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    Visitors of the recent Get Lucky tour have seen the Tone King Imperial on stage again, located between two red Marshall cabs just like on the previous tours. I had ideal seats for the two concerts I have been to (Oberhausen and Amsterdam) and tried to make out for which songs Tone King was used, actually by trying to hear if the sound comes from the Marshall cab or from the Tone King.

    It seems the Tone King was used on Donnegan’s gone and Piper to the End in Amsterdam (they did not play Donnegan’s gone in Oberhausen). By the  way , on the last tour (Kill to get Crimson) it was used on Cannibals, True love will never fade, Our Shangri-la, and Postcards from Paraguay.

    Here is a picture of the amp settings in Amsterdam:

    I guess the clean channel (right) was for Donnegan’s gone,  while the hotther left channel might be used for Piper to the End.

    Of course I am not 100% sure, and the amp might have been used on other song’s too. If you can add some info, please do so with the comment function.

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    I just got this picture via email (thank you Wolfgang of the Dire Strats tribute band) which shows the settings on the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp that Mark Knopfler used for a promo gig in Germany, 2004. He played live the song Boom like that on a German TV show.

    Hort Rod Deluxe 1


    Volume 5 ; Drive 2.5 ; Treble 9, Bass 4 ; Middle 7.5 ; Master 4 ; Reverb 0 ; Presence 9 (note that all knobs go up to 12)

    Unfortunately it is hard to see the position of those three push buttons (bright, more gain, channel select) .

    The Hot Rod Deluxe is a 40 watts tube amp (3 x 12AX7, 2x 6L6) with reverb and one 12″ Eminence speaker. I presume that the amps for those promo gigs were borrowed for that evening.

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    A few people asked for the gear I used on the last set of youtube videos that I put online last week, namely on the video clips of the following articles:

    The one-man band – Playing both rhythm and lead guitar together

    Dire Straits Eastbound Train – Rhythm riff, licks and solo explained

    Mark Knopfler licks using the b5 note

    Knopfler goes Jazz – Video with licks from Comfort and Joy soundtrack

    The setup

    The guitar was the fiesta red Squier JV Stratocaster from 1983 which was featured in the following article:

    The guitar went into a Morley volume pedal via a Vox vintage coil cable (a new one, they build them again although they are hard to get in some countries), then into an MXR analog delay (via another Vox coil cable), and then into a blackface Fender Pro Reverb from 1965.

    The following pictures shows the settings of the MXR:

    from left to right: delay time, mix, regen(eration)

    from left to right: delay time, mix, regen(eration)

    And here are the settings of the Pro Reverb. Note that it is modified: the speed control poti of the tremolo is used as a master volume.

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    A lot of people wonder how to adjust all the controls on the guitar amp or on effect devices to recreate the sound of song xy. Such questions are common in guitar forums all over the internet. Of course it is almost impossible to say which setting someone needs to recreate an authentic sound with his individual gear. Besides, even if you use exactly the same kind of setup with the same setting as on the original song, this does not guarantee to get the same sound because the probably most important sound factor is the playing technique, the old saying “the sound is in his fingers”.
    Nevertheless, to know the original setting of a sound can help you to come as close as possible within your playing ability. In the studio, most engineers take photos of amp settings in case a part of the recording has to be fixed with later overdubs, but these pictures almost never get into the public. On Dire Straits’ On Every Street tour (1991/92) however, Mark Knopfler’s then-guitar technician Ron Eve allowed a few interviewers to copy his chart with most settings for the amps and effects. Such a chart appeared in a Mark Knopfler interview in Germany’s Gitarre & Bass magazine, and another one was from the England tour (unfortunately I must admit I downloaded it some years ago but cannot find it anymore).

    Ron Eve changed the settings for the two amps and switched between the effect programs for each song. They used two Soldano amps, one is the active amp for a song so that the other amp can be in advance adjusted for the next song. In fact, only the pre-amps are alternated, the power sections of both amps feed a stereo signal into the two Marshall cabinets.

    This chart is not really self-explaining, but with some research most parameters can be identified. Here is the chart:

    click to enlarge in new window

    click to enlarge in new window

    What exactly do all the columns and figures mean?


    The title of the song, nothing to add here except that Tunnel of love was not always played. If not, it was replaced by Telegraph Road.


    Just the number of the song.


    This column does not only list the guitar for the song but also the pick-up combinations or control settings. The denotion of the pick-up combinations is a bit inconsistent: while ‘b2′ seems to be ‘second position from bridge’ = bridge & middle, and ‘n2′ for ‘second position from neck’ = neck & middle, on Planet of New Orleans it says ‘b4′ which might be be ‘fourth position from bridge’ = neck & middle (why not ‘n2′ here ?). On Walk of Life it says ‘cent.’ which is center position (bridge & neck), and on On Every Street ‘n c’ should be ‘neck & center’ (the Schecter Strat has three individual switches, so something like ‘n2′ makes less sense here).

    In addition to the pick-up combination we find notes like ‘on’, ‘out’, ‘off’, or ‘in’. On the Pensa these should have to do with the active mid boost (avtivated with a push/pull poti, I guess ‘out’ is on, ‘in’ is off). I am not sure what ‘on’ and ‘in’ might stand for, it seems only the tone control is left as a candidate (?). Please make your suggestions using the comment function.


    This might be the gain setting of the pre-amp in the Cornish rack system that was the container for Knopfler’s 19″ rack effects.

    TC prog

    The TC was the 2290 delay, these numbers should be  of the program in which they saved the settings for each song


    This should be another delay, presumably the Alesis Quadraverb (or it is the Zoom 9010, see Rev/FX). Here we only find ‘checked’ (on) or not. I suspect this effect had a fixed setting and was just switched on for an additional delay effect.


    Maybe the Zoom 9010, or the Alesis Quadraverb, see Del above.


    The Yamaha REV 5


    The fixed-psoition wah wah (a Dunlop Cry Baby) was only used for Money for Nothing, it was built into the rack.


    Lead (=overdrive) channel of the Soldano amp, if not checked, the normal channel was used, see below.


    The two Soldano SLO 100 amps were denoted with A and B.

    Amp Settings (note that the Soldano controls go up to 11)


    These arrows correspond to the Bright (upper arrow) and Crunch switches (down should be off, up should be on)

    N1 / OI

    Gain control of the Normal or Overdrive channel

    M / M / T

    Bass / middle / treble

    MO / OO

    Master volume of the Normal or Overdrive channel


    Presence control


    It seems on Calling Elvis the overdrive channel was switched to the normal channel during an arpeggio (which?) , N5 and N9 can be the setting of maybe normal gain and normal master

    XL 115W is the string set for the red Pensa on Two Young Lovers.

    Maybe a black-out, but I have no idea which Washburn can be meant.

    Some general notes

    As said there were one or two more of these charts around from other concerts. What is striking is the high setting of the bass control, mind he uses two closed 4 x 12″ cabinets which have normally plenty of bass.

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