AC/DC’s “Down Payment Blues” (Powerage, Studio)

31 May AC/DC’s “Down Payment Blues” (Powerage, Studio)

While we already knew that the Schaffer-Vega Diversity System had been used on Powerage (first studio album where it got used, actually), speaking with Angus the other day (yeah, right) gave me additional gas to go and play Powerage stuff. Here to you. First Powerage Video of the Schaffer Replica series, and also a song I had never covered on video previously. Great song, naturally (like most of this era if you ask me).  Better get it right, right?

Just as a reminder of my theory (that finds recount on the “AC/DC in the Studio” book), this album was entirely played – by Angus – on a 2203, including – I think – solos. It’s still unclear to me what parts were played with the SVDS and which weren’t; at times, for songs such “Gone Shootin'” for example, it seems like the solo was pulled off of the floor with the rest of the band while tracking the backing track. I haven’t asked (yet) but we will find a way to document this for sure as well, in time. For now, suffice the change of sound. Some songs – such as this one, “Down Payment Blues” – have a definite change of sound for the solo, and the comforting position of the solo itself in the centre of the stereo spectrum also usually means,  a part played in the “control room”. We do know that at this point in time (and from now on for a whopping 8 more years)  Angus liked to comfortably sit on a couch in the control room – cigarette and guitar at hand, and wail on the guitar through the Schaffer-Vega Diversity for solos, additional guitar parts and power chords.

The microphone here – as on any other recorded track – plays a big role. We’re talking Neumann U47 FET (a later model that substituted the tube model, the Neumann U47 tube, an older version favoured especially by singers). This is a microphone that has its own definite punch. Probably, the only other current production microphone that could get somewhere in these whereabouts – and at a fraction of the cost –  might be the Audio Technica AT4047; a microphone design that, as the name alone implies, was “inspired” by the U47 FET. A superb microphone not anymore in production, the U47 FET was used to track several instruments including but not limited to, vocals (Bon Scott sang many, many vocal parts through a U47 FET), guitars and the bass drum of a drum set(!). Yep, you read right: few microphones as the U47 FET were able to capture the bass-ness of the bass drum such as a Neumann U47 FET. Naturally, all those U47 FET that sat in the bass drum eventually took a beating to the capsule because of the pressure; a practice definitely  not recommended nowadays, these microphones being vintage treasures. The one I used is a mint example in perfect condition.

My own Neumann U47 FET out of the Vintage King Audio packaging! Near Mint.

My own Neumann U47 FET out of the Vintage King Audio packaging! Near Mint.

It seems that a single U47 FET was used on every guitar cabinet for this album, and the Young brothers had one cabinet each, back to back, in a separate room from the band.

There wasn’t much I had to do once the microphone was on a good spot of the 4×12 Marshall cabinet loaded with original Celestion G12Ms from the late 1970s (as on the album, where G12Ms were used). You plug your trusty 2203 to the cabinet, set presence to 0, bass to 4, mids to 3-4, treble to 5-6 and both volume and preamp to 7-ish and just rock, with the guitar – for Angus’ rhythm part – on volume 10 and tone 10. The rest, you’ll have to do with dynamics (that, as you can hear on this track, play a relevant part). The 2203 – despite the pre-amp tube, is able to clean up pretty well even at 7. The 2203 is an amp that deserves to be studied in detail. Without my indispensable Aracom 150 DAG attenuator, I would never be able to pull decent matching sounds as I have been lucky to make happen in the recent years. I do carefully state this at every worthwhile chance, as I will now: attenuators (good attenuators) are a great achievement of current technology (thank you, Aracom!) and they finally liberated scores of 100 watt amplifiers that used to sit in dark corners of our attics, basements or worse, storage rooms. If you think about it, only few players in the world got to really crank these beasts until recent years. You had to have a stage for it. Some luckier than others have had the chance to blast their basement because neighbours were far enough to not care. But these are fewer than the rest, us. When I had to sell the studio , for years I relied on emulation software alone, if you remember. And yet, I was content (but I knew I was going back to analog tube circuitry, babe). Only a good attenuator was enough to convince me to bring out my amps – get even some more – and re-build an arsenal. Done. Mission complete.

