VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

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harddriver
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VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

Post by harddriver »



Here's the Pasden Civic arena show 10/15/77 just out of the studio from VH1, this sounds just like the Selland Arean amp tone to me.

The audio is better with this video

Pasadena 12/20/77

Whiskey A Go GO 12/31/77 Album release party



Alright... we all know my theory about Ed reamping 12301 with Bandmaster and Bandmaster reverb heads. How can I say that???? I have presented to you EXIBIT A, the Selland Arena show video proof of multiple Bandmaster amps on stage and they are all turned on. I propose that Ed running 12301 at 66-90 ACV on the variac he would still need to reamp the plexi to get a usable stage volume enter the Fender Bandmasters. Especially If he was running 12301 into a resistive load only ala the Jose load box line out contraption, we've all seen pictures of Fenders, Musicaman, Voxes and other Marshall heads being used in 1977 into 1978 like Ed was trying different slave/reamp amps to see what he liked best.

Now to my ears the Selland Arena, The and the Album release show of which there is no video sounds just like the Selland Arena show in spades IMHO which is the most VH1 Album tone I've heard live from ED. I proposed that it is quite possible Ed was using this live setup in the studio as well....why wouldn't he and if he used the Fender's right after leaving the Studio that would be the album release show? To my ED ears the Selland Arena and

I know Jim Gaustad has done a great job getting VH1 tone with a single Marshall 68 plexi but he is using all the studio tools like the plutec, 1176 preamps, eventides.........Now I always shot for the Selland arena show tone so back in January I bought a 67 Bandmaster to try this setup. Now back about ten years I did try a mid 70's silverface bassman to reamp and I wasn't impressed so the trail went cold until the Selland arena show
video surfaced.

So last Sunday since I was computerless I fired up the my Ed spec 68 into my w/d/w configuration with the Marshall driving the middle cabinet with with the Suhr iso line out I fed the inputs of the 67 Fender Bandmaster. All effects were up front ala Ed in 78, MXR phase 90, Chase tone EP3 pre, and Clinch EP-PRE, Boss GE7 on a looper pedal into the Bandmaster driving two 16 cabinets for an 8 ohm total load. I wanted to be able to compare the Marshall cab tone to the reamped Bandmaster cabs to see if I could hear a difference........ I did try the high and low input of the bandmaster on the regular channel and the vibrato channel to see what sounded better. The low input channel sound pretty much the same but I needed to turn up the volume to compensate for the lesser input signal strength I ran the treble and bass at 5 and the master was 4 in to the high input channel and I also tried the bandmaster with 120pf bright cap switch on and off. I did prefer the bright cap off. I used to reamp with my 72 SL but ran the input signal into the low normal input of the bright channel and set the SL tone control as per Robin L specifications.

Well what I heard was pretty much what you hear on the Selland arena show, the bandmaster has this Fendery clankiness with the same mid attack and nice bright spanky high end details and some ratty hair that was kinda missing in the Marshall only center cab. I would stand back and forth to give them a good listen and it did seem the Bandmaster was adding some of that telltale hair and 6L6 ishness to the tone and there was some more gain and smidge more compression that I don't get from my Matrix GT1000FX mosfet power amp. I did not feel the need to engage the Boss or MXR EQ pedals really at all there was more than enough gain to solo with but the EQ just pushes things over the top in a good way even with a very slight frown curve pushing no more than 5DB at 800 and 1.6K .

So I am convinced this setup could have been used for the recording of VH1 and as Ed personally did not care for the album tone he used primarily Marshall's to reamp in Japan but for some reason he used the Fenders again for this Selland Arena show which was right after they came back from Japan. Now to my ears it's VH1 to a tee but the difference is it is replicated live is where it is at for me because this excludes any and all Studio magic, Pultec Eq's and preamps.

The Bandmaster outperformed the Bassman I had tried years ago by quite alot I know they are pretty close circuit wise but that like saying a 68 plexi is exactly like a 70 Superlead.

Anyway that's my Bandmaster report gentlemen I am thoroughly convinced now, the bandmaster had role at least live and possibly in the studio for VH1. I do need to install some new filter caps in the Bandmaster and they are all original and there is some noise that shouldn't be there sometimes but I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of the testing of my postulated theory.
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Re: VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

Post by harddriver »

I just re-watched the Selland Arena show again and I almost think the 4 power amps to the right are Musicman amps because of the black faceplates at least two of them. What do you guys see? :o

Fender did not make a blackface Reverb amp to my knowledge at least the tall cab one almost has to be a Musicman HD130 and HD65 heads.

