YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Inspirational tones.

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wildtigerjungleman
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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by wildtigerjungleman » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:51 pm

According to several sources, Yngwie used a Tom Scholz Rockman headphone amp to record the demos (according to a recent YouTube comment made by Gary Shea they are actually rehearsal tapes) for No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll. According to several other sources, he also used FS-1s at the time.

https://youtu.be/NhTPn-Q5M_E?t=6m (Starcarr Lane demo intro.)
https://youtu.be/CuNdWc2LLJM?t=1m19s (Rockman demo for comparison.)

You can hear that Rockman sound there for sure. Sometimes I wonder whether he recorded the album, or parts of it, with the Rockman as well. It certainly sounds different to me, particularly the rhythm guitars. In any case, he must have either used a certain version of the original Rockman or the Ultralight model since the album came out in 1983 while the other Rockman headphone amps came out in 1984.

Here's an interesting site featuring tons of information on the Tom Scholz equipment:

http://www.rockman.fr/
http://www.rockman.fr/Reviews/Rockman.htm

chrisb wrote:I have always loved the sound he got on the two early live videos 84 and 85 and I know common thought is he had moved to the hs3 by then but I am not so sure. I am ready to be told I am wrong :) but I am starting to think at least the duck didn't get the hs3's for longer than thought. Firstly because I have both pickups and after swapping them back and forth for ages I think the FS1 just sounds closer in attack and clarity to the early sound and also is just a little less stringy sounding.
Also, he recorded No Parole, went on tour then recorded Rising Force... would he really change the pickups in all his guitars at once.

Indeed, it seems very likely that he could have still used FS-1s on some guitars in 1984-1985. Here's another close-up of the pickups he used on Metallic Live '84:

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Here's a close-up of the pickguard of one of his strats at the 1985 concert: I could be wrong, but it seems to be a pair of FS-1s with a disconnected middle pickup. The bridge pickup could be something else though due to it being in a different color.

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Here's another picture: Notice what seems to be an Ernie Ball .010 plain string lying there on the table.

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According to some people, Yngwie used 10s before switching over to 08s.

joncarlos wrote:He used .010s for the first 3 albums and went for the lighter gauge after the accident. I also recall reading an interview on which he gave his main reason for the change. It was something like: "when you're doing those crazy step and a half bends for two hours every night, your callouses just die".

And here's the quote from Yngwie himself (Guitar World Magazine, June 1988):

Yngwie Malmsteen wrote:I use .008's, but the bottom E string is a .046. Everybody who plays my guitar usually goes out of pitch, but I seem to be able to avoid that. I don't need it that light, but I play a lot on tour and I do a lot of real heavy bending; sometimes from the high C# (E string, ninth fret) up to F# (fourteenth fret), stuff like that. I could do it with a .010, which I use sometimes, actually, but after awhile, if you sweat and you do these kinds of bends, your callouses just kind of die.

He claimed to use 10s in an interview from Guitar World (Guitar World Magazine, January 1986).

He apparently used 8-11-14-22-32-44 in 1988 (Guitar Buyer's Guide Magazine 1987-'88) according to his tech at the time, Ian Ferguson. In the same interview, Ian stated that Yngwie used Celestion G12 25-watt speakers.

And in 1995 he used 8-11-14-22-32-46 according to his tech at the time, Peter Rooth (GUITAR SHOP Magazine Vol. 1, No. 4, 1995).

One thing that's for sure though is that by 1987 he was using 08s. Here's an Ernie Ball ad from 1987 featuring Yngwie with his custom string gauges: He apparently used a 44 for the low E at the time.