 

I look forward to there being more and more Attenuators out there, so that the costs also will come down eventually. An attenuator for every rock player. For every bedroom rock player, actually.

But deep down inside, aren’t we all bedroom rockers? Even the stars once were. Oh well.

For the solo, I hooked my Schaffer Replica GT. I don’t have serial number 001 anymore – that one went somewhere else (a better home, Angus Young’s) – so I am using another one Franz had the generosity to ship to me (laughs). It sounds amazing. You can’t possibly know about this, but the production units sound even better than the prototypes. I have no whatsoever idea of why this would be, but that’s that. I compared them one against the other and the production models are even closer to the original Schaffer-Vega Diversity character. Fantastic. Maybe I shouldn’t be praising my own product – but you’ll forgive me for this (and the ones among you who now proudly own either a GT or Pedal, you know what I am talking about!).

My Own "Powerage Kit"

My Own “Powerage Kit”

I brought the amp’s volume and pre-amp slightly lower than 7 – probably 5-6 and boosted a fair amount, probably 75% and almost full companding. Also, bass seems to have been reduced to near zero here (for the solos). Whether it was pre or post it’s hard to say, but with AC/DC one would tend do think that it was done in pre (i.e., before, directly from the amp and not from the mix on the mixing console, after it had been recorded). You have to remember that the Schaffer-Vega added tremendous bass response (so does the Schaffer Replica) and it seems that at this point in time – and even for Highway To Hell – the solos are not at all bassy; not at least as much as they will be on Back in Black and even more, on For Those About To Rock, where most if not all solo tracks were recorded with a 50watts head thus adding quite much that “warmth” Malcolm talked about referring to these being used and which simply means, even more compression and bass as a reaction from the amp under stress.

The guitar tone knob would have to be at zero (0) or close. I am rather sure this is how Angus had his tone knob set like  for solos on quite a few of the tracks of this album (and later ones as well, as we found out already). It was just the standard way of making a great solo sound with these amps. It’s funny that one of his current guitars has the tone bypassed now (it’s the lighting bolts one), as that same guitar played on countless of earlier albums and was – for solos – many times used with the tone knob closed at least some.

Which is why I had my new David Allen Powerage pickups installed (both, neck and bridge) and the tone wiring done the standard way (1960s wiring). I always use the tone knob.

By the way, all you hear – rhythm and solos – was done with the Gibson SG Standard Angus Young signature number 37 that you see here, with the Powerage pickups. I finally got rid of the “original” Seymour Dancan pickups that I liked for the first 30 seconds when I had the guitar – then disliked immensely so much that I almost never used this guitar (if you noticed). Only now that I put these fresh ones in, I finally want to play the thing again. And I think the difference in sound is evident. Much closer to authentic t-tops, but these Powerage pickups even bring something different to the table. They seem to have more bite but are still in the same range as the originals. Good stuff that sounds great.

 

avatar
Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

I like Geetars!

77 Comments
  • avatar
    lapata19
    Posted at 01:07h, 26 August

    I`m struggling to decide between the Manlius T top or the David Allen Powerage pickups. Which sound do you prefer?
    Please help me out. I just can`t decide. Never played one of them

    • avatar
      Chris Moiny
      Posted at 10:57h, 26 August

      All I can say is that everybody who has Manlius T-Tops are super happy.
      Also the ones who have DAllen Powerages are supper happy, it’s a deal breaker mate 😆

      • avatar
        dash8311
        Posted at 16:55h, 26 August

        Manlius! I have two of them :-)

        While the Powerage is a nice sounding pickup, the Manlius and TSR nail that sound.

  • avatar
    angus4ever
    Posted at 15:19h, 21 June

    Just have to say this… Fil, you look bloody similiar to Jason Newsted :O

  • avatar
    The Tech
    Posted at 17:18h, 04 June

    I can shed some light on the differences between the prototypes and the final/production version.

    With all the feedback I got from you, Franz and my own measurements, I was able to fine-tune the final version to perfection. Some minor tweaks and a little bit of engineering magic transformed a good sounding replica into a great sounding replica. The shop also did a great job of handbuilding all the GTs, which contributed to the overall sound and build quality.

