Topic: Encyclopedia Of Joe Bonamassa Guitar Help
I had been thinking about doing this for a long time as I consistently found myself search all of Joe's posts in order to find his opinions and suggestions about things. When Jane mentioned doing it, I finally got the motivation together and gathered all of Joes posts in the guitar forum (excluding very personal question specific ones)and organized them based on the guitar asked. Hope it can help some people here looking for help from Joe. Pretty amazing all the help Joe has provided us with.
Also, as new posts arise post them here, I will edit them into the main list as they arrive.
Here it is:
In relation to his amp and effect set up
May, 30 2006
My rig now consist of a Marshall silver Jubile 100 and a 1972 Marshall super lead 100 and a two Rock custon signature reverb and a Fuchs ODS 100 run through a Boss DD 3 delay, a carl martin hot drive and boost and a ts 808 tube screamer and a Vox wah wah .. thats it for now.. been pairind down and getting back to playing straight through..
February 25, 2007
he New amp is a Van Weelden "Twinkleland" its a wonderful amp that has a extrodonary clean and clear attack with enough gain to do the solos.. Its unlike anything Ive played.. Its basically a Dumble overdrive special with a few tweeks along the way.. They are build by hand by Peter Van Weelden one at a time.. Mine is #10.
?May 28, 2007
The Category 5 is a 1968 Marshall plexi clone with a voiceable mid switch on the back.. They call it the "Joe Bonamassa custom amp" Its very nice and consistent which the poor 1970 Marshall had started to fatigue. 1970 is the amp I used for Tea for One..
August 19, 2007
Hey Everybody,? I just wanted to get on here and say that I am really digging my new Category 5 "Joe B" signature superlead 100. I have left my original prototype in Europe. The new one is covered in Silver Jubile tolex and very cool.. The Category 5 saved me in Europe and has a Dumble style mid boost with a classic superlead design. Great!! I am also very into my new Carol Ann "EL 34 style Dumble" it has been in Eric Johnson, Lance keltner, and David Grissom's hands in Austin for the last month while I was in Europe. The report is that it is a very special amp. Ive not gotten it yet, its on its way from Austin.. But I yield the floor to those guys... Anyway up late and have a day off and wanted to share with all the fellow gear nuts like me. ?Prices are reasonable too ..
December 1, 2007
I use a Ibanez TS 808 reissue and a Gas Pedal. Thats all. I rarely use them its mostly amp overdrive
not modded standard issue guitar center... settings are drive 10 oclock tone 12 oclock and level 1 oclock.. just a feedback enhancer...really?
Settings on his Blackface Princeton:
volume 8 , treble 8 bass 4 and reverb 5
the Best result I found was using the amp for overdrive and backing off the volume on the guitar for clean.. But your amp will need plenty of power or clean headroom to do this.. Joe Bonamassa
I have a ODS 100. I like it.. I have two Identical rigs (sorta) One in Europe and one here in the US.. I also leave gear in Mississippi and in Los Angeles. I m trying not to pay the airlines to destroy my gear anymore.. So certain amps and guitars show up at certain times.. Its also depending on the venue sound and how Im feeling on a particular day.. ?
The best dumble style amp have run across is the a amp that I use in europe and will have in the states later this month. Its called a Twinkleland and its made by Peter VanWeelden in Holland. Simply a stunning amp. The Two Rock has more of a high gain Eric Johnson thing.. Alot of people rave about the clean sound about those.. I think there is something wrong with mine cause it has no clean headroom.. The reason I havent sent it back to get serviced is that I really like it the way it is.. The fuchs is a combination of the the two amps I just described. All very good, very articulate and very direct. They are good a showcasing all my mistakes. Like playing a acoustic guitar in a outside way.. thanks Joe Bonamassa
In relation to delay/reverb tone:
Heres how you do the delay thing.. 1st ( Jim your right) you need a wet and a delay amp.. Preferably two different kinds of overdrive. ex.Marshall/lFender or Marshall / Dumble.. Those are the two I use.. One side ( Marshall) put a DD-3 with all knobs set to 12 oclock, you may have to tweek them depending on the unit itself.. I have 6 DD-3s and they all sound a little different..Keeley makes a good version with a analog switch thats my current fav. Next take your Fender/ Dumble style amp use a out board reverb (ex Boss digital reverb or old fender spring) or if your amp has reverb so much the better. Disclaimer: the old Fender springs are a constant battle to keep working.. They sound great but are the crutch of my existence right now.. I carry 3, two in the trailer and one on the bus. Maybe one works right on any given day.. maybe... So delay on one side reverb on the other. This makes it all naturally separate both on stage and in the house.. Next is the most imortant thing. The Delay must be run through the effects loop.. Running a delay in front the amp is extremely difficult to handle. It runs away from you and its hard to control. The effects loop is the only answer.. Now as far as effects loops are concerned. Standard Marshall ones wired in series are the best.. Stay away from the ones wired parallel with all the knobs and controls and switches. They are way too much work and render poor results.. The rest is personal taste.. more subtle or wet or inbetween is up to you.. Its also important to realize that this is not my original recipe, its Eric Johnson's circa 1988. Got to give credit were its due. Lots of racking my brain trying to figure that one out.
