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BlackerThanNight Profile
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Purple fan

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


quote:

RitchiesHair wrote:

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.



Surprisingly I don't think the boost is actually that great, but it's enough. THe problem is too much gain, gives too much noise, so it has to be subtle. The PA1 I've tried gave up to an extra 20db, so you think it was going to be amazing, but full on at 20db, the instrument becomes too lively and noisy, it works better at maybe just 5db or so. YOu may well be right about a pedal hidden under the scratchplate, maybe it's one of the Hornby treble boosters, becuase their isn't much in them electronically.

The other thing I have that gets very close to his Stranger in Us All Live sound is an ENGL Tube Tonner. This is basically the pre-amp stage of one of their Screamer Combos, but with a 1 watt power amp built in. It has various outputs including one to go into another guitar pre-amp, or to go to Line out etc. If I set this to full gain and then run it into the front of the other ENGL amps on a clean/crunch setting it gets very close to the SIUA Circus Nights type tone. Becuase the Tube Tonner is all valve( except it's little power amps, which I don't use! ) It gives a lot of natural valve compression. This is what Ritchies tape deck is also doing, because I understand it was vavle as well. So effectively he gets some compression from the tape deck and some compression from the amp valves, hences his very smooth sound. His BN sound is really thick and creamy. Maybe he has an ENGL TUbe tonner hidden off stage !

Here's a very poor picture of the rack stuff. I have a better one somewhere on a CD, if I can find it. This came from another fan site, as I recall and you may have seen it before, or not. This was in the 80's maybe even around the Slaves and MAsters Era, or during the JLT Rainbow era. You can see the rack on the right top of the picture. Along with the famous tape deck !
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12/4/2004, 22:33 Link to this post Send Email to BlackerThanNight   Send PM to BlackerThanNight
 
RitchiesHair Profile
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Unconvincing Hairpiece

Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 4449
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


That's interesting about the boost, one of the little passive things might do the job then but they all work off the tone control so it's almost certainly not one of them. If it's anything then it's a Hornby-Skewes booster or something like it, you're right that they're pretty basic, I think there's only one transistor, one capacitor and one potentiometer in the whole thing. He's clearly always used some device like a treble booster but I haven't seen any written source since around the Mk3 era that refers to the Hornby-Skewes pedal and nothing else has ever been mentioned.

I hadn't seen that picture before, thanks. That does seem an awful lot of stuff for just one sparingly used effect, if it wasn't all used for the guitar synth then I suppose it might have been an attempt to replace his vintage effects that must have been getting rather fragile and susceptible to the rigours of the road by that time.

The Tube Tonner seems to do basically the same thing as the tape deck so it's probably the closest mere mortals can get to the sound of the tape deck on the mass market.
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Purple fan

Registered: 11-2003
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


Looking at the rack the bottom item I'm sure is a power amp, probably for the Synth. Next Up looks like a Graphic Equaliser, The usnit with the cable in it is the ROland GR50 Synth, which means it's not 70's ! The one with the Yellow Flash is almost certianly the Digitech GSP21 Legend ( Ritchie seemeingly did some patches for the 'Legend' Version )which has that flash. There are lots of tape decks available here in the UK on Ebay for about £200, but are they worth buying and modifying ? Who knows !!
13/4/2004, 7:56 Link to this post Send Email to BlackerThanNight   Send PM to BlackerThanNight
 
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


The thing between the Synth and the GSP21 looks like a tuner, I have no idea what the things above the synth and poweramp are though. But it does seem as if he was using more than previously thought.

I'm actually looking at tape decks at the moment, but Ritchie did once say that he tried a Revox and it didn't work like the Aiwa so it might be even more special...

13/4/2004, 20:48 Link to this post Send Email to RitchiesHair
 
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Purple fan

Registered: 11-2003
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


quote:

RitchiesHair wrote:

The thing between the Synth and the GSP21 looks like a tuner, I have no idea what the things above the synth and poweramp are though. But it does seem as if he was using more than previously thought.

I'm actually looking at tape decks at the moment, but Ritchie did once say that he tried a Revox and it didn't work like the Aiwa so it might be even more special...




I think the key to the tape decks is to get one which has a valve in it. AT a guess the Revox which didn't do it for Ritchie was a transistor device. Equally of course it could have been the other way round! You should try the tube tonner though, it's all valve,lighter and easier to transport than a tape deck and it's built like a small tank!
14/4/2004, 8:29 Link to this post Send Email to BlackerThanNight   Send PM to BlackerThanNight
 
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Registered: 09-2003
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


You might well be right.

Is the Tube Toner out of production?, I can't see anything about it on ENGL's website.

Last edited by RitchiesHair, 15/4/2004, 16:36
15/4/2004, 16:36 Link to this post Send Email to RitchiesHair
 
BlackerThanNight Profile
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Purple fan

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


quote:

RitchiesHair wrote:

You might well be right.

Is the Tube Toner out of production?, I can't see anything about it on ENGL's website.