    Cheers,
    Markus

    • avatar
      Ant
      Posted at 18:18h, 04 June

      YOU are a legend!

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 18:51h, 04 June

      Markus,
      you are a legend. This is the best product I ever had. Not that I made, but that I owned in general. I can’t stop using and – also – looking at it. I look forward to our next project, because there will be another one.

      • avatar
        dash8311
        Posted at 08:50h, 06 June

        Thanks for all of the hard work Marcus, great product and build quality.

        • avatar
          The Tech
          Posted at 21:12h, 07 June

          Thank you guys for your support. When you love a project it’s not hard to go the extra mile.

          When I tell ppl about the Replica, the story (SVDS, Ken, AC/DC, Fil’s quest for the lost sound) behind it and that even Angus Young has one, I always get excited responses.

          So, stay tuned for our next project :).

      • avatar
        tlarrart
        Posted at 13:09h, 06 June

        Hi Everybody,

        Fil, you wrote there will be another project… Can’t wait, please tell us more about it !

  • avatar
    Ryley
    Posted at 07:57h, 04 June

    All i need now is the replica and a u47 style mic and i’ll be right there with ya Fil! I really wish Ang would go back to using the 2203’s every once in a while, truly amazing amplifiers.

    How anyone has gotten by with 100 watt tube amps WITHOUT an Aracom is beyond me, idk what i’d do without mine!

    • avatar
      AngusRudd1019
      Posted at 08:03h, 04 June

      I do it all the time 😉

      • avatar
        Ryley
        Posted at 16:39h, 04 June

        You must have ears of steel bro!! LOL

      • avatar
        Ant
        Posted at 19:32h, 04 June

        Please do be careful don’t go getting tinnitus like me!!! excessive volume for “extended” periods of time really does do permanent damage to your ears!!

        Seriously i have permanent mild “ringing” but its easily noticeable in a quite room and im only 25! i have been taking care of my ears since i noticed it

        • avatar
          AngusRudd1019
          Posted at 20:49h, 04 June

          I only do it at my gigs.

        • avatar
          AngusRudd1019
          Posted at 20:50h, 04 June

          I only do it at my gigs. For practice we turn our marshalls towards the walls to save our ears

          • avatar
            Ant
            Posted at 00:07h, 05 June

            oh good :) i wouldn’t wish it on anyone

            • avatar
              AngusRudd1019
              Posted at 06:49h, 05 June

              Curious, is it from music, your tinnitus?

              • avatar
                Ant
                Posted at 10:07h, 05 June

                i think so… quite sure, i used to play blasting my ears with headphones and i know i used to get heavy ringing after long sessions but you know it was only that temporary ringing. last year i noticed permanent ringing during a spell of not playing since then i stopped and taken care of my ears to preserve them

                • avatar
                  AngusRudd1019
                  Posted at 10:09h, 05 June

                  No wonder!! Headphones are literally the worst things for your ears at high volumes. I’m guessing that was a daily routine?

                  • avatar
                    Ant
                    Posted at 14:38h, 05 June

                    only 3-4 times a week for a couple of hours a time it doesn’t have to be painful for it to damage your ears heck you wont even notice its affecting you till later on down the line!, that was enough to do my ears in a bit.

                    i kick myself for it but i was ignorant at the time.. to busy enjoying what i was doing! 😛

                    • avatar
                      SoloDallas
                      Posted at 14:43h, 05 June

                      Well Ant is naturally right, and I do like to re-voice this as well. It is a dangerous thing done improperly. I have avoided miraculously tinnitus so far, but I have been consciously careful. I risked however to get tinnitus with a sport I do practice every now and then, which is target shooing at the range. Just for one single time that I had the headphones off, I got a blast from someone next to me (.45 cal handgun) in my right and left ears. Horrible. That alone gave me a ringing that lasted for months. I try to not use the headphones when rehearsing music, and I only use them when I record (though I do it over and over), as I have no other options. I have to blast the music piece at a given loudness, and the guitar in the headphones is also blasted pretty loud. But in all other instances that I play, I try not to wear headphones and I do not play loud at all – thanks Aracom once again (lol).