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I found some hidden treasures in some old magazine scans (Young Guitar April 1984 issue, Guitar Magazine June 1984 issue and Guitar Magazine interview from January 27th, 1984) from a Japanese fan-site. They cover the Metallic Live '84 era extensively. He apparently used 8-11-14-26-36-46 at the time. Until someone who happens to read Japanese is able to verify which brand he used, we can assume that they would've been Ernie Ball strings since he used Ernie Ball in 1985 and 1987. We can also assume that he used these gauges when recording No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll and possibly Rising Force as well. They also show several pictures of his pedalboard, but unfortunately the resolution is too low to make out any of the pedal settings, and since I'm unable to read Japanese I couldn't figure out much else from looking at the text. Metallic Live '84 was apparently taped at Nakano Sun Plaza in Tokyo on January 28th, 1984, and since the interview was from January 27th, 1984, we can assume that those magazine scans contain everything we need to know from that era regarding the pedal order, etc. He apparently also had 2 single-channel JMP/MK2s (master volume amps?) in addition to his regular 1987s, and the cabinet below one of the JMPs was mic'ed up, however, it seems that the amps were for show only since they seemed to be turned off. It also looked like one of his heads had its channels bridged/jumped, but I'm not too sure. One thing that surprised me is that by the end of the Metallic Live '84 show, Yngwie suddenly has a bunch of mini-stacks lined up on stage in front of his cabinets, probably just for show though. I think they taped 2 shows since they apparently played twice in 2 days at Nakano Sun Plaza, and since the Metallic Live '84 gigs were their last shows in japan in 1984, it would make sense that those magazine scans are from that time.

Yngwie was a big fan of Ritchie Blackmore in his early days so he could have tried to copy or base his setup on Blackmore's setup regarding the string gauge, string action, etc. Apparently Blackmore used 10-11-14-26-36-42. I could be wrong about the following, but I'd say that he probably started out on Blackmore's gauges, then swapped out the 10 for a 08 and the 42 for a 46 in order to make it easier to bend on the high E string and to balance out the tension on the wound strings. After that, he probably went back and forth between 08s and 10s before finally settling on 08s.

He also used to have a lower string action in his early days as well. According to Yngwie's former tech/manager,
Michael A. Spitzer (2000-2001), Yngwie's string action was set to 4/64 for the EBGD strings and 4/64-5/64 for the AE strings at the 12th fret.

I updated the equipment settings to take into account the new findings:

  • Fender/D'Angelico celluloid extra heavy picks (Shell or black, rarely white.) ->
  • Ernie Ball(Fender?) 8-11-14-26-36-46 (For Metallic Live '84 and possibly No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll and Rising Force as well.)
    Or: Ernie Ball 10-11(13?)-14(17?)-26-36-46(42/44/48?) (For 1985.) ->
  • DiMarzio HS-3 or FS-1 pickups (HS-3s close to the strings for most response, but with disconnected tone pots on both HS-3 and FS-1. Middle pickup lowered to pickguard and disconnected.) ->
  • Roland DC-10 (Volume input gain maxed out, level at -20dB, low output setting. For FS-1.)
    Or: Roland DC-10 (Volume input gain maxed out, level at -35dB, low output setting. For HS-3/FS-1.)
    Or: Roland DC-10 (Volume input gain maxed out, level at -20dB, high output setting. For HS-3/FS-1.) ->
  • Analog Man/Grey DOD 250 (Gain maxed out with level at 9 o'clock.) ->
  • Boss CE-1 (Level control probably on 5-7, high input setting.) ->
  • Marshall 1987x (Upper left input, might bridge/jump channels on some heads, EL34 or KT77 tubes, channel 1 volume probably on 6-10, EQ varies, might run 2 or more heads with opposite and/or different bass/mid/treble/presence EQ.) ->
  • Celestion G12-65 speakers (Darker sounding speakers.)

Edit:

Someone named imoimo (thanks, you're the best!) translated some of the Japanese text from one of the magazine scans for me. Unfortunately it seems that Yngwie didn't state which brand he used other than the gauges he used and that he changed strings every day, so we'll have to keep assuming that he either used Fender or Ernie Ball strings until more information is uncovered.
Last edited by wildtigerjungleman on Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

chrisb
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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by chrisb » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:38 am

Great post. It also looks like the tone pot is wired up on that pic above.

