How does Eddie get the rich harmonic overtones?

lenheyvan

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Eddie's brown sound is not overly distorted, but it sounds very distorted.

My guess is that it sounds that way because there are so many harmonic overtones.

So how does he get so many harmonic overtones?

Please let me know your opinions.
 

Matthews Guitars

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It's partly the signal chain, and it's surprisingly the sound of a great Marshall itself, which lets your overtones sing. For those who have never played a great example of a Superlead, they are usually surprised at how harmonically rich they are when played clean. That richness, which almost makes your guitar sound like a grand piano, makes the overtones of distortion sound rich and thick, too.

My own experiences tell me that a good Superlead stands head to head with any other amp in the world as far as its clean channel goes, as well as when overdriven.

Plus Eddie was an absolute master of thumb and pick harmonics.
 

lenheyvan

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It's partly the signal chain, and it's surprisingly the sound of a great Marshall itself, which lets your overtones sing. For those who have never played a great example of a Superlead, they are usually surprised at how harmonically rich they are when played clean. That richness, which almost makes your guitar sound like a grand piano, makes the overtones of distortion sound rich and thick, too.

My own experiences tell me that a good Superlead stands head to head with any other amp in the world as far as its clean channel goes, as well as when overdriven.

Plus Eddie was an absolute master of thumb and pick harmonics.

Thanks for the reply.

I think Eddie was using a '67 or '68 Superlead. Maybe the components and circuitry used are different than the later ones.

It is said that Jose had modified Eddie's amp. If that is what further makes his sound special, I would be interested to know what kind of modifications they were.
 

Matthews Guitars

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It's well known that Eddie's no. 1 amp was DEAD STOCK. Jose Arredondo did not modify THAT one.

There is lots of info out there on Arredondo mods (Jose mods) if you care to look for them anyway. The brief answer to that is...Jose usually went with a diode clipping circuit, or usually two different diode clippers you could switch between.

His main amp is, if I remember correctly, a '67 Superlead with laydown mains transformer. He ran the amp at about 90 volts via a Variac.
 

tubes

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I have learnt from this forum what the correct answer is, if there is a Marshall involved.
Complex mids.


So Matthews must be right.
"...and it's surprisingly the sound of a great Marshall itself, which lets your overtones sing. For those who have never played a great example of a Superlead, they are usually surprised at how harmonically rich they are when played clean. That richness, which almost makes your guitar sound like a grand piano, makes the overtones of distortion sound rich and thick, too.

My own experiences tell me that a good Superlead stands head to head with any other amp in the world as far as its clean channel goes, as well as when overdriven."
 

Matthews Guitars

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Before I had vintage Marshalls (and they were my FIRST Marshalls...but I'd been playing guitar and had owned a BUNCH of amps for more than 30 years before, but never a Marshall), I insisted that amps have reverb to get an interesting clean tone, and that applies even to my all-time favorite Fender, the Pro Reverb.

But with these Superleads, they have that harmonic complexity that makes them complete unto themselves. I do NOT need or even miss reverb with a Superlead. I could easily modify one of my Superleads and put an authentic Fender reverb circuit and tank into one, but it's not necessary.

The simplicity of the Superlead circuit speaks for itself. There's not much there to take all the fun parts out of the signal. So they remain intact on their short journey from input jack to speaker jack, and that's a big part of the magic.
 

metromutt

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I think Eddie was using a '67 or '68 Superlead. Maybe the components and circuitry used are different than the later ones.
.

Ed's amp was a '68 12 series number 12301.

A lot of dynamics can be had by most amps if you play loud, there's nothing like it... although your ears will crap out at some stage! Sadly it's something you can't capture with the amp turned down.
 

StrummerJoe

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Eddie's brown sound is not overly distorted, but it sounds very distorted.

My guess is that it sounds that way because there are so many harmonic overtones.

So how does he get so many harmonic overtones?

Please let me know your opinions.
Your Bray amp should be getting you there, or darned close. Killer amps.
 

TheToneDig

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If you have questions like how does band X gets sound Y then my strongest suggestion here is to get modeling gear. Try Line6 Helix Native software. Get the profile for the artist you want and look at the chains they have involved and especially the settings on each device. For example here is what I use.

Van Halen
van halen.jpg

Iron Maiden

iron maiden AS.jpg

A good profile (usually bought) gives you the IRs also but the important point is that you see the chains being used and the settings on each part of the chain.

If you replicate the chains with the real deal you get very close to the sound you are looking for.

This is probably the cheapest way I have been able to find exactly what I need in most cases. It beats hunting around the internet but you can do that after for fine tuning.

BTW, I heard that Variacs are for vintage gear but that the modern gear doesn't need it because Marshall made changes since then. Is that true?
 

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Good theoretical question in itself, OP. One would seem to cancel this other. Eruption is a good example of this - there are tons of overtones but the distortion was fairly mild. His fingers had to be extremely strong to pull all that out so clean and fast making every note clean and present. Notice through all of it there is no feedback.

Ed did so many things as an amp tinkerer, that you would really never know ...unless someone ..knew for sure. I wouldn't get lost following too much speculation. You could go broke.

You can bet it involved dimed volume though for sure.
 
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WellBurnTheSky

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Volume has a LOT to do with it. Ed played loud, even in the studio, according to reports I've read.
THIS. At stage volume, the whole chain behaves differently and starts giving out a different harmonic response, plus you start to get controlled (or uncontrolled, if you're not careful !) feedback. If you've seen Ed live, you know he was using that a lot, and was always on the edge of going into uncontrolled feedback (riding his volume pot all night).
 

lenheyvan

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Thanks guys!

When the amp is played at loud volume, the power tubes distort and produce odd-order harmonics. Maybe that's what Ed's harmonics are.
 

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520IxSS.png
 

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