Rigs of early tone seekers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by wrxplayer, Jan 15, 2008.


  1. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,304
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Somerset County, NJ
    There are a lot of guitarists these days who spend lots of time, effort and money getting "that tone." There's been a lot of recent discussion here on Robben Ford's and Joe Bonamassa's setups and tone.

    It made me recall something I read years ago regarding John Cipollina, the highly underrated (IMO) lead guitarist for Quicksilver Messenger Service in the 60's. I found the article and pasted the relevant part below. Does anybody have similar material on other guitar gods of the 50s or 60's or did most of them simply plug the guitar into an amp w/ perhaps a wah between them?

    [​IMG]

    "As lead guitarist for Quicksilver Messenger Service, John Cipollina helped create the psychedelic sound that was a hallmark of San Francisco music scene in the 1960s. The group's long instrument jams, in which Cipollina played a central role, were legendary, both on stage and on record. Some of John's legendary equipment is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
    To create his distinctive guitar sound, Cipollina developed this one-of-a-kind amplifier stack. All of his guitars, including the one here, were wired with two pickups, one for bass and one for treble. The bass pickup fed into the two Standel bass amps on the bottom of the stack. Each Standel was equipped with two 15-inch speakers. The treble pickups fed the two Fender amps-a Fender Twin Reverb with two 12-inch speakers and a Fender Dual Showman- that drove the six Wurlitzer horns.



    "I like the rapid punch of solid-state for the bottom, and the rodent-gnawing distortion of the tubes on top," Cipollina said.
    Cipollina used a custom foot-switched system to select reverb, tremolo, Astro Echoplex (the unit mounted on the right of the Twin Reverb), Standel Modulux (on the left of the twin reverb) or the horns. Truck running lights indicated which effect was being used."
     
  2. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

    Messages:
    3,451
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    I'd say J Garcia is along the same lines of pursuit- with the buffered loops on his guitars, effects and the use of Mac power amps fed by fender twins, as well as his band's approach to redefining the capabilities of the modern PA system.

    There are others I'm sure.
     
  3. jtm622

    jtm622 Member

    Messages:
    9,320
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Man, I don't know about those 2 Super Imperials. Those SS dogs were $1000 each in the late '60's, but sounded like absolute crap - and I'm not exaggerating even a little bit. I bought one new from a smooth-talking salesman in San Antonio when I was just a teenager, and took the thing back the next week and traded it back to the music store EVEN for a Blackface Fender Bassman and a Blackface Fender Showman... I've never really gotten over that first bad Solid-State experience; it's basically been tubes for me ever since.

    I saw Quicksilver in the early '70's and they kicked ass... Cippolina and Duncan both were using several Big Fender amps (2x15 JBL's in each cab) at that time, however.
     
  4. scottlr

    scottlr Member

    Messages:
    22,618
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Born & raised in Texas; stranded in Iowa
    that's the wildest looking rig I have ever seen :)
     
  5. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,059
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Location:
    PDX: The Rose City
    Strange co-incidence: I was just listening to them . . . the first time in, what? about 20 years . . . AND, I just bought a Standel 15" speaker!
     
  6. '70 RS

    '70 RS Member

    Messages:
    5,353
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    North of South San Jose


    That had to have sounded as horrible as it looks.
    Probably a reason no one is after that tone.
     
  7. wrxplayer

    wrxplayer Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,304
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Somerset County, NJ
    Probably best to listen and then judge if you must:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EacQEhrbBQ

    It's an old clip and a crappy recording, but I like the way he plays and sounds.
     
  8. MrDoty

    MrDoty Member

    Messages:
    1,206
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    sf bay
    uuuuh sounds like crap to me. but looks freakin awesome!!!
     
  9. '70 RS

    '70 RS Member

    Messages:
    5,353
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    North of South San Jose

    No denying he's got "Ear piercing treble" dialed in.
    I'm gonna stick with 'ouch'. :BEER
     
  10. jtm622

    jtm622 Member

    Messages:
    9,320
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    Check out that old "Maestro" phase-shifter on the floor to the left...
    I'm pretty sure that was the very first phase-shifter to hit the market - it had 3 settings: "slow - medium - fast"! But they sounded really good.

    P.S. - I just look at those horns and my ears start to ring...
     
  11. quinnamps

    quinnamps Member

    Messages:
    1,224
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ.
    What a great thread I was just thinking of where the batwing and the rig was just the other day.
    John is a freaking guitar god. From Quicksilver, To Mann, to Zero, Dinosaurs, and everything else that man had "it" in spades.
    IMO opinion one of the greatest underrated players ever and certainly an innovative gear nut.
    Glad to see his rig is being preserved. Really made me smile to see it in this thread. :O)
     
  12. studiodunn

    studiodunn Member

    Messages:
    2,522
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    LB, Ca.
    I could actually smell petuly oil as i watched that.
     
  13. jtm622

    jtm622 Member

    Messages:
    9,320
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    I saw those guys do a world class version of "The Fool" on a Grateful Dead tour in their heyday. It was a frigging masterpiece!!! But if you want to talk about "underrated" - that was Gary Duncan. That guy just plain smoked most guitar players of that day, but was always in Cippolina's shadow (for some reason which I never understood.)
     
  14. jefesq

    jefesq Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,977
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    the ocean state
    Gold and Silver a very nice take on Take 5 by Brubeck. Awesome interplay between guitarists from the 1st album. Happy Trails is one of the better live albums around
     
  15. Rumblefish

    Rumblefish Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,671
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Location:
    N. texas
    Oh the memories of listening to Happy Trails back in the day.Amazing stuff.
     
  16. arfalax

    arfalax Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Central Texas
    I was just sitting here listening and playing along with the Who Do You Love (Suite) on XM and sat down to peruse the board and happened to click on this and the song is just finishing as I type this....sweet.
     
  17. quinnamps

    quinnamps Member

    Messages:
    1,224
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ.
    All I can say to the pot shoters is think about where your rig will be when you die. Will it be in a museum?

    'nuff said methinks...
     

Share This Page