Led Zep, Madison Square Garden, 1973:

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by SlyStrat, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Supporting Member

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    "Since I've Been Loving You".
    Pages tone on this song is the tone in my head that I want. I like how you can still hear the guitars true tone coming through. I want a combo that will come close to this. I don't expect to get it exactly. Its for taking to jam nights. I can't haul a Marshall stack.
    I asked about Pages tone before, and a lot of replys said Marshall 18 watter or clone. I listened to about forty 18 watt sound clips, and NOT ONE sounded like this. They all were in the AC/DC and Ted Nugent type tone.
    And Ive read the 18 watters will give Cream tone. None sounded like Cream. "Spoonful" is another tone I like. Not too much distortion ruining the guitars tone.
    I bought a used JCM2000 TSL601. It comes kinda close to that tone. But I think it needs a better speaker, and the tubes may be old. Right now it ain't doing it for me.
    So, give me some ideas. Have you heard the Orange Rocker 40? Soldano Astroverb? THM Bivalve? Other Marshalls? Anything else?
    I'm about to offer an award to the person that points me to the right amp.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Huckleberry

    Huckleberry Member

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    What kind of guitar? Pickups? And "old fashioned" humbucker is part of the equazion as well.

    The TSL601 is capable of the tones you seek. If the tubes & speaker are tired, you should address that before giving up on the amp.

    I spent an hour or two with the 601 last week, playing a variety of PRSi. If I wasn't so in love with my DRRI, the TSL601 would be a contender for me.
     
  3. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Supporting Member

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    Gibson Les Paul Standard, Burst Bucker Pros.
     
  4. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    AFAIK, he used a Supro Thunderbolt (basic dual 6L6 amp) and a tele for the early studio recordings, and a tele and AC30 live, later moving to the Les Paul and Marshall. Have you tried a Marshall Bluesbreaker or JTM45?
     
  5. DownByLaw

    DownByLaw Supporting Member

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    If you can find one, a used Carr El Moto. (discontinued) Splits the difference sound-wise between the tone your talking about, and the Supro type sound on the early records. I have the 2/12 combo. Great amp, exeptionally light for it's power and size. (it's a top mount style) With this amp and my Hollow T classic I get some very convincing Page tones.

    Patrick
     
  6. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    First off, the tone he's talking about has zero to do with a creatively miked Supro. The tone he is talking about is a cranked Marshall Major and an overdrive of some sort (it does look like the VOX Tonebender but who the heck knows what's really inside that housing?). I searched for that tone for years. The following review is from me about 6 months after Trace @ Voodoo sent me this little creation. I have since purchased a V-Plex from him.

    Copied/pasted review from Harmony Central:

    Voodoo Amps Plexi mod (to 1x12" Gibson combo)

    Features: 5
    Recent mod on a earlier (mid 70's?) combo Trace had in stock at the time. 18 Watts. El84 tubes. Four inputs, Bass & Treble Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence, Master. Has a "mode" switch with a Superlead and a Plexi position. Also has a "feel" switch with three options. None of the abouve really do much of anything to my (or anyone else I've asked) ears.

    Sound Quality: 10
    After about two months, I still haven't been able to use anything but Les Pauls with this amp. One with '57 Classics and one with Burstbuckers. At first, I was pretty disappointed with it. The combo it was housed in was beat to hell, the handle was just "hanging on", and it just looked bad. I was also living in a damn apartment and I couldn't make much noise. At "bedroom levels" the combo was grainy-sounding and, as alot of people told me, "muffled". I wrote Trace an email and he replied promptly, "Try it with a cabinet & if you wanted a pretty amp you shouldn't have told me you didn't care what it looked like." Well, I waited until I moved out into a house and he was right (on both counts).

    Plugged into a Marshall 4x12 with the stock 75-watt speakers, this bad boy is a COMPLETELY different animal. I told Trace I wanted Jimmy Page's live tone and this thing is nuts-on.

