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Scott's gear answers and more......

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Joined: 17 May 2004
Posts: 192

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject: Scott's gear answers and more...... Reply with quote

I changed the Subject of this post as I didn't want to offend anyone. I thought "mouth" could have been taken as disrespect.........absolutely NONE was meant.

I have searched through all the Q and A's and have compiled some of the best information from the lot. Some stuff is redundant and Scott's answers on some stuff has changed which is interesting to note too. I have tried to include the original question and answer but the other paragraphs are just Scott's thoughts.......

I am hoping this will help give ONE area where almost all equipment and gear related info can be accessed. I also have this in email form too so you can contact me at if you want a copy sent via email.



OD-100 Settings:
Channel 1: boost on, gain 8, bass 3, mid 1, treble 7, level 5.†
This channel is set up for pedals, mainly the Maxon OD9 and the OD9/Voodoo-1 combination.†
Channel 2: boost on, gain 7, bass 1, mid 5, treble 4, presence 10, level 7†
I should mention that I have a volume knob in the FX loop that's usually set around one†o'clock which is equivalent to lowering the levels a notch or two.††The bad news - the pots in the new OD-100's have a different sweep than the older pots in†my amp, so my settings won't apply accurately.

Settings of the SE-70 and amp cont.:
I use the Rev & Delay setting. Reverb is 2.5 ms with 50 ms pre delay. Low cut filter is 8k.†Reverb level 80. Delay is 400 ms with feedback 15. Low cut filter is 6k. Delay level is 45.†The gain on my clean channel is on 8 and the boost is on, so I don't really have a clean†sound, like totally clean. If I want it cleaner I get that by turning down the guitar.†The amp's volume is on 5, and that's WAY loud, but I'm using a volume knob in the FX loop†which cuts that down by about 25%. For recording, since I'm not using the volume knob, the†volume is around 4.

I like to play diminished over minor - example: ii V in the key of C. Over Dm†play D E F G Ab Bb B C#. It's like playing melodic minor but replacing the 5th with the†flat and sharp 5th. This same diminished scale works over the V chord as well. Sometimes†
I just ignore the ii chord and play V altered (Ab melodic minor) through the whole ii V.

Question: Hypothetically, if you were told you had to throw all but one of your pedals away, which†would be the one that you would keep? The RC?

Answer: The Maxon SD9.†

I like low action but if it's too low it'll mess up the tone and sustain. I set my action†at just above 1/16" at the last fret.

For my Marshall cab with Greenbacks, I just put a 57 right in the cone of the speaker,†about an inch away from the grille. On the 4x10 cabinets with Kendrick Blackframes, I put†the mic on the paper right next to the cone.†

To get a fat soloing tone, I get a bright sound from the amp, but roll down the tone quite†a bit on the guitar - for other sounds I move the mike around and vari the guitar tone.† Putting the mic in the cone will get you the biggest sound, but it's too hairy unless the†guitar tone is rolled down. Lots of guys keep the tone up on the guitar, mic the paper and†compensate by turning up the bass and treble on the amp with very little mid, and that†sounds cool too, but I've been doing it the reverse way for such a long time that it just†feels like "my tone".†

The SD9 is a different type of pedal than a TS9/808. It's more scooped and has more gain,†so which type of pedal you get depends on your style of playing. The TS9/808 sounds better†on the rhythm pickup but the SD9 sounds great on both so I like it more. As far as the†brand, AnalogMan's silver mod on the TS9/808 is really good and the stock Maxon OD9 and SD9 sound great too.†

I've tried the Palmer and other cab simulators and I thought they sounded pretty good, but I got a bigger sound with the real deal.†
I think you get a fatter tone by turning the tone down on the guitar with lots of amp treble†than the reverse. I agree with what Jeff Beck says about volume - if the guitar is on 10,†sometimes it overloads what it's going into but if you back it off to 9 you get a smoother†tone.

I have the sch-1. I like the beano boost but it's better for humbuckers. A better one for†single coils is the Divided By 13 Dyna-Ranger. Unfortunately both those pedals don't work†for me live because they use germanium transistors which don't work well with buffers, and†they also tend to pick up radio stations. I use the RC Booster live - it sounds great with†none of those problems.

The only SD9 I really like is the Maxon - the others have too much†mid for me. But I really like the Analogman silver mod on the TS-9.†

The best way to develop your sense of rhythm is to listen to great improvisers and memorize their solos so you can sing the rhythms along with them. After you get good at doing that,†those rhythms will stick in your head. It's just like transcribing, but you don't need your†instrument to do it.† Same thing for solo development - listen to how great improvisers do†it. You might notice that the most intense stuff they play is saved for the end, or that†sometimes they play phrases and then repeat them, maybe keeping the shape and rhythm but†changing the notes to fit with the chords. If you listen and analyze what's going on in†these great solos, you'll figure out what to do.

