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Thread: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    I was a bit young in 78 so I didn't get the full brunt of it like some of you did. But Eddie's tone combined with his style of play (you can't really seperate the two) was like nothing anyone ever hear come out of a Marshall and Strat before. He was unique, new and his techinique, tone and gear influenced an entire generation of players and beyond. You can only really say that about a handful of guitarists. I love his tone on the first album, but I also like how it changed and how he kept searching and tweaking.

    The obsession with some guys on getting his tone borders on weird to me. But hey, to each his own. If that's your thing, go for it =).

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    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    The "muffled" tone, which some might describe as "muddy," is probably Clapton's most famous tone.

    Personally, I think Clapton had great tone with Cream. It is just his excessive playing in the live shows that annoys me. Cream's studio albums are far better than anything I've heard live by them IMO. They are arranged better and are less "jammy" to my ears. Tightly arranged blues-psychedelia, as opposed to sloppy and fast jamming to excess was Cream's forte. I think they needed another guitarist to carry that over to the live shows. Clapton tried to overcompensate live IMO. But he did great **** in the studio.
    Last edited by ItsaBass; 04-30-2012 at 09:50 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    The "muffled" tone, which some might describe as "muddy," is probably Clapton's most famous tone.

    Personally, I think Clapton had great tone with Cream. It is just his excessive playing in the live shows that annoys me. Cream's studio albums are far better than anything I've heard live by them IMO. They are arranged better and are less "jammy" to my ears. Tightly arranged blues-psychedelia, as opposed to sloppy and fast jamming to excess was Cream's forte. I think they needed another guitarist to carry that over to the live shows. Clapton tried to overcompensate live IMO. But he did great **** in the studio.
    erm..this thread is about Eddie Van halen, not Cream or Clapton..how did you digress to that ?

    Anyway, yeah, ed got some really bizzare ideas..he was extreme. he melted down his amps and toasted his speaker. Thats
    A 'luxury' no one no one could afford to do anymore with those vintage old speakers and amps.
    Ed has the 'wanking' to a science, but he would sound like **** if he had to try and play fast licks clean without blistering gain to cover the spaces between notes.
    Yngwie has him beat by 10 miles in that regard.
    ya gotta figure Ed and Yngiwie are still teh kings of solo guitar , and all the other guys liie Vai and Statch are on a second level.
    Last edited by MetalManiac; 04-30-2012 at 10:16 PM.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalManiac View Post
    erm..this thread is about Eddie Van halen, not Cream or Clapton..how did you digress to that ?
    "erm.."

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Lamprecht View Post
    I don't get the EVH thing either unless its for people who grew up with it which I can understand. I never liked Claptons sound either though... in Cream it was way too thick and muddy and his newer stuff is thin and sounds lifeless... the only album I like him on is Blind Faith.
    Quote Originally Posted by blueman335 View Post
    Ear wax build up; time to get out the Q-tips again, and maybe the pressure washer.
    Quote Originally Posted by formula73 View Post
    It's a generation thing. I agree that Eric Clapton's tone was muffled and dark. I was never really a fan of EVH's, either, but I like it better now than I did back then. I also like the uber gainy math-metal (I refuse to call it 'djent') type tone.

    Of course, like others have said, the 'young' players to which you refer aren't really young. I suppose most of us on the board are old guys compared to the age of the aforementioned ground breakers, in their prime, and I'm just 32.

    What are WE going to say to the young ones, now? "I love the midrangey, crispy, thin Lamb of God tone." "OMG WAT IS THAT? BLACK AN YELLO BLACK AN YELLO BLACK AN YELLO BLACK AN YELLO"
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Lamprecht View Post
    This tone... its cool but it drives me nuts.... there is way too many mids I think for my taste.



    Maybe its not the mids but something about it hurts my ears.
    Quote Originally Posted by LesStrat View Post
    Yogi Berra was correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by JOLLY View Post
    I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.

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    Li'l Junior Member MetalManiac's Avatar
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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    "erm.."
    Ooops! Sorry, I didnt see the other 2 pages!

