The Definitive “Back in Black” featuring an original Schaffer-Vega Diversity System (UPDATED!)

30 Sep The Definitive “Back in Black” featuring an original Schaffer-Vega Diversity System (UPDATED!)


Well, I was talking over the phone with my long time Italian-Canadian friend “Max” (he’s a member here too). Max has lived for decades with a 1959 replacing his own heart.


Well you get the picture. Max told me “Fil, nice, but something still isn’t 100% right”. I knew this, I even wrote it down here, but I still couldn’t figure out why.

He told me the same old story: “Fil, take out stuff, as much as you can, no plugins, nothing. The sound HAS to happen with microphone, guitar and amplifier”.

He hadn’t implied that the SVDS shouldn’t be used, he just made sure I – once again – would understand that no equalizer in the world would work. Especially me having all the right gear – the very same actually likely used on that album, even including the microphone – I should be able to get it identical, without strange elements inside (talking about unwanted/excessย frequencies).

I had told him about the scooped mids thing, he asked what mids setting I was using on the amp and told me flat out “screw it Fil”. Laughs.

So the idea came to me that I should try without the SVDS (but WITH and ON the Celestions G12-65). Because in fact, the SVDS is a terrific clean boost with lots of mids!

And so, this very late afternoon I did.

And boy, there. Angus’ rhythm guitar was a 100% match, no things to take out with eq, nothing. Just guitar at 8, guitar TONE at 6, no SVDS on rhythm, G12-65s and a 1959 and it’s there. I was basically adding mids (SVDS) and then trying to take them out both at the amp settings AND a LOT with the post EQUALIZATION.

This one – SG, 1959 and G12-65s – ย was basically the ONLY combination I hadn’t tried; in fact, right when I installed the G12-65s the other day it came to me instinctively to put the SVDS on. I always play with the SVDS on now, I just can’t take it off lol.

Isn’t it always the same story? Don’t we end up finding what we wanted just at our latest attempt? Just like when you have several keys in your hand and only the last one is the right one! Damn!

Anyway. Will do shortly another video with the SVDS played only on solos and post it right here. So it will all stay documented (laughs).

To summarize shortly what I think happened likely on the WHOLE Back in Black album, Angus’ parts:

– Angus played rhythm without SVDS WITH the band, live takes. This rhythm guitar is always – or almost always presumably – on the right side of the stereo position.

– Angus overdubbed rhythm (center rhythm guitar WITH the SVDS)

– Angus overdubbed the solos WITH the SVDS

ย As you heard already in my latest video below, it is not SUCH a massive difference with or without the SVDS. Plus I love having the SVDS on at all times.

But for the sake of accuracy, truth and documentation, I wanted to make sure the community knew this :)

End of Update


It’s a long story, and some of you followed me for a few years. So you know already.

I am not going to write it all from the beginning, also because everything has been documented here (luckily). So I’ll get straight to the point: it was The Schaffer-Vega Diversity System.

AND it was Celestions G12-65s. On Back in Black, that is. Someone had already thought about it – our own George aka SGAce (thank you George!).

So after months and months of trying in all possible ways – recently also with assorted Cetec-Vegas and eventually with an Original, Beloved Schaffer-Vega Diversity – also with an original Neumann U67 and hundreds of equalization curves tried, the last thing to try was those damn Celestions G12-65s.

I had bought an old couple (1979) last June, but hadn’t installed them yet. All of a sudden, days ago I rushed to put them in into an old 1971 cabinet. It now has two G12H30s and two G12-65s.

I didn’t put them crossed, just two on top (the G12H30s) and two on the bottom (G12-65s). I just wanted to have the chance to record easily choosing the type of speakers.

So I did, and it was definitely the missing, last link. Now, I don’t intend to say that my sound is identical 100% to Angus’ on that record. That record is still amazingly a work of art; almost un-replicable.

However, I really wanted to get as close as possible and after many, many attempts, this version is my definitive last one. I don’t think anything remains from being discovered, at least for this song.

So my findings (Angus only) are as follows:


Amplifiers used: Marshall 1959, both rhythm AND solo

Cabinet: at least one with G12-65s inside

Guitar: one of his Gibson SGs (or more).

What I used: my 1976 Marshall 1959 with an Aracom DAG Attenuator (what an amazing piece of gear that is).

One non-slanted cabinet with G12-65s in the bottom (see below for microphone position)

One single microphone used: Neumann U67 (Platt used two: an U67 and an U87).