Question:†Scott, I was wondering if you've ever heard of Tone Bone distortion? If you have, what's†your opinion about it?†

Answer:† I tried it but didn't like it very much, and that's how it's been with every pedal I've†tried with a real tube in it. Those pedals have a fat sound, but in a "woofy" kind of way†and are usually worthless for the neck pickup. I haven't heard too many pedals that sound†great on both the neck and bridge pickup - a few that do are the SD9, the DOD Overdrive†250 and the Tube Zone.

In your opinion, what's the distortion box you prefer to play some more dist. stuff? Maybe the analogman or keeley ds-1 or maxon sd-9?

Answer:† My favorite is the Maxon SD9†

Question: †Hey Scott, I was wondering how you get your octafuzz sound so smooth sounding. Is it mixed†in or modded somehow?†

Answer:†No, it's stock. Maybe it's just the way I set it - I have the volume up almost all the way and the distortion down all the way. That's the typical setting for that pedal. Also, I†have the tone rolled down on the guitar which makes any type of distortion sound fatter†and smoother.

Question: †Do you have any tips on how to get started in home recording or recording in general? Can†you suggest any good books for starters...?

Answer:††I guess that depends on how much money you want to spend. I don't know any books about it,†but basically all you need for recording guitar is a fast Mac, an audio interface, a good†mic preamp, and a Shure 57. I'd suggest finding a friend who's gotten into it to help you†instead of a book.†

Question: †I'm wondering: I read that you used on the "Dog Party" album an ts-808 together with a†matchless. Is the overdrive sound purely the ts-808 or do you combine the ts-808 with the†overdrive of the matchless?†

Answer: †Any time I use a distortion pedal it's always a combination of the pedal and amp distortion.†
Question: Which SD9 is yours? Analogman, Original 80's, or other? Let me know what I should look for†when I am purchasing a NICE SD9.†

Answer:††My favorite is the Maxon. I set it with the volume all the way up, the dist at about 2†'o clock and the tone all the way off.†

I use the RC Booster for my clean sound and it's level is set to match the level of my†dist pedals - I never use the clean channel without a pedal. The way my gear is set up, I†don't have a true clean sound with lots of headroom - with the RC Booster I have to turn†my guitar down to about 5 to get it really super clean, and then it's not as loud.

The only 2 pedal distortion combination I use is the Tube Screamer into the Voodoo 1,†which I like even better than the SD9 by itself.†

Question: When recording, is it pretty important to have a fairly†decent volume blasting out of the cabinet? I am also curious as to the eq'ing that you†might do POST recording. Between 600 and 800 K seem to be pretty important and I was†curious if you notch certain frequencies out or add any?

Answer:† It's not so much about the volume, but more about turning up the amp enough for the power†tubes to work hard and do their thing. If it's a 100 watt head, then yeah it's gonna be†loud, but you can get great tone with a 20 watt head too. There are more elements involved†with micing cabinets - a bad cabinet is a sure way to ruin the tone. There's a huge†difference in tone between an old Marshall cab and the rather crappy ones that Marshall†makes now with that pressboard back, ultra cheap wiring and 75 watt speakers. (I know†because I have to rent them sometimes on the road). Bogner and Custom Audio make 4x12 cabs†
that are like the old ones, and Custom Audio is making a 2x12 that sounds great. My favorite†speakers are Celestion Greenbacks. Also, if you're micing the cab in a bad room, it won't†matter how great the cab is. Bare walls and bouncing frequencies can do awful things to†the sound, so an investment in Aurelex or some other kind of damping material can really†help. Also in my opinion amps sound better at 8 ohms than 4 or 16. †I don't like to EQ guitar but sometimes it's necessary to make it sit right in the track,†
and the EQ is always different depending on the situation. But in general, I'll sometimes†add a couple db of 200 to make it bigger in the low end, 100 if I want it mega-low, around†600 to 1k to make it fatter (if I'm micing right I won't need to do that). I don't like†
the 3k frequency very much and sometimes distortion pedals add some of it so I might notch†that down a db, and if I need more treble, boosting around 5k will make it brighter†without adding that hairy distortion that you can get by boosting too high, around 8k and†up.

I just prefer single coils in general, and they sound very full with big strings (11's†tuned to Eb). I only use the humbucker guitar for gigs where I need to be in E and use 10's.†

I've tried all the Matchless amps but they don't fit my style very well.†Nothing against Matchless because they make quality amps, but class A amps usually have a†sparkle on the top end that never goes away when you turn down the treble. They're great†amps for cleaner blues but not great for high gain sounds.†
Question: Do you feel that if an alder strat is too light, it will have poor acoustical†properties?

