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  #1  
Old 03.13.06, 6:42 PM
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Question Metallica's Tubes?

Does anyone know what tubes Metallica uses in their amps? i've gotten so close to their tone, this is one of the road blocks I couldn't get any info on. I only need the info for the following amps:

Mesa/Boogie Mark IV
Mesa/Boogie Rectifier
Mesa/Boogie Triaxis (Most Importantly!)
Mesa/Boogie Strategy 400 Power Amp

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Also, another question. I have a Mesa/Boogie 2:90 Power Amp. Can I achieve the same tone as the Strategy 400 with my power amp?

+Mike+
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  #2  
Old 03.14.06, 3:17 AM
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Well, if they follow the rules, they're using Mesa branded tubes, as required by the non ability to bias an amp

Also, I really don't mean to get too OT or start a flame, but I think if you're close enough with tone where you think changing tubes will make a difference, you've gone too far. Especially when so many things affect the tone like the microphones used, the placement, which preamps used, how much whiskey james had that day in the studio...
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  #3  
Old 03.14.06, 3:24 AM
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I agree

I think he's right, dude turn back now, this is a little scary
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Old 03.14.06, 7:21 AM
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A big part of the metallica tone is double tracking and layering lots of different amps. Try running through two of your amps at the same time, by using a stereo delay with the delay time set at about 6-15m/s and a single repeat.

Then EQ each amp differently. EQ the amp with the biggest low-mid bass response to handle the low end chunk and use the amp with the clearest high-mid/treble frequencies for the top end. It makes the guitar sound 3D. Experiment with combinations of amps and EQ. I think that will bring you closer to their tone than simply changing your power tubes.
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  #5  
Old 03.14.06, 11:41 AM
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Three responses and nobody even tried to answer the Q?!

First off, this is not 1989, Metallica doesn't use that kind of multi-track guitar layering to get their tones anymore.

Metallica uses Mesas primarily for their preamps. Starting around the Lightning/Puppets era, using the Mark II preamp into a Marshall power section. James liked to use a tubescreamer with it on the rhythms for the lightning album but got rid of the pedals for puppets. Further down the road, they turned to the Mesa Triaxis (modified) and finally the Rectifier for use as a preamp, and switching out power amps all along.

Currently, Kirk uses the Dual Rec for his preamp into the Strategy 400. Why? Because the Strategy 400 is half 6L6 and half EL34 - he gets the best of both that way.

You can use other tubes than Mesa tubes in a Mesa amp so long as you stay within the proper voltage ranges depending on the tube type. I'd bet that Metallica does not use Mesa "branded" tubes but I've wondered the same myself.

As for those discouraging him, there is no single tone that Metallica has. It's evolved over the years, and finding that tone could be just the starting ground for developing his own tone.
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Old 03.14.06, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Iconoclysm
Three responses and nobody even tried to answer the Q?!

First off, this is not 1989, Metallica doesn't use that kind of multi-track guitar layering to get their tones anymore.

Metallica uses Mesas primarily for their preamps. Starting around the Lightning/Puppets era, using the Mark II preamp into a Marshall power section. James liked to use a tubescreamer with it on the rhythms for the lightning album but got rid of the pedals for puppets. Further down the road, they turned to the Mesa Triaxis (modified) and finally the Rectifier for use as a preamp, and switching out power amps all along.

Currently, Kirk uses the Dual Rec for his preamp into the Strategy 400. Why? Because the Strategy 400 is half 6L6 and half EL34 - he gets the best of both that way.

You can use other tubes than Mesa tubes in a Mesa amp so long as you stay within the proper voltage ranges depending on the tube type. I'd bet that Metallica does not use Mesa "branded" tubes but I've wondered the same myself.

As for those discouraging him, there is no single tone that Metallica has. It's evolved over the years, and finding that tone could be just the starting ground for developing his own tone.
Really? I thought on the last album james used Diezel, Wizard and Mesa amps to get his tone...
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  #7  
Old 03.14.06, 12:56 PM
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I was referring to Kirk's gear recently - in the studio, they still throw everything at the wall and keep what sticks. Also, both James and Kirk have been on the rhythm since Load, split to L and R in stereo to get a much more natural sound. So though James had about 10 different amps that he went through on St. Anger, he ended up using that Diesel and Wizard 4x12 a lot. I bet this is partly due to them trying to get the guitar tracks down in as few takes as possible to keep that "fresh" sound they were looking for. James had even been using a 5150 during the early stages of the album.

It was after this that Kirk started using the Dual Rec (after he found that he didn't like the Triple Rec) into the Strategy 400. He mentions that he uses a TubeScreamer in front of the preamp at all times now, not just for solos.

