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Scott answers your questions - round 2.3 - 9/8/09

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StarShip Captain

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

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 2.3 - 9/8/09 Reply with quote

Hi Scott,

This is Dave, a former student of yours at MI (as well as your interviewer for Fuse Magazine a few times back in the day). Nice to see you back online again!

A few more questions for you:

You mentioned using a Hot Rod Deluxe for lower volume gigs; I was curious what sort of gigs those are and how often you do that sort of thing. Do you think power scaling might help you at all at those lower volume levels and what convinced you to use the Hot Rod?

Hi Dave! I play once in awhile with John Pisano on guitar night at Spazio's - that's about it, but I'm working on getting some duo gigs happening with other guitar players. The power scaling would work if I had a bigger amp, but the Deluxe is just the right size for small gigs. I heard one with a Celestion speaker in it, while I was in Europe at a friend's music store. I really liked it, but wasn't crazy about the one I heard when I got back home. I looked in the back and saw it had a cheapo speaker, so I bought the amp and put a Celestion 65 in it. Now it sounds great.

I am not sure if this is the case on the jazz gigs you mentioned but if you had to do jazz gigs where your volume had to match others as opposed to them adjusting to your prefered volume level for power tube gain or if you had to conform to lower volume levels more generally (say a typical jazz quartet gig) and your main goal were a smooth legato tone, what would you use ideally? Although I imagine you find it less organic, is a pre/power amp set-up better suited to that in your view?

I can get the same gain from the Deluxe as I can from my 100 watt rig, just at a much lower volume. I just set the amount of distortion on my pedals a little higher.

I recall a few people asking you about stainless steel frets and you mentioned that John Suhr felt they might make your tone brighter; in the past couple of years however he has stated that he does not hear a difference in tone worth mentioning. Is SS something you might consider again?
Many thanks!

He's not a high gain player - I doubt if he's listening with a high gain sound. I'm still staying away from them.

Hi Scott,

Do you use reverb? If yes can you tell us witch one and what tipe of reverb you like to use.

How about delay? you still using the Boss SE-70?

I read about your east cost tour are you coming to Boston as well?


I use reverb very rarely, mainly for playing funk rhythms. I use delay - I think it sounds cleaner than reverb. The Boss SE-70 is still my live multi-FX. I'm sure we'll play in Boston so hope to see you in April!

Thanks for taking the time to do this Scott-

Is Willis going to be flying in from Spain to do the new TT record? Will it be you guys jamming live and then editing/adding like the last two?
Or will each guy be writing/recording separately and sending the files to the next guy for overdubbing?

Thanks again- looking forward to the east coast trek.

Willis will come for the jams, then he, Kinsey and I will produce 3 tunes each, and send them to each other for overdubbing.

Are you familiar with and have you tried the GigRig switching system for pedals? If so, what are your thoughts?

I've never tried it - all my pedals are true bypass.

I had my volume pedal in front of my amp, but something about it was changing my tone in a bad way. So I tried it in my amp's fx-loop (like you do) and that worked much better, except that I am unable to get the amp's volume to be completely quiet when the pedal is all the way off/down. There is always a little sound that "leaks" through. Have you experienced this with your Boss vol. ped. in the loop? If so, can you recommend a way to have the pedal go from dead quiet to full volume with the pedal's sweep?

Thanks for your help. Rock on!

If you're using a volume pedal in the amp FX loop, make sure it's a low impedance pedal like the Boss FV-500L. I don't have a problem getting the amp to be quiet, as long as the little knob on the Boss volume pedal is turned all the way down. As you turn it up, it shortens the throw of the pedal, so you'll hear sound when the pedal is all the way off.

That being said, some FX loops "leak", and even with a 100% cut-off introduced into the FX loop, the sound you're hearing could be coming from the FX loop leaking into the amp.

Hi again Scott,

unfortunately im not satisfied with my Koch Studio Tone 20W combo.
I think their all amps are suck.

Hopefully not everyone on eBay knows that.

