Dime! Never was a huge fan of Pantera, but loved Dimebag Darrell’s playing (“Cowboys From Hell” is the meanest blues scale riff ever), his interaction with his bro/drummer Vinnie Paul and though I never got to meet the guy by all accounts he was a sweetheart.
He was also born the same year as me, and went through a similar progression of bands (KISS, VH, Rhoads, etc.). Definitely a huge talent and a big-time tragedy – so it sorta pains me to say that I don’t love the guy’s tone. The wood really isn’t there for me, though it’s interesting that like all great players with a signature tone, he was very interested in tone – and loved EVH’s brown sound.
Here’s more, all quotes are Dime’s (RIP man!):
> “I’ve always wanted my very own tone. Actually, a lot of it comes from my Randall amps. I won a Randall half stack in one of those [shredding] contests and I heard something different in it than other amps – it was like a chainsaw, and I bet myself that someday I could make it my own. Then, after a year and a half, I found it.” [How cool is that? Hearing something different and wanting to make it his own is cool. Chasing that tone for 18 straight months is very cool.]
> “I’m not a dude who’s getting the brand-new Boogie or Soldano shipped to them every week – that’s why so many other guys don’t have their own sound.” [They also don't hear and go after a particular unique sound.]
> “I’ve always liked the tone that Edward calls ‘the brown sound’ – that warm, round tone that’s characteristic of a tube amp. Even though I don’t play through an amp with tubes, I’ve got that sort of warmth in my tone.” [Hmmmm. I guess as long as he could hear it and was inspired by it was all that mattered.]
> “The tone I like definitely has a bit of the brown sound, but it’s got to have the attack and the shred on top of that. It’s just got to sound kick-ass.”
> “Live, I have two different setups that I use: the regular Randall RG100HT 100w head or the Randall Warhead [signature head]. Basically, the way the Warhead is voiced, it’s got my little blue MXR six-band graphic EQ and my Furman four-band parametric EQ built in [interesting...]. If I’m playing through the regular Randall, then the guitar goes to the Furman four-band parametric EQ, to the MXR six-band graphic EQ, and into the Randall. If I’m playing through Warheads, then I pretty much plug straight in….”
> Warhead 4x12s which I believe had Celestion V30s in them. Warhead cabs also came in a 2×15 version so he must’ve used them at some point.
> Korg rack tuner
> Dunlop Dime Crybaby from Hell wah
> original DigiTech Whammy pedal
> Rocktron Hush IIC rack noise gate
> He also ran a rack MXR Flanger/Doubler through the loop of one of his heads.
> DR Strings, 9-46, 9-50 for drop tunings
> Dunlop 0.88 mm Tortex picks (“My tech, Grady, cuts grooves into them with a dart for a grip. That grip is a great thing, especially when you’re sweating on stage. It’s kind of addictive and I find it’s hard to play without it.”)
This vid has over 4mil views! Too bad someone didn’t sing over this tune. A little “Eruption” at the end. Caution: F-words here and there.
> Some of the quotes and detail of the above is from the 2003 book “Gear Secrets of the Guitar Legends,” which I not recommend. It’s not a bad book – just incomplete (for ex, a whole book could be published just about EVH’s rigs) and sort of stuck in the time it was published.