Posts Tagged ‘Dumble’

Gear :: Larry Carlton in the ’80s

So much tone info in such a short clip. I’m revisiting this video mainly to get a closer look at the Valley Arts guitar Larry was playing way back then – the tone he gets on Last Nite is beyond awesome, and even though he apparently talks trash about those guitars today, I think the tone speaks for itself. I’m looking for a replacement pickup set for my white Telecaster at the moment (something a bit smoother, and with a higher output), and the EMGs seem like a good candidate (plus, the seal of approval from an ’80s Larry Carlton doesn’t hurt). I was pointed in the direction of the Bare Knuckle ‘Piledriver’ Telecaster set a couple of weeks ago, and they do sound great…but I think I’m after something a little bit less ‘rock’ and a bit more ‘jazz’ (<< that’s an oh so clever Dumble reference, a-ha-ha-ha).

Tone :: Telecaster / Overtone Special

Over the past dozen weeks or so, the Mark IIB Boogie has sidelined the rest of my gear, taking centre stage in almost all the rigs I’ve been playing with. Unfortunately, that amp has an intermittent problem with the channel switching relay which I have yet to rectify, and I was forced to bench it the other day when the problem returned.

One amp I haven’t played too much in a few months is my Ceriatone Overtone Special 50 (a 50W Dumble Overdrive Special clone), so I broke out an EVM12L-loaded Mesa/Boogie 1×12 cabinet and decided to give the OTS a go.

And I was super disappointed. All the settings I tried were pretty much failing. Of course, I blamed the strings, the room, the cables…but my Mark series amps were still sounding sweet in the same setting. I was getting pretty frustrated with myself at this point – why was it so difficult to set this thing up?

I asked myself:

‘Why did I buy this amp?’

And therein lay the answer: Larry Carlton.

I play in a very different style to Larry (and a very different guitar, too), but his tone is something I’ve admired for as long as I’ve played the guitar. If anyone has a decent bank of settings for a Dumble it’s going to be him.

A friend of mine actually went to see Larry when he did a gig with Robben Ford in London a few years ago, and had taken a few pictures of his Dumble rig. I knew they’d have the settings I was after, so I headed straight for Facebook (the, err, home of tone?!).

I punched Larry’s settings into the OTS and…yeah, I was totally right – he nailed it. This sound kind of begs for a bit (or a lot!) of spatial FX, so I stuck a BOSS DD-3 in the loop and I was away!

So enamoured was I with these new settings that I made a short clip of some very lonely lead playing so I’d remember. The playing is kind of inspired by Yo’ Mama, but there’s no backing.

That clip (including many, many mistakes – but great sounding mistakes, I guess) is embedded up top, along with the settings I used in the picture below. (You might have to right-click-> ‘Open Image in New Tab’ to view the large picture.)

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YouTube Picks: John Mayer, Way Huge

A couple of YouTube picks from this week, starting with this amazing look at John Mayer’s guitar rig. There’s some full-frontal Dumble action and 40 (!!) guitars on show, all in kinda-shaky 1080p HD. This is the rig John was touring with when I saw him in London a couple of years ago, and I can vouch for every single one of the considerable quantity of $$$ spent on this setup being absolutely worth it. Great player, great tone.

Sticking with the Way Huge Aqua-Puss theme, I happened across this amazing clip featuring some of the most exotic boutique delays out there. Scientific testing, quality recording and playing – really solid content. I’m very preoccupied with delays after hearing Mike Keneally’s tone on the Bakin’ at the Potato, so this video really hit the spot. The winner, for me, is the Roland SRE-555, but thinking practically I’ve dug the Aqua-Puss for ages now. Then again, the memory man is pretty sweet…this could get expensive.

Best Rig Ever…

Could well be. I’d love to build this out with a couple of 1×15 extension cabinets, a power conditioner and remote switching.

I think this just might be the best rig I’ve ever built. The distortion of the Mark I is so thick and full, and the 15″ speaker handles the bottom end beautifully. At the other end of the spectrum, the OTS has so much high-order harmonic content and clarity. The Electrovoice EVM12L in my late-80s MESA/Boogie 1×12 cabinet is one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard, with all the usual punch you’d expect from an EV but with the top end wonderfully rounded off through years of gigging. Running the OTS through that cabinet is a perfect match – the speaker takes care of the harsher top end and leaves a tone that’s round and full all the way up the frequency spectrum.

You don’t need to worry about the bottom end when the Mark I is in town, so I paired these amps with my favourite Telecaster. This guitar seems to emphasise just the right frequencies to make this rig come alive; it’s the ballsiest Tele tone I’ve ever heard. Recordings, video etc… to come.

Fender Telecaster –> Startouch A/B/Y –>
A: 1977 MESA/Boogie Mark I, 15″ combo    
B: Ceriatone OTS-50 (Dumble Overdrive Special clone) –> MESA/Boogie EVM12L 1×12 cab