I saw a live picture,SCH-Z box on your amp head.Here is link

Answered in 2.2

Hi Scott,
Thanks for your answer,

but my question was; is it possible to use the EWS as an expression pedal?
I want to use the EWS pedal as an expression pedal with the Soundsculpture Switchblade to control master volume. The Soundsculpture is a quality looper/router with an expression pedal style input (stereo jack) that is commonly found on most FX gear today., but I would like to use your EWS pedal since that works much better for controlling slight volume changes. I just don't want to route long cables across the stage and singers and roadies stepping on them, tripping over them..
Mailed EWS, but they don't know.
If it does not work, any plans for making a pedal like that in the future? I'm sure lots of people want to control FX parameters in their FX processor with the EWS. On the recent FX gear, you can make internal settings that when changing patches you can make the parameter jump to the highest value or just stay where the pedal is.

That's good news - it was a much needed feature. I'm pretty sure that to use a regular volume control as an expression pedal, it needs to be stereo, and the SVC is mono. The only thing I could suggest is to make a stereo one. is where we get the pot for the SVC, so maybe they have a stereo version of it. If not, will custom make you a stereo pot based on the one from the SVC (but the minimum order is ten). I had some made when I used to run two amps in stereo. Here's a tip if you want to keep the box the same size - a stereo version of that pot will be a tiny bit too deep for the box, so you'll need to get a hole saw and drill a hole in the bottom of the box. The bottom of the second pot might stick out of the bottom just a little, but putting some small feet on the box will fix that.

Hello, Scott.

Have you ever given any thought to selling your music directly from your website? Since you play live a lot, have you given any thought to posting MP3s of the live shows on the website for listening/purchase like Wayne Krantz does? That model seems to work pretty well for him. Do you think that could work for you if the sound/tone issues could be worked out? It might be a way of generating extra revenue while discouraging You Tube views of shitty sounding shows. Just a thought.

I'm not allowed to sell CD's on my site because I'm not a RYKO dealer (the company that distributes my records), and I don't really have time to get into that business. As far as recording live gigs, I would never sell anything less than CD quality music. It's just a thing with me, nothing against Wayne or anyone else that does it. I have a friend who's been taping my Baked Potato shows, so in the future when I get some good playing onto some videos that sound halfway decent, I'll put them up on YouTube for free.

Greetings from Sherman Oaks Scott,

I read what you wrote in one of the previous discussions about how cornball some of the Elektric Band music was. I thought I was the ONLY one who felt that way! Give me Return To Forever anyday of the week please. Hilarious!!

I'm rebuilding my live rig after about 2 years away from band playing. I just got a Peavey Classic 50 combo (more apartment friendly than a stack). I'm not exactly blown away by it's sound. What do you think about that combo? Any quick mod suggestions (aside from setting it on fire somewhere on Ventura)?

Thanks maaanngg!!!

I always liked Return To Forever with Bill Connors. I was hoping the band I joined would be a heavy band like that, but unfortunately the music was fluffier than a kitty cat.

Sorry, I don't know the Peavy Classic 50. I'd just sell it instead of modding it.... Mike Landau has been playing through a 2x12 Fender Hot Rod DeVille and he put two Celestion Heritage 65 speakers in it - sounds great. It's basically the same amp as the Hot Rod Deluxe I use, just more power and two speakers instead of one. That's the best combo I've heard, but I have to admit, I haven't heard that many.

I have some more questions
You tried any pre-CBS Fender ? If you tried,may you compare your Suhr's.

I like old Fenders. I have a '64 Bandmaster modded by Dumble. My Suhr amps are more like Marshalls.

What do you think about Roland JC-120 amp ?

Possibly the worst amp ever made. The "Plan 9 From Outer Space" of amps. I wonder if the guy who designed it dressed in women's clothes like Ed Wood.

You have a one piece maple neck Suhr,you tried any maple cap neck guitar?

No I've never played one of those - actually I don't think I've ever seen one.

John Suhr say Fender bridge's sound piano like because of string space,Gotoh GE-101 TS bridge has samestring space.You may try it if have any issue with Fender.

I love the Fender vintage bridge, even with all it's problems. The next guy is asking about it too, so I'll re-post the tips to keep it in tune - it's still one of the most common questions I get.

Hi Scott,
I was listen to the Tony Palkovic's podcast, you said there were several things you need to do to a bridge to get it to stay in tune. Can you go in to detail about what needs to be done? Are there any Tx dates????
Thanks, Jac

First, put Sperzel locking tuners on your guitar - that helps a lot. When you use regular tuners and the three low strings are wrapped around the posts more than once, the ridges on the strings can hang up on each other and prevent the string from returning to pitch. Sperzel tuners also improve the tone of the guitar. I've compared their tone to Klusons and Fender tuners on the same guitar and Sperzels definitely sound better.

