Robben Ford sans Dumble/Baker

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GAT, Aug 14, 2005.


  1. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    Robben Ford sans Dumble/Baker!!

    I saw Robben Ford last night up in Lake Tahoe, Nevada with the Ford Blues Band. He was using a BF Fender Super Reverb (no Dumble) and a Gibson Les Paul (no Baker) and the only pedal/effect was a Zendrive. His tone was incredible, he only used the Zendrive on the more gainy type of leads and just the straight amp tone for the rest, probably 25% of the solos were the Zendrive. I have seen Robben 10-12 times, always with a custom RF guitar, Dumble amp, and no OD pedals, but last night he sounded the same with all different gear, maybe, dare I say, better. The Zendrive sounded just like his heavier solos on the Jing Ching Live CD. He had the Super with the volume at 6.5, treble 5.5, mid 5.5, bass 5 and a touch of reverb. He played the whole night on the bridge pickup and would pull the neck tone knob during solos, which gave it a fatter tone. I asked him after the show if it was a mid boost and he said it was a global coil tap. The weird thing is usually push/pull pots are pulled out for the tap and pushed in for the full humbucking, maybe he just likes it the opposite. I asked him about playing the Les Paul and he smiled and said that he 'just likes it, the tone and the shorter scale length". I didn't have a chance to ask him about the Dumble, but I tell you, I did not miss it one bit, and I'm one of the bigger boutique amp whores out there! The other guitar player used a Two Rock Type E head and cab, his tone was very ordinary, almost weak and thin.

    Moral of the story...Robben is flat out great, and boutique doesn't always mean better. I know this post will spark a lot of discussion, maybe not, but I'm really picky about tone and his was the best I have seen him have. It sure has got me thinking. :cool:
     
  2. 908SSP

    908SSP Supporting Member

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    I am not surprised at all.
     
  3. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I've seen him a couple of times with the Goldtop 54, and have also seen him playing into either a current production Twin or an Evil Twin.

    The sound is all Robben!
     
  4. RGN

    RGN Member

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    I am just getting into Robben Ford and bought a CD a month or so ago... Robben Ford & The Blue Line. I LOVE it. I really like The Brother and Life Song. He isn't using a strat on any of this stuff? What is the best CD to buy to get the definitive Robben Ford?

    I am having a lot of fun learning the licks to The Brother right now. I am more of an 80s- Lynch/EVH type player so going in this direction is a lot of fun. I am getting a nice RF type tone using channel 2 on my Diezel VH-4. I may try channel 1 with a Fulldrive FD-2 and see what I can dial in.

    Thanks for the gear info... very interesting.
     
  5. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah Volker's Two Rock doesn't seem to stand out like it could. I've seen him/them a lot and I think some of it is just his settings and guitars. Volker plays the crap out of his guitars (usually strat and LP) but his tone has always been on the thin side, unfortunately. I saw him locally a few years ago and he was playing though a SR, I'm pretty sure, before TRock had arisen, and his tone was bigger. He had his LP but went into some lead pedal before the SR. I think he could have a bigger sound with his current gear if he wanted it to be different. But then, wtf do I know...... :rolleyes:

    jon
     
  6. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Opinions will vary wildly on this but my favorite, and I have them all, is Talk To Your Daughter (1988). His older stuff, pre Robben Ford Fender and Dumble is also definitive, but of a different era. Some favor his work with The Blue Line, early 90s.

    jon
     
  7. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    GAT:

    GREAT post! Thanks for the info. Any other information on the Super Reverb, i.e. year (reissue or original), mods, (if any) speakers, etc?

    Thanks

    Chuck
     
  8. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    COOL! Does not surprise me at all. The last two times I have seen him with his Dumble and baker, his tone has been WAY to mid heavy for me He seemed irritated with his tones at times as well.... I am not a boutique believer anyway.

    If he had a stock Super reverb and was playing straight in at about 6.5 on the dial, it must have been WAY cleaner than he usually playes his leads. Especially seeing how lightly he usually picks!
     