                    • avatar
                      Ant
                      Posted at 15:05h, 05 June

                      i remember you telling me that story a while back :) Yes, very dangerous indeed yet playing loud is a very easy thing to do!

                      talking of shooting i dropped you a mail 😉

                    • avatar
                      Guillotine
                      Posted at 13:17h, 06 June

                      So that’s what that ringing is when it’s really quiet? Damn, never knew. I think I have it then.

                    • avatar
                      Ant
                      Posted at 14:26h, 06 June

                      i can be different for people some say its like a wooshing, clicking, pops ect

                      best thing to do is just continue with daily life and don’t listen out for it.. that way its best not to know whether you have it or not. just don’t over do on the volume play at levels that are acceptable take a short break every now and then.

                      it should feel natural to take the headphones off and feel the same when you first put them on, no sense of nausea for head acre just the odd skin sore from wearing them :)

                      you never know you may recover from it!

                    • avatar
                      Guillotine
                      Posted at 21:23h, 06 June

                      I only have a crappy 10 watter Solid state amp which I never really use, and i almost never have the volume full up on my headphones with Guitar Rig/Amplitube. I’ve had the ringing for as along as I can remember. I’m only 15 btw. I’ve not been exposed to high volumes.

                    • avatar
                      sellen
                      Posted at 01:49h, 07 June

                      Picked up an advice many years ago to never clean the ears longer than the thumb reach. Have worked at a ship yard for 22 years with lots of noise, always cranked my hi-fi. And recent years i’v been crankin’ a guitar amp. At my latest health certificate, i travel offshore now and then so i need that then. I got full score. I truly believe that the advice i got to leave the shit deep down in the ears alone is a major part in that. Throw away the Q-tips:)

                    • avatar
                      Guillotine
                      Posted at 02:40h, 07 June

                      My hearing is great. But I can hear the ring when it’s dead quiet. I think I might try what you said.

    • avatar
      Chris Moiny
      Posted at 08:30h, 04 June

      you’d do same as me, playing it max with the volume on 2 lol

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 13:50h, 04 June

      Not the same on 2 – almost like a different amp.
      Ryley: AT4047 is the answer. Audio Technicas. You won’t be disappointed!

      SO happy to hear you confirm “my formula”.

      You make me proud.

      • avatar
        Chris Moiny
        Posted at 15:28h, 04 June

        I know it’s not the same, but as long as I don’t have an Aracom, 2 it will be for me 😉

        • avatar
          lautmaschine
          Posted at 21:34h, 04 June

          Chris, an Aracom is not the only to bring down your volume effectively. The Aracom is an expensive unit, which I suspect uses transformers and various filter bypass circuitry to lower your overall output while minimizing tone shift (I am guessing, but this is typically how the high-end attentuators work). Aracoms are legendary, but you can get good results much cheaper.

          I bring down my volume mostly by using a Post Phase Inverter Master Volume (PPIMV), and supplement with a resistor-based attentuator, which I built for about $60 in parts (it is based on the legendary Trainwreck attenuator, originally designed by Ken Fischer). Anyway, the 2203/04 circuit has a Pre Phase Inverter Master Volume, and you can add the Post Phase Inverter Master Volume to the same circuit. This allows you to bring down your overall volume with limited effect on your tone. The design I used is called the LarMar volume, and there is lots of information on it posted on the tech forums. Any good amp tech could add it to your existing amp, and mount it on your spare output jack at the back of the amp. It is COMPLETELY reversible, so it want to go back to stock, you will leave no trace of the mod. Parts are about $20, and should take a good tech no more than 1 hour of shop time (max).

          • avatar
            Chris Moiny
            Posted at 16:46h, 05 June

            Well, the thing is, I have a PPIMV on my 1976 1959, and it’s just horrible… so horrible…
            I’m going to remove it very soon from the amp. I got a Ted Weber which is good ( and way better than THD or TAD ) but far away from the Aracom. I just don’t know why, but the Ted Weber is simply not working well with the 2203… Works perfectly with the 1959 but not with the 2203…
            But to be honest, I’m really satisfied with the sound of the 2203 at volume 2 :)

            • avatar
              lautmaschine
              Posted at 17:55h, 05 June

              Interesting – my guess is there is something wrong with your PPIMV, but there’s no way I could tell. They do mess with the negative feedback of the amp, so in fact I have my NFB variable, so I can dial out some of the harshness when I attenuate heavily.