For rhythm, a recently purchased Gibson SG Standard from 1968 (correct date). Vibrola removed (prior to my purchase). All original.

For solos, a 1971 Gibson SG Custom, all original.

A Schaffer-Vega Diversity System (SVDS). A video documentary on the Schaffer-Vega DIversity system will follow shortly.

Please watch the video if you made it reading thus far; will continue right below. ย While you’re at it, check the VU meter on the SVDS. And enjoy yourself :)

As you saw, the SVDS is made of a Transmitter (TX: the cream colored box attached to the front of my strap) and a Recevier (RX: friendly called by Mr. Schaffer himself “The Titanic”, as only these remain).

The TX sends the guitar signal after some cool audio processing (compression mainly, but not only) to the RX, which expands the compressed signal of some amount and then outputs the signal to the amplifier.

These were used both for microphones (Mick Jagger comes to mind) and guitar (countless guitar players among which, Angus Young).

Now, there are two outputs: one XLR output that was meant to simulate the cable (i.e., un-boosted signal but compressed) and an optionally boosted signal (front of the panel: Monitor Out with its own Volume to clean-boost), still compressed.

I used the latter output here, as I have been doing for quite a while since I found out. Not only it does clean boosts, but it also add some nice, strong mid range to the tone, particularly desirable on tube guitar amplifiers such as these very Marshalls.

So I did, and you hear the results.

Now, Back in Black though has a particular tonal characteristic that had eluded me for quite a while (all my life really, until recently): it is mid-scooped! That means, that the mids were literally “carved” i.e., they had been taken largely out of the EQ to make room for vocals, drums, etc.

I had never realized this so clearly until I worked AGAIN night and day on this. With all the right equipment now, I wouldn’t tolerate not getting at least in the credible sonic ballpark as the original.

So I worked and worked. Played with amplifier settings; moved microphone; played and recorded; added Equalization in post; and so on and forth.

I must have made hundreds of takes. Especially since I really realized that a specific, careful and almost unique microphone placement had to be the only way. So you place the mike carefully as you play some with the headphones (if you do it yourself and in the same room), then recorded, apply EQ and then realize it is off.

So you start all over.

I did this for I don’t know how long. And finally, I got content of what you heard is.

It is still not 100% dead on; Angus’ guitar has a sort peculiar character to it that I woud describe as “velvet” HMF (High Mid Freqs). Amazing taste on Mr. Platt’s and Mr. Lange’s part.

Maybe the joint use of an U87 would help out here, but I am content with this for now.

Because mostly it served to really prove down to 100% certainty that it was the SVDS in conjunction with all the other equipment to make it work. And this is what I wanted (besides the personal satisfaction of hearing a 98% correct tone while playing and listening back to it).

So the amplifier settings to mess around are as follows:


Presence: 0

Bass: 2

Mids: 2

Treble: 4

Volume 7 (rhythm) and Volume 10 (Solo).

Please keep in mind that this settings thing is really only worth it when recording. The microphone will capture the frequencies in a different way than our ears: additionally, the EQ one adds later will emphasize certain aspects and get rid of others. Such as in this case here.

Please see these few pics for microphone placement for this song:

[nggallery id=24]


Please note: article in progress.

Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri

We Are Rock 'N Roll People.

  • avatar
    Posted at 00:22h, 28 May

    So, Fil, when in different videos you say you used G12-65s, it’s the same 1979 pair, right? Do you have any experience with the later ones like 82-83? I hear that they are quite different speakers with the same label. Any thoughts?

    • avatar
      Posted at 02:11h, 28 May

      The guitar version G12-65 speakers with 1777 cones (T3120 code if they are marshall labelled) are basically the same over the ( limited ) number of years they’re produced.

      beware of 444 cone speakers ( bass version ), certainly not usable for guitar.

  • avatar
    Posted at 11:31h, 15 April

    You didn’t change the cabinet for the final version of the cover to have Only four G12-65s or did you leave the cabinet as it was with two G12-65s and two G12H30 as on the first video while making the final version? Hope it doesn’t sound stupid.

    • avatar
      Posted at 11:40h, 15 April

      There are never stupid questions, only stupid answers.
      In fact, no, I hand’t changed all speakers into G12.-65s, but two G12-65s and two G12H30s. Top speakers are G12H30s, bottom are G12-65s into that particular, slanted cabinet.

