Lindsey Buckingham Marshall Amps Late-70s?

GrahamFrame

Member
Messages
15
Hi All!

Have been searching the interwebs high and low for an article that I read many years ago from Ray Lindsey (Lindsey Buckingham's guitar tech) giving a rundown on Lindsey's late 70s live rig. I've been unable to find it. Lindsey's rig from that era had a very dark and aggressive tone that I've always loved; very similar to Richie Blackmore's sound from the same era which I'm also very fond of. I know that he's using a homemade fuzz box with the preamp from a tape deck and some digital delay, but unknown on the Marshall amps and heads that he's using.

I've been privileged to obtain one of Rick Turner's guitars recently and it's completely changed my backline needs. The Orange amps that I was previously playing (with Les Pauls) sound flat and harsh, so I've ended up with a new Hi-Tone Custom 50 (vintage Hiwatt remake) which sounds excellent -- very clear and plenty of headroom -- but I'm also interested in obtaining a Marshall to explore some of those dark Lindsey-type sounds from that era.

Anyone either have the article or know what Marshalls he was using in the late 70s? Cheers!
 

James

Member
Messages
2,869
I'm a long-time Lindsey Buckingham fan, but haven't ever run across the article or interview discussing a specific model Marshall head he used in the 70s. The Guitar Player interview from the late 70s only referenced "100-Watt Marshalls", nothing more specific. I have pictures from that era which show him using Marshall, Boogie and HiWatt heads at different times. Early on, he also used a Fender Pro Reverb.

I do vaguely recall an interview with Ray Lindsey and will have to check my LB files...Will post if I find anything.
 
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jmccann040878

Member
Messages
675
I've been a big LB fan since I was 17. I remember back in 2000 reading a "Guitar Player" mag from I think late 75, early 76 right before they went to start recording "Rumors". From what I remember Lindsey saying in the article, he was using Hiwatt heads and cabs, a Roland Space echo, a preamp from a tape deck, and a Crybaby wah. I remember another interview after "Tusk" was recorded, where I read that Lindsey said he did not care for the amps or the LP Custom that he was using at the time, and that it was more Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie that convinced him to use an LP so that they would have somewhat of an original "Fleetwood Mac" sound. I also remember Lindsey saying in that article, that he would have been just as happy playing a tele or a strat. There a pics out there of Lindsey from back in the day playing a standard tele, and another tele with a humbucker in the neck, as well as pics of him playing strats that look to have had the electronics modified by Rick Turner when he was still working at Alembic. I know after they recorded "Tusk", and Rick Turner made the model #1 for him, he used what looks like 1x12 Mesa MK I's, and either a BOSS SD-1, or DS-1, along with a CE-2. If you watch the "Mirage" tour video, there are parts where you can see his pedals on the floor.
 

GrahamFrame

Member
Messages
15
Thanks all, still seems like a mystery as to what he was using on the Tusk tour.

In some of the early Tusk shows that were filmed, you can clearly see "Marshall" logos on the cabs behind him and his guitar has that dirty midrange that only a Marshall can provide.

Not that his Boogie sound is bad, it's actually very clear and works extremely well for his Turner, but just hasn't been my cup of tea. I prefer his Hiwatt / LP or Turner / Marshall sound any day!

If anyone finds that Ray Lindsey article (or otherwise knows how to ping him a message somewhere) I'd be in your debt!
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
25,073
I couldn't find that article, but I did find this:

What other equipment do you have?


For amplifiers I used to use HiWatts, but they all of a sudden somehow became real dirty-sounding. So I got Marshall 100watts, and they seem to have a lot of bite. I use these tape recorder guts for fuzz. When I got out of Fritz and started doing lead, I bought a Sony 630 tape recorder deck for demo tapes. Then I got an Ampeg 4-track and started using the Sony 2-track for slap echo and effects like that with the preamp output of the deck into an amp. It's just an amazing fuzz device. Since then I've taken the guts out of the preamp and put them in a little box, and that's what I use both onstage and in the studio. I also use a Roland Space Echo and a Cry Baby wahwah sometimes. My strings are Ernie Ball Regular Slinky, whatever set has an .010 on the top and a .046 or something on the bottom.

Do you record with the Marshalls at high volume?

