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Beatles Amplifier 1964-66ish
Old 27th March 2014
  #31
Gear Head
 

Pretty sure the lead line on sgt pepper is a solid state. I think these amps have the vox repeater tremolo, which is a pretty crazy effect in itself. They built the repeater and the fuzz into some of their 60s guitars as well, you can hear it all over spacemen 3 records.
Old 27th March 2014
  #32
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Dual Vox AC100s Hand Built, Dual Mesa 400+ ( 24 power tubes, yikes! )
Speakers 4X12 Blue Cone Celestion? and for bass, 3 EV/Mesa Road Ready 18"s plus a 2X10 X 15. Everything through a Pete Cornish designed rack and pedal rig.




Live FedEx Field
Old 28th March 2014
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
Dual Vox AC100s Hand Built, Dual Mesa 400+ ( 24 power tubes, yikes! )
Speakers 4X12 Blue Cone Celestion? and for bass, 3 EV/Mesa Road Ready 18"s plus a 2X10 X 15. Everything through a Pete Cornish designed rack and pedal rig.




Live FedEx Field
Fault tolerant - n'est pas?
Old 28th March 2014
  #34
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More for the look and at this point, paul's probably deaf...
Old 28th March 2014
  #35
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FFTT's Avatar
 

A much better look at McCartney's rig and band.

Hasn't changed much over the last 10 years.

If it works don't fix it.



You can see Rusty plays the lead to Drive My Car with a Slide!

Old 28th March 2014
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
You can see Rusty plays the lead to Drive My Car with a Slide!
The original is slide also - IMHO. Listen closely to the end run. I've had this debate going for a while with another guitar guy - he says no way.
Old 28th March 2014
  #37
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The Blonde '59 Historic Rusty uses for most of the show doesn't have that cool grind and edge of his red '65 ES-335 used on Sgt. Pepper & The End.

I'm pretty sure George used slide for that gritty lead edge much more than most people realize.
Old 28th March 2014
  #38
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You know, that Hofner sounds nothing like a Hofner. The sound is huge, with an incredible big bottom, no sign of the woodiness that comes from that guitar like bass.

I need to listen to more of the modern concerts to see if they eq it to sound more Beatley on the early Beatle songs......
Old 28th March 2014
  #39
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A Mesa 400+ rack mount with 12 6550's and EV 18"s is definitely going to sound different than through an analog console, 100 watt Vox or a 50 watt Bassman.

Especially through a monster, stadium worthy PA system.

Found this too...



Interesting his tech mentions other people buy Hofners and they may sound good, but Paul's
is unique in some of its tonal character. Age being a good part of that.

Insured for $2 Million too, from other articles.

That's a good bit of appreciation on a bass that cost the band about 30 Pounds new about $49.00
My German built '66 was much more expensive, costing my mom 400 DM or $99.00
with gig bag.
Old 30th March 2014
  #40
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lame pseudonym's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
Vox Special page


This amplifier sounds much better than the vast majority of older transistor based amps. One reason might be, that at the time the circuit designers were still thinking in terms of valve amp design, and built the power section as a class A design. This was after all a key ingredient in the sound of the classic AC30. They also used germanium transistors for clipping in the fuzz circuit. In any case, the overall result is great.
What I mean is, in 1966 the whole amplifier was probably germanium. Silicon didn't really start happening until the Acoustic and Kustom amps.
Old 30th March 2014
  #41
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My reference towards Vox quality come from hearing my father rant about
what POS's they were when he had the service contract with Chuck Levin's
Washington Music Center, Giant Music etc.

Still when it comes down to overall amp selection the Beatles went for Loud and Clear using various guitars and attack to alter the tones.

Their speakers were overwhelmingly AlNiCos to get that sparkle and chime, but
the Rickenbackers also helped create that sound.

They also worked those semi hollow guitars from clean to right on the edge of feedback scream.

Reading how Paul once hacked used piano strings to use on the original Hofner used by Sutcliffe . It really shows the depth of their humble roots.

