Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby spaceace76 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:37 pm

looking at it again, he also mentions using one cab with 100w Marshalls. Many of the speaker experts have mentioned that running a 100w flat out into one cab is dangerous for the speakers. But from what I can tell lots of people did it back then, EVH, Angus, Mal, Jimi, pretty much every famous marshall user has at one time used a single cab with a 100w marshall.

I don't chase the AC/DC tone much (though I LOVE it) and I've always wondered if the one cab formula was a big part of their sound. Platt even mentions using the angled cabs over the bottom ones. What's your take on this SoloDallas?
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby SoloDallas » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:44 pm

spaceace76 wrote:looking at it again, he also mentions using one cab with 100w Marshalls. Many of the speaker experts have mentioned that running a 100w flat out into one cab is dangerous for the speakers. But from what I can tell lots of people did it back then, EVH, Angus, Mal, Jimi, pretty much every famous marshall user has at one time used a single cab with a 100w marshall.

I don't chase the AC/DC tone much (though I LOVE it) and I've always wondered if the one cab formula was a big part of their sound. Platt even mentions using the angled cabs over the bottom ones. What's your take on this SoloDallas?


Well, this is all the tone I'm after, this is it for me :)
I don't know yet. I am not running my heads without an attenuator for the moment, so I can't say. If he says it, and if the facts (as you stated) speak for themselves, it must be true. I really buy into the lower wattage speakers, that I can tell you. I only have G12Ms and G12H30s (original old ones, got rid of reissues) and I even tend to go towards the G12Ms (25 watts versus 30 watts). I think Platt mentioned the non slanted ones versus the slanted ones for recording purposes, right?
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby spaceace76 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:08 pm

yes, and looking at his wording he doesn't really prefer one over the other, he just acknowledges that the two sound different. vague enough for ya? :lol:

This sentence is pretty cryptic:
"I also noticed that the 50w speakers with a 100w head changed the cabinet rating, and you weren't crunching as much as with the 35w speakers."

Not sure what he meant by 35 and 50w speakers (what models have those ratings?), or even what he meant by changing the cabinet rating (wattage?).
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby Roe » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:09 pm

yes, the young bros prefer the bottom cabs. the 25w would break up alot with a 100w. the 65w should have no problem handling the power however
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby Icarus » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:49 pm

Dont know if this helps but I traded some emails a few years ago with
Tony Platt the engineer on BIB
He said around 1979 to about 1983-ish they used the newer high wattage/power celestions

Im guessing there either the G12-65 or G12-80 's
You can see , if you can find them there are pics of Angus in the BIB sessions
sitting infront of a cab with quite large Dust caps

You can here the difference from "highway to hell" ,"Back in Black" , "For those about to rock " & "Flick of the switch"

To the much brighter tones on "Fly on the Wall" & the next few albums

Sure , different production was being used in the mid 80's with too much reverb & thinner tones
But Im guessing the speakers used might have added to the thicker grittier tones (my fav AC/DC tones)
of about 1979 to 1983
Marshall 1973 PTP
Marshall 1977 JMP 2204
Marshall Plexi Reissue
Marshall JCM 800 1959
Marshall 1982 JCM 800 2203
Mesa Boogie MKIV

Marshall 1960TV
2x12 V-30's
Eminar 4x12
2x12 Celestion Gh-80's
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby Roe » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:57 am

yes, pics from the back in black rehearsals show big dustcaps
Last edited by Roe on Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby Icarus » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:44 am

Just remembered another thing which might add some light
A few years ago I went with a mate to see one of his friends in a guitar shop
I noticed a JCM 800 4x12 Looking at the back it was 260 watts .
Id never heard of a 260 watt 4x12 before

Asking about it I was told a guy they know bought it in
And he actually bought it from Malcom Young
There have been stories AC/DC have a storage unit somewhere around here full of gear
I said really is this guy legit ?
they know the guy well & believe him
They were all non fussed Non AC/DC Fans (Young New Metal EMO Guys) so they couldnt care less.

I had a think about it and went back to check it out again & well it sold pretty quick :bang:
Marshall 1973 PTP
Marshall 1977 JMP 2204
Marshall Plexi Reissue
Marshall JCM 800 1959
Marshall 1982 JCM 800 2203
Mesa Boogie MKIV

Marshall 1960TV
2x12 V-30's
Eminar 4x12
2x12 Celestion Gh-80's
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby Icarus » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:52 am

Hey Roe
I cant seem to find Pics of the BIB sessions anymore.
There used to be pics available of there Compass Point & London sessions

Do you know of any links to find them ?

