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Chasing the Robben Ford Dumble + G12-65 sound! (Preset included)


Cab Pack Wizard
EDIT: This is a new revision of the preset. Now we have both a clean and lead sound as SCENE 1 and SCENE 2 in the new presets as well. Sidenote: I used a Stratocaster with the tone knobs around 7/10 to get closer to the Robben Ford sound for this clip:

When I got the vintage Marshall JCM800 4x12 G12-65 cabinet I promised myself to explore "what the fuzz is all about" concerning Robben Ford and the Dumble tone. You see those Rola G12-65 speakers are an essential part of Robben's sound and when I got that cabinet I had a Marshall collector come by and check the serial codes and dates and whatnot and turns out the cabinet I had was a really good one. So good that the collector made me an offer to buy it which I couldn't refuse. Here's a picture from the inside:

And here's a picture of what Robben Ford is rocking:

The amp settings are pretty much exactly what Robben had in that Rig Rundown but the drives and masters are set a bit differently. I found that master at 3.5 gave me a perfect balance of those sizzly overtones when letting a chord ring out. The input drive control was good at 6 with my Les Paul but lower with the Strat (around 4-5) which I found weird as it's usually the other way around. Is that a part of the Dumble magic? People with more experience please chime in. :)

I was a bit shy with the reverb so feel free to try settings with more mix. I saw an interview where Robben said he loves the older Fender reverbs but not the springyness of them so he's kind of aiming for a spring reverb type reverb without the spring artifacts. I think I got pretty close to that description.

The IR I'm using for this sound is "ML Brit 65 SM57" from the Ace folder of ML Brit Collection II which is based on the cabinet you see in the picture above. :) I tried mixing IR's for this sound but I think there's a certain lofi-ness to the Robben Ford sound that got lost when ever I was mixing more fatness to the sound. It started to sound a bit too modern in my opinion.

All help is much appreciated. I'm actually having a hard time finding a "stereotypical" Robben Ford guitar sound sample. To me he sounds different almost every time except his fingers of course. :)


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Power User
Two songs on that record are particularly amazing, tone wise. "The Brother" where he uses his Fender Signature guitar and "Start It Up" where you can really here his Tele tone come through.


My favorite tone of his was from the first Blue Line record. Never could get anything to sound like that. He has the crispest Tele tone I've ever heard, too. Sparkling and jangly.
Yeah... That's the Robben tone I'm after!

I think during this time he was primarily using the Fender double cutaway guitar, which was much more Gibson like... He also played Baker guitars for a while.

Tex Axe


I like the 65s for the ODSR sound they break faster then the EV 12S.

Ev's sound better for SSS to my ears

I have a Dumble Ultra Phonic it sounds better with the 65s I think ok with the 412 cab and EVS...

If anyone here happens to know the phrase Ford plays at 4:07 in the Prison of love tune
please clue me in.. Id like to know what he is doing there in context to the song...
Still cant play that part right ..
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Cab Pack Wizard
Okay now I'm getting a hang of this thing a little more. The tele seems to be a crucial part of the tone right? Also Robben uses a strong reverb. Stereo reverb? It's actually a super fat reverb sound that takes a lot of space in the mix. A lot of sustain without all the drive you would expect to hear. Honestly I think I'll get closest to this sound by splitting the coils on my 2014 LP Standard. I'm diving in again... be right back.


Power User
I know it's a hard task but has anyone in here taken a shot at the Robben Ford tone? :)
I'll check it out later this weekend Mikko, thanks for the presets (AX8 most likely). As far as which guitar is used, yes it plays a key factor but in my research of the below thread, he used a LP, Tele and off-brand LP-copy for Indianola. It plays a key role, but that's what the FAS grid is for ;)

Here was my attempt on AX8 a while back, would love to try your tonematch CAB:




Cab Pack Wizard
Yeah the guitar definitely plays a huge part. I got closest with my Strat (Suhr V60LP pickups) and the tone knobs turned to 7/10. My electric drums have a hard time going full on retro but this is what I got:

I realized that he uses the Zendrive for that lead sound. It definitely got me pretty close straight away. The reverb is still a bit of mystery. Actually it almost sounds like it's in front of the amp since it's so loud. Could that be?

Anyways here are the new presets which I'll also update in the first post. I think it's getting closer. If only I had Robben Ford's fingers....

EDIT: The preset Scene 1 is the clean sound and Scene 2 is the lead sound with some noise gating and all the whistles etc.


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