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Guitar talk: acoustic, bass, classical, twelve string? You name it! Pt III

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Seeker_UK, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. FireMoon

    FireMoon pfm Member

    Many of the Tokai lawsuits and still today's upper models were and are still are. often nitro. The only non nitro models of the Lawsuit era were the cheapest models and then, around 79, they went over to mainly poly until you reached the LS100 and changed the headstock rake angle to 14 degrees. There's even a story that, Gibson contacted Billy Gibbons and offered to replace the Tokai with a Gibson headstock logo on his famous "Tobacco burst" Love Rock.
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I didn’t realise any of the classic era Tokais were nitro. They always look pretty tidy when they come up for sale, though by saying that I’m convinced ‘heavy relicing’ has distorted perception and well cared for vintage guitars just don’t look like that at all.

    Talking of which I’ve been binge-watching The Doug & Pat Show on YouTube, which is just excellent. They have a great sense of humour, plus much of interest vintage kit-wise. Being introduced to Oscar (a simply stunning ‘58 Gold-Top) prompted me to dig Fat Lester out for a restring, setup and play. One thing that surprised me with the Doug & Pat show is just how hard Doug plays, he really looks to hit hard with his right hand, the exact opposite to my cack-handed thin-plec style. I’d expect him to go through frets pretty fast! They make a compelling case for the ‘great vintage guitar, great vintage amp and nothing else’ argument. I can see that if you want that ‘thing’ that is the way to get it.

    I’ve now pretty much come to the conclusion that keeping guitars in cases is a Very Bad Thing, at least I don’t think Fat Lester likes the original Gibson hardcase much at all. Even after a short time in there the fretboard ends up dry as a bone. It has always drunk oil and I’ve no idea where it goes! This time I’ve abandoned the Gibson-brand lemon-oil I was using and tried Crimson cleaner and restorative (two products) and its looking much better. I can also highly recommend their fret-erasers too, slightly abrasive rubber erasers that bring the shine back to dull frets, which this one had, and I’ve now got it playing better than ever with a new set of Ernie Ball 10s. I think it makes sense to string Les Pauls heavier due to the shorter scale. I’ve currently got the Yam on 8s, Shergold and Strat on 9s and the Les Paul on 10s. That way they all do rather different things and I think that is right for me.

    I’ve also learned some more about the ‘Les Paul balance thing’ and come to the conclusion it is just incompatible with the way I like to sit cross-legged on the floor in front of the amp. In that context it just ass-sits in a really annoying way, yet playing it sitting on the sofa is fine, I guess due to the top-bout digging into the rib-cage a bit more. It actually feels pretty good to play in this way. I suspect it is actually a rather good Les Paul, no Oscar by any stretch, but despite my perception (I’m spoilt by the Yam) it is quite a light one and it certainly sounds good to my ears.
    gavreid likes this.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I know exactly what you mean! It wasn’t just punk either, every band I know that got a deal made that transition from Ibanez, Westone, Aria etc to Gibson, Rickenbacker, Fender, even boutique stuff like JayDee, Wal etc! I suspect some came to regret it as that Matsumoku-era Japanese stuff was great IMHO.

    Try a Reeves Electro 2N2Face! I’m convinced a lot of the real punk sound came from 1970s FuzzFace or Coloursound fuzz boxes, and the Reeves Electro stuff just nails that in a spectacular way. Set on full (like d’uh!) with the bridge pickup of the Les Paul, Strat or Yam, throw in some thrashy power-chords and its instant Wire, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols etc zone. To my ears it is the pedal more than the guitar or amp (I’m going into a clean Rift PR6 Princeton clone). It is the sound of early transistors being abused in a box!
  4. claire.foxx

    claire.foxx Trans lives matter more than your feelings

    I deleted my post because I thought it might be thread crapping and OT but you pulled something good and relevant out out of it, so that’s ok.

    It’s kinda not helped by the fact I don’t use a guitar anywhere, never have. Maybe never will.

    A lot of the very early punk didn’t even have a pedal, I think, I t’s tough to nail exactly what’s going on... it was an ephemeral sound, cheap basses today are incredibly good.
  5. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    The early punk sound is quite complex I believe. Certainly Steve Jones on Anarchy in the UK produced a 'wall of sound' using many overdubs and various fills in the studio, while Chris Thomas and Bill Price were among the most experienced hands out there. I think it was one cranked amp (a stolen Twin Reverb) and a Les Paul but rumour has it that he used an MXR Phase 90, I don't know what made the final mix. For all the 'I hate Pink Floyd' they were more than happy to work with the same people in the same studios ;) My guess is that they had access to all the gear that would have been commonplace at the time.
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Another thing with punk and new-wave to my ears/understanding, at least the UK stuff, is it has *nothing* to do with overdriven valve amps or that whole rock/blues aesthetic. So many bands at the time were using the once ubiquitous HH 2x12 combo with the illuminated facia, or similar solid-state offerings from Carlsbro or Yamaha. I am convinced this is why UK punk a) sounds quite different to US punk where there were endless cheap Fender valve amps in pawn shops etc, and b) why it can be hard to emulate with modern kit now music history has been rewritten as a totally ‘valve-based’ thing. A Fuzzface into a HH 2x12 combo really is that late-70s-early-80s guitar sound. Scratchy, glassy, edgy. That is the punk/new-wave thing IMHO.
    gavreid likes this.
  7. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...


    Listening to Anarchy in the UK on 'Never Mind...' there's definitely a phaser in use there

    More info on the recording process: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/classic-tracks-sex-pistols-anarchy-uk

    And that is why Never Mind the Bollocks is the finest sounding punk album.
    PrettyVacant and gavreid like this.
  8. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    All transistor and can take the pattern off the wallpaper with the volume set to 50%. :cool:

  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That’s a very vintage Vox cab and head, Beatles era, so certainly valve! Would be worth LOLprice now, though likely found for very little at the time!

