Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby jeager » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:30 am

Probably another dumb question but I am interested in any advice on dialing in the tone on my SMS pre. I am using two JBL k120 speaks and a Mesa power amp which obviously is going to have an effect on things but getting into the ballpark...

I have the bass way down, I read that Jerry said he turns the bass all the way down, how about the mid knob? I read somewhere on this forum that the mid and treble are interactive? One effects the function of the other? Any help much appreciated as always.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby strumminsix » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:39 am

jeager wrote:Probably another dumb question but I am interested in any advice on dialing in the tone on my SMS pre. I am using two JBL k120 speaks and a Mesa power amp which obviously is going to have an effect on things but getting into the ballpark...

I have the bass way down, I read that Jerry said he turns the bass all the way down, how about the mid knob? I read somewhere on this forum that the mid and treble are interactive? One effects the function of the other? Any help much appreciated as always.

The going theory is the bass all the way down and use the mid knob to dial in your bass.

This will work with the SMS. For a real Fender I feel you need to bring up the bass knob just enough to not sound anemic then bring up the Mids
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby jdsmodulus » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:39 am

When I got my SMS there was a nice hand written guide to help with the Jerry tone, I find that with my setup I agree with Strum that the bass is low but not off and the mids are womewhat in the middle (LOL) and the reverb is just past 12. It will depend on what guitar your using and what PA you have as well.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:36 am

Jerry once told Kimock (I think) that the bass knob is "off" and the midrange knob IS his "bass knob". In reality, I find that we can't always get away with the exact Jerry settings unless we have a very similar speaker cabinet. Sometimes the true Jerry knob settings will sound TOO thin without enough body and heft if the cabinet itself doesn't generate some of that beef. The think to keep in mind is that Jerry had virtually no deep bass in the tone, none really. But he did have some mid-bass or low mids that gave him a full and warm tone. This is in the 150Hz to 300Hz range. There was some there. So I'd say start with these settings:

bass - off
mid - half
treble 85% to 100%

If it is too thin and body-less, then give a bit more mid, and just a tiny hair more bass, but be careful because as soon as you get up around 2 on a Fender knob, the low bass starts to enter the picture and you can instantly destroy that Jerry thing. Bass is the Jerry tone killer. I also find that bringing the treble down just a little bit below 100% can help balance things out. But if you have a 2-12" or 3-12" cab with similar size and geometry as jerry's cab, then the Jerry settings really do nail it. Then if it's too thin, consider your picking and string touch. That's really at the heart of the sound.

B
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby Jon S. » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:32 am

Another happy SMS Classic Preamp user. Here's my take. Forget the crap about "best settings." Play your guitar and adjust the knobs until the overall tone sounds best for you. Jerry was dealing with 100 factors different from yours. No one but you is in your shoes and room. As Brad's made clear, he can advise you where to start but only you can take you where you want to end.. You know what it is you want to hear - now find it!
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby tcsned » Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:23 pm

Jon S. wrote:Another happy SMS Classic Preamp user. Here's my take. Forget the crap about "best settings." Play your guitar and adjust the knobs until the overall tone sounds best for you. Jerry was dealing with 100 factors different from yours. No one but you is in your shoes and room. As Brad's made clear, he can advise you where to start but only you can take you where you want to end.. You know what it is you want to hear - now find it!

+1 - I found the treble 10, mid 4-5, bass 0 pretty close for my Warmoth bolt neck but needed to bump up the mids and lows a bit with the new thru-neck. It gets me about as close as I want.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby waldo041 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:58 pm

Jon S. wrote:Here's my take. Forget the crap about "best settings."


SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:So I'd say start with these settings:

bass - off
mid - half
treble 85% to 100%

If it is too thin and body-less, then give a bit more mid, and just a tiny hair more bass, but be careful because as soon as you get up around 2 on a Fender knob, the low bass starts to enter the picture and you can instantly destroy that Jerry thing. Bass is the Jerry tone killer. I also find that bringing the treble down just a little bit below 100% can help balance things out. But if you have a 2-12" or 3-12" cab with similar size and geometry as jerry's cab, then the Jerry settings really do nail it. Then if it's too thin, consider your picking and string touch. That's really at the heart of the sound.
B


crap? :shock:

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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby Jon S. » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:26 am

It's horrible to be sparring (however gently) not only with our premier gear guru but also someone who personally rescued my luthier and me from electronic wiring hell with my 1st Jerrycaster (thanks again, Waldo :smile: ) but in fairness to me, here's my context that you omited in quoting me in your last post:

Play your guitar and adjust the knobs until the overall tone sounds best for you. Jerry was dealing with 100 factors different from yours. No one but you is in your shoes and room. As Brad's made clear, he can advise you where to start but only you can take you where you want to end.


"Best" and "starting point" are not synonymous. I stand by my first post. For someone else who is not playing your guitar, with your hands, with your rest of your gear, in your room (or venue) to tell you what your "best" settings are for sounding like Jerry is impossible.

