middle of the two acoustics to give it a little
more sonic girth. Right in the pre-chorus this
Tele has to come in with a little
hair on it. When the chorus hits
I’m going to put the Les Paul
here and the SG here through
little amps, and they’re going to
play the same unison line. Little
amps are key because they can
give you that cranked tone.
When the solo comes in, that’s
a 4x12 in the middle of the
room with a mic far away and
you get this big huge sound.
You can hear the room, and
that’s really important.
rack and an effects rack. One day in about
1989, when all that stuff was going strong, I
my ears than $50,000 worth of rack gear.” In
those days we were listening to the sound of
the reverbs and the delays and the
choruses. When you turned all that
stuff off, the sound of the basic
guitar through the rig was kind of
sterile. I realized that the marriage
of a great-sounding guitar with
an amp is very important. I had
a Vox AC30 and some Marshalls
and stuff like that and I thought,
“Maybe I can use these things.”
How did you develop your
current live rig?
Carl keeps it simple with Marshall, Fender, Vox and THD.
In the eighties, just like everybody else around 1981, I met Bob Bradshaw.
So I got the big rack. That rack grew and
grew, and then there were two racks, an amp
remember plugging my seafoam green Strat
into one of my Fender Princetons and thinking, “You know what? This sounds better to
It started to come together with
an A/B system. I would say right
around 1990 I started putting
together that kind of clean and
dirty rig. I remember talking to
Allan Holdsworth and he said,
“You don’t play clean and dirty
out of the same speakers do you?”
And I said, “Yeah.” He said, “How can you do
that? I want a real papery warm sound from
my lead tone, like Celestions. From my clean
We kept removing things until there was only pure
guitar left. I believe great guitar design isn’t about
asking the question, “What kind of inlays can we
add?” It’s about asking, “How can we distill a guitar
to its essence?” I’m TJ Baden, and that’s why I started
this company. To make a pure guitar. With pure sound.
We set out to offer a truly handmade guitar – made
by skilled luthiers – at a price that’s reasonable. I’m
thrilled with the results. Now it’s up to you to decide.
Call us at 760-738-0370 or visit badenguitars.com and
we’ll help you find a dealer. I hope you’ll feel the same
way I do – that it’s pure joy.