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Jack White (White Stripes) guitar(s) and sound
Old 27th June 2005
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Jack White (White Stripes) guitar(s) and sound

Guys.

I just got back from Glastonbury festival in the UK. White Stripes were headlining the Friday night and honestly they shat all over everything else at the festival.

I was a big fan before the gig but they really blew me away. I'm a big guitar player fan, and after Friday's display Jack is WAY up there.


Anyway, for the question:

He did some blistering slide solos on a guitar I've never seen before:

It was called a 'Kay', and was a cutaway acoustic, but it looked as though there was grey gaffer tape all over the top, including the soundhole. Where the soundhole should have been there was a single pickup (looked like a humbucker). He was also feeding the signal through fx (at least distortion). The sound was AWESOME.

So, does anyone here know what the hell he does to / with that guitar???

Failing that does anyone know how they get there sound in general?


Dave
Old 27th June 2005
  #2
His live sound and recording engineer hangs out here, so fingers crossed he will be able to let you know!
Old 27th June 2005
  #3
Gear Addict
 
mitgong's Avatar
 

The world will say what it will about The Stripes, but I gotta say that Jack White's playing/tone gets me wet everytime. I can't think of another of today's players that is doing more to show the guitar to be the joyous beast it is. Furious!
Old 27th June 2005
  #4
Saw Jeff Beck last night.. amazing sounds, (sorry to be Off Topic!)
Old 27th June 2005
  #5
Gear Addict
 
ToddP's Avatar
 

Hi Jules,
I did not see the guitar in question, but Kay is one of the classic vintage guitars from the first half of the century in the US. They have been sort of lost in the shuffle, and there are certainly better guitars out there, but they have a certain "cool" factor to them. It was no doubt covered in tape to help with feedback problems, as the Kays generally predate amplification, or were made very early on. I am no expert, but I am sure you can find more info on vintage guitar sites or books.
Old 27th June 2005
  #6
Gear Nut
 

I have to say that I did not like the White Stripes at all.




































Until I saw them on Friday. They were absolutely blinding. thumbsup
Old 27th June 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 
rainsinvelvet's Avatar
Did it look anything like this Kay? I got this one as a hand me down from my grandpa. It even came with a curly cable!

ERic
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Jack White (White Stripes) guitar(s) and sound-dsc00082.jpg  
Old 28th June 2005
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Cool looking guitar, but the one I'm talking about was acoustic...

Anyone know about their sound?
Old 28th June 2005
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Well, Jack White picks up a guitar and plays, and that's 95% of it right there....
Old 28th June 2005
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

he plugs funky-cool gtrs into silvertone amps and cranks it. the biggest parts of the white stripes sound can be boiled down to a couple of really ingeniously simple elements...

He paints with really broad strokes. he's using these pawn-shop gtrs that have very distinct and eccentric personalities. While guitar manufacturers like Kay, Silvertone, Hagstrom etc where and still are overshadowed by the big guys like fender and gibson, they still built really great instruments. Compare a budget-minded guitar from the sixties like a silvertone to a modern budget minded guitar. No contest. Plus these gtrs are capable of producing some straight up crazy and monsterous tones. More individuality and uniqueness. You can't help but to stand out. Gtrs today are so damn vanilla.

His parts on record are simple and straight ahead. gtr plugged into basic Silvertone 2 x 12. The first record was the usual 57 into api into 1176 to tape.

There's no bass. Nothing to compete with the guitar. Ever notice how you can solo a gtr track and get the biggest sound ever but when you put everything back in it's not the same? Well, there you go. No bass player, so no bass tracks, so the guitar track has more space to occupy and a larger role.
Kinda like how there's really no bass on the early Van Halen records and ACDC records so the gtrs are bigger.
Old 28th June 2005
  #11
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
I LOVE my twin twelve.. thumbsup
Old 28th June 2005
  #12
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

there is bass guitar on some of their tracks [of course, then there usually isnt guitar so]... i think however they limit their track counts heavily and thus sounding bigger. too many productions these days just have far too much crap in them.

i like their minimalist style. the drums are horrible but do SOUND cool. i would be nice to hear him with a proper band [3 piece]
Old 28th June 2005
  #13
I have heard that JW LOVES Coles ribbon mic's... We are talking for breakfast, lunch AND dinner
Old 28th June 2005
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
kennyd03's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
there is bass guitar on some of their tracks [of course, then there usually isnt guitar so]... i think however they limit their track counts heavily and thus sounding bigger. too many productions these days just have far too much crap in them.
Is that really bass? I was thinking it was really an octaved guitar. There's no bass credit given on the record.

I do like the idea of having less tracks, but each one sounding killer. I know I've been guilty of tracking and overdubbing sub-par guitar tones just to make the guitars sound bigger. Poor compensation...

-KD03
Old 28th June 2005
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
I have heard that JW LOVES Coles ribbon mic's... We are talking for breakfast, lunch AND dinner
The roomy compressed drum sounds that you can get from a spaced pair of Coles set back from the kit is ****ING MONSTROUS. Big fat low end, creamy, splashy cymbals, if the kit and the room sound good, it'll rock your socks off.

Too bad Meg sucks as a drummer, but hey, other big hits have been scored with equally bad drumming....

I really dig their sound and think Jack is talented. I don't think the guitar/signal chain/etc will give you that "White Stripes" sound without, yaknow, the White Stripes. He'd sound pretty similar with a Strat/AC30 - his sensibilities would drive him to set the amp to what he wants, which'd probably be surprisingly close to what he's got the Silvertone doing.

