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Author: Subject: ABB Tone Eras

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  posted on 12/16/2011 at 03:38 PM
The ABB has gone through not only so many great lineups, but many guitar tone eras as well.

Thanks to my new friend slidejules, i'm listening to 7/3/97 Dreams. Jacks tone is just so smooth and breaks up just the right amount. Correct me if i'm wrong, but Dickey as also into his Strat for a good period during the Jack era. Some of my favorite guitar tone is from that duo.

Anyone wanna talk tone?

 

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  posted on 12/16/2011 at 04:34 PM
Great tones no doubt for Jack and Dickey. If you look at the neck pickups close, you'll see that they are not using standard Fender style single coils.

 

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  posted on 12/16/2011 at 04:39 PM
Glad to help out :-)

And yeah, Dickey was on a strat all the way through Jack's time. It was only that last Beacon run in 99 where he pulled out the Les Paul.

Jack's G&L has Seymour Duncans in all 3 positions, and yeah, Dickey just had one in the neck position. But man, Dickey's sound all through those years was so un-strat like...

 

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  posted on 12/16/2011 at 05:26 PM
I was watching a vid of Dreams in 98 with Jack & Dickey and the first thing I thought was that Dickey on the strat sounded a lot like Dickey on the Les Paul. It's quite amazing. makes me wonder why he switches guitars though if he's going to keep the same basic tone. I like to switch guitars because of the different tones, Dickey maybe gets into the feel of the different guitars rather than the sound. I'm guessing of course.

 

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  posted on 12/16/2011 at 05:46 PM
I like the original bands tone the most. I also think it was the lineup with the best dynamics. It was before people used a lot of effects and both Dickey and Duane have very pure straight into the amps sound. The amps were also not hot rodded so the overdirve was smoother and the compression was not so overdone as I hear with some of the sounds coming from Warren. I like Warren's playing a lot but I'm not the biggest fan of his tone with the Diaz amp and the Solodano plus all the processing he does of the sound. I feel like he sometime compresses to far and there's no note swell left just the fundamental tone. I was also not a big fan of the Dickey Warren era sound very very very loud. Some great material came from that era it's just not tonally what I like. I like Derek's sound with his bands better than with the ABB because he plays so much louder with the ABB and uses a more over driven sound. I also like the clean era with Dickey and Chuck on Piano. Dickey had great tone back then very little overdrive, a simple nice clean tone. Just my 2 centavos about the band's changes

 

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  posted on 12/16/2011 at 06:00 PM
I have a hard time telling who's who on some of the ealry recordings with Dickey & Duane. There seems to be a bit more "warmth" to Duane's tone, and of course if it's slide I can tell but some of the standard playing is tough to tell who's doing what. Those guys were both great.

As for Warren, in the 90's you could tell when he switched guitars because the tone changed with them, which I liked. Recently I can't tell what guitar he's using since his amps seem to provide most of the tone which usually seem the same to me. They were definitely loud in the 90's but overall I like the sound of that era the best. it's all subjective of course.

 

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  posted on 12/16/2011 at 07:03 PM
It's a shame the Dickey/Derek lineup never had more time to reach their potential. Two very "toneful" players with extemely different, yet complimentary guitar sounds.

Early 2000 was a trainwreck, but there are some 1999 shows where Dickey and Derek sound so, so good together. Excellent tonal chemistry between those two.

 
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  posted on 12/16/2011 at 08:37 PM
I am not a huge fan of Dickey with a strat. Jack sounded so much better during their time together that it was kind of tough to listen to. IMO. As a matter of fact I could never understand why? You've got your perfect signature tone why mess with especially when what you've switched to ain't working. I frankly liked the 90-94 era band sound total rock and roll and they were on just about every time I saw them plus Woody? Come on ... what can you say? Also I know that Otiel is a good bass player and seems like a great guy but IMO it seems like in only the last 5 years or so that Otiel has actually contributed to the overall sound.

 

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  posted on 12/16/2011 at 10:58 PM
I have to disagree with the comment about early 2000. I'm listening to 3/24/2000 right now. All though there are some obvious mistakes during the show, Derek and Dickey sound so distinct and have great tone. The Blue Sky solos are amazing.
 

