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Matt Schofield onstage with his trusty SVL 61. Photo by Sam Charupakorn
What about amps?
I use a 50-watt Two-Rock amp based on their Classic Reverb model, but it’s tweaked up for me. They [Two-Rock] changed the midrange voicing a bit. It has two rectifiers, so it’s punchy like a solid-state amp, but feels nice. It doesn’t get all mashy and saggy like amps with a tube rectifier.
You’ve mentioned in the past that a blackface Fender is the tonal ballpark for you. Why not just use one?
I do use a Super Reverb, but things have evolved a lot more than that. The Two- Rock reminds me of my blackface Fender in that it does everything I like but it’s much bigger, fatter, and more reliable. It never breaks down. With the 4x10 cab that they make for me, it’s kind of like a giant-sounding Super Reverb—but with that midrange that the Two-Rocks get, as well.
What else can you tell us about your Two-Rock?
It’s a single-channel amp, and I use it for the clean sound and then get the dirt from my pedals. But I totally rely on the tone of the amp in the first place—it’s not like I’m using a lot of gain on the pedals. It has a bunch of other switches and functions that I never use—like the FET boost channel and all the switches on the back that I never know how to set—but they’ve been taken off or disconnected.
I understand that you’ve also recently checked out some Bludotone amps.
Simon looks after one for Larry Carlton in the UK—Larry keeps them all over the world—so I got to use Larry’s for a few shows. It’s really cool, but definitely more of that Dumble thing, and I’ve gone back to using a single-channel clean amp.
So now, even if you had access to an actual Dumble, you’d still be using the Two-Rock?
Yeah. With the latest stuff Two-Rock has been putting out, I’m, like, totally done with gear. I’ve got the Two-Rock and the 4x10 cab with the Eminence Ragin Cajuns, and they work every night—they never blow up. And I’ve got my two pedals—the Klon [Centaur] and the Mad Professor Deep Blue delay. I’m not even looking for gear anymore.
Is there any other gear you’re really ecstatic about?
I have my own signature set of Curt Mangan nickel-wound stings, and they’re the best strings ever for me. They sound great, and I haven’t broken a single string since I started using them. I’ve even been able to go back to using vintage-style steel saddles on my guitars, which I much prefer the tone of over graphite “string-savers.”