The vintage "budget" guitars DO have a sound - I occasionally play a '60's Teisco and it's certainly unique - but I still sound like me, whether I'm playing that, the acoustic or the Strat. Which is to say, it sounds like ****.
Old 28th June 2005
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Curtis Franklin's Avatar
 

im just curious how they got the MARIMBA sound on the new album. jk

the white stripes were the last band that i didnt like based on hearing 2 songs. since then i have heard more of their material and i dig them. now i abstain from an opinion on music until i have heard more of it. cheers.
Old 29th June 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Am I the only person in the world who thinks that White Stripes write decent songs but the sound is horrid? I was present at the album release in NYC and I thought the mix was mediocre, the drum sound sloppy, the guitars too dirty (which was a first for me in twenty years of this business) and the mastering nonexistant! I asked the band's rep (Jack & Meg were not present) who worked on the album and they said Jack mixed it but thought "it only sounds good on speakers driven by MacIntosh tube amps". They said "if we don't listen to it on tube amps it just doesn't sound right."
I'm NOT kidding, these are direct quotes!!!!

I have heard their tunes on the radio and I always wonder what the hell they are doing. If their engineer reads this, PLEASE give me some insight...I'm very happy for them but I just don't get it. Is the concept as retro as possible? NIN meets the 60's?

Jim van Bergen
Old 29th June 2005
  #18
Gear Nut
whammy octave pedal. it´s red.
Old 29th June 2005
  #19
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

you mean you dont love that glorious analog tone?!?
Old 29th June 2005
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

analog tone...the record release master had levels all over the place, 16K was tearing people's heads off, and that glorious analog tone sounded like someone had recorded at 8 bit, printed hot to analog 2" 24 track, then re-mixed thru Cakewalk down to ATR 1" 2-track master. Sounded like a car crash looks from across the highway divider.
Old 29th June 2005
  #21
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i think it was just a 2"/8track. probably mixed analog board to tape as well... he is kinda weird in that respect.

ya GOT to love analog. it is the BEST SOUND EVAH!
Old 29th June 2005
  #22
84K
Lives for gear
 
84K's Avatar
Still looking for megs underware on ebay AJ? heh
Old 29th June 2005
  #23
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

ANALOGGGGG!!!! RULEZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and no, she left them in my backseat... wanna buy em? im putting them UP on ebay.
Old 29th June 2005
  #24
84K
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84K's Avatar
HA! Better clean your car.... (She Looks Dirty)
Old 6th February 2014
  #25
Here for the gear
 
NKLabs's Avatar
 

I made myself a profile to post about the KAY guitar that DrShann talks about

Here you have a link with two of Jack white's favourite songs performance with the KAY guitar Enjoy! :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E3Uv4M1pYw

otherwhise, do someone know which pedals does he use in this performance?

SORRY FOR MY BAD ENGLISH :D IM NOT FOR HERE ARROUND :P
Old 9th February 2014
  #26
nog
Gear Nut
 

I take it you guys don't have sisters.
Old 10th February 2014
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Sebastian N's Avatar
 

if you search a bit, i believe there is on gearslutz a picture of the pedalboard he uses with some cool stuff on there but nothing ultra exotic or impossible to find. swollen pickle and such. besides the more obvious guitars and amps. in the "documentary" with him, the edge and page there is a scene where he sings into coles but in the studio, you never know (or you do with a bit of google effort). but with most instruments, it's all in the hands and a lot to do with how you relate to music in general that will dictate what your sound will end up being.
Old 24th July 2014
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NKLabs View Post
I made myself a profile to post about the KAY guitar that DrShann talks about

Here you have a link with two of Jack white's favourite songs performance with the KAY guitar Enjoy! :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E3Uv4M1pYw

otherwhise, do someone know which pedals does he use in this performance?

SORRY FOR MY BAD ENGLISH :D IM NOT FOR HERE ARROUND :P
The pedals he uses are actually quite basic.

For The White Stripes he uses, in correct order: Boss TU-2 Tuner, MXR Micro Amp, Digitech Whammy, an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff and the Electro-Harmonix POG (which is now discontinued and replaced by the POG 2). That all goes into a Sears Silvertone 1485 6x10 100w amps with one Fender Twin Reverb.

And since I'm talking about pedals already, I might as well take you through the whole thing. Hope it answers some of your questions!

With The Raconteurs, Jack White has a few more pedals. In right order: Boss TU-2 Tuner, Dunlop Rotovibe, Digitech Whammy, Big Muff, Micro Pog, MXR Micro Amp, Nano Bassballs, Demeter Tremolo.

With The Dead Weather: Digitech Whammy, Nano Bassballs, Big Muff, Micro POG, MXR Micro Amp, Dunlop Rotovibe, Voodoo lab Tremolo, Boss TU-2 Tuner. Z-Vex Wooly Mammoth is in an unknown position, most often not even connected.
Old 24th July 2014
  #29
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
at last, 9 years later, a good solid answer, hahaha.
Old 24th July 2014
  #30
Registered User
Attitude, raw talent, great songwriting, strong aesthetic vision ... lot's of people have the same gear or better but don't create the same excitement.

Hard to call his sound pure analog when his guitar passes through a Digitech Whammy AND a POG. That's at least 4 converters in the chain before you start. I love the sound he gets using the fusion of digital and analog. The use of octave effects to extend the range of a guitar is a large part of his sound. I understand that his live mix engineer also uses a dbx 120A for some subharmonic rumble too.

I love Meg's sloppy drumming - it's the perfect compliment for this raw energetic style. A robotic drummer would be ridiculous ...
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