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    Gear on album Brothers in arms

    Posted in: by Ingo on March 31, 2010

    This page is a Wiki page. To contribute you need (a) to register for the blog (left sidebar: Meta –> register), and (b) write me a short note (using the contact form) with your user name so that I can set your user status to WIKI editor.

    Contributors: Jean-François Convert, Ingo Raven



    Amps and effects on this album




    Track 1 – So far away


    Guitar one – lead – center channel

    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstylePensa-Suhr R – Custom (Synth guitar controler)
    standardSynclavier by NEDno info available

    Guitar two – rhythm- center channel

    Mark Knopfler [~50%], Jack Sonni [~50%], strummed, pick

    no info available

    Related blog posts:

    The Synclavier – The guitar sound of Dire Straits So far away


    Track 2 – Money for nothing


    Guitar one – lead – left channel

    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyle,
    Gibson Les Paul Standard 1984 (reissue of a late 50ies)
    bridge ?standard?
    Marshall  JTM45

    Guitar two -lead  – right


    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyleGibson Les Paul Standard 1984 (reissue of a late 50ies)bridge ?standard?
    Marshall  JTM45

    Related blog posts:

    Money for Nothing on Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock

    Mark Knopfler’s JTM 45 Marshall amp of Money for Nothing and Brothers in Arms

    Mark Knopfler chord shape of Vic and Ray and for a lick in Money for Nothing live intro

    Suhr Custom MK-1 and Pensa Custom MK-1

    The Circle of Fifths: What is it for? – plus: example analysis of Knopfler songs



    Track 3 – Walk of life


    Guitar one – riff- center channel

    Comes in at 00:35

    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyleSchecter Telecaster metallic red S8703neck+ middlestandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

    Guitar two- strummed chords – center channel

    Comes in at 00:12

    Mark Knopfler [~50%], Jack Sonni [~50%], strummed, pickacoustic guitar (Ovation ? as seen in the clip)

    Related blog posts:

    Walk of Life Pickups available now – Reviving the legendary Schecter F520T / F521T Tele Pickups



    Track 4 – Your latest trick


    Guitar one – lead – left channel

    Comes in at 00:32

    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyleSchecter Stratocaster sunburst ? or Schecter Stratocaster CAR  S8218 ? or Fender Stratocaster ? or Fernandes Strat ? Or Gibson Les Paul Standard 1984 ?neck PU ?
    standardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available



    Track 5 – Why worry


    Guitar one – lead – center

    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyleSchecter Stratocaster CAR  S8218 ?neck+ middlestandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

    Guitar two – rhythm – left channel

    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyleSchecter Stratocaster CAR  S8218 ?neck+ middlestandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available

    Guitar three – rhythm – right channel

    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyleSchecter Stratocaster CAR  S8218 ?neck+ middlestandardcompression/limiter, reverbno info available



    Track 6 – Ride across the river


    Guitar one – lead – center channel

    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyleSchecter Stratocaster sunburst ? or Pensa-Suhr R – Custom (Synth guitar controler) ?middle
    standardcompression/limiter,reverbno info available

    Guitar two – lead – center channel

    comes in at 5:59

    Mark Knopfler [100%],
    MK fingerstyle
    Schecter Stratocaster sunburst ? or Pensa-Suhr R – Custom (Synth guitar controler) ?middle
    standardcompression/limiter,reverbno info available



    Track 7 – The man’s too strong


    Guitar one – lead – center channel

    Comes in at 00:38

    Mark Knopfler [100%], MK fingerstyle, bottle neckNational steel guitar,1937 Style O or 1928 Tricone

    Guitar two – rhythm – center channel

    Mark Knopfler [100%], strummed, pick
    acoustic guitar (Ovation Adamas ?)standardreverb



    Track 8 – One world


    Guitar one – lead – center channel

    Mark Knopfler[100%],MK fingerstyleJack Sonni’s foam green Schecter Stratmiddle+bridgestandardcompression/limiter,reverbJim Kelley

    Related blog posts:

    Guitar and amp used for the solos on One World



    Track 9 – Brothers in arms


    Guitar one – lead – center channel

    Mark Knopfler[100%], MK fingerstyleGibson Les Paul Standard 1984 (reissue of a late 50ies)neck
    standardcompression/limiter,reverbMarshall  JTM45

