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Scott answers your questions - round 2.2 - 8/10/09

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StarShip Captain

Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 278
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 2.2 - 8/10/09 Reply with quote

WOW!!!You, Jeff Berlin and Dennis Chambers!!!
Will there be a DVD?

Not that I'm aware of.

I am looking forward to another dose of Tribal Tech..That'll be awesome

Have you ever had problems with tendinitis?
I'm suffering from that now...It blows

Answered in round 40 - do a search for the word paint.

Hi Scott,

I can`t wait for your tour on the east cost I hope you are coming in the Boston area.

I want to ask you are you a member at the Gear Page forum?

No, I've only posted something there one time, in response to cry baby YouTubers who think they're entitled to see a free copy of every concert ever given.

Also every once in a wile a question come up like why on the pedal board of the professional player we don`t see boutique pedals such as:
Klone (Centaur)
King of Tone (AnaloMan)
Eternty (Lovepedal)
Tim/Timmy (Paul Cochrane)

Gear-heads swear over this pedals to deliver the best tone you can possibly have, and yet is hard to see them on a professional pedal board and I can`t figure out why.

Have you try this pedals? If yes what are yours thoughts?

One of the advantages of living in LA is that we have True Tone Music - they carry just about every boutique pedal ever made. I guess it's part of my duty as a pedal geek to go there once in awhile, armed with my SD-9 and RC Booster, to hear the latest and greatest booster and distortion pedals. I've never bought one. Not to say those pedals you listed aren't good, I just like my pedals more. Actually I've never heard the Centaur because they don't carry it at True Tone.

I can't say why I love my pedals without sounding like an ad, but whatever.... I like the Maxon SD-9 because it makes notes on the bridge pickup sound really fat, while retaining clarity and punch for the neck pickup. It also has really tight bass and doesn't take it away like 99% of distortion pedals do. I get a lot of compliments on my tone, but if you've ever heard Mike Landau, you'll probably agree with me that he gets the best tone ever. He uses an SD-9. He loves to hear new stuff too, so since he still uses the SD-9, you can pretty much take it to the bank that it's the best distortion pedal available. The only similar pedal I know of is the vintage gray DOD Overdrive Preamp 250, which is the pedal Yngwie used. It doesn't have a tone control and it's pretty bright, too much so for me to use live, but it's another color for recording. That pedal isn't made anymore, but I've seen ads for an Yngwie version - no idea of what it sounds like though.

The RC Booster is super transparent, and the new modded version has exactly the same bass frequency as the SD-9. When turned all the way up (gain and volume), it provides enough gain for a great blues lead tone, and cleans up beautifully when turning down the guitar to play chords. It also sounds really fat on the bridge pickup, and punchy on the neck pickup. I also like the Lovepedal COT 50, but it's a little brighter than the RC. Mike uses it live and it sounds awesome. I've recorded with it and I think it has a more "vintage" sound than the RC. The new Suhr Koko Boost sounds good too, but I've only got one spot available on my pedalboard for each flavor of distortion. The RC has been there since they started making it.

As far as other boutique pedals, I've bought plenty from True Tone, but they're more FX pedals like the Z.Vex stuff, Moogerfooger, and other pedals that make the neighbors mad.

Also can you tell us what is the deal with the VOP-9 vs SD-9?

Thank you so so so much for your time you spend with us.


I used the VOP-9 for one tour and then went back to the SD-9. I liked the VOP-9 because it's a bit darker than the SD-9, and it's midrange frequency is a little friendlier to high notes with a single coil bridge pickup. The tradeoff is that it's a little too muddy on the neck pickup for me.

"What's in your trunk, Man?"

I drive a PT Cruiser so I don't have a trunk. But if I did, I guess I'd follow the example of Dolemite and keep a couple of my Kung-Fu hookers in there to pop out and waste meter maids.

Hi Scott,

you tried Koch amps ?

Unfortunately yes. Save your money. They sent me a 100 watt head that sounded so bad, I thought it was broken. I sent it back and they said it was working fine, so they sent it back to me a second time, and I still thought it was broken. I made some sound clips for them, comparing their amp to my Marshall. Their response in an email to me was "we don't feel there's anything wrong with our amp - guitarists on the west coast just like a fatter sound". How do you respond to that logic? I didn't, I just sent their amp back.

I seen a Arion SCH-Z box on your amp head,is it modded by Pro Sound?

Prosound loaned me one to try. When you saw it in the box, I hadn't heard it yet.

Can you compare original Japan made SCH-1 and Srilanka made SCH-Z?

The SCH-Z sounds nothing like the SCH-1. Try to find a used SCH-1. It sounds great, but you'll need to get it modded to be true bypass.