I don't know if they still produce the tube toner. I bought mine 2nd hand off ebay for about £250 or there abouts. It's a great device. THe other really useful thing I use it for is anytime when I have to play but can't take my own amps. I can plug the tube toner into the clean settings on anyone else amp and get a really nice ENGL valve tone, with plenty of sustain and almost everything I can get from my main ENGL amps. THis is really useful at say a 'Jam session', where the gear is provided ot that kinda thing. I could probably post yo some clips of the tube toner in action if you want to hear it. Let me know.

Regarding the Blackmore tone I had an interesting experience yesterday and got closer to the tone than I've ever heard before. I know a guy here in Scotland who repairs all the Messa Boogie amps for the main UK distributor, he's a tube amp wizard this guy. He's been desigining a new pre-amp for the last 3 years, which does somethign clever with valves to give more dynamics from the guitar. Apparently it's all been done before, but he thinks not the way he's doing it exactly. Anyway yesterday I got to test the pre-production proto type. All the clean settings are just clean etc. However we get on to the drive channel and there it is in two seconds flat, instant Ritchie tone, including the warbling pickup switch routine and sustain that puts even the ENGLS to shame ! Dark drive tone and endless sustain, just like Ritchie! F**KING AMAZING. Never heard anything like it. I don't understand the electronics of it,it's all valves, but it made me think that perhaps this( or similar ) is what Ritchie has had done to his Tape Deck and this is where the action is. The sound was Ritchie today, to a tee! I'm trying to persuade the guy to built the sustain part of it into my ENGLS so here's hoping. The pre-amp when it's in production will be around the £2,500 mark, so not cheap, but !@#$ what a sound ! To be honest althougth £2,500 is a lot compared to what you could spend trying to locate that sound, by trial and error it's nothing ! I'll keep you posted.
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Ovader Profile
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Purple fan

Registered: 12-2004
Posts: 288
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Re: Ritchie's Own ENGL Amp Settings


quote:

The pre-amp when it's in production will be around the £2,500 mark, so not cheap, but !@#$ what a sound ! To be honest althougth £2,500 is a lot compared to what you could spend trying to locate that sound, by trial and error it's nothing ! I'll keep you posted.



What is the latest news of this discovery? I have learn a lot from this discussion and wish to hear more of this issue.
15/8/2006, 16:47 Link to this post Send Email to Ovader   Send PM to Ovader
 
BlackerThanNight Profile
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Purple fan

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


quote:

Ovader wrote:

quote:

The pre-amp when it's in production will be around the £2,500 mark, so not cheap, but !@#$ what a sound ! To be honest althougth £2,500 is a lot compared to what you could spend trying to locate that sound, by trial and error it's nothing ! I'll keep you posted.



What is the latest news of this discovery? I have learn a lot from this discussion and wish to hear more of this issue.



This pre-amp is now in production and has been toured recently by Texas, all over the world and by Joe Walsh. You can get more details and speak to the inventor at this address:-
Specialised All Valve Pre-Amp
The amp is entirely amazing and comes comeplete with studio grade speaker simulation circuit as well.
16/8/2006, 11:33 Link to this post Send Email to BlackerThanNight   Send PM to BlackerThanNight
 
BlackerThanNight Profile
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Purple fan

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


quote:

Ovader wrote:

What is the latest news of this discovery? I have learn a lot from this discussion and wish to hear more of this issue.



Since this thread kicked off in 2003, is it really that long !!!

The under scratch-plate circuit was made by John "Dawk" Stillwell, Ritchie's Rainbow guitar tech. This guy is a genious and worked for RB, Tony Iommi and many other notable players from the 70's/80's era.

The circuit is called the Master Tone Control, MTC it is entirely passive and contains two different circuits in a little black box. It is connected tothe Neck pickup only and causes the huge difference between the neck and bridge pickups hence when Ritchie switches you can really hear it. If you listen to the solos in the tracks "Doesn't Matter Anymore" "Street of Dreams" and I think "Call my Name" you can hear this MTC very clearly in action in certian parts of the solos, as he switches from neck to bridge and back.

If you want to buy one of these then they are available from Dawk for $ 325 USD and worth every penny( or cent! )

Also the tape deck Rithcie used was NOT a valve version it is entirely transistorised, so despite much debate about valves most of Ritchie's sound probably is dervied from a small MTC circuit and a transistorised pre-amp. Also the stacks he used on stage did not produce the sound there was a different cabient setup hidden behind then and it was miked to the PA to give the sound you heard. The stacks, predictably were jsut for show. Most likely was that his entire sound after the MTC/Tape deck came from a recased AC30 !!

You live and learn, well at least some of us do anyway !!

Ps you can and should visit Dawks Web site and Forum at :-
Dawks Forum
DAwks Web Site Home PAge
16/8/2006, 11:49 Link to this post Send Email to BlackerThanNight   Send PM to BlackerThanNight
 


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