Neil Young's Sound: "Like A Jet Plane in a Thunderstorm"
Whizzer Replica (Not Neil Young's actual Whizzer) via
The Guitar Refinishing and Restoration Forum
So one of the questions we see quite a bit from our musician friends is "How the hell does Neil get that sound?!"
Not that we have a clue really but it would seem that this sort of question is quite common amongst musicians about their guitar heros. And while it would seem that Hendrix fans can duplicate Jimi's Stratocaster fuzz, Zeppelin fans can imitate Jimmy Page's wah'wahs, and Clapton fans can improvise Eric's bluesy slide, many Neil aficionados appear stumped by the sound of Ol' Black.
Over the years, we've assembled quite a bit of tips and trivia on the subject of Neil Young's Sound. That page links out to information on Ol' Black, The Whizzer, Magnatone amps, and other assorted gadgets in Neil's arsenal.
Again -- not being a guitarist ourselves - it would seem that a lot of the challenges guitarists face on trying to recreate that special, indescribable, grungy feedback that has been described as "a jet plane in a thunderstorm" is due to the fact that Neil's sound and equipment simply can not be purchased or even replicated by professional engineers.
Much of Neil's equipment has been custom rigged over the years using parts that are long out of stock. Like vacuum tubes. Neil's warm analog sound is simply not where equipment is in these days of cold digital 0's and 1's.
So if you're ever curious about that question "How's Neil get that sound?", than see Neil Young's Sound.
Ol' Black 1953 Les Paul Guitar