Answer:† Yes, in fact the only guitar that I've ever returned to John Suhr had kind of a weird†midrangy tone and didn't have much bass. It was extremely light for a strat, even lighter†than the old ones I've played. We think the weight had to be the problem since all the†hardware was exactly the same.

The V60 is still my favorite strat pickup, and it's an important element in my tone. If†you don't have a hum problem in your area, you can't get a better pickup. I live in LA,†land of a million radio stations, and I've also had serious hum problems while touring so†I use hum-free pickups in the guitars I use live.

Those little Bandit 112's sounded OK but the amp I play through now at GIT is much better -†it's a Fender Princeton with one 10" speaker and it has delay & other FX built in. It's got†a pretty decent distortion sound, not bad for a little non-tube practice amp.†The identical pickup thing is only for single coil strats. In my humbucker guitar I use a†'59 double screw in the bridge and a jazz on the neck.

Regarding the Buzz Feiten tuning system: "I think it's a great system, but since I use the†bar a lot I have to tune between songs and I try to do it fast as possible, so I'm not†trying to get it perfect . In the studio though, I really notice how I can get it perfectly†in tune so that every chord voicing is really in - you can't get that without the tuning†system."†

On the subject of finding a cheap guitar: †"You can probably find a Fender strat that's not too expensive. I got the re-issue strat that†
I played on Dog Party for 800 bucks (used) and there are lots of those around. Some of the†new models are probably cool too, but I don't know enough about them to advise you on which†one to get. Try to find one with an alder body and a vintage bridge - the two post bridge†that Fender makes has a cheap zinc block that doesn't sound as good as a steel block. It's†easy to replace the pickups so that's no problem, and big frets (6100 or 6105) make string†bending easier so try to find one with those."

I'm using the clean channel of my amp, but it's really a crunch channel because it's gain†is set pretty high and the boost is on. Distortion pedals through a totally clean amp sound†thin.†

Question: What exactly type of bridge and keys you have on your...bluesy guitar?†

Answer:† Gohto 1088 bridge and Sperzel locking tuners.†

The worst gig and gig experience was in a small town in Germany when a bad jack in my gear†caused the sound to cut out every 10 minutes or so. We had to stop in the middle of about†6 songs in the show and people were asking for their money back. I got pissed off and kicked†over my rig and the OD-100 sailed about 10 feet to the floor. At least the audience enjoyed†watching that. (The amp still worked).†

On the wiring of his "blues" guitar: "I have the tone pots wired a little different though†tone 1 is for the neck and middle pickup, tone 2 is for the treble pickup only, and the†tone controls are bypassed for the two in between positions.

The wah is after the distortion pedals and it's always on because the wah is true bypass.

Question: †Does the buffer in the looper take care of the signal loss from the long cables running†from the looper to the wah and back?

Answer:† Yes, with all the cables the tone would be muddy without the buffer. I had Bob put the†buffer after the first pedal loop - that's where my SD-9 lives and it doesn't like the†buffer too much. Higher gain pedals and pedals with germanium transistors get shrill†sounding if a buffer is before them.†

Question: †During some of your more bluesy songs, you had a killer chorus sound - almost a slow†Leslie kind of sound - that you used with the neck pickup. Which chorus pedal gets that†sound for you?

Answer: It's the Arion SCH-1 Chorus pedal - all three knobs at 12 o' clock.

On the opinion of a Floyd Rose: "I don't like the tone of the Floyd. For sure it keeps†the guitar in tune better but I've never seen a locking bridge with a block, and I think†that's a major element in the tone of a strat."†

Question: What pickups you used in your LIVE album ? virtual vintage or V60lp ?

Answer: Virtual Vintage 2.2. It's getting impossible to play single coils in LA. On my last tour†with single coils, I played about ten venues where I had to change pickguards and use†mediocre sounding noiseless pickups. Now thanks to great sounding noiseless pickups like†the Kinman AVn 56 and Dimarzio 2.2, I don't have to carry an extra pickguard around anymore.††
You don't have to go to music school but it might make the learning procedure easier. At†least you should try to find a private teacher. Many great musicians are self taught, but†most of them did a lot of listening and copying from records.

Question: Which would you suggest people to use? The Korg PX4 or the more popular Line 6 POD?

Answer: †The POD has more realistic guitar sounds but it's too big for me to carry around, so the†Pandora is always in my guitar case. I spent some time with it and programmed a good set†of sounds for practicing and composing on the road. It's a great little box!

