My Jerry rig version 3.0

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My Jerry rig version 3.0

Postby playingdead » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:32 am

I went into some detail on the Gearheads forum over the weekend on this, but there are lots of good ears here, too.

Since moving to the Trio rack system, I have missed a little of the warmth and drive/saturation I was getting with the modded Twin head, albeit at the expense of hiss and noise compared to the rack. The Trio is very crisp and clean, and the Clean channel is very difficult to overdrive. And the Crown power amp I was using is very powerful but also somewhat sterile.

So I went looking for some alternatives for both; I used an Egnater M4 modular preamp along with an Acoustic Image Focus 2R power amp the other night.

The Egnater allows me to set both gain and drive on each module; I used one based on a blackface Twin and Deluxe Reverb. It can go from super clean on the Twin channel to pretty dirty on the Deluxe channel. It was easy to get a sonic match to the Trio, then drive it from there.

The Focus is a lot warmer sounding and very high fidelity ... plus it's 800 watts and weighs just 6 pounds.

Here's a couple of minutes from the quietish jam out of Dear Mr. Fantasy, Tiger guitar, middle pickup single coil -> Egnater M4 preamp -> Real Tube Reverb -> Focus 2R power amp -> Hard Truckers 2X12 with JBL E-120s. I used a little Boss delay through a GCX unit on this excerpt.

Wish the bass was hotter on the board mix, but you can hear the guitar well.

http://www.playingdead.net/fantasy2.mp3

I can provide more detail on both the M4 and the Focus if anyone's interested, but I am pretty happy with how it's sounding overall. Maybe a little more drive next time.


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Postby morte73 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:47 pm

very nice! What did you use to record?
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Postby Billbbill » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:03 pm

For a mellow segment the tone is real nice. If you were to start kickin it a bit, yes a little more drive. Sounds good - disclaimer: this coming from a gearidiot - just listen to my stuff if you doubt me! lol!
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Postby playingdead » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:50 pm

morte73 wrote:very nice! What did you use to record?


Sony MZ-100 Minidisk ... off the board. Hit record, six hours. Idiotproof ... unless you forget to hit save before you unplug it, which I do from time to time ...

More drive ... like this? LOL

http://www.playingdead.net/road2.mp3
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Postby Billbbill » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:04 pm

yea, and maybe a tad more mid or bottom - now I'm gettin picky :smile:
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Postby morte73 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:15 pm

I checked out the videos from your site...Very tight!!

Next time I am in beantown I'll check you all out.
:cool: or you could make a road trip to Atlanta!
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Postby strumminsix » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:33 pm

Billbbill wrote:yea, and maybe a tad more mid or bottom - now I'm gettin picky :smile:


I hear 2 things missing:
- low mids.
- high end chime

But that's if we gonna be super picky.. I faced a similar problems with my POD unit then ditched it. Then picked up a Parker and my top end is bright and cuts nicely but no chime up there... She's getting new pickups or sold or something...

What I do hear:
- very talented guitar playing
- a band of talented musicians
- sweet vocal harmonies
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Postby pappypgh » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:55 pm

You guys kick ass, I'm jealous!

BUT, I will say, for the money it looks like you guys spend on gear, you need good recording equipment!!! Our drummer is also our sound guy and he has a 24 channel hard-disk recorder. SICKLEBERRY. We re-mix our shows later and burn 'em (just for us...how lame) - but MAN, the quality can be great (when it's mixed well, and he has been progressing each mix). Add in a splash of effect later on the overall mix (just a tinge of reverb) - really gives it a nice ambient sound for coming off the board.

Anyway, as I said earlier - you guys rock. Great GD sound...you do Jerry very well. Nice chops. And the rest of your band is great, too! :cool:

Take care,
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Postby playingdead » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:19 pm

Thanks, man ...

We don't carry our own sound; we've talked about doing a multitrack recording but having to interface with the various clubs' snakes is pretty daunting. One of our drummers is a big Pro Tools guy, too.

Funny thing about that Like a Road tune; our rhythm guitarist was missing for most of that show on Saturday, so we did a bunch of Garcia Band stuff. We had never played or rehearsed that before, didn't even soundcheck it -- which is why I blew the ending. The bass player was reading off a scribbled chart on the floor. I was blown away that the drummer and organ player hit those harmonies during the verse, though, just from listening to an MP3 of it the afternoon of the show.
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Postby jeffm725 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:15 am

playingdead wrote:Thanks, man ...

our rhythm guitarist was missing for most of that show on Saturday,.


fucker..your supposed to call me at times like that :-) :-) just kidding.......

It sounds wonderful Vic, It is Uber-clean, but then I am the type who would lean on the clean side than on the dirty side. I can see (hear) that it may be tough to get grit when you dig in with that config, but then again on the fantasy track I dont think you were really digging in anyway there.
Like a Road sounded real nice, yeah there is some drive there 8) ...I played it for my wife (It was our wedding song) she loved it, that is a good measuring stick for Like a Roads.
I do that in Legion and with the two girls singing the harmonies it can soar (although we have also crashed and burned :?

I have been looking at the Egnater modules myself, but shit, NOBODY has them. How did you get yours?
Are you really liking it more than the Trio?
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Postby playingdead » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:36 am

Jeff, he told us right before the gig, or I would have called you!

He still made most of the second set, but it was definitely an "oh s---, what'll we play?" moment.