    PS I’m too young for punk so never got to any gigs in ‘77, but I was around for new-wave and obviously the indie-scene that followed it. My memory is certainly filled with old HH, Yamaha, Carlsbro and solid state WEM stuff. That’s what I was seeing at gigs etc, certainly from new bands on the way up, and that’s the stuff that was floating around on the second hand market by the time it was my turn to have a go. There was certainly a notion that massive Marshall stacks were for tired old rock-stars and long-haired widdly widdly merchants, though obviously it was the sound of The Ramones too. IIRC Andy Gill used a Japanese Strat copy (Ibanez I think) into a Yamaha 2x12 and to this day The Cure still use Roland solid State (Cubes that they marker-penned the logo to read ‘Cure’!).
  10. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    The UL730 is a weird one. AIUI, it's a hybrid (http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/730.html) the preamp was all solid state with the valves (EL-84 x 4) providing the power.

    Fat Bob certainly used an HH in 77-78.
  11. claire.foxx

    claire.foxx Trans lives matter more than your feelings

    Steve Jones famously nicked most of the Pistols gear (except Matlock who bought all his own gear and would never knowingly play stolen goods) from big name glam and bell-bottomed rockers at the time; the Clash were working units before they formed and had a manager to buy them a PA and gear (but listen to the difference between White Riot/London’s Burning and Give ‘Em Enough Rope). Buzzcocks and the Banshees were possibly the first sound that gelled as a quintessentially “year zero” sound but even then Severin and McKay (ignore Fenton) are using delay pedals by this point and The Damned had Stiff’s rapidly deepening pockets. It’s interesting to hear the change from Spiral Scratch to Another Music… really showed how signing to UA brought their sound into sharp focus but I really like How the Live at the Roxy Box Set (an expansion of the classic Various Artists LP) for all the dreadful performances, that sound was so brief and short lived before the industry came along and shaped it further. Maybe also the musicians just got just a little bit better. Maybe the drugs got better and more expensive. It’s possibly less gear related than we think.

    I’ve been listening to a lot of French Punk which predated the U.K. by almost a year (Stinky Toys, Metal Urbane, Asphalt Jungle, Edith Nylon, Marie Et Les Garçons, Private Vices, Extra-Belle - all that lot) and it’s so steeped in Lou Reed and Velvets with a sleazy twist the English Punks ignored, I’m ready to start thinking that French Punk was the real deal and lasted longer and kept it’s form longer. Interestingly for me, the sound is identical.

    Sorry if this is a thread crap. still thinking about punk history a lot. You don’t seem to mind so I don’t mind...
    gavreid likes this.
  12. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    Metal Urbane didn't have an aversion to using synthesizers - a lot of their sounds were pure Pere Ubu.
  13. claire.foxx

    claire.foxx Trans lives matter more than your feelings

    The punk aversion to synths seems like a short lived U.K. only phenomenon. Suicide were 1975-ish were mutant rockabilly punks with synths, organs, drum machines and fuzzboxes that the U.K. seemed remarkably intolerant of.

    I just spent a fascinating 30 minutes listening to this amazing programme on BBC Sounds from 2011 about the French Punk Rockers which confirmed my theory that the French Punks were forming and coalescing just in front of the U.K.

    I did not know McLaren and Jamie Reid lived there in 1968 and I’m thinking they probably tapped into the same zeitgeist that begat punk.

    Seeker_UK likes this.
  14. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    Ultimately it depends on what you consider 'punk'; UK bands from the early 70s such as Crushed Butler (featuring a pre-Gorillas Jesse Hector), Third World War, the Doctors of Madness and Stackwaddy certainly had records out with a lot of the elements in place way ahead of 'year zero'.
  15. claire.foxx

    claire.foxx Trans lives matter more than your feelings

    This is a great little short (2 minute) video that shows the way the comp is riding the gate and as he pushes it it gets that splashy (clattery) sound. The whole video is well worth seeking out and watch and one of the reasons why I use the same desk (in simulation via the Console 1) to get that gate smack sound.

  16. claire.foxx

    claire.foxx Trans lives matter more than your feelings

    I have absolutely no idea, I know it when I hear it though. I think that’s a remarkably difficult question involving a lot of variables.
    Seeker_UK likes this.
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Pere Ubu were just astonishing/bonkers. I revisited their first two albums a couple of weeks ago. It amuses me greatly just how out-there and off-the-wall a lot of the bands who got signed onto major labels actually were at that time (Pere Ubu managing Mercury then Chrysalis before settling for indie obscurity). Some crazy guitar playing and sound there. It is a very interesting period musically and sonically.

    Another thing that surprised me recently was looking at the label of my copy of Horses by Patti Smith and seeing the 1975 date! I guess really one can date punk back to the first Stooges album if not to some of the more extreme buzzsaw garage stuff that was around at the time of psychedelia. The UK youth movement/tabloid headlines was ‘76-77, but the roots of it had been bubbling under for a long while.
  18. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    Pere Ubu came from the Cleveland scene which IMHO was more 'punk' than anything NY was creating at the time. I'll take the Electric Eels or Rocket From the Tombs over Patti Smith any day.
  19. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I can remember hearing some of the songs that went on to be recorded by Buzzcocks in '74 in Pete's earlier group Jets of Air. Thinking about it I've no recollection of Pete playing a 'real' electric guitar, he played an acoustic 12 string (EKO?) with a pickup across the bridge. I think it was his wannabe Bowie phase.
  20. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    D'ya reckon?


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