      • avatar
        Posted at 11:51h, 15 April

        Also recently scored two 1978 G12-65’s. Changed them with two of my greenbacks. Huge sounding!

        Suddenly all the problems with brightness and harsh of the 2204 are gone. They’re really made for this amp!

        • avatar
          Posted at 22:20h, 16 April

          Yes. Exactly my impressions too. Congrats, mate!

  • avatar
    Posted at 10:30h, 20 March

    Very interesting to hear, didn`t hear it before.
    The rough sound of Back In Black in the studio and later on in this video also Hells Bells.
    From 4:48 on…..


    • avatar
      Posted at 16:46h, 20 March

      Nice find! What a tone…

      Fil, looks like he’s playing different chords in the main riff…or playing with the same notes with different fingering, any thoughts? I know yours is 100% :)

    • avatar
      Posted at 16:51h, 20 March

      Holy Schaffer!!!! YOU FOUND the missing link. I only see the A chord different, the rest seems the same but I’m going to watch it over and over.

      I said the missing link because that would explain the high E that I always heard and played on an Open A though, blocking the B string; he does it on the 5th position instead, which allows him to press the E on the B!!!
      Fantastic, thank you!

      • avatar
        Posted at 17:12h, 20 March

        you`re welcome, i was just bored this morning, because i got a grip…..and then i found this and i was amazed how it sounds without equalizing and all this. A bit like at home :-)

        • avatar
          Posted at 17:18h, 20 March

          Free T Shirt in order? ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Great find!

          • avatar
            Posted at 17:21h, 20 March

            ….lol :-)

          • avatar
            Posted at 17:31h, 20 March

            I bet Fils playing that riff on the SVDS as we speak ๐Ÿ˜›

      • avatar
        Posted at 17:34h, 20 March

        Fil, better quality here:


        • avatar
          Posted at 17:49h, 20 March

          Seen it – thanks – but still impossible to tell what he s doing.
          It seems like he’s on the 5th position on the low E string, doubling the A string with the open A and then doing the rest of an open A. But can’t see, and it’s impossible from that position to play the high E as I had though initially. Andrรฉ, can you tell what’s he s doing?

          • avatar
            Posted at 18:46h, 20 March

            We’ll leave it up to finding out what he’s doing to you, Fil! ๐Ÿ˜€

            When I can’t figure out what you’re doing in your videos, I just swear your name and keep trying! “Damn it Fil, what are you doing there?” …”oh there we go..”

            :) :)

            • avatar
              Posted at 18:51h, 20 March

              Also, great 41 minute about the band…the Back in Black and learning about the bell gave me shivers. Wow

          • avatar
            Posted at 19:54h, 20 March

            Well… My eyes are not the best but…. I don’t think his fingers are nowhere near the 5th fret when he plays the A chord.
            I do that kind of chord (pinky holding the 5th fret for double A note) all the time when playing “All Right Now” and my hand gets really stretched. Angus fingers are pretty relaxed (and his hands are small!).
            For some reason I think he is just playing a regular open A chord, as he has been doing for years “live”. But I’m not sure.
            Why the heck did they have to use that weird a$# video effect right on that part? lol
            I’ll try to watch it with more attention later.

          • avatar
            Posted at 19:57h, 20 March

            Are you sure he’s not just using those fingers to muffle or mute the big E and A? Maybe he just uses those fingers to keep the A from ringing because he stops the chords kind of abruptly. He seems to have his hand and fingers in that sort of position often.
            I also noticed that it is not Angus who does that “chuc, chuc, chuc…” raking sound between chords but it is Malcolm.
            I could be way off here but that’s the way it appears to me.

            • avatar
              Posted at 10:21h, 17 April

              Hi all,

              I’ve been looking at his more and more; unsettled that I cannot figure this out.

              I recorded a small clip of a different idea after watching Malcolm in the video, appose to Angus – which mentioned above, it’s tough to see what Angus is playing. Malcolm though appears to be playing a C (third fret, A string), however perhaps it’s a mute, with his 3rd/4th fingers.


              Have a listen and see what you think ๐Ÿ˜€

              • avatar
                Posted at 10:28h, 17 April

                Correction, 4th fret, A string

                • avatar
                  Posted at 13:10h, 17 April

                  This would be compatible with Malcolm’s part, as it is a C sharp, which can be part of an A chord. Now, it is entirely possible that these chords here were not the original ones as on record, or just that the guys use particular fingering. I could agree about the fact that Angus in fact is stopping the strings with his fingers, at the sound really seems to be the same old sound and notes as always. Still, at least, peculiar fingering!

