Chasing EJ on a budget---swap out one pedal----suggestions please

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by jazzrat, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. jazzrat

    jazzrat Member

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    Since I'm mostly a jazz guy I've not done a lot with pedals and have had a pretty low $ rig.
    Recently got a burn to try and approach EJ's tone, mostly the clean one with changing as few parts as possible of my existing rig.
    Did a ton of reading in the archives but I could use some suggestions.

    I've got cash for one pedal, love for it not to cost a fortune as I just bought an El Cap. The El Cap is the only pedal I'm confident needs to stay. Here's the rig....

    VS Jekyll & Hyde > BBE Green Screamer > EB Vol pedal > Boss Ce-5 Chorus > Strymon El Cap > Boss DD-3 > Amp: 1st generation US Hot Rod Deluxe biased for a Torres Eng. Tube set.

    I'm thinking the CE-5 Chorus is the weak link. Besides a TC any suggestions?

    thanks in advance
     
  2. guitargod2u

    guitargod2u Member

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    he said clean tone i'd say a used zendrive
     
  3. DT7

    DT7 Member

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  4. RockManDan

    RockManDan Member

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    yea the quality of chorus will determine a lot of it...i'd ditch the boss and find a hardwire chorus somewhere. i picked one up for about 60 bucks off craigslist last year. it works great, doesn't warble or sound too digital. with a good compressor, and some verb/delay, it can get you pretty close the EJ clean tone...key is to set the rate at the lowest.

    however, most of what sets his clean tone apart is the touch. that piano-like finger picking and open voiced-chordal stuff. play that with any decent compressed/chorused/verbed/delayed tone and thats the money right there.
     
  5. afterburner

    afterburner Supporting Member

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    Are you looking to replace your chorus pedal? or just any one pedal?

    EJ's clean sound is usually a Twin Reverb... I would suggest a Wampler Blackface 65 for that vintage Fender clean/breakup tone.
     
  6. coolhand78

    coolhand78 Supporting Member

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    man you should be able to get pretty close with what you've already got...

    traditionally EJ's clean signal, is just an EP3, DMM, TC Chorus and fender twins in stereo - bright switch on and reverb set around 3...

    i think if you're play a strat you'd be able to get pretty close with what you've got, just need to tweak the knobs a bit... :)
     
  7. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

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    Huge EJ fan here, have worked to capture "that" tone, and did a lot of learning along the way. Here are a few tips that might help:

    - Check out James' clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtI5UWAQXLg
    - Know that much of EJ's tone is "in the hands", particularly his "picking-up" right-hand technique.
    - EJ's tone is much more than the high-gain/fuzzy tone switching to squeaky-clean with an EP3 that is often used to characterize his tone.
    - I think that the quintessential EJ tone is from his "ah via musicom" era. Plenty of great music since, but there's just something about that album that kills for me.
    - There's a clip somewhere with EJ playing straight into a little GDEC. Guess what? "That" tone was there in spades. Amazing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  8. jazzrat

    jazzrat Member

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    Thanks guys. Keep it coming. A bit more info. I have an EJ Rosewood and an AmDlx V-neck go the guitar is covered.

    I'm hoping to replace just one and I was thinking the Ce-5 is the weakest of what I have.

    I am thinking that I need to play with a bit more treble. I've been running my amp with
    the bass at 5-7, mids at 9 and treble at 4. I might be missing that sparkle he gets with my tone settings.
     
  9. DT7

    DT7 Member

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    Your treble isn't too bad...but your mids a bit high. Bass varies from about 7-8.5, but he almost always has the mids right around 8.
     
  10. Mr. Limbic

    Mr. Limbic Member

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    i can get that sound with a strat (Becker Retro)>Compressor>TS9>Boss CH1 or pitchfactor>El Cap>WET reverb>HRDeville

    if your using the clean channel of the amp then turn whatever tube screamer you have gain down to zero and crank the output...or if you dont have a screamer that can mimic a tube breakup sound then turn on your od channel, crank your master, then start turning up the drive and get it to where it sounds like the tubes are working, minimal breakup, but thick and full...either way works great
     
  11. sutherland

    sutherland Supporting Member

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    Corona is fairly inexpensive if you are looking for better chorus that can cop those SCF sounds. A used AC Booster would be great for leads as well.
     
  12. DSnellen79

    DSnellen79 Member

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    I would swap your chorus for the TC Chorus and then add a compressor. He uses the Compressor on his clean tone to get more sustain when needed. I think he uses the MXR Script Compressor. You may also want to consider swaping out the green screamer for a Butler or Chandler Tube Driver. but you said you wanted a clean tone.
     
