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  1. #26

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    I have a vague recollection that someone re-amped some of the tracks and put them through an amp simulator at some point but I could be completely wrong. It would be interesting if it was possible!

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  3. #27

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    I think I probably did imagine it, wishful thinking!

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foulds Jazz Guitars
    I have a vague recollection that someone re-amped some of the tracks and put them through an amp simulator at some point but I could be completely wrong. It would be interesting if it was possible!
    Not a bad Idea though! Pretty easy to do...

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by fritz jones
    I think I read somewhere that he used an Epi deluxe on Virtuoso.

    How could an ES 175 sound like that mic'd, without the pickups rattling?

    Not all pickups rattle. To my ears the only song on Virtuoso that has good tone is "Here's That Rainy Day." The rest are thin and scratchy to me. Great playing, awful tone. Depends on what you like to hear, I guess, and everyone's taste is different. Joe's tone on For Django and some of the ca. 1992 videos with his custom Gibson sound great to my ears.

    Here's a post from another thread about this topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    The story I've heard goes that the producer wanted only one take on a song to get that 'fresh' improvised approach. And if you didn't like the take you'd just choose a different song to add to the album. All the songs were done in one take.


    The second part of the story is the engineer screwed up. On all but one song, he didn't record the channel with the amp mic, he only recorded the channel with the mic on the guitar. So the tone on all but one of those songs was not the tone Joe Pass was after. The only song recorded correctly blending both mics was 'Here's that Rainy Day'.


    Compare the sound of 'Here's that Rainy Day' to the rest of the tracks, the difference is dramatic

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by fritz jones
    How could an ES 175 sound like that mic'd, without the pickups rattling?

    Check out the LP cover - looks like he tied a strap round the whole guitar and the pickup!

    Joe Pass Virtuoso Guitar Setup-joe-pass-virtuoso-lp-record-541244-jpg

  7. #31

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    maybe that's how they controlled the pickup rattle.

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by billkath
    You can set up exactly the same, use the same guitar, strings etc, but unless you have the skill of the engineer who recorded it you're not going to get close.
    Or the same Hands.... Joe’s ?

    Recording quality was Great in 1973, amazing microphones, preamps, and great Ampex tape machines.

    I interviewed Joe in 1991, and changed his guitar strings, D’Adarrio 13 flats iirc, i’ve still got ‘em somewhere, along with his half smoked cigar... DNA anyone?

    But it never occurred to me to ask him about the particulars of that recording. I just assumed it was his 175 unplugged and miked, and/or direct through a good direct box, with his flatwound D’Adarrios. But the acoustic tone of the guitar is so rich and full, it almost defies a 175.

    The tape recorder & Mastering of the LP could have also affected to tone, a great organic EQ like a Pultec, with Fairchild compressor, and a reverb plate or chamber.

    I’ll try to listen to it in the studio one day and give a better opinon.

    There are a variety of tones on the record, some acoustic, some electric, and some mixed.

    Cheers, JT

  9. #33

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    We had a big discussion about this a few years ago, and as an experiment I recorded my 175 acoustically, playing fingerstyle, to see what it sounded like:

    Last edited by grahambop; 02-27-2020 at 09:03 AM.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    We had a big discussion about this a few years ago, and as an experiment I recorded my 175 acoustically, playing fingerstyle, to see what it sounded like:

    Great playing—the spirit of Joe lives on!

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Great playing—the spirit of Joe lives on!
    I cannot compare myself to Joe, but thank you for the compliment!

    If nothing else, I think the sound I got was reasonably similar, supports the idea that his 175 was unplugged and miked on most of those tracks.
    Last edited by grahambop; 02-27-2020 at 12:29 PM.

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I cannot compare myself to Joe, but thank you for the compliment!

    If nothing else, I think the sound I got was reasonably similar, supports the idea that his 175 was unplugged and miked on most of those tracks.
    Your recording reminds us of why the Virtuoso album is so great--its transparency. The unadorned production lets the artistry of the musician through more than any more processed effort.

    I know it was produced by Norman Granz. I'm not sure who engineered it. Of course there's always the debate about whether the lack of amplification was deliberate or not. One would like to think it was.

  13. #37

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    My CD copy says the engineer was Dennis Sands.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    My CD copy says the engineer was Dennis Sands.
    That's interesting. I believe this is the same Dennis Sands who is LEGENDARY in the film industry as a sound and music engineer. He's done so many soundtracks, it's not even funny. (Avengers, Dumbo, Roger Rabbit, Erin Brockovich, Men in Black, etc., etc.)

    The Allmusic site shows that Virtuoso was apparently his first major artist engineering job. Talk about hitting a home run...worked for Joe, as well.

    Dennis Sands | Credits | AllMusic

  15. #39

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    Hitting a homerun? In terms of the quality of the guitar sound, which is what the engineer's job would have been to do, this is one of the most roundly criticized recording sessions in the history of jazz guitar.

    While there are certainly some people who like the sound of this album, they seem to be in the minority. I find it practically unlistenable despite the brilliance of the playing.