  • avatar
    Posted at 03:14h, 25 February



  • avatar
    Posted at 20:31h, 06 January

    I know you and many others have said Angus just brushes his strings, but i found this interesting…

    AC/DC are more than just a great rock band, they’re an institution. Trends may come and go, but their unique brand of rhythm ‘n bruise has proven to be timeless. Angus Young, the band’s lead playing livewire, has also deservedly attained a legendary standing in the business. In fact, one of modern rock’s leading lights, Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains recently refered to him as “the absolute god of blues-rock guitar.”

    In the first of a series of exclusive lessons with Guitar World, Angus talks about his unique playing style … “Style? I didn’t think I had any!” laughs Angus. “I just plug in and hit the thing really hard. That’s my style … or lack of one! That’s why I use extra-heavy Fender picks-there’s a lot of plastic in ’em so it takes longer to wear ’em out! Actually, because I’m so small, when I strike an open A chord I get physically thrown to the left and when I play an open G chord I go right. That’s how hard I play, and that’s how a lot of my stage act has come about. I just go where the guitar takes me.”

    GUITAR WORLD: Did you play that hard from the moment you started or is it something that evolved?

    ANGUS YOUNG: I’ve always liked to really hit the strings. I grew up with Mal [Mal is Angus’ nickname for his brother Malcolm, AC/DC’s rhythm guitarist/riff-writer-GW Ed.), who, besides having a great right [picking] hand, really understands how to get the most out of a guitar. He would always tell me, “don’t tickle it, hit the bugger!”

    The funny thing is, when you learn to play really hard you also learn the instrument’s limitations. I honestly believe that you have to be able to play the gu itar hard if you want to be able to get the whole spectrum of tones out of it. Since I normally play so hard, when I start picking a bit softer my tone changes completely, and t hat’s really useful sometimes for creating a more laid-back feel.

    The verse of “Sin City” [Powerage] is a good example of this being put into action.

    Yeah, we belt out the main riff pretty hard during the intra and the chorus, but when the vocal comes in we ease back on it a bit. Doing that adds a bit of color and dynamics to the song. You can’t always be going for the throat, mate! You need some relief from time to time.

    Do you ever reach for your guitar’s volume pot and turn it down a tad when you’re easing back on the intensity?

    Yeah, I’ll roll it back just a hair for that kinda part sometimes. It depends if I think I’m being cool-which is pretty friggin ‘ rare, actually! [laughs] Normally, I’m too lazy to do that, so I just pick a little lighter instead. Or, sometimes I might even sit out for a while, like I do at the start of “Livewire” [High Voltage]. Mal starts the thing off with the chords and then I just jump in when the rest of the band comes in. That’s the beauty of having another guitarist there, I can nip off for a quick smoke and leave Mal to it! [laughs)

    Do you ever switch to your neck pickup to create a different tonal vibe?

    I used to do that a lot; I’d be fiddling about with the [pickup slector] switch all the time. I still hunt back and forth sometimes now, but only if I’m in a diddly mood.

    On stage though, I rarely do it. Hell, you can do a lot to alter your tone just by changing where you pick the strings — you don’t even have to flick that switch! If you pick near the bridge you get more top and as you move further away from it your sound gets more bassy.

    Another thing I’ ll do to add a bit of color to a part is pick it with my fingers. I do that quite a bit, and so does Mal.

    Like at the start of “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” [Back in Black] for example…

    Exactly. I kick the thing off by picking out the riff using my pick and my fingers together [a technique known as hybrid picking]. Then, when the band comes in, I just hammer it out to get a more dynamic thing happening.

    • avatar
      Posted at 20:54h, 06 January

      Interesting – maybe he’s mostly talking about chords when he refers to really hitting it? Also interesting to read that Mal does finger picking, I don’t think I ever noticed that.

      “It depends if I think Iโ€™m being cool-which is pretty friggin โ€˜ rare, actually!”, nice :)

    • avatar
      Posted at 00:33h, 29 February

      rly nice info. i think that you have to agree that AC/DC tone is simply a sience and we have to experiment years to get the right tone. but its almost never the same… anyways Fil made this one rly more than just similar he made the sound so good and so so much as the original back in black tone that i think im having an eargasm :) i rly want to be like fil this experimenting has got to be awesome :)

      • avatar
        Posted at 13:35h, 29 February

        Yes, it is indeed mind blowing to do this. This is also why I am trying to let this become… my job! It does take time to get there, and as you said, it IS (was) a SCIENCE. They did everything consciously back then. No foolish attempts without consideration. AMAZING.

