Introducing the “Wizard Modern Classic 100W” with Black Robot’s “Cocaine” Cover

03 Feb Introducing the “Wizard Modern Classic 100W” with Black Robot’s “Cocaine” Cover

Update note: We just received a kind email of Mr. Rick St. Pierre (Wizard founder, owner and maker) who has informed us that AC/DC started using Wizard amplifiers exactly during the 1990 Razor Edge tour. 

I think it doesn’t get more accurate than this, since he is the man who provided, serviced and maintained the amps for AC/DC!

SD


__________

Wow. Been a long (too long) time without an update here. Missed you guys, but been busy on several fronts after the Xmas and New Year Holidays.

Back to work now.

And get this!

Took the chance with this almost unknown song (very much in the AC/DC style if you ask me) from a band called Black Robot. The song is JJ Cale’s “Cocaine” (thanks to Constipation Blues for the heads up), covered by them in a cool fashion.

Really wanted to try and show (off) one of my brand new two Wizard Amps. This one is also in the possession of Angus Young (see/click link below), and I do believe this is the model he toured with and recorded Black Ice with, not the “Vintage Classic”.

That is, this “Wizard Modern Classic“, basically (I may be wrong!) it is a spiced up 2203. And boy, what a sound. Hear it now, then more details.

A few months ago, I got in touch with Mr. Rick St. Pierre – Wizard Amplification Owner – and inquired about a Vintage Classic. Mr. St. Pierre (terrific guy and AC/DC’s current amplifier tech, been so for the last 20 or more years he told me) also suggested that I bought the Modern Classic, since both Malcolm and Angus had these.  So got both. Took some time to get them here, and took me some time to have the time to test them. Only one week ago circa I started testing these. The Vintage Classic really has low drive, it’s mostly a Clean amplifier. It is probably even cleaner than a 1959 Marshall model, to which maybe it is related.

The Modern Classic instead can go from clean – really clean – to overdriven. It has a number of knobs some of which are also push/pull knobs, that will let add more drive (including the treble knob that turns into a treble boost!).

These are TOP notch construction. The sound… well, you decide. I was blown away by both, but ended keeping on my stack the Modern Classic as it seems to be more versatile for what we do here. Will also test the Vintage Classic naturally.

For the two parts (rhythm and solos) I used the same channel, the hi-sensitivity channel, but with different “gain” levels. The Master was always at 8-9, and the gain was maybe at half for the rhythm and 6-7 for solos (never raised it too high here as I was using the SVDS system too, which would boost the channel anyway).

While you already know the 1962 Gibson SG Standard Custom you see here for solos, the Black Les Paul Custom is a months ago purchase, and it is a stock 1971 Gibson Les Paul Custom.

The cabinet used is the beloved 1978/1979 G12-65s loaded one, stock from that era. It’s no secret that for a number of reasons, G12-65s have become my most favorite speakers ever.

The microphone is also an older purchase but a new member here at solodallas.com, since it is a vintage, stock original Neumann U87 (NOT the Neumann U67, which has been put back to its case for this tune). The Neumann U87 is powered directly with phantom power and this one here sounds really well.  The vintage U87 looks very similar if not identical to the U67, but they do sound very different, with the U87 being brighter and with a different tonal character.

Regarding the song itself, as usual it sounds (and likely looks) so… simple. But remember, “simple ain’t easy”. Took me quite a while to get in the right timing, especially for the rhythm part. It’s definitely got that “Malcolm’s touch” to it, so much that I wanted to use the Gretsch on it (I will use the Gretsch on Wizards in the imminent future). I naturally panned myself to the left, as on the right one of the two guitar players from Black Robot had a very nice and present sounding guitar part which is in fact the one I replicated.

Solo is nothing easy either, and definitely in the Angus Young ballpark too. Timing, timing and timing. Maybe not as tight as Angus’ (and not as precise) but a nice (likely) “one take” solo.

 

avatar
Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri
sd@solodallas.com

I like Geetars!

74 Comments
  • avatar
    luke_garza
    Posted at 22:27h, 29 December

    So would you say that the Modern classic would the best wizard amp for Angus?

  • avatar
    Maxow
    Posted at 06:12h, 03 October

    Amazing sound, really…
    And great guitar player ! I’m found of the AC/DC sound. I discovered those terrific amps a few days ago in guitar competition in Montreal. Can I ask you how long does it take and how much does it cost to import a wizard amp in Europe ? I live in France and I really like the sound.
    Anyway, keep rockin, I love your videos !

