The Moody Blues Fuzz Lead Sound?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Jumblefingers, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Jumblefingers

    Jumblefingers Supporting Member

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    I think there are others here that are as old as I am and I was wondering if anyone knows what the Moody's used to get their classic lead fuzz sound that is on almost every album; EVGDF, Threshold, Etc. I always liked that sound...
     
  2. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Funnily enough I was thinking that the other day - when those discs first came out I never liked the sound because it was too artificial sounding somehow but I heard "Isn't life Strange" a few days ago and was very impressed by it particularly by how Justin used it in an "orchestral way" throughout the song.

    I know he always used a ES335!

    My favourite Moody Blues guitar sound is Justin on the introduction (only) to "Blue Guitar" I wish I could figure out what he used to get that "total" sound on that.

    Best, Pete.
     
  3. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    On some website a long time ago I read a post by Justin himself where he stated he used a 335 into a Marshall Supa-fuzz (3 tranny fuzz like a tone bender?) into a loud Vox AC 30 for those tones. I have seen the Supa Fuzz come up occasionally on ebay.
     
  4. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    You could well be right - the only thing I thought was that the amp on the early stuff could have been a Selmer Zodiac with a Tone Bender (I think that the Supa Fuzz was actually made to those specs for Marshall by Macari's).

    Macari's was great store to window shop 'cos they used to have all their colourful pedals lined up in the Window, literally!

    Best, Pete.
     
  5. Jumblefingers

    Jumblefingers Supporting Member

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    That's good info, thanks. I think about the sound Justin got, Fripp's sound and Steve Hackett and they all got this kind of "violin" like tone but all a bit different. Justin's sound was warmer and fuller but still a "fuzz", not overdrive at all. I really like the sound and maybe it's just nostalgia but it seems to really fit into the overal tonal landscape of the music and added a really unique, recognizable guitar voice.
     
  6. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    My older brother brought home all the Moody Blues stuff when it was new, so I grew up with it. I remember that sound quite well. I loved it then and now. Very fat and warm. I have never owned a tonebender (real or clone) but it has always been on my list and that early Hayward sound is definately one of the reasons. When ever one of those Supa Fuzzes shows up on ebay I eye it intently, but they are a tad pricey.
     
  7. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    What do you figure that he used on that "Blue Guitar" intro (not the main solo) then?
    It's clean but not pristine and there is a lot of other stuff going on, I think. Usually I'm pretty good at figuring it out but not this one.

    Best, Pete.
     
  8. Mac Daddy 355

    Mac Daddy 355 MilkBone Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Justin also had a vintage blonde ES345
    He might have used a Ebow in the studio to get thoughts tones , like Hackett used all the time , but I'm not sure
     
  9. Jumblefingers

    Jumblefingers Supporting Member

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    There is a Supa Fuzz on Ebay right now with great shots of the insides/circuit. With all those parts it's no wonder they fetch such high prices! :p
     
  10. jeak

    jeak Member

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    One day when I was a kid, I was trying to cop that Sam Andrew and James Gurley tone on "Cheap Thrills" -- those wailing solos on "Ball and Chain." I think I had a 100-watt Yamaha SS amp at the time, so I wasn't even close. So I got this wild idea to run the Yamaha into a tiny 2" speaker that I tore out of a transistor radio. I built a small cardboard cabinet for it (assembled with Elmer's glue and masking tape), attached a 1/4" plug and lamp cord to the speaker, and let her rip. I was listening to lots of Moody Blues then too, and I remember thinking that the sound I got was more like Hayward's fuzz.
     
  11. Laser

    Laser Member

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    I always thought his consumate fuzz tone was on the beginning of "Story Of Her Eyes". Whenever I try a fuzz box, I always play that lick to see if the box measures up to what I hear in my head.

    I'm another one of those kids who grew up with a Justin Haywood poster on his wall.

    Laser
     
  12. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I'm sure I read somewhere that he did use a Marshall Fuzz, but not the Supa-Fuzz pedal - a much rarer one which is like a slightly smaller 20W head. Quite odd, because it is all-transistor and the circuit is no more complicated than a pedal, so there really is no need to surround it with all that metal and wood. I've only played one once, and I can't remember for sure if it was the same as a Supa-Fuzz pedal or not - it was similar, in that it was clearly a crude transistor fuzz, probably Germanium.

