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Scott answers your questions - round 2.28 - 4/8/12

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StarShip Captain

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

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 2.28 - 4/8/12 Reply with quote

Here's an update on the Fuh-Q video that a moron posted at

Apparently he's complaining that my fans are writing to him and using obscene language, calling him names, etc, and that's the excuse he gives for "filtering" his comments. He says he won't post comments from temporary accounts, so you need to have, as he put it "the courage of your convictions". A friend of mine just sent him this courageous comment from a permanent account:


I'm not going to call you names and I couldn't care less about your video. Scott is a Content Verification Member. He can hit one button and your video is history. I asked him why he didn't do that in the first place, and he said "because everyone should see what an idiot this guy is".

Scott has recently been touring and has pulled over 20 lame camera videos off YouTube. Do you think he wrote letters first? Why should you get one? Why are you dumb enough to post a video on YouTube, admitting to copyright infringement?

I'm just guessing, but I'd say you're probably around 16 years old.

Do you have the balls to post this comment?

Of course, he didn't post it, proving that he's not only an idiot, but a coward as well. I encourage everyone to watch his video as a great example of human stupidity. Also, just watch it because it's funny - Beavis & Butthead, but more retarded.

Hello Scott.

I have understood that you are no longer interested in writing lyrics because you find it too laborious. Therefore we probably won't be hearing any vocal tunes on your next trio-album?


I would be happy to hear more vocal songs because I have always enjoyed the stories.
You write fine lyrics that are humorous and witty and often have a point that makes one ponder on the ways of the world.
So as well as exalting your splendid music and fabulous plaing, I want to thank you for those words too.

Wow, you're the first person who's ever complimented me on my lyrics. Most of the critics liked the music on Dog Party but didn't like the lyrics, and no one said anything about them on my other two records. Actually, Thelma Houston and Masta Edwards liked the lyrics to "I Hate You", and managed to sing a first take together without cracking up.

My question this time would be:
I'm thinking of getting new pickups to my Telecaster and I am considering the Suhr Classic T-set.
I would like to hear your description and opinion on those pickups. What's the tone like? You have those on your Tele, don't you.
I have an alder body, rosewood fingerboard Tele and I am looking for a good fat blues tone, not typical country twang.

Much obliged.

I love my Suhr Tele - it sounds huge, much bigger than the strats because the tremolo bridge robs a lot of meat from the tone. If I didn't dig the bar so much I'd play the Tele all the time. But I don't know what to say about the pickups because I don't have anything to compare them to - they're the only ones I've ever had on a Tele.

P.S. How do you like this:
In Finland we have this place called "sauna" that is a kind of steamroom that is warmed up to 80-100 degrees Celsius (that's 176-212 degrees Fahrenheit). It is very enjoyable and relaxing and some of us a real enthusiast and bathe almost every day.
Some even seem to think it's a good rehearsal room too, check out these weirdos:

All the best.

Cool place, but in serious need of some naked girls.

Hey Scott - I know this has been beaten to death, but I need some clarity on the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe / Deville amps with Celestion Heritage 65's in them.

I'm primarily a funk player, but I also need some decent crunch and solo tones - so (don't laugh) for the last 20 years or so, I've been using a SS full range keyboard combos with a Boss GT-5 because I also have to make drastic patch changes in the bands I've been in.

Embarassed? Yes - I hang my head in shame, but it's easier to get a dirty sound out of a clean amp than a clean sound out of a dirty amp.

So, at this point in my life, I'd like to find a 112 combo amp with spanky clean sound (ala Fender), and I'll probably either upgrade my old multi-efx unit or get some decent overdrive pedals - because I've never really been happy with my the solo sounds and because I don't believe there is an affordable 3-4 channel combo which can cover the bases.

Sorry for all that... My question: Does the Celestion Heritage 65 attenuate the high end out of the nice clean sounds coming from the HR Deluxe / Deville?

If not, I'd probably go the route of one of those amps with the Celestion 65, and front end it with some tone generation, and use the effects loop for ambience.

If it does suck the chime out of the HRD, are you aware of a speaker which retains the mids and high end, but tightens up the bottom end?

The Heritage 65 is a great sounding speaker, very comparable to a Greenback. It won't cut the highs at all - it'll make them sound much sweeter than the awful speaker which comes stock in the amp. In my opinion it's the best speaker you could possibly put in a small amp. Celestion will be making a 50 watt Greenback soon, so I'm interested in comparing it to the 65 - hopefully in a month or two.