Question: †If you were giving a lesson on blues playing, how would you describe the way so many players†(in both blues and jazz) seamlessly combine major/minor pentatonics and blues scales to†create an almost "hybrid" scale? For example - the first phrase of "Billie's Bounce" uses†both the maj and min 3rd, along with the b5, and maj 6th. It's not strictly maj or min†pentatonic, or mixolydian, etc? I know I'm probably setting myself up here by trying to over†think the blues, but as a teacher, I'd be really interested to hear your perspective on how†it works. Especially when so many people just want to learn in terms of "scale x over chord†x = the blues".†

Answer: I don't think of it so much in terms of scales, but rather in intervals. There might be a†parent scale that gives the overall vibe, say mixolydian. I'm always adding b3rds, b5ths,†b9s and whatever else to that scale and I just see it as added color tones rather than a†new hybrid scale.

Question: †You said "the amp I play through now at GIT is much better - it's a Fender Princeton with†one 10" speaker and it has delay & other FX built in." i have seen the review in harmony†central about that Fender princeton amply there are many series like Fender Princeton 65,†Fender Princeton 65 Dsp,Fender Princeton Chorus but the type that have 10" speaker is only†fender princeton chorus DSP but it has two speaker not one , the other type have 12" . The†only one that have delay and other built in effect and one 12" speaker is Fender Princeton†65 DSP,is this the type that you mean?

Answer:† Yes that's it. I thought it was a 10" speaker but I guess it's a 12.†

Question: You said "In my humbucker guitar I use a '59 double screw in the bridge and a jazz on the†neck." So i know you use seymour duncan 59 in bridge but sorry i really don't know what is†mean with "double screw" is this mean humbucker type pickup?†

Answer:† Yes, it's just a humbucker with screws in both coils. When a humbucker has screws in one coil and studs in the other, one coil is hotter ( I forget which one). Screws on both coils†makes the pickup get a more even picture from the string and it's a fatter, less strat-like†sound.†

Vintage strats sound great but they're too expensive, and I find them difficult to play. I†hate small frets, the string spacing is wider than I'm used to and the E string is too†close to the edge of the neck on most of them for me. They have great tone because they†
were made really well with light alder and great pickups, but if a modern strat has those†qualities and also has a neck that's easy to play, I'm totally happy with that.†

I love vintage amps and I use them for recording - they aren't as outrageously priced as†vintage guitars (yet). On stage I need an amp with a master volume and an FX loop so I use†the OD-100. Of all the modern amps I've tried, it gets the closest to a vintage Marshall.††
I've been talking to John about making a one channel amp that clones an old Marshall but†also has his great crunch mod and FX loop. I think there are a lot of players out there who†don't need channel switching and would appreciate being able to buy an amp like that instead†of finding an old Marshall and modding it. We're using John's demo head as the prototype,†but we didn't have time to finish it so I could use it on the tour since I leave in a few†days. The circuit is done - only a few things had to be changed, but there wasn't time to change the output transformer and tubes and give it proper testing.

Channel two of the OD-100 already sounds pretty close to a plexi. I've been using channel†two as my crunch channel with pedals and it works best when the bright switch is in, but I†changed it's cap (slot C14) from a 470pf to a 220pf. That's the value in a Marshall and I†think it makes the high end sweeter - John's doing it on all the Henderson amps now. When†the bright switch is in, it becomes necessary to turn down the power amp presence control†inside the amp. John puts that control on the back of the amp for guys that request it - if†you're using the bright switch for some tones and not for others, that control will need to†be changed.†††

Question: I was wondering if the Arion SCH-1 Chorus pedal you`re using is made in Japan? Because I once saw it in a guitar shop in Japan and it`s incredibily cheap I couldn`t believe you`re using it.†

Answer:†Yeah sometimes you luck out when cheap gear sounds great. That pedal rocks.

Question: I actually didn't want to bother you with another stupid equipment question but I saw a photo of a marshall cabinet at your site and I want to buy a cab for BluesRock. Are the new marshall greenback cabs okay (if they're good enough for you, then they will do it for me, too ) or would you recommend something else?†

Answer:† I would definitely recommend something else. Those cabs have pressboard backs which sound terrible. They're also wired with cheap, thin cable - and a switch on the speaker jack is not a good idea. I'd go with a company like Bogner or Stark that makes cabs like Marshall used to make in the old days.†

On the subject of pickups: Seymore Duncan's '59 humbucking pickups are available with double screws or single screws, but they're both two-coil pickups that won't fit in your guitar unless you enlarge the pickup housing. Single screw humbucking pickups still have two coils, but there are studs on the other coil instead of screws. If you decide to put humbuckers on your guitar, I recommend a '59 single screw at the bridge for a fat strat-like sound, or a '59 double screw for an even fatter fusion sound, and a jazz pickup on the neck. If you decide not to rout your guitar and stay with single coil pickups, I recommend John Suhr's V-60's and I like all three pickups to be the same. I personally like single coils better, and you don't have to rout the guitar.†