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by Blix » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:35 am

The guitar on the table is the unscalloped one that gets trashed at the end of the show me thinks, so it might not be very representative of his other guitars.
He was definitely using 8's by then, try a Yngwie set and tune a half step down and you'll hear it.
Just put a FS-1 in my '88, sounds killer.

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by chrisb » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:34 am

:lol: yeah that makes sense - being patched up ready for its next smashing.

Be very interested in your thoughts on the FS1 compared to the HS3 - I am convinced that is a big part of his early sound.

BTW - great colour on your YJM :rock:

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by Blix » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:55 pm

chrisb wrote::lol: yeah that makes sense - being patched up ready for its next smashing.

Be very interested in your thoughts on the FS1 compared to the HS3 - I am convinced that is a big part of his early sound.

BTW - great colour on your YJM :rock:


Yeah it's pretty :)

The FS-1 is much beefier than a HS-3, and you get a great balance in volume with the HS-3 in the neck position, where the bridge HS-3 sounds underpowered compared to neck. That's less of a problem with a wall of Marshall behind you haha.
Makes the guitar a more versatile rock machine for me.
John Norum also ran FS-1 and HS-3 back in his strat days with great tones.

I did wire the FS-1 to a tone control for now, but will try it without it later on. I believe it was originally made for a trad setup with no bridge tone. For a strat pickup it's really fat, might even be better without the tone control. Gives it that extra little treble "zing".

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by Blix » Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:13 pm

Okay, removed the tone control from the FS-1 and that surely did the trick for Yngwie tones!
Got that biting string attack back. May be better for "all round" use with the tone control, but for the tones we love, we don't need them! :D

Quick little Alcatrazz riff here:

https://soundcloud.com/blix-4/big-foot-alcatrazz-riff

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by chrisb » Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:44 pm

Yep, thats it :clap: FS-1 sounds great in the neck too if you thinking of it ....

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by Tone Slinger » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:58 am

Sounded great Blix ! I gotta say, it appears that 2 of my 4 favorite 'Strat' players use/d the FS-1's (John Norum "Wings Of Tomorrow" album :rock: , and '83/'84 era Malmsteen). The other two are Uli Jon Roth ('74-'83 era) and Ritchie Blackmore, though they used stock pu's on their classic work. Ooops, about forgot about Hendrix
Rip Ben Wise (StuntDouble) & Mark Abrahamian (Rockstah)

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by JiMB » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:39 pm

Sounds great, Blix!
I just installed HS-3 bridge and HS-4 neck/middle in my strat. It had low output vintage type pickups before. So far, I'm diggin' these!

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by T.L. » Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:53 pm

The HS-3s (and the like) are far too weak for my taste, and sound good only at the bridge position. They sound like mud at the neck position.

I much prefer the Dimarzio "Injector" at the neck position, and the Super Distortion-S at the bridge position.

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by chrisb » Sun May 22, 2016 9:20 am

85 and the Duck is still a 3 bolt

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by RobbyJr » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:37 am

Hi guy's! :)
This is a 2010, Ynigwie Malmsteen— personally owned, played and toured—Fender Stratocaster from close picture.
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Album here ---> http://imgur.com/a/IMohR


Action setup: Adjust string height so the HEIGHT OF STRING ABOVE THE FRET AT THE 17th FRET is 1.6mm for the High E string, B string, G string.
D string should be just barely over the 1.6mm. (1.7-1.75mm)
The A and low E string must be slightly more than 1.6mm and can be as much as 2.0 mm.

:shred:

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by Tone Slinger » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:27 pm

To respond to a couple of posts in this thread, I have a July 1984 Guitar World magazine that has K.K Downing & Glenn Tipton on the cover and Yngwie has a cool little interview in it.