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  posted on 12/17/2011 at 07:02 AM
great call skypooch.

my favorite solo ever - ever! - is derek's blue sky solo from 3-19-2000. i've listened to it so much i could write a dissertation on it. both his fingersyle solo and his slide solo have such distinctive parts, it's like he's telling a story. oteil was locked in! and the drums elevated the solo so nicely.

a little tangent: i ran a benefit show with he dtb in 2005. i was outside on the side of the venue during derek's "for my brother" solo. his tone came right through the brick wall. it was hauntingly awesome and i felt like spirits were trying to escape the venue. one of my favorite concert moments ever came outside the actual concert.

 

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  posted on 12/19/2011 at 01:55 PM
quote:
I like the original bands tone the most. I also think it was the lineup with the best dynamics. It was before people used a lot of effects and both Dickey and Duane have very pure straight into the amps sound. The amps were also not hot rodded so the overdirve was smoother and the compression was not so overdone as I hear with some of the sounds coming from Warren. I like Warren's playing a lot but I'm not the biggest fan of his tone with the Diaz amp and the Solodano plus all the processing he does of the sound. I feel like he sometime compresses to far and there's no note swell left just the fundamental tone. I was also not a big fan of the Dickey Warren era sound very very very loud. Some great material came from that era it's just not tonally what I like. I like Derek's sound with his bands better than with the ABB because he plays so much louder with the ABB and uses a more over driven sound. I also like the clean era with Dickey and Chuck on Piano. Dickey had great tone back then very little overdrive, a simple nice clean tone. Just my 2 centavos about the band's changes


Agree with this comment a lot.

The original band's tone is my favorite. As well as the dynamics. Duane's slide and then his straight solo on MT Jam after drums/bass is some of the best tone ever. Dickey's solo on One Way Out is also one of the best ever.

Warren definitely needs to loose the compression (if that's what it is). Everytime he plays a wah-wah effect I always enjoy it but I always think how much better it would sound through a straight pedal and amp.

There was an article posted here in 2009 panning the guitar tone of the ABB/Clapton shows and while I disagreed that Clapton's tone sounded terrible, I fully agreed with the authors' dislike for Warren and Derek's tone. The tone they use sounds completely processed and digitized. Great shows otherwise but I do wish they would clean up in the tone department.

I liked the Warren Dickey era tone. Dickey's Nobody Knows solo, Kind of Bird, One Way Out are some highlights and he always sounded good to me. Warren did not have the digitized compressed sound he has now and certainly his slide playing had nice tone. The fact that it was loud never bothered me as I never had the best seats! Sounds okay on tape.

 

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  posted on 12/19/2011 at 06:52 PM
I don't know how you can say Derek's tone sounds "processed and digitized" when I believe he basically plugs straight into his amp. I know he used to, at any rate.

Warren does use a good amount of pedals, etc. so I could see that complaint about his tone, but I just don't see it applying to Derek at all.

That doesn't mean you have to like Derek's tone, but it as about as "natural" as it gets.

 
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  posted on 12/19/2011 at 07:29 PM
Of all the ABB Guitarists Duane , and Jack to my ears have the best tone Duanes was raw and new in the way he played slide Jack's is just plain greasy it is so slick so much of his tone is in his easy way of playing ever seen him break a string? nope...... and his flat wound strings lend to a very slippery slide sound that is just oh so smooth..... Warrens is good but a bit trebly for me same with Derek's but Derek has alot of slide drag which I know some forlks like the growl it just is not for me ,My favorite Dickey sound is from Blue sky Stonybrook just freekin awesome...
 

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  posted on 12/19/2011 at 07:55 PM
quote:
I don't know how you can say Derek's tone sounds "processed and digitized" when I believe he basically plugs straight into his amp. I know he used to, at any rate.

Warren does use a good amount of pedals, etc. so I could see that complaint about his tone, but I just don't see it applying to Derek at all.