              • avatar
                Chris Moiny
                Posted at 18:16h, 05 June

                Most likely yeah…
                But the 1959 is going to my tech in the next days… a lot needs to be done, because it sounds just horrible…

                • avatar
                  Dries
                  Posted at 18:19h, 05 June

                  the PPIMV I installed in my 1959 worked damn good. Very close to the attenuated sound with my Aracom. Be sure it’s a PPIMV though, there are many amps out there with a master volume , but it’s pre-phase inverter, like in the 2203-x4. But it doesn’t work that good in a 1959.

      • avatar
        lautmaschine
        Posted at 21:24h, 04 June

        Anyone heard of these kits? I’d be curious to know how it compares to the original.

        http://www.tab-funkenwerk.com/id63.html

  • avatar
    wilson
    Posted at 18:17h, 02 June

    Fil I Have to ask you about the Angus Young signature pickup, is it the real deal, that in some point of his career its the pickup type that he has been using or just a product that uses Angus Young’s name?. I Dont know If you have maybe mentioned it somewhere here in the forum :)?. I Installed few years ago a signature pickup by gibson in my sg special faded also by Gibson :).

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 21:30h, 02 June

      I always liked – still do – the AY signature pickup. Very much. Is it the real deal in terms of similarity to a t-top? Nah (laughs). It’s not. I don’t even think it was mean to copy a t-top, not faithfully at least. It was meant to be a slightly different, very personal sound to Angus Young. One that – obviously – he never used (laughs). I think Ang in the end goes back to what he knows and liked best in the good ole days: t-tops (originals) and maybe original PAFs. I still love AY sigs, matter of fact, they’re installed in at least two of my vintage guitars!

      • avatar
        wilson
        Posted at 23:41h, 02 June

        Thanks Fil :) I like the AY pickup very much too. Of course when i bought it i was blinded by the signature status of it and thought that it must be the model that his been using since the early days :). Sounds great with the TSR :). Those powerage pickups sound really great :)

  • avatar
    Don Travolta
    Posted at 11:25h, 02 June

    What a brilliant song. Easily one of my alltime favourites. Such great lyrics. Outstanding rendition Fil! I really feared the Replica would fall off the amp during the solo 😀

  • avatar
    Ant
    Posted at 22:57h, 01 June

    i always thought that this particular solos is one of Angus’s notable ones due to the immense vibratos he pulls off!

    Fil you pull it off too!! how did it feel?

    also nice little number at the end 😉

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 21:38h, 02 June

      Well I love this solo – but I love ’em all, so it’s unfair (laughs)! I really do. Angus has always had such an incredible taste for solos in the old days. Then, something happened during the mid 1980s, and it was never again the same. But he gave us so much that I am not complaining one single bit – the opposite, I keep being grateful as HE taught me how to play guitar (he knows now, but not sure he cares much 😆 ). How did this feel Ant? Real nice special, because what really feels special to me – and it always does – is the vibratos. I can’t get enough. I would do a solo with only vibratos and bendings if I was able 😆 But eventually they destroy your hands, even with 009s. So gotta be careful. These days for example that I am on a “video spree” ( 😆 !!! ) my left hand hurts. I know I overdid too many solos these days and I am starting to pay the consequences. Nothing that I haven’t felt in the past 30 years already, but it’s still like that. At least, I can honestly tell myself that I finally learnt to pull those damn bends with vibratos. Those were what I had always wanted since I heard them the first time, when I was about 10 years old.

      • avatar
        Ant
        Posted at 00:06h, 03 June

        Glad to hear your thoughts old chap :)

        I think Angus had regained some of this solo creativity on black ice, would you agree? there simple and smoother “more bluesy” if that is the right term for it :P.

