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Old February 13th, 2013, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Eric Johnson confesses to having cloth ears

All you 'tone hounds' who worship to the alter of Eric Johnson and swap 9 volt batteries in your effects pedals to chase EJ's tone should check out the vid below. Specifically about 00.33 - 00.40 secs where he confesses that he has no idea why he likes the sounds of his strat without a tremelo back plate but suggests it's 'probably just another of those neurotic things i'm famous for'

Eric Johnson Jimi Hendrix Experience Tour Soundcheck - YouTube

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Old February 13th, 2013, 11:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah, he's the first to laugh at himself - although he does hear the stuff.
I've read interviews with his producers and also had converstaions with his drummer Tommy Taylor and they all confirmed that it's the real deal.
Tommy described it more as a curse than something that EJ is proud of - that Eric kind of wishes that he couldn't hear that stuff so that he could just relax and make more music. (on a similar note I knew a guy in college who had perfect pitch and one day he was hanging out in my dorm room and asked me to turn off my stereo/cassette player because it played slightly fast, causing it to be however semitones sharp and it was driving him crazy.)

Truth be told, EJ also admitted that it kind of annoys him how big a deal people make of it - he said the battery thing was, like, a two minute decision he made 20 years ago - and everyone still clings to it and jumps on it.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 12:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd venture to say if he wasn't as meticulous as he is he wouldn't be the player he is either. It's all coming from the same place.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 01:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd venture to say if he wasn't as meticulous as he is he wouldn't be the player he is either. It's all coming from the same place.
Most likely
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Old February 14th, 2013, 10:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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it's all a sham. he's just playing on a tiny Vox DA5. don't believe the hype!

go to 6:12 for the truth!


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Old February 14th, 2013, 10:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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^^^^^^Great video!
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Old February 14th, 2013, 12:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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it's all a sham. he's just playing on a tiny Vox DA5. don't believe the hype!

go to 6:12 for the truth!

Eric Johnson Interview - Guitars Amp Effects On Up Close Album - part 3 - YouTube

I LOVE that part - "batteries from Jamaica" - again, he's the first to laugh at how ridiculous it all sounds...
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Old February 14th, 2013, 02:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't know how fast I would be to dismiss the battery thing, though. I remember using an MXR compressor in the 80s, long before I heard of Eric Johnson. I noticed the Duracells, when they got older, seemed to lose power slowly. Like, I would notice the pedal just wasnt working right. I was playing in a country band and using the comp a lot. Energizer, they would just go and then, just die. Like in the middle of a song. So they did sound different as they lost power. You can look at the datasheets, they do have different power curves as they age.

I couldn't tell the difference new, but they do make pedal mods for the "dieing battery" sound, so I ain't the only one who noticed. And batteries do have different power outputs depending on what they are attached to.

It cuts both ways - just because you hear it doesn't mean it is real, and just because you CAN'T hear it doesn't mean it isn't real.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know how fast I would be to dismiss the battery thing, though. I remember using an MXR compressor in the 80s, long before I heard of Eric Johnson. I noticed the Duracells, when they got older, seemed to lose power slowly. Like, I would notice the pedal just wasnt working right. I was playing in a country band and using the comp a lot. Energizer, they would just go and then, just die. Like in the middle of a song. So they did sound different as they lost power. You can look at the datasheets, they do have different power curves as they age.

I couldn't tell the difference new, but they do make pedal mods for the "dieing battery" sound, so I ain't the only one who noticed. And batteries do have different power outputs depending on what they are attached to.

It cuts both ways - just because you hear it doesn't mean it is real, and just because you CAN'T hear it doesn't mean it isn't real.
Yup - I use multimeters at my work and have tested brand new batteries in different brands, side by side, and there in quite a bit of variation in voltage amounts. You get a finicky circuit like a fuzz face and those seemingly minute differences are audible...
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Old February 15th, 2013, 03:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by abracadabra View Post
it's all a sham. he's just playing on a tiny Vox DA5. don't believe the hype!

go to 6:12 for the truth!

Eric Johnson Interview - Guitars Amp Effects On Up Close Album - part 3 - YouTube

Haha that's great I like this guy
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Old February 15th, 2013, 03:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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yeah +1. I don't like his guitar style but at least he's got a good sense of humour. Always nice to see someone who can take the mick out of themselves

......Or is he having a dig at all the people who blew the whole tone shebang way out of proportion?

Answers on a postcard!

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Old February 15th, 2013, 03:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I've got to say, the batteries vs outlet power is actually legit, especially on pedals like BOSS pedals. They just sound better with batteries. Also Fuzz Faces.

As far as his other stuff, like the backplate and the finish things, I don't know how much difference it makes. It changes the feel of the instrument for sure, and that can in some instances be enough to change the way you play it, hence changing the tone. I wouldn't ever be that obsessed though.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 10:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Back in the mid 70's I had a Red Fuzz Face. The common 9 volt battery at the time were Ray O Vac or we called the Black Cat cause they had a Black Cat on them. All I know is the FF sounded really good just before those batteries would die.

Also I remember reading an interview with Carlos Santana and Neal Schon and they would have the roadies put there batteries in little transistor radios and listen to music on them all day. At night those were the batteries they would put in the fuzz pedals for that nights show.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 10:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Have you seen the price Santana charges for his concerts these days? - I think he was just too mean to use brand new batteries lol

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Old February 15th, 2013, 10:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Back then shows were cheap. $10 bucks or so. Im glad I seem him back then 3 times. But every bodies show are expensive these days. Clapton, Eagles, Elton John.... All will cost a pretty penny. It cost you $10 to get in a club to see me.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Its in the water here...
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Old February 15th, 2013, 07:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yup - I use multimeters at my work and have tested brand new batteries in different brands, side by side, and there in quite a bit of variation in voltage amounts. You get a finicky circuit like a fuzz face and those seemingly minute differences are audible...
Oh, go and get scientific on us! lol
Yea, exactly. If your 9V battery with no load measures 9V, it is half way to dead. :-) That is why pedals on a power supply sound differently than on a battery.

All you have to do is go read the energizer and duracell datasheets.

And Black Cats - yea, remember those. I have heard some people liked them better than alkaline.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 07:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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it's all a sham. he's just playing on a tiny Vox DA5. don't believe the hype!

go to 6:12 for the truth!

If ya woke tomorrow and discovered you were now Eric Johnson
I guess some would complain
But
Some would complain if they were hung with a new rope
He said
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Old February 15th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Haha that's great I like this guy
Yeah, Eric is a tone freak!
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