In relation to set up of his Les Paul:
I use 11-52 Dean Markely strings. I use high action.. Its important on a Les Paul that the truss rod is adjusted properly.. A poorly adjusted truss will make play horribly out of tune and intonation. Proper nut adjustment will also be a factor. Dave uses Nut Sauce on the gibsons and frankly makes them sound so intune. Light years ahead of what I could ever do. The big frets are a help and use them to your advantage. Also wrap the strings around the bridge then go over the saddles.(Jimmy Page, Billy Gibbons style) It helps make the heavy strings feel lighter.. Most people who play my guitars think they are 10's. Good Luck and Happy holidays.. ??Oh Oh I forgot.. set up your guitar without the amp.. Make it sound good acoustically then plug it in.. thats what I have learned is a good sounding electric guitar will sound good and warm without a amp..
Gear during Bloodline days:
It was a 1969 Marshall super lead, and Warren Haynes' Soldano super lead overdrive... The guitar was a repainted 1961 Stratocaster and a 1954 Sunburst Stratocaster.. The guitars are pictured in the booklet.
In relation to wah-wah pedals:
Its a stock Vox Wah.. I like having the non- true bypass switch.. I like the high end subtraction. I have used this one for more than a year and not had to give it away.. very good.. indeed?
In relation to reducing microphonic elements of a Telecaster:
The guitar sounds like its microphonic.. Strap locks will not come through the pickups on its own.. Try taking some standard issue foam and sticking it in the pickup cavity.. If its a older one try using super glue to secure the brass plate on the bottom of the lead pickup. That would be my suggestion
In relation to the Boss Rotary Speaker Ensemble:
Havent Tried the boss unit.. But Boss always makes a consistently good pedal honestly.. Leslie simulation is tough.. A TC Chorus will also work in a pinch.. MXR Phase 100 also does work. I m loyal to my Korg G-4 but honestly I dont really use it much anymore.. Im going over to Custom Audio Electronics next week in Studio City to try their Tremelo unit.. Its supposed to be good.. Anyway?
In relation to Les Paul pickups:
The main 59 has original Patent Applied For pickups from a 1963 ES -335.. I got the pickups first and then the guitar eventually.. ( long story) Those are the best for obvious reasons.. The Tom Murphy 58 has Seymor Duncans and the other 59 has a Burst Bucker 1 in the front and a Burst Bucker 2 in the lead.. the Gold Top has the same.. The Triple Pickup custom sounds really bright and has been taken out of rotation for now until I can get the lead pickup right.. ? My recomendation is determine if the guitar is worthy of swapping pickup after pickup and then try the burst buckers first.. Lollars are also supposed to be on the low output.. Just remember the pickups cant save the guitar. It will drive you crazy and drain your bank account. Next question how to determine if the guitar is worthy of doing this??Is it light? Is it acoustically loud when played? Do you feel the body resonate when strummed acoustically or does it feel like strings bolted onto a 2X4? Those are the things to look for.. One good thing you have going is that you want it brighter rather than darker.. Thats a whole lot easier than the flip side of that equation. LP customs are tricky sometimes.. Good Luck hope some of this helps...?
In relation to what acoustics he plays:
I am actually Playing my Takamine Santa Fe and a Pair of custom shop Gibson J-45's for live. I just got a A Davis guitar that is quite wonderful. They are made in the San Diego area. Check them out. Mine was made for Jeff Pevar but I ended up with it instead. Its great. In the studio I used a 1958 Martin D-28, a 1936 Gibson L-Century and a 1965 Gibson Humingbird..
