Here we discuss topics related to Jake E Lee.
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One of the main features of the heavy metal sound of the 80s is the importance of amplification. I can recall how I learned this through trial and error. My first amp was a Peavey solid state that you could unplug and run on batteries. What a piece of shit that amp was. My dog tried to bury it. I got a DOD distortion pedal, but that didn't make it sound much better; in fact, it only helped to distort how shitty the sound was. My next amp was a Ross solid state (listen class, the lesson here is TUBES!). I also got some Boss pedals by this time ('87). With the Boss Turbo Distortion I could not only boost the bland, clean sound of the Ross, but hide the fact that I played guitar like a great trumpet player. I eventually got serious about amps and got a 100 watt Marshall JPM reissue. I also got an MXR Distortion Plus, and I had the Randy Rhoads sound with my Kramer Beretta, but unfortunately, by this time I only played as well as fellow Beretta player Mick Mars (not bad for only two years of playing!). Then I got into Jake's style. Jake influenced me to think a second time about what I played and develop a style of my own, which I did. Eventually, everything came together. By '90 I was using a Boogie 50 cal as my amp of choice, and even used it to power my Marshall slant cab. What an amp! My two main guitars by then were a red Charvel strat circa 1979 (so I was told) with a Duncan Distortion (I took out the JB but I should have left it as it sounded great) and a Custom made black strat that looked just like Jake's blue Charvel from the TUS tour, except it was, well, black, and had a Duncan Distortion. The sound I had was terrific. About five of my friends bought Boogies, mostly the 50 cal model. One had a Mark III, another an old Mark II combo with JBL speaker which sounded fantastic. I never liked the Mark III, but the II series, the 50 cal, the Studio 22, and the 38 special were my faves. I have always favored a Fender Amp based tone, and so I have always found Boogies, Riveras, and good modded Fenders to my liking. I heard something there in the focused overdrive of 6L6 and other non-EL34s that was a true alternative to the Marshall sound. Also, I was not crazy about Celestions, with the exception of the Black Widow that Celestion made for Boogie's 50 Cal. While Jake has often mentioned the lack of bottom inherent in EVs and how he got around this with a Boss overdrive pedal, this is not the case with EVs in Boogies with the 5 band EQ, which gives plenty of bottom voicing. I was never going for a Metallica sound, which perplexed many of the musicians I worked with in the early '90s, as they could see no other reason to use a Boogie than to try to sound thrashy. What I did find was a rich, focused overdrive with lots of feeling, and a great glassy clean sound. I don't like new Mesas, like the Stilletto Octo Retifryer or whatever they fell they call 'em these days. They may be Mesas, but they don't Boogie.
“My parents wanted me to be the next Van Cliburn, but I wanted to be the next Van Halen.”
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