When it comes to Steve’s rig, surprisingly it has barely changed in almost 40 years. What has never changed is his handmade custom pre-amp, the “Alectron,” as well as his prized custom vintage Marshall cabs loaded with EV speakers. We sent the original prototype to Steve when he was out on tour with British Lion and this is what he had to say about it:
“The tour is going fantastic. And the reason it’s going fantastic is this little thing here. It’s unbelievable. [Andrew Barta] is a real boffin*. Because he’s managed to simulate my EV speaker sounds, which I love so much. And it’s in this little box. Whatever he’s done, he’s made this thing sound like my sound. So, well done, mate.” –Steve Harris
*Translation: technical expert.
While this collaboration began as a solution for touring with British Lion, as it wasn’t practical to travel with his full rig for smaller venues, the SH1 has earned a place as a component of his live sound on Iron Maiden’s Legacy of the Beast 2019 tour.
A true hands-on professional, Steve Harris not only formed Iron Maiden (in 1975!), he writes the bulk of their songs, plays multiple instruments, mixes recordings, directs and edits both live and production videos, and sings. As if that wasn’t enough, Steve somehow finds time for British Lion, which he describes as a side project that’s more mainstream rock than metal. And yet, he’s enviably humble. Known for his galloping fleet-fingered bass lines, Steve’s distinctive style and tone have, and continue to be, required reading –whether you’re into metal or not. Like our other signature gear, the SH1 is not just for one single tone or genre. The controls are designed to provide an expansive range of adjustability so you can dial in a wide spectrum of bass tones as well.
• All-analog SansAmp™ technology
• Two channel modes with individual Gain and Level controls
• Blend to control the ratio of SansAmp Tube Amplifier Emulation and your direct instrument signal
• 4-band active EQ, cut or boost ±18dB
• Bite switch to activate a “Steve” boost for extra clank and clarity
• Chromatic tuner
• 1/4-inch 4.7megOhm input
• XLR output with ground lift to go direct to a PA desk or studio board
• 1/4-inch low impedance output
• Speaker simulation defeat switch
• Rugged, all-metal housing
• Metal footswitches and jacks
• Silent-switching, custom footswitch actuators
• Measures 7.75”l x 2.5”w x 1.25”h
• Weighs just 12 oz.
• Utilizes included 9V DC Universal Power Supply: Model #DC9. “Auto-switching,” self-adjusting 100V240V, 200mA.
Includes interchangeable international prong assemblies for EU, UK, Australia/New Zealand for use anywhere in the world.
In addition to Steve Harris’ personal setting, sample settings styles include:
• Phil Lynott
• Cliff Burton
• Deep Purple
To hear/see these settings, you’ll find the playlist here:
Photo Credit: John McMurtrie