Re: Questions.....Please Help!!!!
1.) His Marshalls were modified, and so unmodified they're going to be very harsh and totally abrasive sounding for Vai stuff. If your looking for a Passion and Warefare tone,
IMO the closest you'll get from a stock amp is from the Peavey JSX. I have one, and I threw up my "Skyscraper" vinyl and started jamming on the crunch channel along with my RG550 (maple fretboard, PAF pro's and HS-2) and I was astonished how close to that tone I was. It was just about identical. I was totally impressed. Ive been in love with the Early Vai tone for a long time, and now ive got it in a very simple rig.
Dont worry about wanting to copy his tone, its a great tone, my personal favorite as well, and many others.
2. Sorry, Im not into compressors. I prefer a tubescreamer to get some slight compression on the front end of the amp.
3. I have a Morley Bad Horsie, its nice, switchless, blah blah. But its not very pronounced, its very subtle, and has a short range. It doesnt do that early vai sound very well.
On the other hand, I recently got a Dunlop Classic Crybaby, which has the fasel inductor. It sounds EXACTLY like that early Vai sound. Its much more pronounced, more exaggerated, more lifelike and vocal, it can get that great throaty rocked back tone, and it can get the honky Michael Sheinker tone because Its not switchless. I plugged it it, and hit the "Yankee Rose" laughing guitar riff, which I had been trying with my BH until now, and not really getting it, no matter what I did. But when I hit it with the crybaby. . .WOW. . it sounded dead on. My guitar became a laughing machine! Its so much more responsive, and it has a great range. IMO, its perfect. Its quite similar to the one vai used to use back in the day.
Screw the switchless feature, better tone is better tone. Its not just better, its twice as good.
If you want a more modern smooth Vai wah tone, the Bad Horsie is the one to use (because he has been using it) but if you want the old school Vai wah tone, the tone behind his famous wah abuse, is 100% crybaby.
Buy them both at the store with a credit card at Guitar Center or somewhere where they have a 30 day moneyback guarentee. Test them both out on your amp, and then return the one you dont want.