or an Obsessive Perfectionist?
Yeah am talking about Eric Johnson.
Just have a look at his interview:
Originally Posted by website“The main changes to my live rig over the past few years are that I’m back to using more powerful amps, I’m doing some additional signal processing after the sound from the amps hits the mics, and I’m using some different guitars,” details Johnson. “In addition to my ’57 maple-neck Strat and my ’61 rosewood-neck Strat, I’m bringing my new Signature Stratocaster, and a Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul that’s modeled after a ’59. My pedalboard routing system still has two passive, double-pole A/B boxes. The first box dictates if I’m going to the lead or rhythm signal chain, and the second box selects either a clean or dirty rhythm sound.
“The clean signal goes to a stock T.C. Electronic Stereo Chorus Flanger, which runs to the Vibrato channel 1 inputs on a pair of ’66 blackface Fender Twin Reverbs loaded with eight JBL D120F speakers. [Note: the left Twin’s settings are Bright On, Volume 3, Treble 5, Middle 8, Bass 8.5, Reverb 4, Speed 6, Intensity 4. The right Twin’s settings are Bright On, Volume 3, Treble 4, Middle 8, Bass 7, Reverb 4, Speed 0, Intensity 0].
“The dirty rhythm goes to a stock, late-’60s Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face, from which I remove the bottom screw because it messes with the rig’s polarity and produces a clacky sound when I pick. The dirty rhythm amp is channel 1 of a ’68 50-watt Marshall Tremolo head modified with 6L6 power tubes for a more Fender–style high end. [Settings are Speed 0, Intensity 0, Presence 8, Bass 1, Mid 6, Treble 3, Volume I 8, Volume II 7.] I place the head on a chair behind the cabinets simply for aesthetic purposes. I’m looking for a 100-watt Marshall to use in bigger rooms. A Monster Cable connects the head to the angled-top Marshall 4x12, which is loaded with 30-watt G12H Celestions.
“The lead chain goes from a stock, late-’60s Italian-made Vox CryBaby to a stock ’80s BK Butler Tube Driver loaded with a Yugoslavian 12AX7. I set the Tube Driver up on a block because, for some reason, it sounds better set apart from the rest of the pedalboard. The signal then flows to channels 1 and 2 of a ’69 100-watt Marshall Super Lead. [Settings: Polarity Switch Up, Presence 0, Bass 5, Middle 3, Treble 0, Volume I 9, Volume II 10]. A Monster Cable connects the head to the straight-bottom Marshall 4x12, which is loaded with 25-watt Celestion Greenbacks.
“I plug into the same positions on the power strips every time, because once you get the polarity right, the tone is more consistent. [Note: No part of Johnson’s rig is grounded, because the vintage amps and Waber power strips don’t have AC ground pins. Johnson also feels that ground pins attract “dirty” power. Therefore, he has carefully arranged the polarity flow of each piece in order to prevent hum or shock.] I figure out which position has the best tone with the least amount of buzz, and I mark it. I also use separate power strips for each thing, which makes the sound more pure, although I’m not sure why. The dirty rhythm head plugs into the main power strip that goes to the wall. The lead head plugs into another strip that feeds off the main one. The Fenders’ power strip feeds off the lead one, and the pedalboard’s power strip feeds off the Fenders’ power strip. If I plug everything into one power strip, the distortion sounds hashy.
“The guitar cords are all Bill Lawrence and George L’s cable, because I think the solderless ends provide a purer tone. The chrome cables seem to have better treble than the brass ones, so I like chrome for rhythm and brass for lead.
“I want to emphasize the treble of the dirty rhythm cabinet, so I place the mic up near the grille, angled slightly away from the speaker cone. For the lead cabinet, I back the mic off the grille a bit more, and I angle it off-axis towards the speaker’s bottom quadrant, which produces more of a violin-tone quality. For the Twins, I place the mic right up on the grille, facing near the speaker’s center at a slight angle. It seems the mics pick up a better tone when there’s a slight deflection. In the studio, I use either vintage Shure SM57s or AKG C414s, but live I’ll just go with whatever 57s are around. It’s the new me!
“To keep my tone pure while allowing me to experiment, a lot of signal processing is now done from my personal stage rack. The miked signals from the four amps run through an Allen & Heath Mix Wizard mixer that passes the dry signals to the house mixer, and also to a series of processors in my rack—an MXR Flanger/Doubler, a Lexicon MPX500 [Twin 1 delay], an Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man [Twin 2 delay], a Line 6 Echo Pro Studio Modeler [dirty rhythm echo], a Korg DRV3000 [lead echo], and a T.C. Electronic 2290 Digital Delay—each set to a 100 percent wet mix. Every processor is routed to a specific mixer input, and I can control the amount of wet signal via each channel’s fader, or I can bypass the processor completely with custom-made on/off pedals. The stereo wet signal is routed to the house, and also to a pair of JBL EON10 G2 powered monitors, which I place just to my right side. In addition to keeping my root tone pure, putting most of the processing ‘post-mic’ ensures that neither the house mixer nor the audience get too much wet signal. Everybody’s happy!”