General tech questions

What is a mud switch?

27

Mine looks like this...

– SLICKFASTER

I need at least a couple of those every morning. Mine's been called everything from motor oil to diesel fuel, but it gets the job done.

28

I swapped out one of my tone switch caps in my '59 6125 for a small coil to roll off bass instead of treble in one position. This works quite well when your guitar only has a single Filtertron (in the neck position). The other position uses a cap but I had to put a new one it as the old wax cap was way out.

29

I swapped out one of my tone switch caps in my '59 6125 for a small coil to roll off bass instead of treble in one position. This works quite well when your guitar only has a single Filtertron (in the neck position). The other position uses a cap but I had to put a new one it as the old wax cap was way out.

– Doppler

Thanks, Doppler, I'll keep that in mind. I haven't heard my Tennessean in so long I honestly don't remember what it sounded like in mud mode. I'm going to see what it sounds like with the stock TV Jones part. Sometimes tastes change over time, and if I don't like it capacitors are cheap enough I can get a few and experiment to see what works for me. Do you have the specs on the size or type, value of the coil you used on your guitar?

30

I don't know when the mud was first thrown at the switch, but it happened because the capacitors used for the 3-position switch in the 60s and 70s had darker-sounding capacitors than are now used. The "full-mud" position (usually up on the switch) was SO dark it really deserved the term. (It's famously used on the short clean solo toward the end of "Michelle," and in "Wooden Ships.")

In the modern reissue era, more moderate values have been chosen, and even the darkest position is no longer what you'd call muddy.

Also, those capacitors can be changed out to get different shades. The electronics sorts here can suggest specific values.

– Proteus

Stills says here it was a Gibby on Wooden Ships... https://www.musicradar.com/...

"Your guitar sound on Wooden Ships is pretty spectacular.

"Barney Kessel. Barney Kessel and Les Paul, and then some of the guys I used to see at the Blue Note playing D'Angelicos. Something about that room made them echo."

Were you using flatwound strings on that song when you cut it?

"Yeah, yeah. That was a Super 400. The amp was… I think a Twin. No, no, it was one of my Brownface Bassmans. You've got eight knobs - four on the guitar and four on the amplifier. And the reverb. Good luck. Just keep messing with it and you'll find it. [Laughs] Put it this way: it was a complete freakin' accident. Everybody went, 'Stop! That sounds great.'"

.....................................

To each their own of course, but I don't understand the need for the tone switch unless you need to change the tone to an exact location on the fly. Why not just turn a tone KNOB to where it sounds good?

I don't use the pup volumes either. And on the 3 Gretsches I removed them from the circuit I noticed a bit of extra clarity in sound. Furthermore, I've used an out-of-phase sound to good effect. Not everyone wants that. I understand as I usually don't either. Not everyone wants a wah-wah or a fuzz pedal or a chorused sound.

All the knobs and switches look kinda neat but MV, MT, pickup selector are all I ever need. To each their own of course...

31

Ehh, what does Stills know?

32

Ehh, what does Stills know?

– Proteus

...it's only been like, what, 50 years?

33

And if you can remember the 60s...you weren't there. And we know he was there.

Therefore...

But I was kidding. I don't mind if he used a Gibson. Of course they'll go muddy, they have knobs for that. And when you get that muddy, the upper overtones that establish the tonal character just aren't there anyway.

It's just handier to get to Wooden Ships Mud on a Gretsch. I can stand by that.

34

Stills says here it was a Gibby on Wooden Ships... https://www.musicradar.com/...

"Your guitar sound on Wooden Ships is pretty spectacular.

"Barney Kessel. Barney Kessel and Les Paul, and then some of the guys I used to see at the Blue Note playing D'Angelicos. Something about that room made them echo."

Were you using flatwound strings on that song when you cut it?

"Yeah, yeah. That was a Super 400. The amp was… I think a Twin. No, no, it was one of my Brownface Bassmans. You've got eight knobs - four on the guitar and four on the amplifier. And the reverb. Good luck. Just keep messing with it and you'll find it. [Laughs] Put it this way: it was a complete freakin' accident. Everybody went, 'Stop! That sounds great.'"

.....................................

To each their own of course, but I don't understand the need for the tone switch unless you need to change the tone to an exact location on the fly. Why not just turn a tone KNOB to where it sounds good?

I don't use the pup volumes either. And on the 3 Gretsches I removed them from the circuit I noticed a bit of extra clarity in sound. Furthermore, I've used an out-of-phase sound to good effect. Not everyone wants that. I understand as I usually don't either. Not everyone wants a wah-wah or a fuzz pedal or a chorused sound.

All the knobs and switches look kinda neat but MV, MT, pickup selector are all I ever need. To each their own of course...

– WillieDSW

Stills did almost all of the guitars and bass on that album on his own. He'd send the other guys home and redo everything (not vocals of course). He would have a surprise for them the next time they came in to work on the album. He got the name Captain Manyhands, but it was also the reason they had to put a band together to tour the album. I never would have guessed Super 400, but I know Leo originally designed the Tele circuit so you could play bass on it in a pinch. Stills talks about Gretsch like that was his Buffalo Springfield guitar and he never used it much again except for the twin Falcons in CSNY. But I saw the first Manassas tour and he had at least 3 vintage Gretsch on stage. He opened with Rock and Roll Woman.


Register Sign in to join the conversation