Michael Schenker’s Still Bringin’ the Wood

November 2, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More


Michael Schenker turned 60 in January. Is that a big deal? It’s a round number that implies old-ish age, but it sure hasn’t slowed his fingers down any.

Check this video from May 1 of this year. He solos for 10+ minutes — not alone, but with the drummer and bass player. YOU WILL NOT BE BORED! Dude can (still) play! Not only that, he’s not using all kinds of distortion and echo to shore up his chops or smooth out some clams. Meaning the tone is pretty darn raw — guitar into Marshall. His current gear setup is below the video.


Not only can he play, this is a man who knows tone of the woody variety.


Seems to be the Dean USA Michael Schenker 10th Anniversary Limited Run, or maybe the Dean USA Michael Schenker Standard.

It’s all-mahogany (body and neck), ebony board and Dean USA DMT Schenker Lights Out pickups, which are ceramic like DiMarzio Super Distortions. DC Resistances of the Lights Outs are: Bridge 17K / Neck 9K.


His amp of choice is is a Marshall JCM 800, 2205 (50-watt), through a Marshall cab with Celestion Greenbacks. Quote from here:

> The Marshalls still. I found out a few years ago, somebody asked me, “Did you know the 800 Marshall is based on your amp?” because I went to Marshall in the early ’80s to design an amplifier. We never finished it, but I guess the drawing was still there, and they just decided to use it. And I was always wondering why I liked that amplifier (laughs). And since I played that amplifier, I didn’t play so much wah-wah pedal anymore because it already has that kind of a characteristic built into it. So it’s the 2205 model that I still play.

Remember that Michael was known for cocking his wah for a nasally tone that he liked. Here he is talking about his ’70s UFO rig:

> With the wah pedal, I used to just sweep through the range and stop when I found the sound I liked. Then I just left it in that position – the “sweet spot.” It was sometimes a Vox or occasionally an old Dunlop. I just plugged the Flying V straight in to the wah and into the amp, which was probably set with everything on 10.

From Guitar.com again:

> …then I found the 2205, I stopped playing the wah-wah because the wah-wah all of the sudden wasn’t that suitable anymore, because the amp already had that nasally sound built in.


Not really any but:

> My only effects are a Dunlop Dimebag wah and a Boss delay and chorus. The other pedals are just volume controls, a Marshall footswitch, and a Boss tuner.


> I have a chorus there just in case I want to use it, but I play it for two seconds in two songs, and that’s it. But really nothing. I like the really raw approach. …I try to make it as raw as possible because I want to hear the character of who is playing it. If you put all the effects on it, you can’t really hear personality.

Love it, man!

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Category: Dean guitars, EL34, Marshall, Michael Schenker, UFO

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  1. Mark says:

    GLAD YOU’RE BACK! Always dug Schenker’s tone, but the 70’s stuff was always a little too biting for my personal taste. Tried the cocked-wah thing, but never found the sweet spot! His current tone, however, beastly! Always great note selection. Glad to see him still killing it!

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