Question: What kind of distortion do you think is good in front of a good clean amp (like Blackface for example) to get some more marshall kind of gain?, because you say that you use your distortion pedals always with the distortion channel of your amp.†

Answer:† The Maxon OD-9 and SD-9 sound great in Fender amps.†

The RC Booster is a good pedal - it'll make any Fender amp fatter and give you more gain.†

My favorite speakers are Celestion Greenbacks.†

The neck pickup is low so it matches volume with the treble pickup which is all the way up. I like the way it sounds there - too gainy for me if it's higher.†

Normal low output humbuckers sound really thin when you split them - that sound can't compete with a great single coil pickup. High output humbuckers might split better, but I don't like the sound of them as humbuckers. I don't even use humbuckers anymore live - I like single coils way more.†

Transcribing a lot really helped me - that's the best ear training I can recommend, plus you're learning new stuff so it's win win.†

Speakers need to be broken in, some more than others. I don't notice a huge change in Greenbacks in the first month, but I think there's a subtile change as they get less brittle sounding. With Kendrick Blackframe 10" speakers there's a huge difference - they basically sound like crap until you break them in. I take new ones over to Bob Bradshaw and he runs a loud, super low bass tone through them for a few days - that loosens them up!†

Coltrane was one of the worlds greatest improvisers, but Wayne Shorter is nothing short of a genius, and in my opinion those guys come around every hundred years or so. I say that because of his other-worldly writing ability, as well as his incredible playing. I think he's the one of the best jazz composers in history - that's just my opinion but there are a lot of people who would agree. And as far as his playing, he can tell a better story with two notes than most can with a hundred.

I've done a lot of A/B testing on different types of preamp tubes, but I haven't done much testing of different brands. I use the Chinese 12AX7's that I get from Bogner and I don't even know the name of the brand. I have JJ power tubes in my Marshalls and Ruby tubes in my OD100.†

I don't recommend using pedals in the loop unless they're designed to take line level input. A series loop is what's in most amps - it just sends the audio through the effect and back into the amp. A parallel loop is like having a mixer - it runs the dry sound from the send to the return inside the amp while sending another audio signal through your effect, which you set to 100% wet - the dry sound never enters your effect. For tone, that's better because a lot of effects (especially the cheaper ones) can color the tone if the dry sound is run through them. The only problems are - you can't use a volume pedal in the loop, which is where I like to put the volume pedal, and you can only use one effect. In my opinion it's more versatile to use a series loop and a good mixer.†

I used to use the combination of a tube screamer and Voodoo for my high gain lead sound, and the Voodoo by itself for my clean sound, but by itself it's kind of bassy - I like the RC Booster more. Also when I started using the SD-9 live, it replaced the tube screamer/Voodoo combination.†

Question: I've got a Voodoo 1 on the way based on Landau's rig and yours as well. Are they pretty similar w/ the exception that the RC has more versatile tone controls?†

Answer:† The RC Booster is way more transparent and it's tone controls are really useful. I keep the treble flat but dial down the bass some.

Question: Do you use batteries on each of your pedals or a power supply?†

Answer:† In the studio I use non-alkaline batteries, live I use a power supply.†

Question: On your live rig how many settings do you use? For example 1 clean(for chords comping), 2crunch(SRV type of sound?), 3lead(overdriven fat and singing sustain) etc..†

Answer: Clean using the RC Booster, bluesy using the Maxon OD-9, high gain using the Maxon SD-9, and over-the-top using the SD-9 and OD-9 together.†

Question: By the way, what's the deal with the V-60 LP anyways? Are they stacked humbuckers, like the DiMarzio Virtual Vintage p/u's? What are they designed to do?†

Answer:†They're just designed to sound great! They're real single coil pickups that sound as good if not better than the pickups on the old vintage strats. They do hum though, so on my guitars that I use live, I've been using Kinman noiseless pickups.

Question: Do you hold the bar constantly, ready for use at anytime? It seems like you must - otherwise, you'd be reaching for it all the time.†

Answer:† Yes, it's in my hand almost all the time. I shortened it so it's not so easy to press down, and for tone because it doesn't sound good to pick too close to the neck.†

If I'm playing a new chord progression that I don't hear yet, I have to rely on my technical knowledge of intervals and scales. As I get to know the song and can hear what's coming next, my ears help me know what to play.

