Sultans of Swing Sound – Comparing pickup position and 009 vs. 008 strings

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A few days ago I wrote a blog post in which I compared the first Sultans of Swing solo played with 010 strings and with 009 strings. With today’s blog post I want to have a closer look at some details of that sound: I recorded a video to compare lots of different pickup combinations, and to compare 009 to 008 strings. I used the same Japanese Strat copy with the Sultans pickguard with VFS-1 pickups. This way I could emulate sounds that Mark might have created with both Fender pickups or with his DiMarzio FS-1. I recorded the guitar directly into the desk, using the same setup as the last time. Maybe I should have used an amp and mics to get a more […]

Mark Knopfler gear

Which strings for the Sultans of Swing sound? – Comparing 010 and 009 strings

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Listening to Sultans of Swing in 1979 was one of the reasons I started to learn the guitar. From this time on I wanted to get that magic guitar sound. One major component for a guitar sound is the right string gauge. I guess you all have heard about using heavier strings to get a fuller sound. On the other hand thinner strings are easier to play, and they give you a different kind of attack which can be nice as well. For most of the big guitarists we know which brand and gauge they played during the different stages in their career. Of course we know a lot about Mark Knopfler’s strings, too, but unfortunately there is almost no information about his strings during […]


Speaker shoot-out for the Mark Knopfler sound: Electro Voice EV 12L, Celestion Vintage 30 & G12M “Greenbacks” in 4 x 12 cabinets

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I recently had three different 4 x 12″ cabinets here to play around with. They all were different, and they all had different speakers. In the video below I am playing various licks and chords over the three cabinets, it might be helpful to find out for yourself what you like most. But first, the candidates are: Electro Voice EV 12 On the left you can see a birch cabinet made by House of Speakers, which we got on ebay for just 60 € (without speakers of course). It is equipped now with four Electro Voice EV 12L, the same that Mark Knopfler has in his two red Marshall cabinets. The EV 12L is not available anymore, but you normally can easily get one on […]