King’s X: ‘Dogman’ All Killer, Tabor’s Rig

November 16, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More
A Dogman-era shot.

A Dogman-era shot: Ty, Doug, Jerry.

How sweet is it to put in a disc you haven’t heard for a while and have this great music pour out at you? Maybe your iPod pulls up a random “haven’t heard that in a while” tune, which is cool, but it’s not the same as having an entire album of slammin’ tuneage banging through your brain.

That happened to me recently with the King’s X disc, Dogman, which is just all-around F-ing great. I knew that already, but still – it was great to re-realize it. Great songs, great singing, good variety, well-recorded: ALL wood. One of my favorite bands of all time, very influential, very much underrated.

“All wood” means everything on the album is clear, like it has its own space. Even though guit-player Ty Tabor is playing pretty distorted through a Mesa Dual Recto (rackmount), you can still hear every note. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve heard a Dual Recto ever sound as good.

Doug (Dug) Pinnick’s bass always sounds woody (so woody that his rig was covered here on WoodyTone), and Jerry Gaskill’s drums sound big, which is so important for an overall woody band tone. Plus Doug and Jerry are killer players, as is Ty.

‘Dogman,’ studio version
> I almost hate to post this vid because it doesn’t come close to conveying the actual tone of the album but….

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Ty’s Dogman Rig

Even though this post is really about the Dogman album (buy the CD version from amazon, MP3 version), here’s a bit from various places around the web about Ty’s rig at the time:

Ty, from a recent interview:

Ty's rig at the time?

Ty's rig at the time?

“I was in the middle of a [gear] transition right when Brendan [O’Brien, producer] came to us and said, ‘Do you want to do a record together?’ We were like, ‘Of course!” We were very excited because he was basically working with only multi-platinum people. I was all excited about it, but right before it I had quit using the gear that I had been using for years and switched to Mesa Boogies and Marshalls.

“I hadn’t tweaked it yet, so when I got in there with Brendan, we didn’t spend any time on guitar tones – hardly at all. We just kind of cranked it up, put some mics on it, and went. Brendan tweaked it to where he was happy with it, and I trusted him with it.

“But we had done some demos for the Dogman record – which we actually released [2005’s Dogman Demos] – some of the playing we thought we played better on the demos, when we weren’t too worried about it. That was the very first recording I did with the new amps. You can sort of compare it with what Brendan did – he brightened them up a bit and made them a little more edgy sounding.”

The amp he’s referring to apparently was the aforementioned rackmount Dual Recto. Apparently Ty did an interview for a guitar mag on his rig at the time, but I couldn’t find it. Various internet folks peg it as the red/modern channel, Gain and Vol wide open, possibly with the Presence at “cut.”

His guitar was a custom Ty Tabor model Zion, a Strat-style guitar like his beloved Fender Elite Strat. The Zion had a basswood body with maple cap, now EVH’s favorite tonal combo. The Zion had three Joe Barden pickups, three buttons for pickup selectors (like the Fender Elite) and an onboard preamp (ditto). No tone controls, and a big vol knob.

The neck was maple with a rosewood board and locking Sperzels up top.

Here's an example of the signature Zion.

Here's an example of the signature Zion.

The geetar came in one color: candy apple red.

Also sounds like Ty did not play with just the bridge pickup – sounds like a combo of the bridge and neck, but not sure (anyone know?).

Get the album!

‘Complain’ live from that era


‘Flies and Blue Skies’
> Lest you think the Dogman album is all rock….


‘Manic Depression’

> I had originally written that this tune is not on the Dogman album, but it is – doh!
> I love this version of the tune…tell me Doug doesn’t sound like Jimi!


Category: Doug Pinnick, Joe Barden pickups, King's X, Marshall, Mesa/Boogie, mp3/CD/DVD, Ty Tabor, Zion guitars

Comments (4)

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  1. ED says:

    Hi Jay,

    Thanks SO much for reminding me about "Dogman." Such a great album that brings back tremendously fond memories of that time. And Ty is right…the "Dogman Demos" sound (at least to my ears) better than the finished product.

    As much as I love Ty's skull-crushing tone on "Dogman," I will probably always consider his "Gretchen" tone to be the epitome of King's X and just a slight tick behind EVH's "brown sound" for the greatest hard rock tone on record.

  2. darkknight68 says:

    From what Ty said he always used the bridge pickup. Never mentioned using the middle one. I think it's the twang of the single coils and the mid boost that gives it a little quack.

  3. Pif says:

    Dug does indeed sound great covering Jimi, he can dial that hint of spoken tone into his singing (check the Burning of the Midnight Lamp on the tribute album In From The Storm, 94-ish).

  4. james tolson says:

    Ty tabor and kings X are the most underated players in hard rock metal what ever you want to call it , most bands wish they can come up with these great tones l hear on those records like dogman, ciggereates , etc doug pinnicks bass and vocals are one of a kind border line genius. I wish l can get my mesa to sound like Tys and lets not forget their drummer and l dont even no his name but he rocks . Im an 80 s metal guy who can hold his own on guitar but was blown away when a friend recently turned me on to KINGS X lm stunned that this band eluded me a nut about hard rock ,they are the shit ! Meaning Awesome and thats coming from a black man from the hood l would luv to meet this trio its on my bucket list , my true musical heros.

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