One of my oldest friends (and former bandmate), Ed Otto, often let’s me borrow his 1974 Marshall JMP for sessions. It’s an incredible amp and is unlike anything else I have in the studio. I was in session with the South Sound Bureau Chiefs doing guitar overdubs. I like to set up multiple amps and cabinets to find different combinations. I guess that’s a big reason why I like amp heads vs. combo amps. I dunno, combos indulge my laziness. I end up using the speakers in there instead of exploring different options. In fact, I just bought a 1972 Fender Twin with no speakers in it. This forces me to decide on a cab every time I use it. But I digress! The point is: speakers have a HUGE influence on tone. Messing around with different combinations of guitars, amps and speakers is how to find that jaw dropping sound we all hunt for. And it can be found in unexpected places. This time, it happened to be the Marshall plugged into a…PEAVEY SCORPION! Peaveys never makes anyone’s list for coveted guitar speakers. But it has quickly become one of my favorite guitar speakers for recording. And you can find them cheap! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Celestions, vintage Oxford 10″ and 60’s era Jensen alnicos that I have too. But my secret weapon…Peavey Scorpion. It’s loaded in a vintage Vox 1×12 so you’d never guess what’s “under the hood”. Mu-ha-ha.
For you recording geeks, the full signal chain was: Gibson SG ==> 1974 Marshall ==> Vox 1×12 (scorpion) ==> AEA R84 ribbon mic ==> BAE 1073 MP (Neve clone) mic pre ==> Lynx Aurora converter ==> Pro Tools!