Ultimate Rhoads
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Don Airey responded to my inquiry!
http://www.ultimaterhoads.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11422
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Author:  The Flying Dutchman [ Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

GUITARIDOL5682 wrote:
I wouldn't bother chasing up Pete Mertons i have seen the transcript from the interview he did and to say it is dissapointing.
Dissapointing in which way? Could he remember anything about Randy's gear, settings etc.?

Author:  GUITARIDOL5682 [ Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

The Flying Dutchman wrote:
GUITARIDOL5682 wrote:
I wouldn't bother chasing up Pete Mertons i have seen the transcript from the interview he did and to say it is dissapointing.
Dissapointing in which way? Could he remember anything about Randy's gear, settings etc.?


Pat he wasn't such a technical guy to share any info of that scale. He couldn't even play guitar or change a full set of strings. He would basically set up Randy's backline and then Randy would tune up his guitars and Pete's job was done for him. He would pass him his guitars as needed during the set.. That's how technical he was... he must of learned some stuff while on tour, but his knowledge was basic at best. He even stated he was crap at his job..or in so many words. He was hired basically to keep Ozzy company while on tour a very close friend of Ozzy's and still remains a good friend to this day. Pete was doing the norm during the interview..The tiny guy Randy and it was so upsetting what happened to him and how the whole crew missed him etc. A few bits of interest but nothing of any exclusive news. I was honestly hoping he would bring something great to the docu. That will never be seen but what you don't know will never be a miss. I wish i could of shared some positive parts of the interview but it is dull at best.

Author:  The Flying Dutchman [ Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

GUITARIDOL5682 wrote:
The Flying Dutchman wrote:
GUITARIDOL5682 wrote:
I wouldn't bother chasing up Pete Mertons i have seen the transcript from the interview he did and to say it is dissapointing.
Dissapointing in which way? Could he remember anything about Randy's gear, settings etc.?


Pat he wasn't such a technical guy to share any info of that scale. He couldn't even play guitar or change a full set of strings. He would basically set up Randy's backline and then Randy would tune up his guitars and Pete's job was done for him. He would pass him his guitars as needed during the set.. That's how technical he was... he must of learned some stuff while on tour, but his knowledge was basic at best. He even stated he was crap at his job..or in so many words. He was hired basically to keep Ozzy company while on tour a very close friend of Ozzy's and still remains a good friend to this day. Pete was doing the norm during the interview..The tiny guy Randy and it was so upsetting what happened to him and how the whole crew missed him etc. A few bits of interest but nothing of any exclusive news. I was honestly hoping he would bring something great to the docu. That will never be seen but what you don't know will never be a miss. I wish i could of shared some positive parts of the interview but it is dull at best.
Ah oke, this could be one of the reasons why he never felt the need going into public about his time with Randy. Randy must have had some help setting up his rig around his 4-holer Marshalls. For instance he did use a Variac in the studio to lower the voltage of his Marshalls. EVH did that as well, this is not something you'll find out on your own. Someone must have told him. (Max Norman?) It would be interesting to know what Randy's sources were. Some interesting technical details about Randy's touring rig we probably will never know without Pete willing to talk.... Even if he was not that technical, I think Pete still can provide us interesting information if we ask the right questions, for instance: were his Marshalls connected straight into the cabs or not, even someone being not that technical but setting up his backline each night for about a year probably can tell.

Author:  GUITARIDOL5682 [ Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

Well i can tell you the score Pat he would use 2 stacks Live and another full stack was kept as a back up emergency. I have a photo of how they are wired up at the DOTG gig. It's not that complicated as long as you have been shown once and your leads go into the correct ports. After working with Rudy Sarzo he went onto another job away from being a guitar tech. Probably in catering or just doing the load in and out. So if he was that good at his job he would of been able to bounce from band to band etc. He blamed Randy's death for not carrying on with his job. He did say that his backline was built when they heard the news about the accident. He had to blank out Randys name on his heads and cabs and box them back up.
Is the Variac not just used for the power of the amplifier and the voltage being lower in the USA. Marshall being a UK company and powered at 240V. So did Randy and EVH use the Variac to boost the power up to 240V rather then the USA power output of 110-120volts ?.

