Cropper on 'Hip Huger Her' - Esquire on "bass" setting?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by BBill64, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm a complete Esquire noob, but I can't get that muddy rhythm-riffin sound on my tele, so I'm thinking it's maybe the "neck"/"bass" setting on Cropper's Esquire?
     
  2. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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  3. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

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    BF Super Reverb, Whiteguard Tele bridge.
     
  4. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    All groove...all day.
     
  5. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

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    Wouldn't it be more likely that he used the Harvard amp? To get that dirty tone from a Super would definitely overpower the organ/Leslie (which don't get THAT loud)
     
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  6. Tone Eee

    Tone Eee Tele-Meister

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    I think he said he use a Harvard in the studio for everything.
     
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  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you think that sounds like a Harvard I don't have anything for you.
     
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  8. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

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    Has this site always been full of smart arse old farts, who write only in self-assured and solid declarative, or am I just more sensitive to it these days?
     
  9. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Tele-Afflicted

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    The only amps he's ever talked about using in that era are the Harvard and the Super Reverb. Not only has he specified that, he's said that they always used a Neumann U67 mike. It certainly doesn't sound like a Super, unless it was turned up all the way, and that's not how they recorded. I've never actually heard a Harvard, though.

    It seems entirely plausible that either an Esquire or a Tele with the pre-1967 circuit through a 12-watt amp turned up a bit could get that sound. Remeber, they did have mixing boards with gain levels and EQ's back then. They even had reverb chambers, tape delay, plate reverb, and re-amping. It wasn't the Stone Age. It doesn't have to be an accurate representation of what the amp sounded like in the room, and it's totally legit to use pedals to get the sound if that's what you're after. I bet a Big Muff and an EQ pedal would do it.
     
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  10. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I guess I'm the smart ass old fart referred to.

    I gigged a BF SR in the late 60s in a soul top 40 cover band. Sometimes with a B3 and Leslie. I assure you that they can sound just like that, no pedals, very simple.

    No internet BS now, what's your experience? Based only on your attempt to get that sound with an Esquire on the mud setting, not much.

    So get on your bridge pickup wide open, try out a Super Reverb and a Harvard, and tell us what you know.
     
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  11. buddyboy

    buddyboy Tele-Meister

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    The song was recorded in early and mid 1967. IIRC, by that juncture Cropper had moved on from his Tweed Harvard to either a Super Reverb or Twin (I believe he has mention both at different times) in the Stax studio. He certainly kept his Harvard, and it may have been brought back at times, but his tone on that song doesn't strike me as particularly "tweed-like". My guess would be one of his 66/67 Telecasters into a Super Reverb.
     
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  12. ExiledonMainSt

    ExiledonMainSt Tele-Meister

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    I play in an organ trio and we occasionally dip into some Stax stuff. I always bring my tele and my blackface Super Reverb. Wide-open bridge pickup, inefficient 60s speakers with copious cone cry and everything. That's the sound y'all. It's not that hard to get a 45-watt Super Reverb to break up when there's a B3 in the mix. If you lament the fact that clubs won't let you play loud, make friends at a church where old-school gospel music is played. Hammond players didn't pick that instrument because they intended to play soft; those cats live to play loud.
     
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  13. pbenn

    pbenn Tele-Afflicted

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    So there might be two questions here:

    1. How to get the muddy rhythm sound of "Hip Hug Her;" and

    2. Is it because of the Harvard or the Super Reverb?

    I'll hazard a couple of guesses:

    1. It's because of the inversion. I, VII, IX, V in Bb, or 6x656x, kind of a choked jazz chord. Turn back your tone a little, and that will sound muddy, even on the lead pickup.