I guarantee you will absolutely love this guy ...

the move at 0:40 is priceless, but the golden moment for me is around 1:15 ...

I've seen this video many times and what can I say? Classic! Talk about having your own style!! Dennis Chambers is a big fan too.

Hello again Scott.

A couple more questions popped in mind:
When playing live, do you ever feel a need for a pedal that would be gain-wise something between the RC and the SD9?

No, they're not miles apart in gain.

What about when you are recording, what is/are your favourite pedal(s) for gain levels between boost and high gain?

It depends on the tune. If it's more of a blues solo, the RC is enough. If I want to start the solo with less gain and build up to hi gain, I can use the PlimSoul or SD-9 and adjust the volume on the guitar. Both those pedals clean up really nice when turning down the guitar volume.

Do you ever play blues with very low gain (almost clean) and what is your favourite way of getting those sounds? Would it be your regular setup with RC-boost and lowering the guitar volume?

Yes, or by using the amp by itself.

What is your advice if one needs a quite clean sound with higher volume levels?

Thanks a lot once again.

If you need to switch between that and a lead sound, you need a 100 watt head with two channels. My SH-100 can get really clean if I turn the master way up and the gain way down, but then the lead sound is gone.

Hi Scott,
It seems like for all intended purposes, you're happy with the Suhr. It seems like it's your all-purpose guitar. Because you're such a versatile player, do you have the challenge of needing different guitars to do different things? (ie- needing a jazz box tone for straight ahead bebop, or more higher output guitar for all out fusion etc...)
BTW i love how you always do great bebop stuff on a Strat, like on "Giant Steps" and "Susie Dingsbums".

I sometimes use different guitars in the studio - I used a Les Paul for slide on Lola Fay, an electric sitar on the new Tribal Tech album, a Dobro on Continuum, and I borrowed an Ibanez George Benson model for the solo on Susie's Dingsbums and Stella By Starlight.

Hi Scott,

I saw you in Boston and you sound great man...

Question: I think you use a Boss CS 3 as a compressor is modded or stock? And have you tried any other compressor?


It's a CS-2, and it's stock. I've tried other ones but they weren't as transparent. I don't use it very much because the RC Booster has it's own compression built in. If I want a totally clean sound, which isn't often, I'd use the CS-2.

Hi Scott,
I have a 2000 Suhr Henderson “Tribal Tech” model with Gotoh 1088 bridge. This bridge didn’t have a steel block so I ordered one from All Parts. The block arrived but unfortunately is powder coated!!! I have to unpaint it now.
The hardware of my guitar is black so saddles and bridge plate are black painted (not powder coated but black paint). Also I don’t use the bar too much so I flattened the plate so that it completely touches the body. In my opinion this improved a lot the sound giving more fullness, bass (balancing the weak bass of ’59 DS). Have you ever tried this on one of your humbucking "strat" guitar?
Do you think that unpaint the plate, at least the bottom part that touches with the block and the body, could improve the sound as with unpainting the block? If so I would sacrify the aesthetic aspect and I'll do it...
Thanks a lot

I'm surprised that your 1088 doesn't have a steel block - I thought that was the main selling point of the bridge. All my 1088's had a steel block, but maybe they cheaped out and changed it. I have to be honest and tell you that any paint on a bridge, whether it's powder coat, black, or whatever, isn't a good idea. I had a black bridge one time and when I changed it, the tone of the guitar became much clearer. If you really want to keep the color, at least get rid of the paint under the plate where it touches the block - that could improve the tone. I've never had the plate touching the body, because the bridge won't do a real vibrato - to do that you have to be able to pull the bar up at least a little. I use the Fender Vintage bridge, which has much more bass than a 1088, so I have plenty enough bass even when the bridge is floating.

Hi Scott,

Scott Kinsey posted that he was recording a trio record with you, Jeff Berlin and Dennis Chambers . any details yet?

The basic tracks are done and I'm in the process of layering some more guitar tracks on it. I haven't decided yet how much of the album I'll leave just trio, like a live gig, and how much I'll fatten up with extra guitar parts. We're playing some Weather Report tunes, so for sure on those I'll add a million tracks as Joe did. The tunes are all covers, so for me it's an easier album to work on since I don't have to do the hardest part, which is compose.

Just contacted Kerry Wright to build me a 4x12 based upon your recommendation. Anything that I need to know about wiring this thing up? I know from past rounds 8 ohms with greenbacks is the way to go. Any speaker wire that you recommend?