Author:  The Flying Dutchman [ Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

GUITARIDOL5682 wrote:
Is the Variac not just used for the power of the amplifier and the voltage being lower in the USA. Marshall being a UK company and powered at 240V. So did Randy and EVH use the Variac to boost the power up to 240V rather then the USA power output of 110-120volts ?.
Nope, Randy used the Variac in the studio to lower the voltage to get a more ´creamy´ distortion. As confirmed by Max Norman. EVH did use the Variac also live but he also ´slaved´ his Marshalls. That means he used 1 whole Marshall amp literally as a distortion box running it real hot to get lots of gain and then bring the speaker out signal to line/out level with a dummy load and then running that line/out signal into another amp (s) which were used as poweramps only and so running much cleaner than the hot rodded amp. That way you get much better volume control and also echoes do work a lot better after the power tube distortion from the hot rodded amp. The other advantage is that an amp pushing a dummy load sounds more distorted. Since Randy probably got the Variac idea from Ed (directly or indirectly) it wouldn´t suprise me if he used that other trick from Ed as well. And if so, all the existing signal paths describing Randy's rig are wrong.

Author:  GUITARIDOL5682 [ Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

Pete did mention Randy had his amp heads cranked loud.... I have read about Variacs and depending on if they are lowering or adding power to your valves in your amp. Why did he not use them on the UK tour ?. Randy must of needed it to compensate for the voltage being lower when in the States ?. I've read so many musos views on how a Variac can be used but if it aint driving your amp to a lower voltage the valves are going to be under powering them valves. Plus if he wanted them valves smoking hot...He wouldn't of being able to achieve that driving them at only 110-120 volts in the USA. That's the only reason i can see why he'd use it IMHO. Plus if you dont know what kind of variac he used you would be guessing. Have you seen any referrence on when Randy used the Variac ?. Very much like his various echo units which are something he used for more then just a delayed effect etc. Which we've talked about before in other posts. Your far more on the ball to gear used on stage etc then i'll ever be mate. What did you hope Pete would mention ?. Plus the moderated Marshall heads, what did they bring to Randy's sound ?.

Author:  The Flying Dutchman [ Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

GUITARIDOL5682 wrote:
Pete did mention Randy had his amp heads cranked loud.... I have read about Variacs and depending on if they are lowering or adding power to your valves in your amp. Why did he not use them on the UK tour ?. Randy must of needed it to compensate for the voltage being lower when in the States ?. I've read so many musos views on how a Variac can be used but if it aint driving your amp to a lower voltage the valves are going to be under powering them valves. Plus if he wanted them valves smoking hot...He wouldn't of being able to achieve that driving them at only 110-120 volts in the USA. That's the only reason i can see why he'd use it IMHO. Plus if you dont know what kind of variac he used you would be guessing. Have you seen any referrence on when Randy used the Variac ?. Very much like his various echo units which are something he used for more then just a delayed effect etc. Which we've talked about before in other posts. Your far more on the ball to gear used on stage etc then i'll ever be mate. What did you hope Pete would mention ?. Plus the moderated Marshall heads, what did they bring to Randy's sound ?.
Don't put yourself down Shaun, most guitarplayers never ever even heard of a Variac! :) Of course the amps were 'cranked' loud. That's the perception of most people hearing an old Marshall running on 3 which is not even 'cranked' at all but still incredibly loud to most people. You won't get the goodies from the amp at that level. But that way Ed used them as 'clean' power amps only to amplify the signal from the hot running Marshall. I think Randy used the Variac only in the studio but didn't like it that much to continue using it on tour. There is more to it though, Ed used to crank up the bias in his amps all the way up. (with the bias setting one can run the power tubes in the amp hotter or colder) He liked to run his tubes as hot as possible. By dropping the voltage with a variac the tubes would last a bit longer. At first he didn't use a variac for that but a simple light dimmer. Ed tried all kind of crazy things to get a sound and blew up lots of amps. Randy didn't use the cascaded mod that comes now in the tribute 1959RR amp. And from the many pics we have you can tell he did not use his white Marshall amp that much. Probably because of 'After Hours' this amp became some kind of famous and they used it as a template for the 1959RR but even there Randy didn't use it. The one question I would ask Pete: when setting up the backine each gig, was there a Marshall head which was not plugged straight into a speaker cab but instead into a big resistor?