  • avatar
    rockn roll man
    Posted at 08:18h, 06 December

    In all the albums (with Bon Scott): Did Angus play the rhythm parts ever on the right side of the stereo?
    It’s just an information to understand more how can I record…..

    • avatar
      Posted at 18:31h, 10 December

      Unless there is any instance that I’m not aware of, Angus is always coming out in the right side of the mix. On certain songs/albums his solos also come from here. On others his rhythm plays through while the solo is overdubbed into the center. Hope that helps :)

      • avatar
        rockn roll man
        Posted at 21:23h, 10 December

        So, he’s never played in the left part of the stereo, really?
        I would be more happy if you gave me more information of this question about the early albums (high voltage, TNT…)
        Don’t worry if you aren’t able to answer me…
        Thank you

  • avatar
    Posted at 07:23h, 08 November

    Hi Fil! Can we please have a quick update onyour progress or latest activites? :-)

    • avatar
      Posted at 07:29h, 08 November

      Just returned home from a long trip promised to the wife.
      First prototype replica SVDS almost ready.
      We now also have an original, mint and complete SVDS user manual supplied by the late and great Mr. Schaffer humself. This manual will be reprinted and it will be supplied with the special edition SVDS replica version.
      More gear has just come in to me. It will be a surprise review most will like.
      I am also getting ready for my Air Recording Studios two days training with Mr. Randall and Mr. Platt.
      Additionally, more videos in the works!

      Fil :)

      • avatar
        Posted at 07:40h, 08 November

        Happy wife, happy life :-)

        Thanks for the update! Looking forward to seeing your replica’s progress and even more excited to pre-order.

        I check your site everyday for the BiB solo tutorial…I’ve watched the performance video on this post many times trying to pick it up (other people’s tabs are rubbish!) but I’ll continue to wait patiently.

        All the best Fil,


  • avatar
    Posted at 17:32h, 27 October

    Fil, didn’t ACDC get new amps at circa 1980 that supposly were slightly more agressive than earlier years? (talking about subtle differences not major ones).

    Could it be that you could get even closer by using an Super Lead 1959 from the same year they made the album?

    Hope this doesn’t sound weird :)

    • avatar
      Posted at 03:36h, 28 October

      so you’re saying that he should try using a 1959 that was made in 79 or 80??

      • avatar
        Posted at 03:41h, 28 October

        I had the thought, maybe the subtle difference that was made in 79-80 might have those frequencies that will make it as close as he can possibly come, maybe it IS important, he’s fantasticly close right now isn’t he? Then maybe that MIGHT be a step foreward, i can’t claim it would be or that it would change something to a large bit but i think it would be worth an attempt if he can :)

        Again, i can’t claim it will change anything but hey isn’t it better to try every possible keys into the key hole just to be sure? :)

        I mean the amps had minor changes from the different years, each changed something with the tone e.t.c, i think it’s worth an attempt at least.

        Fil, what do you think?

        • avatar
          Posted at 21:51h, 28 October

          I see your point, but I don’t think it’s really practical to do.
          I mean… Fil has many resources, but ask him to find specifically a 79/80 non-Master Volume head “just for a test” isn’t exactly an easy task. We are talking about a lot of money here.

          Plus, Angus and Malcolm didn’t use the new amps in the recording sessions. Looking at the Vanilo rehearsal room pics, the heads I can see are the 1976 “mixed-up” 2203, a few 1978/ 1979 non-Master Volume heads (you can tell the year by the black plastic inputs and the medium-sized logo) and Malcolm’s 79 JMP combo. No sign of the 1980 style heads.

          I believe Fil’s got as possible to the actual BiB tone already. The last link was the “non-use” of the SVDS on rhythm tracks. He said he got a 100% match when he tried that. ๐Ÿ˜›
          (I bet a NEW BiB tone video may be coming up soon. The “DEFINITIVE” DEFINITIVE one – haha)
          I mean… What else could we ask for? xD


          • avatar
            Posted at 22:49h, 28 October

            Aw my mistake then! :)

            I was just speculating anyway, so i’am not asking him to buy one, i was only speculating and i doupt he can get closer gearwise.