The guys at Suhr showed me how to deal with the Fender bridge. First, bore the 6 holes in the plate slightly larger, by one or two drill bits. The main reason the bridge doesn't stay in tune is because the holes are too small, and the plate gets hung up on the screws when it moves up and down. You'd think Fender would have figured that out by now....

Here's an easy way to adjust the two end screws: With the strings off and no springs attached to the bridge, just drop the bridge into the guitar, put the two end screws in and tighten them until they barely touch the top of the plate, then back them out a quarter of a turn. The other four inside screws are only there for support - the heads don't need to touch the plate, so raise them about 1/16" higher than the end screws. 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. Use three springs in the back - use the two end hoes and the middle hole on the block and the inside three hooks on the claw.

If you get a new Fender vintage bridge, unfortunately the block has been powder coated (even the part that touches the plate!!), and it totally destroys the tone of the bridge. I wonder which genius at Fender came up with that idea?? If those guys can't hear that coating the block with thick paint ruins the tone of the guitar, they really should consider another line of work. None of the old Fender bridges have paint on the blocks - they're rusty bare steel and they sound great.

So, you'll have to take the block off, put it in a vise (because it gets really hot), get a drill and a nylon paint remover disk, and sand the coating off the block until it's just bare shiny steel like it's supposed to be. In about two years it'll start to rust but that won't affect the tone and it looks cool. Put plenty of graphite in the nut before each gig, and a drop of oil under the head of each of the six screws once a year and it should work well and stay in tune.

No Texas dates, sorry.

Hi Scott, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer questions.

I have just 1 1/2 questions - what do you think of the Marshall JVM410H? I saw a video where you were using this head and you sounded great through it.

What channel did you use? Just curious how "dirty" or crunchy you set it up to be.

Sorry I don't remember that specific gig, but any time I need to rent one of the newer Marshalls, I always use the crunch channel (usually a yellow light) and set it to be clean when my guitar is on about 5. When the guitar is turned up to 8 or 9 it's pretty crunchy, then the pedals do the rest.

Hey Scott,

Have you ever tried the Roger Mayer Voodoo 1 pedal? I've been using that one along with the Maxon SD-9 for months and it sounds great; alone and with the SD-9.

Also, you might be interested in the John Landgraff Overdrive. Carl Verheyen told me about this pedal and I've had mine for a few years. It blows away any tube screamer, in my opinion.

I used the Voodoo 1 in combination with an Analog Man silver mod Tube Screamer for a lot of the tracks on Well To The Bone. I also used it by itself with a plexi Marshall on Gittar School and Mocha on Tore Down House. When I started using the SD-9, I tried it with the Voodoo 1 but the combination of those two pedals had too much bass for me. I use a 100 watt amp which has a LOT of bass, so all I need is the SD-9. I still use the Voodoo 1 by itself for recording sometimes - that and the Analog Man Sun Face remind me the most of Jimi's tone.

I haven't tried the Landgraff Overdrive but I'll check it out the next time I go to True Tone Music.

Hi Scott,

when listening to the Tribal Tech stuff (before Rocket Science and Thick) your approach to soloing sounds different to me than your soling nowerdays.

When listening to those TT records I have the feeling like the solos are almost composed. There is no note that is wrong, the building of the solo is perfect. For example the solo on the song "Face First" is one of my favourites. Just perfect how it builds up.

When I listening the current stuff to me this sounds kind of different to me. I think much more spontanious and not as "checked out". Sounds more like jamming to me than on the older TT records.

To me this almost sounds like a different player sometimes. Of course you changed your gear and you are doing much more whammy bar stuff now.
But also the whole approach seems different.

So I am wondering if you did much overdubbing on the old records compared to the current ones or if it has to do with playing in a trio? Or if your style just changed?

To be honest I like the old 80ths stuff a little more cause I like those jazz lines ALOT. The newer stuff is more Rock and Blues oriented to me. Sometimes the stuff like the vids from the backed potato reminds me of "Band of Gypsis" Of course totally different scales and stuff but same kinda energy. Which on the other hand, for live works much better than those "checked out" Tribal Tech solos I think.

