When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

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When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (4001G63) » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:54 am

Does anyone know exactly when Chris first went stereo? There is the picture of him with his 21 fret 4001 with the stereo output on the Yes Album sleeve. Did he get the idea to go stereo from that bass and perhaps, liked the sound of his original RM 1999 better so he went back to it and converted it to stereo? I've never been able to determine if he is using stereo on the first two Yes albums.
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (Michael4bass) » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:24 am

I think he did it sometime between "Time and a Word" and "The Yes Album". All the video I've seen from the first two albums he's using only one cable to his amp. He's stated in a few interviews that the reason he went stereo was to run only the neck pickup thru his fuzz box. I think he used a Marshall fuzz for "The Yes Album" and got the Brassmaster before recording "Fragile".

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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (johnhall) » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:15 pm

I have no idea the date, other than I know it was a very long time ago!

I visited him is Los Angeles one day and he showed me a Sony professional stereo wireless transmitter pack and receiver he was using with his bass live. He had obtained this unit overseas as the frequency or transmit mode was not legal in the US. It had only a single stereo cable connecting to the strap-mounted pack.
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (cjj) » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:52 pm

johnhall wrote:I have no idea the date, other than I know it was a very long time ago!

I visited him is Los Angeles one day and he showed me a Sony professional stereo wireless transmitter pack and receiver he was using with his bass live. He had obtained this unit overseas as the frequency or transmit mode was not legal in the US. It had only a single stereo cable connecting to the strap-mounted pack.

Ooh! I've wanted one of those for years! I'll have to see if I can get one here...
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (4001G63) » Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:59 pm

I guess a better question is this: Did he first go stereo on that 21 fret 4001 and did he record any songs with it? Why did he purchase that bass anyway? I have wondered if it was when he had his RM at the luthier for refinishing and so he purchased the 4001 and liked the stereo feature (which I think was offered on the 4001 starting in 1968). But then he liked the sound of his RM better and converted it to stereo.

I need to know or I'll never be happy nor get a good night's sleep for that matter...
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (pag) » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:44 pm

I think thats a fair assumption.
The RM went to Sam Li for respray he had a 4001 (as a backup probably)
and in the studio he saw the advantages of using the split signal so the RM gets the same facility.
As for the date....
Ask Bill Brufford what the date was because he noticed Chris buying all those extra bass cabs!
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (pacealot) » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:01 am

That fits my assessment too. The Yes Album is definitely the earliest that we can actually hear him in stereo (at least on "Starship Trooper" and "Perpetual Change," although to the best of my knowledge/observation he - or Eddie rather - never panned the channels out separately like that again - I'm not counting the stereo effects like the Harmoniser later, just the obvious panning of neck & bridge pickups). And somewhere I have read that "Trooper" was recorded on the 21-fretter, but I've never seen any hard factual confirmation of that. But given the timeline - RM headstock breaks (again), Sam Li fixes/shaves off silver stuff/refinishes in cream, CS does shows with 21-fretter and at least two Dual Showmans (Dual Showmen?) as pictured on TYA sleeve, "plays" both the 21-fretter and the Tele Bass in the Time And A Word Belgian clips, has RM back in action certainly no later than the Beat Club/Musikladen "YIND"/"All Good People" clips around January '71, where he has two coily cords visually evident (going to the same channel of one Dual Showman!) - I wouldn't be at all surprised if the 21-fretter a.) inspired the stereo change to the RM; and/or b.) was used on a lot more the TYA than is commonly known/accepted.

Now, if someone can track his effects and amp changes over the same period, then we'd be in real business! :)

(Okay, I'll start - wah on "Survival" in the studio, but not on Beat Club/Musikladen; Marshall Supa Fuzz all over the "long" version of "For Everyone" and then audibly evident on TYA ("YIND" and "Trooper"); tremolo - possibly from the amps - on "Trooper"; CS's live rig at Crystal Palace in June '71 includes the Mister Bassman bass pedals, the Supa Fuzz, and a reverb/tremolo amp switch (all are audible at some point on "It's Love", especially the version on The Word Is Live); the wah is back on Fragile along with trem and fuzz and the kitchen sink available at the time, especially on "The Fish"; Fragile tour, the wah appears for "The Fish" as so adroitly displayed on the Yessongs album version, with what still sounds like the Supa Fuzz, Mister Bassman, and tremolo - amp or pedal? who knows? who cares? obviously me; the first appearance of the remote relay-type switching on the CttE tour with Alan as seen in the Yessongs film, along with the first confirmed sighting of the Maestro Bass Brassmaster (on top of the Sunn Coliseum Lead head), which I think is first heard on record on "America," but it might be somewhere on CttE, or it could be amp distortion or the Guild fretless or something else - and now I'm petering out - someone else, do the amps, please.... :mrgreen: )

And I hope you haven't been unhappy and not sleeping this whole time, Gunnar! (Nothing like reviving an almost-year-old thread....)
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (4001G63) » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:31 pm