            Anyways this is the best attempt i’ve ever heard anyone exept Angus himself do! It’s great! ๐Ÿ˜€

            • avatar
              Posted at 23:16h, 28 October

              Agree 100%!

              Not even Angus sounded like that that ever since BiB! xD

              • avatar
                Posted at 15:14h, 29 October

                Though if it in fact could possibly bring some changes and i had a Super lead head from 1980 i could in fact ship it for Fil to test it if i had one that is, depending if he would like to test it. But again i doupt there would be difference really between his Super Lead and one from 1980 tone or frequency wise :)

  • avatar
    Posted at 16:53h, 25 October

    wow this guy is pretty awesome too:

    • avatar
      Posted at 17:40h, 25 October

      Hes on this site ๐Ÿ˜€ and posted the same vid on the users vids section ๐Ÿ˜› his name on here is Dries

  • avatar
    Posted at 21:16h, 22 October

    What amp head did you use? Also would you mind trying to do Malcolms, you don’t need to strain yourself on that. Thanks Kyle.

    • avatar
      Posted at 21:27h, 22 October

      A 1959 was used, as stated in the article :)

      • avatar
        Posted at 01:14h, 29 October

        Thank you. I dont know about amps, Im pretty new. I thought he was saying that was the year. My bad. But now i know.

  • avatar
    Posted at 20:02h, 19 October

    Are there any updates related to the SVDS replica ? Any progress, setbacks?…anythyng? I’m curious. I’d like to know =)

  • avatar
    Posted at 12:17h, 12 October

    AMAZING! JUST AMAZING! GREAT FIL! cheers from Argentina! :)

  • avatar
    Posted at 21:08h, 04 October

    So Angus don’t like when cranking up and having the sound becoming muddy right?

    And 25 Watt Greenbacks tends to become muddy when cranked really hard, correct?

    In that case he could of opted for G12H 30 watt blackbacks which i have heard shouldn’t become muddy when cranked up and still get good speaker breakup, correct?

    It would make sense, just like it’s mentioned in this article about the G12H 30s.

    Maybe the G12H alone couldn’t, make ”it”, so someone got the smart idea to mix speakers, cause it makes all sense because it sounds so spot on! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • avatar
      Posted at 20:53h, 13 October

      So as T.Platt mentioned they used two mics per cabinet. One could’ve been on one speaker (say the g12-65) and the other one on the other (say the g12h 30 or a greenback or whatever that speaker could be). Like U87 on the g12-65 and a U67 on the g12h 30 or vice versa.
      Makes sense i guess.

    • avatar
      Posted at 22:01h, 13 October

      Don’t forget that Angus doesn’t play with amp cranked up. Just a decent Volume.

      • avatar
        Posted at 13:45h, 15 October

        But how do they solve the potentional issues with noices while playing? When i play on my 2203 even when i try my best to damp the strings and avoid making unneccecary noice there is allways tons of feedback while i am not playing at any volume over 2 on the master and the amp is oftenly making noice i don’t think should be there, can it be a wiring issue in the guitar? i’am using the stock Gibson SG Standard Reissue V.o.S Tremolo circuit that came from factory, it’s a 62ยดyear model Les Paul SG in faded Cherry which you have seen. I’am not sure, i only changed to an Angus Pickup, and i have changed guitar cable, still no improvement if rising the volume over 2, so i am changing tubes (not groove tube yet it’s electric harmonics i think, just a test swich) so to see incase there is any improvements, i am having thoughts of changing the whole guitar circuit, do you have any advice for a potentional good ‘kit” which is mainly ”plug and play”, i need 500k pots with 4 conductor wiring and it should also be at least 60s wiring but preferly 50s wiring so to be able to clean up without getting a muddy tone, i might also change to Rio Grande Barbecue pickups, and i wanna be able to use two pickups since i don’t only play acdc so both pickups should be able to ”flow” and have use of 50s wiring, i am ready to try anything to get rid of all feedback :(

        The seller didn’t had time and i wanted the guitar quickly when i asked him to put in the Angus Pickup so the pickup cover that was on the original Angus pickup wasen’t put on but the cover that was sitting on the stock pickups (burstbuckers i think) , i wanted to play the guitar fast and told him it probubly doesn’t matter if it’s a stock cover or not, can it be the pickup cover? The Angus Young Pickup is supposly wax pottet so it shouldn’t have feedback, can it be the pickup cover that is the issue since it’s the burstbucker cover bolted on it?

