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Johnyzax

About Mike Bloomfield les paul tone

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I want your opinion about the sweet trebly sound of Mike Bloomfield. Classic 57,  seth lover or pearly gates you think are better to achieve that sound? He used no pedals and the lp was straight to the cranked super reverb. Except for his hands you think that also so special was  and his lp 59? It had a unique and characteristic sweet trebly sound that i can not find it in new les pauls...

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11 hours ago, Johnyzax said:

I want your opinion about the sweet trebly sound of Mike Bloomfield.... It had a unique and characteristic sweet trebly sound that i can not find it in new les pauls...

 

Classic '57s and if you can't find "the sweet trebly sound" in new Les Pauls then I'm sorry to say that you just have to face  facts because the fault, in all probability, lies not with the guitar(s) you have been playing but more likely with your lesser ability - in comparison with Mr. Bloomfield. There were no elves sprinkling magic pixie dust on the guitar which eventually landed in Bloomfield's lap. It was just another production-line guitar. A good one, perhaps, but they make good ones nowadays too.

Pip.

Edited by pippy
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Unless you saw Mike in concert its hard to know what processing occurred between his playing and your listening. 

You could easily end up chasing mixdown/mastering changes; not to mention the reproduction on CD/radio/PCs etc.

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2 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

Unless you saw Mike in concert its hard to know what processing occurred between his playing and your listening. 

You could easily end up chasing mixdown/mastering changes; not to mention the reproduction on CD/radio/PCs etc.

 

I couldn't possibly agree more. We touched on this point of "Live sound v's Recorded sound" in the 'Real 59' thread. Hearing a guitar live and listening to a mic'd up, mixed and recorded guitar played back through a sound system are two very different things. And which particular cut of Bloomfield are we talking about because he sounds very different on different tracks. What guitar is he even playing? Although he bought Dan Erlwine's '59 in 1967 and used it as his mainstay with the Electric Flag there are well-publicised photos of him in the studio playing a Strat during the very same period.

Lastly much of Bloomfield's tone comes from Mr. Bloomfield himself; not from his equipment.

Pip.

EDIT : Just for fun the OP could do a lot worse that searching out demo clips of the Gibson Mike Bloomfield re-issue. Gregor Hilden, of course, is one player to google.

Edited by pippy

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 The lp sound of Mike in Super session

(That is the album made me great fan of les paul sound ) is very characteristic...Not like others lps of that era such as Beano Clapton 's  Page lp  Kossof lp  etc..which are really close 

I can immitate with my lp std 98  via tubescreamer ts9 and deluxe reverb all these except for Bloomfield's..Ok may be was his fingers but  also that particular guitar. I have played about 10 collectors choice lps also a refinished 54 gold top with pafs but again i wasnt so close..

The bloomfields reissue 2009 to my ears is just a good lp..

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Johnyzax said:

 The lp sound of Mike in Super session

(That is the album made me great fan of les paul sound ) is very characteristic...Not like others lps of that era such as Beano Clapton 's  Page lp  Kossof lp  etc..which are really close 

I can immitate with my lp std 98  via tubescreamer ts9 and deluxe reverb all these except for Bloomfield's..Ok may be was his fingers but  also that particular guitar. I have played about 10 collectors choice lps also a refinished 54 gold top with pafs but again i wasnt so close..

The bloomfields reissue 2009 to my ears is just a good lp..

 

 

 

There's a big difference in the approach to achieving Bloomfield / Green tones as opposed to the three others you mention.  FAR more subtlety is required from the player.

FWIW the way I get at least within the ball-park it is as follows;

I'm normally using either my '93 R9 or '95 R0 (both have '57 Classics) or my '95 1960 Classic (matched set of Duncan Antiquities and a set of Grey Tigers) played through a 1977 Music Man 2x12 sixty-five. I dial the gain of the amp almost completely off, have the treble at 10 but the mid and bass at 0 and set the reverb at about 4. I definitely do not use any form of OD box and I wind the guitar's tone knobs back a long way to around 2.5 (R) and 3.5 / 4.0 (T) . Back off the guitar's Vol knobs to around 8.5 / 9.0. and you should be getting close for the 'regular' stuff and simply wind the vol knob(s) up to 9.5 / 10 for the lead break bits. I find that it is essential to adopt a different picking technique as well.

Hey; it works for me!...

I, like quite a few other members here, have also played quite a number of the earlier releases in the CC series and always found them to be excellently made, great sounding guitars; more consistently so than the regular CS reissues. I don't think I've played anything since the editions reached the twenties, though.

I haven't seen a Bloomfield LP here in London. I did try out one of the aged Kossoff LPs and it sounded magnificent but the replicated neck-break area felt rather strange in the hand...