Question: What drum machine do you use for practicing? Any drum machines you could recommend?†

Answer:† I have a Yamaha QY-100. That's the best portable drum machine/sequencer out there that's small, inexpensive and easy to program.†

Question: What mixer do you use or recommend for using in the fx loop of the amp to make it parallel for using multi fx units?†

Answer:† Custom Audio makes the best one.†

I'm just used to the Seymour Duncan 59 and 59 double screw cause I've been using them for such a long time. I tried a few of John's humbuckers and they sound good but I still like the 59 more.†

John Suhr's 2x12 is the best one I've ever heard. The only problem is that if you use Celestion Greenback 25 watt speakers in it (my favorite), then you can't crank a 100 watt head into it. I use my 2x12 with a 60 watt Fender head.†

EV speakers are too midrangy in my opinion, but lots of people use them. I used to use them myself before I re-discovered Greenbacks.†

On the subject of equipment for Vital Tech Tones 2: I used the OD-100 on that record except for "The Litigants" where I used my old Marshall. The cab was my 4x12 with Greenbacks. People probably get tired of me saying this but an important part of the tone comes from using a real cabinet with a birch back like the old ones. Bogner sells really good ones - the new Marshall cabs with pressboard backs just plain suck! I used the OD-100 mainly without distortion pedals - channel 2 boosted. With the Marshall I used a TS-9 into the Voodoo 1. This was before I started using the SD-9 for my hi gain sound. Sometimes I fattened up the guitar by making it stereo. There's a couple tracks where the dry guitar is in the middle and there's a L 20ms, R 30ms delay along with it, or dry on the left and 10 to 20ms delay on the right.†

Question: I heard you have moved channels on your OD-100, and now ch2 is the mainstay. Is that for all sounds, or for when you carry another amp?†

Answer:† For everything - channel 1 is off, which is weird since on the Henderson model OD-100, channel 1 is the modded channel. I think channel 1 sounds better on the Henderson model cause it sounds closer to a Fender, but these days I'm more into the Marshall sound and channel 2 is great for that.†

Question: Do you feed the OD-9 into the SD-9 or vice versa when you use them together? I seem to notice a volume drop when I engage the SD-9 after the OD-9 and a large volume boost when I do it the other way round. Seems wierd to me, so how do you go about it?†

Anwer: My SD-9 is before the OD-9. Once in a while I turn them both on if I want mega-distortion, and the volume boost is cool for that.

Question: I see that you prefer the regular output V60lp in the bridge of your Suhr (I do too). Do you also use a bass plate on the bridge pickup?†

Answer:† The bridge pickup is exactly the same as the other two. I'm not even sure what a bass plate is, but if the other pickups have it, the bridge pickup does too.†

Question: I'm trying to learn to play "out" and back "in" as tastefully as you and i'm having a bit of trouble with it. I have heard over the years about the vaunted "computer full of licks", and I was wondering where you get these licks from. Are you creating them based off your knowledge of harmony, or getting them from your favorite musicians?†

Answer: It's both. I've done a lot of transcribing, especially sax players, and from doing that I've learned different finger movements so if I want to play what I've transcribed note for note I can do that, but what's more important is to learn the general shape and use it to come up with your own stuff. Also I've learned different harmonic concepts when I analyze things I transcribe, for instance if I transcribe a line over Cm that includes a B triad, I don't just learn the line, I learn that I can use B triads over Cm to get a certain sound and I try to come up with my own stuff using that idea.†

Question: I know u use Maxon Sd 9 now for high gain sound but i wonder how do you set up your high gain sound when u use vooodo 1 and ts 9 silver mod (seting of level,gain, tone,vol,drive) and the chain of the fx (like guitar - ts 9-voodoo 1-amp, or vice versa) u answer that in faq but no details.†

Answer: The TS-9 is first in the chain - volume all the way up, gain around 2 o' clock, and tone at 12 o' clock. Then the Voodoo 1 volume all the way up, gain all the way down and tone at 12 o' clock.†

Question: Do use neck, middle, or bridge pickup when u use ts 9-voodoo 1 high gain sound?†

Answer: That pedal combination sounds good with any pickup, as opposed to the TS-9 by itself which to me sounds great on the neck pickup but too midrangy on the bridge pickup.†

Question: What is your opinion about lindy fralin pickup?†

Answer: I used the Woodstock model on Dog Party. They sound good but they're pretty bright - great for clean blues but not so good for hi-gain playing. I like John Suhr's V-60 LP's way more.†

Me and Adam Stark did an A/B test between a vintage Greenback from the early 70's and one of my brand new ones. The old vintage speaker had a cool funky tone - really, really dark though. We liked the sound of the new one better, but that old speaker reminded me of some of the tones of Jimmy Page! It was too dark for me, but I still liked it. Now Celestion is making a new "hand built" version of the Greenback that I'll get to check out in a couple weeks - I'm looking forward to hearing it.†

I use locking Sperzels because I think they do help the guitar stay in tune better, but some people that they change the tone because they add weight to the headstock. I've never done an A/B test to see if that's true - I hope there's not a big difference because it's much faster to change stings with the Sperzels and my guitars stay in tune pretty well.†