    Related blog posts:

    Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms – Cover by Ingo Raven

    Soundcheck Brothers in Arms – the Music Man 212 HD 130 for distortion

    Mark Knopfler’s JTM 45 Marshall amp of Money for Nothing and Brothers in Arms



    "Buy me a beer" - donate for the site via PayPal. Or buy a backing track in my online shop :)

    Post tags:

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    15 comments to “Gear on album Brothers in arms”

    1. Bahad?r says:


      some informations need fixed.
      MK’s Schecter Telecaster is Vermillion red not Candy Apple Red.
      Telecasters and Les Pauls has 2 pickups there isnt middle+bridge position on that guitars.
      You mean middle position (bridge+neck pickups)?

    2. Jean-François says:

      as you can see, these pages about gear on all albums are still under construction.
      So indeed, it’s not finissh yet.
      I’ve wrote some content, and I must admit that I can have made some mistakes.
      Of course you’re right, there isn’t middle+bridge position on LP and Tele.
      I meant neck + bridge.
      I will try to change this (and many other things) this WE if I find the time.
      About the Schecter Telecaster, I didn’t know the exact color,I relied on Ingo’s infos (the “old” DS guitar page).
      Thanks for reading and helping making this database the more accurate as possible.

    3. Jeff - Anthony says:

      Why worry bridge+middle? I got this exactly tone with middle+neck.

    4. Jean-François says:

      Yes I thought the same, but sometimes it’s difficult to say if it’s bridge+middle or neck+middle, depending on the guitar used.
      And I tend to think that at this time, in the 80’s, Mark used more often bridge+middle (TR, TOL, Sultans…) than neck+middle like he used from 90’s and nowadays : on latest tours, e.g. TR was played on neck+middle, and Sultans was too on OES tour.

      And indeed, I got a similary tone better with middle+neck than middle +bridge, but Mark did get this clear tone sometimes by using middle+bridge.

      Remember that these pages are full of speculations, and maybe we never know the exact truth… (maybe is it another guitar we didn’t think off)

    5. Jeff - Anthony says:

      I agree with you friend, but for why worry and wdytyg is neck+middle. These songs are fatter and sweeter. And sometimes I wonder how I get these tones on these songs with all my pickups vintage, while mark had the hotter fs1 in neck..

    6. TheWizzard29 says:

      If you take a look at the video of ‘Walk of Life’ you can see that Mark used the bridge pickup only but I’d also vote for bridge and middle as he used this combination live during the OES tour, too. But i cant’t recognize if he played with both pickups during the Brothers In Arms tour, too.

    7. Sunny Jack Sonic says:

      The received wisdom seems to be that Money For Nothing was recorded with a Les Paul Standard. Obviously, the iconic video and subsequent live performances have further contributed to this.
      Interestingly enough, these articles suggest that it was actually a Les Paul Junior (P90 pickup) and that there was some sort of phasing issue caused by the unorthodox mic positioning rather than any sort of “static wah” pedal or other effect causing the distinctive tone. The quotes come from Neil Dorfsman, the co-producer and his recollections seem very detailed. However there do seem to be inconsistencies – one interview says it was a Laney Amp, the other a Kelly!
      Interesting nevertheless:

    8. Rainer Hain says:

      Hi Ingo,

      are you really sure “brothers in arms” is the middle-position on the Les Paul out of phase? Peter Green used this on early Fleetwood Mac tunes because his tech disassembled the PAF and accidentally reversed the magnet when putting it back together. Jimmy Page had a switch on one of his LPs in the late 70s but other than those two this mod was not really too common. It would not be what you would do to a Les Paul in the 80s. Nowadays such configurations are readily available from certain boutique vendors and there’s even a “Peter Green”-model in the Historic-Line of the Gibson Custom Shop. But I really doubt Mark used an out-of-phase-sound on Brothers in Arms. He always used the neck-pickup live and the record sounds just like that as well.

      On my Gibson Historic I have a set of Throback Pickups – most authentic PAF clones ever – and I flipped the magnet on the neck-pu because I like the Peter Green sound. It is indeed a very interesting sound on a Les Paul but not much like Knopfler.