  • avatar
    WizardMC
    Posted at 13:33h, 23 September

    Amazing Amp! Hope to get this one soon! Great demo, Fil!

  • avatar
    mkstylee
    Posted at 01:17h, 13 May

    Hi all to anyone interested ,another kick ass acdc type band ,check out BONAFIDE from sweeden they do the acdc thing very well
    keep rockin.

  • avatar
    alienw9
    Posted at 10:34h, 05 March

    Hey Fil,
    in which tuning are u playing?

  • avatar
    OldSchoolRocker666
    Posted at 13:54h, 02 March

    And Fil, or anyone else, i have also thought about one thing: let’s say one buys a modern reissue or gets a custom build by a luthier or whatever and don’t find any good vintage pickups for the typhical 3 pickup setup on those Custom White Les Paul/SG, is there any good boutique pickups that can be used?

    I have had thoughts of perhaps getting my hands on an Reissue of those guitars, or maybe even try to buy an really worn body with few or no harness, pickups, hardware or anything just to build from scratch(body and neck complete, nothing else included) , but i don’t want to use those modern pickups Gibson is using, i’d want pickups compareable to those used on the Vintage Gibsons, so hence my thought who can make (preferly) a matched set of pickups for use in a 3 pickup SG.

    I was thinking something like, 9k ohms neck, 12k in middle and something like 14-15k in bridge. And with neck pickup lowered as much as possible while the other two are pretty high, this more or less should force one to play over neck and play more controlled and make one used to it easier :)

    And i was also thinking about a 50s wiring in it, 4 conductor wiring, and adding two more knobs for the middle pickup specific, reason why is to be able to experiment and be as flexible as possible, so you can adjust each pickup just how you like it and experiment with all sorts of sound, and a 50s style wiring so you can roll down the volume knob and increase/decrease drive and clean up without getting a muddy tone, i’am not sure about push pull though how it works like but if it could add flexibility without sacrificing tone or anything i might consider it.

    Also it would possibly be able to retain the kind of unique middle pickup tone, but also be able to controll the middle pickup induvidually like all the rest. Somehow that’s my wish, not sure how it would be wired to get this kind of system. But it’s more about being flexible and be able to experiment with tones :)

    The pickups on the other hand seems to be the problem in any case, i’d really like in this case to have all pickups balanced to each others, P.A.Fs, and being in Angus kind of style like the Rio Grande BBQ, The Marshallhead, AY Pickup, The Seymour Duncan pickup used on Fil’s Angus Young Signature Guitar e.t.c

    I don’t like the stock pickups used on modern Custom White Reissue and Vintage pickups in a set might be too hard to find alone, just thought if there are any boutiqe makers who can make a balanced set of 3 induvidual pickups for this.

    Seb :)

  • avatar
    OldSchoolRocker666
    Posted at 14:20h, 15 February

    About those Custom White models with three pickups with the out of phase sound, so they give a ”quacky” Strat sort of sound, but do they enhance the low end or something a bit more on an SG guitar in middle position?

  • avatar
    adam10603
    Posted at 01:51h, 12 February

    This song is originally Eric Clapton’s btw :) this is just a spiced up cover by Black Robot

    • avatar
      currentpeak
      Posted at 02:21h, 12 February

      Not true. As constipation.blues mentioned before in this thread:

      “Actually “Cocaine” it’s J.J. Cale’s song, Clapton just covered it. JJ is a great musician, the king of laid-back style.”

      • avatar
        adam10603
        Posted at 18:25h, 12 February

        Oh I didn’t know that :)

  • avatar
    shaolintao
    Posted at 00:58h, 12 February

    Incredible Old tube sound, with modern components, wizzards the way to sound good for many year for sure.Thanks to Solosallas , for years of tutorials and transmittting way of rocking.

  • avatar
    adam10603
    Posted at 00:43h, 07 February

    Wow! It sounds so much like Black Ice. I’m sure they recorded it on Wizards :)
    Oh yeah, nice to “see” you again, Fil :)

    • avatar
      wheelman
      Posted at 01:46h, 07 February

      Yeah get even closer to Black Ice with wizard rock 20 speakers, and some alnico golds mixed.

  • avatar
    wheelman
    Posted at 23:33h, 06 February

    Sounds great. The MC100’s are my favorite amps.

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