  16. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    We had a big discussion about this a few years ago, and as an experiment I recorded my 175 acoustically, playing fingerstyle, to see what it sounded like:

    Very nice Grahambop..............true to the source and for just what you did pretty convincing argument that sometimes it does not take a big budget to get the sound.

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Hitting a homerun? In terms of the quality of the guitar sound, which is what the engineer's job would have been to do, this is one of the most roundly criticized recording sessions in the history of jazz guitar.

    While there are certainly some people who like the sound of this album, they seem to be in the minority. I find it practically unlistenable despite the brilliance of the playing.
    I must admit I am not all that keen on the sound. The acoustic sound of the 175 even in Joe’s hands gets a bit thin and scratchy-sounding after a while. There is one electric track on Virtuoso (Here’s That Rainy Day) which sounds great, I sometimes wish the whole album had been recorded like that:


  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    Very nice Grahambop..............true to the source and for just what you did pretty convincing argument that sometimes it does not take a big budget to get the sound.
    Thanks! I just used a budget recorder (Korg) with built-in mic and placed it a few inches from the guitar.

  19. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Hitting a homerun? In terms of the quality of the guitar sound, which is what the engineer's job would have been to do, this is one of the most roundly criticized recording sessions in the history of jazz guitar.

    While there are certainly some people who like the sound of this album, they seem to be in the minority. I find it practically unlistenable despite the brilliance of the playing.
    Well I wasn’t commenting specifically about the quality of the recording, though I’m not as annoyed by it as most people, but about the fact that it IS a legendary album that catapulted Joe from the back of the pack to the front of jazz instrumentalists. And apparently gave Dennis Sands’ career a boost as well.

    I’m sure you all have your own stories about encountering it. I had someone staying in my room for a few weeks when I was in college around 1982, and he left behind a box with about a dozen records. One of them was Virtuoso. I recorded most of the records on cassette, and proceeded to listen to Virtuoso nonstop. For me it was a revelation that so much sound could come out of one person on guitar.

    About that time I acquired an ES-175 and started taking lessons primarily in fingerstyle/chord melody. I learned a lot, and not surprisingly realized that I was never going to come close to Joe’s facility on guitar. In fact I got so frustrated I almost stopped playing, and eventually sold that guitar. But I never gave it up completely, and went back to jazz guitar in the 90’s.

    Joe’s music has been a touchstone and inspiration. IMO, because of the unadorned production the music is accessible in a way that more typical jazz records (at least the ones that feature jaw-dropping technique) aren’t. JMO of course.

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    We had a big discussion about this a few years ago, and as an experiment I recorded my 175 acoustically, playing fingerstyle, to see what it sounded like:

    Hi, G,
    Nice playing. Maple, as a tonewood, has a bright, clear sound. When it is in a laminate construction as your E175, it maintains its clarity but looses sustain when played acoustically. This is especially noticeable in your audio when playing the first two strings in the upper register. Clear and bright but lacking significant sustain. This IS NOT a criticism but an observation that for my ears could be easily rectified by amplifying the guitar and tweaking tone controls(not your experiment). In my Classical playing, I play exclusively cedar top guitars since I like a more rounded sound when playing trebles however, many Classical guitarists prefer Spruce which is much closer to the clear, bright sound produced by Maple. When I play my '66 Gibson ES125 TC ,which has a Maple top, I do my warm up exercises acoustically to set the natural tone base in my head and then amplify and tweak accordingly when playing pieces since my ears prefer a more rounded rather than a crisp, edgy sound. The advantage of an EG over a CG is that tone is set by the player; in CG, tone is set by the instrument. Thanks for the post. Good playing . . . Marinero
    Last edited by Marinero; 03-01-2020 at 08:39 PM. Reason: error

  21. #45

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    Thanks, yes it’s not my favourite sound from a 175!

  22. #46

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    Jake's approach here is channeling the spirit of Joe's playing on this classic record.


  23. #47

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    "When I play my '66 Gibson ES125 TC ,which has a Spruce top"

    ? They don't have spruce tops, they're laminated maple.

  24. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyV
    Jake's approach here is channeling the spirit of Joe's playing on this classic record.

    You known Jake never post in the gear section, he is not particularly someone who always come to mind.............but let me tell you. Jake sits down and just plays a whole boat load of guitar. jazz guitar, and music in general and does it well. I wish I could be so disciplined but it would help to have his talent and ear.

    GO JAKE GO

  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    "When I play my '66 Gibson ES125 TC ,which has a Spruce top"

    ? They don't have spruce tops, they're laminated maple.
    Thanks, W,
    I should have caught that error. I think I had Spruce on the brain! I've made the correction on my post. Good playing . . . Marinero
    Last edited by Marinero; 03-01-2020 at 08:57 PM. Reason: addition

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I cannot compare myself to Joe, but thank you for the compliment!

    If nothing else, I think the sound I got was reasonably similar, supports the idea that his 175 was unplugged and miked on most of those tracks.
    I thought the playing was excellent! Also the tone was spot on. I have been listening to Virtuoso quite a bit lately and I would say you nailed his tone, and pretty much put to rest the fact that he really did play his 175 unplugged and miked. Well done!