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Getting Albert Collins tone on the cheap

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by birv2, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. backalleyblues

    backalleyblues Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Albert would flip back between the middle (both) and bridge positions a lot, depending on what he was hearing, the room, etc. NEVER the neck bucker alone, though...

    Fairly light strings (.009 to .038 IIRC) very heavy attack with fingers and thumb, and Dm, Em, or Fm tuning, depending on what point in his career you're talking about... btw, the telly was a '66, the only mods were the bucker in the neck, and binding that Albert painted on himself (he used to mix auto paints when he had a day job).

    The amp, as mentioned was a Quad Reverb, but you can pretty dang close using nearly any SF Fender amp, or BF as well. Super Reverbs probably the closest at something resembling slightly more sane volume... btw, Albert had JBLs in his Quad... not sure if he had a forklift on the bus, though...

    Franc Robert
     
  2. birv2

    birv2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow. I'm going to have to roll the tape and slow it down (nobody uses tape anymore, just sayin). That is really helpful. And btw, Mike, I have some friends in Ottawa who asked me for some blues suggestions for Bluesfest, and I suggested you. They loved your set!

    backalleyblues -- that's interesting about string gauge! I guess if you use a lighter gauge but have monsterrific amps, you can get a big sound.
     
  3. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    On the early stuff that were "regional hits" with Hall & Clement it was a Dry Bandmaster Piggyback if my memory's workin' right today.Either "Frosty" or "The Freeze" was done on borrowed time from a Girl Group named "The Dolls" that Albert was backing up in the studio.
    All the times I saw Albert it was always with his Quad Reverb and it was always in a road case. In one interview he stated he "could get real close with a Twin Reverb" and on "Ice Man" live from Austin,Tx (ACL) I think he's using two TR's.

    Looking back on an almost daily basis on Albert's Live Video Work from early Alligator to just before he got really sick Albert Collins unquestionably without reservation was The Best I Ever Saw and I thank God Almighty for that privilege.
    And much more importantly Albert was a tremendous dynamite Human Being.
     
  4. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey - I've gotta say that Jay Salad Turser Model JTLT is a dead on clone of an
    Albert Collins Signature Model -minor deal with Headstock shape, and very minor at that!
    I want one of them!!!
    The Salad Turser for 225 bucks of The Sig for 3k?
    Guess which way I'm goin'?! :D


    I've been thinkin' and researchin' my "route" for a while and that JTLT seems to me the most cost effective and "scenic" approach. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  5. birv2

    birv2 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been looking pretty hard at that one, but I'd like to hear what people say about the sounds it can get.

    Not sure who you are, but thanks for sharing that about Albert. I agree - he's at the top of my list, and he sure seems like a great human being too.
     
  6. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    I just looked again at the Turser and I was WRONG it's a 21 fret fretboard!!!
    I got it confused with something else.
    So it's exactly the same (wishful thinkin'!) as the signature model.
    Sorry about that!
     
  7. TeeBird

    TeeBird Tele-Meister

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    Ever heard that tune "Snowed In"? He made that thing sound like a cold pickup truck trying to start, car horns, walking in the snow, tapping the accelerator. Incredible.
     
  8. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, the volume must be on stun.
     
  9. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    So ... not up to 10?
     
  10. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Not it was on 12.... Beyond Spinal Tap!

    I saw Albert about six or eight months before he died in an outdoor amphitheater. Same deal, he had that amp cranked.... I didn't know what it was at the time, but I knew that tone. It was crazy. And something I never imagined being able to duplicate. Still don't think my ears could take that night after night!
     
  11. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It's all in the electrical tape wrapped around the capo and the prism tape on the ashtray.

    I got real close to it with my MIJ "collins", tuning like albert and using a capo and playing with the ashtray on to mimic his style. Used an HRD and it was about as close as I could get. as others have said it's more about the tuning and playing style than anything else.
     
  12. bluebilly

    bluebilly Tele-Meister

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    Put your strap over your right shoulder....... The rest will fall into place.
     
  13. caytele

    caytele Tele-Meister

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    ..Thank God for Mr Collins.(and the likes of him..B.B, Freddie,T-Bone,Buddy, Stevie, et al)..a truly unique(soul, soul, soul.....) and inspiring individual..and contributor/author to the "Blues Canon" of who left us with enough "oh my God!" moments to keep us fascinated for a lifetime.....R.I.P
     
  14. birv2

    birv2 Tele-Afflicted

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    So if I wanted to get a humbucker for the neck, what would y'all recommend that would get me near the Albert tone?

    I also realize it was his fingers, his amp, his cord, etc. but I'm just askin.
     
  15. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Turning down a recording is not the same as playing a guitar at lower volume, not by a long shot.

    The signature Albert Collins tone comes from a really bright setup: 1 meg pots, bridge pickup, playing with a lot of snap, and an amp that real clean even up to high volumes. It doesn't have to be a Quad or even a Twin, though. Any reasonably clean amp with an efficient speaker will get you close enough that it doesn't matter too much.

    (I know that AC himself didn't always snap the strings against the frets, and he didn't always play on the bridge alone, but that is how he got his most well known tones.)

    As for which humbucker... it doesn't matter too much. It's much more about picking technique and a clean, bright amp. Don't sweat it, and get what you find a deal on. I'm partial to the Duncan '59. I like it better than any other humbucker I've played for a similar price.
     
  16. birv2

    birv2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Which 59? Looks like there are several available.
     
  17. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    There's the '59, the '59 with nickel or gold covers, or the Little '59. Avoid the Little '59 when possible. It's a decent compromise when a full-size humbucker won't work for you, but doesn't hold a candle to its full-size namesake.

    To get the AC look, go with the SH-1n with nickel cover. Unless you want to do fancy switching or coil taps or something, the single conductor option is fine. (and if you look in the vendor section, you might just find a TDPRI-er that sells 'em)
     
  18. stratman323

    stratman323 Banned

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    If you want a neck humbucker with just a bit more bite to it, try the Pearly Gates. I love mine, though they're in an LP, not a Tele.

    The Pearly Gates is sweet, but slightly rude, with great sustain and a bright top end that make harmonics jump out of the guitar

    Quite a good description really.

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/vintage/shpg1_pearly_ga/

    You can get them with the metal cover.
     
  19. goldtopper

    goldtopper Friend of Leo's

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    You guys have probably heard me tell this before but it's cool, so-
    I used to see Albert very regularly in Mpls at the Union Bar. We'd get there early and drink with AC, A C Reed, Johnny B Gayden and Casey Jones, his band members. His rhythm guitarists changed a bit, but I do remember going to the alley with Marvin Jackson to...smoke.
    Albert usually drove their bus, and one night he rolled up with a flat. It was a wicked snow storm and AC, my buddy Tim and I changed his tire.
    We had it so good, hanging with AC and the Icebreakers. They were hard-working, hard playing guys.
     
  20. birv2

    birv2 Tele-Afflicted

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    Great story! Thanks for sharing it. I've got a live CD which is recorded at that bar, I think.
     
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