Guitars

Features and specs of a ’61 Vintage Stratocaster

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Mark Knopfler’s “Sultans” Strat (ser.-no. #68354) is from 1961. The second red Fender Strat he played with Dire Straits (ser.no #80470) was from about the same period (apart from the question in how far it was original Fender at all). For this reason I put together a table to give you a survey about the distinctive features that are different on a 1961 Strat compared  with earlier or later Strats. Detail pictures

Amps

The King of Clean – Mark Knopfler’s Tone King Imperial amp – Hand-built vintage technology and sound

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Everyone who has seen Mark Knopfler live on one of his recent tours might have notived that cool-looking turquoise combo amp next to Knopfler’s Marshall cabinets. Knopfler’s second guitarist Richard Bennet also plays one. It is the Tone King Imperial. Tone King amps are built from selected quality parts by Mark Bartel in Baltimore. Mark does all the woodworking, upholstery, and electronics assembly himself to have total control about the sound and quality of his products. The Imperial is a two-channel combo with reverb and tremolo. The output power is about 20 watts, coming from two 6V6 tubes. The two channel make use of 12AX7 pre-amp tube, and one 12AT7 driving the reverb, just like Fender amps from the sixties or seventies. In fact it […]

Dire Straits/ Mark Knopfler live pictures and videos

Rare video of Brendan Crocker gig featuring Mark Knopfler

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Today while surfing youtube I found this rare video which I have never seen before, showing Mark Knopfler as a guest on a Brendan Crocker gig in Leeds, June 18, 1989 (the youtube video title says July 18, June 18 is confirmed and I doubt that there was a second gig one month later). For those who don’t know him, Brendan Crocker is an old friend of Mark’s, also a member of the Notting Hillbillies. Another guest on this gig was Dire Straits keyboarder Alan Clark. Mark plays his Pensa MK-1, and on the right side of the stage- next to the bass player – we can spot his Sultans-of-Swing amp, the brown Fender Vibrolux. I still have a vinyl Brendan Crocker EP single with […]