  13. 89strat

    89strat Member

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    The CE-5 is not a weak link. It's actually a pretty versitile pedal. Although his clean tone is chorusy, its not the 80's wobbly nasua chorus. It's more clean and sparkly. Play around with the settings. I used to set the knobs from left to right; 2:00, 10:00, 2:00, and the eq knobs all the way full up. Set your green screamer with drive down and tone about 2-3 o'clock and roll off a little on your guitar volume and tone knob, then set the DD-3 with all knobs at noon. My favorite clean tone of his is Manhattan. I think this gets somewhat close, or at least sounds good.

    The chorus preset on the nova modulator is based on Eric Johnson's chorus tone.
     
  14. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    Jetter Gold Standard. The gold side nails the EJ gain tones and the Helium side can do anything from a clean boost to a low/med gainer. That pedal and our El Cap should get you a long way towards that tone.
     
  15. jazzrat

    jazzrat Member

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    Good info, thanks. After practice last night I might agree. I ran the CE-5 at a more subtle level and adjusted the EQ so it was pretty sparkly.
    That being said....just a few minutes ago I popped for a TC Chorus from a member here. Mostly because I've always wanted one and it will get me that much closer.
    Next I'll work on the dirt chain but I'm tapped for now.
     
  16. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    Huge EJ fan here as well.

    That's a lot of dough on that Strymon pedal. I wouldn't say you made a rash priority decision here, but It makes me ponder where you want to go with your tone.

    The TC choruses are subtle, as are the Visual Sound and Fulltone ones. The plus with the Corona pedal is you can set the clean blend and since EJ use chorus only for one of his two clean amps that emulates that sound pretty well just using the one amp.

    I would look into your preference in speakers here too. Eric is all about definition for cleans, JBLs and EVs, and lately Jensens (live). However the JBLs won't take distortion well and EVs would probably crack your baffle. I would speak for Webers California (w. appropriate dustcap) and/ or Chicago if going all clean or Chicagos w. harp screen dustcaps or cast frame Fanes if going both clean and distorted.
     
  17. jazzrat

    jazzrat Member

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    For me it is. It's the most expensive pedal I've ever bought but after a ton of reading and listening it seems like the best choice for the space I have on my board, to emulate an Echoplex. So far it sounds just like I wanted.
     
  18. ToneRanger72

    ToneRanger72 Member

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    EJ fan here too - per your OP you're looking for cleans, so you're good with the Strymon.
    Which TC chorus did you get?
    If you got the SCF that EJ uses then you really need to use it in stereo for it to sound right. When you run it in mono you hear the modulation wave too much. My amp has a stereo loop, but when running mono I would sometimes use a y-cable so I was using both sides.
    Maybe too late obviously, but the best chrous to get the EJ sound with a mono rig is the Corona Chorus in trichorus mode - I used the same settings as EJ with the tone knob set high, and in mono you get all the sparkle without the sea-sick warble.
    One other thing though - the super shimmery wet chorus sound is the combination of the echo (either EP-3 or DD-2,) a Deluxe Memory Man in the vibrato mode, and the TC Chorus.
    As for compression - EJ only used the dyna-comp for a short time - the "compression" you hear in most of his clean sound is combination of tube amp compression and picking technique - hybrid picking and vertical pick strokes, not a pedal...

    PS to really top off the Strymon it's worth it to get a ClinchFX EP Pre to get the total echoplex experience (or, at least as close as you can without a REAL EP-3.)
     
  19. RockManDan

    RockManDan Member

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    also, you may want to experiment with the tone-knob-on-the-bridge mod. not to say that his clean tone is super dark, its not.....but if you listen its not particularly bitey on the bridge parts but when he switches to the neck, there is more sparkle. if you set your clean tone by rolling your bridge's tone down, then get your brightness from the amp, it may help get a more even sound, then when you do switch to the neck, itll really jump out. its also worth noting that even when he busts out the sg with humbuckers, his clean tone still sounds unquestionably Eric, so thats a reminder of how much of it really is in the hands. ive been experimenting with this style off and on for the past couple of years and it really strikes me how i don't really have to chase certain gear as much as i need to incorporate right hand technique along with those classic ej chord voicings. if you nail that, pretty much any compressed/chorused/delayed tone will work.
     
  20. jazzrat

    jazzrat Member

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    Thanks so much ToneRanger. It is too late....paid for and shipped today. It's an SCF and I had considered the stereo/mono issues but I'll give it a try. I've been reading about the EP pre. Might have to try that too.
     

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