Smart move - you won't regret it. Yes, a great cabinet like that needs to be wired the best way possible. So, here's how to do it, but first a few tips:

The biggest mistake people make is tightening the speakers too much - this can warp the frames and cause the speakers to sound bad and not last as long. Turn all four screws until the heads hit the speaker. Then going around the speaker, tighten each screw one quarter turn, then around the speaker again for another quarter turn. That should be enough. Guys are brought up to tighten screws as tight as they'll go, but this is an exception.

Always put a cloth in the speaker under the terminals when soldering. You don't want solder dripping into the speaker.

Don't over tighten the cabinet back screws. If you have a good portable drill, set it to it's lowest torque and drill them all the way in until the bit doesn't turn and the drill makes that horrible noise. This is plenty enough. If they're too tight, have fun trying to get them out in a few years when you want to change speakers.

OK, let's get started. First of all, if your speakers are new, you need to break them in. You can do it one at a time which takes four times as long, or all together after you wire the cabinet, which is four times as loud, so pick your poison. Run 9 volts from a variac into the speakers for 24 hours. This should make your family really happy. Get a cheap extension cord, cut off the female end and solder on a guitar plug (for a cab) or alligator clips (for individual speakers). I don't need to tell you how dangerous this cable is - if the variac is turned up to 115 volts or the cable is plugged directly into the wall, a quick but painful death can occur, so be careful! Actually, if you do one speaker at a time, you can just use a 9vAC wall wart and put alligator clips on the ends. Then you take away the risk of being fried. This is what I do, because it's safer, and one speaker can't even be heard with the door shut, but a whole cabinet going for 24 hours is ANNOYING. You've got awhile before your cabinet's done, so four days of breaking in speakers isn't a big deal.

Use 10 Gauge Marshall Sound Runner speaker cable. This is what I use for speaker cable and it's the best sounding cable you can buy. For wiring the cabinet, separate the positive and negative sides at the end with an X-Acto knife, pull it apart, and you've got great cabinet wires. To wire four 8 ohm speakers to make an 8 ohm cabinet, you can daisy chain the speakers, or make two wires coming from each side of the jack. I like using the jack more, because the less you heat up the terminals on the speakers, the better.

Take the back off the cabinet, and take the jack off the back. Put some towels on the floor and lay the cabinet face down (we don't want scratches on Kerry's cab since the cover which comes with it will protect it very well, even from roadies). Put the speakers into the cabinet with their terminals at a 90 degree angle facing inward toward the middle of the cabinet. Now we're ready to wire it up - follow the instructions while sitting at the bottom of the cabinet while you're working.

The wires should be as short as possible, so to determine the wire lengths, hold the jack just a couple inches higher than the place it would be with the back on. Make two wires, one which goes from positive on the jack to positive on the top left speaker, and the other one from positive on the jack to positive on the bottom left speaker - you'll have a short wire and a longer one. On one end of each wire, cut off enough of the rubber shield to expose about a half inch of wire so you can twist them together. Twist the ends of the two wires together, and then solder them - then solder the pair to the positive on the jack. The other ends only need about a quarter inch of wire exposed - just enough to attach to the speaker terminals. Solder those ends to positive on the top left speaker, and positive on the bottom left speaker. Now repeat that procedure for the right side, but using the negative on the jack, and the negative on the top right and bottom right speakers. Then make two really short wires - solder one from the negative on the top left speaker to the positive on the top right speaker. Solder the other one from the negative on the bottom left speaker to the positive on the bottom right speaker. You're wired!

Better test it to make sure. Put a small guitar cable into the jack and stick a meter on it - it'll read 6 or 7 ohms, not 8. That's OK, close enough for rock n' roll. Now get a 9v battery and touch the negative part of the battery to the negative on the cable, and while you're watching the speakers, touch the positive (tip) of the cable to the positive on the battery. The speakers should all move in the same direction, which is out (it's actually down since the cab is sitting face down), and then back up when you take the tip off the battery. You'll hear a low thump, but don't worry, that's much easier on the speakers than your gig. They don't move much, so try to squat down and see it from the side view - you'll definitely see them move. You're doing this to make sure all the speakers are in phase. Stoned speaker factory workers have been known to switch the positive and negative by accident.

Now put the back partly on the cabinet, but reach in and grab the jack (don't forget to add the lock washer) and stick it in the hole in the back and tighten the nut. Put the back fully on, screw in the millions of back screws, and you're done! Now you have the best sounding cabinet on the planet.

Hello Scott,

Hope you are doing well, and really looking forward to your new recording!