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    I had to give the EVH fascination a think a minute too. I am definitely not a fan boy, yeah I love me some Hot for Teacher and Panama from time to time but not an influence for me at all. I can see how people get so into the man though. As said before this is a tinkers forum (me and my whopping 3 posts as of now and Eddie was the ultimate tinkerer and experimenter. He was doing things that I think captured peoples imagination and it was exciting. Its just that most of his fans were young and broke and could not even come close to accessing the means to do the mods etc... Now however, there is a large community of Eddie fans from way back that are in a place in there life where they can tinker and explore all that techy stuff they always wanted to, and with the internet there is so much info available that the prospect of capturing and reproducing the sounds that were the soundtracks to a lot of people lives, hell its gotta pretty damn tempting. Couple that with all the lore and mystery that surrounds EVH its the perfect recipe for a Holy Grail search. I think another thing to consider is fact that Van Halen was HUGE! Everybody knew the sound, knew the songs and I'd venture to say that they shaped a lot of peoples tastes as to what rock should sound like and what a killer guitar tone is. I'm sure whatever sensibilities and taste Eddie could have pursued people would still be obsessed, its not just the tone, hell I think the tone is probably a small piece of it, it has more to do with the context and the feelings his sound conjures in his fans.

    Just my 2 cents. My tastes were formed in the late 90's for the most part so my Holy Grail searches have a different shape, but its the same thing I think.

    Cheers!
    Phil

  7. #47
    Vintageologist crusty philtrum's Avatar
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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    I was building quite a few amps, so I bought the 'Beano' album and the first VH album as references. I built an amp that did the Beano tone perfectly, but realised that that was about all it could do, and would really only be an ideal amp if you were going out to play those exact songs ... it wasn't at all versatile for anything else.

    The VH album is fun and packed with exciting guitar playing, but the tone didn't do much for me. Strats with humbuckers, to me, are neither here nor there, and the new territory they claim is not a sonic area i find very useful or interesting.

    The entire 1980s was a kinda low point in guitar sound (largely DiMarzios in basswood), and EVH stood above most of it due to making his playing interesting and exciting to everybody, not just anal guitar players. After the void left once Jimi had gone to the sky, i remember the first time i heard VH and it was fantastic, but for me, it was mostly about the great playing and the attitude behind it. It was, and is, obvious to me that he was far bigger than the gear he used.

    The fact that he has been such a big influence is a double-edged sword; it's great that aspiring kids were able to be influenced by someone who could obviously play and bring the fun, but it also became very tedious having to hear every bar band with an EVH wannabe. My thoughts are that many of those people missed the critical point .... being themselves.

    After all, even if someone mastered the playing and the tone ... so what ? They would have spent much of their life becoming a clone while the original is still out there. How many gigs are there for an EVH (or any other) clone when the punters can listen to the originals ?

    As seems to happen so often, too many people miss the obvious ... their heroes are expressing themselves. I never understand why that doesn't inspire more people to be themselves, i.e. take the attitudes of their heroes on board more than the gear and intricate details of ther techniques. Someone with something to say, being themself, is going to be far more moving and impressive than someone trying to be somebody else.
    Last edited by crusty philtrum; 05-01-2012 at 05:07 AM. Reason: spellink
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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by formula73 View Post
    Skolnick-great tone, great chops, but Testament fell out of favor and never really got it back, even after Chuck's return. Leaving to do jazz or whatever didn't help. He dropped off the metal map, as it were.
    He didn't really drop off the metal map, he took a vacation maybe, he did the Trans-Siberian Orchestra a couple of years (one of the best concerts i've seen) now he's back with Testament. He was on Testament 'The Formation Of Damnation' album and I think there due for another one this year.
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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Lamprecht View Post
    I don't get the EVH thing either unless its for people who grew up with it which I can understand. I never liked Claptons sound either though... in Cream it was way too thick and muddy and his newer stuff is thin and sounds lifeless... the only album I like him on is Blind Faith.
    Wow! You're way too young to remember the Blind Faith days, so I commend you on your desire to learn about those "early" groups.

    I personally loved Clapton's Cream tones. They were something new back in the 60s.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterE View Post
    I guess Eddie's tone was good for the times, he did rock but me being an old fogey, 57 actually, generally like the older rockers better.

    I also agree that with today's hotter pickups and good tube amp you could persue his tone if you want it.
    +10 for the classic "older rockers" sound.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by richard parker View Post
    A good friend of mine saw VH in the UK when they were supporting Black Sabbath. He'd never heard of them and said the experience was mind blowing. I'm not a fan because I don't think they ever produced any really good songs but there is absolutely no doubt that Eddie broke new ground like nobody had before. I don't think either Jimi or Eric spawned so many copyists. I heard EVH imitators BEFORE I knew who he was. EVERYONE was trying to be him.

