Feedback on SMS Preamp

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Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby unnbrokenchain » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:36 pm

Alright, so they've been out for a while now and some of you I know have one. How are they? Any soundclips?
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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby hogan » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:13 pm

I may be mistaken, but you could listen to any recent recording of DSO on the archive and hear Mattson blowing up w/ one. I'd start there and for my own opinions.
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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby unnbrokenchain » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:26 pm

:? :? Why didn't I think of that! Thanks!
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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby waldo041 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:30 pm

here's one(JG MODS) paired with the goods, an mc2300 and 3 JBL E120's.



and here with DSO's original bobby!


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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby Chuckles » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:50 pm

DP - oops
Last edited by Chuckles on Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Seems like I've been here before...

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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby Chuckles » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:07 pm

Just got home with mine today and will plug it in tomorrow, so I can't comment on my own use yet... but caught Dave Casper playing through one with Jake's Leg in StL last week, and it was absolutely the best he's sounded ever. Though I've gotta say that he had none of the settings anywhere near where Brad suggests in the accompanying info to get after the Jerry tone. Then again, Dave doesn't really cop directly from Garcia, so he's doing his own thing. Either way, he sounded noticeably better than with his old MESA rig... which is really sayin' something.

I also caught The Schwag, but Stu was already in San Fran for Jerry Week (or was just done with their Schwagstock event - one or the other) and
RUK's very own Modz was sitting in - was smokin' it too! - but no SMS on stage that night... Between Mattson's stuff, Waldo's links and the great reviews given by the folks that participated in Vic's shootout (Keir/Mike) and JonS, this little baby has gotten nothing but positive feedback. That said, I'll give it it's first run-through tomorrow and fully expect to join the growing list of Brad's happy customers!
Seems like I've been here before...

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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby modz » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:12 am

Chuckles it was good hanging out with ya. I have the original prototype (non rack mountable) SMS and I love it but it's hard to gig live with out it being mountable. I hope this Brad guy will make me one soon:) I did some recording with my original band with it and loved the SMS. Dave Casper has his own sound and he is LOVED here in the Lou. I have done a lot of work for him and set him up with a cab and JBL's. To my ear I think Stu's tone is nailing it. I also play some Floyd stuff and I am getting decent Gilmour tones with it. Next time we will jam together Chuckles!!!!!
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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby Chuckles » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:45 am

Now why did I not make the connection that you were the guy building the cabs for Stu, etc.???
:?

LOVE Dave's new (to me) rig! When I saw them last year (Jerry's B-Day bash at the old schoolhouse in Soulard), he was still with the MESA and had just gotten the middle D2 installed in the PRS. I go back to the mid-'80's 20 North days seeing Jake's... it's like a reaffirmation that I've come home when I get back to town to check 'em out. Nice work on the cab, man - I was admiring the whole rig! Dave does seem to be copping more Jerry licks than he did back in the day, but moreover his tone is so nice... and, like I said, it certainly didn't suck before. I suspect the reason his settings are so different than Brad's recs is a combination of his searching for his own sound (while playing the Dead compendium) and the fact that he uses a completely different f/x chain; he's got another couple of whiz-bangs that I couldn't identify in his rack to complement the pedals, near as I can tell. Absolutely one of my fave guitarists to see...

Would love to kick it with you next time around; you sounded freakin' great! (In retrospect, I was probably a little too hammered :drink: to pick up Tim's Heavy Metal Dean V and make sense with it anyway... good call by Jimmy 8) )
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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby modz » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:13 pm

I would swear that Casper is using a compressor but he isn't. It's his picking approach and that is all Dave. When I 1st saw them in the 80's I was delivering a cabinet that I built to Nick Romanoff (one of the best jerry guys ever, R.I.P.) and I thought they were a cute little country band:) I had to come back one more time, then again and again.
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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:29 pm

One VERY unique thing about Dave is that for years he has found that he liked the sound of his PRS with the volume knob down around 2 or 3. Since that volume pot circuit in a PRS has a treble bleed cap on it, Dave basically found that he really wanted a ton of extra treble, and so forever he set his rig's gain structure around the guitar being set at 2 or3, and then used a volume pedal. So when we re-did his PRS with the Jerry DiMarzio in the middle, split to single coil, added the OBEL and buffer, I emulated his PRS treble boost thing with an internal, permanently set trimpot and cap, all before the buffer. That way Dave can fully utilize his guitar's volume knob, and that particular PRS treble boost is always there and doesn't change with the volume. He's really learned to use the Mutron with that treble factor, and now he can't really play without it. Then he sets the rest of the rig to match.

He's using the SMS Classic preamp and the VHT Two-Ninety-Two power amp into a pair of JBL E120's. It's a monster rig. We also did a pull pot on his tone knob so he can either do a pure PRS pickup selection or toggle over to the Dimarzio in the middle split to single coil for the one Jerry tone. He said that these days he pretty much only plays everything all the time on the middle Jerry pickup. Dave's a special player, totally has his own unique and soulful style, has been playing Dead music 3 nights a week for about 30 years now. It's pretty cool what he's developed. Not a Jerry clone, not anyone, just himself.

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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby JonnyBoy » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:58 pm

If you are considering buying one you are making a good decision. I wish I could have one. I am sick of my twin and its constant need to be opened and fixed. I need a rack piece and git this set up more streamlined. I have played many different amps and such over the years and the Fender tone is just my favorite genre. A 1u pre with a Jerry modded twin analog preamp? that's just ideal for me, plus REVERB! And we know who to ask if something goes wrong for an easy fix, Brad's never a stranger. that's priceless to me.
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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby Chuckles » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:32 am

Okay, I've had mine for a few weeks now and feel I can finally chime in on this...

Hands down, the best purchase I've ever made. It is that good, folks.
Seems like I've been here before...

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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby Scarlet » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:17 am

I wondered which resistors did you all go for? Metal film plate, carbon comp or carbon film?
I am still undecided on this issue, so any comments are greatly appreciated.
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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:52 am

Scarlet,

most all the Garcia versions are going out the door with the Dale Metal Film mil-spec plate resistors (Healy's choice). There were a few orders where people specifically wanted a more "carbon comp" sound for a mid-early 70s approach. It's not a drastic difference, but the Dale's are definitely lower noise and do have a bit more hi-fi bell-tone in the high frequencies. The Dale's are very '80s sounding for sure.


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Re: Feedback on SMS Preamp

Postby waldo041 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:07 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:most all the Garcia versions are going out the door with the Dale Metal Film mil-spec plate resistors (Healy's choice). There were a few orders where people specifically wanted a more "carbon comp" sound for a mid-early 70s approach. It's not a drastic difference, but the Dale's are definitely lower noise and do have a bit more hi-fi bell-tone in the high frequencies. The Dale's are very '80s sounding for sure.


+1 on the Dale Metal Films!

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