It depends on the song. Sometimes you can even go direct [into the control board] and get a great guitar sound, especially with the Stratoblaster thing. A lot of times I use smaller amps in the studio. I have an old Gibson; I don't even know the model, but it's about twenty years old, and it's got one 15" in it and an open back. It sounds amazing turned all the way up.

http://bla.fleetwoodmac.net/index.php?page=index_v2&id=32

In another interview with Rick Turner, he talks about how during the recording of "Rumors", when he became involved with the Mac, that Lindsey was using HiWatt's in the studio and overdriving them with a Stratoblaster preamp, which would cause the amp to die after about thirty minutes, so they kept three amps and sent them to Prune Music to be repaired every day or so.
 

jmccann040878

Member
Messages
675
I couldn't find that article, but I did find this:

What other equipment do you have?


For amplifiers I used to use HiWatts, but they all of a sudden somehow became real dirty-sounding. So I got Marshall 100watts, and they seem to have a lot of bite. I use these tape recorder guts for fuzz. When I got out of Fritz and started doing lead, I bought a Sony 630 tape recorder deck for demo tapes. Then I got an Ampeg 4-track and started using the Sony 2-track for slap echo and effects like that with the preamp output of the deck into an amp. It's just an amazing fuzz device. Since then I've taken the guts out of the preamp and put them in a little box, and that's what I use both onstage and in the studio. I also use a Roland Space Echo and a Cry Baby wahwah sometimes. My strings are Ernie Ball Regular Slinky, whatever set has an .010 on the top and a .046 or something on the bottom.

Do you record with the Marshalls at high volume?

It depends on the song. Sometimes you can even go direct [into the control board] and get a great guitar sound, especially with the Stratoblaster thing. A lot of times I use smaller amps in the studio. I have an old Gibson; I don't even know the model, but it's about twenty years old, and it's got one 15" in it and an open back. It sounds amazing turned all the way up.

http://bla.fleetwoodmac.net/index.php?page=index_v2&id=32

In another interview with Rick Turner, he talks about how during the recording of "Rumors", when he became involved with the Mac, that Lindsey was using HiWatt's in the studio and overdriving them with a Stratoblaster preamp, which would cause the amp to die after about thirty minutes, so they kept three amps and sent them to Prune Music to be repaired every day or so.

That's the article I remember reading back in 2000.

I just got done reading "Making Rumor's" in the book Ken Caillat states that Rick Turner is the one that built the "Stratoblaster" for Lindsey's guitars.
"Rick made a small amplifier that he would build into the Fender Stratocaster's output connector that would boost the output by 15 decibels. I liked them so much, I had Rick build me one in a box so that I could use it with any instrument."

I'm sure if you googled it, you could find out alot more about.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
How in the hell can you kill a Hiwatt? Even Townshend couldn't blow one up-haha.
All of the sudden got dirty? Bad tubes? Who knows.
Just surprised to see 2 things that are arguably as un Hiwatt as it gets being cited as why he stopped using them.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,912
How in the hell can you kill a Hiwatt? Even Townshend couldn't blow one up-haha.
All of the sudden got dirty? Bad tubes? Who knows.
Just surprised to see 2 things that are arguably as un Hiwatt as it gets being cited as why he stopped using them.

Maybe they bought some of those 2-Hole Canadian HiWatts? :dunno
 

GrahamFrame

Member
Messages
15
From Rick Turner:

"For Lindsey, the sound of the electric on Rumours is his guitar with the ‘Blaster gain all the way up, basically destroying a succession of HiWatt amps. Evidently, the HiWatts did not have adequate current protection; they were fine with normal electric guitar output levels, but when we boosted that by nearly 12 dB, the amplifier just tried to pull more and more current through the power transformer, and after about 20 or 30 minutes of high gain sustaining guitar solo, the transformers would literally go up in smoke. Luckily, they had three of them, and every day one would go off to Prune Music to be repaired."

Hearing these kind of stories is what steered me away from a vintage Hylight era Hiwatt for now and to a clone. I need something reliable and I use a lot of fuzz pedals for my sound. No way I want to kill one of those beautiful Partridge transformers.
 

Dashface

Member
Messages
7,573
That seems awfully unlikely. I've spent lots of time using my Hiwatts with a Clapton strat which has the 25db mid boost. They've always happily taken all I can give without the slightest complaint.

I know we weren't there - but I would suspect something else was going on there.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
From Rick Turner:

"For Lindsey, the sound of the electric on Rumours is his guitar with the ‘Blaster gain all the way up, basically destroying a succession of HiWatt amps. Evidently, the HiWatts did not have adequate current protection; they were fine with normal electric guitar output levels, but when we boosted that by nearly 12 dB, the amplifier just tried to pull more and more current through the power transformer, and after about 20 or 30 minutes of high gain sustaining guitar solo, the transformers would literally go up in smoke. Luckily, they had three of them, and every day one would go off to Prune Music to be repaired."

