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EVH Brown Sound

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Stanford Guitar, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    There can be parallel development. Or he figured it out on his own when no one told him the companies had been doing it, even for years. No Internet back then to yell out "Hey listening device, how to keep pickups from feeding back?"

    I thought it was fun touring Les Paul's inventions at a museum where it included his recording equipment and finding that he had used several tape machines to record and play back so he could over dub when no one else had been doing that ... when I had done that same technique as a kid with my younger brother's and my cassette tape recorders running playback while adding the next 'track' playing piano, adding drum beats, and so on. I was probably ten or eleven with a seven or eight year old studio assistant and co-musician.

    .
     
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  2. basher

    basher Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The reason full chords can sound kind of hinky with heavy distortion is that the guitar uses just intonation, and the harmonics are a bit out of tune with each other. Flattening the b string makes full chords with the third on that string (1st-position A shape) sound more in tune. It's a cool trick!
     
  3. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Tuning the high strings a bit flat might also be done in anticipation of the strings moving from side to side or the player pressing them hard into the fretboard. Either of which could sharpen the guitar's tuning during a performance. It could be especially useful with light gauge strings and tall frets. EVH's style was athletic to say the least.
     
  4. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    It's funny, I've always tuned my G string slightly sharp.
     
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  5. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    On electric or acoustic? ( or all?)
    Just curious!

    I just tune my B string a teeny flat on the Martin only (it has had the heck played out of it, needed some work, but plays pretty much in tune with this tweak)
    I tune my newer acoustic and electrics right up to their proper pitches.
    All pretty good/probably not perfect- but I'm always gonna be the 'weakest link' when it comes to the gear!
     
  6. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    On everything. And I said always, but that's actually not accurate. When my pop and I were recording our first CD, back in maybe 2005, we worked with a really incredible engineer. One of the things he always had me do on every guitar we recorded (99.9% acoustic - but I do one lead on electric) was tune the g to slightly sharp. I could tell the difference right away and I got so used to it that it is just ingrained at this point... lol
     
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  7. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey, if it works, it works!
    ( I should maybe try it!)
     
  8. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    Whenever I hear of a brown sound I think of Ween.
     
  9. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    Some say Eddie used an Ibanez Super 70 pickup for the early brown sound. I'm not sure anyone knows for sure. I have had many vintage Ibanez guitars and can say the super 70 is an excellent PAF type pickup.
    These both have super 70's.
    IMG_9546.JPG 2405 1977.JPG
     
  10. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    His playing has always been an elephant in the room that overshadows any of the weirdness with getting the tone for me.

    He could play just about anything and it'd have been him.

    All the technique and precision is what makes it work, not the tone.
     
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  11. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    Well said. It reminded me of a story about him meeting Ted Nugent playing Eddies rig. Guess what, he didn't sound like Eddie, he still sounded like Ted.

    I found the article:
    https://www.guitarworld.com/news/eddie-van-halen-remembers-meeting-ted-nugent
     
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  12. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    Ha ha, we tried the overdubbing with two cassette tape recorders too! Fun times!

    Fair point. Had he said he melted some of his mother's candles and let it drip into the wire, I'd be more inclined to believe the parallel development. But for a teenager to realize the feedback was caused by vibration in the wire and then go down to the hardware store and buy a block of paraffin wax (exactly what Fender and Gibson had been using) to melt so that he could dip the pickups in the wax is just a bit too much to me. Certainly could be true, but I think it is much more likely it was something like him coming across a pickup that was waxed, asking someone at a guitar store what the goop was and then deciding to then try it himself. At the end of the day, if I were going around telling everyone I invented something like that, I think I'd check it out at some point to make sure I wasn't making a fool of myself.
     
  13. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    1/8 would be about 12 cents.... I could see that on occasion under certain circumstances.
    1/4 would be about 25 cents..... I find this pretty extreme.
     
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  14. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not calibrated to the cents thing, I only go by what I hear. When I hear a note that is between 'standard' tuning say between C and C#, I estimate how close it is to either. For example, EVH played lots of chords in the 2nd inversion. So, in an E,A,C# chord, the C# would be flat roughly 1/4 to 1/2 the way to C (1/8 to 1/4 of a whole step).
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
  15. EllroyJames

    EllroyJames Poster Extraordinaire

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    Low voltage rock’n’roll!
     
  16. Ronetele

    Ronetele TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    There was a wonderful comment here on TDPRI years (many) ago that went something like, "If you had BB King play a ukulele, he would still sound like BB King."
     
  17. Ronetele

    Ronetele TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I don't know how well Rick Beato is received on TDPRI (people have opinions about him in general...), but he has fun (seems genuine) experimenting with various (ha) Variac settings & a Marshall amp while Joel repeats Eddie's iconic Running with the Devil lick.



    Hmmm, to my ears 110v seems pretty sweet....
     
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