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Clarence's tone
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Rick Towne



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:31 am    Post subject: The Murr tone.. Reply with quote

This is a good time to note my agreement. In my experience, Murr always plays and sounds great.
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rickhouston



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 106
Location: houston

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:34 pm    Post subject: congrats to Mur !! Reply with quote

wow, that is an impressive Clarencification, Murr- you have the knack for sure, excellent fast to slow and vice versa. i am sure Clarence is smiling. great command if the instrument.
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey I'm about 4% as good as Clarence ..and perplexed as ever by his abilities. It's probably more like 3.5%
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murr wrote:
hey I'm about 4% as good as Clarence ..and perplexed as ever by his abilities. It's probably more like 3.5%


Mur...that would make the rest of us about 0.35% Cool

You hit the nail on the head about Clarence ...imagine how young he was and still was a such a natural virtuoso...

There was / is none better!!!

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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I really like about Mur's versions is that they are NOT note-for-note copies - some of the same stuff is there, but as Clarence would in different takes he throws his own feel and personality into it. I'd MUCH rather hear that than an "every note correct" copy - which always invariably lacks the "feel".

The tone is also very, very good - a lot is the attack, a lot is the the double-body of the guitar, and a lot is the setup: stock-type pickups like Clarence's mid-'69 pre-"Hammer" tone. When you compare "quieter" tunes Clarence played on (much of it outside studio stuff) from late '70 or so you hear the difference in electronics and it's clearly different when you compare "Fillmore" and "Albert Hall".

Back to the double-body for a sec though; I found that makes a huge difference in the sound playing with pickups in my Nashville West and my Evans; Brian loaned me a Fralin to use while I'm having another Fralin repaired, and the Velvet Hammer keeps its distinctive tone in the solid-body Evans...but it sounds much different in the NW west with the chamber on the back...and the Fralin single coil also goes through significant changes (well, not it, but the guitar tone) swapped between a fairly standard solid-body and a chambered back guitar.


Last edited by Silverface on Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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davidge1



Joined: 18 Dec 2006
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murr, that's great playing... and the tone does sound very much like Clarence White's tone on Tulsa County. If you dont mind me asking, are you using a compressor? ...and if so, which one?

Does anyone know if Clarence White used a compressor in the studio? It kind of sounds like he does, where the live stuff doesn't (with the loud overdriven amp in live situations, he wouldn't have needed it anyway).
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jeff rhodes



Joined: 07 Feb 2009
Posts: 5
Location: Orange CA.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: CW tone Reply with quote

Its the pickups that make make that beautiful tone I believe they are Velvet Hammers.
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Murr, that's great playing... and the tone does sound very much like Clarence White's tone on Tulsa County. If you dont mind me asking, are you using a compressor? ...and if so, which one?

Does anyone know if Clarence White used a compressor in the studio? It kind of sounds like he does, where the live stuff doesn't (with the loud overdriven amp in live situations, he wouldn't have needed it anyway).

Usually an old United Audio 176 limiter ..got it cause I saw a photo of Columbia studios from late 60's, and they had them.
'
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Raybob



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 98
Location: Kyburz, CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: CW tone Reply with quote

jeff rhodes wrote:
Its the pickups that make make that beautiful tone I believe they are Velvet Hammers.


I've been using Bardens (three of them) in my bender but the bridge p/u is VERY (almost too) bright. I just got the VH bridge p/u as it sounds super as played by James Burton and by Brian here but I'm don't think now that it was what Clarence was using. I was real curious and sent an email to Gene Parsons via his stringbender web page. I figure he would know best since he is the one that hogged the wood out of the back of that guitar. Here was his reply to me this morning:

*************************

Hi Raybob,

Clarence had the stock Fender Tele lead pickup and a fifties "Strat pickup by the neck. He got his tone by playing very lightly and letting the amp do the work.

