Don Rich / Buckaroos tone

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saw Buck & Don using Super Reverbs

When I saw Buck and Don in Amarillo in 1972, they used Fender Super Reverbs furnished by the promoter.
 

old goat

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Were there even stainless steel strings back then?

nickel plated string's - gibson were the strings of the time .

Exactly. So, Don and Buck were not utilizing them to get their sound. :idea:

With all due respect to Don Mare, I don't believe a word of that. If he really thinks that, then why is he trying to make twangy pickups? You can't add what isn't there already and Don Rich had a particular sound largely due to technique but also guitar and amp. He also produced that sound live.

I also love the sound and I don't need a studio to get it!

I think that's always going to be the case. That a particular player's tone is largely not defined by their gear. But when these kinds of threads come up (as they often do), it's not "what did the guy use", but "how do I sound like the guy". Short of sewing his dead fingers onto your hands, the answers are practice practice practice, and buy different gear. We all know which one is more fun :lol:

The first 4 posts I quoted miss the point. Moosie nails it. Imitating the gear is not the way to imitate the sound, especially the sound of live recordings. And the OP is trying to imitate the sound as best he can with the gear he has. To do that means using stuff Don Rich never had. Likewise imitating technique. Don Rich may not have picked near the saddles (I never paid it that much attention) but doing that will help nail the tone, lacking Don't fingers.
 

Stan Martin

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I think way too much emphasis is on the exact gear too get. Don and Buck used Fender Bassman's early on, then the blonde era amps and finally Twins. The sound remained consistent because of the player. Have you ever asked someone for a food recipe that you liked and got the ingredients and yet when you made it the taste wasn't the same? All that being said, trying to coax that tone out of a Blues jr may be on the tough side:lol:
 

jz63

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Don't forget that Don used Fender Thin picks which gave him some of that flappy-clicky sound when doing his licks.
 

SamClemons

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"Tones" are hard to achieve. As noted above, the way his tone sits in the mix might sound over bright and not good if you are just sitting in your bedroom. We had a guy play a classic marshall stack/les paul rig with us. I did not like the sound by itself, but sounded great in a live band setting.....so.....you might be getting real close to his sound....and not like the way it sounds in your house or bedroom. It is hard for you to judge how it sounds in the mix. Probably why Buck Owens was turning him up all the time. Sounded good to Don in front of his amp, but not loud enough for everyone else.
 

Dr. Bill

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Alnico 3 bridge pickups are a bit soft in the bass, and you need clarity for Bakersfield. FWIW, I'd suggest an Alnico 5 pickup wound to a bit less than 7K (42 awg wire) and use medium or thin Fender 351 picks.
 

I own a Tele

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Play a late 60s telecaster, whether its an original 1967, or a 67' custom shop; it will be that sound.
 

ripgtr

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With all due respect to Don Mare, I don't believe a word of that. If he really thinks that, then why is he trying to make twangy pickups?

http://www.vintageguitar.com/3458/buck-owens-and-the-buckaroos/
Buck talking about his records " I had less bass and more high-end. That made (my singles) sound cleaner than the others."

“The mix was nothing like the tone we (recorded) with,” Brumly adds. “(Buck) went in and put that midrange in there and took the bottom-end out where it cut through the radio at any volume. "

I have seen this elsewhere as well, that he would drop the bass and crank the treble, after it was recorded.
 

Vintage Fan

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treble up, filed thin picks, steel strings

To get Don's tone will depend on where you play. Gigging loud or playing low in your room? All the tones on Don's recordings playing for Buck were done at higher volume with the amp's treble up, volume up, probably bright switch on, then adjust your guitar's volume and tone back to suit your ear...If you play in your room, then it's harder to get that same tone at a low volume. Also, after Don & Buck recorded their song, they mixed in more hi's on the board which is what you hear on their records....

Here are some easy quicker ways to get your tele snap & quack up with more brightness at low volume....Get a George L 10' or 15' cord. They are bright. Try Dean Markley steel strings....They are bright....Try Fender thin tear drop mandolin picks. Try filing or sanding the pick's tip down to be even thinner. These are stiff picks, not too flimsy and not soft rubbery, so they can be filed/sanded even thinner....