I guess green painted one is original,isnt it ?

Yes, except for the true bypass mod.

May i get a full list of your current gears?

The next post gives you the link for my live gear, but here's a list of gear I use for recording. I'm a pack rat when it comes to pedals, so it would take me all day to list them, but the pedals I use live are also my main recording pedals. My amps are: '71 Marshall (with John Suhr's master volume mod), Suhr SH100 (my live amp), Dumble modded Bandmaster, and OD-100 (5881 power tube version). The OD-100 has really smooth high gain amp distortion - the tone is more pure when plugging directly into the amp, but amp distortion sounds woofy with the neck pickup. If I'm recording a solo with the bridge pickup only, I love the OD-100. If I switch between pickups, I use my other amps with pedals. I talked about my speaker cabinets in the last round.

Last one:Please add your guitars pics on web site or forum.(I mean other Suhr's,Fender's etc.)

The guitars I have besides Suhrs are: Les Paul, SG, Jerry Jones baritone and electric sitar, Larivee 6 and 12 string acoustics, and a 12 string Dan Electro. My daughter has a Hanna Montana butterfly guitar but her hands are still a little small for it. I've never plugged it in - I wonder how it sounds in the Marshall....

Thanks for taking questions again Scott. I was wondering how the planned Tribal Tech reunion/album came about?

A record label offered us money. Money can be used for goods and services, so that sealed the deal!

Are you guys planning any shows next year at this point?

A whale is not really a fish - they're mammals like you and me. Is that true papa Homer? Pfffft... no. Sorry, I only answer Tribal Tech questions with Simpsons dialogue.

HI Scott,

Welcome back!

Could the audience or a single person have much of an effect on your playing during a performance? Or a well know musician walks in the door during a solo, it could be a friend or a hot blond, has this ever had an effect on your performance?


A hot blonde affects everything, but lets talk about music. I used to care about who's in the audience, but not anymore. (see post below from round 4). The idea is for people in the audience to have a positive affect on your playing, because they came there to see you and have a good time. You need to pay them back by having a good time yourself. If they have a negative affect, then you may have some self esteem issues to work on. Kenny Werner's book "Effortless Mastery" is a must read for musicians that lack self confidence on stage. The only thing that affects me in a negative way is seeing red lights in the audience. Not so much because it makes me play any worse, but because I have a good idea of what it will sound like the next day on YouTube - over compressed and distorted.

Many musicians don't like listening to recordings of themselves. The mind isn't involved in making music, so it becomes more critical, hearing only what is perceived as mistakes and wrong decisions. I'm super critical of myself when I hear recordings, but that's OK because it inspires me to improve. Thanks to the books I've read and try to live by, playing has become nothing but fun.

Here's a post from round 4.

When we're nervous while playing, we're "performing".... I try my best NEVER to perform. When you perform, you split yourself into three people - the guy playing the music, the music critic that evaluates, judges, and maybe even hates the notes as soon as they've been played, and the insecure music student looking to the audience for validation and support.

Rather than perform, I like to participate instead - when you participate in something, you do it simply for the fun of doing it, not to succeed or to impress, or to compete or compare to someone else. If you look at playing music this way, it's easier to relax and have fun - and not worry about having a great night as compared to some other night. This kind of attitude will make you play better and allow you to be the most creative.

I just try to have fun on stage, and sometimes I remind myself that I'm in show business, not brain surgery - if I don't play my best nobody's gonna die, so I'm not too hard on myself. My philosophy on this subject comes from Theodore Rubin's great book "Compassion and Self Hate", another must read for musicians who walk around saying "I suck".

I read that you may have someone new working on your bookings. If you could please consider coming to the Little Rock, Arkansas area, that would be wonderful.

I think you could have a pretty healthy "Market" of clubs and fans, in this aprt of the country. We are right at the Crossroads between East and West Coasts, and North and South.

Right between Memphis/Nashville, St. Louis, New Opleans, Dallas, etc.

Plus, we have a couple of really good Festivals, that I think your band would have a blast playing at.

If this is ever doable, please just say the word. I know a few of the larger club's owners, as well as some of the Festival promoters, etc. And I would be thrilled to get you guys out here!

I don't know if it's doable or not, since we're only planning an east coast tour. Driving across country is a thing of the past for me - not enough shows and too many nights off which eat up the cash. A trip to Little Rock would involve a flight, but we've flown from LA many times to play just one gig, or a smaller club for two or three nights. It's just that to cover the flight and gear overweight, the gig has to pay really well. Our new agent's info is listed in the touring section of my website, so please ask any interested promoters to contact him. Thanks!