Hearing these kind of stories is what steered me away from a vintage Hylight era Hiwatt for now and to a clone. I need something reliable and I use a lot of fuzz pedals for my sound. No way I want to kill one of those beautiful Partridge transformers.

I don't get this at all.
I've run my 1975 Hiwatt DR504 for the last 25 years with everything and it's mom plugged into the front end and it's been nothing but ultra-reliable.
Bizarre
 

Papanate

Member
Messages
19,820
Evidently, the HiWatts did not have adequate current protection; they were fine with normal
electric guitar output levels, but when we boosted that by nearly 12 dB, the amplifier just tried to pull more and more current through the power transformer,

That is not true - just by the physics of the situation. More likely Buckingham was
running mismatched cabinets - or running incorrect voltages (such as a 220 v on the
120 v setting) or he may have had them push the voltage to the amps in hopes of
getting more distortion.

I've pounded the front end of my Hiwatts (I used 4 50 watt heads and cabinets in the late 70s).
I couldn't blow one up if I tried - they were rock solid. I used two MXR Micro Amps on my pedal board.
One was always on to keep the signal clean - the other was set at 2 O'Clock to punch the amp in the
preamp section to make it distort.
 

StaggerLee85

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
135
I've been running my '76 DR-103 flat out (both normal and master dimed) with a Keeley RAT slamming the front end at every gig.

There's no way he blew those up running them normally.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,605
What about Gilmour? He ran, and still does, all kinds of fuzz, boosts, drives, and other things taking the guitar way above "normal" inputs for way more than 25-30 minutes both live,(for hours), and probably longer in studios with no reported failures.
Same with Slade, slamming away with dimed Hiwatts for hours on stage as well.
Add Alex Lifeson to the list as well, he ran all kinds if things in front of his Hiwatts.
Partridge Transformers were massively overbuilt compared to what was the norm of the day. There's got to be a consistant user error situation, whether mismatched cabs, wrong power selecting, cocaine-whatever, that was causing these amps to fail, not their design.
The statement that 100 watt Hiwatts are dirtier dimed than 100 watt Marshall Super Leads goes against everything I've ever experienced(yes, I've had the amps side by side before blasting in a warehouse)read about, or heard.
Quality control on these amps set the bar in those days for mil-spec wiring, top grade components, and road worthiness.
How these Hiwatts blew up every half hour and the Marshalls he replaced them didn't, makes absolutely no sense in any way other than they simply weren't operated properly and/or folks were too "out of their heads" recording those sessions.
 

Papanate

Member
Messages
19,820
and/or folks were too "out of their heads" recording those sessions.

There is a good read called 'Making Rumours' written by Ken Caillat the Co Producer of the Rumours album.
He's said the amount of cocaine fueling those sessions was beyond mind boggling. Mick Fleetwood used
to get so buzzed he literally couldn't speak.

Also of note: Caillat never mentioned Buckingham's Hiwatts blowing up daily - and I imagine as a Producer
keeping track of the budget - he might have noticed.
 

Benny

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,499
I can't say for certain what Buckingham was using at the time, but I did own a Model 1 for a while with the aim of achieving a lot of these same tones. As you've likely already noticed, the guitar itself is capable of enough output over a wide frequency range to make many amps and many conventional overdrives, fuzzes, and other pedals behave in unexpected ways.

For me, with my old Model 1, the normal channel of a bass-spec plexi with the occasional application of a Hotcake overdrive worked well for the sounds I think you're trying to achieve. I had a Metro-built 50 watt bass-spec plexi, but I'm sure other similar amps from other builders would get you into the range where you could rely on the active and passive controls on the Model 1 to get what you want.
 
Messages
1,854
I read Making Rumours twice last year. The first time was so enjoyable, I went back to read it with a bit more of a fine tooth comb.

In several photos, you can see that the guitar amps in the studio are Marshall stacks. I don't recall much mention of Hiwatts in the book, either. There was, however, mention of the stratoblaster, as well as LP's and big Marshalls.

I think a lot of the actual facts around his rigs in the 70's is lost to the haze of cocaine and alcohol, unfortunately. It wasn't like today, where everything was meticulously kept track of via photos, interviews on websites, etc. Imagine making a record or doing a tour almost 40 years ago, and someone saying "What amp did you use then?" God, I'd have no idea! Seems like LB is like us in this way- he's always looking for the best sound to his ear, no matter where he finds it, be it Marshall, Fender, Hiwatt, or whatever.
 




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