"We were having fun using all sorts of different amps. Every day James and Kirk would bring in a new amp and plug it in, and if that inspired us, that would start the song. We added a 50-watt Wizard and a Marshall DSL 2000, and they sounded great. And Kirk's been collecting lots of vintage amps, so we tried a few of tohse. The only other amp that was an oddball was a Silvertone that I bought just down the street. We've used that pretty much for anything that was dirty-clean, and with an RCA RC44 mic on it, it sounds amazing." Guitar World, August 2003

So yeah, let's just pretend this last album doesn't exist as far as traditional Metallica tone goes!! Who knows what they're working with in the studio right now...
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  #8  
Old 03.14.06, 2:28 PM
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really who cares what they use...why don't you concentrate on and spend your money on trying to get your own tone?much easier and satisfying in the end.then maybe some kid someday will be writing some forum and argueing about what it is you use to get your sound.
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  #9  
Old 03.14.06, 2:50 PM
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umm... i care what they use. and i do have my own tone. it's like the black album meets garage days (old days) with more gain meets van halen, slayer and a bunch of noise. my tone is a mix of everything that i listen to.

+Mike+
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  #10  
Old 03.14.06, 3:09 PM
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I can dig that...cause you got alot of equipment.some cool stuff.......
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Old 03.14.06, 3:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nofearfactor
really who cares what they use...why don't you concentrate on and spend your money on trying to get your own tone?much easier and satisfying in the end.then maybe some kid someday will be writing some forum and argueing about what it is you use to get your sound.
Well for one thing it teaches you about the importance of all the component parts which make a rig. It's no use just having a mesa recto to get 'the metallica tone'. The metallica tone is more than just an amp.

Secondly it's nice to have a good starting point to find your own tone. There's some great tips and tricks that the pro's rigs can give us for our own rigs.

Thirdly this site started off as a database of pro-rigs, so its a perfectly viable topic.

I like Zakk Wylde's tone. I think it is interesting what gear he uses to achieve it. Infact I picked up on a few things that he does, but I don't use two Marshall JCM800s nor do I use EMGs in all my guitars.
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Old 03.14.06, 3:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by danj
Well, if they follow the rules, they're using Mesa branded tubes, as required by the non ability to bias an amp
Most amps are set to a specific bias for the types of tubes they use and are not adjustable...this doesn't mean that the so-called "fixed" bias cannot be changed to incorporate other types of tubes than the one the manufacturer recommends.
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  #13  
Old 03.14.06, 3:43 PM
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Quote:
Thirdly this site started off as a database of pro-rigs, so its a perfectly viable topic.
they need to be updated so we can see what the more modern guitarists out there are using today.

but,to each their own.

I came here myself because I like to see what other guys are using in their bands,but it doesnt influence me in what I put together.no matter what we put together no two of us can sound the same even using the same rigs.

Mesa amp with Mesa provided tubes,ESP guitar,EMG pickups-Metallica uses them and so do I and the only place I see any Metallica like tone is when I switch to neck pickup when playing clean and its just unmistakeable.I cant even dial anything else in.I get this Metallica clean tone.Now,when I switch the pickups to the bridge pickup its a different story.

our mesa manuals have a quote from Randall Smith stating why he chooses to not have a bias change setting(in my solo rectifier manual anyways).for simplicity.a tube goes out,just replace it with the same tube from Mesa.no biasing.possible Metallica does the same thing.

Last edited by nofearfactor; 03.14.06 at 4:08 PM.
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  #14  
Old 03.14.06, 4:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nofearfactor
they need to be updated so we can see what the more modern guitarists out there are using today.

but,to each their own.

I came here myself because I like to see what other guys are using in their bands,but it doesnt influence me in what I put together.no matter what we put together no two of us can sound the same even using the same rigs.

Mesa amp with Mesa provided tubes,ESP guitar,EMG pickups-Metallica uses them and so do I and the only place I see any Metallica like tone is when I switch to neck pickup when playing clean and its just unmistakeable.I cant even dial anything else in.I get this Metallica clean tone.Now,when I switch the pickups to the bridge pickup its a different story.

doesnt Mesa recommend using their own tubes?I got my single solo head used and dont have a manual.I switched from the Mesa provided tubes to JJs and back.
Cool, they do need updating, which is why I think its great that people talk about rigs on this board which don't feature on the database.

I'm not saying that everyone can or should sound like their favourite guitarist, I'm saying that we can learn certain things from the pro's which could help us in sculpting our own sound.

For example, I doubt very much that a huge van halen fan who plays 70's-80s hard-rock would be using a jazz-box into a fender twin. Sounds silly doesn't it?
Thats because people naturally buy gear that they like the sound of, and it is no accident that their favourite guitarist could be using similar. Maybe thats why he is their favourite guitarist? Because he has a killer tone?
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  #15  
Old 03.14.06, 6:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nofearfactor Mesa amp with Mesa provided tubes,ESP guitar,EMG pickups-Metallica uses them and so do I and the only place I see any Metallica like tone is when I switch to neck pickup when playing clean and its just unmistakeable.I cant even dial anything else in.I get this Metallica clean tone.Now,when I switch the pickups to the bridge pickup its a different story.
Metallica has never recorded their cleans using Mesa, only their dirtied up rhythms. Metallica has also never recorded straight through a Mesa amp, so I doubt you'd accidentally ever dial in their heavy sound to a tee.

All this searching for your own tone should not hinder you from attempting to achieve other tones along the way. It's like bands that refuse to play covers of any kind...
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