All the best,

Gene Parsons

++++++++++
I haven't installed the VH yet as I'm still trying to figure the best way to wire it in. The combinations I could get are endless considering series/parallel, Bardens can be switched double or single coil, VH has the coil tap, etc. I don't want to end up with 50 micro switches. Shocked
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just need micro switch, push/pull pot, and 5 way pickup selector.

-----------------------------------------

Btw, Gene is right though.
'
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gene's right about *part* of the time Clarence used the guitar.

But when Gene installed the bender it didn't HAVE a neck pickup - in was in Esquire configuration!

Then the Strat pickup was added - a Red Rhodes rewind.

Then Red wound the Hammer Clarence used - same as James Burton's.

You can hear distinct tonal differences between the Fillmore/Easy Rider period and the Untitled and later stuff, although Clarence tinkered with things periodically. When Marty got the guitar it was unplayable, and who knows what had happened to it.

I've had bands for years and none of the members could tell you exactly what other players had as far as pickups, wiring, etc...and since Gene's modification was done when it had one pickup (and the info runs counter to what Clarence said - and also Red Rhodes, who actually WORKED on the electronics) it would seem he was probably making assumptions. His description doesn't even match what Fender said when they took the "Marty-modded" version apart!
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:53 pm    Post subject: Followup post with more details Reply with quote

I'm adding this post to clarify Clarence's and Red's remarks. Having spoken to the other two guys who were with me at the Ash Grove when I talked to Clarence I've been able to fill in a couple of small but important foggy-areas in my memory banks.

Red was making those pickups in 1970; I used to go hang around his shop (Red's Royal Amplifier Service - somewhere I still have a business card) and talk to him and a guy who worked the counter by the name of Jeff Baxter (yes, THAT Jeff Baxter). Red and Skunk told me that Clarence had one of the "boost coil" pickups on his Tele (there was not a "Velvet Hammer" name attached at that time). I could have bought one but it was around $100, way more than I could afford (being a poor college student).

In late 1972 or early '73 (none of recall the exact date) 2 friends, Rob Kimball (Now a DJ in San Luis Obispo), Bob Bonham (one of the best guitar players on the planet and who now owns my old TV Jones Stringbender Tele - VH equipped) and I went to see one of the versions of "The Bluegrass Dropouts" aka "The Great American Music Band" (A name Grisman used for several different groups) at the Ash Grove.

The band consisted of Clarence, Roland, Grisman, Peteer Rowan, Richard Greene, Bill Keith and Larry "The Mole" Taylor (from Canned Heat) on upright bass. We were in the hall talking to McGuinn, who happened to be there in the audience when David Grisman walked up. We chatted for a few minutes and he invited us up to the "green room" to hang out. Clarence was there, along with Roland, Richard Greene, Greene's girlfriend and Grisman (Bill Keith and Larry Taylor, who played bass, weren't in the room; this was between shows and we saw both shows, the second as Grisman's guests). There was smoke in the air from some kind of herbal stuff Greene was burning and inhaling Confused . Greene offered to pass it around but Clarence and Roland both said no so we declined as well.

We spent about 20 minutes talking with Clarence and Roland, with Grisman in and out of the conversation and Greene, his girlfriend and ego taking up the rest of the room (snicker). Clarence was very open and friendly as was Roland. I talked to Roland for a while about mandolin as I'd picked up my first one, a 1914 A-1, and had not a clue - he essentially gave me an impromptu mini lesson. Clarence talked about all sorts of things, including picking technique (showing us how he mixed hybrid and crosspicking without a guitar - as I recall he was playing a generic-looking D-28 that night), where to get a "bender" (Stringbender didn't exist - he suggested Westwood Music, who sold Evans Pullstrings - and said to see his friend Richard Bowden. We now know the whole Pullstring story, including Gene's use of that name initially when he went into production) and some tonal things, including cranking his amps and using picking dynamics/position in relation to the bridge to control tone and volume. But one specific thing Bob asked about was the switch and what it did; we'd seen him from 10' away at the Palladium (my late friend Mike Cox and I were the ones who recorded that "boot") and noticed he flipped the switch and it was like hitting another level of volume.

