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Waddy Watchel's New Setup!

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
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388
I got to work for Stevie Nick's tour the other day.

Waddy has switched over the Magnatone amps now. The rest of his setup is an Ernie Ball volume pedal and a silver Klon Centuar that stays on. He's playing a J-200, a '73 Les Paul with an EMG boost and one of his CC models. He also is playing a black Stratocaster. The amps are both running and turned up really loud.

It's a great show worth checking out even if you're not a Stevie Nicks fan, but she also is sounding really good.

I would call him the opposite of people like Joe "Bonna" Mossa and Eric "John" Stone in that he doesn't seem to really care all that much about pickups, true bypass pedals or that type of thing. His thing is a great guitar into a great amp and playing a great part for (most importantly) a great song. Probably what I like most about him is his playing is just spot on perfect no matter what and he's not up there in a costume trying to show off his chops, which makes experiencing what he's doing even more enjoyable and, at the end of the day, impressive.

His tone is incredible but more importantly, his playing is even better!

A few weeks ago I posted some things about Davey "John" Stone (no relation to Erik) and he's the same type of player. Another amazing experience for the books!


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Angeldeville

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Apr 17, 2021
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One of my geetar heros!

I don't know why but last night I bypassed my pedal board and plugged straight into the amp.....

 

jb_abides

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Agree, he's a tasty player with great tone in service of the song.

Stevie has great songs. I may not make a special trip to see, but I'd catch that act and be happy.

What's was the in-ear / monitor / stage volume situation ...?

BTW I've made many special trips to see Eric and never once been disappointed!
 

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
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388
Agree, he's a tasty player with great tone in service of the song.

Stevie has great songs. I may not make a special trip to see, but I'd catch that act and be happy.

What's was the in-ear / monitor / stage volume situation ...?

BTW I've made many special trips to see Eric and never once been disappointed!
I would 100% go see SN just for the band. Some acts will have one person I really like and even if I'm not the hugest fan of the artist that makes it worth it to me. I don't go to many concerts because on my day off it's the last thing I feel like doing but for some people, I would. I just bought a ticket to see Jeff Beck for example.

Eric is great! I worked with him a few weeks ago. His setup is also really sparse, just a couple Bandmasters and a Leslie. He has a Wah (obviously) and a few guitars. The amps he's using were build by Alexander Dumble, though. Amazing tone, amazing player, and a pretty nice dude seeing as how he didn't really even need to look at me if he didn't want to. True legend.

There were custom-made wedges for Stevie's monitoring. Each player had two in front of them. They used shields for the drums and guitar amps but everything was turned up pretty loud. Just did Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) and his band had really cool shields made to look like speaker cabinets that sat about 2' in front of their amps. Never seen that before. From up front you couldn't tell. Cornish switching so no idea what the gp was using but it was a great show.

I use a really simple setup most of the time. Just two guitars (maybe an acoustic depending on the artist) and an amp - usually a Vibro King, Tweed Twin, Top Hat or Soldano depending on what I'm called for. I have a pretty small pedal setup that hasn't been updated in years. I was recently looking at buying some pedals and trying new things but the guitar players that I've enjoyed the most this season haven't used much (Carlos Santana, Eric and Waddy).

IMHO the market is too big and there's really not much gear out there targeted to people playing live. It seems like everyone wants to sound good for three minutes of a YouTube clip or just over-the-top chorus, delay, reverb-type tracks that to me just sound generic. A lot of the expensive gear I see people raving about sounds good in demos and clips but doesn't work live or in a band setting or is designed to sound like some over-processed studio sound.

Nothing wrong with that but I think there's probably a small (but profitable) market for a company designing solutions for people playing live or recording a lot. It would be cool if Gibson Custom got into that market because talking to a lot of techs and players there are a lot of custom things being built that seem to solve the same problems. I was kind of hopeful Universal Audio would but they seem to be more and more focusing on the home studio market, which makes sense because that's where the money is I guess.
 
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jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
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Weir just toured with the recently released UA Amp Emulation pedals. Not clear if he was more road testing prototypes or tweaks. But UA are making in the live/recording space. Dead + Co also use those Bose poles onstage...

Agree a 'dedicated' solution would be cool.

Not sure of the future plans, but Gibson should refine the guitar product line and processes first, don't over-expand too far afield like HJ did. Although they certainly have the engineering pool with Mesa, Maestro, and KRK working together to do something.
 

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
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I worked for Weir earlier in the season. I know JM quite well, as we were at Berklee together. IIRC Weir was using the UA pedals in his rig like any other pedal - through a looper more for an effect. I don't believe he was using them as a direct type of solution. Could be wrong, but that's how I remember it.