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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Well, I don't know whether it will be useful for you to know my settings but I'm happy if they might be of some help.

Just out of curiosity I had a quick look on-line and there are plenty of folks who have posted which guitar and amp settings they use to get an approximation of a Bloomfield tone so if mine don't work for you then you might want to try out some of the others.

I forgot to say earlier that I had the Treble Boost switch on the Music Man amp to the  'Hi' setting which actually makes a huge difference. I don't know what amp you are using, of course, so this probably isn't much use to you at all!

Good luck in the Tone Quest!

P.

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I have the same amp settings in my deluxe reverb. 10 treble and no bass and mid. I also use a roland jazz chorus which is crystal clear. May be i am fan of solid state amps for cleaner sound. I have learned from a technician of  Bloomfields live shows that he had the same amp settings. Thats why i suppose except for his fingers the reason of that sound  may be that lp 59  which was exceptional..I also like a lot and the Beano lp. By the way both of them are lost...and their myth in my mind becames bigger and bigger... Best regards from Crete -Greece

 

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1 hour ago, FZ Fan said:

How about make your own tone?

 

That's another discussion entirely.

I think most of us here go about things in much the same way as many of the greats went about it; we listen to those players whose tones we love and 'our tone' is an evolution of what we find when we try to emulate the tones of others.

Apparently (as I read today) Bloomfield modelled his tone on that of B.B. King. Gilmour (it is also said) initially modelled his tone on Bloomfield. How mant players the world over have been influenced by Gilmour? Incidentally B.B. King, famously, stated that he based his phrasing style on the great jazz saxophonist Louis Jordan.

Clapton was inspired by Freddie King - which led to him buying the 'Beano' Les Paul. When Green replaced Eric in the Bluesbreakers he bought 'Greeny' to fit in with the repertoire. How many players have been influenced by these two chaps? And so it goes on and on...

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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2 hours ago, FZ Fan said:

I plug my guitar in and run whatever pedals I have through my amp. Yes, you can spend a lifetime chasing a sound. Everyone touches the guitar different and we all have the gear we have. If EVH came to my house and plugged into my rig he would sound like EVH.  Same with Gilmour, Howe, Page ect.

 

Well. I don't have any pedals so I just stuff each end of my cable into their respective noisemakers and let slip the dogs of war.

In comparison to the LP with the Strat I punt in a bit more Bass and set the Bright / Normal switch to the latter.  Like this with the Channel/Master duly set towards one end of the spectrum Mr. Knopfler's (early) tones are a dawdle and with simple tweaks in t'other direction Rory G. is mine for the asking.  That was my main two settings way back when I used to play out whilst still a fresh-faced kid in my twenties. '70s-era Clapton-esque stuff was in the middle somewhere. And we did almost as much of that as we did Gallagher.

Back several years ago when our former forumite friend and Very Good Egg Farnsbarns bought his R8 he brought it 'round these parts. When he plugged it in to the old MM and played he got some great Joe Perry / Slash type tones out of the kit straight away. He then handed the R8 to me and without touching the amp settings at all  I was smack-bang in the middle of P. Green / B.B. King territory.

Same kit. Same settings. Different pick attack. Different touch. Both Right- just different.

Pip.

 

Edited by pippy

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13 hours ago, FZ Fan said:

How about make your own tone?

 

I have a tone identity.

When I got my LP, I happened upon a good approximation of a Mike Bloomfield sound. I wasn't looking for it. It was fun to use but it felt like I was wearing his suit.

I have loved the LP sound for years, but its not my sound. I feel like a fraud going out and using it. For that reason I seldom gig the LP.

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4 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

...When I got my LP, I happened upon a good approximation of a Mike Bloomfield sound. I wasn't looking for it. It was fun to use but it felt like I was wearing his suit.

I have loved the LP sound for years, but its not my sound. I feel like a fraud going out and using it. For that reason I seldom gig the LP.

 

Really? Interesting viewpoint, m-e.

Surely over the years you must have heard pretty much every tone which can possibly be extracted from a Les Paul / Strat / Tele?  Regardless of where my settings are and whichever guitar I'm playing I've never once thought to myself "Oooh!!! A brand-new-and-never-before-heard-sound-which-I-can-call-my-very-own-Tone!"  Well, not one that was pleasant anyway...

We talk about Gilmour's Tone; Green's Tone; the Bluesbreakers Tone and so on but, really, we are describing more the players' touch, style, phrasing and dynamics as opposed to any one type of tone produced by the combination of a guitar and an amp. We don't recognise Knopfler through his sound as by what, and how, he plays. His (original) essential sound, after all, was - and is - just a plain old clean out-of-phase Strat as used by countless millions of players over the last six decades. What makes Knopfler sound any different from all the others if not his actual playing? Nothing.