        Really appritiate any advice :)

  • avatar
    Posted at 19:41h, 03 October

    Wow Fil, I’m really impressed. I have to confess that it’s the first time that the tone fooled me, and confused me thinking it was the original!

    Simply, that’s it! You’ve got it!


  • avatar
    Posted at 14:19h, 03 October

    Hey Fil, I noticed the comment on overdubbing – I wasn’t aware that Angus might have overdubbed his rhythm part. How did you figure this one out, and do you think this started with back in black? In some of the earlier albums it does not sound like it to me, but in BiB I guess it does sound like there’s more guitars going on. Cheers, Renato

    • avatar
      Posted at 14:34h, 03 October

      Ciao Rena,
      yes, on Back in Black there is at least one overdub.
      In the sense that, at least one “pass” overdub.
      There is ONE more additional rhythm part – centre of the stereo position – and the solo.
      Now, he may have laid down the additional rhythm part in the same take done for the solo, but I doubt it. The solos were done for days, on their own, likely with a slightly different sound. So I think he laid down the rhythm part (the additional one, that you hear on the centre) in a different take. THEN he played the solos.
      It’s easy to recognize the additional rhythm part. Do this: pan all the way to the LEFT (Malcolm). Now, MONO that channel (for ease of listening). You will still hear Angus doing the bluesy lick (for example) clearly. And you will hear a slightly different sound to the bluesy lick done in the rhythm live tracking with the band. THAT is the additional part. My theory is that he used the SVDS for this additional rhythm part (I now recognize its sound more and more easily). So all in all, he played once with the band. Laid down the main backing tracks. Then, he went to the control room, and there he laid – separately – one additional rhythm track for “sound completeness, roundness and fullness” and then he laid down the solo(s). This has been the main scheme for all tracks on Back in Black, differing slightly depending on the song and its own climax.

      • avatar
        Posted at 17:35h, 03 October

        Hi Fil,
        Makes sense – I’ve got to do the test you suggest (pan left and mono). I guess my impression has been that there was some cross-over, since the band is playing together (Malcolm’s mic would pick up some of Angus’ sound, and vice-versa) but that could be too faint (I don’t have any experience with recording/mics so I’m clueless here :); a separate overdubbed rhythm explains it better.
        And I agree, it gives more fullness to the sound, you’re adding the distinctive tone that’d come from the svds.

        • avatar
          Posted at 17:50h, 03 October

          there IS spillover. But it is indeed faint as you said. You will be able to hear that as well, carefully. But the spillover and the overdub are two different beasts, and very easily recognizable. One just needs to listen one channel, then the other, carefully, a number of times. Then, it all will appear clearly. :)

          • avatar
            Posted at 20:56h, 03 October

            I’ve got to try that with Audacity and using good headphones. Speaking of Audacity, maybe you’ll have a chance to record your own separate solo track with the SVDS, it would be neat to have a look at the waveform :)

            • avatar
              Posted at 21:50h, 03 October

              I do with protools all the time (multitrack recording) and can sending it to you in .wav (or mp3) format.

              • avatar
                Posted at 13:59h, 04 October

                Cool – I’ll send you an email

              • avatar
                Posted at 03:27h, 23 October

                Hey Fil, I know you commented this 2 weeks ago, but uh can you send me your guitar part in .wav? :) lol

                Would be awesome to hear just the lead guitar and your solo.

      • avatar
        Posted at 19:55h, 05 November

        Hey Fil,

        What was your settings on the guitar? Tone and Volume.

  • avatar
    Posted at 13:16h, 03 October

    Fil what’s the newly aquired head on top in the fifth photo?

  • avatar
    Posted at 04:48h, 03 October

    Fil, is it true that Wizard Amps are better and more reliable than Marshalls? I think Angus and Malcolm use modded marshalls now right or do thet use wizards its hard to tell after Ballbreaker Ive seen pics of them using Wizards and Ive seen a few Black Ice tour pics of them using modded looked like plexis or 1959SLPs

    • avatar
      Neurotic Nick
      Posted at 04:50h, 03 October

      If they look like Marshall heads but say ARD in the corner then they’re Wizard amps.

    • avatar
      Posted at 08:12h, 03 October

      Well, I don’t think they are better or more reliable, they just sound different and are built to Angus/Malcolms specifications.