    2. There's at least two interviews mentioning the Super Reverb acquisition, and they're both a little vague.

    In the Warners songbook, there's Allan Slutsky, in a 1995 introduction to "Steve Cropper: Soul Man," c. 1995 by Warner Bros. Publications Inc. (Authentic Guitar-Tab Edition), p.9, Slutsky says:

    "...the amplifier that Cropper chose to record with up until 1967 was a Fender Harvard Amp--one volume knob, one tone knob, and a single ten-inch speaker! When he recorded 'Soul Man' in '67, Steve changed to a Fender Super Reverb."

    And in Vintage Guitar magazine, October 2008, a Dan Forte interview entitled "An MGs/Rascals Soul Summit," Cropper says:

    "Some of the earlier stuff, if you go back to “Green Onions,” I used a little Fender Harvard amp. Later I moved up to a Super Reverb, and I think the mic was a Neumann U-67. That’s on all kinds of stuff, like “Soul Man.” But on “Dock Of The Bay,” I brought my old Harvard back to play the licks…."

    So direct from Mr. Cropper in 2008, we have a non-specific reference to Soul Man, and from Mr. Slutsky in 1995, a seemingly specific one. It's probable Slutsky interviewed Cropper before he wrote the intro to the songbook, but IMO it's possible the interviewer took a general comment about Soul Man (where Steve remembered recording it with the SR, but not exactly if it was the first song recorded with it) and ran with it, pinning it down as the date.

    Both gentlemen still exist, probably read this forum, and may comment.

    But here's the fun part. Hip Hug Her was recorded six months before Soul Man, going by the release dates in the liner notes book to Complete Stax Singles 1959 1968, which were written by musicologist Rob Bowman. (Come to think of it, Mr. Bowman might know the answer here, too.)

    I know release dates aren't record dates, but the 45 record reg numbers numbers 211 and 231 are consecutive and twenty 45s apart, so that makes sense:

    Hip Hug Her Stax 211
    Released Feb 21 1967

    Soul Man Stax 231
    Released Aug 21, 1967

    So if the Super Reverb was on no records before the recording of Soul Man, Hip Hug Her might have been recorded on the Harvard. But in 1967 that Harvard was possibly the most high mileage 10-year old small Fender amp (and speaker?) in the world. Could it have sounded that clean at recording volumes?

    Compare the amp sound on Soul Man, which is big and airy, but also pretty dirty. This is a new 1966-1967 SR. There's a high E string lick in Soul Man. It's airy.

    And a high E string lick in Hip Hug Her. It doesn't sound as airy to me, so I'm going to lean towards the Harvard-for-Hip Hug Her argument.

    Anyone else want to jump in here?
     
  14. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

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    Maybe he used a Peavey on Hip Hug Her. I've played Hip Hug Her in two booker T tribute bands. I get the sound on the bridge pickup with the tone rolled off.


    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Mr. St. Paul

    Mr. St. Paul TDPRI Member

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    It's within the realm of possibility, since Hartley was making solid state amps starting in 1965. But given that Steve never mentioned using a Peavey amp during the Stax sessions, makes it unlikely.

    Like you said, rolling off the tone...and sounding that way because he's Steve Freakin' Cropper...
     
  16. bluzkat

    bluzkat Tele-Holic

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    Blasphemy! :eek:

    :D
     
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  17. JKjr

    JKjr Tele-Holic

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    OK guys, I have to chime in. These past two weeks my son-in-law and I have been checking out ALL the teles thru a bunch of amps in the midst of his newfound addiction and pickup search. Anyway,
    reading this I had to give the tune a listen, and I am convinced that's a Super. Convinced. Super turned up, Bridge toned back a bit, guitar volume around 8 or so. Since I have about 110 teles already out, I think I'm gonna get the Super back out and replicate it.

    Not meaning to be a smarta** or anything though. I just lived on that sound for a long time. I don't know anything much about what Steve was playing when, but that's an instantly recognizable to these old ears anyway.
     
  18. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Meister

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    The Fender Harvard amp had two very different circuits between the early model 5F10, and the later model 6G10. Way too in-depth to go into here. Please refer to Wikipedia, it is very complete on covering all differences.:D
     
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