He says that the entire "No Parole From Rock 'N' Roll" album was recorded with "a Rockman and then overdubbed with Marshalls".

The article says that his guitars have custom made Dimarzio pickups in a stacked configuration. This implies that they were Hs-3 by this point, but, the article goes on to say that he installed FS-1 pu's eight yrs ago. It appears that by the time of this interview (April/May '84) , Malmsteen had maybe heard of or tried the stacked (HS-3) pickups, but, was STILL using the FS-1 model, because he goes on to discuss all of the other things he does to his strats to avoid noise and hum (if he was using HS-3's hum would be no issue) like dipping his pickups in wax, stuffing cotton in the body and using lead paint in the bodys gut. All this implies he was still using the FS-1 pickups.

In this article he says he uses D'Angelico strings guaged .008 .011 .015 .026 .036 and .046 .
Rip Ben Wise (StuntDouble) & Mark Abrahamian (Rockstah)

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Re: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Post by wildtigerjungleman » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:34 pm

Hey, long time no see! I've got some cool new information for you guys regarding Yngwie's early gear and amp settings. We now finally also know which brand of strings he used! (beat me to it, Tone Slinger!) I heard rumors about a lot of good info that could be found in Yngwie's early magazine interviews, so I went ahead and searched eBay and found and bought the Guitar Player magazines from 1984 and 1985 with the Yngwie interviews in them. Lots of cool stuff and good info in them. There are also some cool photos in there.

Information from interview in Guitar Player magazine, March 1984:

His first ever solid-body electric guitar was a Japanese-made Clear Sound that resembled an upside-down strat with one pickup. Before that, he had an acoustic that he himself converted to an electric and put a pickup in it and played that through an old tube radio to Beatles and Swedish stuff. He was very driven, focused and inspired already at such a young age. Pretty cool.

For Steeler, "two Marshall 50-watt heads, four cabinets, and four stratocasters were used for the project". The solos were recorded spontaneously in a single day with no splicing. He dubbed acoustic guitar in No Way Out and Serenade, and layered electric tracks together for "the sweet, multi-guitar sound of Abduction".

Yngwie spent 3 weeks writing material for Alcatrazz's No Parole from Rock'n'Roll. Some of the material was derived from his earlier Rising Force band. It was recorded at Rocshire Studios in Los Angeles. Here's how it was recorded:

"The first time trough, the musicians all played at the same time, with the bass, keyboard, and guitar (through a Rockman) plugged directly into the board. Then all but the drums and a few bass tracks were erased and rerecorded. Yngwie used several Fender Stratocasters and two 50-watt Marshall amps and four cabinets for his final tracks, which are captured with considerable presence. He reports that no effects devices were used. Crunchy rhythms and screaming solos, he always played with his guitar and amp settings on 10 (except for the amp's bass control, which was kept on 0). On some songs his rhythm parts were laid down first; on others, rhythms and leads were waxed on the same pass".

His solos were improvised, with every solo recorded being a first take. Though the solos weren't spliced from different takes, he layered guitar tracks in a few songs, notably Incubus and Jet to Jet. He claimed that he had to redo the harmonized solo part in Jet to Jet around four times due to some funny timing issues with the band while recording.

He had six guitars at the time, with his favorite being "a '69 cream-colored, maple neck model that he's had for years". I assume he was referring to the Duck, which we now of course know to be a 71/72 strat.

Under a photo in the magazine it says that Yngwie has replaced the stock vibrato bar on one of his strats with a thicker bar.

It was said that he always disconnects his middle pickup and both tone controls.

And as we all know, it says that he scallops his guitars.

It says that he "normally uses stock Fender Stratocaster vibrato bar setups with four springs in the back; he sets them up so that string pitches can be raised or lowered. If he's installed a thicker bar, he'll add a fifth spring".

He claims that he has one guitar with a Floyd Rose tremolo in it, but thinks it's "just a hassle" and that it doesn't stay in tune better.