Gibson is doing a lot right, and even HJ did a lot right. I think keeping the Gibson name in the USA has really protected it from becoming the abomination that pretty much any brand FMIC owns is these days. Henry may get blasted a lot but he didn't send production oversees and prices have stayed competitive when you consider what an entry-level Gibson USA guitar costs vs USA made PRS, Carvin or Fender.

What I think they could really do well with would be using the Mesa folks to do some production products under the Gibson Custom (or maybe Mesa Custom?) name. Make some things along the lines of what Radial and Cornish make. For example, I have a Radial box that I waited years to actually become available - a 4 input instrument switcher. It's great but there are other products along those lines that would be really cool to see made. Gibson Custom has the professional market. There is a hole in the live/studio market with professionally made ancillary products.

Like I have no use for an amp emulation pedal. I have an OX and I really like it but I could use a really high-quality splitter/instrument switcher/tuner type device. Maybe a series of devices that could be cat5 linked and run off a footswitch? I don't know exactly but something along those lines that has less to do with effects and more to do with high-quality routing would be really cool.
 

jb_abides

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Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
3,686
I worked for Weir earlier in the season. I know JM quite well, as we were at Berklee together. IIRC Weir was using the UA pedals in his rig like any other pedal - through a looper more for an effect. I don't believe he was using them as a direct type of solution. Could be wrong, but that's how I remember it.

Gibson is doing a lot right, and even HJ did a lot right. I think keeping the Gibson name in the USA has really protected it from becoming the abomination that pretty much any brand FMIC owns is these days. Henry may get blasted a lot but he didn't send production oversees and prices have stayed competitive when you consider what an entry-level Gibson USA guitar costs vs USA made PRS, Carvin or Fender.

What I think they could really do well with would be using the Mesa folks to do some production products under the Gibson Custom (or maybe Mesa Custom?) name. Make some things along the lines of what Radial and Cornish make. For example, I have a Radial box that I waited years to actually become available - a 4 input instrument switcher. It's great but there are other products along those lines that would be really cool to see made. Gibson Custom has the professional market. There is a hole in the live/studio market with professionally made ancillary products.

Like I have no use for an amp emulation pedal. I have an OX and I really like it but I could use a really high-quality splitter/instrument switcher/tuner type device. Maybe a series of devices that could be cat5 linked and run off a footswitch? I don't know exactly but something along those lines that has less to do with effects and more to do with high-quality routing would be really cool.

Yeah, I am not a Henry-Hater, he did a lot right, just got too lost with the lifestyle branding and over-reach into consumer electronics and unrelated things... And really didn't leverage good R&D at the core. I mean, he licensed the Robo-tuner/G-Force stuff. And nothing good came after they had a pretty good start at an electronics portfolio for core music. They killed studio and amps, from Cakewalk to Trace Elliot. He initially pursued such potential synergy and innovation but lacked the vision and execution to see it through. I speculate mainly because of the level of investment required; he wanted money out and didn't really deeply come to terms that you need to invest long-term, cultivate then bear fruit... it's not a bang, mash-up and done thing.


RE: Weir... I can't say absolutely an insiders mentioned amp mode in an interview before the summer run, so when I saw them twice I was looking; he had no backline... where once he did. JM still had his on display including the Rumble. Of course anything could be running offstage as you know... but by history and observation, it appeared like amp emu was being tried out by Bobby.


I really like the Radial stuff, and wonder why their stuff seems so 1) underused or under appreciated, and 2) fairly 'separate' versus comprehensive solution that is modular and can link and control. Perhaps the 'Pro' live market doesn't suit the investment required? Either your a van band, or super-pro big money are using computers more. Not my area of expertise, I am no touring pro!
 

Bob Womack

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Apr 8, 2002
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Yeah, the last time I saw Waddy was on Joe Walsh's Toor 2016:

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My shot from the floor in Charlottesville.

He had a pair of Blackstar Artist 30 combos and paid little attention to his pedals, a Fulltone boost and a volume pedal. He's got EMG preamps in all his guitars so that he can pull back at the volume control and still be clean and bright.

Bob
 

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
Messages
388
Yeah it's cool to see what different people are using. Here is (some) of Joe Perry's rig. He literally spent about two hours swapping cabs, heads, speakers (yes, pulling apart cabs and replacing the speakers)and adding/taking away amps. Even changing which version of the same amp he was using.

He sounded great and I'm sure it makes a difference or he wouldn't do it. That being said, it's crazy to see Waddy, EC or Carlos show up plug in and play.

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