Les Paul vs. Strat:
Hey Everybody,? I switched to the Les Paul 2 years ago for two reasons.. ?1. The music took me there were I kept grabbing for it unknowingly and before you know it Im playing one 90% of the time.??2. I preface this with that I love the music and playing of Stevie Ray Vaughn.. But it seemed that I couldnt play a note without a comparison to SRV. Its great and Im very honored. But I used to play a Rachmaninoff piece in my shows and people still said it sounded SRV playing a violin. I was like this is nuts. So I switched to the most radical 180 degree change I could think off. The Gibson Les Paul. ??Now I found a home with a Les Paul and have almost forgotten my time on a strat. Two great guitars that helped shape music history. Buts its a personal taste thing. Can discuss it til the end of time.?
In relation to 12 String on live “Ball Peen Hammer”:
Its a Breedlove.. I found it in Denver.. I always had this vision for Ball Peen Live. The 12 string is perfect for the song. It fills alot of space and does that banjo thing very well. It also stays in tune.. very important with a 12 string.?
In relation to Amp Mic’ing Through the PA:
421's and EV's and Beyer M -88's are in our bag of tricks. Mic the outside of the cone. The more inside you the less bass. You also have to make sure that the house engineer has no eq or high pass on the channel. That will kill you faster than a can of raid and a ant hill. many aspects go into the out front tone..
Some swear by the Palmer Speaker emulator. Condensor mics for live could get dangerous. Lots of high end and some cant handle the SPL of the amp. Again what ever works for you is the best. Its how you want it hear. But go out and listen to it from the front of the stage. Its a fun process when you get into it
In relation to tone of Tea For One:
I have a Idea..... It was a TC Chorus....on the Marshall superlead. A prescription Electronics Univibe copy on all. A korg G-4 slow speed Leslie on the Silver Anniversary only. Everything dimed(on 10) and go for it. EV 12 Ls will handle that kind of level.
A 1953 Tele for the intro only.. Marshall superlead only dry for the intro.?Sorry that was the only overdub except the double guitars. ?
In relation to Pairing Amps:
In relation to pairing amps:
Ok.. I should give this disclaimer before you start pairing stuff. Especially two Fenders. Dont touch both them at the same time. Rule #1. ??"Pairing"?goes as follows??Marshall Jubile.. Does great high and low with good mids. It also has great gain and saturation. So You need to put something up the middle of that sound to create a full range. Jus the Two Rock works well for that. I set the two rock for just gain and mids. (not a pleasing tone by itself... also not their fault the amp sounds fine) That creates the full range lead tone I use. I then use the Carol Ann or Van Weedlen as the cleaner amp with Reverb and Chorus. That Spreads the tone out creating that chimey articulate tone good for punching through a band and very expressive for leads. (As heard for Django and Asking around for u) Then the Catagory 5. Thats my ace in the hole for outside shows. The loudest amp I have up there. I run it around 8 for volume and very little bass. Tales of Brave Ulysees tone. Great amp. ?To split them simple. Wirlwind A-B both selector. run into the Leile ABC. Dont buy the Morley or the Liele A or B. They are horrid and suck the life out of any amp. Delay in the Effects loop of the Marshall. ??Phasing.. Listen for the most bass. In Phase bass.. Out of Phase no bass and sounds like a bad MXR phase 45. Tom Dowd taught me that simple trick. Have a reverse speaker cable ready. (Reverse the ground and main lead on one side.. Jus reverse phase cable) Also Thank you Tom.. Most amps play well together phase wise.. ?(Another Tom Dowd trick... Aim a Fender amp into a corner and mic the back. jus the design of my plexi shield with the corners..) I learned more from that man than anybody in my life til I met Kevin Shirley.??Grounding is different..(BE CAREFUL) Standard Home Depot ground lifts are essential.. I use 4 on my rig.. Marshall Jubiles are horrible for creating ground problems in other amps. ( In Europe...Use a piece of electrical tape over the earth) Jus a ground lift.( note a ground lift means there is no ground or earth jus creating a volitile situation or you become the earth.. not the most desired situation) In England.. hmmmmmmmm I dont know and be careful. Its 230+. I use German/Dutch power and a Variac for my europe rig.(I have a idenical set up that I leave in Europe) Never dealt with the english plugs. Only for my master plug. (Thank you Dave Pate) ?Always wear rubber sole shoes and use caution. Ive been shocked more than I care to remember. Thats why my hair sticks up in the morning. ?
If you string enough AB/Both selectors together you can run all four. You d have to have three of them according to my calculations. It would be extremely loud and dont know if the sound would work given those four amps. Too much Midrange and not of destinction between the notes. Also very hard to control. Each amp has its own timing of when and how it goes into overdrive. With four on at the same time the push/pull effect would be untenable. AKA very hard to tell what your hearing and hard to roll your volume off and get a proper clean sound. Also the phase would get a bit strange. Thats why I stick with two only..