All six guitars are "restrung daily with D'Angelicos (gauged .008 to .046, high to low, with a .014 G and .024 D). Graphite lubrication is applied to the nut slots". It didn't specify whether the A string also is a 34 to match the 24 D string, or is a 36 (Metallic Live '84). It would seem that he was using 8-11-14-24-36-46 at the moment.

It says that he used Moog Taurus bass pedals, an old Vox flanger, a Crybaby wah, a Boss octave divider, a Roland echo unit (DC-10) and a MXR Phase 100. It says that the flanger is overdriven at the end of his solo spots to "send an ascending note swirling around the stage". It didn't specify any specific pedal order/settings or mention the DOD 250 at all. I found out that his pedalboard was powered by a DOD FX-100/105, which allows you to power up to 5 pedals, and also accurately matches with his Metallic Live '84 pedalboard.

It also says that he prefers heavy, unbendable picks, which he holds between his thumb and index finger. We've known for a while now that these are Fender/D'Angelico extra heavy celluloid picks. Check out this cool site for more information:

http://pickcollecting.presspublisher.us ... 1985-years

Information from Interview in Guitar Player magazine, May 1985:

Rising force was recorded at the Record Plant in Los Angeles. It was recorded in a big warehouse with a "mobile truck" according to Yngwie. They rehearsed for 3 days before recording. Drums were laid down first by Barriemore Barlow. The album was recorded in 2 days according to Yngwie. All acoustic work "was done on Arias". The bass parts were played on an "Aria with a tremolo bar". When double tracking he uses the same guitar and amp settings.

Yngwie claims in interview that his main guitar used on Rising Force was the strat on the album cover (the Duck), and he claims it to be a 69 strat rather than 71/72 as we know it.

Paul Rivera claims that some of Yngwie's guitars use Japanese-made necks.

It says that he's using stacked humbuckers "specially wound for him by Dimarzio", so it seems that he was using the HS-3s at this point. It also says that "the stock controls are retained and wired in the standard strat configuration" and that there's "no special shielding". It also says that Yngwie prefers Japanese strats over the recent American ones at the time, but claims that American controls are superior.

It says that Yngwie also likes to play on reverse-headstock strats like Jimi Hendrix because "the string tension is different from a standard guitar's".

He also claimed to have put Floyd Rose bridges on 2 of his guitars at the time (you can see a photo of his red strat with a Floyd Rose trem in the magazine). He did not put locking nuts on his strats however.

On a personal note, It also looks like he might've changed the tuners on the Duck at that time, as the tuning pegs had a lot of excess string length sticking out in a magazine photo, which you normally don't get with traditional tuners if you cut the string and stick the end in the hole before wrapping and tuning up. I could be wrong of course, and he didn't state any of this, but it was just an interesting observation.

He claimed to sometimes use 4 springs, and sometimes 5. I assume he mostly used 3 or 4 based on what can be seen in Alcatrazz Metallic Live '84.

He claimed to use Ernie Ball strings, 8-48 at that moment. He didn't specify the exact gauges for individual strings however.

He claimed to have used "absolutely nothing" for effects on the Rising Force album, saying "it was just guitar and amp".

When asked about a solo in Black Star Yngwie said "I got the tone using the same thing I always do-just my Marshalls and my strat. I bypassed all of my effects." On a personal note, you can hear him use his trademark volume swell trick in conjunction with the Roland DC-10 on the intro solo of Black Star, so it seems that it was used as a part of his pedal chain during the recordings of Rising Force despite him claiming otherwise.

He claimed to recently having bought a Nady wireless system, and said that the signal goes from the Nady to the Roland DC-10, thus confirming that the DC-10 is first in the chain technically acting as a preamp before the DOD 250, even when bypassed. He said that he didn't always use the Nady on some nights however "because of the noise".