Brian Ray mentioned Paul really doesn't care that much about gear, he just expects it to work.
Old 30th March 2014
  #42
Gear interested
I might be able to offer some insight here.I have a lot of the same vintage equipment that the Beatles used and record with it regularly. I also have had reissue gear as well. Here's what I have that they used too: a 64 blonde fender bassman, a 1965 casino, a 64 tenny (Harrison's was a 63) a 62 j-160e, had a 63 gent too at one time recently. I have a vox AC30HW made in England from 2004.
The casino covers a lot of Beatles tones using several amps. Fender Bassman sounds great like paper back writer , Vox sounds great and has a lot of Beatle tone too of course, and The Tenny and the Vox will get a lot of the sound that you mentioned from Baby's in Back to Rubber Soul tones. The later Beatles tones can be achieved through a fender twin. I have a 67 black face circuit, but that gets you close enough to the Showmans which are basically closed back twins. They close mic'd the amps so you can get a lot of the sound without the room sound of Studio 2. I usually use an sm57 to mic my amps which they never did, but it still has a Beatles sound that is recognizable. Never cared enough to try using my u47 clone... (Wunder Cm7). Do remember that some solos were definitely the tone of the board because no amps other than the board were used.... "Taxman" solo is an example of that.
The bassman is a hard amp to get. a 65 bassman is a completely different circuit from a 64 , but I have never heard the sound of a 65 bassman or later. I had two reissue casinos before I found my Holy Grail vintage one. a korean and a Lennon signature which is the closest to a vintage one. I can't speak about the new Chinese Inspired by because I've never played one.
I can say that the amp you use will surely make a difference in the tones available on the casino. It's a very versatile guitar. The Tenny has surprising bite when accessing all the treble on it. Put flats on it and it becomes a different bid. For that matter flats on the casino (Which the Beatles probably never used on casinos) makes it more versatile to cover the sounds of Rubber soul and on. Again, most probably not used on casinos but I like the sound and what I can stretch my casino to do using flats. (Just my personal taste.) Hope this helps.
Old 30th March 2014
  #43
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FFTT's Avatar
 

You definitely can hear the drastic transition in Harrison's tones going to
round wounds and P-90's on his Casino.

Especially when you play A Hard Day's Night first and then put on Rubber Soul
and Revolver.
Old 31st March 2014
  #44
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I remember that they also had stripped the finish off of their Casinos because they sounded better that way, there is a story behind that but I don't remember it.
There was a Guitar player article several years ago (maybe decades ago) about recording the Beatles and George's guitars that was chock full of information (some that I think debunks some of the myths perpetrated in this thread), also the was a thread here on Gearslutz on the Book "Recording the Beatles" but I can't find it now.
Old 31st March 2014
  #45
Gear Nut
 

Heard a guy in a Beatles tribute band recently, doing the George parts with a Gretsch Country Gent (told me its a newish Jap reissue), though a '65 reissue Twin Reverb and Boss multi FX unit, and got as close as any Beatles tone I've heard in all the years I've been listening to people trying to get Georges old tone!
Old 31st March 2014
  #46
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My old band used to perform the entire B side to Abbey Road for our opening set.