  9. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I saw Robben in Portland OR. last year and I have to say that Dumble/Baker tone really wore me down after a while.
     
  10. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    Insider info available here:

    http://www.online-discussion.com/RobbenFord/
     
  11. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    I don't know why anyone would be surprised by this. To play through a dialed in pre-CBS Super Reverb is practicaly a religious experience.
     
  12. tonemandan

    tonemandan Member

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    A player like Robben Ford can make almost anything sound great. I love the tones he gets with his Dumble but I'm not suprised he sounded great through the SR.

    Put me down for liking the Blue Line era recordings best:

    Robben Ford and the Blue line
    Handful of blues
    Mystic miles

    "Talk to your daughter" is still near and dear to my heart as that's the first recording I ever heard of Robbens. Tonewise the "Jing Chi Live" album really does it for me.

    BTW does anyone know what guitar he used on that live recording?

    Dan
     
  13. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    He used a Baker Les Paul style, single cutaway. Great tone!
     
  14. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    I've always wished Robben would bail on the Dumble ODS sound and use a brawny turned out Marshall. I've seen him a half-dozen times, and he plays REALLY loud. He could use anything at that volume. I know, you don't have to remind me. It's the clean headroom he loves about the Dumble, and I agree to an extent. But he's given me two free haircuts, when I was dumb enough to sit on axis to his amp. Mr. Dumble knows how to get a Marshall working really well, so brand loyalty wouldn't be a problem.

    Robben is not a particularly gainy player. He almost never lingers on a note. I've never seen him hang one out to dry and let it fold into feedback either. It's not his bag baby. When I listen to the "Inside Story" on some of the cuts, he's basically strangling the guitar. I love that stuff. All I'm trying to say is I wish, selfishly, that he'd let that nasty aggressive side loose a bit more. With his highly articulated and muted style on his current inventory of tunes, he could get that going with just about any Fender amp. I love his playing like crazy, but I've never really "got" what was so great about his amp sound. His touch is impeccable and among the greats to me, but I'd just like to see him hit the gas a little harder and take a few big drops, as is said in surf parlance. YMMV etc.
     
  15. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    After the Talk to Your Daughter CD, I was suprised and a bit disappointed in his tone after that CD. It sometimes seemed so mid heavy and although I always have loved his playing, I felt that some of his tone was lacking. I do like the Jing Ching Live tone and that's what the Zendrive sounded like. I was really suprised by the tone of that pedal last night. Last night the tone had the mids, but also some bite and bottom end. The Zendrive just added a thick, soaring tone.
     
  16. Jellobello45

    Jellobello45 Guest

    You guys should check out Robben's tone with Bill Frisel on Billie's Bounce.
    Of course it's incredible, but they're completely bopping out...and it doesn't sound like any tone I've heard Robben play with before...it could be a twin, but it's still sounds like Robben;)
     
  17. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    I was there for the Thursday night recordings that went into that. He mostly played the Tele. And mostly on the bridge pickup, sometimes in the middle. Can't remember any solos using the neck. Most of his overdriven solo work is using the bridge pickup of whatever guitar he's using.

    Agree about Volker. Saw him with the Super and LP in a little club and it was big and solid. Haven't heard his TR in a small enough venue to tell what it really sounds like. Could be murder by soundman.
     
  18. tonemandan

    tonemandan Member

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    Really? Wow. The album cover shows him with 2 different Les Pauls, one with humbuckers and the other with P90's. I always thought his tone sounded kind of P90ish or like his Tele through the Dumble on that album.

    Anyway thanks for the info. Were you there?

    Dan
     
  19. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    wonder if Dumble modded it?
     
  20. tommyg

    tommyg Member

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    I have almost every Robben Ford CD and my favorite guitar tone of his has to be from the "Mystic Mile" CD.

    For his overdriven tones I love "The Plunge". And for his smoooooooth clean tones you have to love the title cut "Mystic Mile".
     

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