Hey Scott,

Saw you back in March at Tone Merchants. What a show! Looking forward to hearing your new tunes on record.

What's your take on Governor speakers? Thanks.

I've never heard them. I haven't tried that many speakers since I switched from Vintage 30's to Greenbacks 10 years ago. I like the Heritage 65's especially in an open back cabinet.

It's great to see you back, Scott. I've been playing guitar about 30 years and learned a lot about the PRINCIPLES of good tone (guitar/amp/effects) from your last 42 posts, which has helped me pursue my own voice as a guitarist. For fun, since I'm on a limited budget as a high school teacher, I threw together my own "Bubba" Henderson Strat (Redneck Classic) and I am very pleased with the guitar and the flexibility it gives to do the variety of stuff I have to play.

I have the 6-screw Fender vintage bridge (set up according to your recommendations -- Wow! It really works!) and have some questions:

Thanks - glad to hear the bridge is working for you!

1. Do you use the standard Fender arm? (I shortened mine about 1.5")

I shortened mine too. I don't use the standard Fender arm - it's too thin and I was breaking them all the time. I use the arm from a Gotoh 1055 bridge. It's stainless steel and quite a bit thicker, but it's a push in arm, so I had to take it to a machine shop and have it threaded, and also tap the hole in the block to a bigger size. It was a pain, so after doing the first one on my own, Steve at Suhr guitars found a machine shop in their area and we did seven more at one time. Now I have a few extra bridges for guitars I might order in the future.

2. The arm is a little wobbly just holding it while picking. Is there something you do to make it feel a little bit tighter?

[quote] You can wrap a little bit of thread around the threaded part of the arm. That works for awhile but eventually the thread disintegrates and makes a mess so you have to clean out the hole with an air blower and do it again. I got used to the wobble and it doesn't bother me. [/quote

3. What kind of nut do you use?

I just read on the Suhr website that it's tusq. Is that from an elephant?? It must be synthetic... I'll have to ask John. One hour later: I asked John and he says don't worry, it doesn't come from an elephant, it comes from his dogs.

4. Do you just shave some pencil lead shavings into the nut? How often do you do this?

I use graphite in a tube from the hardware store. I put it in the nut before each gig.

5. How often do you oil the 6 screws?

Once a year at the most.

6. When you set the height of the 2 outside screws, do you do that with the bridge in normal position or (as Fender recommends) with the bar pulled all the way back?

Normal position, so that I can just get my fingernail under the two end screws. Or, just set it up so that when the strings are on, the top of the bridge plate is even with the top of the pickguard.

7. Do you still bend strings much in the traditional way? What is the best action height for traditional bending? With my action lower it seems a bit less comfortable to bend on the E and B strings.

I'd say it's about 50/50 between traditional bending and using the bar. I set my action so that I'm just able to see the 1/16" mark under each string when the ruler is sitting on the last fret.

I've noticed that my dog is a bit wilder since I started using the whammy bar (and she's been pooping in the neighbor's yard). Have you found this, too?

I know those neighbors of yours and if I was your dog I'd poop in their yard too.

I've tried to ask her which stage name she prefers for me -- "Hole Digger" or "Howlin' Hound Dog" but she just keeps barking. What do you think?

About the name, if you're black and over 70 I'd go with "Howlin' Hound Dog", but if you're a white guy, go with "Hole Digger". Quit your teaching gig and work in highway maintenance to give the name more authority. About the dog, keep barking sweetheart! You're the best burglar alarm a person can own.

Hey Scott:

No questions - just wanted to say it's really, really great to see you back here!

I miss the good ol' open counseling jam days!

Keep on takin' no prisoners, bro!


Is there a label for the 2010 Tribal Tech release?

Yes but nothing has been signed yet, so I can't mention the name of the label until things are more solid.

Are there any plans in place to record the shows with Berlin and Chambers? Or do a trio record with them in the future?
The shows won't be recorded, except by YouTubers and I'm sure I'll be pulling those videos in the mornings after every show. No album, because we're not playing any original music.

Hello Scott!

Nice to have you back! I've seen on the Xotic Pedals website that aside from the RC Booster you are also using the BB plus, can you confirm this?
If not, have you tried it? How does it compare to the BB Preamp?

Thanks and I'm looking forward to the new Tribal Tech album coming out soon!

I don't use the BB plus and if it's on their website, I'll need to call them and take it down. I tried it and I like the regular BB more - it's been my experience that simple pedals sound the best. Right now, Xotic is doing the same mod to a BB that they did on my version of the RC, lowering the frequency of the bass. I'm waiting to see what that sounds like. As for now, The Maxon SD-9 is my high gain pedal.