Cheers
Marshall 1973 PTP
Marshall 1977 JMP 2204
Marshall Plexi Reissue
Marshall JCM 800 1959
Marshall 1982 JCM 800 2203
Mesa Boogie MKIV

Marshall 1960TV
2x12 V-30's
Eminar 4x12
2x12 Celestion Gh-80's
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby Roe » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:48 am

the pics dissapeared
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby SoloDallas » Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:14 am

It's hard to believe that AC/DC used such heavy wattage speakers during that time. Also, Tony Platt states controversy at times: he did say multiple times the boys liked 25 wattage speakers during those years... I'm in doubt. However, with proof I'd believe. Are you guys sure that the pictures you are referring to are the BiB sessions? I thought I had them, but found out they were rehearsals to find a new singer. In those pics, it can be seen open cabs. I posted many of those pictures here:

http://www.solodallas.net/angus-youngs- ... #more-1319

If the pictures are not them, I WANT those!
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby Icarus » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:13 am

I cat find the pics your talking about ?
The one im talking about is of Angus sitting down with jeans on with a cab behind him with no grill cloth

On another note about amps and AC/DC using JCM 800's
on this clip you can see one behind Malcom at 4:19

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al5TXhehVRA
Marshall 1973 PTP
Marshall 1977 JMP 2204
Marshall Plexi Reissue
Marshall JCM 800 1959
Marshall 1982 JCM 800 2203
Mesa Boogie MKIV

Marshall 1960TV
2x12 V-30's
Eminar 4x12
2x12 Celestion Gh-80's
Icarus
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Posts: 202
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:10 am

Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby SoloDallas » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:39 am

I am having problems logging in with Safari, won't do it.
Anyway, I think we are referring to pictures that are not the back in black session. There don't seem to be any pictures available for that. I don't think they were ever shot.

Regarding master volume amps, I am rather sure that they used them extensively, maybe especially Malcolm. Definitely live, since live pictures from those years exist (I posted them on solodallas.net) and videos, too.
We can't determine with precision if master volume amps were used in recordings, though I am rather certain they were. On powerage, for example, the sound engineer refers to using just those! I have that book "AC/DC in the studio" and while info there is not that great, it reports scattered phrases of the various sound engineers over time. And in powerage, he says that both brothers used master volume amps, and only those, apparently.
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby Roe » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:19 pm

the pics I saw posted showing 65watters (linked from plexipalace) were from the BiB rehearsals, at least allegedly.

I'm quite sure 2203s were used on the road but not convinced yet when it comes to the studioalbums. that books sounds interesting.
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Super 100 amps: 1202-119 & 1202-84
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby SoloDallas » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:17 am

Roe wrote:the pics I saw posted showing 65watters (linked from plexipalace) were from the BiB rehearsals, at least allegedly.

I'm quite sure 2203s were used on the road but not convinced yet when it comes to the studioalbums. that books sounds interesting.


Resurrecting this one, as I have a couple of updates.
One is another BiB attempt, video. I used the '59 for rhythm and the 2204 for leads.
Microphone positions are an "evolution" of what already discussed here previously, just following what Platt describes about his mic spots.


The other thing is that I finally bought three units of the "evolution" of the Schaffer Vega. It's CETEC Vegas in fact, but I suspect not much changed from the Schaffer era to the CETEC Era, especially in terms of the "Monitor Volume" boost circuit, which is simply a boost. While I am trying several boost types - clean boosts - the trick here is finding the one closest to the Schaffer circuit. We "know" (Platt mentioned) that the Schaffer had a slight mid boost as well. EVH says the unit also contained a compressor built in.

Since I came to (my) definitive conclusion that Angus' tone of the years 1977-1983 (at least) is exclusively determined by the used of such Schaffer unit (which he used extensively live AND in the studio, BOTH for rhythm parts and leads) - having the amp types and cabinet types debunked - I am waiting on these units to get to me.

I will then gut-open them and have them analyzed by an electronics expert.
My objective is to remove the whole boost circuit on bot receiver end and transmitter and integrate them in a custom made unit.
Should audio-wise the outcome be interesting, I will then publish the results and eventually, either provide these custom units available to interested people OR publish the complete schematics with components and measurements.

I say again: Angus Young's tone is a function of the Schaffer Vega massively, in those very years, which for many - including me - are the good (if not, the best) AC/DC years.

Salute You,

SD ;)
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Re: Reproducing AC/DC's "Back in Black Tone"

Postby SoloDallas » Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:48 am

And here an image of the unit:
http://www.solodallas.net/wp-content/ga ... /mr292.jpg

Please note the "Monitor" volume and output 1/4 jack output. This is where the unit would output with a boost (probably even on the back panel, will have to check making it work and/or opening it up and dissecting it, both of which I will do).
While certainly it can't be a "magic" boost, and many types of clean boosts are available on the market today, I think that being able to exactly dissect the components of this boost (and most of all, the exact amount of db it can output boosting a Marshall input channel, and what frequencies it will boost as well) would allow "us" to obtain the so much subtle Angus' tone of those very years.

I have made also attempts at finding why "Let There Be Rock" (the album) would differ from previous albums in terms of sound (Angus) and it is now clear to me that this was AC/DC's first attempt at using the Schaffer Vega in the studio.
The result is an over-boosted Angus over a 1959 Marshall head, both for rhythm and solos, scattered all over the album.
The famous "raw" sound of that album is in fact a direct consequence of Angus boosting his 1959.
This has never been documented, nor it has been talked about before, therefore I am glad I can make mention of this myself seemingly for the first time with a certain degree of certainty.

For all AC/DC fans out there, I think this is pretty interesting.
I have an audio test I made myself, I am linking it here for you to listen to.
It's clean boost I have (no brand, it's custom made) on input number one of my 1976 1959 Marshall head through a 1973 4x12 1960B with G12H30s installed.
I believe the album sported G12Ms, not G12H30s, but I can only use one cabinet at a time as I have little room where I am now.

Here's the sound file:

http://www.solodallas.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/boogie2.mp3
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