Wow! Thanks Paul. I only just checked this site and thread out the other night for the first time in many months and was delighted to read your recent post. That is some masterful but of forensics there. I think we are closing in on the answer. I am so shamefully ignorant of his amplification and effects at this formative period in his career and I will use you as a reference from now on!
You know, I met Chris out in Anaheim, around 1999 I think it was, and asked him a related question. It was after the show with a hundred other autograph seekers swarming. I didn't think it was the right time to ask him a technical question but my friend made me do it! So when it was my turn, I asked, "Hey Chris, how come you converted your 4001S to stereo; why didn't you just use the 4001?" And he replied kind of sardonically, "That's a good question". And that was it! He signed my ticket stub and moved on. So I was a little chagrined, and annoyed at my friend for making me ask! I have never really seen him go into detail about his stereo set up and how he came to develop it. It's almost like he doesn't want to talk about it, which I could understand in the early days - you know, trade secrets and all that. But now I think he should fess up and reveal all!!!!
Anyway, I am, in fact, much happier after your reply and expect a better night's sleep from here on in and I thank you for reviving this thread... :D
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (Michael4bass) » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:26 am

From what I can remember from reading interviews, Squire used a Vox (I think he said a AC30 TopBoost) in his early years, and also that he recorded with it (I've often wondered if he used it on GttE, because his sound was a little different on that record from the others, but from what I've read, he states that it was the Marshall). He got the Marshall Super Bass, the Fender Dual Showman, but didn't like the 15s, got the Sunn Coliseum and two 6x12 cabs, then back to the Marshall and later added the SVTs with the Marshall.

I to would like to know more about his effect switching system, which has changed over the years. Back in the 70s, on several tours I quizzed Nigel Luby and one of his other techs after Nigel moved to mixing FOH, but they wouldn't elaborate on it, other than to say that the system used relays to do the switching. I saw that each effect had two toggle switches to assign either or both pickups to the effects, but I don't know how it was wired internally, sure would be nice to know though. I'm guessing that all his old systems are stored with all the other old Yes gear.

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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (pag) » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:08 am

The "stereo" setup is interesting because when you think about it if you select only one pickup then only one amp
would be producing sound.
Chris seems to be producing the same volume regardless of the pickup selection so there must be more going on than
just a split signal.
I tried an alternative method with a second amp running from the line out of the main amp and eq'd to give more mids and lows
which produced the same results as the sound Chris gets.
I might try it again sometime and route the effects from my M13 to either amp and see what the result is.
Watching an ELP video I thought Greg Lakes Jazz Bass sounded very similar to Chris Squire so perhaps they
used similar setups.

I would like to hear the rasping sound Chris had in the 70s.
It would be interesting to hear Chris use the vintage equipment from the 70s to reproduce that tone from way back.
It would make a great DVD if he did a film about his old stuff vs the new setup.
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (admin) » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:57 am

I may have missed a comment answering this question in all of these detailed responses but I believe Chris Squire bought is 1998 Model in 1965 and rewired it to stereo shortly thereafter. As noted here, the really important question would be when did he first use it on a recording.
Life, as with music, often requires one to let go of the melody and listen to the rhythm

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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (aceonbass) » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:08 pm

I build a wiring harness for single output RIC instruments that can be switched to stereo output by pulling up on one of the control knobs (or pushing back down if that's the preference). With this wiring, if you're playing in stereo and want to solo a pickup, simply switch the bass to mono output when you select your pickup. Much easier than running extra cables and switching at the amps.
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (Michael4bass) » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:27 pm

pag wrote:The "stereo" setup is interesting because when you think about it if you select only one pickup then only one amp
would be producing sound.


Squire doesn't use a "stereo" amp rig. He has repeatedly stated that the reason he wired his basses with stereo outputs was to have the option of sending one or both pickups to an effect. The output of the effect switching unit is mono, and that signal is routed into the Marshall and the SVTs.

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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (4001G63) » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:01 pm

I tried an alternative method with a second amp running from the line out of the main amp and eq'd to give more mids and lows
which produced the same results as the sound Chris gets.

Pete,
I was thinking of doing the same thing since I have a 4001V63 with only mono. I have a Fender Bassman 4x12 70 watt and a Fender Rumble 1x15 hundred watt. When I get my friend to give me back my Bassman I loanded him I'll let you know. Did you see Dane Wilder's post above? He makes a split signal unit for mono Ricks. I'm going to ask him further about it. I don't really need to go stereo for the type of music I do but certainly being a Chris Squire fan and owning a Rick bass inspires me to fool around with it some!
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Re: When Did Chris First Go Stereo?

Postby (4001G63) » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:10 pm

Michael4bass wrote:
pag wrote:The "stereo" setup is interesting because when you think about it if you select only one pickup then only one amp
would be producing sound.


Squire doesn't use a "stereo" amp rig. He has repeatedly stated that the reason he wired his basses with stereo outputs was to have the option of sending one or both pickups to an effect. The output of the effect switching unit is mono, and that signal is routed into the Marshall and the SVTs.

Bassically, Michael



Michael,
I am finally starting to get the picture. You had mentioned this in an earlier post on this topic. If you read Dane Wilder's post about his unit he created for split signal for mono Ricks (like my V63) , it is sort of the same concept. I gotta ask him about that unit.
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