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Geoff Whitehorn

How he gets his sound, 2007

 This is a different guitar again, by the look of it

November 2007: Geoff's current gear is the Hughes and Kettner Switchblade amplifier (100W head + 4X12" cabinet or 50W 1x12" combo, depending on venue), a '59 Gibson Les Paul and a Vintage Icon Strat copy.

The only effect he uses, other than the ones inbuilt to the amps, is a Hughes and Kettner Rotosphere (for Leslie cabinet effects, Pandora's Box, etc.). Click here for a film showing this gear in action (filmed initially at Hughes and Kettner's base at St Wendel, near Saarbrucken, in Germany, and latterly at GW's pub gig in Crayford. 

Thanks, Geoff!

Earlier gear details below:

It was Palers' Band guitarist Richard Beck who first identified the blue guitar Geoff unveiled for the 2004 European gigs.

'... it is a Line6 Variax 700, capable of reproducing the sound of over 25 vintage electric and acoustic guitars, even including 12-string models and electric sitar, and banjo. I have played one and it is a remarkable technological achievement that far exceeds the simple amp modeling of my Line6 POD. See the link for Geoff's guitar.

'Although at first glance a Variax appears to be a conventional electric guitar, closer inspection reveals its lack of traditional magnetic pickups. The string vibrations are detected by a hexaphonic bridge pickup and are converted directly into digital signals. These signals are processed through software algorithms that capture the interaction of each modeled instrument's pickups, their placement, the tone controls, and details of the instrument's physical structure.

'Unlike MIDI instruments or guitar synths, a Variax dynamically alters the signal of its own natural string vibrations to match the modeled instrument's unique tonal characteristics. The signal is then converted back to analog, so Variax can be plugged directly into any electric guitar amplifier.'

Thanks, Daniela, for the photograph

Geoff confirmed this in a note to BtP

'Yes, the onward march of technology is a wonderful thing. I'm very pleased with the Variax, but I have to admit I did take a regular guitar to Italy, just in case; but I didn't bother in Vienna. The sounds are 99% there, but the overall EQ is slightly mid-heavy, which leads to a bit of amp-twiddling! However, some additional software for the guitar is being released in September(ish) which I'm hoping will address the (minor) problem. I'll keep you informed.'

But in November 2004 Geoff declared that he was not using the Variax onstage except for acoustic sounds ... read about his guitars for his winter gigs by clicking here

In 2004 BtP asked Geoff, on a Norwegian fan's behalf, what amps, instruments, and other 'essentialities' he used to get his characteristic sound. Here's Geoff's reply:

Marshall DSL100 amplifier
Marshall 1960A 4 x 12" cabinet with Celestion G12-75 speakers
Behringer V-Amp2, for effects
Guitars: Fret-King Corona (Strat-type) and Sid Poole Les Paul replica.
No other essentialities (great word!)


More Procol equipment

More about Geoff Whitehorn

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