    I jump the channels. If I want a cleaner sound, I have to set the amps volume controls way down and back off my guitar's volume. And then it is just "clean-er". But what do you want that for anyway? I can't notice the tone or presence controls doing anything (maybe you can kind of tell when you turn the mid all the way down, but not much). I also can't notice what the "feel" or "mode" switches do either. It doesn't matter. Turn them all up and turn the master up as loud as you can get away with. Once you get this moving some air there is no better tone in the world if you ask me. No compression, no buzzy gain, just pure, classic overdriven tube tone. Listen to "How the West was Won" and you are hearing what my little ugly beast can do. If you want more gain, this thing loves overdrive pedals. It takes to distortion and fuzz boxes well also but they tend to mask the true character of the amp. A Ibanez greenie (TS9/808) should be enough--if it isn't, this isn't the amp for you.

    I would love to try my Strats or my Tele through it but how on earth can I plug anything except sunburst Les Pauls into it? Just doen't seem right.

    Nice work, Trace.
    Reliability: 8
    The combo that houses this little monster has got to be the ugliest damn thing I own. But after seeing Trace's work on the inside of the amp I am pretty confident it is not going to break down on me. If I wanted a prettier amp, I'm sure Trace would have made sure I was happy--at a higher price. For what I paid, I am confident I got more than my money's worth. In three months, I have had no problems.
    Customer Support: 9
    I asked Trace if he could build me an 15-25 Watt Marshall Plexi. He told me no problem would I rather have a head or a combo. I asked if it was possible to have a combo that could be used as a head. He said "no problem, I have a 1x12 right here that will work nicely." Cool beans. I was told about two weeks or so shop-time. Now, when you are told that you are going to get Jimmy Page's "The Song Remains the Same" tone in an 18 watt inexpensive package you count the days. While I was counting, Trace was going through some terrible personal issues in his shop. The amp was late; Trace threw in some tubes to make it good, everything is cool. The man listens to what you want and truly cares for his clients. He is not in this to sell amps--he seems to be into forming relationships. My amp wasn't on time and it isn't pretty but it rocks like all hell and didn't cost me alot of jack. Keep it up, Trace.
    Overall Rating: 10
    I have played guitar for about 15 years, off and on. I plan on eventually asking Trace for more of his magic but I think I might have to wait and get on his good side. I have a Vibro-King and this beast right now and I think that's all I'll need for awhile. Trace is a great guy who will listen to your needs and serve up exactly what you ask for. If he's late, he will make it right. We would all rather get something a little behind schedule than a poorly made product, I think everyone will agree on that.
    Go to Trace when you know EXACTLY what tone is in your head. He will deliver.
     
  7. rooster

    rooster Member

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    Actually, those weren't Majors at the 1973 (Song Remains the Same) show, those were straight Marshall Superleads with top cabs. That was indeed a Tonebender, but during "Since I've Been Loving You," that was just guitar and amp. He got the unique pickup tone by extensively using the "in-between" setting on the 3-way toggle, as well as just having a VERY nice sounding LP. I'm not sure if that one (the original) had the coil tapping switches under the pickguard, but it would explain a LOT if it did.

    Most of it is a big, clean amp with a master guitar player, extremely light strings, and the guts to go for licks he couldn't always play. Gear will get you most of the way there, but, like EVH, some things are in the fingers.

    Old Marshalls work well for this, and there are a few amps out there with that tone. The Major was just too much; that was the old Deep Purple live sound. The Major can also be distinguished by the lack of knobs -- one volume, one treble, one bass. Page's Marshalls were always the normal 4-input non-MV ones back in the Zep days.

    rooster.
     
  8. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    Some of the amp confusion probably comes from Page having his lead heads modded to run kt-88's or so I have read. In several interviews he has said he had his heads modded "to 180 watts". So they are neither Majors (which also have some preamp differences), nor stock Leads. Although I must say, I do not know when the mods were done. They might have still been stock for the '73 MSG tape.

    A lot of the tone on that record, and many records from that era, is just shear volume. The speakers crying for mercy and getting none, are a HUGE part of that tone. The Marshalls back then didn't clip near like modern ones do. They were just moving air. That is a tough tone to cop at low volume.
     
