Effects

Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer compressor confirmed by Mark himself

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In addition to the rumour that Mark Knopfler used the Orange Squeezer compressor in the 70ies with Dire Straits for his unique guitar sound, here is a confirmation coming from an interview with Mark himself: In the September 1979 edition of the Portuguese magazin ‘Musica & Som’ we find  an interview with Mark, most likely dating from the gig in Freiburg, Germany, June 2, 1979. Mark was asked for hig […]

Guitars

The Schaller Floyd Rose tremolo on the Pensa Suhr MK-1

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Recently I did a service job on a Suhr MK1. It is the same guitar in fact that I played on a youtube video and that was featured in a blog post six years ago. It belongs to a collector of MK-related guitars who lives near my place, and who kindly also lent me some of the more expensive guitars for my youtube videos in the past. With this blog […]

Easy stuff for beginners

Mark Knopfler’s contribution for the Soundbreaking series

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If you have not seen this already, here is Mark’s contribution for the Soundbreaking series on Youtube. Soundbreaking is a documentary series about the creation of new sounds in the rock music history, based on more than 160 interviews with celebrated recording artists, producers, and music industry pioneers. Mark is demonstrating various guitar techniques and instruments. I guess you have seen one or the other lick in similar videos with […]

Amps

Easy way to cure a scratchy voice coil in a guitar speaker

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I recently had a problem with a Music Man HD130 amp (the one Mark Knopfler used in the early days of Dire Straits). One speaker was creating a scratchy, distorted sound, surprisingly only at very low volume while it was fine at medium or high volume. I managed to cure it with an easy trick, nothing too special or secret but nevertheless something I want to share in case someone […]

Guitars

Preview: Tunnel of Love Birch Dream Machine Strat Copy

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Here are just two quick pictures of what I have been spending time with lately: This is a body of one-piece (!) flamed (!!) birch (!!!), shaped like a Schecter Dream Machine body (yes, the shape is slightly different to a Fender body, e.g. slimmer horns and cutaways) . The neck is a one-piece birds-eye neck, the neck profile is copied from a Van Nuys era Schecter neck. The wood […]

Guitar in general

Building a Schecter Dream-Machine Style Telecaster Copy

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Finally, I finished the second Telecaster-style guitar with Dream Machine brass hardware. You might remember my first build report about a Dream Machine Telecaster clone. Even back then when I started that first project, I already got the body and neck to start a similar project with these but never found the time to complete it. The idea behind the project was to assemble an affordable guitar that looks great, […]

Amps

Strange guitar sound on the Werchter 1981 recording – Did Mark mix direct out and microphone?

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On July 5, 1981, Dire Straits played on the Werchter festival in Belgium. The concert was broadcasted on the radio and on TV and is one of the very few soundboard recordings from the 1980/81 On Location tour. There is one thing that always strikes me about that recording: Mark’s guitar sound was what I’d call ‘strange’, and completely different from all other recordings of the same tour we have […]

Guitars

Bridge on the Dire Straits Stratocaster: Japanese or Original?

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You probably know the discussion started by John Suhr about the originality of Mark Knopfler red Dire Straits Stratocaster (the one with the maple neck, not the 1961 Strat with the rosewood fingerboard). John Suhr worked on Mark’s guitars in the early 80ies and stated that this guitar was not an original vintage Fender but a ‘fake’, probably a Japanese copy. I always used to be a bit uncertain what […]

Amps

The Mark Knopfler Rig on the 2015 Tracker Tour

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Guy Fletcher was so kind to post a picture of Mark’s effect rack in his tour diary . With this blog post I am trying to explain a bit what we can see in the picture, and some details we can conclude from what we see. But first here is what Guy wrote on it: As has been requested on more than one occasion, here is some inside info on […]