Author:  GUITARIDOL5682 [ Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

I'm laughing.....I wouldn't beat myself up Pat...it's something of a topic i can chime into but when it can get far too technical. How can i put it " It wouldn't be my specialist subject on Mastermind ". But i do know plenty info on the topic of the guy Randy Rhoads. i've just had another look at the interview and Pete comes over to be a bit of a lazy guy. When he was in the studio he found it boring as he wasn't a musician he would ask Randy if he wanted anything and if he was happy to soldier on, plus Randy would be in there for ages getting it perfectly nailed. He would just retire 'on stanby'..He would pop into to see if he had snapped a string or wanted anything. He comes over as a nice guy and he really struck up a good friendship with Randy. He did mention how his day would start from getting off the bus. When the time came he would set up Randy's backline. After the support band had finished their set he would go back stage and collect Randy's pedals and guitars and set them up. He just doesn't go into any detail of equipment after being asked what was inside his 'chip pan'. The normal stuff is mentioned etc. He does say Randy liked his amps cranked loud to 11.... He would just wait for the gig to finish, so he could get the gear boxed up and loaded out. He could then get pissed and stoned with the crew. Very much the life of a normal roadie. Doing the same shit day after day does get repetitive. He did have a problem with his intake of alcohol and drugs and Ozzy came to his rescue...i don't know if he ended up in re-hab. Ozzy was his mate and he stayed at his place for a time and he did go back out on tour with Ozzy that was much later on in his career. Pete didn't say what job he was doing but he wasn't a guitar tech. He has not picked up a guitar since he was working for Rudy.

Author:  GUITARIDOL5682 [ Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

The Flying Dutchman wrote:
And from the many pics we have you can tell he did not use his white Marshall amp that much. Probably because of 'After Hours' this amp became some kind of famous and they used it as a template for the 1959RR but even there Randy didn't use it.

Pat this is a photo of the back of his cabs at DOTG i do have another photo showing the various leads his white head is patched up to his bottom left hole in his 4 holer port on the front. I've seen a good close up pic of that but i'm f*cked if i can find it...seeing the power leads and the criss crossing of where the leads are going is a bit of a cross over from amp to what 4x12 he is patched into...The speaker leads look like they are coming across the top of the cabs from left to right..coming down the stack on the right... (Looking at the cabs from the front.)

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Author:  The Flying Dutchman [ Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

GUITARIDOL5682 wrote:
Pat this is a photo of the back of his cabs at DOTG i do have another photo showing the various leads his white head is patched up to his bottom left hole in his 4 holer port on the front. I've seen a good close up pic of that but i'm f*cked if i can find it...seeing the power leads and the criss crossing of where the leads are going is a bit of a cross over from amp to what 4x12 he is patched into...The speaker leads look like they are coming across the top of the cabs from left to right..coming down the stack on the right... (Looking at the cabs from the front.)
Nice photos, both I seen before. The amps you see there were daisy chained together from the right to left (from audience view). Too bad these DOTG pics don't show all there is behind the stacks. I suspect the Marshalls you see there were only used as poweramps to amplify the sound that was already created before. (like EVH did) At that time Randy had 4 Marshalls. Question is were is the fourth Marshall?
Read more about daisy chained Marshalls here: http://www.ultimaterhoads.com/viewtopic.php?t=2752&highlight=handwired

Author:  Trigger [ Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

It still amazes me that after all these years a photo like those above can help workout something about Randys sound, and that all these years later their enough of us who care enough to study them.

Author:  Shockwave [ Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

It’s common for he old Marshall 4 holer’s to have there inputs patch. It’s acfuLky rare to not see them patched if anything. Crank one master all the way up and feed it into the other input I believe is how it’s done. The use one master for both channels.

I think the variac’s go down to like 60vac safely.
Never used them as there many amps out there that do Ed’s brown sound better IMO

Author:  TheMrAxeman [ Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

Here's some pics of the amps' "daisy-chain" wiring

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Author:  skezza [ Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

I have a JCM800 which is a reissue of a JTM45 from the early 80s, without a master, and indeed you can do the daisy chain. In fact, I could have the Randy Rhoads modification which is where they boost one of the channels isn't it?

Author:  The Flying Dutchman [ Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Don Airey responded to my inquiry!

skezza wrote:
In fact, I could have the Randy Rhoads modification which is where they boost one of the channels isn't it?
Yes, they call this the 'cascade' mod. The pre-amp stage of the normal (right) channel of 4-holer amp is used then to boost the high (left) channel. When using this you have to plug the guitar into the upper right input of a 4-holer amp. Hence there is no evidence in the existing photos that Randy ever plugged his guitar into the upper right input so he probably very rarely used this mod at least live. The advantage of this mod is that you get more gain. The disadvantage is that it takes a bit away from that characteristic open plexi sound and also makes your amp less versatile.

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