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BlackerThanNight Profile
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Registered: 11-2003
Posts: 1600
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


I have four Strats each with different types of Lace Sensors in them and one with Seymour Duncans Quarterpounders. I have gold, silver, red, blue, hot gold variants of the Lace pickup and they all sound a little different from each other. All the Lace pickups give a really nice clear tone and no noise but they do sometimes lack a little 'grunt'. The seymours are brilliant for the old Rainbow style sound. The Lace Sensors alone won't give you the masters sound! Lace sensors with ENGL amps, and I have several of these, won't give you the masters sound ! Personally I would look to recreate his current electric sound, not the old Marshall Major sound. I think his 'today' sound is much superior and really good, or at least when I heard him live it certainly was stunning !

The boosters in the Claptout strat could be modified to work on the Volume control I expect, but apparently like the EMG booster they introduce a lot of noise as well. I looked at these before they are about £70 as a spare part price.

THe idea of the treble booster is a possible.

Thing I especially noticed in his live shows was when he switched from Bridge to Neck pickups the huge tonal difference was almost as distinct as a "wah" pedal going from treble to bass. Ritchie does that a lot, catches the note and switches pickups giving it two different tones in the same instant from bass to treble, or treble to bass. It's part fo his signature style. Also the bass response from his neck pickup was huge, so maybe he has different boosts on each pickup!
11/4/2004, 10:03 Link to this post Send Email to BlackerThanNight   Send PM to BlackerThanNight
 
RitchiesHair Profile
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


quote:

BlackerThanNight wrote:
 Also the bass response from his neck pickup was huge, so maybe he has different boosts on each pickup!



That sounds like something similar to the circuit in the old Orange Treble & Bass pedal, turn it up from the center detent and it acts like a treble booster, turn it down and it boosts the bass. It would explain both the sound changes and how both could be adjusted from a single control.

The company that does the Hornby-Skewes replicas also does a Treble & Bass one and they claim to have eliminated the noise and interference so there's a possibility.
11/4/2004, 11:31 Link to this post Send Email to RitchiesHair
 
BlackerThanNight Profile
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Registered: 11-2003
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


quote:

RitchiesHair wrote:
That sounds like something similar to the circuit in the old Orange Treble & Bass pedal, turn it up from the center detent and it acts like a treble booster, turn it down and it boosts the bass. It would explain both the sound changes and how both could be adjusted from a single control.

The company that does the Hornby-Skewes replicas also does a Treble & Bass one and they claim to have eliminated the noise and interference so there's a possibility.



The noise issue is also an interesting one. Soemthing I noticed about the ENGL amp settings is that Ritchie doesn't( or didn't when I saw him live) use the full boost channel on the amp. The ENGL amps have effectively 4 sounds going from clean/clean crunch/crunch/Full Boost. THe amount of noise increases as you go through the settings, with full boost being the noisiest and clean having no noise. Ritchie appeared to use the "clean crunch" setting, judging by which lights were lit on the amp front. In this mode the amps gives a really clear tone, but with an edge. IN most respects ENGL amps give amazing tone in all modes, but they are especially fat when in 'clean crunch' mode, even though that seems a contradiction! It certianly doesn't give Ritchie's sound nor endless sustain( full boost gives endless sustain! ). So he may use this to reduce the noise generated by the pedal. You can try it yourself with you r own amp, set it to clean and then use a compressor/sustainer type effect and it should get very dirty, but without too much noise. Obviously if you used such an effect on the full boost sound from the amp the noise would be dire!
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


Well it certainly works, it would also seem to be the main difference between his new sound and the Marshalls. The Blackmore hallmarks are still there but today his tone is clearer and richer and he praised ENGLs in interviews around the time he switched over for having a lot more character at lower volume, now he can obtain a greater degree of clarity because he doesn't have to strain the amp too much to get any overtones or interesting dynamics.

I'll certainly be paying attention to this when I go and see him in July, I'd never thought about his sound as in-depth as this before.

Last edited by RitchiesHair, 11/4/2004, 17:32
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BlackerThanNight Profile
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


quote:

RitchiesHair wrote:
..... he praised ENGLs in interviews around the time he switched over for having a lot more character at lower volume..... I'd never thought about his sound as in-depth as this before.



The ENGL amps are really truly amazing and totally under-rated, mostly because people just don't really know them. Everyone thinks Marshall must be good, but only because they see them a lot. Marshalls can be good but not till they are turned right up and by then they way way too loud to be useable. I used to use Marshalls and they were frankly dire, compared to the ENGLs. Ritchies sound is obviously more complex than it might at first appear, but one day we'll find out the mystery behind it and I bet it turns out to be somethign really simple ! Maybe all his volume control is doing is some kind of blending between the neck and bridge pickup ! I still think the tapedeck is a major component and I suspect some analog circuit lurks in the guitar.

Apparently at one of this years concerts he had a problem with the white strat and had to use the spare black one. I wonder if anyone noticed if he sounded different at all or if he sounded just the same ?
11/4/2004, 21:33 Link to this post Send Email to BlackerThanNight   Send PM to BlackerThanNight
 
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


It's annoying that he has one of the most interesting sounds to try and emulate yet there's precious little information about how he does it and he's never divulged anything apart from the obvious.