      In the picture of Marks JTM45 that you posted a while ago you can see he sets the Bass very low on his Marshall. This is the key to get a hollow but not mushy sound even with the neck-PU of a LP. I’ve recently aquired a Marshall Class 5 which is basically a Plexi sound in a much smaller package. When I turn the bass down, middle and treble way up and crank the volume, this sounds exactely like Brothers in Arms with the neck PU of my Les Paul.

    9. Ingo says:

      Hi Rainer,

      you are right, BiA is not out-of-phase. There was even some explicit info on this in some interview I read years ago: Mark indeed had his Les Paul reissue modified to have an out-of-phase switch via a push-pull poti. He tried it on BiA, but it was the engineer Neil Dorfsman who did not like it and convinced Mark not to use it.

      He later played the out-of-phase thing on You and your friend from the On Every Street album.

      This page was thought as some kind of Wiki page, and the biggest part of it was compiled by Jean-Francois. I don’t know if he has some more or other info that made him believe it was out-of-phase.

      I will edit it now and change to neck PU.

    10. Jean-Francois says:

      Hi Rainer and Ingo,

      No I don’t have more info. I guess I had read the Dorfsman thing, and maybe misunderstood it.
      Maybe by writing the BIA and OES pages, I thought that the setting was the same on BIA and YAYF, but after listening again to the 2 songs, you’re right indeed, the BIA sound is not the same as YAYF.

      I may have done some other mistakes on these gear pages, and I’d be very happy if we could debate about all songs ! :)

    11. Jean-Francois says:

      I was listening to Paris 2008 in the car this afternoon, and I found guitar sound on BIA more agressive than on last tours.
      In fact guitar sound on BIA is like that on all promotionnal tour in 2007 and tour in 2008 : more agressive, more treble, not as dark as in 96 or 2001.
      So I was wondering : I agree that he played on neck only on GH and STP tour, but did he play BIA on bridge +neck in 2007-2008 ?
      The sound since 2007 is more like on the pensa in 88-93, or more like on BIA tour. Didn’t he play on neck+bridge in wembley 85 ?
      But maybe is it only the amp sound which is different (different amp, different EQ), not the PU combination.
      What do you think ?

    12. Ingo says:

      Also let’s not forget that with the bridge & neck position on a Les Paul you can also use the two volume controls on the guitar to mix the sound from both PUs, for example 100% neck plus 50% bridge, and so on.

    13. Rainer Hain says:

      Hi Jean-Francois,

      I never heard the version you mentioned. Is that 2008 Paris concert online available somewhere? If I could have a listen maybe I could say more.

      There are a few things to consider though:
      AFAIK Mark owns three Les Pauls. Two vintage original Bursts and the reissue from the 80s. Maybe he just carried a different guitar for that leg of the tour.

      Real PAFs are shockingly bright, much more than what you would expect from a humbucker. I remember when I first played a real Burst I nearly fell on the floor cause that thing sounded so bright, almost like a Telecaster. But those PAFs did vary a lot. Contrary to common believe they were not handwound – Gibson used a winding machine with a mechanic traverse and a counter which would stop when a certain count was reached – but they did several kinds of pickups on only two machines and hence they would have to retool frequently. So the number of the turns varied as did the winding pattern after each retool. BTW: Seymour Duncon used to have one of the actual winding machines he got directly from Gibson when they moved the shop.

      Marks 80s LP would have the pickups Tim Shaw did for Gibson as a first shot to get back to the old PAF formula. Though they were among the best what could be had new back then, they’re not exactely like old PAFs. Heck, the whole guitar was not really an exact reissue of a original Burst. The neck pickup of this guitar would be significantly darker than his bursts and even his bursts might sound completely different.

      If you listen to the Montserrat Concert he is playing BIA on one of his bursts and seemingly on a AC30 amp and this sounds significantly different from the studio recording or the Live Aid stuff.

      Maybe he is just using his original Burst and was using the reissue on the other recordings you mentioned. That would explain a lot.

      The middle-position of a Les Paul is easy to spot though, so it should be possible to figure out somehow.

    14. Roman Escardó says:

      Hi everyone.

      I wonder if it’s possible that the final part of Why Worry (lead guitar, which was ommited on LP version) might have been played on a Telecaster using Bridge + Neck pickups. For me that sound is very similar to many heard on the Soundtrack for the film CAL, and I heard it was recorded using his red Schecter Tele.

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