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Izen Ears

Surf music anyone?

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You all are probably way ahead of me, but have you seen and heard Surfy Industries SurfyBear reverbs? They have both classic and modern style tank reverbs. And a couple pedals I know there are lots of tank reverbs out there, but it's neat that they're so into the surf thing. And from Sweden, where thoughts of warm beaches and waves probably help get them through the cold months...

 

https://www.surfyindustries.com

 

A demo (which I stumbled upon because one of the guitars played is made by Grez Guitars, a local(ish) to me builder I like):

 

 

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I’ve got two of the pre-made ones.  Some folks got really crazy with building the kit version.  They use MosFET and sound good, but once I got the tube tanks those are loaned to pals!  The tube tanks just have more bass and warmth.  Many surf folk use these + Quilters and a small cab...

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13 minutes ago, Izen Ears said:

I’ve got two of the pre-made ones.  Some folks got really crazy with building the kit version.  They use MosFET and sound good, but once I got the tube tanks those are loaned to pals!  The tube tanks just have more bass and warmth.  Many surf folk use these + Quilters and a small cab...

Interesting. In that video those sound really close but in my experience that doesn't tell the whole story. Reminds me of the Strymon Flint reverb/ trem pedal, in videos it really seems to nail that tone but in real life when compared directly with the real thing it sounds small and cheap.

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14 minutes ago, Werner Althaus said:

Interesting. In that video those sound really close but in my experience that doesn't tell the whole story. Reminds me of the Strymon Flint reverb/ trem pedal, in videos it really seems to nail that tone but in real life when compared directly with the real thing it sounds small and cheap.

 

I mean it does sound great, but there’s a warmness to the tanks.  I bring one to shows as a backup! 

 

Hey I forgot to say I enjoyed your tune way upstream!  One of the phrases is very similar to something in one of my recent tunes.  The tone reminds me of 1991 where me and a pal played surf through a JCM-900!

 

Dan Izen

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Fun topic Dan. Glad you’re a fan of the genre. Surf musics glory days were short lived in SoCal (Surf music is a 2 headed beast in that instrumental and vocal songs are very different).  The Beatles and Stones et al killed the scene locally. Only The Beach Boys carried on but mostly as American versions of the Beatles and their favorite inspirations (Think Chuck Berry). The biggest difference pre and post Beatles is Pre it was a singers game and their name was on all the songs (like Richie Vallens and Elvis Presley and Fats Domino) they had bands but who cared who the Crickets were, everyone wanted Buddy Holly. After the Beatles everyone wanted to be in a band (a gang or family really) and LA/SoCal had them by the boatload. Buffalo Springfield, Love, Byrds, Seeds, Steppenwolf, etc and all the unknown garage bands like mine who wanted to be like the Beatles and be a unit. Thanks to the Recording Industry and pros like the Wrecking Crew, the region had an incredible modern sound. All regions of the US had a unique sound like San Francisco, Detroit, NYC, the South...., but locally Surfing and Cars and Girls were the setting for the stories/songs until Vietnam and Psychedelics became the story. Another factor is that besides Fender, Richenbacker was formed in Orange County and played a huge part in the sound of Surf, Country, and Rock music in its many forms.

I’ve seen many shows in my time. I’ve been to the Rendezvous Ballroom (Dick Dale, Hoyt Axton, Tim Hardin) in Newport Beach. In Huntington Beach there was a fantastic club called The Golden Bear, (the Byrds, Paul Butterfield Band, Chambers Brothers, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Hoyt, Honk, Steve Martin, Dick Dale, and many others). The Anaheim Convention Center was an early big venue in the mid 60’s. I saw the Ike and Tina Turner Review at a car show there. I saw The Airplane, Doors, Steppenwolfe, Blue Cheer, at the Convention Center. In 68 the Fabulous Forum opened in LA and I saw Deep Purple open for The Cream on their farewell tour that year, it was also the first time i took LSD). I saw CSN&Y there (twice) and Juthro Tull all before 1970. I love music and have seen many acts over the decades and plan to see many more. The thing I miss most is the smaller scale of shows then as compared to now. I saw Van Halen in 75 in Pasadena at a wet T Shirt contest at The Ice House before they broke out of the hometown hero stage and became a name. Crazy to remember there was ever such a time, Ididn’t even pay a cover charge. Now days it takes a whole lot of money to see average bands. 

Sorry to ramble on (going with old age).  

As for amps (remember I’m a drummer and a Uke player) I love the late 50’s early 60’s Fender Tremolux amp for “the sound” you and others seek.

CrewC

PS, sorry about the cats.

 

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21 hours ago, Izen Ears said:

 ...The tone reminds me of 1991 where me and a pal played surf through a JCM-900!

 

Dan Izen

The cleans are Tele through a Fender Concert and 6G15 Reverb, dirty is Les Paul jr through a RealTube dirt pedal and the WEM Dominator. This was recorded a long time ago and I didn't own a bass then so I tuned the strings of my ES-5 Hollowbody down a full octave and played the bass lines. The strings were hanging off the fretboard like overcooked spaghetti and intonating the notes was very difficult but I like the results. Everything sounds trashy, definitely not a pro recording, haha.

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I forgot to mention we did go by the backdoor of the Fender company (pre CBS) when it was on Harbor Blvd in Fullerton and got free grill cloth out of the trash. Never found any treasure but the guys were friendly and it was a trip to see the guitars and amps in various stages of completion. 

