Getting That Ventures Sound - How?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by castpolymer, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. castpolymer

    castpolymer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just learned " Walk Don't Run " and am having a bugger of a time getting the Ventures " sound " down. I am running either a Tele or Strat thru my PRRI right now ( all single coils ). Any suggestions? Please don't suggest a reverb tank. ;)
     

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  2. sacizob

    sacizob Friend of Leo's

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    There's a group of retired men who play alot of Ventures songs, I beleive they are from Florida. They call themselves "The Dentures".
     
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  3. chet

    chet Banned

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    The Ventures are playing in NYC tonight but I'm not going.

    I'd say use a Strat with a Fender amp around the house.

    I used a Gretsch 6120 while playing some of thier music recently.
     
  4. vjf1968

    vjf1968 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well there are 2 approaches. One is a Fender Jazzmaster (which is what Bob Bogle used for the lead, Nokie played bass) or you can get a Mosrite Ventures Model or a Hallmark 60's Custom and go through a Fender amp.
     
  5. Dawg

    Dawg Tele-Holic

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    A great sounding record!

    'Walk don't run' was a Jazzmaster strung with really heavy gauge strings (standard issue strings were about 13's gauge back then + had a wound third) most likely going into a Fender Combo; It would have to be a tweed model as it was recorded in 1960.

    Sounds like both pickups are being used too. A Stratocaster wouldn't be able get that sound - too wiry sounding and the pickup selection is all wrong - the Tele would be closer, but nothing really sounds like a Jazzmaster.

    When listening to old recordings, you also have to consider the production. Four guys in a large live room playing together - no overdubs, very little separation, minimal mic-ing which captures the sound of the room. Plate reverb on the mix, or an echo chamber. The whole track would have been mastered with a great compressor too - like a Pultec or Fairchild. Not sure what they had in 1960 though, but I can really hear it on those recordings. This track also sounds like it's hitting the tape at a pretty hot level - again a massive factor in what you are hearing.

    I've been doing some old-school producing and we got great results using some of these methods.


    Btw, aside from the incredible drum sound - my favourite bit is the last couple of bars where the guitar plays a rising figure ending on that whammy-d chord. Such a great tone!
     
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  6. Dave Hopping

    Dave Hopping Friend of Leo's

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    Dawg has it nailed.Bob used both pickups most of the time.For more of "that sound",check out everything they did from the first album through "Twist with The Ventures" 1 & 2.
    Castpolymer,if you like Bob,Don,and Nokie's early work,you'll probably enjoy the first Fireballs album.It's pre-Jimmy Gilmer(pre-1960 as well),and about half instrumental.Lead guitarist George Tomsco did some tasty Tex-Mex-in-a-tux with a Strat and a tweed Tremolux.
     
  7. Unseen

    Unseen Former Member

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    I've always been fascinated by the muffled rhythm guitar. Almost like he was using a felt pick or something.
     
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  8. tdu

    tdu Friend of Leo's

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    This is the particular Ventures tone I love:



    Such a killer album. The whole thing is posted on Youtube as well. You can see their gear pretty clearly in it too.

    Their drummer is the coolest looking dude ever lol. Especially wailing behind that little drum kit.
     
  9. Lafayette

    Lafayette TDPRI Member

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    I'm pretty sure they used flatwounds. More experienced/knowledgeable TDPRIers will be able to confirm/deny this.
     
  10. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Since slinkys werent arond when the Ventures recorded most of their hits Id say 12-13's flatwounds.

    Thats what everyone used cause there werent many options.
     
  11. Unseen

    Unseen Former Member

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    That tone is easy. Just play anything through a Youtube amp!

    They are playing Mosrites there. Dillion and Wilson Guitar Ventures make reasonably accurate "inspired by" guitars at very reasonable prices (they get mixed reviews, but what guitar doesn't?). There's also the Eastwood Sidejack. Unfortunately, apparently Ed Roman owns the actual Mosrite name and while his Mosrites may be very well made, they are also very spendy.