    • avatar
      Posted at 17:55h, 03 October

      Better no. Because it becomes subjective, tone wise (I am talking between Wizards and VINTAGE Marshalls; Wizard versus newly made Marshalls – whatever the model – Wizards wins 10/0).
      However, they are more RELIABLE than vintage Marshalls, this for sure. The Young brothers were continuously asking for maybe a little hotter amps, and reliable. And I know they would blow and they wouldn’t sound exactly as they wanted them. So, at least the very first instances of Wizards (also ARDs) were to AC/DC specs. This is how Wizard was born. Then, Mr. St. Pierre went ahead and did other things, too. Yes, Wizards have been used non-stop since at least Ballbreaker, both in the studio (50watts) and live., as well as Marshall amps. It IS possible that it was Wizards playing during the last tour. However, I didn’t ask, so I wouldn’t know. I tend to avoid possibly embarrassing questions especially if I am a nobody like I am, sticking my nose in someone else’s business ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • avatar
    Posted at 04:40h, 03 October

    Fil that video I posted earlier just goes to show that gear matters to a certain extent but its really about how you play. that guy on the youtube video was off on timing and messed up on the solo but had good gear haha I bet even if Angus played on a Class 5 he would still play and sound bad ass.

    • avatar
      Posted at 17:59h, 03 October

      Yes, and no, Solo. Yes, because gear COUNTS! I can’t bear the common myth where gear is the same, and one has the same sound with everything he touches: it ain’t true.
      However, if one doesn’t know to play in a rather sophisticated way, there is no gear in the world that will ever save him; it will come out.
      I am not saying you were minimizing gear, I know what you mean and I agree. But every chance for me is good to re-stress this very concept. Fine instruments are fine instruments and they do make a difference.

  • avatar
    Posted at 00:22h, 03 October

    At the end of the video, you wrote solodallas.com instead of .net ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ lol.
    You should better correct it somehow

  • avatar
    Posted at 21:21h, 02 October

    Fil, i know this might be seen as a weird advice, but i think that to play as angus perhaps with a little bit more ”ease”, you gotta/could/should dress like Angus, i tried to mimic his clothing style with decent success and when i was doing a cover of Highway to Hell i just got a weird feeling like i was not the same person anymore, i felt like i was standing in the studio or at a live show, i couldnt help but try to move like angus, and it felt for me like i played with more angus ”feeling”, i am soaking sweat just as i writing this now, try it! I feel like i have transformed into Angus after a few minutes, i can’t explain it i’am in ”overdrive mode” right now trying to calm down!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Try! You wont regret! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • avatar
      Posted at 21:28h, 02 October

      I don’t think at ALL this is weird. I think this is solid thinking. I am sure it would work better. It worked better for him. “Costuming” (i.e., dressing up with costumes) is a main stream thing in the US of A recently, and it proves to be good. Makes feel good. It allows us to be someone else for a while. It’s healthy, specifically if we wear something that has a positive images for us and for the ones around us.
      Angus mentioned several times it was good for him to have a costume, something to wear on stage, as it’d allow him to liberate himself of his own persona, with his known little issues, insecurities and such. I may try. I did try in the beginning, I had a white shirt and a tie on at times. I think once or twice. The shorts I hadn’t tried. I may well try that in the future!

      • avatar
        Posted at 21:36h, 02 October

        Maybe it can make you play as Angus easier or feel like you do, i have a hard time to calm down now after this and it’s allmost better than sex! lol

        Well you’re right, and i suggest you to try it out when doing covers or when you play live, it feels easier to play imho like him with a similar clothing, you get into ”Angus-Overdrive”, i can’t explain it! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Good point! ๐Ÿ˜€

        • avatar
          Posted at 21:39h, 02 October

          It will, Seb, I am sure.
          One thing that I can GUARANTEE will make you play more easily and better (and NOT only AC/DC) is the SVDS.

          Because of the compressor and boost, you have a bigger sound, sustains more, can be driven more and can still be controlled easily the way you want it.

          When I say that I can’t put my units down, it’s the plain truth.


          • avatar
            Posted at 22:07h, 02 October

            When you finaly release it, i’am gonna be one of the first ordering one, but take the time to make it an exact copy, patience is gold! ๐Ÿ˜€

            Thanks so much for inspiring in the beginning! For that i owe you big thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€

Post A Comment