If you read no other post this week, read this one.
I gotta start somewhere, so I’ll start with my first thought when I saw this vid: Who the heck is Robbie McIntosh? Actually, I had that thought after I watched/listened to it for about the 6th time in a row, when I should’ve been doing work. Just incredible feel, and that TONE – wow.
(Scroll down and press play on the YouTube vid so you can listen while you read the rest of this. You’re going to want to watch/listen to it again anyway.)
I’m probably late to the Robbie McIntosh party, and if so I have to bust the chops of at least one of you out there for not putting me onto him sooner. But I’m just glad I got here. Who’s Robbie? Right now he’s John Mayer’s other axeman, but from his woefully out of date website it’s apparent that he’s an Englishman (as you can hear) that’s been around for a long time. He’s played with a ton of folks, was in The Pretenders, Paul McCartney’s band, Norah Jones, Mark Knopfler….
Man, what chops. What feel. What wood!
If I had that tone at my fingertips, I might never leave the house. I’d be playing with…uh, by myself. It’s hypnotic listening to it, even through crappy YouTube compression, for cryin’ out loud! Imagine what it’s like live!
What you’re listening to is a Jackson Ampworks vid, so it’s no surprise that Robbie is playing a Jackson amp – the Britain 2.0. You can read about it and hear more clips on the excellent Jackson site, but here’s some info that the owner and founder, Brad Jackson, posted on thegearpage.net:
> “Version 2.0 of the Britain is now a two channel amplifier with two inputs. Input 1 feeds both channels so you can use each channels volume controls to blend the two channels. Plugging into channel 2 breaks the internal connection between the two channels and allows you to use an ABY switch and select either channel 1, 2 or both.”
> “In addition to making the amp a two-channel amp, I have also included a very unique power switch that allows the amp to go from 50W fixed biased class A/B to 15W cathode biased class A! In the 50W mode the amp will be extremely punchy with incredibly fast response and articulation. In 15W mode the volume with drop about 6dB and the feel of the amp will become much more compressed and organic. I also included a circuit in the Class A mode that simulates exactly the tonal response of the 5U4G rectifier tube which is what gives the Class A mode its incredible touch response and natural compression.”
> The Britain’s standard features include: Mullard EL34 output tubes, Tung Sol EF86 preamp tube (Channel 1), Tung Sol 12AX7 preamp tubes (Channel 2), Tung Sol 12AX7 phase inverter, gold-plated ceramic tube sockets, etc.
And believe it or not, the amp (v 2.0) now costs LESS than the previous version – but is still roughly $2K.
More on the Britain 2.0 and Jackson Ampworks in a future post.
Here you can see Robbie’s pedalboard, a major component of which is the Klon Centaur, a “holy grail” overdrive/boost pedal thought of as “the” pedal by some, “overrated” by others. Right now manufacturing of the Klon seems to be on hiatus, so eBay prices are reaching insane proportions.
Whatever – obviously the pedal works for Robbie!
That black guitar Robbie is playing at the end of the vid is a Duesenberg. It either has some crazy bender mechanism on it (more than just a B-bender), or it’s the wacky-sounding electronics mentioned in the Duesenberg D-Caster description (can’t link to it directly – dang Flash).
I hope to chase Robbie down for an interview before too long. And I just MUST hear him live – forget Mayer, I want to see Robbie. Because as I’ve been writing this, I’ve listened to this YouTube clip at least another half-dozen times.