Met Larry Carlton last night - amp talk

Desert Blues

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Before the show I chatted to him about his Bludotone amp he said it was too loud so he sent it back to Brandon to get it 'mellowed out' - I took some photos of the back of it and you can see that there are two tubes pulled as well. Larry told me the Bludotone was too loud for him so he wanted it to be lower in volume.

In regards to his original amp (Dumble) he says it is a complete copy and that he hadnt been in contact with Alexander for a long time. Larry is the nicest gentleman one could hope to meet and his playing was absolutely beautiful - go see him!












 
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Phletch

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Nice pics. I got to see him on his inaugural visit to NZ in June 2014. He just used a backline of 2x Fender Blues DeVilles and his flydate board similar to the one in your pics. I was a bit disappointed - just briefly - when I didn't see the Bludo on stage, but once he started playing I didn't care one bit. As they say, he still sounded like Larry, and it was a great show. I got to chat with him briefly in a meet-and-greet after the show, and I agree, he's just a super nice guy.

Interesting, though, what he said about the Bludo being too loud. In this Premier Guitar "Rig Rundown" video he explains (starting at 15:25) that he has 3x 100W models, switchable to 50W, and that he keeps one in the US, one in Brussels, and one in Tokyo. He goes on about how he really likes the headroom of the 100W for the big-stage live shows, and that he had a 50/25W model built for his studio. I don't understand the whole "too loud" thing (or removing two tubes when it's got multi-watt selection) with a MV amp that gets the OD goods from the preamp, but if that's what he said/did, that's what he said/did. He's still my favorite player ever.
 

Desert Blues

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Nice pics. I got to see him on his inaugural visit to NZ in June 2014. He just used a backline of 2x Fender Blues DeVilles and his flydate board similar to the one in your pics. I was a bit disappointed - just briefly - when I didn't see the Bludo on stage, but once he started playing I didn't care one bit. As they say, he still sounded like Larry, and it was a great show. I got to chat with him briefly in a meet-and-greet after the show, and I agree, he's just a super nice guy.

Interesting, though, what he said about the Bludo being too loud. In this Premier Guitar "Rig Rundown" video he explains (starting at 15:25) that he has 3x 100W models, switchable to 50W, and that he keeps one in the US, one in Brussels, and one in Tokyo. He goes on about how he really likes the headroom of the 100W for the big-stage live shows, and that he had a 50/25W model built for his studio. I don't understand the whole "too loud" thing (or removing two tubes when it's got multi-watt selection) with a MV amp that gets the OD goods from the preamp, but if that's what he said/did, that's what he said/did. He's still my favorite player ever.
I think he just wants a smaller tone - if you use the 50/100 watt switch at the back and change it to 50watts you are in fact getting 70 watts so to get 50 watts he has pulled out two tubes.

I can hear the tone he is fgoing for - its a woody mellow tone - not a chimey bright tone.
 

Phletch

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Ahhhh I cant say about the 2 Dumbles he owned - but there is a reason he is not playing them anymore but I cant divulge why. Real sorry.
Hmmm, I know he publicly mentioned in another interview that the Dumbles were getting a bit long in the tooth, needing some maintenance, etc. and that it just became a bit of a scheduling problem with Larry now living in Nashville and getting them to HAD in Cali and trying to coordinate all that around Larry's touring schedule.
I used to go to the Baked Potato in Studio City Ca. and see Larry around 1979-80-81. Right after he recorded Mr. 335.
Larry was very approachable and would talk gear after the show. He was using a Mesa Boogie combo wood cabinet 100 watt.
Larry had a student named Carlos Rios who was friends with a friend of mine. So, I was able to hang with him more than the regular club patrons.
Sometimes he'd arrive late and apologize to the audience saying he'd been in the studio with some artist and they needed him to stay. Free drinks would arrive at the tables when this happened.
It was great sitting right in front of him watching him play. I picked up a few tricks that way.
Man, that must have been a real treat. I had just discovered Larry at that time, but I was just starting high school in FL. In addition to his playing, it was that Boogie sound that really captivated me. I know this is sacrilege, but...while I won't say that going to the Dumble was a step backward, I still think he never sounded better tone-wise than he did with the Mark I.
 

amstrtatnut

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Larry is the man. Some lessons floating around youtube are really helpful.

Im not usually a, "how can I get so and so's tone" kinda guy, but Larry sounds amazing.
 

Bluesful

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Hmmm, I know he publicly mentioned in another interview that the Dumbles were getting a bit long in the tooth, needing some maintenance, etc. and that it just became a bit of a scheduling problem with Larry now living in Nashville and getting them to HAD in Cali and trying to coordinate all that around Larry's touring schedule.
This is what I also thought was the case. I assumed he still owned them but wasn't using them because he couldn't get them serviced.
 

Red Planet

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Nice thread. Interesting I also believe a cranked Mark I will get some real good tone as well. If I had to guess, and I believe someone else mentioned when you send your Dumble to get it serviced you might not get it back.
 

Desert Blues

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Hmmm, I know he publicly mentioned in another interview that the Dumbles were getting a bit long in the tooth, needing some maintenance, etc. and that it just became a bit of a scheduling problem with Larry now living in Nashville and getting them to HAD in Cali and trying to coordinate all that around Larry's touring schedule.
Like I said I'm sworn to secrecy. But anyway Larry seems happy with the Bludos!
 

Desert Blues

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Nice thread. Interesting I also believe a cranked Mark I will get some real good tone as well. If I had to guess, and I believe someone else mentioned when you send your Dumble to get it serviced you might not get it back.
Well Santana has gone back to using his original Mesa Boogie - maybe those amps will someday become real collectable - back in the day I think they were even more expensive than a Dumble amp
 

Phletch

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Like I said I'm sworn to secrecy. But anyway Larry seems happy with the Bludos!
I wasn't trying to get you to divulge; just stating what he mentioned publicly. Apparently, there's more to it.

He does seem happy with the Bludo. I don't know if you've ever seen this; if not, it's worth watching. The whole trio just kicks, and the video and audio quality are superb. BTW, was Larry in a trio or quartet at your show, and who were the other musos?

 

Banditt

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Something that doesn't get a lot of Pub is that there was a SH**TLOAD of gear damaged and ruined in the Nashville area by the floods a few year back. Even Guys that don't live there..a lot of the Companies that do the tours and transport/store the equipment are located there....

Damn shame, not saying this is the case with Larry, but I know it happened to many folks..

Those that didn't have anything damaged got a scare and have rethough what they tour with, where they store stuff, and how important it really is to take there expensive gear on the road...just not worth it with today's technology.
 

musicman1

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Larry is a class act. A really nice man that I believe likes spending time with fans and always appreciates the support. A total and true pro...you can easily understand how this guy became a first call session player even with that huge level of talent...the only time I ever had the pleasure of meeting him was at the 1991 winter NAMM show and Larry was at the Valley Arts booth.

Interesting in the above clip...no W/D/W rig. I think he sounds better. Much like those Boogie days.
 
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