So just how does Neil Young get that signature heavy overdrive tone of his?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by jpervin, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. jpervin

    jpervin Member

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    Is it just his hands, Ol' Black and a cranked '50s tweed Deluxe?
    Does he use a stand-alone tube reverb unit?
    Does he use a compressor?

    Even when he's lightly strumming, there's an undercurrent of anger in his tone that is simply jawdropping to listen to! :omg

    Sorry if this has been asked before, but inquiring minds still want to know. :)
     
  2. jackio

    jackio Member

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    I think he has it turned up really loud. Light touch for that 'undercurrent of anger'. Try getting a small amp, or a big space, turn amp to 11, etc etc
     
  3. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    Last time I heard, he used a Baldwin Exterminator with the Deluxe to give it the heaviness. I sold him one back in the 90's. I found it at a yard sale. What a strange piece of blender button equipment.
     
  4. jackio

    jackio Member

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    Ah nice story.....
     
  5. John H

    John H Silver Supporting Member

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  6. Shark21

    Shark21 Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I enjoyed that. Thanks!
     
  7. bluesjunior

    bluesjunior Member

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  8. fuzzface71

    fuzzface71 Member

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  9. Rockinrob86

    Rockinrob86 Supporting Member

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    a cranked tweed deluxe basically gets you the sound. You have to put the normal volume almost on ten, and the bright volume on 12 and tone on 9 or so, plug into the bright input.

    He has a padded down line running from the output jack of the tweed into a magnatone custom 212 and cranks that amp up too, but if you have ever turned a les paul into a tweed deluxe up to the above setting, you will hear the sound.

    Also, you cant have muddy pickups and it helps if they are lower, vintage style output.

    I will admit though, that even with doing the above, there is a little something missing.

    He uses a fender reverb unit and an ep3 echoplex too, which both of those add to your tone even when they are off
     
  10. silvertone

    silvertone Member

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    Rumor has it he uses 6L6s in his Deluxes.
     
  11. 57gold

    57gold Silver Supporting Member

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    His tech before a CSNY show. He was setting up NY's rig and I recognized him from a interview that I read, probably directed to it by a TGP member.

    Anyways, my son and I walked to the stage front area, I called out his name and he came down to chat. Said NY's Deluxe has 6L6s, I had asked what 6V6s his used because I have a 1959 Deluxe and was curious, the answer was none.

    Said that NY got the amp with 6L6s, part of the magic, and the only mod is a fan because the thing runs very hot. LC mentioned that NY had a bunch of Deluxes and, for that matter 1953 and 1954 Goldtops, but none combine like Old Black and the Deluxe.

    LC was very charming and friendly and mentioned the Whizzer and other effects...string reverb and Echoplex, as well.

    Never tried 6L6s in mine, wonder what a tech would say and which ones wouldn't endanger the amp?
     
  12. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    People can criticize Neil, say he can't play, his recent albums have been crap, blah blah blah. But, there's nobody else in the world who does what he does and sounds the way he sounds. He's a complete original, one of the most soulful players in the world, an infinitely talented songwriter, an uncompromising artist, and a huge influence on more musicians than you might realize. The second you hear him play electric, you know it's neil Young.

    I just wish he'd do the damned Buffalo Springfield tour this year!
     
  13. Lance

    Lance Member

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    Does, or didn't he also play through one of those 5000W Magnatone small building sized monstrosities? I know I've sen pictures of it, but maybe that was a rare occurrence?
     
  14. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Member

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    My band plays " Old Man" cuz the singer has a ridiculously perfectly pitched high voice. When I take the solo on my MIM Strat with Duncan '59, JB '59 and Duckbucker pups, I work the whammy bar furiously until the guitar begs me to stop. I run it through my beat to **** late 50s Deluxe into a Jensen MOD speaker cranked up to the max , and it is pure Neil distorto. Definitely orgasmic if you like it rough.
     
  15. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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  16. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    After reading the amp link, it appears a lot goes into his sound, including 2000 watt P.A. cabs.
     
  17. pitbull45

    pitbull45 Member

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    Mutron octave divider has a lot to do with the tone

     
  18. shakeyjakey

    shakeyjakey Member

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    Neil uses Tube Echoplex EP1 or EP2. Tube plex used as a preamp makes a pretty big difference ..to my ears anyway ..EP3 no so much.
     
  19. gmann

    gmann Member

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    I can agree with this! Not too many uncompromising musician/artists in the world these days. LIke him or not he is unique and I like him.
     
  20. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    Thats what cranked tweed Deluxes sound like. Get the Soul Of Tone book on Fender amps. It comes with a CD with clips of various Fender amps demoed by Greg Koch. He nails the sound with just a les paul and a tweed Deluxe.
     

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