    And to get back to the original point I think he had really great tone. Personally I was more taken with the tones of Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Tony Iommi and the awesome sound of Alvin Lee on Going Home at Woodstock BUT Eddie had a really great sound as well. Let's face it - it doesn't get much better than a bucker into a cranked plexi if that's what floats your boat.
    Ahhh. Now you're bringing back the good ol' days with Johnny Winter and Alvin Lee. A totally different sound (less blues, more rock), but I used to love Edgar Winter as well.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    I never know what people mean by Eddie's sound. It ranged from hard and raspy to big and fat depending on the album. Sometimes I loved his sounds other times they made me turn the song off.

    I guess I'm not a fanboy
    Gravity...its just a theory

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by formula73 View Post
    Kerry King... and Zakk Wylde are what I refer to as the professional wrestlers of metal.
    That's a great analogy!!
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaBass View Post
    The "muffled" tone, which some might describe as "muddy," is probably Clapton's most famous tone.

    Personally, I think Clapton had great tone with Cream. It is just his excessive playing in the live shows that annoys me. Cream's studio albums are far better than anything I've heard live by them IMO. They are arranged better and are less "jammy" to my ears. Tightly arranged blues-psychedelia, as opposed to sloppy and fast jamming to excess was Cream's forte. I think they needed another guitarist to carry that over to the live shows. Clapton tried to overcompensate live IMO. But he did great **** in the studio.
    That's a very good point. And, admittedly, I have to agree 100%. But remember back in those days (mid 60s), the bands were really into that jam/concert idea. This was the beginning of FM popularity (and 33 1/3 RPM LPs) which was a lot looser than AM which restricted the length of songs to 2 1/2 - 3 minutes airtime. Many bands really got off on that new freedom to play whatever they wanted and for however long they wanted (remember Iron Butterfly's In-a-gadda-da-vidda, the Rolling Stone's Goin' Home, etc?). Whenever you went to a concert, you were sure to get at least one "jam song" that would go on for 10-15 minutes. Back then, the tripped out audiences really liked the jam format.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    IMO EVH wouldn't be anywhere if it weren't for Ted Templeman mixing, creating and capturing EVH's tone to record, something we're all missing and won't achieve, combined with EVH's fingers and playing. But thats just the first album.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    It is his tasty use of the blues licks

    killer cranked marshall/PAF tone

    I'm weird, but personally I love the Women & Children first tone & VHII. That is what I still listen to all these years later.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    ^ I love how you said all that. I think I agree with that whole philosophical idea of young players seeking to capture the technique and tone of their hero, but losing the ideology behind it. Uniqueness/individuality was perhaps VH's greatest motivation and is the least consideration in his followers.

    Like Jolly...he is admittedly a VH devotee, but his motivation is not "copy", but respect, admire, veneration, but create that individuality in himself that was/is Eddie's motivation.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    So, after thinking about all of the things that have been posted here, I guess you have opened my eyes somewhat. Truly I can understand the interest/intrigue/fascination with his tone. I absolutely don't disagree that he was an innovator and a tremendous influence on the shape and future of rock music. Perhaps I should rename this thread...

    ...Instead of using the word "fascination", it would have been better to use "obcession".
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Something that I haven't seen here (I didn't read EVERY word here though) is 'showmanship'. If a person can put on a good visual show is bumps him up a peg or two. Look at EVH and a lot of the others mentioned here, they all visually put on a good show. People are attracted to extravigance. So it might, and this is probably the wrong wording, cover up some flaws. YEAH, I'M GOING TO SAY IT... Kiss didn't move the ball forward that much as far as music goes (merchandising yes) but they put on a good show. Not saying that Kiss is bad or anything (well...) but I think people confuse a good VISUAL show for a good AUDIO show.
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    Default Re: I just don't understand all the EVH tone fascination

    Quote Originally Posted by richard parker View Post
    there is absolutely no doubt that Eddie broke new ground like nobody had before.
    Actually, listen to Jeff Beck's early 1970's version of 'Going Down' and you'll see where Eddie got his style from. All those short little unconnected frantic riffs. Eddie borrowed heavily from his predecessors, as has everyone else. Nothing happens in a vacuum. VH broke on the scene at the end end of the disco era, when people were starved for high-energy rock and roll. The timing was perfect.
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