In his video I am playing the intro and the 1st solo of ‘Lions’ (from the 1978 first Dire Straits album) over a backing track. I am playing both parts three times, using a different ‘classic-Knopfler’ guitar each time.
These are my ‘Partocaster’ for the Fender sound, a Suhr to represent Knopfler’s 90ies sound (no matter that Lions was never performed in the 90ies), and my self-built clone of a Schecter Dream Machine Strat for the 80ies sound (note that in 1981 Mark played his red Schecter with non-tapped Seymour Duncan pickups but at least in 1980 he used pickups like in this guitar on ‘Lions’ on stage).
I did not try to recreate a 100% original-sounding ‘copy’ of the song – so I changed some stuff, like a different 2nd rhythm guitar later in the recording, a different bass line, drums in the 2nd and 3rd ‘intro’, some different guitar licks etc.
All guitars were recorded through my Soundcraft UI24R digital mixing desk, and I used ALL effects and amp emulations from this device.
Here is some detail info on the three guitars:
A) Fender sound
This is one of my two ‘Partocasters’ – you will see both frequently in my Youtube videos (the other is a bit darker red, and has no black volume knob). It has a body from a 1983 JV (‘Japanese vintage’) Squier Strat, a neck from another Squier, same model (bought on ebay), a Squier tremolo with a Callaham steel block, and a mint-greenish pickguard with a Fender Strat pickup at the neck, a DiMarzio FS-1 in the middle, and a MK61 at the bridge. Both the neck and neck are nitro laquer.
The combination of a vintage-style bridge pickup and the fatter DiMarzio in the middle used here creates a sound different from two vintage pickups, and it also reacts differently on the volume and tone pot settings. I actually used both to change the sound to what I am looking for – while I normally had both fully up in the past but I find that rolling back the volume pot removes some harshness, and I prefer a bright amp setting with the tone pot rolled back until I find a pleasing sound.
The guitar has 09 nickel strings.
B) Suhr MK-1
This is a nice Suhr featured in some other of my videos before. It has no bindings but the ‘scratched’ edges which give a somewhat similar look. It has stainless steel frets (which also changes the tone a bit). I used the neck & middle pickup combo instead of bridge & middle normally associated with the Knopfler sound, like Mark often did when he played his Pensa Suhr in the 90ies.
The licks I played are more like what Mark played on some of the 1981 live versions of the song.
The guitar has 10 nickel-plated strings.
Not a real Schecter, I built this guitar completely myself, from a block of Bubinga wood (very hard and VERY heavy, it is the heavies Strat I ever played I think), and Pao Ferro for the neck. It has a brass Dream Machine Tremolo, and a ‘Making Movies’ brass pickguard with the F500T replicas.
The hard and heavy wood give the guitar a unique sound, it sounds great for all kind of different stuff. The tapped pickups allow 26 different sound combinations, but here I play the simple bridge & middle combination, both with the mini switches down which means the tapped coil on both pickups.
The volume pot has treble bleed capacitor which means the sound becomes thinner when the volume is turned down a bit like in this video. The tone pot is also not fully up.
The guitar has 09 nickel-plated strings.