I know you use the BOSS SE-70 in your amp's effects loop, and I was wondering, did you ever had a chance to try the BOSS VF-1? supposedly it was the next model to the SE-70 and was the last of boss half rack multi-effects processors.

Yes, I was one of the people who was really looking forward to it's release, thinking it would be the new improved version of the SE-70. Instead it was a red half-space turd. Boss tried to jump on the modeling bandwagon to compete with Line 6, but failed miserably. The models sucked, and the unit had less effects than the SE-70. That thing was the disappointment of the year for me.

So, I'll repeat my rant from a few posts ago…


That rant has nothing to do with my friends at Roland, who know my pain. Big corporations like Roland make very little gear for guys like me. I LOVE their loop pedal and would love to have wired in my pedalboard, but like all their pedals, it's not true bypass so it colors the tone when it's off.

Anyway, long answer, but it's frustrating to want something which would really improve my rig, but nobody makes it.

Hi Scott, just a technical question here. I have a Suhr classic with the Fender bridge, and i'v noticed this problem when using the trem bar:

Do you have the same problem?? if so , how do you manage that? do you manually put the bridge in the 0 spot everytime you dive on bomb on lower strings?? I'm getting a little freak about that, so wanted to know what to do.

Also, i've seen that on a video you perfectly tune your guitar by pushing the bar way down and realising it, is ther any special setup for doing this??

Thanks a lot, for your music and for sharing with all of us, i'm really ansious about the new Tribal Tech album

Your problem is that the bridge screws are up too high. It's very easy to fix. Take the strings off the guitar, take the springs off the bridge and remove the bridge from the guitar. Now let's put it back on the correct way. Set the guitar flat on a table and drop the bridge into the guitar. Screw the two end screws in until the screw heads touch the plate. Now put the other four screws in, but the screw heads should NOT touch the plate - make them about 1/16" higher than the end screws. That should fix the problem. If you want more details about keeping it in tune, check the INDEX under Guitars/Fender Vintage Bridge.

About the perfectly tuning my guitar question - sorry but it's never perfect and it never will be because it's not a Floyd Rose. But, if you follow the instructions I wrote about the bridge, it'll stay in tune pretty well. I think you misunderstood the little trick for when it goes out of tune - quickly pull UP on the bar as far as it'll go and then release, and you'll usually get back in tune. It doesn't work every time, but that trick has saved me on many songs. The more the bridge is floating, the better it works - I can pull up on the bar so that the G string goes up a major 3rd to B.

Hi Scott.

I have read from your website that you have your wah connected after other pedals. What is your reason for that?
I have experimented with a (stock) Vox wah and I found that using it after the gain pedals makes it sound brighter and makes the sweep range smaller, so that didn't work for me.
Would the mod you have on your wah make it work better after od/dist/fuzz?

Thanks again.

The problem with most stock wahs is that they don't sound very good to begin with. The frequency when the wah is fully open (down) is too low and usually piercing and harsh. Put that after distortion pedals and it gets even worse. Listen to some Hendrix and check out how sweet his wah sounds when it's all the way open - Martin at LA Sound Design modded mine to sound exactly like that. One thing is true in any case - the more gain you put before the wah, the shorter the sweep, but I live with it because I like what the pedals do to the wah - it sounds more like Hendrix. If you're playing through pedals before the wah, just lower the volume on the guitar and you'll get the bigger sweep back, and also get rid of some of the brightness.

Hi Scott.

In round 4 you said that you set your string action just above 1/16" at the last fret. On my Suhr (your signature model) when I set the trem to go a major third on the G string I get string action about 3.5-4/16". Even now when I've lowered it to go up two semitones on the G string the string action on the last fres is 3/16".
Any tips on how to lower it?

That's a problem I've never heard before. On my guitar, adjusting the bridge, allowing it to be pulled up further (by loosening the back screws which hold the claw) makes my action a little higher, which I simply adjust by lowering the saddles. If that doesn't solve your problem, maybe the bridge isn't put on right. See the above post about installing the bridge.

Hi Scott,
i'm planning to mod my Fender Bridge as you describe. I used paint stripper and acetone for the steel block and do the job pretty well but i have problem enlarging the six holes in the plate.
Can you tell me more precisely what tools to use? a common drill/dremel? what kind of drill bit?

Thank you very much
All the best


It needs to be a drill you plug into the wall, not a battery powered one. You're drilling through hardened steel. Just tell the guy at the hardware store you need drill bits for that.

any thoughts on streaming services like Spotify? looks legal but I don't see how musicians can make any money on it

Very little. But a little is better than nothing.

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