I think what I'm fighting now is the guitar volume as it relates to the gain on the modules. I have to find the happy medium between the power amp level, preamp level and stage volume, because I am usually too loud (or so I am told) and I tend to roll it off on the guitar, which equals less overdrive through the preamp stages.

There's a huge waiting list for the Egnater stuff, but I scored one pre-owned. Modules are generally available, though; I have the T/D (Twin/Deluxe), as well as a COD (Boogie), SL2 (Marshall), EG5 (Two Rock/Dumble), and just got a Vox and Bassman, too. Tone heaven!

For the folks here unfamiliar with the concept, it's basically a tube preamp with four slots for modules. Each module is a circuit board with a pair of 12AX7 (V1 and V2) tubes, plus various caps and resistors. Bruce Egnater designs and modifies each module until he gets it as close as possible to the "real" amp, and they are very close, indeed. Swap a module in about five seconds and it's like a completely different amp. And with four modules, with two channels each, it's eight different amps in two rack spaces.

This is the T/D module:

Image

I'm also trying to talk to them about doing some mods on a T/D to get even closer to Jerry's tone. Just like on a real Twin, you could start swapping pieces to change the tone, like Bruce does on the different modules; they are all very different when you look at them.

The chassis has a pair of 12AX7 tubes in it, as well. It's like a modeling amp, but all tubes, no digital simulation. Egnater licensed the concept to Randall, but their version is built in China and Bruce's is hand-made here in the US with better components.

I also rackmounted my pedals, but on a sliding tray. I'm really happy with how the GCX has cleaned up the tone on everything. I didn't expect that big a difference.

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Postby KCJones » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:58 am

IMHO... Hope I'm not too far off the subject here, But, from an MP3 you can only get a very general representation at best of someones tone and overall sound; certainly not enought to do critical critiquing of someones EQ in relation to tonal qualities, etc. I think MP3s are useless for critical listening of a studio or live Mix. MP3s just throw all sound out of proportion. Bottom line, never trust an MP3 when your trying make ajdustments to a mix or your personal sound.
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Postby jeffm725 » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:13 am

playingdead wrote:There's a huge waiting list for the Egnater stuff, but I scored one pre-owned. Modules are generally available, though; I have the T/D (Twin/Deluxe), as well as a COD (Boogie), SL2 (Marshall), EG5 (Two Rock/Dumble), and just got a Vox and Bassman, too. Tone heaven!

For the folks here unfamiliar with the concept, it's basically a tube preamp with four slots for modules. Each module is a circuit board with a pair of 12AX7 (V1 and V2) tubes, plus various caps and resistors. Bruce Egnater designs and modifies each module until he gets it as close as possible to the "real" amp, and they are very close, indeed. Swap a module in about five seconds and it's like a completely different amp. And with four modules, with two channels each, it's eight different amps in two rack spaces.

This is the T/D module:



I'm also trying to talk to them about doing some mods on a T/D to get even closer to Jerry's tone. Just like on a real Twin, you could start swapping pieces to change the tone, like Bruce does on the different modules; they are all very different when you look at them.

The chassis has a pair of 12AX7 tubes in it, as well. It's like a modeling amp, but all tubes, no digital simulation. Egnater licensed the concept to Randall, but their version is built in China and Bruce's is hand-made here in the US with better components.

I also rackmounted my pedals, but on a sliding tray. I'm really happy with how the GCX has cleaned up the tone on everything. I didn't expect that big a difference.



I wonder how the ones he designed for Randall compare with his own modules. It would be interesting to test them side by side. I do understand the egnaters own modules are probably made with much more attention to detail, and that the Randalls are mass produced with probably less expensive components, but how much of a sound difference is there really between an Egnater Twin module and a Randall Twin module. I am very curious[/list][/url]
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Postby playingdead » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:49 am

There are folks on the Egnater and Randall boards who have used both, compared, interchanged, etc ...

First off, the new Egnater modules are dual-channel modules, so you typically would get a Marshall plexi on the A channel, then Bruce's modified hotrodded plexi on the second.

The Randall modules are single channel, and their chassis will only play the A channel of the Egnater modules.

Those who have A/B'd the modules side by side tend to return the Randall modules because they just don't sound as good as the Egnater ones; people say they are too bright and lack the mojo. Egnater licensed the concept to Randall but he does not build or design the modules for them. The Egnater modules, on the other hand, are described as "holy grails" for tone ... but that's subjective, of course.

As for the chassis, Egnater uses a much better transformer to start with, plus Bruce builds them on the bench.

Here's an interesting article on Egnater:

http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/I ... _City.aspx

My favorite quotes:

"It eventually developed into the Modular Series from us modifying our own stuff and saying, 'There’s got to be a better way to do this than to just physically modify every amp in the world.' "

"It makes perfect sense that you just take out the part of an amp that is 95 percent variable and make it whatever you want. You’re not getting an amp that Bruce loves the sound of and we have to make everybody like this design."

I got the Vox module last night and plugged it in ... it is sweet and chimey and breaks up nicely. Bassman comes on Monday.
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Postby jeffm725 » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:27 am

Excellent informatuon, Vic!

Yeah, when i referenced the impossible to find comment on the egnater, it is the power chassis and/or the pre-amp rack that are as rare as hens teeth. The modules seem fairly attainable at least.

You confirmed my suspicions on the differences between the randalls and th egnaters, but wishful thinking had me hoping the randalls were almost as good.
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