30 Sep “Back In Black In The Living Room” (With AC/DC Italy’s Fan Club Founder)
It was several years ago (5 probably) that Gabriele and I met “online”, both passionate about AC/DC as we have always been since an early age.
And it had been years that we wanted to do some jamming together, so he took the chance and came to Rome – he’s from Milan – and stayed a couple days at my place. In probably 1 hour we had setup my living room (it’s a beautiful, long and bright room with wooden floors) with a couple of Wizards, older Marshall cabinets (his has G12H30s, mine cross G12-65s & G12Ms, all from the 1970s) and two Audio Technica AT4047s connected to my Mac Book laptop, recording with Audacity. We improvised probably 5 or 6 AC/DC tunes among the many (I believe almost all) that we know, but we only used the backing tracks on a couple of songs and one is the one you see here (second one to be published next week).
I had almost forgotten how good these Wizards sounded (I really concentrated ALL of my efforts in the last year or so in replicating what really has been Angus’ sound of a certain era, so I tried to use original gear as much as possible for the sake of accuracy and proper testing). Plus I used to use them with G12-65s only, instead they deserve to be used with G12Ms (or G12H30s for that matter) too, as they shine slightly more, naturally.
I also wanted another chance to showcase our beloved Schaffer Replica, that I play with constantly (I don’t think I play guitar without it nowadays). Gabriele knew the story about the Schaffer-Vega Diversity, but he hadn’t seen the Replica in person yet. So this chance was also good for that.
He’s always been more into Malcolm style than Angus’ (though he knows Angus’, too!) which was a rather nice complement to improvise something without having to rehearse it for two weeks. We did two takes of BinB and this is one (the better one, imo).
We used my 1962-1963 original Gretsch Firebird, which has been re-setup recently (strings, action, even pickups have been finally raised appropriately) and though it may not sound nice of me, it is an incredible guitar. Even more than I though initially (i.e., years ago) when I got it.
It really is “Instant Malcolm Young” and unfortunately, it is pretty different from its Malcolm Young Signature (I have one, too). While I love the MY’s signature, the real thing is another world.
Anyway, Gabriele was pretty happy to give it a go. I used instead a 1971 Gibson SG Standard, stock T-Tops.
The Schaffer Replica was on all time, rhythm and solo(s). I wanted to see how it behaved in both situations (I had tried it successfully as of recent in Los Angeles, CA), rhythm and solos playing in a sort of “live” action thing, and it proved once again incredible.
It records wonderfully too, as I hope you can all hear. I sort of kept the guitar volume at 7 for the rhythm part and at full blast (10) for solos. I probably used too much gain on the Wizard head (I was at 7 on the preamp knob, NO lead pulled), but oh well… it still sounds pretty good I think.
Since we were at relatively low volumes without attenuators (we were using the Wizard’s master volumes on the back, which are actually sort of built in attenuators), that’s what I had to drive the sound. The Replica’s boost was also at 7-ish, to add its own drive to the sound.
I like the result much.
All for now, hope you are liking these little Replica tests we’re making!