Hello, I just got a new guitar(PRS SE Tremonti VC) but I have a weak amp (Roland cube 30x). I love Eric Johnson's tone and music so much, I really want to get close to his tone. I know his amp settings, but it doesn't work that well on my current amp.
I also don't want any more than my guitar and one amp. No complicated stuff.
I was thinking about a marshall, like http://www.thomann.de/ro/marshall_mhz40c_haze.htm this one. Can you give me some good amp suggestions?
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Goodluck getting "his tone" with one guitar and amp.. the guy has ssoooo many guitars/amps/pedals many of which youd probably never be able to get ahold of. is there a specific song that youd like to.get the sound of?
Quote by halfj06
Goodluck getting "his tone" with one guitar and amp.. the guy has ssoooo many guitars/amps/pedals many of which youd probably never be able to get ahold of. is there a specific song that youd like to.get the sound of?

I was thinking about his soloing tone...that violin thingy you know
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I'm not a fountain of Marshall knowledge, but I don't think the haze line is that great.
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He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.

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And so it goes

Although he's probably reworked his rig a bit since he did this video, i'd say this kind of shows the extremes EJ goes to.

If you want his lead tone, you want that bk butler tube driver. And as said above, a fuzz face.

He probably adds a bit of gain around on his marshall, most of his sound comes from his fingers and pedalboard over the amplifier, its sort of a benchmark. But i'm guessing you'd want a plexi clone for this sort of job, his amp probably has a light overdrive naturally on the amplifier, its too warm for it to come out of a clean IMHO.

A laney lionheart might be a good place to look, my one has a lovely warmth to it to start which when driven gives that nice EJ tone. I need to experiment more with pedals through it but its a great benchmark amplifier, reverb is lovely and it projects really well. The eq is very wide as well, you can get multiple sounds out of it.

All in all, a marshall haze wouldn't be right. They're a bit too 'snappy' and percussive, and so are Blackstar amps, they give some different treble frequencies which aren't too nice for a EJ sound. Jet City amps might be nice, though i haven't tried them. If you can try out a marshall class 5 which isn't too trebly, that might be a nice option too.
Pretty sure EJ uses a Marshall. The old Marshall superleads can have a really soft attack depending on how you pick the strings. Probably where he gets that round, smooth, violin like sound. And then he boosts it with all sorts of ODs and fuzz pedals.
Last edited by al112987 at Feb 22, 2012,
Pretty sure it's either a Superbass or a 67 Super Lead.
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Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
um.. wouldn't using a strat be a good step? as mentioned eric uses a bunch of gear to get his various sounds however a clean amp with a fuzz face or a decent overdrive would help. eric is a total tone nut and uses the best gear he can find so it will be tough to get his exact tone without spending a large sum of cash. you might want to try an EH Big Muff for a cheaper alternative that will at least kinda get that type of sustain.
A big part of his sound that often gets overlooked is his Echoplex(s). The preamp on those things has a pretty big impact on the tone, thankfully some clever folks have turned this preamp into a pedal (saving you serious money.) I like the Xotic for its simplicity but there are others about.

You also need a fuzz face and (for the really dirty lines) a tube driver. These pedals will make a bigger difference than a marshall, as long as you get a quality british sounding valve amp you'll be fine. You also need to remember he has a bit of echo, delay and reverb on his dirty sounds that add to the "big" sound, you'll need something to cover this ground if you want to really nail the sound. I find a deluxe memory man does a reasonable impersonation, even better when paired with a digital delay.
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You're not likely to get anything that completely nails his sound. He has a pretty involved amp-switching setup with a couple vintage Fender twins running for his baisc clean sound, and a few old Marshall plexi's for a dirtier sound, eqed in certain ways, often with an echoplex in front of it all or some kind of stereo delay pedal as a standin, often compression of some sort, and some specific fuzz (fuzzface) and overdrive (tube driver) pedals for the higher-gain singing-lead tones. Add his strat and his usage of its tone controls to the mix.

But to speak in generalities, to get something at least as a starting point for something similar, you need to use a strat or at least single-coils of some sort, you're going to want to use a decent-to-good el-34-equipped tube amp and tame its brightness, you're probably going to want to rely on some good delay for ambience/space/depth, and you're going to want to try to get a warm yet articulate sounding overdrive, but not with too much gain, and a fuzzface-style fuzzbox.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Feb 22, 2012,
One does not simply "get EJ's sound" with no pedals and one guitar and one amp.

You WILL need a B. K. Butler Tube Driver and a tape delay, or at least a tape delay simulator.

Eric Johnson's "violin sound" comes from the Tube Driver combined with a Marshall running at the edge of breakup, as well as the tape delay providing that lovely atmosphere. You're also going to need a Strat.

Better men than you have tried, with thousands more in cash at their disposal, and have gotten close but just fell short.
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Some sort of plexi derivative + Tube Driver + Echoplex = EJ


Super clean Fender Derivative (Super Reverb, Twin, SSS) + Fuzz Face = EJ
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Also make sure you're using the correct batteries in your pedals and you cables must be the exact same length as his otherwise you won't even come close to his tone.


Since researching a lot of pro rigs, I've come to learn that most of them -- even guys with SubZero-sized racks -- aren't really that complicated or mystical (except the Edge's -- that shit cray). While I will never say "tone is in the fingers," EJ's sound really does come from his phrasing, use of the volume and tone controls, feedback, and pick attack. The timbre isn't particularly special, but the playing is.

Also, get an SG. EJ sounds so much better when he busts out the Gibson.
Well thanks for all the help...but it seems that it's way too much for me. I had a VOX amp with many "famous" sounds in it. I wish it was EJ's too.
There’s a star in the northern sky
Captivating me as I walk by
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Leave behind what is lost or won
Yeah that dude pretty much employs every corksniffing technique known in the guitar world. EJ is amazing, but again, a lot of it is just him. For example, in the studio he used a es-335 to record cliffs of dover, but live in austin he was playing a strat. The tone is almost identical, to my ears anyway.
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Plexi clone running dirty, smooth overdrive (preferably a tube driver if you can get one), bridge single coil with the EJ wiring mod, and tone rolled off.
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