And those Musicmans were solid state preamps in those................... :roll:
Last edited by harddriver on Sat Jul 30, 2022 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

Post by harddriver »

I did some research and I counted the knobs of the amps in the Selland Arena video, compared the amp layout to Fender Bandmaster and Bandmaster Reverb heads and those amps look to be confirmed Musicman at least three on the them by these old eyes.

HD130 Reverb head 3 knobs channel one 8 knobs for channel two, vibrato and reverb, trble middle, bass 130 watts, Leo Fender used 6CA7 tubes in these probably Sylvania 6ca7's with a solid state preamp, but the amp layout sheets say EL34/6ca7 These were in production from 1974 to 1979 so these were around for a few years before VH1 and they were California based.

The less tall head is more than likely an HD65 Reverb head, four knobs for channel one and 5 knobs for vibrato channel just like a Fender Bandmaster.
These amps also took EL34/6ca7 tubes with a solid state preamp. These were in production from 1974 to 1979.

The later Musicmans HD's from 1980-84 used 6L6 tubes and were rated HD 150 watt amps and HD85 watt amps.

So just when you thought it couldn't get more complicated.............. :lol: :o

Actually I think Ed could pretty much get his core tone with about any power amp but I find it interesting that I prefer the Musicman and Bandmaster effects on the slave/reamp tone so much.

There is a slight chance there could be one blackface fender up there under the 65 watt Musicman but the two top ones are Musicman HD amps.
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Re: VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

Post by PLX »

Ed said in interviews that he wrote all the songs from the first 3 albums playing through his 1963 Blonde Fender Bandmaster :

“I used that amp for years in two ways. I already had the Marshall, but I had not stumbled onto the Variac thing yet, so I would use the Bandmaster through the Marshall cabinet when we gigged at smaller clubs like Gazzarri’s. In the little house in Pasadena that I grew up in, my mom always hated what she called ‘that high crying noise’—in other words, soloing. She’d always go, ‘Why do you have to make that high crying noise?’ “If you plug the cabinet into the external speaker output instead of the regular output, it’s really quiet. I could turn everything all the way up, which is what I always did anyway, and there was this small amount of bleed that sounded exactly like when the regular output is turned all the way up, but it’s really quiet. Everyone says that you can’t do that because the transformer will blow, but the amp never blew up. “The real beauty of that amp is how many songs I wrote with it. I wrote all of the early Van Halen songs for the first three albums with that amp, playing quietly in my room. It was really quiet, so my mom couldn’t hear me, but it sounded amazing. My dog Monty would sit down next to me, and he dug it. When I wrote the intro to ‘Women in Love,’ he was sitting there with his ears perked up, like the RCA Victor dog. That Bandmaster was more important than my Marshall head, because I wrote everything with it.”
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Re: VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

Post by harddriver »

I think the Bandmaster and Musicman are virtually identical except but I have not looked at schematics the 40 watts versus 130 watts of the HD130 which ED would have needed to reamp loud enough with headroom but two HD65's are there to right all MM badges appear to be removed but it is difficult to see.

I know he wrote fondly of his blonde Bandmaster but I have never seen pics of one on stage in the fall/winter of 1977. That's not saying he didn't but I've never seen a picture nor a video so I have to focus in on what I do see.

What I find interesting that the Musicman amps have a solid state preamp and a 12AT7 PI/Driver tube, I don't know if they are FETS of some kind but I would imagine that reamping with a FET preamp built for clean headroom as the Musicman was would produce a ratty/hariy type of clipping that I hear in the Selland arena Pasadena civic shows that I don't hear the London and Japan tour shows where he was definitely using all Marshall for slave/reamps. These Musicman amps had an overall Master volume control on them unlike the Fenders.

Here's what an HD 130 sounds like with EL34's, now if the original HD130 had Sylvania 6ca7 then they would be more 6L6 like as the Bandmaster power amp section.
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Re: VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

Post by PLX »

harddriver wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 2:43 am ..for some reason he used the Fenders again for this Selland Arena show which was right after they came back from Japan. ..
I thought that was because the airline "lost" his amps and it took him several months for them to "find" them and get them back to him.
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Re: VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

Post by harddriver »

PLX wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:52 pm
harddriver wrote: Sat Jul 30, 2022 2:43 am ..for some reason he used the Fenders again for this Selland Arena show which was right after they came back from Japan. ..
I thought that was because the airline "lost" his amps and it took him several months for them to "find" them and get them back to him.
Yes that is the case, I'm not sure when he go them back. I have a total VH 1978 tour schedule.

That makes it even more interesting since the tone is almost identical to the album release party December 1977 live tone and the Selland Arena show IMHO, they are almost identical. Now the Japan and UK legs so sound different than that Selland Arena show.

