ToneQuest Report: November 2023 – Vol. 25, No. 1


Ryan Wariner, influenced by Van Halen and Page, authentically channels their magic in his music. Beyond notes, he explores NYC spots tied to iconic album covers. A legendary tone chaser, he shares insights on studio sessions and the quest for the perfect tone.

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What's Inside This Issue:

Wariner Wisdom & Amplified Six-String Pursuits – It’s easy to understand that Ryan Wariner has spent a good deal of his youthful time with Edward Van Halen and Jimmy Page. His fingers and heart convey the story of those magical lines and tones in an authentic and accurate manner, although it doesn’t start and stop with the music. When in NYC he makes it a point to visit 96 and 98 St. Marks Place between First Avenue and Avenue A, which was photographed for the iconic cover of Zeppelin’s Physical Graffitti.
He comes from a musical family, most famously with dad Steve, profiled in TQR 2004, it was with his mother and his uncle that influenced his lean towards ‘70s rock than the typical Nashville sound. Ryan is a legendary tone chaser, and in this issue, he shares some serious tone mining… the role of his uncle and the gift of a ’59 Strat, studio sessions with the late Chris Cornell and John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash’s son. Wah Wouldn’t Ya? Funky footsteps with Wariner on this classic effect. From Strats to Pauls… His search for a modern gem that hangs with a real burst. On the road with Ann Wilson… In a world where you’ve got the goods, what’s in the quiver? Marshall, Matchless, Fender… How the normal channel on a Black Panel Deluxe can breathe fire. Fifty percent of your tone… The right speakers for the amp and your hands. Wariner’s pedal board… Some old, some new and philosophy of why some stay. Underdog Hiwatts and a magic AC-30… Nashville flood survivor gets the Sharp treatment and much, much more. Mining for tone requires a miner’s heart. Ryan is as humble, passionate and talented an artist as they come and heartily welcomed new addition to the TQ Advisory Board.

2022 Tom Murphy Lab Review The 1957 Light Aged Les Paul Is A Winner – There it was, hanging in a stand in front of an old Marshall. A lone Gibson Murphy Lab 1957 Goldtop daring anyone whose gaze strayed in that direction not to stop and pick it up. It looks darn close to being the real deal. Gibson’s Murphy Lab has been at it a few years now, having officially launched in 2021 and since it came up in conversation with Ryan, we decided to see what Tom and crew are putting out into the world. Paul, the store owner, was kind enough to let us take the guitar home for a field trip of sorts so we could get to know it more intimately. We have a few guitars of similar ilk around the hood and the back and forth with those instruments through multiple amps, speakers cabs and pedals is always revealing and presents an opportunity to learn something… quest forth!