In relation to cables:
Mogami cables for everything. I use a silent Neutrik end so you dont hear and pops or that annoying buzz sound when you switch guitars. Go to Tour Supply and they'll have them. Not cheap but not uber expensive like some of that other stuff I ve tried. Some of it cost as much as a car.. crazy ..
I used a planet wave for a couple years for the guitar lead only. Once neutrik came out with the silent ends I was thrilled to switch. PW are ok but super unreliable. I think I went through 50 in a year.
Advice for sticking with guitar playing:
Honestly... Save up ur money and buy and new guitar... Thats a good way to give u a shot in the arm.. Like a b-12 shot of inspiration.. Your not alone and you shouldnt quit.. ?
In relation to the guitar in this picture:
http://joeandmelissalord.spaces.live.co … ViewType=4
That guitar is a prototype Gibson Skylark guitar from the Gibson Custom shop.. I believe there are two or three total that they made. Its Korina and made in the style of the old 50s skylark lapsteels.. I think they might put them into production but Im not sure.. My job is to play it and give them feedback on it. It really is quite cool and sounds very good.
In relation to tube overdrive at low volumes:
I would get a marshall 30 anniversary combo 100w and a THD power soak. The 30 anniversarys are nice cause they have a great crunch setting and a killer clean tone. U can also drive the clean setting by lowering the bass and adding a bit of reverb. You ll need a 16 ohm soak (I think) Just depending on how the amp is run with one 12 inch speaker.. 16 or 8 will be the only two options there.. A DSL 2000 single 12 or a Mesa lonestar would work too.
Hey guys.. for your situation Id use a THD hot plate for your Bassman and some sort of Clean Boost. There are alot of pedals with a single knob that keep the bottom but boost the gain. MXR(Custom Audio Electronics ) model is cool. Carl Martin ect.. You need to saturate the amp first.. Try to get used to a shield. Clear sonic makes a good one for a combo.. Jim Moody makes the ones Carmine and I use.. They have a custom spec for the extra tall cabs. Its not classified but its a very particular measurement. Just ask Jim he knows. ?The shield is the only way to eliminate the death ray. But try the hot Plate and boost first and see how it goes. Also try to turn the amp around backward. Its a old Tom Dowd trick for getting the roundness out of a combo amp.. Tom knew guitar sound and really got me on the path Im on now..
I should actually explain my home practice low volume rig.. I live in LA at a condo complex. Very Hollywood types live here.. They have no interest in hearing the bluesboy crank up the jams late at night so I devised a rig for my house ..?1. 1987 Marshall Silver series Marshall 50 watt 1X12 combo.. ?2 1965 Fender Princeton Reverb or a 1957 Fender Vibrolux with a Kendrick reverb unit?3 THD Hot Plate ( for Princeton Only)?4 paired down pedal board (spare)? AB/Both switch, Vox Wah , TS 808 RI , Fuchs Audio prototype "Creme " pedal and A boss DD-3 delay. ?I get a pretty good approximation of my big rig at TV volume.. You know watching a Law and Order Marathon and playing guitar at the same time kinda thing. Can hear the TV and guitar at the same time.. No Broom sticks from below..( been there done that). ?Anyway.. There is always another way to get your tone..
A super rev is a great amp... Its like a princeton Rev which is my favorite fender amp. A good choice indeed..?
Id suggest a 1970's super reverb. They are hand wired and sound better than the reissues...?
In relation to getting a good sound of a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue:
The Blues Deluxe isnt my favorite amp. I like the hot Rod version alot better. Given as it may the best way to get a good sound out of those is to crank it.. Use something like a MXR micro amp and something like PAF style pickups to drive the input. Turn the whole amp around backwards and mic the back. You may consider using a EV 12 L or Surrey made greenback celestion. Anything to dull the high end some. They are very bright amps and those Fender special designs are a terrible speaker. Fender ruined those reissue tweed twins with those. They twist internally when pushed into saturation creating a non musical sound. To listen really closely is to hear a white noise type of sound in around the notes. Having those speakers made in the PRC doesnt help either. If you really want to get into it, have a amp tech put a mid boost on it. Something to bring the voicing down more to the human voice quality. Tough amp to work with sometimes but doable and they do have a good clean sound. Trade it for a hot rod version and your problems are solved honestly...I hate to say it. ?