        Well if you want to do a solo with just vibratos then whats next?…. the moon! stand by it and give it all you got Fil

        Great strength and reward comes to us when we emotionally connect with our passion.. its why we are all here 😉

        • avatar
          Guillotine
          Posted at 02:41h, 03 June

          I think he recovered a bit in Ballbreaker. I might be a minority but I absolutely love Stiff Upper Lip and Black Ice. The solos and the riffs sound so great to me. Especially the tone of SUL, That’s what I would want to try to achieve. The way they can mesh blues but still keep that great rock edge to it, really good styff(que the people who laugh at our “simple music”)

          • avatar
            SoloDallas
            Posted at 14:00h, 04 June

            You’re right, and because of this comment of yours I yet again went back to listening to SUL this morning. It strikes me now that I know better several sounds how the whole album is most certainly – Ang – recorded with a 30-50 watter amp. Outrageously clean – used to think too clean – but I think over the years we will be forced to reconsider several of AC/DC recent albums, with some pleasing surprises. Their sound choices might have been even futuristic for some of us – me included. I.e., not easy to understand but in the long run.

            • avatar
              Guillotine
              Posted at 21:11h, 04 June

              Yeah it’s clean, but also…fat? I’m not sure if I know how to describe it. There’s a lot of umph behind the sound, without it being gainy. There’s something about the solos that really gets me. If I listen to Can’t Hold Me Back’s solo, it’s one of the few solos that gives me the chills(good chills) just from listening to it.

  • avatar
    ar2619Rob
    Posted at 20:01h, 01 June

    Ace, just ace.

  • avatar
    go down
    Posted at 13:56h, 01 June

    Hey Fil,
    How do you think a MY Gretsch clone guitar with a filtertron pickup, would sound going through a replica pedal, into a Marshall head? Obviously Malcolm didn’t use one, but I would imagine it would really beef up the rhythm guitar parts for a huge tone in conjunction with an SG & replica pedal into a Marshall.Totally agree about attenuators I have a THD 16 ohm hotplate, awesome piece of kit. I have never seen an attenuator in a guitar shop ever.Whenever I enquire about them here in Australia all I get is weird looks, ‘Whats an attenuator”, It really is no wonder so many 100watt heads never get played and lie silent.Same Guitar shop will say “But I got this pedal that sounds like a Marshal vintage Plexi!’for 300 bucks! No thanks dickhead, I’ll go on Ebay find a quality attenuator, cheaper, and let my power tubes as well as my pre amp tubes sing properly AFTER the master volume is set on at least 7,at a volume (through my attenuator) I won’t get thrown in jail for!!. Great video by the way Fil, nailed it again!

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 20:09h, 01 June

      Yes. I think it would certainly work well with a Gretsch, too. You know I have two (a reissue Malcolm sig and the original one) and I have used it with both, with great results. Just like you said, it makes everything punchier, bigger, fatter. It simply does. One has the choice of driving more or simply making things fatter. Several folks have actually got one or two replicas for their Gretsches, not chasing necessarily after Angus’ sound.

      Re: shops. Sigh. Many shops must step up and recognise the contemporary guitar player is informed and wants something specific or they are destined to succumb to online sales. Simple as that really. Youtube and online shopping have changed the way we hear and look at things. Yeah right, “Plexi pedal, only 300 bucks”. Triple sigh!

  • avatar
    Chris Moiny
    Posted at 10:24h, 01 June

    * me laughs *
    Last part of the description about the guitar: remember when we talked about this at the MM ? Exactly about this not at all AC/DC-ish pickup 😆
    I did almost same as you know, but with a P51 :)

    And holy smoke what a tone… I would love to be able to crank up the 2203 sometimes to get that bite…

    • avatar
      sellen
      Posted at 16:21h, 01 June

      Really you guys think these pickups are so not AC-DC it’s
      laughable?
      Embarrassing never noticed that
      I might want to try a swap to just for the fun of it, got Nr20
      Again very cool vid Fil, love to see you with the “bolt” again

      • avatar
        Chris Moiny
        Posted at 16:51h, 01 June

        Hard to say for the neck, Angus only used the neck in the early AC/DC years. But the bridge pickup is absolutely horrible for AC/DC…
        Listen closely to it, it is so full of mids that it kills the sound. I’m not saying it’s a bad pickup, but it’s horrible for an Angus’ style sound. Get a PAF or T-Top clone, you’ll notice the difference instantly. I have no idea why Gibson has chosen those pickups for that guitar… They don’t fit at all… And even worse, they asked for a modified Pearly Gates version. These Pearly Gates are such great pickups, I love them. Had them in my LP ( changed them for Duncan Custom Shop Page pickups ) but installed them in my so called Blackie SG ( an Angus Young replica 1to1 from Donington 91 ). I LOVE those pickups, and what Gibson did to these for the AY VOS really scares me…

