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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


quote:

Blackmaple wrote:

I have understood that the SIUA studio amps were Majors, whereas on tour he used Engl 120W Savages.

Yeah, the recording was the Marshall's and I believe both Ritchie and Doogie said there was a Fender Twin around too

I thought his live sound from the period was sublime. I think the Dusseldorf show on DVD captured it well. He apparently used the crunch channel on those Engl 120W Savages.

The Blackmore Signature model didn't come until later.



13/8/2017, 20:25 Link to this post Send Email to RatBatBlu   Send PM to RatBatBlu Blog
 
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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


quote:

Blackmaple wrote:

I have understood that the SIUA studio amps were Majors, whereas on tour he used Engl 120W Savages.

I thought his live sound from the period was sublime. I think the Dusseldorf show on DVD captured it well. He apparently used the crunch channel on those Engl 120W Savages.

The Blackmore Signature model didn't come until later.



I agree the SIUA live tone was brilliant.
I'm not sure he did use the crunch channel, I think he actually used the clean but drove it hard, which you can do with that amp, I know I have one and it's magic, at ANY volume, really very different.

Story goes that SIUA it was actually recorded using an ENGL Sovereign 1x12 50W, just exactly the same amp he uses today in the Rainbow 2016/17 shows. At on etime DW said it was a small ENGL combo they used, later he said it was Majors, who knows and who cares anyway, the sound was great! Frankly the small ENGL is a much more logical choice for working in a studio environment. The Marshall Major would be a complete pain in the ass to use as it's designed to drive cabinets, not produce tone. It wouldn't be especially desirable to introduce a very loud and noisy amp to a recording session. In 1960 maybe that's how they did it, though I think it's unlikely and the vox AC30 probably did more recordings for Blackmore than anyone realises. By 1995 the need for massive amps in studios was long long gone. I think there is the usual kid-ology going on with the Marshall Major story, doubtless the claim is also that they were turned up to [sign in to see URL] not!

He never used the Blackmore Signature model in any live shows. There is a picture of it at one show in Germany and it was neither connected nor switched on there. The Savage 120's originally( in 1995) had KT88 valves( now they are 6550's) and so they were a logical replacement as cabinet drives for Blackmore's rig. He also had the Sovereign 2x12 combo and the Sovereign 1x12 combo's in his collection and still uses both these to this day. The original Blackmore signature was a 150 Watt amp which ENGL sold as the slow-hand version and the fast-hand version, both had different voicings, very few made or sold, both great amps. The Blackmore signature amp as we have it today is also a great amp, but wasn't used by the man. It had a different spec from his usual stuff which is probably why he didn't use it.
Preamp:
4 channels: Clean, Crunch, Lead, heavy Lead, Bright switch, 3 band EQ, Contour switch, Hi/Low Gain switch,
Lead Presence Control. 3 x ECC 83 preamp tubes.
Master Section:
Master A/B, 100 watts
(1 x ECC 83, 4 x 5881 power amp tubes)

Also worth saying the 1x12 and 2x12 Sovereign Amps have UL output, another favourite of Blackmore. These amps are like the Savage 120, quite a bit different and have a more unique sound than the later ENGLS. They have the SIUA basic soundscape, so are a great starting point for that. The Blackmore Signature amp has UL, but it's not wired in as standard, which is quite bizarre. Once wired in the amp sounds lots better. The Marshall Majors also had UL, its a feature that is usually found in HiFi amps rather than guitar amps, though in my view it should be in all valve guitar amps. It decreases the volume marginally but add to the tone considerably.
13/8/2017, 22:23 Link to this post Send Email to BagShotBullets   Send PM to BagShotBullets
 
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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


ps another story was that in the later days of Purple Blackmore had ENGL heads behind the stacks and the Marshalls out front and that's why his sound improved from then onwards.

After Dawk(rip) had allegedly modified his Marshall Majors his sound basically got progressively and variable worse depending on where it was in the mod cycle and it only really improved when he dumped the Majors and moved to ENGL. I think this is probably correct.

Anyone who has ever owned a Marshall Major will know that they will not give you Blackmore's sound in a month if Sundays! They are typical Marshall, very loud, deliver all the punch at between 1-3 on a 10 scale, are hopeless for guitar as they are designed not to distort and the pre-amp, like all Marshalls, is just cheap sh1te made from the least cost components possible. Marshall is just mass market stuff, they upset/please nobody etc etc. Most pro-players only use the Power Amp stage of their Marshalls to drive their pedal boards and not the pre-amp, they use pedals to do the Job the Marshall pre-amp should do, but simply doesn't/cant. Very popular amps and part of the rock legend for sure, but their publicity is way better than the actual product.
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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


Interesting points BBS, IIRC Blackstar was set up by ex Marshall guys who wanted to offer an improved product.
I’ve had their 5 watt (HT-5R) version for a few years now, and although loved it when it first came out rarely play now.
For practice/home use, the Yamaha Thr 10-X just blows it away.
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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


Yep agree with what you say there Bagshot. Those Majors were impossible to tame - very linear in their response that's why they kept blowing up because you couldn't drive the pre-amp (they were a clean PA amp from the beginning) and that is what DAWK tried to fix - with the final result that they sounded awful in the end (fizzy). I think Blackmore went the small amp route - most likely a Vox or a 1x12 Engl as you say.

