What Strat Pickups for Ronnie Earl Sounds?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by luv2playm, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. luv2playm

    luv2playm Supporting Member

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    I'm a huge fan of Ronnie Earl and would love to get as close as possible to his tone. What pickups would you recommend?
     
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  2. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    Ronnie Tone (the quiet jazzy Ronnie tone anyway) ...is all about a 3-pkp Strat in Pos. 4 thru most any Fender style amp.

    I had a guitar I built that nailed that tone dead to the wall, it had a Barden Strat in the neck and a DiMarzio Cruiser (poor man's Barden) in the middle, and it was like he was in the room it was so realistic, but I think a lot of Strat type guitars with a lot of good SC pickups in #4 will get you really close.

    Mine was actually a Tele with 3 SC's and it nailed it.
     
  3. G Man

    G Man Member

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    I also think that if anyone can say their tone is all in their fingers, Ronnie Earl can. Such a crazy sweet tone he gets.
     
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  4. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    This.

    Those sounds can be had from any good vintage style Strat with vintage wind pickups. I'm partial to vintage wind Fralins but lots of winders make great trad Strat pickups these days. Put a set in a nice resonant Strat and you'll have your starting point. Beyond that it's really up to the player.
     
  5. Joe Naylor

    Joe Naylor Supporting Member

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    I had the honor of building a few guitars for Ronnie back in the day. You can get his tone with vintage style strat pickups, position 4 (neck/middle), and a cranked up blackface fender style amp. Ride the volume control (no treble bypass cap!) for clean and dirty. And D'addario 11's, which are kinda midrangey.
     
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  6. luv2playm

    luv2playm Supporting Member

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    I'd greatly appreciate any recommendations as to brand and model of vintage style pickups that would get me as close as possible to Mr. Earl's tones. I'd be installing them in an Americian Standard Strat. Thanks.
     
  7. DoctorBob

    DoctorBob Member

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    I have seen Ronnie Earl play a bunch of times in the last few years at the Iron Horse in Northamptom,MA on Thanksgiving.At least there he is using Nash Strat copies.I believe those usually come with Lollars.He sounds the same on those Nashes as he does on the records of him playing his vintage Strats, which of course have Fender PUPs. I don't think he's much of a gear head so I doubt he messes much with that stuff. He has a web site where you can probably fire a question about that.Not to beat a dead horse, but a person's tone comes from the way they hold the strings, pick attack,etc. I think all Strat PUPs sound basically the same.IMHO.
     
  8. Gravelrocks

    Gravelrocks Member

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  9. Mikey Likes It

    Mikey Likes It Silver Supporting Member

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    The sweetest vintage-voiced strat pickups I've used are the DeTemple Sweet Spots. If you can't find them, Lollar Blondes will do it nicely. Curtis Novak can probably get you in the zone as well. As stated above, there are a lot of great vintage-voiced strat pickups out there, but the three I've mentioned are the first ones that come to my mind whenever I think vintage strat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  10. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

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    They do when Ronnie Earl uses them! "The tone is in the fingers" does not apply to everyone's fingers, but in the case of Ronnie Earl, I presume this over used axiom was created to refer to him. I have seen him sit in (so often that he is "lovingly" referred to by Boston area musicians as "The Pest") on many other player's guitars and his signature sound always comes through.

    Here he is "pesting" on a Kim Wilson show where was trying to get past me so he could stand next to Wilson. Very crowded stage! (Christ, Ronnie, you could have shaved!)

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. bluegrif

    bluegrif Member

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    When it comes to the old "tone is in the hands or the gear" debate, I always side with the "tone is in the hands" camp. With players like Ronnie Earl, Anson Funderburg, or any number of great blues and jazz players it's so obvious I don't understand how anyone can argue otherwise. That said, I can see where some are coming from when chasing some rock guitar tones. And while I still believe players of all genres basically sound like themselves, and the rig is secondary, there are players for whom the rig is a huge part of their overall "sound" (which for me is somewhat different than "tone"). Essentially, the purer and simpler the rig, the more the player's tone will come through. And don't bother trying to tell me I'm talking about technique rather than tone. Technique is one of the main elements (along with emotion and soul) that creates a player's tone. Like most accomplished players, Ronnie Earl's tone would be fully intact even if the guitar wasn't plugged in.
     
  12. luv2playm

    luv2playm Supporting Member

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    Thank you for the thoughts and suggestions. Any more from the "weekend posters" would be appreciated. Aside from the "tone is in the fingers" point, it would seem that I need to investigate sweet souding vintage style strat pickups. :munch
     
  13. hank

    hank Member

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    Agreed.
     
  14. drspencer

    drspencer Member

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    Not sure if this is the appropriate Forum for this (mods: feel free to move this thread), but if anyone is interested, I'm selling one of Ronnie Earls old Strats.

    It's a 50's-style Bill Nash Strat, vintage yellow body, with the most amazing V-shaped maple neck.

    Ronnie regularly recorded and gigged with this guitar. Pretty sure it can be seen on one of his album covers, as well as many youtube vids.

    PM if interested, please do not reply to this thread.

    Thanks
     
  15. Max Carpenter

    Max Carpenter Member

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    I started playin blues when i was 13 at johnny d's blues jam...miss that place
     

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