        Swap the bridge out, no need for the neck, it’s a standard PG unit.
        Swap it out with a P51, Powerage, T-Top Replica or any other PAF/T-Top clone and you’ll rediscover your guitar :)

        • avatar
          sellen
          Posted at 17:09h, 01 June

          I sure will try that.
          When i think of it, the Angus sig have really never been my favorite Sg for sound.

          I have liked better my sg with 57 classic and BB1-2

          But i have always loved to have that guitar, and will always do

          • avatar
            dash8311
            Posted at 19:00h, 01 June

            Manlius T-Top replica, you won’t be sorry!

            • avatar
              SoloDallas
              Posted at 20:16h, 01 June

              The “funny” thing is that Angus has never used the Seymour Dancans pickups. And certainly not the Pearly Gates we were given inside the AYs. Rick St. Pierre told me that anyway, Angus didn’t use neither the one Seymour had replicated (theoretically) for him after one of his originals. He swapped it for some stock Gibson pickup. So much for that marketed stuff… I used to think that Angus would have never allowed for something like this to happen – i.e., let a company take advantage of his name for something he never used, but I realised now that he is not even aware. He was never made too aware of certain things, and he didn’t care either (laughs). One thing I must instead underline strongly: the Angus Young signature (at least the signed one) is simply identical to his original. I mean, identical. I knew they had copied it with scanners and such, but still. When I tried his original – after which ours were copied – it was just like playing a signature. It’s precisely identical. It even feels the same. Amazing job, something I had hoped for but didn’t believe too much. Instead… there we go. Same exact dimensions and comparable finish and feel. But forget about those damn Seymour Dancans though! Swap those pickups for something else.

              • avatar
                Chris Moiny
                Posted at 22:00h, 01 June

                Not blaming Duncan here, they make GREAT pickups and they just did what Gibson asked them, a modified version of the Pearly Gates.
                Not working for the sound we want, but anyway…
                As I mentioned before, I have the standard PG units in my Blackie, and this sounds huge. Clear and warm, good to go for blues and rock n roll.

                • avatar
                  SoloDallas
                  Posted at 21:41h, 02 June

                  Good point – I been using Dancans for the past 20 years ( still remember when the antiquities came out and I bought 20!!! 😆 ) but to each (guitar and style) its own, and this one wasn’t 😆

  • avatar
    amoskei
    Posted at 08:52h, 01 June

    Great cover! I know that youre into vintage but do you have any recommendations when it comes to paf clones? I have a 2010 sg standard and the stock pickups sounds terriible.
    Do you reccomend changing the pots and caps too?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 08:55h, 01 June

      Thanks – yes I base myself on vintage initially, especially to make sure by a reliable percentage to “get there”. But once done, I use also current, contemporary stuff as in the case of this guitar (a reissue) and the pickups in her: I changed them to David Allen “Powerage” pickups. If you are looking for a Les Paul pickups, there is a ton of custom pickups out there to look at; throwbacks; even David Allen’s own P51s (I put one into the bridge position of an authentic 1950s Les Paul conversion of mine, for example). The list is – nowadays – endless

  • avatar
    tonedeaf
    Posted at 05:05h, 01 June

    What level of attenuation do you use? I have the same Aracom but I don’t think it sounds good at high levels of attenuation. I can’t get that sound in the variable modes.

    • avatar
      banane
      Posted at 07:43h, 01 June

      As far as I know, Fil mostly plays in variable mode with the variable attenuation around 12 o clock or even a bit more open. I have the same model and mostly play with more attenuation on my 1959 with a 4×12 and G12M/G12-65 speakers, variable attenuation around 10 o clock. Sounds great here. What amp/speakers do you use?