Going back to the SAVAGE - this is what I imho ENGL fixed somehow: KT88s (same output tubes as the MAJOR) AND an amazing pre-amp in there too... I wanted to buy one too but I got sensible and am a bit olderemoticon

Now I run a two amp setup a Fender DRRI with a Marshall 2061x - all at sensible volumes and relatively low gain levels too. I manage to get a passible MIJ sound with a Strat... am busy converting it to a wet-dry rig... but's that's another story.

Marshall for the most part build crap for the masses. I suggest that you look at the latest stuff Metropoulos is building - his latest creations are pretty amazing...
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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


There's a very interesting article on Ritchie (he has the cover as well) in this month's Vintage Guitar Magazine. Its celebrating 45 years of Machine Head and RB dispels a lot of the tone myths behind that [sign in to see URL] as using the AC30 way later than he led us to believe...
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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


Hmm... I was a little bit disappointed with the article. It doesn't really add much to what (at least where I am concerned) we know...

Here is a link to a photo from the Perfect Strangers reunion - apparently this was warm up gig in Hamburg Sept. 1984. The interesting thing is... he's playing an AC30emoticon

[sign in to see URL]

I have understood that he didn't use a top boost model. I have never had the pleasure of playing an AC30 - was always intrigued - but their checkered later history makes it difficult to know which one to use/test etc. And of course you'll not want to use it for its known "chiminess" coz you want the full on flat out rock sound... has anyone got any experience?
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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


I've played a few AC30's, both the Top Boost and regular and definitely prefer the Top Boost model ala Ritchie, Brian May and Rory Gallagher. The regular version is indeed very chimy, think Beatles as opposed to Queen.

I own an AC15 Top Boost and love it. I mulled over getting an AC30 but I wanted something more portable (AC30s weigh a TON) and the AC15, while not totally featherweight, still has plenty of volume to spare.
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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


if I recall correctly there also a picture on the PS inner sleeve of him sitting down playing an AC30, presumably if BBS theory is correct , he;s used this in the studio as well as on stage.
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Re: Ritchie Guitar sound - Slaves and Masters Tour 1991


quote:

Desperateheart wrote:

if I recall correctly there also a picture on the PS inner sleeve of him sitting down playing an AC30, presumably if BBS theory is correct , he;s used this in the studio as well as on stage.



Interestingly when you apply for building consent or planning permission for a recording studio, the planners are not concerned about noise getting out your studio and are more concerned about how you plan to stop noise getting in! If you plan a rehearsal room the roles completely reverse and you have to persuade them that you can contain the noise levels. That suggests they don't expect huge volume from our recording studio. Logically recording is about getting a noise free, clean recording, no hiss or hum or other distractions. So recording a 200Watt amp at the sort of volume required to make it sound vaguely decent would generate too much background noise. It just doesn't happen. Why would it, when it's possible to get the sound and tone, from a small amp?

For reference consider the 2016/2017 shows. Blackmore appeared to use 2/3 ENgl combos. Sure it didn't look as visually impressive as lots of 4x12's but Blackmore was as dominant in the mix as ever he was with all those 4x12's and the Marshall Majors. SO it proves they are not and never were key to that sound at all.

I think the myth that everything has been recorded using a "Marshall Major at MAX volume" is exactly that just a complete myth, propagated like so many of these "rock n roll" stories, because it makes a good tale. The same is true when it's claimed this amp or that amp was used in a particular recording, it's mostly just nonsense. The amp manufacturers love it because it means lots of fan-boys will go out and buy their product simply because it's going to give that sound, except actually it isn't as we all know, because even using seemingly the same gear, just won't make the same sound!.

Personally I believe Blackmore recorded using small combos and not his stage rig at all. It logically makes sense. Equally I see little point in pursuing the sound on their recorded CD's because they couldn't reproduce it themselves due to innumerable factors, such as the room, mic position, amp position, desk settings, console outboard gear etc etc etc.
Live sound is about the only thing you might get close to if you are lucky. Again I don't believe that Blackmore actually changed strategy here either. I still think there is a "small combo", whether it's in plain sight, hidden in the AIWA box or in a 4x12 cabinet, its there somewhere in that live rig.

I say again..........
anyone who has played live to any degree knows that large amps at high volume generate excessive amounts of noise which is very difficult to control. No valve amp made ever sounded it's best at full volume, not Marshall, Mesa, ENGL, Laney, Orange, none of them, it's not designed to sound good flat out. So the MAX volume myth is just that nonsense. By chaining a small combo to larger cabinet drivers extraneous noise can be removed at source, yet still achieve a monster sound at very low volume. That's what Blackmore does one way or another!
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