I remember people mentioning the Musciman's being used for Reamping but until that Selland Arena video showed up in 2019 on YT I've never seen them on stage with him, I've seen other Marshalls, Voxes and never seen Fender Bandmasters and the Selland Arena show is all Musicmans, which are close to Bandmasters which is probably why I got good results with my Bandmaster but I gotta hear the exact amp I see on the video.....I'm obsessed I tell you......... :P I hate when there is something I haven't tried with VH1 lore.........especially when I see it and hear it and it sounds like the album without the studio effects........... :oops: 8-) :lol:

So if Ed didn't have 12301 for the Selland Arena show he still got a VH1 tone in 9/22/78 right after getting back from Japan.

Here are the dates............

6-12-1978 Brimingham Odeon London, England(Cancelled)
6-17-1978 Shinjuku Kosei Nenkin Hall Tokyo, Japan tour begins
6-19-1978 Shinjuku Kosei Nenkin Hall Tokyo, Japan
6-21-1978 Nakano Sun Plaza Hall Tokyo, Japan
6-22-1978 Nakano Sun Plaza Hall Tokyo, Japan
6-24-1978 Nagoya Shi Kokaido Nagoya, Japan
6-25-1978 Festival Hall Osaka, Japan
6-26-1978 Kyoto Kaikan Hall Kyoto, Japan
6-27-1978 Kosei Nenkin Hall Osaka, Japan Japan tour ends

7-01-1978 Cotton Bowl Dallas, Texas

9-22-1978 Selland Arena Fresno CA
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Re: VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

Post by PLX »

Guitar.com: And the rest of your gear?

EVH: Ah, I'll tell ya, man, the stuff I used onstage today isn't really my setup. See, we toured Japan, and on the way back over, all my good shit got ripped off. Got lost in air freight – by [shouts into microphone] Pan Am, ya fuckers! No, really. Some of it got lost – didn't get put on the same plane, whatever. I used to have four very old Marshalls – about '65 – and I had a guy named Jose Arredondo, who's in the San Fernando Valley somewhere, beef 'em up. He put bigger transformers in 'em. There's a thing called bias in an amp, and you crank it all the way up and it really makes the tubes hot. I use [the amps] with these other things, which are called voltage generators – like a Variac. It's a big box with a knob on it that controls voltage. Plug your amp into it, and it goes all the way from zero volts to like 140. The amp's only supposed to take 100 volts, but you crank the thing above that like to 130, 140 volts, and the tubes really glow. So ya gotta keep a fan on it. Those amps used to blow like every other gig, and you have to re-tube them every other day, but they crank! They sound like nothing else to me, because they're so overdriven. They usually don't work for more than ten hours of playing – maybe even less, because every other gig they blow out. It fries, you know. I had four good amps that I used to use all the time, but I don't have them any more.

Guitar.com: What do you have now?

EVH: What I basically have is three different setups, three complete setups. I have three 100-watt tops of whatever make – right now I'm using Music Man, a couple of Laney amps, which are English, and a couple of new Marshalls. I'm just using everything right now because I lost those old amps. But I use three 100-watt amps for the main set – what I call it – and then I do my guitar solo, and after that I change guitars and amps to setup number two. Setup number three is also again three amps, for backup.
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Re: VH1 album tone live... Exhibit A...the Selland arena 9/22/78..revisited

Post by harddriver »

I remember reading that back in the day...Thanks for posting it. Still in the Selland Arena show video you see one Marshall turned on and three Musicmans turned on and possibly a fourth and he is pushing 8 Marshall Cabinets unless quite a few are for show.

I still propose that since they were still coming out of the clubs volume control was his main thing...so I agree with Gaustad that Ed was using the variac as a volume control tool 60-90 VAC whatever he felt like. But getting under 80 VAC if he was going into two cabinets with just the Marshall he would probably still need to reamp for stage volume either way IMHO.

Now if you subscribe to the theory that he was running his main Marshall in to a load box with no cabinets connected then that would explain 3-4 Musicmans turned on and appear to in the process of being used for re-amping.... This is just my opinion regarding this Selland Arena show from what I can see and hear.

As Ed played bigger and bigger venues I think the variac stayed because he like what it did to the amps tone not for volume control.

So I have tried the pure load and reamping with another Superlead and it didn't suck...but it did not have the qualities that I hear in that Selland Arena show.....I heard some similarities reamping the other day with my 67 Bandmaster and I am currently shopping for a 74-78 Musicman amp.... :lol:

If you go listen to the Japan and UK concert recordings they are different than the Selland Arena and Album release party, these two shows sound very similar to me.

Call me crazy... I love the minutia of this stuff..................always have.......... :lol: :lol: :roll: :roll:
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