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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member shamster's Avatar
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    "Whole Lotta Love" tone

    Any tips on how to nail the tone put out by Jimmy Page on "Whole Lotta Love"? Which amp/settlings, etc should I bear in mind when going after that tone?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member plaintop's Avatar
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    It sounds like the Tele through a Marshall or a 6V6 amp. Maybe a little slap-back delay from the board or reverb.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Don L's Avatar
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    I hear Tonebender in there, too.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Dwell's Avatar
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    WLL was a solid state Rickenbacker amp.
    Everybody sings about Memphis, but no one ever does anything about it.

    psionicaudio.net

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member plaintop's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dwell
    WLL was a solid state Rickenbacker amp.
    Where did you find that information?

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    What I heard (literally -an Mp3 at the VABB) was a SS VOX amp. I can´t remember if it might have been called a Conqueror or something like that. It really sounded closer than anything I have ever heard before at getting that tone. YMMV, IMBAL etc.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    I heard that too. Some guy had a website w/ soundfiles and he completely naited that sound with the Vox SS amp. Go figgure!

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Dwell's Avatar
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    brianV,
    I don't recall, but it was one of those Rickenbacker odd-shaped stacks that he briefly endorsed (you see them in photos in that era). It was Rick, not Vox, though their circuitry wasn't too dissimilar.
    Doesn't really matter- most of that guitar sound is the bleed into the drum mics in a very large room. You can't get the whole sound with just a guitar and amp.
    Everybody sings about Memphis, but no one ever does anything about it.

    psionicaudio.net

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Heritage 80's Avatar
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    I remember reading Page interviews where Page said WLL was his '58 thru a solid state with his Roger Mayer fuzz (is that the Tonebender?). I seriously doubt we'll ever know. JP's memory is probably a little foggy from that time.;)
    ____________________________________________
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  10. #10
    The solo part of that song, when Page kicks in after the cool percussion and Plant's vocal "shadow boxing", sounds like it is run through a wah-wah that is put all the way up on treble boost and left there -- no modulation. Listen to the way the note trails off when he hits that big bend -- that note wheezes like a 40-year smoker. It's a cool sound.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Dwell's Avatar
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    Rickenbacker Transonic was the amp.
    Everybody sings about Memphis, but no one ever does anything about it.

    psionicaudio.net

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    I don't think is was the Ric. I seem to recall it was a Vox with some kind of distortion built in. The guy who posted it was saying he just pick the amp up for cheap.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member plaintop's Avatar
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    This is a cool thread.

    Whatever he used it was effective as hell. It's a very light almost "chessy" tone. The way it blends with the bass is perfect. Very different from the other songs on LZII. LesPlucker, I agree. The lead sounds more distorted than the rythym. Just the wah addition, same amp? Might that be a different amp? Sounds like he opened up the wah just a little bit on that first bend.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member TedB's Avatar
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    I seem to recall reading an interview years ago where he mentioned a blue Fender (Strat) used in that solo. He used that guitar quite a bit in "Presence", so that seems plausible. BTW, reading that was the first time I ever heard about that guitar. As far as accuracy of his statement, I cannot comment further.

    May have been a JMI solid state Vox, but I don't believe it was one of those Transonics. If you've ever heard one, you'd agree.

    FWIW, Page's Tele was not a '58. It was more like a '63.

  15. #15
    All Access/Backstage Pass lpnv59's Avatar
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    I always read that Pages Tele was a '59 w/ rosewood board that Jeff Beck owned when he joined the Yardbirds. Beck gave Page the '59, when he got the Esquire that now belongs to Seymour Duncan.
    "It's a Marshall bubby. It gets loud." Ace Frehley

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Heritage 80's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TedB
    I seem to recall reading an interview years ago where he mentioned a blue Fender (Strat) used in that solo. He used that guitar quite a bit in "Presence", so that seems plausible. BTW, reading that was the first time I ever heard about that guitar. As far as accuracy of his statement, I cannot comment further.

    May have been a JMI solid state Vox, but I don't believe it was one of those Transonics. If you've ever heard one, you'd agree.

