Mark Knopfler Humbucker Tone

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1,717
I'm really taken with Knopfler's later tones. Assuming a person already had a good les paul, what pickups would you recommend to get that vocal tone that's heavy on the lows and mids but still has some snap?

Does he use any special pedals?

Please avoid the obvious "tone is in the hands" stuff. If that were totally the case, MK would sound the same regardless of the gear he used and that clearly isn't the case.

Thanks.
 

Coldacre

Senior Member
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9,839
a medium to high output PAF set, unpotted will get you there. he plays mainly a 58 and a 59 burst as well as some R9's. Seth Lovers or any of the multitude of PAF clones that are out there.

personally, I think James @ ReWind Electric is winding some amazing pickups right now. his "JPPre72" set would do what you want beautifully.
 

Corinthian

Member
Messages
1,898
He does tend to sound the same regardless of amp. That said, recently he's been using Reinhard amps, built for him based on a Trainwreck circuit. And before that Komet 60s, which are obviously also Trainwreck derived. So something along those lines will get you closest.

Pickup wise, his LP is a '58 I think so pick your favourite of the many many PAFs available.

He uses a volume pedal a lot to reduce the gain, bringing it in for certain phrases. He also tends to be in the middle position on his LP with the bridge turned a fair bit lower than the neck. I think I read he uses a Crowther Hot Cake as well when he's using Fender amps.

I personally don't care for the "tone is in the hands" trope either. But in Knopfler's case it is more true than for most players. He does sound very distinctly Knopfler whether he's playing on a Strat or a Les Paul, through a Komet or a Fender. So dropping the pick and getting some of that MK touch is important for mimicking his tone.
 

kiwicanuck

Member
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1,532
In addition to the gear he uses a lot of his sound comes from the chord fragments/voicings that he uses.
 

hotrats73

Silver Supporting Member
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3,206
He also picks the strings over the bridge pick up (on a LP) with his 1st and 2nd finger. The thumb obviously picks further.
 

fenderiarhs

Member
Messages
311
I m afraid that for the Knopfler tone, unless you drop your pick, no matter what gear you buy, you won't sound like him.
 

Average Joe

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11,936
Whenever I try to emulate Knopfler I find that I get closest with a surprisingly gainy sound picked very lightly. I think that's a big part of that drive sound,not digging in
 
Last edited:

Ciroxin

Member
Messages
478
Long time Knopfler fan here. I play guitar because of him. So yes, in his case, the tone is in the fingers and he sounds incredible on any guitar and amp combination, one can be sure on that. In my opinion, he is the greatest player ever.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Jonny G

Member
Messages
1,513
I m afraid that for the Knopfler tone, unless you drop your pick, no matter what gear you buy, you won't sound like him.
+1

I play Knopfler stuff (with LP and Strat) and this is absolutely the case - plus his phrasing is quite distinctive :BluesBros
 

Stephans

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1,088
Years ago I heard a interview: Brothers in arms was recorded with a Les Paul trough a loud Fender Vibrolux
 
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6,839
I m afraid that for the Knopfler tone, unless you drop your pick, no matter what gear you buy, you won't sound like him.
This.

I can get convincing Knopfler tones on my SG in middle position with both pickups rolled back to about 7 or 8, and a smooth overdrive that doesn’t cut bass, like the Jetter Gain Stage Gold.
 

straightblues

Member
Messages
9,653
One of the key is turning the amp way up to almost full, then turning the guitars volume down to control the gain and overall volume. Mark does that with his foot volume pedal but you can also do it with the guitars volume knob.
 






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