Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) tone

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Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) tone

Postby Damocles74 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:46 am

I play bass, but just picked up a Flying V (Epiphone) and am taking proper lessons from an instructor.
I really love the melodic harmony of Andy Powell (although my favorite guitarist is Baz Dunnery of 'Necromandus') and was wondering what kind of pups I should be looking at for the bridge and neck??



This is what I have thus far..don't laugh, those Earth cabs and mixer head (1973) scream!
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Re: Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) tone

Postby Noel on Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:02 pm

The classic "Live Dates" tone was his late '60's V, likely with Gibson T-tops. Gibson Vibrola on it. Probably a lot like the V Jimi played. If you're ever seen the booklet that originally came with "Live Dates" it clearly shows both he and Ted Turner using a Graphic Orange half stack and a Hiwatt half stack in tandem. I saw them during the "Front Page News" tour (1977?) and they were using these really weird looking cabs powered by Boogies. Andy still playing his V at that point.
Man, I LOVED the "Live Dates" LP. Gotta get the CD of that album!
1976 Ibanez Destroyer with routed Floyd Rose
2009 Carvin CS6C (Floyd Rose)
1974 Gibson LP Special 55
1987 Laney Pro Tube 30 Wt Head
1986 Keith Reinneger Reinowatt 50 (hot rodded 2204 Circuit)
1974 Orange 4x12 with 2 Weber Silver Bells and 2 Weber-reconed H30 55hz
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Re: Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) tone

Postby BobOne on Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:23 am

I'd like to broaden this to any of the gear on the first 3 albums if the OP does not mind. I've looked a bit and have only found completely vague information other than, on his site, I think, Andy mentioning Orange amps being used on the road for what might appear to be identifiable tours. He also mentions collecting a lot of amps on tour stops, when they were cheaper.

Haven't run across a group of fanatics for those tones anywhere --- anyone run across one?
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Re: Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) tone

Postby Damocles74 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:37 am

I eventually got a real Gibson flying V with jazz pup @ neck. That pup along with GHS strings and vintage style Vox mini cab/amp are very close to the Andy Powell tone.

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Re: Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) tone

Postby BobOne on Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:00 am

Thanks, glad to hear you're close to what you wanted. That looks like a current AC45 with it's 1x12 -- presumably the stock speaker since you didn't mention it. I've been wanting one of those but wish they'd make it part of the handwired series...you can only get a combo. That has kept me away but your experience has caused me to look closer again.

Is that a Korina V? It looks fairly much like the current stock ones but I don't recognize the color and it looks light for Mahogany. Maybe it's just a paint color? I'm also presuming you mean Seymour Duncan Jazz neck pickup there, right? Nice to have, in any case, and the architecture is pleasant too.
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Re: Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) tone

Postby Damocles74 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:59 pm

It's not a Korina wood, straight Gibson mahogany with a Kahler trem bridge (which I don't use).
I was going to upgrade the speaker to maybe Vintage Weber? And also the amp as well, although I'm not sure what tubes to use.
From what I've seen and researched of the vintage WA/Andy Powell tone, it seems early Matamps were the head of choice. VOX is really chimey and good for late 60's kaleidoscope psychedelic.
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Re: Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) tone

Postby BobOne on Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:35 pm

I have a 15-watt smooth cone ceramic from a Weber contest of some years ago that's been calling for some little amp like an AC4. It's described as "very early breakup" which might be best with a tiny amp like an AC4. For Vox in general I think most people probably prefer alnico speakers, and my guess at the most widely desired one for this amp would be a paper-former alnico from Scumback. He's having a sale through January 14, by the way.

I do love Voxes but don't have one now. A lot of people used AC30s in the old days and there seems to be something special about the AC30/4 from the early sixties. There are several boutique companies like Magic Amps, Morgan, Hayseed, etc., that have clones or their own take, and you can build something reasonably close starting either with a current handwired, a Ceria DC30 chassis, an RC amps chassis, and probably a few other ways. If you want an authentic style chassis in a combo, with tubes upside down, that's hard to come by in a new amp because apparently no one wants to take on building the chassis that way, although there are plenty of boutique combos. If one doesn't mind wait lists and has a large budget, I think the JMJ AC30 clone has all three preamp channels in one amp -- maybe this could also be DIYed (I'd like to see a schematic and layout, and know where the chassis originated, if anyone has done this). AC30s call for attenuators for most people.


I'm not clear on the Matamps being the Wishbone Ash studio amps but will need to look into it more. I was of the impression that the Orange/Matamp usage started with U.S. tours but someone must have more details. These are expensive if you buy from Matamp or Electric (the U.S....people somehow related...there are political issues between companies). I think I may have a tab open about some cloning going on, saw a purported Orange 120 schematic lately, and I think that probably several builders could put one together for you if you wanted - I know that Ben Verellen seems to be open to customer projects, particularly with large amps. We all also ought to (please) suggest to Nik at Ceriatone that he add a nice Orange/Matamp line to his kits.

Is that Kahler trem OK despite you not using it? I mean, generally, does it seem to stay in tune well, did it seem to greatly change the sound of the guitar when you put it on, and does it move freely? Is it dive-only? You can also buy long and short Gibson-style vibrolas if you were trying to go whole hog. Not sure whether Andy Powell used his but I seem to remember seeing it still on there on old pictures. Some of his vibrato does sound like trem. I am impelled towards getting an all-mahogany V together -- think I'll start working on that.
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Re: Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) tone

Postby Damocles74 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:54 pm

I think with all the greats, it didn't matter what gear they were using. Take this vintage footage of live WA:

You can see that around 9:30 Andy is plugged into what looks like 'Acoustic' amps/cab, but it's still unmistakably "him".
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