Tubes and Dickey Betts

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by byljer, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. byljer

    byljer Member

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    Hi everybody!

    I'm just wondering if anyone here know what kind of tubes Dickey Betts uses in his Marshall 1987 reissues?

    I'm searching for the "Betts tone". I have a Gibson LP Standard 2007 model with the BetSet pu's from WCR Pick Up's ("handmade" by Jim Wagner after studying a set that Betts used a long time ago) and WCR's wiring kit to go with it. My amp is (you guessed it...) a Marshall 1987 reissue. I have gotten real close to Betts tone by changing the pu's, but I'm thinking about replacing the stock tubes since they're crap (two of them blew after one month, and I didn't drive the amp hard or use it very often).

    Any tubeish suggestions?
     
  2. stryker59

    stryker59 Member

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    i dont know what dickey used but i really like JJ's
     
  3. st.bede

    st.bede New Member

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    nice gear....not trying to pirate the post but let me suggest to you the, my les paul forum Les Paul Forums - MyLesPaul.com since you own a nice LP and I would love to hear all about your WCRs being an owner of WCRs myself (DB/GW)....
     
  4. st.bede

    st.bede New Member

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    again, here is something I found you might find interesting:

    BG: One of the things that you are known for is your tone.
    DB: Well you know the Lansing speakers have a lot to do with it and I don't use any distortion at all. I just use the natural distortion. If I can overdrive the tubes in the amp that's what I try to do. I put the amp just loud enough to overdrive the tubes in the amp.

    from

    Dickey Betts Interview

    and more:

    BG What do you have done to the amps?
    DB They just bias the tubes and tune it with a little more treble. I don't beef them up or anything.

    BG So they are totally stock?
    DB Yeah. Totally stock. Like I said, the cabinets aren't stock, they have JBL 120's in them.

    BG Didn't you cut half of the backs out?
    DB You know sometimes I do cut just one third out of it like a twin amp. The ones that I am using now do not have the backs cut out. For outdoors you don't want to do that. You want solid backs. If you are playing a club or a theater, it's nice to have the backs cut. Actually Jerry Garcia turned me on to that. Just take one-third out of the middle. What it does is it kind of flowers the sound up on stage. It makes it kind of come up on stage, instead of shooting it straight out. Of course outdoors, you want to get the sound out there in front of you.

    from:

    Dickey Betts Interview


    I also found out that there is a forum for Betts... Dickey Betts & Great Southern :: Where Music Plus Friends Equals Family

    I hope that helps and if you find out about the tubes (or anything interesting) I would sure like to know
     
  5. byljer

    byljer Member

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    Thank you very much!

    I've seen all the interviews with Betts about his equipment, and like all great artists he doesen't know to much about what's in his amp:fingersx: He thinks he uses a stock Marshall 1987 reissue. Yeah, right! I've seen pictures of his amp, and he's even got his name printed on the front of the amp. That amp is not stock. I bet it's made espesially for him at the Marshall factory, and that it's handwired.

    The JBL Lansing he's talking about is the E120. They don't make'em anymore, but a good substitute would be Beymar Liberty-8. Check them out! Looks good! I'll get some of those....someday....when I'm filthy rich:lol:

    Anyway, I'll keep searching for the tubes.

    Thank you for the links! I'll check it out:hippie:
     
  6. byljer

    byljer Member

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    Found this chap Doug who runs a web site called Doug's Tubes. To achive the Betts tone, he recommended the following:

    Go with the RUBY EL34BSTR's. In the preamp, a Tung-Sol reissue 12aX7 in V1, Penta Labs 12AX7 in V2 and a JJ ECC83S in V3.

    As you can see, he combines different brands of tubes. I'll let you know how it turns out when I've received them and installed them.
     
  7. JohnRussell

    JohnRussell New Member

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    Just reading about your recommended tube selections for the Dickie Betts sound way back in 2008... Looking for the same tone and wondering how your amp changes worked out. Also where would you find the Lansing speakers Dickie speaks of? Like to hear what you've learned. Thanks, J R:wave:
     
  8. MartyStrat54

    MartyStrat54 Well-Known Member

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    Saw that you revived this and thought I would respond. JBL D, E and K series speakers can be found for sale on EBAY. Betts used the E-120's which have enormous ceramic magnets and four of them in a half stack is a boat anchor. The D's and K's had alnico magnets and were much lighter and very close in sound.

    Also, I can tell you that Bett's amp didn't have JJ's in it. You can almost guarantee that his guitar tech had a stash of NOS preamp tubes hand selected for his rig and NOS power tubes as well. All this, plus custom work on his amp.

    Anyway, I hope this helps.

    Marty
     
  9. Sonicboom

    Sonicboom New Member

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    Resurrecting a long dead post in case anyone wants info on this. To clarify, Dickey used D120 speakers, not E120. The E120s were not around until the late 70s or 80s - they, in fact, came after the K-series. Almost everyone back in the day from the Allmans to Grateful Dead to Skynyrd was using D120s.

    Today, Dickey does in fact use a Marshall 1987x. I have a close up photo of his amp with the knob settings he uses - it's also posted on his forum. I set my stock 1987x to the same and get his tone. I don't know what tubes he runs, but I've found that with my gear (Winged C EL34s, D120s and WCR Bet Set) I can nail One Way Out from the Filmore. A lot of his tone is in how he holds the pick and where he plays - over the neck pickup.

    I've spent a small fortune trying various combinations of NOS power and preamp tubes, thinking maybe he used those back in the day. I can't get the same tone with those tubes. Stick with Winged Cs.

    Hope that helps.
     
  10. thetragichero

    thetragichero New Member

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    SLLLAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! :slash:
     
  11. telebender1956

    telebender1956 New Member

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    Uh, one cannot buy the Tone of Dickey Betts at the guitar shop. His soul and fingers cannot be bought at the music store.
     
  12. cagamp1

    cagamp1 New Member

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    Does anyone know if these WCR pickups sound like '57 classics? Differences? Opinions?

    The JBL speakers whether D, E, G, K or M are all higfh quality guitar/musical instrument speakers and have a tone different than your average guitar 12". You can find them on EBAY...not usually cheap.
     
  13. Sonicboom

    Sonicboom New Member

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    Not to me they don't. I have a set of WCRs in my '79 and the '57 classics in my Goldie. The WCRs are more articulate by far.

    Gotta agree on the JBLs - awesome speakers, but if they aren't the orig. cone, which many aren't these days, they will not sound the same. They haven't made recone kits for those for years. The only kit you can find is an E-series.

    The right gear will get you about 85% of Dickey's tone. The rest, well, Teleblender said it best. :dude:

    Good luck with your tone search.
     

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