Strat Tone on "Clapton" (1970) Album

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by bigdaddystinkeye, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. bigdaddystinkeye

    bigdaddystinkeye Member

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    I have been messing around with a couple of songs on that album (I Don't Know Why and Bottle of Red Wine).

    The tone of Clapton's Strat is very unique on this album. He pretty much lives in that "out of phase" position between the bridge and middle pup. It also sounds like a compressor is involved.

    His tone is "in your face" trebly squeal and that's where I'm having problems. I'm close but just not quite there. I'm playing my Fender Strat CS '54 model through a Tweed Deluxe, which sounds the closest out of my small amp collection and using an Anologman Bi-Comp.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Wasn't he using tweed Champs back then? I know that's what he used on Layla.
     
  3. buddyboy

    buddyboy Gold Supporting Member

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    I love that tone! Don't know anything about recording techniques, but as time has gone on I believe that Delaney Bramlett recorded his Strat in such a fashion that it seems like he's playing out of an AM radio. In other words, I don't think the amp matters that much, it was how the guitar was recorded and EQ'd. He used that tone for about 1-2 years (first album, Howling Wolf London Sessions, the cut he played on the first Stephen Stills album).

    I know of no amp that gets that tone just by plugging a 50's Strat into it. I mean, it's this small, pinched, narrow tone.
     
  4. bigdaddystinkeye

    bigdaddystinkeye Member

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    Thanks for your input, guys.

    After dicking around for a while on this during the weekend I've concluded that to achieve this tone you've got to use that "pinched" picking technique like you mentioned, buddyboy. I think that is the biggest factor. To get it clean, like on that album, will take some practice.

    Dial in the "right" slightly overdriven sound on your amp (I think you're right again there, too, bb. It doesn't have to be a "tweed" but some type of Fender circuit at least and preferably a smaller amp. A Marshall, probably not) Anyway, the Tweed Deluxe's circuit has the two volume controls interactive. I plugged into the "bright" channel. By turning up the "normal" channel all the way gives you a cleaner tone on the "bright" channel with more headroom, so I did that. From there I just fine tuned the "bright" channel into a slightly overdriven sound.

    Use of a compression pedal helped but I think the a lot of it has to do with whoever recorded that recored (Tom Dowd?)

    If some other factor comes up I'll post it here.
     
  5. mrface2112

    mrface2112 Member

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    There's something to be said for recording an amp with an 8in speaker vs one with a 12in speaker. The 8in speaker, as a factor of physics, will put out a "smaller" sound.....which can be perfect for lead guitar tracks to sit in a mix with minimal eq.

    Not saying that's necessarily the case *here*, but it's certainly something worth looking into.


    cheers,
    wade
     
  6. bigdaddystinkeye

    bigdaddystinkeye Member

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    Dual Showman!? Whoa!

    He did play a Showman but I very much doubt that's what was used in the studio for this album. I'm guessing a Champ, Princeton or a Deluxe. Tweed, Brown or Blackface.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012

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