CrewC

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CrewC, is it true you're in this film. 🙂

There are several versions of this posted, but IIRC, the comments by Richard Smith in this one are kinda helpful in figuring out what's being built:

 

 

 

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Hey Jim, great video.  Richard Smith is the man when it comes to Fender and its history. I’ve known him forever. He is a year older than me and lives 2 blocks away these days. He was the best guitar player in our era in Fullerton. His band was called Garfish Soup. He has a great coffee table book called “Fender: The Sound Heard ‘Round the World”...  Check it out. He also curated the Fullerton Museum exhibit about Leo Fender. And if that isn’t enough, he has Leo’s work bench at his house/garage. Very cool dude. He found his calling.

CrewC

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Here is a picture of Richard (far right in shades). Check out the amps. 1964 is my guess. This is a Jr High Dance at Fern Drive Grade School for Thursday Night Dance which was once a month as I recall (I could be wrong). This wasn’t Garfish Soup, I think this is Young Generation (an earlier band). Every band in Fullerton had this gear more or less. Sometime the Bass amp wasn’t a Fender Bassman but an Ampeg B15 instead. A Farfissa organ was found in most of the bands too. The guy to the left of the drummer is playing one. Singers all had a tambourine to bash. Most bands didn’t have that many mics because getting even one good singer was hard. Probably still the case.  

CrewC

7A802F98-83A8-4785-8B4D-994BAE8B17DB.jpeg

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2 hours ago, old school said:

Fender: The Sound Heard ‘Round the World

 

I had a copy of that book and was lightly acquainted with his editor, Tom Wheeler. (My boss was best friends with Tom; I worked upstairs from Guitar Player and Keyboard magazines). I ended up giving my copy to a total Fender fan friend; It is a great book, but I'm glad it's in a fan's hands. And your friend Richard appears in a story in an issue of Fretboard Journal about a guy who bought an amp and guitar from a guy who bought it from Leo Fender in 1942. Out of print, but you may already have it. 🙂 https://shop.fretboardjournal.com/products/fretboard-journal-electric-annual

 

FJE18_samples6_large.jpg?v=1539208185

 

 

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On 8/15/2019 at 11:50 AM, old school said:

I forgot to mention we did go by the backdoor of the Fender company (pre CBS) when it was on Harbor Blvd in Fullerton and got free grill cloth out of the trash. Never found any treasure but the guys were friendly and it was a trip to see the guitars and amps in various stages of completion. 

CrewC

 

YESSSSS!  You went to the Rendevous Ballroom that’s AWESOME!!!  I am super jealous.  Any recordings of that garage band?  I am so grateful for your posts, thanks a lot!  So great to read.

 

Btw here’s the rig, but just this past weekend I picked up a 2x15 JBL cab that I’m going to replace that 15” tone ring cab with.  The reverb is a 1963 tank with a new cab, and the showman is a 1962 but it also has a new cab.  The only original cab is the 15” tone ring.

23391CA3-2B25-4CE1-B09E-EB0C78F0365F.jpeg

9BC8872A-1A13-4FDA-8B2B-53458FB0EDAC.jpeg

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WoW!!!  That’s a hell of a rig you’re playing Dan. Beautiful. It must sound fantastic.

  I wish we had a recording of us but no one I knew had a recorder. It never entered our minds to record our selves. Just didn’t seem a possibility or a thing to us. No band in our sphere did a recording. Looking back I’m not really sure why some kid in our town wasn’t a recording hobbyist. To busy surfing or looking for “chicks”, or cruising with our older siblings to do that? I’ll never know.

Does your band rock any vintage mics from the era? An often overlooked component of the “Surf Sound”.

CrewC

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22 hours ago, Izen Ears said:

 

YESSSSS!  You went to the Rendevous Ballroom that’s AWESOME!!!  I am super jealous.  Any recordings of that garage band?  I am so grateful for your posts, thanks a lot!  So great to read.

 

Btw here’s the rig, but just this past weekend I picked up a 2x15 JBL cab that I’m going to replace that 15” tone ring cab with.  The reverb is a 1963 tank with a new cab, and the showman is a 1962 but it also has a new cab.  The only original cab is the 15” tone ring.

23391CA3-2B25-4CE1-B09E-EB0C78F0365F.jpeg

9BC8872A-1A13-4FDA-8B2B-53458FB0EDAC.jpeg

That's indeed a beautiful rig. White tolex always gets my attention going back to seeing some guy rockin' a MusicMan combo in white.  I wish I had pictures of all the cool rigs I've seen with all kinds of color variations that don't show up in any books. A good friend of mine used to have a white Tolex 5F6A  Bassman four 10" combo and a brown Tolex Bassman head with a matching brown single 12" cab with tone-ring. Both were definitely stock. never seen another one like it.

But I do have to ask: Where do you perform and how loud can you play your amps? I used to gig with my old  Bassman on 6 ( halfway up) and my Concert around 5 and it was loud, very loud but very pleasant sounding. These days I play that 18 watter barely on 0.5 and my bandmates in their 20s and 30s are already complaining, leave alone the FOH sound guys., different times I guess. It's that stupid idea that the PA guy needs control, blahblah,

I much prefer a proper backline with bigger amps that don't need to be miced. The result sounds much better if the band knows how to balance themselves. leave the PA for Vocals.

15 hours ago, old school said:

Does your band rock any vintage mics from the era? An often overlooked component of the “Surf Sound”.

CrewC

That is a great question, care to elaborate on how mics play a role in achieving the "Surf sound"?

Live? Studio?

 

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I was thinking vocal mics in live situations. We mostly used a variety of Shure dynamic mics way back when. Like those in my posted pic. Many through the amps which posed a host of problems. (Feedback) but we had little choice as PA’s were few and far between. All punchy mid range vocals. Like Surfer Joe.

CrewC

 

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