Mark Knopfler is a Strat player who has managed to create a genuinely unique sound. Of course there are a lot of Strat-gods, but the sounds of Knopfler is so special that you can easily recognize it from the first note.
In this “Sound like…” article we present you products to help you sound like Knopfler, without it costing you a fortune. It’s true that his unique sound comes from his unique finger picking technique, but it is also from the use of his selection of effects and amps, which allows him to get the sound he achieves.
We can’t enlighten you on his unique playing technique that has worked so well for him over the years, but we can refer you to the equipment that will bring you a step closer. In terms of the guitar for instance, a safe bet would be the Fender Special Edition 50. An affordable guitar with crisp single coil pickups that plays beautifully. In terms of the guitar played in Knopfler’s songs with humbucker pickups, we opted for the new Yamaha Revstar RS620. These series became an all-time favorite among critics and not without reason.
As for the effects, the setup is fairly discreet. A delay is certainly always present. For guitarist seeking a more versatile delay, the Boss DD7 is an excellent choice and is mid-range priced without cutting the family budget. For a tighter budget we recommend the Harley Benton Digital Delay, which offers the main delay properties at an affordable price.
The necessary compression is supplied by the Diamond Guitar Compressor, which, owing to its sophisticated compression delivers a well rounded and full ranged sound. If this item costs a few more Euro’s than you are willing to spend you can most definitely also get a great sound with the TC Electronic HyperGravity, which is nothing to sneeze at either, despite even in comparison with other well known compressors. For the Wah-Sound we have selected a CryBaby Mini while the volume level was managed by Oli in our video with a Ernie Ball VP JR. If you prefer that, you can also opt to combine both functions within one pedal unit such as the HoTone Soul Press.
The Amp must above all else have a beautiful, clear Clean-Sound, yet when needed also provide a nice crunchy sound as well. With the Fender Blues Junior you will have plenty of both in a nice and classically styled enclosure. If you prefer something smaller you will do very well with the Laney Cub12, it offers a surprising amount of headroom and is a very solid amp in every respect.
And for the lucky ones among us that have the necessary cash on hand,.. it is possible to acquite the Original Knopfler-Setup, in this case the Fender 1961 Strat Hot Rod Red NOS should be your very first choice. The similarities with Marks’ much loved 61er surely must be total coincidence … ?
The Music Man 212 HD 130 was the amp that he played for quite a long time so if you want to get really authentic this is a fine choice? How does your current setup look like, when you try to follow in the footsteps of Dire Straits?