That doesn't mean you have to like Derek's tone, but it as about as "natural" as it gets.


my comments were not directed at Derek. My grip with his ABB sound is that he uses higher gain amps and plays much louder with the ABB. I think he's using a PRS amps with the ABB and with his bands he uses his Fender supers and I just like his sound with those amps more...personal preference. I don't think Warren is over digitized I just think it's more compression than I like. I like some of the note swell with some of the other harmonics coming out like Derek gets with his Fenders Supers. It might be Warren likes a strong fundamental because he has perfect pitch

 

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  posted on 12/19/2011 at 08:28 PM
quote:
I was watching a vid of Dreams in 98 with Jack & Dickey and the first thing I thought was that Dickey on the strat sounded a lot like Dickey on the Les Paul. It's quite amazing. makes me wonder why he switches guitars though if he's going to keep the same basic tone. I like to switch guitars because of the different tones, Dickey maybe gets into the feel of the different guitars rather than the sound. I'm guessing of course.


I have an idea..I have 2 LP's and one strat with after market dimarzio
Pups...when I'm playing thru my Soldano head, I can change guitars and their are only 2 differences..the strat has a little less volume which is easily correctible..the main reason I switch is to save my back...a lifetime of playing a LP is h*ll on ya back...the strat gives my aching back a rest...plus the strat has a neck that is sooo sweet..I have often wondered if that is why Dickey switched...most times now I don't think he feels the pain as much
(Don't anybody take that literal, just a little humor)

 

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  posted on 12/19/2011 at 08:38 PM
I didn't think Jack's tone was nearly as good in the ABB as it was outside the ABB. I much preferred his sound on Searchin for Simplicity and Roundezvous with the Blues. He had to turn his volume up so much that he lost some of the "rustic" texture to his sound in the ABB and ended up sounding too similar to the strat tone Dickey was getting (at least when JP wasn't playing slide).

What's a trip is to hear the soft, countryish tone Dickey got in 1975-1976 and 1979-1982. He hardly sounds like the same guitar player from the early band or even what he would sound like later in 1998-1999.

 

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  posted on 12/20/2011 at 08:09 AM
That's interesting that Derek plugs straight in to an amp. Maybe it isn't a tube amp? I have tried non-tube amps before and they definitely sound "digitized" and inferior to tube amps. If it is a tube amp then the only conclusion I can make is there must be something off in the Moogis translation because even Derek sounds digitized on those videos.

I do love those swells Derek does. Some of my favorites are in the Desdemona from 3/18/06. Having said that, Derek's doesn't always work for me. It gets a little too screechy at times.

Whether it' compression or overdrive or something else, to my ears Warren's wah-wah effect does not sound as clean, natural as Zappa's use of it on apostrophe. Clapton on some of the Cream records or Hendrix on tracks like Rainy Day. It sounds "digitized" for lack of a better description. It really bugs me because I love Maydell, ScoMule and a lot of other songs he uses it on. The tone on it just isn't as good as other wah-wahs.

 

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  posted on 12/20/2011 at 01:26 PM
agree with others - the Original 6 takes it.

I love Derek's sound, whatever he does. There's almost an Eastern quality to it.

for some reason, I like Warren's sound better with Mule (Woody era).

also, to my ears, Dickey's sound changed with EAP, specifically Blue Sky - the tone became much more melodic sounding to me. Even the Stony Brook BS sounds different than the rest of the show. Clearly, he sounds different on EAP and B&S than the first 3 albums. Did he change anything?

 

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  posted on 12/20/2011 at 02:32 PM
quote:

for some reason, I like Warren's sound better with Mule (Woody era).



Agreed that I enjoyed Warren's tone around that time most. IMO Warren's tone was at it's best on the debut Mule album and Where it All Begins, which were obviously recorded around the same time. This lasted through the Woody years with the Mule. I feel his tone got muddied for awhile there but seems to be coming back around the last couple of years in the ABB.

Derek's tone is always good to me, although I like it when he takes a bit lighter attack between notes when using the slide, but that isn't a tone issue that is a technique issue. I think some people are confusing the two.

