Jerry Cantrell's Facelift tone/amps.
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Thread: Jerry Cantrell's Facelift tone/amps.

  1. #1


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    Jerry Cantrell's Facelift tone/amps.

    Not sure if I've seen it here, but there's been a lot of debate over the years as to what Cantrell used to record Facelift. I've mostly seen people saying it was a Bogner Fish, but that is not correct.

    Ronnie Champagne engineered Facelift and recently joined over at Rig-Talk.com specifically to join the discussion on Jerry's amps at the time-

    ...i know this is a really old thread,i just came across it...my name is Ronnie Champagne i was the engineer with Dave Jerden Producing on Facelift...i am the owner of the Snorkler...that we used for most of the guitar and some six string bass tracks on the album Facelift...its a Marshall 50 watt jcm 800 combo 4010 that i had Bogner modify for me...4-12ax7a tubes and el34's for power...i got in Canada in '83 as a trade for a 50 watt half stack that i didnt want to carry to the states when i moved to L.A. in '84...i was using Andy Brauer rentals in n.Hollywood for most of the gear we used on Janes Addiction's Nothings Shocking and Andy turned me onto a Bogner Modified jcm 800 that Rheinhold had modded...apparently he did a few...for Eddie and Steve and Joe...well i had the same amp and took it over to Rheinhold and asked him to do exactly the same thing to mine...he refused... saying that he was trying to launch his own product...i told him i didnt care how much it costs and that my clients would send him a ton of business,to which he capitulated,grudgingly....good move i'd say!this is the nastiest amp ive ever played thru...you are correct that we used a 4x12 with greenbacks in a stairwell all knobs on ten for solos...but we also used it in various settings for a multitude of overdubs...using a shure sm57 into a neve 1073 into a la-2a compressor/limiter to the tape machine...i also used it on Janes Ritual,Social Distortion,Deconstruction with Dave Navarro and Eric Avery from Janes....and many other records worldwide...plus i toured Europe with it as my main amp...we also used Bogner Ecstacy(?) and Fishes with Navarro....none had the totally full on brazen tone though...it is THE platinum amp,priceless to me(Jerry offered me big cash for it,but i aint no dummy!)in fact the last time i hung out with Alice(new guys) in Boston he still was complaining and wanting....as a side note i also used a R.K.Butler TubeDriver pre amp into a vintage Fender Bassman for many of the 'mellower' tones and also my pink Kramer Baretta 1 with a Ultrasonic 3 pickup(single and humbucker modes) plus a lot of Telecaster drop D tuned...the Snorkler responds unbelievably to single coil pick ups...we also used a Coral elecric sitar (amazing!) thru it...plus the six string bass for chorus's on many tracks...ala the Who....the Snorkler logo is from an old fire extinguisher i found in Hollywood...plus its a reference to blow snorters...my assistant attempted a clone of it but for some reason the o.g. still kicks its ass...ive a/b 'd it to most of the Bogner amps and this puppy is a boutique slayer...i also had some minor alterations done to it by the Professor in Seattle,mostly grounding and switches etc and he built me a new enclosure,i got the vox fabric from Jackson Brown....oh ya i used a KK Audio 1x12 cabinet with an ev 250 12L speaker(totally killer!)for most of the tracking....if y'all have any questions feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]...i love chatting gear!but i live to play it!!!!Ronnie C...
    Pics of the head are here-
    Rig-Talk • View topic - Jerry Cantrell's lead tone on Facelift?

    There are 2 amps in this world that I KNOW I want to own, without question. My buddy John owns the actual Bogner 100B that Vai used on Alien Love Secrets....I've already laid claim to that if he ever sells it....and though it doesn't seem Ronnie will ever get rid of the head he's talking about, I FUCKING WANT IT!

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  3. #2


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    "the Snorkler" reference is awesome.

  4. #3


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    This is why our top searches are Jerry Cantrell gear...

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  6. #4


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    ^


    There's a member of Rig-Talk doing mods to get that sound, you can see clips in the thread I posted above. I'll be in the position to buy an AxeFX soon...I'm heavily debating grabbing a 50 watt JCM800 and sending it off to be modded instead...

  7. #5


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Drucifer View Post
    Not sure if I've seen it here, but there's been a lot of debate over the years as to what Cantrell used to record Facelift. I've mostly seen people saying it was a Bogner Fish, but that is not correct.

    Ronnie Champagne engineered Facelift and recently joined over at Rig-Talk.com specifically to join the discussion on Jerry's amps at the time-



    Pics of the head are here-
    Rig-Talk • View topic - Jerry Cantrell's lead tone on Facelift?

    There are 2 amps in this world that I KNOW I want to own, without question. My buddy John owns the actual Bogner 100B that Vai used on Alien Love Secrets....I've already laid claim to that if he ever sells it....and though it doesn't seem Ronnie will ever get rid of the head he's talking about, I FUCKING WANT IT!
    ALC is one of my favorite, scratch that, hands down my favorite tone Vai ever got on tape, and one of my favorite hard rock sounds ever. Your friend's a lucky guy.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  8. #6


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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    ALC is one of my favorite, scratch that, hands down my favorite tone Vai ever got on tape, and one of my favorite hard rock sounds ever. Your friend's a lucky guy.
    Best Vai rhythm tone ever:

    Steve Vai - "Bad Horsie" - YouTube

  9. #7


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    Totally agreed. I think "Die to Live" is my favorite tone off that album, but they all rule.

  10. #8


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    The Vai Bogner was a loaner from the company, when it was returned, Vai included a list of songs it was used on. I'm not sure if that list is still around, but I know "Bad Horsie" and "Tender Surrender" were on it. I believe the amp is on 95% of the album, but Vai split his signal to a few different amps and mixed those sounds together to get one sound.

    There's 2 of these Vai heads that are the exact same specs, built at the same time. My buddy John owns the actual Vai-used one and another member at HugeRacksInc has the other. I think it might be a 100A, not B....can't remember the specs now for sure.
    John said he's never getting rid of it, but the dude has so much fucking gear it's insane. Great guy, too. I know he wouldn't sell the thing for under $5K as that's his favorite head, but it won't stop me from nagging him about it. At the very least, I'll get to play through it next time I'm in Cali.

    And totally agreed, ALS is my favorite Vai record/tones. Hands down.

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