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Why did Eddie's sound change so much from 1984 to 5150?

sideburns

Member
Messages
527
His tone change may help with his inspiration of riffs and song ideas..After he built 5150 studios He use to play everyday-all day-all the time so his tone might have got a little boring..I do luv the sounds from the early albums.
 

Robert Jay

Member
Messages
5
Hey all. Anybody still having these debates in the days following the loss of EVH? 5150 is an amazing song that I can't get out of my head. It's in 4, but he's all over that down beat. Then the occasional extra 2 beats here and there to throw you off just when you think you are following the 1 and 3. Haha. But as far as his tone and sound? Man alive. Well, it's a drop D tuning that's already a half step down. C# is pretty metal for a party band sound but it worked. And it almost sounds as if his cabinet speakers are over loaded and recorded by mic. I'm surprised that that sound is what made it on the album. New tube driven amps? Mic'd cabs with speakers being over worked? There's no way it could sound like that direct from the head to the board, but we know Eddie hated head phones and always played through cabs. Good stuff.
 

Robert Jay

Member
Messages
5
IIRC both were the product of necessity, according to interviews with Ed. 5150 was too small to fit a drum kit (they built a drum room later), hence the electronic kit. And Ed says the use of the harmoniser was to have a stereo tone and avoid the panned to one side thing of the early records, which he hated. I've always felt that was weird, though, as there's no need to detune to be stereo. Maybe he didn't want to admit it was the fashion of time (much like wearing an onion on your belt).

I think it's an indicator of how much I enjoy Ed's playing that I can put up with the post-84 tones. With the Sammy stuff i do go for long runs without listening, which helps.

And I agree with many on here that something dropped off after 84 in the soloing. The peak era was 81-84, and after that he sort of settles into repeating his thing.
 

Blix

Norwegian
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
25,241
Hey all. Anybody still having these debates in the days following the loss of EVH? 5150 is an amazing song that I can't get out of my head. It's in 4, but he's all over that down beat. Then the occasional extra 2 beats here and there to throw you off just when you think you are following the 1 and 3. Haha. But as far as his tone and sound? Man alive. Well, it's a drop D tuning that's already a half step down. C# is pretty metal for a party band sound but it worked. And it almost sounds as if his cabinet speakers are over loaded and recorded by mic. I'm surprised that that sound is what made it on the album. New tube driven amps? Mic'd cabs with speakers being over worked? There's no way it could sound like that direct from the head to the board, but we know Eddie hated head phones and always played through cabs. Good stuff.
It's a 100w Marshall on 10 through a single 4x12" with greenbacks, so the speakers are pummelled pretty hard. But it works! :)
 

Big'Uns

Member
Messages
1,710
Seems like amps started really taking big leaps forward in the 80’s. How could you not be inspired to taste all the new flavors and possibilities? Who’s tone didn’t change a ton during those days? Especially in the rock world.
 
Messages
5,956
Either that, or it became impossible to recreate....the tone on the next record, done only 12 months later, and in the same studio but on a different console, was nothing like the first. Way less gain and outboard treatment.It was recorded in a rush between tours and there was a lot of coke going around, apparently at the mixing stage. I have a feeling the first album had a lot to do with the console, which they didnt use on the second one. Serious compression , gating, and trim pot gain or something. The clue is the total lack of "fingers on the strings" sound..its squashed right out. Listen closely to "Runnin With The Devil" and the chorus chords....its gated so hard that you dont hear the hands sliding up between the chords, its squashed right out! Live, you can hear it, and trying to play it now with that amount of gain, its impossible to do it without hearing the hand movements between the chords. It has stumped me for decades. Its so gated, its almost soft. But not so much that it kills the chords. It simply must have been a happy accident at the console with everything set just right. I still think that is the best sounding guitar tone of all time, it doesn't even sound like a guitar. That tone alone inspired me to play, not even the playing so much. Incredible. It has a strange "lift" to it . Unbeatable.
Like Ed said "Donn made it sound more than it was, in a way" with regards to the guitar sound on Eruption but it extended to that whole first record.
 

LR1400

Member
Messages
958
Different production. Instead of the dry mono channel with some wet effected reverb and delay in the other channel, you now get Eddie playing stereo through effects in both channels. There is a little detuned chorusing or something going on. The end of an era. :(
I tend to agree with this. I haven't recorded but a few times and never in a professional setting, but i started noticing the difference production, mixing, etc. can make when hearing some of the same bands using the same gear but different production, etc.

The most recent one was on some Metallica isolated guitar tracks from AJFA. The isolated tracks the guitar tone was much fatter. You could tell things were done to "scoop"/mess with frequencies, etc. on the final album.
 

Fulldrive-1

Member
Messages
5,546
Andy Summers didn't abuse choruses. He made chorus and Flanger his signature sound.

But EVH got away from his original Mean Street tone, alas.
 

fishleehooker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,017
Hey all. Anybody still having these debates in the days following the loss of EVH? 5150 is an amazing song that I can't get out of my head. It's in 4, but he's all over that down beat. Then the occasional extra 2 beats here and there to throw you off just when you think you are following the 1 and 3. Haha. But as far as his tone and sound? Man alive. Well, it's a drop D tuning that's already a half step down. C# is pretty metal for a party band sound but it worked. And it almost sounds as if his cabinet speakers are over loaded and recorded by mic. I'm surprised that that sound is what made it on the album. New tube driven amps? Mic'd cabs with speakers being over worked? There's no way it could sound like that direct from the head to the board, but we know Eddie hated head phones and always played through cabs. Good stuff.
That song is so stuck in my head its silly. To some degree I think that riff and that song were kind of the essence of Eddie after the young, shooting-fire out his fingers-days. The thing is, I can get the hang of a lot of the old stuff that he is so revered for (Except the soloing...I don't even attempt it), but 5150 is a tough nut to crack and he plays it like a cakewalk and almost dances on the fretboard, laughing, both literally as well as somehow in the way the riff is played. Its just so.....Ed.
 

pete692

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,914
I will say this, playing in stereo with some chorus sounds and feels pretty damned cool. You could say as a player that it's downright seductive. It really fills out simple rhythm ideas and makes them sound more "complete". But as with anything else, it's so easy to overdo it. I've found out the hard way by listening to all the recordings I have made since I began using these kinds of patches.
 

Flatscan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,697
True but Eddie didn't inspire love for those effects the way Summers did.

Both sounded great.

I'm not sure EVH would be EVH if he started with his '90s tone.
 




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