Duane and Dickey's tone were amazing. Dickey's tone evolved alot over the years, but in my opinion not always for the better. I found it outstanding from the original band through the 5 man band and then it thinned out too much during the mid '70's. In the mid '90's he again found a very unique tone that I very much enjoyed, unfortunately he lost it for me when he went to the Strat. He never sounded comfortable playing that guitar in my opinion.

Ryan

[Edited on 12/20/2011 by RyanBelair]

 

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  posted on 12/20/2011 at 02:39 PM
To "stormyrider's" point. Just a few months ago a very good friend of mine, who is a musician, made a comments regarding Dickey"s tone. As we were discussing the Bros.,
he said, "it seems to me that after EAP Dickey's tone gone limp". There is obviously a difference with Duane, and post-Duane regarding Dickey's guitars choices and tone. It's important to remember and it was pointed out by another friend, the guys standing to
Dickey's right was now gone, and it was just him on lead or a piano player on lead. He
more than likely had to change his tone somewhat for the sake of where the music was going at that time and in the absence of his dual-lead guitar buddy. What a team they were. They wrote the book on dual-leads as far as I'm concerned!

 

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  posted on 12/20/2011 at 03:45 PM
quote:
agree with others - the Original 6 takes it.

I love Derek's sound, whatever he does. There's almost an Eastern quality to it.

for some reason, I like Warren's sound better with Mule (Woody era).

also, to my ears, Dickey's sound changed with EAP, specifically Blue Sky - the tone became much more melodic sounding to me. Even the Stony Brook BS sounds different than the rest of the show. Clearly, he sounds different on EAP and B&S than the first 3 albums. Did he change anything?


I think at that point Duane wasn't around and the dueling guitars was over and the transformation was a cleaner sound from Dickey. On the Fillmore album Dickey has very little distortion going on it, a cleaner sound than Duane's but not quite where he went after Duane's passing. I know he changed guitars and was playing several different LP's. His original goldie was refinished to sunburst and he bought another 59 sunburst plus he had a 73-74 LP deluxe and a few other Goldtops.

 

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  posted on 12/20/2011 at 09:22 PM
Duane Dickey lineup with the 1971 tone. When the Allman Brothers were the Allman Brothers.
 

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  posted on 12/21/2011 at 05:35 PM
A few thoughts as someone who has listened for 30 years to mostly the older Brothers and has played guitar for almost as long:

Dickey's tone definitely got sweeter and cleaner after '72. From '73 on, as you all can hear, he rarely had much of the overdrive that he had during the Duane days. Personally, I'm really liking what I hear in the 3/76 show I've been listening to-nice clean tone that still *sings*. Its amazing to me that he was using three 100watt Marshall Super Leads thru all those cabs and still sound clean! But, that was probably the point: given the capabilities of live concert sound in the early '70s, the demands of the large halls/stadiums they were playing and his tonal preferences. In other words, he *had* to get alot of air moving so the 20K or whatever in the audience could hear it without sounding like a metal player.

In fact, I think Dickey was absolutely on the right path in '72-'76 because his tone and style went from being a fairly "typical" Les Paul-thru-Marshall tone to what we now recognize as being "Dickey". He doesn't sound like anyone else but in the earliest days, he hadn't found HIS voice. It was great tone and playing for sure, but he took it to another level of individuality.


[Edited on 12/21/2011 by mistersnappy]

 

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  posted on 12/21/2011 at 10:40 PM
Absolutely love Duane's tone from 71'. I can still remember how floored I was when I first heard AFE. Really like it when he finds the sweet spot for controlled feedback. Dickey's tone on AFE was more in your face due to 100 watt Marshall. Really like Dickey's tone progression thru the years. Always sounds great. There was a big 20 year gap in time that I did not hear the Bros. play live. In 1995 when I saw them Dickey was killing it playing a red 335 thru a Marshall. Totally kicked ass!

Warren's tone is a little too chirpy sounding for my taste and I don't really care for Derek's tone when he has that "scratch" sound going on.

 

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  posted on 12/22/2011 at 11:44 AM
quote:
nice clean tone that still *sings*


yep, I think he sounded best at that time, even if the band always didn't

 
 


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