Hi Scott,

i'm very happy to see you back.

Could you share your settings when you play with the fender hot rod?
Do you use the rc booster ?

I use my regular pedalboard and FX loop setup with the Hot Rod Deluxe, as shown on the gear page of my website. The only difference is, I use the clean channel, so it's not like using my Suhr head, which is always in crunch mode. With my Suhr, the RC has enough gain to use it for solos, but in the Deluxe, it's only good for chords, so I use the SD-9 for solos. I tried using the crunch channel, but it makes the amp sound much smaller. I also put a Heritage 65 speaker in it, which greatly improved the tone. To be honest, the speaker that came in the amp didn't sound too good. My settings are volume 4, treble & bass 6, mid 4, presence 12. Keep in mind these settings work for me because of cable lengths, pickups, etc. - they might not sound the same with your setup.

I know you love to play with the sd9 but do you use sometimes the xact precision overdrive or not anymore?

I tried that pedal on one tour and went back to the SD9 (like I always do). The Precision Overdrive has a great tone, but I found it much harder to play legato with it and it's not as punchy on the neck pickup as the SD9. I've never heard another high gain pedal that is.

Hi Scott.
Coolio of you to answer another round of questions. Once and for all, What´s up with the "big dog" T shirts. Your own company?

I wish! I just wear them because I love dogs, and sometimes the artwork on the back is pretty funny.

Hi Scott,

Could you tell me what do you think about the Badger 30 (if you tried it)?

I tried it but it wasn't for me. Class A amps are great for blues but not for high gain. The Badger doesn't have a presence knob, so it's not versatile enough for me, because that's where you dial in how "in your face" vs. how "in the background" the amp sounds. Compared to an OD-100 or my Suhr head, which are both Marshall based designs, the Badger doesn't have enough presence for me. It sounds better for sweet bluesy type playing, or rhythm guitar parts. For my main soloing tone, I'm really hooked on 100 watt amps. They have the biggest sounding bass frequency - all other amps, even 50 watt Marshalls, sound smaller in comparison.

Hi..really appreciate the time you offer to this forum.

Have you any experience with Elmwood amps?
What about DRZ ?

I've never heard an Elmwood, but I've heard a few Dr. Z amps that I liked. It's been a long time though so I don't remember which models they were.

I know you don't have the time to look/listen to all our shit,but if you're bored for some reason:

Thank you so much!

Hey Scott

Welcome back bro!

I know you can play classical guitar, land an airplane, perform brain surgery and all that ... (yeah reading the old archive is cool !!!), BUT:

Do you like modern arts (painting, sculpture, installation, ...)?

I do, but I'm a dumbass about it. If I saw something painted by the Coltrane of art, as opposed to the Kenny G of art, it scares me to think of which one I'd pick. I'm just not educated enough - I only know what I like. That's why people who are uneducated in music might pick Kenny G over Coltrane, but there are a lot of non-musicians who can tell Kenny G is a worthless piece of shit from the first note. I hope I have good taste, even in art forms that I don't know much about.

Hello Scott,

I want to use the EWS pedal as a midi expression pedal to control the master volume of my sound in the FX unit that is in the loop of my amp.

Can the EWS pedal also be used as a midi expression pedal? To control volume or maybe FX settings of an FX unit, like delay mix. I know you had two knobs in the past and also used on knob to control the mix of the delay through an expression style output.
Normally, this would be obtained by hooking up a stereo cable to a stereo output of a volume pedal and hooking that up with a stereo jack cable to the 'expression pedal output' of for instance an FX processor. The EWS only has one output, so....not sure if this will work for me.


Actually I wasn't doing it the way you think. When Bradshaw built my rack, the first thing we thought of was using a midi control function to control the wet/dry mix of my FX unit, but it's a bad idea. The reason is, when you attach a midi controller to an FX unit, changing patches causes the midi controlled parameter to jump to it's highest value. This means you have to fuck with the knob every time you change patches, which totally sucks. We tried everything, but that's just the nature of how midi control parameters work.

We did it the other way - we ran the actual FX audio signal through the knob. The knob was placed between the output of the effect unit (100% wet) and the return of the mixer. I also had a programmable switch on my Bradshaw RS-10 which bypassed the knob, for sounds like pitch transposers or chorus when I wanted 100% of the effect. When I changed back to delay, the switch would put the knob back in the loop and it would be set exactly as before with no need to touch it.

Over the years of using the Bradshaw rig, I realized what I was doing with my delay knob was really overkill, because I was hardly using it. These days I just use a few delay patches - a 400ms delay, one that's a bit wetter, a tank delay, and a reverb.

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