Author: SoloDallas

13 Mar Intermission: Country Rock (Keith Urban’s “Slow Turning”, by John Hiatt)

Was it a secret or not, the fact that I like country rock? Maybe not. Lynyrd Skynyrd took me there many years ago. So I listen to various things.

With the new band, we’re covering a few John Hiatt’s songs, including this wonderful “Slow Turning”.

I’ve been asked (by the band) to “rock it” a bit more, so I chose Keith Urban’s version of it and “invented” the riff you hear me do in most rhythm parts.

I took the chance to try the combination of 1987 with 4×10, one microphone off axis off center. I like it.


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12 Mar SoloDallas Lab “Revamped”

Update: re-updated the situation here. Finally, my old (super old!) 1969 (date) 1960A with original and great sounding 25W GreenBack Celestions G12M (pre Rola) has been completely restored.

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I am putting it on top of the 1971 1960B with G12H30. Little room will remain on top of these for multiple heads, and that breaks my heart lol.

However, these cabinets are all one needs to re-create the most addictive AC/DC (and classic rock) eras.

They do sound slightly different. Now I am beginning to believe that Back in Black – for example – was played with G12Ms and not G12H30s. However, it may be quite possible that combinations of those were used in different songs/albums.

To help you refresh your memory, this cabinet had been played – for example – in the whole Metro session: (more…)

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07 Mar AC/DC’s “Go Down” Raw Test (Audio only)

Another one here, a similar attempt at recreating the L.T.B.R Angus tone, with the boost.

You tell me? This was done “quickly” as was the other one. I didn’t study the parts as I usually do, just “jammed along” trying different combinations of settings on my boost and on the amp.

Ended up with the boost on full (volume), “tone” on 7 (of the boost), amp settings were presence 0, bass 0, mids 5, treble 5, volume 7. Amp was the 1959.

Go Down

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05 Mar Which is Which? (“Bad Boy Boogie” Content)


so, while trying this boost thing, I thought: why not start from the basics, just like Angus did: begin from the first instance where he used it in the studio (because I think he did, “solving” the “Mystery” of Let There Be Rock Angus’ tone). I did record “Bad Boy Boogie” twice, once with the 1959 (put the new tubes back in, it sounds too much better not to) and once with the 1987.


It’s a foolish test, it demonstrates nothing. But since I was trying both to see (hear) how they’d behave with this boost unit, it came in my mind to have you have a listen.

Please have a listen.

Boogie One

Boogie Two


Now tell me. I think without any doubt that a boost was used. And since, coincidentally, Angus had just got his Vega Diversity Unit, he recorded just with that, and at full blast at that.




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04 Mar Testing 1, 2, 3 (Marshall “Boost” Test)

Okay, here we go:

[Video missing, sorry.]

Please note: at about the end of the video clip, clip will turn black while audio is still working. Canon camera heated up and turned off automatically. The audio will continue for a few more seconds.

Used the 1987 for this one, as the 1959 was heating way too much (I put new tubes yesterday, but didn’t BIAS: I will have to put the old ones back in if I want to avoid foolish damage) . And also, as I wanted to concentrate a bit on solo’s (though I played quite a bit rhythm, too) I gave it a go.

The chance was good to remind myself that even this reissue – though modified – Marshall 50W head is pretty good. Judge for yourself, but I like it much.

Consider that I used only one setting for the amp (Presence 0, Bass 8, Middle 5, Treble 5, Volume 6: now it makes sense to use the volume at 6 as Angus stated in many interviews… of couse, with a BOOST!!!) and only setting for the microphones equalization (Sonnox Plugins, Professional Equalizer for ProTools). Didn’t change it across the whole video/audio session.

The boost unit is a custom made, by hand, unit made by “Cloe Guitars” (my Luthiers/PLEK shop).

Still, I think you can now “recognize” a decent studio tone. (more…)

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04 Mar Now It’s All Clear: Angus Young and His Sound (1977-198x).

Well, theoretically. Today, while fiddling with things down at the laboratory – now I’m up at home, and I have  been listening to “Plug Me In”, Disc 1, the Early Years (looking at Mal’s and Ang’s Amps when live in those years, and listening close with the headphones, once again, for the millionth time) it just struck me – I wonder why not before, not so clearly – that it was a boost. It had to be a boost.

A boost of signal. Do you understand? How many times have you asked yourself (and me) “how do I get that sound?”. Haven’t we discussed it over and over, already? Yes, we have.

But have at least *I* tried it seriously, ever? No, I haven’t. Now I am and I will.

So, today I hooked a clean boost (a volume boost: it’s a pedal unit that has volume and tone on it, you plug it just like any other guitar stomp box, and you play) to my 1959 main input – I had just retubed it with new JJs – and it struck me.

Right there and then. Couldn’t believe it. It was there. The fundamental added tone harmonics were all there. (more…)

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03 Mar 1968 SG Standard “Blackie” (The Sound of My SGs, “Pilot” Video)

This video is simply a “pilot”, i.e., a promo video. A test, basically.

I intend to post a few videos, for a total of circa 14 SGs (all my relevant ones) to test differences among them. Providing in fact, wiring images (one for each guitar), type of wiring and a few addtional specs/per guitar.

Specifically. every SG current action (I like the action quite low on SGs), Bridge Pickup DC resistance measurement and a little more tidbits.

All done with the same amp – for now, the 1959 – at the same identical settings, same microphone positioning, same EQ post etc.

This is just a pilot. I used it to verify quite a lot of new technology, including the new multicore MacPro and a new video editing tool that actually (finally) works with multicores, allowing me to process video much more quickly (imagine that at times, my video processing was 4 hours per video: unbearable. I was now able to bring for these 10 minutes computing time down to 8 minutes).

I am not sure whether I will keep the plexi panels around the cabinet. I think the sound is good, but still a bit “boxy”. Listen closely and tell me what you think. Although all nuances are probably very evident now, I can’t choose.

Video quality is not top notch, since I did a couple of mistakes 😛

Sequenceblackie720 from SoloDallas on Vimeo.


I started with “Blackie” as I changed its bridge pickup. After some initial fighting with the wiring, which was rather odd, having been modified previously, I was able to nail the original wiring (simply copying it from another SG) and now it’s back to “stock late ’60s wiring”. Which is not ’50s wiring. We’ll talk about it.


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25 Feb Angus Young’s Bridge Humbucker Pickup Considerations (UpDated)

March Update: Issue “solved”. It was a wiring issue. Guitar is now excellent sounding.


Update as of 25th of Feb 2011

Yesterday I received a Rio Grande BBQ pickup, supposedly around 12-13 kohms DC resistance, and installed it into blackie’s bridge position. Surprisingly, no big change. I’m thinking that either the circuit or harness wiring (which looks odd) or even some of the components of the circuit itself (pots and/or caps) may be only partially working. I compared blackie on the bridge position with other SG Standard’s (late ’60s) and the latter seem to give a higher output. I tried this up late last night, and blackie sounded simply almost clean, just on the edge of break up while the others sounded in well driven territory. So I am sending blackie to the shop to have the electronics checked. The BBQ pickup “seems” to be a good choice, but I also ordered two Riff Raff’s directly from Tim (Bareknuckles owner) to go into either blackie itself and/or into another ’68/’69 that seems to have a weak bridge pickup. Also for other experiments that I have in mind.

A few images for you of work done/pending

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