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Songs that featured solid-state guitar amps

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ElectroVibe, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    Does anyone know of a song or album (1980's or earlier) which used solid-state guitar amps?

    Or any recording using an older solid-state amp.

  2. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Adrian Belew recorded these albums with a Roland Jazz Chorus
    • Sheik Yerbouti with Frank Zappa
    • Lodger with David Bowie
    • Remain in Light with Talking Heads
    • Discipline with King Crimson
    Dabndug, DJ Bebop, Double E and 10 others like this.
  3. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    thank you!
    BergerHead and Son of Wobble like this.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Robert Smith of The Cure and Andy Summers of The Police used Roland Jazz Chorus amps on most all their albums from the late 70's on. Basically any time you hear a chorus in songs by those bands.

    Hundreds of jazz and funk albums from that time period used them as well. Too many to count.
  5. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    To be honest, I was sort of hoping to hear a "bad" sounding guitar amp. Like something the player had to use out of financial necessity.

    But when it comes to Adrian Belew and those 4 artists, I'll use any excuse to listen.
  6. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    I would wager that many jazz guitarists were recorded through Polytones.
  7. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    Another excuse to listen. When I think chorus I usually think of Alex Lifesson. But I know that some players probably use a chorus pedal going into a tube amp.
  8. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Joe Pass was big on Polytones. As were many others.
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  9. Didn't John Fogerty record the old CCR stuff mostly with Kustom amps? Those would have been solid state.
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Joe Walsh, Frank Zappa, Warren Zevon and Eric Clapton have all recorded multiple songs with Pignose amps. Among many others.
    DJ Bebop, MattZilla and Passinwind like this.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Any early Nine Inch Nails stuff has SS guitar because Trent usually does the guitars. He has or had a favorite SS guitar amp that he liked to use. Forget what it was, though. Also used one of the early Zoom units and would go direct with it.
    MattZilla likes this.
  12. BluesWalker

    BluesWalker Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I believe Steve Howe favors Line 6 amps. I do not know when he started using them.
  13. Slade N

    Slade N

    May 28, 2005
    portland, or
    some, much or even all of Rush's Power Windows was done using GK SS
    inthevelvet likes this.
  14. mmon77

    mmon77 Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN
    Anything off early Kings's X albums (Out of a Silent Planet, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, maybe more), was recorded with a Lab Series L5 solid state amp. I think everything before Dogman, when he switched to Mesas.

    Definitely a different sounding tone for sure.
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  15. Hare


    Feb 12, 2018
    Mike Stern,Albert King and later B.B King all use/used ss amps..there are countless other ofcourse.
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  16. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    It’s 90’s era, sorry, but Pantera’s Dimebag Darryl used SS Randall stacks. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers always used American made(Thomas Organ)Vox Amps, Super Beatles in particular, more so early on(they eventually added all sorts of stuff to their back line). The Beatles themselves used U-series SS/Tube(Valve)hybrid UK Vox amps on Sgt Pepper’s, and those amps can be seen/heard in the Munich, Germany live gig video from 1966.
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  17. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    I don’t know what might have been used in the studio, but when I saw The Cult live circa 1987(‘Love’ album)Billy Duffy had a mix of Roland JC120’s and Marshall JCM’s.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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  18. mexicanyella


    Feb 16, 2015
    Troy, MO
    On the first four King's X albums ('88ish-'92ish), guitarist Ty Tabor used a big solid-state rig based around a Lab Series L5 amp. He used the amp's guts as a preamp, driving big PA power amp(s?) and various multiples of 4 x 12 cabinets. When I saw the band in '92, the cabs were Yamaha 4 x 12s, and the Lab Series combo had become a Lab Series chassis custom mounted in a rack. The fifth album, '94's "Dogman," brought with it a switch to Mesa Dual Rectifiers, or maybe Triaxis preamps, and Mesa power amps and cabinets too. Totally different distortion texture. Ty's a cool player either way, but I preferred the midrangier Lab Series-based tone to the spittier Mesa crunch, which it seemed like EVERYONE was using in the mid 90s. Here's a live TV show clip of them playing "It's Love" from the album "Faith Hope Love." These guys are normally some monster harmony singers and here they must have been having monitor issues, because the vocals are kind of sour...but you can hear the Lab Series rig's tone pretty well. He does a chordal outro thing that really displays that unique snarly distortion from 4:14 through the end of the clip. Bonus distorted "Norwegian Wood" snippet in there.

    B.B. King has said that he used Lab Series L5s, or if he couldn't get those, Fender Twin Reverbs would do.

    I have read that the wild-ass distortion Greg Ginn used in Black Flag came from a cranked solid-state Peavey PA head into some 4 x 12 cab. I've also read that at times Duke Robillard used a PA head as a guitar amp for his bluesy thing.

    I have read that a lot of Albert King's playing was through some big Acoustic Control Corp. amp, not sure the model number, but I seem to remember a photo of it having two 15s and a big white plastic horn on the cab.

    Here's some more recent guys--Red Fang--who all use late 70s Sunn solid-state heads...bass and guitar both:

    I read an interview--somewhere--with Joe Walsh saying that what he actually was playing through on "Hotel California" was a Roland Cube amp--the first series of them, not the modeling ones, obviously--with a couple of pedals in front of it.

    Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead used a Fender 85 solid-state combo, with a Marshall Shredmaster pedal in front of it, for the band's earlier stuff like "Pablo Honey."
  19. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Black Flag’s Greg Ginn used QSC power amps, I don’t know what kind of pre-amps(you’d have to check with BF experts), but that’s what I saw live in1984, ‘Slip It In’ tour. Kira, maybe the same, I can’t quite remember( it was quite a night). Henry was in fine form.
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  20. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    The Melvin’s King Buzzo is known for his use of late 70’s Sunn SS heads.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
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