Comparing sound: Schecter Dream Machine vs. Fender Strat

With the following video I was trying to demonstrate the basic sound difference between a vintage Schecter Dream Machine and a ‘traditional’ Strat. The Dream Machine is from about 1980, it has a Koa body and a one-piece Pau Ferro neck. The three pickups in the brass pickguard are the tapped F500T’s. It has s a hardtail brass bridge. The Strat is a 1983 Japanese vintage Squier Stratocaster, unmodified. Of […]

The sound of your pickups – What makes a difference, what not?

It seems to be out of question that the pickups are an important ingredient that defines the sound of an electric guitar. Besides obvious contruction differences – like overwound single coil pickups, or single-coil sized humbuckers etc. – there are many details , like different magnet alloys or different wire for the coil, that make a subtle or even clear sound difference. And there are many ‘external’ aspects, like shielding, […]

Total Resistance – Add Sweetness – Remove Harshness – Shaping the sound of your pickups for the Mark Knopfler Sound

I guess most of you know that the value of the volume pot  affects the sound of your pickups. I already wrote a blog post on this some time ago – please refer to this to understand terms like ‘resonance peak’ and what it means for the sound. Today I will cover some more details of this phenomenon, especially with regard to Mark Knopfler’s guitar sound. Does only the volume […]

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

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 […]

The iSound-ST – New sounds for the Stratocaster – Does it help to get the Mark Knopfler sound?

With this blog post I want to introduce my latest product – the iSound-ST. The what you might ask? The iSound-ST is a rotary switch that is thought to replace one of the controls of your Strat, normally one of the tone controls (I recommend to make the other tone control a master tone control). It mainly changes the Strat’s behaviour when you put your 5-way switch into the 1&2-psotion […]

Trying to recreate that Sultans of Swing sound – The gear I used on the Puresolo competition.

Like many others,  I recorded an entry for the Puresolo competition (you could play your solo over one of the following backing tracks:  Sulans of Swing, Calling Elvis, or Speedway at Nazareth). I always find it a bit frustrating to take part in such a competition because as it seems nobody knows before who decides basing on what criteria (authenticity, accuracy, originality, creativity, …??) Anyway, as the backing track was […]

The DiMarzio FS-1 pick-up of Mark Knopfler’s red Stratocaster

According to an interview with Guitar Player magazin from 1979, Mark Knopfler played a DiMarzio pick-up in one of his two red Fender Stratocasters that he played around the time of Dire Straits’ first two albums: On one there’s a DiMarzio pickup for the bass, and I like it because it just seems to give a fatter, louder sound, with more clout than the standard pickup Fender uses. DiMarzio has […]