All audio clips are recorded with a Marshall JTM45 head set on an extremely clean tone.
Gibson Les Paul Custom (equipped with Gibson 490R e 498T pickups)
Gibson Les Paul Standard (equipped with Seymour Duncan Alnico 2 pickups)
Clean sound, no effects added
Guitar: Gibson Les Paul Standard (bridge pickup)
Guitar: Gibson Les Paul Standard (neck pickup)
Guitar: Gibson Les Paul Custom (bridge pickup)
The November Child is a distortion pedal heavily inspired by the iconic sound of Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Slash. 3 modes aiming to the tonal character, attack and dynamics of the 3 best-known amps in the Los Angeles guitarist’s arsenal.
The true story…
For many guitarists and rock fans, Slash’s signature tone on 1987’s “Appetite For Destruction” represents the quintessential rock ‘n’ roll guitar sound. From the neck pickup overdriven, melodic opening riff of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” to the adrenaline-pumping solo of “Paradise City,” few would disagree that Slash truly made his mark in the studio with that particular rig.
“Well, what equipment are we talking about?”
This is the most debated question, over and over again by countless guitarists since the first time the “Welcome to the Jungle” video aired on MTV. Trying to replicate that sound, raise your hand if you haven’t eagerly read every Slash interview, scoured the internet for clues, and plugged your Les Paul into every ’80s Marshall you could get your hands on.
It’s been a daunting and confusing for most people. Reports are conflicting and contradictory. Each interview seems to say something different. Was it a Marshall JCM 800, a Silver Jubilee 2555 (hardly likely, since recording of “Appetite” began in August 1986 and 2555s have been produced since 1987), or something else? Has the amplifier been modified and, if so, how and by whom?
On multiple occasions, mostly through interviews in guitar magazines from “a few” years ago, Slash has talked about a Marshall head he rented from S.I.R. (Studio Instrument Rentals in Los Angeles) and used heavily during the “Appetite” sessions (“Appetite” was recorded between August and December 1986). Slash loved this amplifier so much that he made several offers to the rental company and, with the umpteenth decline by S.I.R. he even planned to steel it or avoid the return to the company. Slash kept the amp for a while until a misstep by his roadie at the time ruined Slash’s plans. During the rehearsals at the S.I.R. After the “Appetite” sessions (probably in 1987), the roadie took the mysterious Marshall to S.I.R., the amp never came back, it was a Marshall labeled “Stock #39”.
In parallel it’s also curious to tell an interesting fact regarding this amplifier, we must first step back to 1985. According to interviews and other reports, during the rehearsals of Dokken’s “Under Lock and Key” tour in late 1985 , George Lynch was “blown away” by a modified Marshall owned by S.I.R.. Although George had used Marshalls modified by Lee Jackson during the recordings of “Under Lock and Key”, he was so fascinated by the modified Marshall, known to S.I.R. as “Stock #39”, who did his best to get S.I.R. to sell it. Needless to say, every offer was denied, so George paid a substantial amount of money to S.I.R. just for the privilege of renting the amp on the first leg of the tour. The amplifier was returned to S.I.R. before the tour concluded in September 1986. Later, despite attempts by S.I.R. to keep in the dark the name of the technician who modified the Stock #39, George still managed to track him down and contacted him personally to have four of his Marshalls similarly modified.
Back to Slash, the replacement for Stock #39 was Stock #36, modified in the spring of 1986. The modifications to #36 were done by Frank Levi (who had recently been hired by S.I.R. to replace Tim Caswell). Frank was very skilled and experienced with all types of tube gear. After listening and having a look inside #39, Frank was very impressed with Tim Caswell’s work and began some sort of copying to apply to #36.
Like the #39, the #36 was a 100W Marshall Master Volume, “Metal Panel” era (early 70’s). However, while #39 was a Super Tremolo, #36 was a regular Super Lead (1959 model). Therefore, since the #36 didn’t have a tremolo circuit, the amp didn’t have a 4th preamp tube as a stock feature, so some heavy chassis modifications had to be made to include the 4th preamp tube.
The #36 was therefore used for all recordings of the “Appetite for Destruction” album.
At the end of the recordings, #36 was also returned to S.I.R. and it’s said there was another attempted theft also for the #36 but the rumors were denied by Slash himself who declared to use Marshall Silver Jubilee 2555 heads for the AFD Tour which were very popular in those years and easy to find .
Finally, at the end of the AFD Tour, Slash managed to get a Marshall owned by S.I.R. labelled as “Stock #34”, this is basically a JCM800 2203 head with slight modifications made by Frank Levi. This head will be one of Slash’s favourite amps, used in the studio since the recordings of the album “Use your Illusion” to the present day.
Over the years, Marshall company has paid tribute to Slash with 2 heads dedicated to him, the SL2555 (basically a Silver Jubilee) and the AFD100 which offers the possibility of switching from #34 to #36 circuitry.
Another interesting fact is the choice of Slash for his live equipment: he uses the Marshall SL2555 as spare in case something should go wrong, while he relies on a Marshall Silver Jubilee for clean sounds, and a Marshall AFD100 for distorted.
3 modes on November Child
The pedal contains, in the smartest way possible, 3 of the iconic tones inspired by the heads used by Slash over the years:
Featuring a wild tone with tons of attack and presence, it’s inspired by the studio guitar tone in a big part of Slash’s recording from 1991 onwards.
Definitely warmer and more vocal sounding with a well pronounced distortion, the tone of the album “Appetite for Destruction”.
Inspired by the Marshall Silver Jubilee, Slash’s live sound, recognizable by its particular attack and the very pronounced harmonic spectrum of distortion.
Gain: Sets the amount of distortion.
Tone: works on the frequency response of the distortion, low values offer a darker and warmer tone, high values give more bite.
Volume: Sets the overall output volume.