duncan Custom? Same kind of high mid resonant frequency in typical playing situation, anyway.

    A low value sweep cap makes the fixed wah more focused, more subtle, clearer. Nothing like the intense midrange due to regular 10nF or 22nF sweep caps in stock Cry Babies, Hendrix models and so on... IME/IMHO, the 4,7nF sweep cap makes a fixed Cry Baby closer to the "Rangemaster" used by many other heroes. It pushes the drive a bit in the same way.

    >>Edit: not sayin' that MS was using a modded wah, although some people claim that on the web; a stock Cry Baby with a 10n sweep cap can sound less midrangey IF the gain of its first stage is not too high of if some components like (the inductor or some resistors) are on the lower side of value tolerance. My explanation about a 4,7 sweep cap is a way to emulate such a "weak" Wah by modding a stock contemporary Dunlop CB. Fine tuning the circuit with other components still might be necessary, according to other parms (like the cable used to plug the guitar and the amp used, of course). <<


    Regarding pickups: I've played stamped T-tops in the early 80's. Then I've owned / used during 20 years a 7,5k Schaller Golden 50's, mounted in various guitars in neck or bridge positions... and I've finally got rid of it. IME, this pickup had really nothing special. Like the stamped T-tops, it was rather weak and fairly neutral. I wouldn't search too much of the Schenker tone in these transducers (albeit I agree about an underwound A5 humbucker as being necessary to feed the kind of wah mentioned above, if we want to emulate the ol' Schenker sound).

    If we talk about patent sticker / early T-top PU's, it's a whole other story IMHO. :)

    FWIW - my two cents... or more BS ? LOL.

    Good luck in your quest!...
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  2. kysrsoze

    kysrsoze Senior Member

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    Rhoads ofen played three tracks for each song to fatten them up. He was really an incredible player. I'd blame a lot of the trebly character on how Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman were recorded. I have LP's of both, and there's just not a lot of bottom end to any of the sound.
     
  3. Thomas/Sweden

    Thomas/Sweden Senior Member

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    On this recording I used an Edwards block inlay Flying V and a Marshall Artist 4203. Schenker is a big influence as well as Scholz.

    PICKUPS´╝Ü(Neck) Seymour Duncan SH-1n
    (Bridge) Seymour Duncan SH-4

     
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  4. howlermonkey

    howlermonkey Senior Member

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    I think Freefrog is onto something when he mentioned the wah permanently engaged.

    It sounds like it's on for sure but likely pulled way back and left on.

    I hear that tone on "the camera eye" by Rush but I'm not sure Lifeson used a wah.

    I hear this same component on the single string melody on "LA Woman" from Billy Idol's Storyteller's DVD and Steve Stevens is definately using a wah almost fully backed off.

    Is this the type of sound original poster referenced?

     
  5. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Junior Member

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    I've got the first Guitar Player interview with Tom Scholz in which he says he used an MXR Six Band EQ with an inverse smiley curve, an Echoplex, and occasionally a cocked wah to get the basic sound.

    After that there was a device he built and called "The Doubler." Looking back from this perspective it really wasn't that big a deal, a combination of a harmonizer and a very short delay, both modulated by a low frequency oscillator in order to give a second copy of himself that was just enough different to sound like two players playing the same part. Of course, for that period it was GENIUS. What he came up with was the first chorus device. Once word of his device crept out all the pedal builders rushed to put out the first chorus pedals.

    Bob
     
  6. rabidhamster

    rabidhamster Senior Member

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    Michael shenker used Schaller humbuckers famously, and IMO they help nail that tone. Supposedly they were also getting their amps hotrodded even back in the day.

    Not the case, Roland Jazz Chorus beat them to it, but the Univibe came out in 1969 IIRC, which has them both beat.

    I do agree Tom Scholz was a genius, definitely.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. howlermonkey

    howlermonkey Senior Member

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    I used to almost live at the patent office searching patents and found that Tom Scholz had many patents from electronics to bridge/tremolo designs.
     

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