sound I want something a little more bright
and pingy.” Then I thought, “Well so do I!”
That’s what kind of started me thinking down
the road of having two separate rigs.
At one point I was playing a show at Billboard
Live in Hollywood, and I had my rack stuff and
the entire band’s show was programmed in.
I just had to go to number one, number two,
etc. Somebody walked by the power source
and kicked the cable and it came out of the
wall. It wiped out all ninety-nine programs!
So I’ve got ten minutes until show time, and
the other band had a Fender Twin. I thought,
“I’ll just pull out some pedals, plug into this
Fender Twin and go for it.” Really, when you
get into all this changing of parameters of
each sound, the only person who knows it is
you, unless it’s super radical. I realized at that
point that it’s better to have two amazing
sounds than ninety-nine okay sounds.
That rackmount preamp/power amp period
was sometimes an eight, but never a ten. My
Carl’s Doctor Z head and rack
two favorite clean sounding amps are the
Fender Twin and the AC30. I get all this nice
midrange and fatness from the Twin. With the
AC30 I get all this high-end sparkle. As a stereo pair it’s pretty cool.
You have a nice wall of vintage amps on
stage, yet you still have the rack under your
Doctor Z head.
What I do is come off the A/B pedalboard,
and for the clean I’m going through one
pedal. It goes into a Robert Stamps reverb
unit, which he made custom for me back in
1997 when I was about to do a Supertramp
tour. I needed spring reverb, but in rack form,
and he did that for me. It comes out of that
and goes into a stereo chorus, but I almost
never turn it on. When I do, it’s very subtle.
That comes out in stereo to the left and right
inputs of a Lexicon MPX 100 Stereo Delay. I
use that ping-pong delay just to give myself
some imaging on stage. I’ve got a few settings for various tempos, and all my rack