Also I want to tell you, that (apart from some licks) you are the only guitar player besides M. Landau that never gets boring to me.

Keep up your great work.
Regards Jens

There's definitely a big difference between the old Tribal Tech records and what we did on Thick and Rocket Science. My solos on the old records weren't composed, but by the time we got to the studio I'd played those songs so many times that I'd completely explored each little detail of the changes, and had a lot of my favorite voice leadings learned. Also, I'd come up with some lines on gigs that I liked a lot and kept playing. So I agree, a lot of those solos sound worked out. Plus, we'd overdub a lot and fix the smallest mistakes, trying to make everything perfect (to the point of sounding sterile in my opinion).

Kinsey is more interested in jamming than composing, so when he joined the band, things got a lot looser. We still overdubbed and fixed stuff on the records he played on, but those records sound much less polished than the ones before them. By the Thick CD, we'd shifted completely over to Kinsey's concept, jamming more on stage and recording albums with no pre-written music. It was fun to just jam in the studio, then invent stuff to add to the music - for me that way of recording was much more organic and fresh. It's music that focuses more on interactive playing than one person's composition, and I think it's what Tribal Tech needed at the time.

Obviously I got more into my roots music which is blues and rock, but the music I've been writing lately is more changes oriented, sort of like Tribal Tech, but trio. That's music you wouldn't have seen on video because I don't let people put it on YouTube since it hasn't been recorded yet - but the people at our gigs have heard it and hopefully I'll be making a new record before too long. I'll also keep writing "Band Of Gypsys" inspired music because I can't live without it.
But to answer your question, yes I think my style has changed over the years, but I still treat records differently than playing live - if I make a blatant mistake on a record I'll probably fix it. I'm not a traditional jazz guy - I don't think I have more "integrity" if I play a solo and don't touch it because "that's what I sounded like today". What a load of bullshit. That's what live albums and gigs are for. Making a studio record is a completely different art form - I don't think there's anything wrong with playing your best shit and fixing mistakes. I'm just not as anal about it as I was on the old Tribal Tech records. These days I'm more concerned about the vibe of the music, not whether its executed perfectly. I have to decide which part of a solo sounds fucked up enough to go in and fix, and for me a lot of things that I would have fixed in the past, I now leave as they are because I think those weird and imperfect quirks make the music more fun. Being a perfectionist is boring.

Hi Scott,

Could you tell me what do you think about the CAE 2*12 cab and witch speaker would you use?
Did you tried the Hedgehog cab?

[quote] For about four years now I've been using cabinets built by Kerry Wright, so I haven't heard the CAE 2x12 or Hedgehog cab. But for any 2x12 cab, I recommend Celestion Heritage 65 speakers. They sound the most like Greenbacks but two of them can handle a 100 watt amp. (/quote]

Hi Scott, I was wondering what is the shape of your pedalboard case? Is it custom made like the shape of your pedalboard
(kinda difficult to hand carry) or just a rectangular/square shape?

It's just a plain Samsonite hard suitcase filled with two layers of foam, which was cut to fit my stuff in there nice and tight.

Also, have you done A/B tests comparing your Mogami 2524 patch cables to other brands? like say Lava Patch Cables? How about your Xotic
SH model compared to other cables? I really dig your cable because it's short (long cables are messy here at home)
and I'm thinking about buying two of those next year.

I hope your gig here in the Philippines will push through,Will be very happy to finally see you and the guys play!
Please sign my Tribal Tech CDs! thanks in advance.

Thanks a lot again for taking the time to answer our questions!

I haven't tried any other cables for a long time except for Xotic, which has exactly the same specs as Mogami 2524, so there's no difference in tone between them. There are two advantages to using my signature short cable from your guitar to your amp (or first pedal). First, your tone will sound fatter and clearer. Second, you'll be able to turn down the volume knob on your guitar without losing treble.

I used to have a capacitor and resistor on the volume pot of my guitar to keep the tone the same when turning down, and I don't care what anyone says, it sounds totally weird. None of the old Fenders had that crap on the volume pot. If you have a clean channel you can leave the guitar volume up and not worry about it, but I use a one channel amp, so I turn down the guitar to clean up my sound for chords. If I'm using a long cable, the sound gets really muddy when I turn down and chord playing is pretty much impossible. The short Xotic cable fixes that problem, plus makes my overall tone better.

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