Steel bridges and steel saddles will get more treble and snap and so will tusq nuts. You might consider Fender 50's or 60's pickups. The brightest I've found are 50's Road Worn Tex Mex. 1 meg pots will allow more hi's thru. I've seen some players not use any pots, but rather a volume pedal with a 1 meg pot. They wire the pickups to the 3 way switch and then direct to the output jack. Old style Kluson tuners seem to sound thinner or less fat sound. Steel button string retainer positioned between the G & B tuner pegs.

Fender amps with aluminium center caps sound good for Don's sound. He mostly used twins. A Vox AC tube amp is bright. Fender Princeton's are good for brighter tone at low volume. So are pre 1970 Kustom amps. Line 6 Spider digital amps have a lot of treble.

Different ears will have different opinions. Experiment. Best of luck.
 
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davidge1

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I have to disagree with most everyone here – I think almost any Telecaster and any Fender tube amp will give you the tone. The one thing I don't think anyone has mentioned (maybe because it seems too obvious): Make sure the strings are brand new... that is ESSENTIAL to getting the Don Rich tone. I also think having the action low enough so the strings buzz a little is part of the sound.

As far as technique goes, Don Rich didn't pluck the strings with his fingers. Other than on the song Buckeroo, he used a pick only. Even when he played Buckeroo live, he did it all with a pick – which raises some questions about the recording. He didn't play back by the bridge either. There are plenty of clips on youtube if you want to watch his technique.

What about a compressor pedal?
Nope. They didn't use those back then.
 

moosie

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Again, folks, the question is how to get the tone now, not how he did it back then. I'd use a compressor. I'm sure the studio did anyway, FWIW.

And a THIN pick.
 

MilwMark

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I'm curious about the suggestions for comp pedals. What's driving that suggestion? Post comp sounds different to me than a pedal. Thanks
 

moosie

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I'm curious about the suggestions for comp pedals. What's driving that suggestion? Post comp sounds different to me than a pedal. Thanks

I don't know much. But I find a compressor pedal smooths the volume, especially helping with typical country legato runs, and making 'visible' all the little clicks, pops, and mutes. I use one with an attack knob, so I don't lose the snappy attack.
 

MilwMark

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I don't know much. But I find a compressor pedal smooths the volume, especially helping with typical country legato runs, and making 'visible' all the little clicks, pops, and mutes. I use one with an attack knob, so I don't lose the snappy attack.

OK thanks. I hear that smoothing in more modern country, but not with Don, which is why I asked.
 

Vintage Fan

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Pull up Buck's 1991 Youtube video of his concert at Billy Bobs.... Listen to Terry Cristofferson's Steinberger....Sounds like he's using a compressor, probably lightly....Maybe not. But one can play Don's licks on any rig....Maybe not get exactly Don't precise tone...Good players I see have it in their hands and attack.
 

Lerb21

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Where's Lerb ?

Somehow this thread doesn't seem official without him.

Ah, the good ol' days.

Wanna sound like Don?

60's style Tele. Fender 62RI pickups are great.

Vintage tuners help add to twang.

Steel saddles.

1 meg pots. It'll make it sound like an icepick to your ear unless you use....

THIN PICKS. Don always used thin picks. They take away the harsh attack. Seriously, you won't believe how much a thin will do. It could be the ESSENTIAL difference.

New strings. Gotta be bright. Use your preferred brand. Again, as bright as possible.

My Twin does a great job of getting into the region of Don sound, but most modern fender amps are blackface voiced nowadays, although I could be COMPLETELY WRONG on that account.

In anycase, get your amp clean, turn the bass the whole way up, add some treble, and scoop some mid.

And play with LIGHT ATTACK. Don's sound comes from the nuance of the his attack. Everyone hitting the strings hard with a medium or heavy pick and a compressor pedal are heading in the wrong direction. And I should know, I play onstage with a medium pick and a compressor. I sound a lot more like Brent Mason on Alan Jackson and Brooks & Dunn records (except I can't play worth a damn) than I do Don onstage. The difference between using a pedal for your compression, and physically doing it with a thin pick, or some mystical mumbo jumbo like that.

Now, just play like Don and you're golden.
 




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