BF Super with a Double Neck Epi SG 6/12
BF Vibrolux Reverb with a Tele and a LP Custom.
Slide on the Double neck 6
Pretty sure both amps had original CTS AlNiCos
Old 23rd April 2014
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuriousHeard View Post
I'm probably alone on this, but most of my favorite recorded Beatles guitar tones come from Beatles For Sale and Help! with a bit of Rubber Soul and some Revolver. A couple of months ago I was doing some research and found out that basically every one of my favorite Beatles guitar recordings comes from the Gretsch Tenessean and the Epiphone Casino. There's some kind of hollow, airy --- indescribably unique tone to those guitars that I just love. Anyway, I bought a Lennon Inspired Casino (the Gretsch Tenessean was WAY too expensive for me). I love the guitar - it's AWESOME - I highly recommend it.
But as always, there's room for improvement; I'm playing on a Fender Blues Deluxe. I'm not crazy about the amp but with some mods and over-priced pedals I can now get close to the sound of those old Beatles recordings. My biggest problem is that the amp by nature is just always beefier than I want it to be (even with bass tone set to 0) and in contrast the amp has barely any upper mids at all. I have to use an extra pedal to bring them out. And with that comes my problem: the airy, violin-like qualities of this guitar seem to get swamped in other frequencies. The tone that I bought this guitar for exists probably somewhere in the mid to upper-mid range, the very frequency range that this amp sucks at. Basically what I'm asking is: what guitar amp would help bring out those qualities the most? Immediately, I thought of Vox amps, but then I was told that Fender amps were being brought into the Beatles sessions as early as 1964??? Secondly, I was told that modern Vox AC-15's and AC-30's are crap compared to the ones that the Beatles had. I have never played a 60's Vox and probably never will so I don't know how they stack up. My local music store's selection is not great, they don't even have Vox amps. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Here's the sound I'm talking about (what amp would YOU buy to get close?):
Drive My Car - Paul's solo (about 1:05 into the song)
Another Girl - Paul's lead guitar riffs throughout
Honey Don't - lead guitar throughout
Baby's in Black - lead guitar throughout


And for the rest of you ELITE Beatles obsessed, here's some more:
I Feel Fine - Lead intro
And Your Bird Can Sing - Harmonizing lead riff
I Don't Want to Spoil the Party - Lead Guitar Throughout
Drive My Car- Solo is George. It's his new strat which he later painted and called Rocky. Probably through a Fender. They weren't using a lot of Vox stuff on Rubber Soul. George and John both got matching sonic blue Strats. Here's a pic of them each around Rubber Soul


Another Girl- Was McCartney. It was his Epiphone Casino through either an AC30 or AC100.

Honey Don't - Is not McCartney whatsoever. It's Harrison with a Tennessean through an AC100.

Baby's In Black- Same as Honey Don't. Tennessean through AC100. Almost that whole record is the same for George.

I Feel Fine- Lennon's Gibson J160E through an AC100. Hence the feedback at the top. He left his Gibson acoustic leaned up against the AC100 and the feedback happened. So they decided to recreate it and put it at the top of the song.

And Your Bird Can Sing: George and Paul playing one part each. Together. George was either Gibson SG or Epiphone Casino. McCartney was playing his Casino. Amp could have been anything. They had Vox Solid State amps with tube output. They also had a lot of Fender amps around. A 64 Bassman as well as a Showman. Here's a pic of them rehearsing. You can see the said Vox amp, UL730. Harrison had a Burns bass too but there's no evidence it made it onto any recording.

This information is well documented and in several books and has been for years. Do yourself a favor and go buy Beatles Gear by Andy Babiuk. It explains all of these situations.

Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio (Book): Andy Babiuk: 0884088473730: Amazon.com: Books
Old 23rd April 2014
  #48
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One last note. Don't be fooled by AC30's. Even though they are the iconic Beatles amp, they were only used on the first 2 albums. And to be correct, Lennon was using an AC15 twin on Please Please Me.

Please Please Me and With the Beatles.

By the time A Hard Days Night came around, they had graduated onto Vox's AC50's. Which are EL34 driven, not EL84. A big difference in sound. But the speakers were probably still Alnico Celestions.


After that was the AC100 for a few records. Just a larger version of the AC50.

Then they were using Fenders and Solid State Vox amps for the rest of their career. From Rubber Soul on. With a few exceptions. But in the later years, Abbey Road and Get Back, the amps were almost all Fender Twins and Fender Bassmans.

Post 66, you will do just fine with a nice black face Fender amp and an Epiphone Casino. But don't buy a twin. They're too damn loud.
Old 23rd April 2014
  #49
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Old 23rd April 2014
  #50
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FFTT's Avatar
 

You could probably load a Fender Twin with Celestion Gold 12"s and get pretty good results with the right guitars.
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