He also used a Korg SDD 1000 digital delay during Marching Out rehearsals as a "stereo chorus or harmonizer", though he said that he wasn't able to use it lately due to it causing too much buzz. Paul Rivera said that it was also used for echo.

For his amps Yngwie said "They are real old, stock British 50-watt tube models. I usually run them on full-everything except the bass, which is all the way off". This statement contradicts Paul Rivera's findings from inspecting Yngwie's gear, though I read somewhere before that Yngwie was always known to change his amp settings etc. depending on which amp head he was using and which venue he was playing at etc.

He said that he was thinking of having his Marshalls rebuilt, due to them being too noisy.

He claimed to usually be using 3 heads and 6 cabinets for live shows, which is what he seemingly did on Alcatrazz Metallic Live '84 as well judging by photos/videos of the show. He also said that he sometimes would use 10 heads and 10 cabinets.

For picks Yngwie said "they have to be Fender extra-heavies; I couldn't play with anything else. I hold them the usual way-between my thumb and index finger, so the pointy end hits the string". On a personal note, I'd say that he switched over to the Dunlop delrin 1.5 mm ones during his Trilogy phase, whereas everything from Steeler to Marching Out was Fender/D'Angelico extra heavy celluloids.

Marching Out rehearsal amps inspected by Paul Rivera:

Two 1971 Marshall 50-watters, both loaded with GEC KT77 tubes. One of the heads is modified according to Paul Rivera (though he doesn't state how it's modified), with 4 cabinets wired in a stereo X pattern between the heads (heads use opposite bottom cabinets) and loaded with Celestion G12-65 watt speakers.

Marching Out rehearsal amp settings found by Paul Rivera:

Amp 1 (Dry)
Volume 1 : 0
Volume 2 : 10 (Could be a typo in the magazine as Yngwie usually uses the bright volume 1 channel.)
Treble : 10
Middle : 10
Bass : 3
Presence : 5

Amp 2 (Wet)
Volume 1 : 0
Volume 2 : 10 (Same thing, could be meant for volume 1 instead.)
Treble : 10
Middle : 5
Bass : 10
Presence : 5

All EQ settings are the same between heads other than bass and middle.

I get the feeling that Yngwie was in an experimental/expanding phase regarding his gear in mid-to-late 1984 and 1985 and beyond. He put some Floyd Rose bridges on some of his guitars, might have changed the tuners on some, started to use a Korg delay, went wireless, used different tubes and would soon also remove the D/G string trees on his guitars as well. In the following months he would also discover the Dunlop delrin 1.5 mm picks that he's used ever since.
Blix wrote:The guitar on the table is the unscalloped one that gets trashed at the end of the show me thinks, so it might not be very representative of his other guitars.
Yeah, I'd say you're right. It seems that both of the pickup covers were black at the end of the show, so the neck pickup was probably also changed after the video was filmed.

Thanks for the info, Tone Slinger, appreciate it! I totally missed that magazine and interview for sure when I was looking for the early Yngwie interviews. Good to know that we now have all of the information collected here for all Yngwie fans.

Regarding the D'Angelico strings, you can see a box that says D'Merle next to Yngwie's strobe tuner in the backstage video of Metallic Live '84, so that confirms that he indeed was using D'Angelico strings at the time. D'Merle apparently took over D'Angelico at some point (in 1982 according to a website) and continued to make D'Angelico strings for them it seems. There were these "hot nickel concept" strings made by D'Angelico in the 80s that were endorsed and used by the guys in Racer X (Paul Gilbert, Bruce Bouilett and John Alderete). Maybe these were the ones that Yngwie used? The strings use Swedish steel, which apparently naturally has different alloy element ratios compared to American steel, thus potentially also have a different tone and mechanical properties (stiffness, hardness etc.) compared to more contemporary strings. It seems that D'Angelico recently has returned to the string market with new strings, though it seems to be a different type of string than what was used in the early 80s.

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