    • avatar
      SoloDallas
      Posted at 07:46h, 01 June

      Yep that’s how I do it. For this one I was at 3 o’clock (I try not to force the neighbour above me to stomp his feet on my head). But quite honestly, wherever I set it I get the same sound. If I do raise the loudness is for me to get into it more, when I don’t play with headphones or want the bass blast to get to me. Speakers are fundamental; cabinet placement. IF you are recording, what microphone(s)? Microphone pre-amp? The sound chain is not the simplest one, but by ears it sounds terrific already

      • avatar
        banane
        Posted at 08:12h, 01 June

        What I also think: you need to get used to attenuated amplifier sound. Our ears (or our brain) always suggest us “louder is better” and maybe even that there is something missing when playing silent. Because we are missing the physical impact of the speakers moving air.
        But what I experienced with the Aracom is that it keeps the dynamics, even at bedroom level. No sound like you have a blanket over your head.

        • avatar
          tonedeaf
          Posted at 20:23h, 01 June

          Yes, the pushing of air is what is missing and I’m not use to it yet. I have only had this aracom for a little while and only used it a couple of times. I have 3 4×12 cabs that I switch around all different. one with 25w greenbacks, one with vintage 30’s that I don’t like and the 65w creambacks.

          • avatar
            SoloDallas
            Posted at 20:27h, 01 June

            Heh. But you CAN push some air with the variable level at max anyway – it’s not at all so quiet… is it (laughs). I mean, speaker breakup is going to be missed – nothing to do about that. And it IS an important component as well, foolish to deny. However, I will gladly pay the price (i.e., lack of speaker movement) and still use my beloved 100 watts. This, rather than buying a 5 or even 20 watter. I mean, after all, 5 watts are STILL LOUD AS HECK and 20 bring down the entire neighbourhood, don’t they? So I will still use my 100 watter appropriately attenuated but its own unique sound (that NO EL84 can emulate). Vintage 30s I just can’t digest them. Like you, G12Ms and G12-65s I can die for!

      • avatar
        tonedeaf
        Posted at 20:35h, 01 June

        I think I’m just not use to not having the speaker breakup and air movement. My cabinet placements might be effecting the way I hear it also because I have them set up in kind of a triangle shape and I stand between them. It’s not really Ideal but I’m lacking space. I’ll keep experimenting. I don’t record yet but I’d like to get into it someday.

        • avatar
          SoloDallas
          Posted at 20:37h, 01 June

          Yes of course.
          Re: recording. It’s the next most wonderful thing after playing. It’s different, and it can be both a science AND a completely artistic path. One thing is for sure though: recording eventually changes our way of playing for the better.

  • avatar
    dash8311
    Posted at 01:51h, 01 June

    While the Powerage pickups sound good (I played them at NAMM and now listening here), I think the original T-Top or Manlius T-Top replica is the best bet.

    Sounding great Fil, vibratooooooo!

    • avatar
      lautmaschine
      Posted at 18:25h, 02 June

      I agree here. I bought a T-Top patent sticker via Ebay for about $180USD last year. The sticker was messed up and the pickup was missing its cover, but those are not problems for me. The nice thing about buying a T-Top is your search is over right then and there. You know you have the right pickup…. Lots of speculation that the new alloys used in modern pickups do not match the vintage ones (such as Alnico magnet composition). Whether you believe that or not, an original T-Top is not that much more expensive, and you know you have something legitimate

  • avatar
    Guillotine
    Posted at 01:21h, 01 June

    Isn’t 60’s wiring what is currently used today? I know about 50’s wiring, but I think I remember reading 60’s is what Gibson has done since then. Also, wow. Those Powerage pickups are amazing. Definitely worth what you pay.

  • avatar
    sellen
    Posted at 00:43h, 01 June

    Absolutely fantastico man!!!!

  • avatar
    AngusRudd1019
    Posted at 23:42h, 31 May

    Probably considered one of Angus’ Best Solos Ever and Fil you pretty much nailed it man. The precise picking and vibrato and bending in this solo makes it really tough to replicate, let alone the space between notes that Angus leaves. Meaning if you hit a wrong note, it is heard.

    • avatar
      Ant
      Posted at 22:55h, 01 June

      +1

      don’t forget the space (no space!) that Fil is playing in too ^^

  • avatar
    shaolintao
    Posted at 22:51h, 31 May

    Thanks Fil, one of my favourite !

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