Neil Schon lead tone

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by VHS analog, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. VHS analog

    VHS analog Member

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    What's the best stomp to get the classic Neil Schon lead tone: super high gain with wide frequency response? I know he has a Boss DS-1 on his board but a $25 ebay pedal alone won't do it (poor articulation at extreme settings). What about a Wampler Ecstasy? Or a Timmy goosed with an Xotic AC ? Pickup suggestions are also appreciated.
    I'm playing a Les Paul Classic into a 100w plexi reissue running mostly clean.
    Thanks
     
  2. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    I always thought his tone was kind of wimpy but it's definitely more high-gain than you are going to get from a "plexi" without some major help. Maybe try a Barber Direct Drive or MI Crunch Box.
     
  3. Rev2S

    Rev2S Member

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    Take a left on Hudgens Rd, then a right on....
    He uses a Landgraff LDO and MOD...

    Check out Lovekraft stuff...very similar to the Landgraff stuff but at a better price.
     
  4. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    You have to be kidding, in what way is it wimpy, please discuss.
     
  5. VHS analog

    VHS analog Member

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    Definitely not wimpy. Listen to 'Any Way You Want It' or 'City of the Angels'. It's massive, cello-like sustain that doesn't back down. It has density.
     
  6. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    Wimpy?

    Baloney.

    I could site dozens of songs where NS has massive tone.
     
  7. gtr777

    gtr777 Supporting Member

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    he also has a sustainer on for most of his solo's. thats how he gets all that...eh... sustain
     
  8. Droptop

    Droptop Supporting Member

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    Doesn't he have a touch of chorus going on at the same time with the gain?
     
  9. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    sometimes.


    Crunchbox will work great, as will the AC-boost.


    the way I do it, is by using a tube screamer to boost an already midrangey amp (Ac30). Its totally juicy and fat. I love it. I'm probably gonna record a journey cover in the next few days.
     
  10. geetarboy

    geetarboy Member

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    The Direct Drive will help get you there.
     
  11. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    Ok, so maybe wimpy is not the best description, but I always thought it was a very 80's processed tone. I have always loved his playing though.

    Edit: I'm gonna go throw on some Journey right now and see if I am talking out of my butt :D
     
  12. VHS analog

    VHS analog Member

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    By the time they released Raised On Radio (arguably the last 'real' Journey record), he had an extremely processed tone. It was the Age of the Bradshaw rack. Not my favorite sound. But don't confuse Steve Perry's sometimes overly sentimental style with Schon's monster guitar tone.
    :phones
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  13. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    Ok, now I get what I meant...they always mix Neil so far back in the mix. But his tone on the classic stuff is definitely very cool so my bad. I will stick with my original recommendation and say Barber Direct Drive.

    One more thing, Steve Perry....dang! :AOK
     
  14. VHS analog

    VHS analog Member

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    I heard that he can't sing it the way he used to anymore, and that's why he's out - I'm sad to say.
     
  15. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Senior Member

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    Steve Perry is going on 60 years old. Lights/City of the Angels etc were recorded when he was 25-ish. Whose voice stays the same for that long, even if you don't smoke or drink?
     
  16. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Supporting Member

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  17. Ed G.

    Ed G. Senior Member

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    I don't find his tone wimpy or processed. I think it's pretty straightforward. For most tracks, you can hear Les Paul/Marshall with maybe some overdrive pedal and delay.

    When I think 'overprocessed' it's usually a chorus sound with distortion. There are few people who can make that sound not cheesy. David Gilmour is one...but that's another topic.

    I think NS used just enough delay to enhance the sustain, kind of one of those "you don't notice it until you turn it off" things, It just smoothed out his lead tones.

    Some tracks obviously had Stratocaster, the ones that come to mind are "Walks like a lady" and "Lights" but the big lead sound he got was mostly Les Paul. Then again, I play a few of his songs in a cover band with a strat with humbucker, my BSIAB2 and Super Reverb, and no one seems to mind.

    Really, to think about it, I think it's more about playing it with the right attitude and touch than gear. He really was/is a monster player, even if that stuff is kind of schlocky. It's weird, I respect the emotion they put into that stuff, even if that's the thing about it that makes me cringe. I think I feel the same about Bon Jovi. I play with some guys who love that stuff. My gut reaction is to recoil in horror, but he and his band put his heart and soul into that music, and you can hear it.
     
  18. VHS analog

    VHS analog Member

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    That settles it. I'm looking into a Crunchbox and a Maxon AD-999 and more importantly, putting in more practice time, and pouring more heartfelt emotion into into my playing (schlocky or not).
    Maybe get a gigantic perm like in that photo. (Mars Volta rules!)
    :phones
     

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