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About what Echoplex (slapback) vol would early EVH have used?

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  • About what Echoplex (slapback) vol would early EVH have used?

    I actually had an Echoplex back in the day... I mainly used it emulating Brian May stuff (esp the Brighton Rock harmonies). I no longer have it, but still somwhat familiar from memory.

    But I never found out until years later that EVH used an Echoplex for a "slapback" (150-175ms) as part of his early signature "brown sound". He apparently put the Echoplex after the Plexi head and hot-plate.

    It's hard to tell exactly how much "Echo Volume" he would have used because Ted Templeman put a lot of plate reverb on that first album.... But does anyone have any good guesses or info? Would the "Echo Volume" have been at least as loud as the main dry signal, or slightly less, or much less?


  • #2
    Slapback echo is generally equal to the same level as the dry signal or a little less. If running into a hot preamp or OD pedal, it becomes a bit of a moot point, because the compression of either will boost the echo up to about equal to the dry signal anyway.

    It would seem highly unlikely he would have used the Echoplex after the amp head. First off, the Echoplex would fry given a speaker out signal and second, the benefit of slapback is that it works well in front of distortion (far better that reverb or other delays which get muddy due to the compressed repeats). The only real way to have used echo after the amp would have been to add it to the recorded track during mastering.

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    • #3
      Here's an explanation of how EVH put his FX after the Plexi:

      http://www.legendarytones.com/brownsound.html






      I'm just trying to get a feel for how much the "Echo Volume" might have been at.

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      • #4
        From listening to the first few Van Halen albums I'd say probably just a bit below the volume of his normal signal.
        Good deals with these guys..

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        • #5
          I did a little more digging on Google Groups for this, and the consensus seems to be about "slightly less" volume than the dry signal.

          Maybe the best example seems to be the solo on Atomic Punk which (apparently) has the usual plate reverb removed, and you can hear the slapback effect better.

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          • #6
            I did a little more digging on Google Groups for this, and the consensus seems to be about "slightly less" volume than the dry signal.

            Maybe the best example seems to be the solo on Atomic Punk which (apparently) has the usual plate reverb removed, and you can hear the slapback effect better.


            Yes that's kinda what I thought. Eddie's guitar on those first two albums sounds incredible, it's one of the best guitar sounds ever recorded IMO.

            Not sure if you know about the unofficial Eddie Van Halen fansite, but the forum there is pretty cool.
            Good deals with these guys..

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            • #7
              Actually, after close listening, the opening of "Aint Talkin 'bout Love" seems an even *better* example of the slapback.. it seems even more obvious on that song, especially at the beginning before the vocals kick in.

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