Eric Johnson's suprise guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by rex kwon do, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. rex kwon do

    rex kwon do Member

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    I saw EJ on Thursday night and was blown away as usual - this is the 10th time I've seen him and it may be the best he's played and sounded. But one little tidbit that should blow everyone away is that on the first encore, EJ comes out with: You'll never guess what?

    Rickenbacker! Yep, he had a Ricky and played Bristol Shore and Zap with it. So much for not being able to get a sound out of those guitars! Geez, there was no appreciable difference between the tone of the Ricky and the tone of the Strat's he played.

    In a one-word response: Unbelievable.
     
  2. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Everybody's gotta be somewhere.
    So it is in the fingers!!
     
  3. Doodad

    Doodad Member

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    So much for not being able to get a sound out of those guitars!

    Wow, who ever said that? My Ric is the tone chaperone. Someone should tell the Beatles, and Tom Petty, and Pete Buck...
     
  4. mcdyas

    mcdyas Supporting Member

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    i loved the sound of my rick 360 but the fingerboard and frets were too small so i sold it
     
  5. 1968

    1968 Member

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    That is one thing I dont get about EJ.. he uses different guitars- but he always seems to produce the tone of a strat..
     
  6. michaelprice83

    michaelprice83 Member

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    That is the exact opposite of what I've always heard. When I hear Eric Johnson I hear very little Strat in his tone. I don't think many people would say Eric Johnson's tone is a stereotypical strat tone at all.
     
  7. Balance

    Balance Member

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    I'd say that EJ uses different guitars and always produces the tone of EJ. I agree that, even on a strat, he doesn't sound much like most strat players.
     
  8. rex kwon do

    rex kwon do Member

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    My bad, I guess I insinuated that he gets "Strat" tones, when in actuality, he gets Eric Johnson tones. But it was still, nevertheless, amazing.

    Also, all you Ricky owners out there, you guys rock. Hope you didn't take offense to my comments about the sound. It's definitely a unique sound that helped define R&R.

    I suck, so I can't a sound out of them. It looked beautiful on stage, though.
     
  9. Doodad

    Doodad Member

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    No offense taken. I am always amazed at comments on the limitations of Rics. For those with large hands, I could see why they would have some difficulty. They do have a learning curve I will admit, but once you get used to it and crank those pups through a tube amp....look out.

    What kind was it do you know? The pointed horn style or the cresting wave body?
     
  10. rex kwon do

    rex kwon do Member

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    It appeared to be a Fireglo 360, but I'm not 100% positive? I know more about the basses than the guitars, but I'm pretty sure it was a 360. Sounded astounding, especially while he was playing the clean Koto-style parts and the Lenny Breau harmonics on Bristol Shore. It was the best clean tone of the entire night!

    It's too bad that it takes another player at his level to make me wake up to the possibilities of a Rick. He made a believer out of me.
     
  11. rex kwon do

    rex kwon do Member

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    What model do you play and what gear do you use it with?
     
  12. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Member

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    That's really interesting. I agree that the musician has the most to do with the sound, but I also think that when you're running a signal through as much stuff as he does, differences in tone coming from solid body electrics will probably get lost in, let's see:

    -Two passive, double-pole A/B boxes.
    -Stock T.C. Electronic Stereo Chorus Flanger
    -Stock, late-’60s Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face
    -Stock, late-’60s Italian-made Vox CryBaby
    -Stock ’80s BK Butler Tube Driver loaded with a Yugoslavian 12AX7.
    -Two ’66 blackface Fender Twin Reverbs loaded with eight JBL D120F speakers, a ’68 50-watt Marshall Tremolo head modified with 6L6 power tubes and a ’69 100-watt Marshall Super Lead.
    The miked signals from the four amps run through an Allen & Heath Mix Wizard mixer that passes the dry signals to the house mixer, and also to a series of rack processors:
    -an MXR Flanger/Doubler
    -a Lexicon MPX500 [Twin 1 delay]
    -an Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man [Twin 2 delay]
    -a Line 6 Echo Pro Studio Modeler [dirty rhythm echo]
    -a Korg DRV3000 [lead echo]
    -a T.C. Electronic 2290 Digital Delay

    Taken from: http://www.guitarplayer.com/story.asp?storycode=10270
     
  13. Doodad

    Doodad Member

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    I play a mid blue 620 through a Goodsell 17. The only box I use on the Ric is a Holy Grail reverb. It just doesn't need anything else on that amp. I just finished playing until my hands stopped working ouch.
     
  14. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Like Bingo. And I imagine that's the point. Rickenbacker makes electric guitars and at the core of the instrument it shares much of the biology of a Stratocaster. I can relate to both axes. :NUTS
     
  15. thintele

    thintele Member

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    ehh...EJ could play a Wal o caster and it would still sound like him:jo
     
  16. Izy

    Izy Member

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    A friend told me good gear will help a little but tone is really all in the fingers.

    He told me he saw Pat Methany at a jazz bar a day before his performance at concert hall.

    After a few drinks, Methany and gang went up to the stage and asked the house guitarist that night whether he could take the stage. Well, of course, the guitarist allowed him to do so. So Methany went up, took the house guitarist's 80's Ibanez artist 335 copy, with the house guitarist setup, he started to play.

    Guess what: Pat Methany's tone exactly! out of different gear and setup.

    My friend was astounded.

    He told me: No matter how we try to model out guitarist's hero's tone, we would be unable to nail it exactly. What we should try to do is learn from them and pursue our own path of learning and our own tone.

    I think what he shared was pretty wise so i thot i post it.

    So EJ playing a rick and sounding great to me is no surprise. That guy has tone!
     
  17. Luke Gibson

    Luke Gibson Silver Supporting Member

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    Here's a pic from that show, it's definately in the fingers......
    [​IMG]

    ...and here's what he was playin' it thru.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Luke Gibson

    Luke Gibson Silver Supporting Member

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  19. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Member

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    Right. For example, look at Bill Frisell. There's a guy who has used a pretty wide variety of guitars and setups but has always had a very distinctive sound and style. My point in posting Johnson's rig is that I believe that the differences in single coil pickups, solid wood, etc., probably won't come through a great deal in all of that processing.

    On a related note, I can understand and relate to Johnson's obsession with a lot of gear. I think I have pretty discerning hearing, too (I spent a number of years as a mastering engineer, if that gives you any indication), which is probably why I try to keep things pretty simple (and my background is mainly as a woodwind player). If I started getting too much into signal processing, I'd wind up being about as picky as he is, but without a smidgen of an iota of a whimsey of his skill, which would make me a pretty sad sight.
     
  20. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    That is a great shot! Rickys are so cool :AOK

    /rick
     

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