Question: Do you have any thoughts on the Dumble, Fuchs, Two Rock type of amps. A lot of fusion guys are playing them and they are pretty versitile. Are they too compressed for you.†

Answer: I've only played one Dumble amp - the one he made for Mike Landau. It sounded really great. I don't know the Fuchs amp - I think my friend Steve Snider brought one over a long time ago but I don't remember what it sounded like.†

Question: What do you think about Marshall JCM 2000 dsl-100 on 1960a cab?†

Answer: I've used those a couple times when I couldn't bring my own amp. I wasn't crazy about it but it did the job OK. I don't like the cabinet though, because the new Marshall cabs have a pressboard back and I think they sound weird. It might be OK for live, but when you mike it you can hear some pretty nasty frequencies. It's easy to fix though - just take the back to a cabinet maker and tell him to copy it, only using birch instead of pressboard. If you want it to really sound good, sell those 16ohm speakers and get 8 ohm Greenbacks, throw that silly ohm switch in the trash, wire it at 8 ohms and use 10 gauge wire instead of that television wire that Marshall uses - and you'll have a great sounding cabinet!†

Question: I think you've been using maxon OD9 lately, why you stop using TS9 silver? What is the difference between the two pedals?†

Answer: To me the Maxon has a fuller and warmer tone than the TS9, even the modded one.†

Question: Have you try Fulltone's new overdrive pedal "OCD"? IF you had,†tell me what you thought, please.†

Answer: I don't dislike it but it's little too sparkly for me - it's treble frequency is pretty high. It's a nice color for clean blues though, but the RC Booster is fatter sounding.†

Question: How often do you play with max volume of your guitar?†

Answer: I try not to turn it up to 10. 9 sounds way better - 10 brings in a nasty, hairy, fuzzy sound. To me 9 sounds clearer. Jeff Beck says this too, and he knows more about tone than me.†

Question: I noticed that your new surf green Suhr has a rosewood fingerboard- did you decide that you didn't like that maple neck Suhr you were using for a while?†

Answer: The maple neck has a more aggressive tone - it's great for some things but I still like rosewood more.†

I use straight cabs for recording and slant cabs for the stage. If you do need to mic up a slant cab, always mic one of the top speakers - the bottom speakers on slant cabs sound really weird.†

Question: Is your Maxon OD9 stock or modified? Which model is it? Is it one of the new ones or one of those older vintage ones?†

Answer: It's a new one, stock.†

I hate Vintage 30's - they make a horrible double note sound when even slightly stressed, and to me they sound fuzzy and midrangy. I'm really the wrong guy to ask, because to use a 2x12 with a 100 watt head means you need a high output speaker and I don't like any of them. I used to use EV's, which are really midrangy, but you might be able to make them work for you - I 'd have to EQ the amp with tons of bass and treble and zero midrange.†

Question: Why do you use distortion pedals in channel two of your OD 100? Is the distortion in the amp not happening enough?†

Answer: I have a problem with any amp's hi-gain distortion on the neck pickup - the sound is too woofy for me, and not good for chords when I roll the volume down. As far as the bridge pickup, using amp distortion is a bit fatter than using a pedal, but it's more hairy and fuzzy as well. I find with a good pedal like an SD-9, I can get the tone just as fat if I roll the treble knob down just a little further - the notes are much smoother and I can switch back and forth between pickups with no problem. Also, low notes are way more punchy using a pedal.†

Question: It seems like higher action really makes playing legato-type stuff a lot harder....?

Answer:† I have the same problem - I've kind of given up some of my legato stuff because playing those kind of lines on a strat with higher action and .011's is pretty hard on the hands. My action is 1/16th from the string to the last fret, which is still pretty low, but in my Tribal Tech days I was playing .009's with very low action.†

There's a big difference in the tone of a Fender vintage six screw bridge and a two post bridge, as in the Gohto 1088 or 1099. I have Suhr's with Fender bridges that sound exactly like my friend's '63, and some with Gohto's that sound good too, but in a different way. The main difference is that the Fender bridge has way more bass, making the sound of the instrument bigger and chunkier overall, while the Gohto delivers more high mid which makes the high notes sound really fat. I like the sound of the Fender bridge more - I've got it on all my live guitars, but I'm keeping the Gohto on one guitar for recording options.†

John says the main difference in sound isn't so much because of six screws vs. two posts, but because the saddles on Fender bridges are hardened steel and Gohto saddles aren't. I think the block is also an important part of the tone. The Fender block is bigger than the Gohto block, and the string holes in the Gohto block are bored much deeper - I'm sure that makes a difference.†