He said very specifically that is was wired to the bridge pickup, which had two coils - I mentioned Red had told me about that and we talked about how he used it. Either Rob or Bob said something about thinking it was a phase switch and Clarence said something to the effect of "it used to be". We talked about the pickup and other miscellaneous stuff until we had to get down to the seats Grisman had staked out for us.

This is quite a bit more detailed than I've posted before - I'm pleased Rob and Bob were able to recall a few things I didn't (primarily the phase switch comment, which really makes sense considering how the VH circuit is wired with remnants of a phase switch).

It is also well-known that Clarence was a tinkerer - he'd built his own fuzz (getting rid of the Fender Blender) using the same guideline circuit Sneaky got from Valley Arts. The stock-type rewound bridge pickup that was in the guitar when Marty Stuart bought it could very well have been installed by Clarence as an experiment; there is also the possibility that when Marty got the guitar he thought the pickup was broken (a common occurrence with new VH owners, since the primary coil has about half the output of a normal Tele bridge pickup) and either replaced it or had it rewound. The guitar was not in good shape when he bought it, so there is also the possibility that someone else had borrowed it and switched out the pickups, again thinking something was "wrong".

Regardless, the guitar did have one of Red's early "boost coil" pickups in it from at least November 24, 1971 (the Palladium show, where we saw it used) until we talked to Clarence, although Red's statements in '70 place the installation at sometime between mid-'69 and mid-'70.

Hopefully that will put the question regarding the pickup(s) to bed - really the only variables are the date he had Red install it and who/when it was removed or rewound. If it was removed and found that would be a real treat, but chances are about zero. If it was rewound we may never know.
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Scott J.



Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Posts: 4
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject: Buckaroo - sunburst recording Reply with quote

Hi Bob, The two links you posted here of Clarence playing Buckaroo doesn't open anymore. Do you know of any album with a recording of Clarence playing "Buckaroo" with his sunburst tele? I've heard everybody else's muddled version of this song, but Clarence's magic of making this song bright and lively is a joy every time I hear it. The sunburst too has a voice of it's own. Thanks, Scott
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Brian wrote:
Thanks Bob for these wonderful recordings!!!

"Attached are two Buckaroo solos by Clarence. The one entitled Buckaroo sunburst was played on August 25, 1967 at the Jefferson Bowl, Culver City, CA, and, as suggested by the name, was played on the Telecaster that is currently owned by Marty Stuart. The one entitled Buckaroo white was played on November 27, 1967 at Nashville West, El Monte, CA, and was played on the white Telecaster that I now own.

Both were recorded with the left channel direct from the external speaker output jack on the back of Clarence's Vibrolux amp. As I recall, his amp settings were "7" for Volume, Treble, and Bass, both times. I don't know what reverb settings he used. The right channel in each case was taken from the house system.

Same player, almost at the same time, same band, same amp, same settings, different guitars. Interesting comparison.

Bob Warford "

http://www.clarencewhiteforum.com/mp3/Buckaroosunburst.mp3
http://www.clarencewhiteforum.com/mp3/Buckaroowhite.mp3
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Bob Warford



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott:

Sorry for the late reply, but for some reason, my link to the Forum went down, and I hadn't even checked for it for over a month.

I don't know of any album that he played Buckaroo on with the Sunburst Tele - my recordings were made at the club(s), when I had just started playing electric guitar (at Clarence's suggestion), when Clarence (and the band) were nice enough to let me record them for several sets. The first 3 or 4 of those sets were in the Summer of 1967, when he was playing the Sunburst Tele. The last 2 or 3 sets were about 4-5 months later, when he was playing the white Tele.

I still think from time to time about releasing some of those recordings, at least the guitar side, but Clarence made it clear back then that they were for my private use only, so I remain somewhat conflicted - even 46 years later.

Bob
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott

The forum went down for awhile and I had to rebuild several of the pages. Looks like I missed the two mp3s. Ill upload them again ASAP

OK the tracks are uploaded again and FIXED
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