  9. rooster

    rooster Member

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    Good point. If true (not saying one way or t'other, as I have no idea, never having met the gent), I would assume that he had them modded later on; they toured extensively in 1970-1973, taking just enough time out to record the albums, but they had the big break in 1975 when Plant got in the car wreck (RIP young Miss Plant). That, it would seem to me, was the time that Page would've had time to have the amps working before recording Physical Graffiti and going out on the road again in 1977.

    rooster.
     
  10. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    :confused: But he wanted a combo he can take to jam nights and can't haul a Marshall 4x12......I think I'm reading that your amp doesn't sound good as a combo? Maybe I'm just not following exactly what you are suggesting he use.

    I know Roccaforte is a resident expert on Page gear, maybe he'll jump in.
     
  11. SlyStrat

    SlyStrat Supporting Member

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    These are all great replys, thanks.
    I don't expect to sound exactly like Page. I just want to get close to that type of tone. Like I said before, Creams "Spoonful" is something I like. Allman Brothers too.
    I have listened to TONS of various sound clips across the internet. 90% of them have too much gain/distortion for my taste. And they sound NOTHING like I've mentioned. If thats what they like, fine. It isn't my thing. I want more pure guitar tone coming through with the distortion.
    And I really would like to stay with a combo. And yes, this does hurt my TONE QUEST. A lot of open jams barely want me to bring up my own amp. I don't know if I could get away with bringing up a head and 2x12 cabinet. Probably depends on the jam.
     
  12. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    Jimmy's main amp through the '73 tour was a Marshall Major. He has been quoted several times explaining his favorite Marshalls were a couple "Superleads with KT88 valves" which are Majors since 1959's can't take those tubes without imploding on themselves.

    Regardless, getting a cranked Major (or 1959 Super Lead, for that matter) tone is probably out unless you live on a vast compound in Montana.
     
  13. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    No, my initial problem with the amp was the fact that I couldn't turn it up. I still crank the little thing up all the time and the tone on it's own is great. Regardless, whatever setup Trace does for you will not be like mine anyway. My combo was lying around the shop at the time. I like what Trace does with el84s--4 of them (maybe a Peavey Classic?) would run @ 30 watts would be more than enough to keep up with any drummer. 18 can do it but it becomes pretty tough to get any semblance of a clean tone.

    +1 on the Roccaforte shout out also. Guy is indeed a big Zep head.
     
  14. Gearhead

    Gearhead Member

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    I went on a similar journey myself about a year ago, except with LZs HTWWW version of Heartbreaker. I asked (imho) the ultimate Marshall source, Greg Gemino, what Marshall it sounded like (sent him a clip- he's not a LZ fan). His immediate reply was a Metal Panel-era Marshall. Said he could replicate it by modifying his Lead 55 (which is a Plexi) with a couple of cap value changes and using the transformer from one of his other amps (Club 40 I believe). I was sorely tempted, but his amps are non-MV and he pointed out it would need to be cranked.

    I ended up getting an Aiken Invaded 18 watter. It gets me about 95% there, so I'm satisfied. Not sure if it would get you that singing, clear, but slightly hairy tone for SIBLY tho.
     
  15. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Supporting Member

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    +2 on consulting with Doug Roccaforte regarding getting Page tone.

    +1000 on picking the Madison Square Gardens live Since I've Been Loving You as The tone to search for.
     
  16. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

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  17. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    Doug, can you build a Custom 30 or 40 that could do this? I know you love the stones of 4 x el34s but please, have mercy on us!
     
  18. bluessyndicate

    bluessyndicate Supporting Member

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    Hey Doug thanks for the Tea for One clip....I knew you'd get to that one eventually!
     
  19. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

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    I'm already doing this as a custom order, non master volume dual channel
    preamp.
    The stock Custom 30 and 40 both have master volume circuits that do JP well on their own, but I also offer both models in a non master config.
     
  20. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

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    Thats actually an old clip I did after a long night of drinking,
    I needed Tea for one!
     

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