My favorite distortion pedals are the Maxon SD-9 (hi-gain), and OD-9 (Tube Screamer). I also like the old DOD Overdrive 250 (Yngwie's pedal). I haven't heard the FD2 in many years so I don't remember exactly what it sounded like, but I do remember that when I tried it I thought my old Ibanez Tube Screamer sounded better.†

Question: What kind of guitar combos do you like? What dou you think about the old ones like Musicman, Marshall and Fenders?†

Answer: I like the old Fender Super Reverb and Deluxe.†

Question: How about the other xotic pedals? the BB and the Ac?†

Answer: I don't like the BB - the AC is OK for the bridge pickup and it's very compressed.†

Question: What kind of nut do you use on your guitars? Bone or plastic? What do you think is the difference?†

Answer: Bone - it's harder and lasts longer than plastic.†

I used to use the Analog Man silver mod because it made a huge improvement in my Ibanez TS-9 and SD9. When I changed to the Maxon pedals, I sent one of my OD-9's to Analog Man for a silver mod, and after comparing them I liked the stock one more. The Ibanez and Maxon pedals use different circuitry even though they both use the same chip, and the Maxon is true bypass - that's probably why the silver mod doesn't sound the same on both pedals.†

Question: What are your settings on your RC Boost?†

Answer: Gain and volume all the way up, treble 12 o'clock, bass 10 o'clock.†

Question: Where do you put your Wah when you were using Preamps and Power Amps? Before the preamp or after it? Or did you use wah on that set up?

Answer: Pedals should always go before the preamp - delays and reverb work better between the preamp and power amp.†

Question: I wonder if you have any tricks for setting up a typical trem like on your signature suhr model?†

Answer: Here's a few tricks I learned from Kenny Gin at Suhr guitars. First, bore the 6 holes slightly larger, just the next drill bit bigger, cause it should be a loose fit. The top of the plate should be about even with the top of the pickguard and the end screws should be in just enough for you to get your fingernail under the head of the screw, the other four inside screws about 1/8" higher. It'll stay in tune better if it's floating - I can pull up on the bar so that the G string goes up a major 3rd to B. I have my 3 springs set the Van Halen way as most guys do these days. I also use strings that have solder on the ball winding. That's about it, just put plenty of graphite in the nut, and a drop of oil on each of the six screws and it should work well and stay in tune.†

The CAE 3+ is very similar to the preamp of the OD-100. When I changed from using the CAE 3+ and the Boogie 290 power amp to using the OD-100, I didn't hear that much difference preamp wise, but it was clear that the power section of the OD-100 blew the Boogie power amp out the door. I did an A/B test by listening to the CAE 3+ into the Boogie and then into the return of the OD-100 - it was no contest. I had already tried the CAE 3+with a VHT power amp and thought that it was way too scooped sounding. So unless you absolutely need a stereo setup, I'd go with the OD-100.†

Question: How many jazz standards do you know by heart and can play at any moment?†

Answer: Maybe 3 or 4 at the most. I never put any energy into memorizing standards. I couldn't care less about it. I love a lot of those tunes but I can read well enough to play them anytime I want.†

Question: I've always had a question for the Voodoo1 - TS9 or SD9 users. When combining these pedals (both pedals on) which one goes first? Also which are your settings on the Voodoo 1?†

Answer: You can do it either way. If you go into the TS9 first, which is the way I usually did it, you'll get a fat mid but not much bass so you'll have to add more on your amp. The other way will give you more bass and a more scooped mid. I never used the SD-9 with the Voodoo, since the SD-9 sounds great by itself. Voodoo settings are volume full, gain off, tone 12:00.†

Question: Which model of Bogner cab did you use ?†

Answer: I use their 4x12 straight cab for recording and 4x12 slant cab on stage, both loaded with 8 ohm Celestion Greenbacks. I also use their open back 4x10 cab for recording, loaded with Kendrick Blackframe speakers.†

I used to use a combination of a TS-9 and Voodoo 1, but now I use an SD-9 by itself. I don't combine any distortion pedals now unless I want a really over the top gain - it's noisy but that's the point.†

Question: I heard that you changed your SD9 for Xotic BB. Can you describe the diffrence between SD9 & BB?†

Answer: The BB is more transparent - it basically sounds like an RC Booster with more gain. The SD9 has a more pronounced mid and kind of has it's own sound, but they're both great pedals. The BB sounds better with my Marshall, that's why I'm using live now.


Last edited by countandduke on Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 03 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey thanks! That's a great distillation of the important points from the many "ask Scott" threads. I expect Scott gets tired of answering the same questions repeatedly, so hopefully this source will help minimize the redundancy.
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Martin G

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it should be sticky
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bump, to make things easier!
Bat's Brew
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Jose N

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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