    FWIW, Page's Tele was not a '58. It was more like a '63.
    The blue Strat was sold to Page (much later than LZll) by a forum member!
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  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member TedB's Avatar
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    The Strat in question is not the Lake Placid Blue instrument that appears much later, but was a different, metallic blue pre-CBS guitar.

    With regard to his Telecaster, the slab rosewood board didn't appear until mid '59. Also, in the closeup color footage I believe it to be a model where the strings anchor through the body, as I believe I see the strings passing through holes in the bridge. If so, it would have to be a '60 model or later. I think it has the single layer pickguard, which would make it a '60-'62.

  18. #18
    Page used a "Supro" amp on many of his early recordings.

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member GeetarGoul's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 60pinstripe
    Page used a "Supro" amp on many of his early recordings.
    And he miced the shit out of it. From his sesssion daze Jimmy was a master of room dynamics and positioning microphones.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed A's Avatar
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    The Supro was used for most if not all of Zep I. We dont know for sure how much, if at all, it was used on Zep II. I doubt the Transonics for used on Zep II either. By the time the album was recorded, Page had switched to the Marshalls live. He mentions in an article that Heartbreaker was the first time for the Marshall. He has mentioned using solid state too and yeah somebody here swears its a Vox and I think the guy nailed the tone. Brian, I dont agree that the WWL riff is light and almost cheesy, sounds heavy and thick to me. LP and SS Vox is my best guess.
    Climb down off the hilltop... Get back in the race.
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  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member plaintop's Avatar
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    Maybe I used the wrong set of words. I do think that guitar tone is "dry" and the bass and drums really drive the song more. It's a perfect tone for that song. It sounds like the Tele to me. I don't know though.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member Don L's Avatar
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    It sounds more "transistory" compared to Hearbreaker, for example. So, in that sense maybe WLL is a bit cheesy sounding???;)

  23. #23

    Tele into Marshall

    I think BrianV was correct on the first reply..
    From what I remember in an old magazine interview with Jimmy, It was the Tele through a 50 or 100W Marshall head.

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member plaintop's Avatar
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    I hope nobody was offended. It's a cheap tone. It just is. Brilliantly executed! Heartbreaker is round, rich and deep compared to it.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Don L's Avatar
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    Nah... Don't worry about it, Brian. So what if it sounds cheap, transistory, solid state amp-sounding, blah, blah, blah... If it sounds good overall, it sounds good no matter what one uses.:dude

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member PatentAppliedFor's Avatar
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    It's all about dynamics, I wouldn't have dug em half as much if every JP guitar tone was the same. That said, I think the WLL intro tone is a perfect contrast to the bass & drum lines that come in a few measures later.


  27. #27
    Here's the link, folks.

    http://www2.bc.edu/~jamesk/

    I haven't updated this page for a long time, and since then a few people have told me they thought the amp in the picture is a Sound City L100. I am still not sure about that.

    On the Vox Solid State amp, Page has said in a few interviews that is what he used, there's no mystery about that amp. For the clips I used a Les Paul and that is what Page used (he has also been quoted saying he used a Les Paul for "WLL.") However, I've never seen that he said it was his '58 per se. I think it could have been his Black Beauty as well.

    These clips were done just off of a camcorder! I bet I could get closer if I actually used real recording techniques to do them.

    I also own a Rick Transonic and that is definitely not what Page used on "WLL."

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member TedB's Avatar
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    The head in question may very well be an old Sound City head. These heads looked very similar to a Marshall from afar, and had a long, narrow "Sound City" logo, which in this case, has been removed. When I get home, I can check this.

    I used to own an old JMI Defiant, which is the 50w version of the Conqueror, and sounds identical (same circuit but with beefier output). These amps sound nothing like the American made 'Vox' (Thomas Organ), and in fact, the JMI ss amps are undoubtedly some of the most convincing solid state amps I have heard.

    Being that I no longer own mine, I would appreciate hearing a clip of the WLL solo played through the amp's internal MRB function, which basically functions like a 3-position fixed 'wah'.