Using a good approximation of "a Mike Bloomfield sound" but playing in your style is every bit as acceptable as playing with any other settings dialled-in IMO. Unless you are deliberately trying to ape his style, touch yadda-yadda-yadda you will not be a Bloomfield copy-cat.

At least that's how I see it.

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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17 hours ago, pippy said:

 

Clapton was inspired by Freddie King - which led to him buying the 'Beano' Les Paul. When Green replaced Eric in the Bluesbreakers he bought 'Greeny' to fit in with the repertoire. How many players have been influenced by these two chaps? And so it goes on and on...

Pip.

I heard Clapton say once that he bought the Beano guitar and didn't even realize it had totally different pickups than Freddie's guitar.  He said he didn't even know what was different about the pickups, he was just a kid and didn't know exactly what he was doing.

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Absolutely true.

He wanted the type of guitar Freddie King played on his 'Let's Hide Away and Dance Away' album - which WAS a Les Paul - but Clapton didn't know the King LP was an early (1955?) P-90 Gold Top. He bought the 'burst thinking it would be the same...

Pip.

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5 hours ago, pippy said:

 

Really? Interesting viewpoint, m-e.

Surely over the years you must have heard pretty much every tone which can possibly be extracted from a Les Paul / Strat / Tele?  Regardless of where my settings are and whichever guitar I'm playing I've never once thought to myself "Oooh!!! A brand-new-and-never-before-heard-sound-which-I-can-call-my-very-own-Tone!"  Well, not one that was pleasant anyway...

We talk about Gilmour's Tone; Green's Tone; the Bluesbreakers Tone and so on but, really, we are describing more the players' touch, style, phrasing and dynamics as opposed to any one type of tone produced by the combination of a guitar and an amp. We don't recognise Knopfler through his sound as by what, and how, he plays. His (original) essential sound, after all, was - and is - just a plain old clean out-of-phase Strat as used by countless millions of players over the last six decades. What makes Knopfler sound any different from all the others if not his actual playing? Nothing.

Using a good approximation of "a Mike Bloomfield sound" but playing in your style is every bit as acceptable as playing with any other settings dialled-in IMO. Unless you are deliberately trying to ape his style, touch yadda-yadda-yadda you will not be a Bloomfield copy-cat.

At least that's how I see it.

Pip.

 

Well I have to rein well back on the gain and use the neck pickup to get anywhere near how I want to sound. Even so, it still doesn't sound like me. I am not trying to play like Bloomfield, nor could I if I wanted too, though the LP tones do lend itself to that style (hammer on/pulloff stuff) which I am poor at anyway. 

Unless its all in my head (possible), I do have my own sound. I certainly don't know of anyone else I sound like. 

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38 minutes ago, merciful-evans said:

Unless its all in my head (possible), I do have my own sound. I certainly don't know of anyone else I sound like. 

Oh, I quite believe you, m-e.

All I meant by my above post was that you sound like you do because of how you play; your phrasing, your pick-attack and so on.  Guitar and amp come in to it, of course, but I agree with FZF's earlier post where he mentions Van Halen etc. plugging in to his rig but still sounding like themselves and not FZF.

Pip.

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21 hours ago, pippy said:

Oh, I quite believe you, m-e.

All I meant by my above post was that you sound like you do because of how you play; your phrasing, your pick-attack and so on.  Guitar and amp come in to it, of course, but I agree with FZF's earlier post where he mentions Van Halen etc. plugging in to his rig but still sounding like themselves and not FZF.

Pip.

 

Yes but its a truth that's run away with itself and got lost IMO. Guitars sound like themselves as well. Otherwise there would be no point in having more than one.

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2 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

Yes but its a truth that's run away with itself and got lost IMO. Guitars sound like themselves as well. Otherwise there would be no point in having more than one.

 

I suspect we would all agree with that also - especially so if played clean.  Of course as we all know once OD boxes etc. enter the mix the type of guitar matters very little to the point where - pickup configurations apart perhaps - it makes practically no difference whatsoever and every guitar ceases to sound like itself but sounds exactly like the amp any effects being used.

Pip.

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His sound on Super session live is cranked Fender Super Reverb..   As for pickups, I was amazed how close the OX4 low wind set (A4) gets.

Now the true mystery wrapped in an enigma is (and probably will never be answered)  Were the speakers in Clapron´s BB Series II combo Alnico or ceramic ? ... could be both by the time frame...   playing the 1962hw I´d vote for the first,  but I liked the G12C too,  even unbroken still...  sorry for derailing the thread 😉

 

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