Variplex VH II Tone Clip!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by motrock, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. motrock

    motrock Member

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    Hey guys, here is my attempt at the Van Halen II tone. I started the clip off with Unchained... even though its on Fair Warning... LOL, then I do Light Up The Sky. I am using a second Variac on this clip. Let me know what you guys think:

    http://www.netmusicians.org/files/73-Variplex Track 2.mp3

    To me, the Light Up The Sky clip sounds really close to the VH II album tone. I added Reverb and Delay in GarageBand. Here is the gear:

    Blankenship Variplex (6CA7s biased to 50ma)
    Mojave 4x12 loaded with Scumback M75s
    Mansel Mahogony Strat w/ Mojave 8.3 PAF clone

    More to come!
     
  2. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    It's really close! Try turning the treble down a hair (around 8 or 9) and the bass down to 4. I'm assuming you have everything on 10. Maybe back the volume down to 9 as well. Gets rid of a bit of that spitty top end thing and tightens up the bass. Once you get that amp right in the sweet zone it's a thing of beauty.

    Have you tried an old blue MXR eq with it? that's fun too.
     
  3. leftyaxeslinger

    leftyaxeslinger Supporting Member

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    nice! I'm no EVH "tonexpert" but that sounds pretty killer to me.
     
  4. MBreinin

    MBreinin Supporting Member

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    A little too much high end and not enough reverb. You need a little more space. However, the tone is very good and an excellent place to start. Also, the Flanger might have improved the Unchained clip. That is a great sounding amp, I regret not getting the one I had a chance to get a while back in a trade.

    Mike
     
  5. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Exactly as it sounds here, too, esp on the Unchained bit.
    Maybe the 'wrong' guitar and the playing is too frantic.
    Not that I could do it, but hey, you ask on the internet and opinions are like.....ya know..
     
  6. Plague Dog

    Plague Dog Member

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    Hey, that's pretty close, just a tad dark is all.
     
  7. motrock

    motrock Member

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    Thanks Pete... I really appreciate your input! I recorded the clip on Saturday and found out a couple of things on Sunday. For one, I had my pickup height to high! DOH! LOL So on Sunday I lowered the pickup and man... what a difference! The other part of the highs has to do with the Scumback M75s being brand new. I have another good 10hrs of break in time!

    But, I will take your advice. I do have everything on 10, and I think backing off a little on some things wouldn't hurt! I just got the Blue MXR EQ and it was instant Fair Warning tones!!!! The thing is a blast.... a little noisy, but a blast! Pete, how do you set your MXR up? The frown curve?
     
  8. motrock

    motrock Member

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    Playing was too frantic because I was freakin excited at what I was hearing! HAHAHAHA I am going to get out the backing track..... my timing can suck! LOL
     
  9. motrock

    motrock Member

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    Next clip I am going to add more reverb and delay. I just don't want it to sound like I am playing in a toilet bowl! LOL
     
  10. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

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    ya.. I think he could move the mic out of the voice coil a tad.. but yes.. nothing but the amp! no outboard pedals. very cool.

    Nice work Motrock! getting really close! I am happy to hear all the responses to help you out! :D Awesome! ( and hurry up and break in those new speakers!!)
     
  11. Randy

    Randy Member

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    Nice clip and I can appreciate the quest, but honestly I don't think it was really that close to early VH. At least, not any closer then any stock early Marshall with a PPIV MV sounds.

    I've had both a '72 SL and a '71 ST with PPIV MV's and they both sounded exactly like that - the heart of the tone is there but the low end is flabby and flatulent. The quality of the distortion is just vastly over saturated - I know Unchained in particular has that quality to some extent, but most other early VH managed to stay somewhat tight in the bottom while still sounding gained out, and with a crisp and complex high end. That's the elusive last 10% the everyone's been trying so hard to capture for the last 30 years.

    I don't mean to rank on your clip - you did a nice job. I just think it's only about 90% there, like most other stock Marshalls with a PPIV MV.

    Dave Bray's mods get about 93% there to my ears... :)
     
  12. motrock

    motrock Member

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    Well, this isn't a PPIV MV at all. It non-master.... totally cranked, all on 10! Over saturated? Wait till you hear it with an MXR 6 band EQ!
     
  13. ukslinger

    ukslinger Member

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    I don't think its over-saturated, just a little high-pitched. Maybe get a little more low mids and a little more spongyness? Sounds cool.
     
  14. motrock

    motrock Member

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    Yeah, I agree! I am going to do what Pete said. I need to drop the bass, the treble, and the volume just a little. Lowering my pickup height in my guitar helped a bunch with the highs .... plus it added more of a low end punch. Just a little fine tuning... and as Pete said... finding the sweet zone! Trial and error!:AOK
     
  15. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

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    I just listened to this clip and the unchained EVH recording. Lots of character that is almost completely the same to my ears.. I agree with a little high pitched, more low mids.. some tonal changes..

    like sinas1 mentioed,, the mxr should do it!


    sinas1. you have great ears man!
     
  16. carbz

    carbz Supporting Member

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  17. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    Hi, yes, frown curve, it's subtle, just tweak til you like what you hear! Ya I suspected the amp was on 10- sounds a little closer and better when you back things down a bit, you'll find it! it's not that gainy when set just right, so the blue EQ helps to push it a bit and eek out a bit more sustain and gain.... you're using a variac right? (external one I mean, not the one that comes with the Variplex)...

    Also, try moving the mic a hair, off the cone... just a little! It sounds like it's basically in the right place

    Those speakers do sound good! i want to try some.
     
  18. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    thanks dude, like you I need glasses! I like to think my bad eyesight is because my ears are sharp!! :) Or maybe my nose...
     
  19. motrock

    motrock Member

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    Cool, thanks! I bought a second Variac and have it set to 90v. I am using the Variplexs Variac from 90v to 120v. On the clip it was at 115v. As far as the EQ, I agree, it doesn't need to be all that gainy, just a little bit to get the sustain. I think one of the mistakes was having the bass on 10. The more I listen to that clip, the more it sounds like its mudding out. Tomorrow evening I am going to be doing some tweaking!

    I highly recommend the 25watt Scumback M75s!!!!! The way I understand it is that they sound a little thicker then the original Blackbacks, with smoother highs..... when they get broken in. I think I still have another 10 hrs left till they are fully broken in. That shouldn't take too long for me! LOL That might be where some of the highs are coming from. I noticed that new speakers have that spike going on. The Scumbacks aren't too bad with that, because they are aged to begin with.
     
  20. scoob

    scoob Member

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    Mot this sounds good man...good job. Now I want a Variplex, and a Soultone, and arrrrghhh anyway.
    Bringing down the bass will get rid of the woof! going on like sinasl1 said....Ed doesn't have that much bass in his live tone either...even though Mike Anthony was way down in the mixon the LP's...it made a difference...plus the darker 'room sound' mic track makes a difference as well...which you aren't going to have - live anyway. I guess adding in the echo and verb later approximates that...maybe try darkening that up? Just some thoughts, I'm no expert.
     

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