    The Ventures Mosrites had two P90's. There are plenty of other dual P90 guitars around, including some with Telecaster and some with LP bodies. You needn't limit yourself to Mosrite or Mosrite-looking guitars to get a similar sound. And, as others are saying, the strings may play an equally big role. But...think P90 guitars.

    If you do get a Mosrite-like guitar, you should know that due to their size and shape, they probably will not fit into a standard hardshell case or gig bag. You might have to get one more suited to a bass guitar.
     
  12. Grant Orino

    Grant Orino TDPRI Member

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  13. tdu

    tdu Friend of Leo's

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    From all I have read on this forum and others, those weren't typical P-90's. The Mosrites from that era supposedly had exceptionally hot pickups, that were inconsistent from guitar to guitar.

    That is supposedly why a lot of the newer copies don't really have that sound. I can definitely verify that while the Eastwood copies look like a Mosrite, they don't have that sound.

    From what I have been told, if you want a good 'closer' Mosrite copy, these Hallmarks are the way to go: http://www.hallmarkguitars.com/guitars/60-custom.htm

    That all being said though, I think any P-90's would get your closer to the sound you want than what you are using now. My buddy used a Dillion 'Jazzmaster' style guitar with P-90's and super thick strings. He pretty much nails the tone.
     
  14. Post Toastie

    Post Toastie Poster Extraordinaire

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    I Thought i read somewhere that they used Standell amps.
     
  15. JimInMO

    JimInMO Tele-Meister

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    I remember getting close to that sound on stage with a Jazzmaster and a Super Reverb. That must have been about 1964 or 1965.
     
  16. vjf1968

    vjf1968 Poster Extraordinaire

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    From what I understand Nokie Edwards was using really light guage strings during his tenure as lead guitar player with The Ventures. Orginally he would use banjo stings for the 1st and 2nd string and then shift every thing else up. Then Ernie Ball started making lighter guage string sets for his customers. So for that real Ventures tone from 65 it would be a Mosrite Ventures model Mark 1, with the speed frets, 9 guage strings, and a Fender (or in the case of the Japan tour Guyatone) amp. Those Mosrite pickups are HOT, so hot in fact that they can drive an amp into distortion. It was one of the gripes that Don Wilson had with the Mosrites. The other was the slim necks and the speed frets.

    Another piece of info, Red Rhodes built a compressor and a fuzz box for Nokie back than. So a lot of those tracks with fuzz guitar is NOT a FuzzRite but the Red Rhodes box.

    As someone else stated the closest you are going to get without spending over $2k is to get a Hallmark 60's Custom. And to make it clear Mosrite guitars DID NOT use P90 pickups. The original pickups (pre Venture models) had pick ups custom made for Semi Moseley by Carvin and then later Semi, his brother Andy and his mother made and wound their own pick ups. You can still get authentic Mosrite pickups from Semie's daughter Dana, she handwinds them to original spec's and they are more consistant. There is also E.F. Elliot who also makes Mosrite style pickups
     
  17. Post Toastie

    Post Toastie Poster Extraordinaire

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    I saw an article saying Howard Dumble(Dumble amps) got his start modifing the Standel amps for the Ventures when he was in Bakersfield.
     
  18. TeeBird

    TeeBird Tele-Meister

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    I think a lot of the sound on WDR is from the hand of the late Bob Bogle. He played lead on that and Lullaby of the Leaves.

    There's a video on YT of them from the 80s or 90s and Bob is playing some sort of Strat copy, but darned if he doesn't get that magic tone there too. Another thing I notice from that vid was that he could get to the wang bar instantly like Jeff Beck. I can't remember if he kept it in his hand or touched it with his pinky.
     
  19. TeeBird

    TeeBird Tele-Meister

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    Here tis:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8tXdPXYoq4

    I was wrong. It is a JM copy. But you can see how he uses the whammy under his pinky. He's got a distinctive style and feel; I get the same feeling watching this as I do listening to the originals. Thank you Bob.
     
  20. Telesavalis

    Telesavalis Friend of Leo's

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    Too bad you don't have a Moserite guitar. But a Strat and Fender amp should do it.
    and yes...reverb.
     
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