    I could be wrong, if he said he used the pedal I'd guess that's true!

    They also made a reverb unit in the same style - still all-transistor, not like a Fender one, and really doesn't sound all that good - and a combined fuzz-reverb (an old catalog illustration is on p.69 of the Mike Doyle book, with a truly hilarious late-60s description :)), but I've never seen one of those. They are all really rare - I've seen one fuzz and two reverbs in the last 20 years.

    I'd actually like a fuzz-reverb I think :D.
     
  13. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Ah....yes, John.

    Don't forget the switchable Fuzz/Wah/(Fuzz) that everyone says doesn't exist....

    I was thinking about this and maybe these weren't contracted out from Macari's but someone else (or inhouse) and current writers are just including info from Macari's as being "it".

    No matter.

    Best, Pete.
     
  14. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I thought they were actually built by Sola Sound, but I could be wrong. AFAIK the circuit is similar or identical to a Vox ToneBender.

    I've definitely seen (and worked on, I think I had to replace the switch why is why I'm quite sure it exists!) a Marshall Fuzz-Wah too.

    :)
     
  15. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Sola and Colorsound (with American spelling) were 'marks owned by Macari of Charing Cross Road - but, of course you knew that - I was only suggesting a different manufacturer because Macari's history seems to have been uncovered by his sons and they don't seem to mention these oddballs.

    It'll be nice if anyone had some pics.

    Best, Pete.
     
  16. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Ah... I thought Sola Sound were the actual maker, and that they built stuff for Macari's (as Colorsound) as well as Marshall and Vox. I could well be wrong, I'm not old enough to have been around at the time! I only came across most of this stuff in the late 80s - I was born in '67 :).

    A lot of this sort of subcontracting and rebranding went on, and still does of course...
     
  17. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    Talk about an unsung, underrated hero, Justin Hayward is the guy. His singing and songwriting abilities overshadow his guitar playing, and he had killer tone before the phrase was even invented.
     
  18. Ron K

    Ron K Member

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    John P is right, I've seen interviews and quotes from JH where he refers to the "piggyback" Marshall fuzz as how he got the tone on "I'm Just a Singer" and the others from Seventh Sojourn and Blue Jays. Marshall made them in the late 60s / early 70s. It was available as a fuzz only, and also a fuzz + reverb (not sure which one JH used). It's pictured in the Marshall book; I forget the model number.

    I would LOVE to know which current day pedals would do the best job of nailing that tone (all other things being as equal as possible, of course). That lead tone of JHs is a huge favorite of mine.
     
  19. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    I especially enjoyed the fuzz on Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. Several of the off tracks that the radio ignores have awesome guitar tones in them.
     
  20. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    It wouldn't surprise me to see a Marshall Fuzz/Wah. Seems every year I see something odd and really rare that "never existed", but was made by Solasound, either under their own brand or for Colorsound, Marshall, Vox, Park or Carlsbro. Recently saw a Solasound produced Vox Phaser on Ebay. Real cool pedal that was built into the early Solasound Wah casing. I own a '69 Supa Fuzz with OC71 transistors, a early Colorsound Wah from the 60's and have a Marshall Supa Wah on the way from the UK. There's a major lack of documentation of Solasounds history! I've never seen another Colorsound with a circuit board like mine. It has a large plastic "filmcan" inductor with 500 stamped on it. I have yet to see a early Solasound, not COlorsound, Wah for sale. Jeff Beck allegedelly used one for Truth and allegedelly it's based on the Clyde Wah, circuit wise. D*A*M makes the most authentic MKII clone I've ever tried! I searched for a few years to find a suitable backup for my Supa Fuzz and the D*A*M is sooo good it's scary. I wonder how much similarity there is between the Marshall Piggyback Fuzz and the Supa Fuzz there is. Justin Haywards fuzz tone certainly "sounds" like a MKII or Supa Fuzz to me and you could probably get very well within the ballpark with one.
     

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