  29. #29
    Ted, that would be great if you could find out what that amp is definitively. I have not come across the right source material.

    I can't promise a clip of the WWL solo through the MRB any time soon, as I have a new baby in the house! However I can tell you that the "Lemon Song" clip is with the MRB on its first, or bassiest, setting. I have tried that WLL solo through all the positions on the amp, and I don't really think that was what was used on it. If I may say so, it sounds more like a Vox wah cracked open through maybe a Marshall, to me. It reminds me of the sound he got in "Bring It On Home." I have a bootleg of that song live where he does it by cracking open a wah and it sounds just like it.

    FWIW, my Conqueror is a JMI too. As you know, it also has a pretty cool clean sound.

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member TedB's Avatar
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    I might add that the LP burst with Bigsby that Page is playing in the photo is not only virtually identical to the one used by Richards, but is also virtually identical to the one that Clapton borrowed in mid '66 to record "Fresh Cream".

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member plaintop's Avatar
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    Great stuff guy's !!!

    FYI,

    If you weren't already aware those pictures with the "mystery" head were taking from the April 1969 Paris show. It's a stellar performance!


    I found it on Kazza. ;)

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member TedB's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MelMann
    I have tried that WLL solo through all the positions on the amp, and I don't really think that was what was used on it.
    Try it with a Strat if you have one.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member Dwell's Avatar
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    I swear, I read an interview where Page said it was the Rick. Maybe he was fucking with us? Who knows. I can't find mention of the Rick or a Vox anywhere on the net.
    Everybody sings about Memphis, but no one ever does anything about it.

    psionicaudio.net

  34. #34
    Interesting thread. I read an interview where he said he used a Vox amp for WLL, and the volume was "healthy". I think it might have been in Guitar Player or Guitar World about 10 years ago. It may well have been just the amp, but you can get very close to that tone (and the Lemon Song) with a 3 knob ToneBender.

    AFAIK, the Rick amps were only used on the first U.S. tour, and not in the studio.

    I think the mystery amp is either a Sound City or maybe an early Hiwatt. The same amp is in shot on the Danish TV footage from late '68. The reason I wonder if it's a Hiwatt is here - check out the amp at the top of Pete Townshend's rig:
    http://members.tripod.com/~dcsbulldog/HIWATT_AD-68.jpg Similar?

  35. #35

    correction

    I just read the copy around that photo & it's a Sound City head that Dave Reeves reworked & badged as a Hiwatt. So I guess it still could be either...

  36. #36
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed A's Avatar
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    Hey Brian, no offense taken at all! Yeah the WWL riff tone is quite a bit different than Heartbreaker, I love them both!

    Someone mentioned they read that Page said he used a tele for WWL. In all my years of being a diehard Page fan (30 years to be exact), Ive never read once where he uses the words tele and Zep II in the same sentence. Not to say that he didnt use it on the album (I still dont think so!), but Ive never seen it mentioned in interviews.

    :dude
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  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member m bernardi's Avatar
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    wll tone

    marshall and lp custom 77 guitar player

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member A Monk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ed A
    Ive never read once where he uses the words tele and Zep II in the same sentence. Not to say that he didnt use it on the album (I still dont think so!), but Ive never seen it mentioned in interviews.

    :dude
    I still think the rhythm on Lemon Song was a Tele...

    But anyway, I read somewhere (can't remember now) that Jimmy used to place a mic next to his amp (whichever it was) and another across the room so he could blend the sounds in the final mix...

    No idea how true that is mind you.;)

  39. #39
    Originally posted by TedB
    Being that I no longer own mine, I would appreciate hearing a clip of the WLL solo played through the amp's internal MRB function, which basically functions like a 3-position fixed 'wah'.
    Ted, the same Jimmy interview that he mentions using a ss Vox for Zep II, he mentions that for the solo to WLL he used a Les Paul, Marshall and a wah pedal set to the treble postion. Sounds about right to me.

  40. #40
    All Access/Backstage Pass BluesForDan's Avatar
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    darren

    darren - who's that in your avatar?
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