I'm staying at Burg Veldenstein on the first night of the forthcoming German tour where he should be too so my chances of meeting him will be as good as they ever will be and assuming that...

a) He's actually there
b) He's in a good mood
c) He's not tight-lipped about it
d) There's an appropriate opportunity
e) I have the balls to approach Beelezebub

I'll try and find out if he does have something special under the scratchplate.

quote:

BlackerThanNight wrote:


Apparently at one of this years concerts he had a problem with the white strat and had to use the spare black one. I wonder if anyone noticed if he sounded different at all or if he sounded just the same ?



Interesting, I hadn't heard about that before, do you know which show it was?. It was probably something as mundane as a scratchy volume or tone pot or a dry solder joint but it certainly gets the imagination going about the mystery device not working. I'd imagine that he'd have had the same thing done to the spare because he must rely on something onboard the guitar for a boost as the amp couldn't do it on it's own going the way it's set in the picture.

The only show I know of where he sounded very different was Edinburgh...a lot quieter than usual...
11/4/2004, 23:28 Link to this post Send Email to RitchiesHair
 
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


quote:

RitchiesHair wrote:
.....The only show I know of where he sounded very different was Edinburgh...a lot quieter than usual...



THe gig I think may have been the salt mines one in Poland, or somewhere in Germany maybe. THe UK gig problems were of an entirely different nature, Edinburgh being the worst of all, of course !

Apparently at Buxton there was a sound problem with a faulty valve, and yes he didn't sound right, but he did sound like himself, same heavy weight boost and huge toneal difference from neck to bridge. I really noticed this a couple of years ago in Newcastle, where I was maybe 10 feet from the satge and directly in line with his amp, when he was doing the switch flicking trick it was so noticable that tone difference from neck to bridge, thud,twang,thud,twang, quite amazing. It was the same again in York, a most amazing tone. THat time the female guitar tech stood behind his amp all the time he was playing and I think she was switching on/off his delay unit, back there. I suppose, of course, he could have all sorts of stuff hidden behind his amp, or in the wings, off stage. Certainly in the Rainbow/Purple days he had a rack of stuff in the wings, including a Digitech processor, somewhere I've got a picture of it, but it's not a clear picture.

There was maybe a sound problem at Workington and then of course he just buggered off ! As before he sounded like himself.

I don't think his amp is modified because he uses several different one in different places, plus he'd then be dependent on that going everywhere with him, which would be a pain.
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


I suppose he could have the neck pickup wired to an appropriate capacitor to boost the low end like the very early model Telecasters. I used to try time and again to nail the switch-flicking trick but the difference was never as dramatic so I'm sure he must have another trick up his sleeve for that.

If he does have an arsenal of effects, he clearly doesn't want us to know about it for some reason, the gear section on his website does list the tape deck so it would seem to give the impression that they want to give the impression that it's the sole effect he uses.

He doesn't seem to make much use of the amp itself from the photograph, if he'd had it modified then the controls would certainly be utilised a lot more, and the key to his signature sound has historically never been with the amp anyway.
12/4/2004, 1:37 Link to this post Send Email to RitchiesHair
 
BlackerThanNight Profile
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


quote:

RitchiesHair wrote:

I suppose he could have the neck pickup wired to an appropriate capacitor to boost the low end like the very early model Telecasters. I used to try time and again to nail the switch-flicking trick but the difference was never as dramatic so I'm sure he must have another trick up his sleeve for that.

If he does have an arsenal of effects, he clearly doesn't want us to know about it for some reason, the gear section on his website does list the tape deck so it would seem to give the impression that they want to give the impression that it's the sole effect he uses.

He doesn't seem to make much use of the amp itself from the photograph, if he'd had it modified then the controls would certainly be utilised a lot more, and the key to his signature sound has historically never been with the amp anyway.



A capicitor is a possible. Ritchie always has maintained that he didn't like lots of effects because it was more things to go wrong, so I favour something/several things, simple and analogue NOT digital! The switch flicking only works with a 3way switch and two pickups. If your guitar has a middle pickup wired in, then forget it! I'll find that picture of a rack of things. THis may just have been for the guitar synth, a power amp for it, EQ etc. But I'm sure it had a Digitech GSP21L in it and that's a multi effects unit with all sorts in it. I've got a GSP21, dating from the 80's, it's good and certianly has great EQ and compression but an annoying auto noise gate that is set too high for my tastes !
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


The guts of an existing pedal or a custom circuit like it are probably the most likely candidates then, I have seen little passive analogue devices for onboard boost but they look pretty basic and I doubt that they'd give enough power.

I did have the middle pickup disconnected but the modification was a dining room table DIY job before I knew anything about this sort of thing so the 5-way switch was still in there with positions 2, 3 and 4 redundant. Unfortunately, all I have left of that guitar now is the headstock with the hardware in a plastic bag somewhere and I'm going to have to wait a while before I have the opportunity to try it with a proper setup.

Do you know when the photograph of the rack was taken?, now that I think about it, there was a slightly less organic quality to his sound on the TBRO tour so I wouldn't be surprised if he was using it then. It would be very interesting to see if you can find it anyway.
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