Even if you share some remaining commonalities with what Jerry played through, it's not sufficient to enable someone else to tell you what settings are "best." Your advisor can get you started with some settings recommendations but after that, it's in your hands.
Last edited by Jon S. on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby Jon S. » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:00 am

Pardon the 2nd post on the same topic but here's a funny story Caesar Diaz, SRV's amp tech, related about setting SRV's amp up in different venues that makes my same point but in a more humorous way (source: August 2000 Tone Quest Report):

Q. Back to amps…if you polled most of the amp bulletin boards for a “best amp” survey, Super Reverbs would come out on top. Stevie used them for a long time, didn’t he?

A. Stevie used to have Super Reverbs, but they somehow never sounded quite right to him – too much power, you know? He also used to be real superstitious about the number 6. He’d always set the controls on his amps on 6 – the treble on 6, the bass on 6, and I’d back off the knobs with a screwdriver so that when it said 6 it was really on 10 (laughs). You have to do these things.


There's a longer Diaz interview I can't find now* but where he explains further that he was constantly adjusting Stevie's amp settings to tune his rig for every different venue he played because the same amp, on the same settings, is going to sound different in different venues. SRV not only believed that 6 and 6 were "best," for him, it rose to the level of a superstition. So Caesar would be constantly "tuning" the amp to the room. Then he'd reset the amp knobs to show as being set on 6 each, SRV would step up to play that night's gig, the amp would sound fantastic, and Stevie would say to Caesar, "You see - I told you these are the 'best' settings!" :lol:

EDIT: FOUND IT! :smile: Rubin, Dave (March 1993). "Gear Guru: Cesar Diaz Reveals the Tech Secrets of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton & Bob Dylan". Guitar Player 27 (3): 109–37.
Last edited by Jon S. on Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby jeager » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:20 am

The different venues factor is a big one, I agree. Things seem to be different once the band kicks in too. I always feel like I am going to be too bright and loud until the rest of the guys start playing.

Brad and all thanks for the help btw. I never would have tried 100% treble it just seems too extreme, but I have been using a TBX tone control which puts lots of shimmer on top, probably a bad idea cause it extends the bass too. I will turn that thing down and try the treble knob on the amp instead.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby waldo041 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:42 am

Jon S. wrote:"Best" and "starting point" are not synonymous. I stand by my first post. For someone else who is not playing your guitar, with your hands, with your rest of your gear, in your room (or venue) to tell you what your "best" settings are for sounding like Jerry is impossible.

Even if you share some remaining commonalities with what Jerry played through, it's not sufficient to enable someone else to tell you what settings are "best." Your advisor can get you started with some settings recommendations but after that, it's in your hands.


i have to disagree Jon, the fact is with the correct gear and mods, it is very sufficient to use the "best" setting and have a tone almost identical to jerry! if you don't have the skill in the hands to pull it off is a different argument we have already been thru. the fact is with those that do have the skill, and the commonalities, and are using the "best" settings are NAILING his sound. to call this "crap" is a very insulting statement!

peace,
waldo
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby Pete B. » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:20 am

Here's how I do it...
I put on a recording of the Jerry tone I want to match, then play along with it and make minor adjustments until my rig sounds identicle to Jer's.
That establishes my "baseline settings".
'Just one observation of things I tweak, for example... the thickness of your pick has a huge huge impact on your guitars tone coming out of your speaker. That alone can make or break the "Tone Matching".
I rarely use a 2mm graphite pick because I'm not in Jerrys shoes. For example, I have tried and cannot Tone Match very easily with a 2mm pick at "around the house" volumes while playing along with and tone matching to GD DVD's.
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:41 am

Can't understand the reluctance towards 100% treble on the amp- just roll it off with the guitar tone knob! The only way to find the sweet spot.

That kinda relates to how I feel about Dual Sounds vs Super II's: they have very different EQ'ing/tonal range, but with a fairly wide overlap/"sweet spot" where they sound absolutely identical imho.
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Re: Wow thanks.

Postby jeager » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:47 pm

Wow thanks, the 100% treble really nails it. A little like the no bass thing never would have thunk it because my musical background is a bit different. Mostly solo acoustic fingerstyle...which is why...

I understand about technique...Ill never sound exactly like Jerry, have not got the time, talent nor inclination for that matter but trying to nail the sound on some of the signature riffs is fun, and for me that's what it is really about...keeping the music alive and sharing the joy.

More than anything I think we should be concerned with the songs, the vocal melodies and the emotional content. Garcia/Hunter in my opinion the most underrated songwriting team out there...These songs can and should be played more sparsely, with different approaches, instrumentation and arrangements... etc. We don't necessarily need to go overboard with the Jerry cloning...oh you must have his technique... blah, blah, blah. Its nice to have the tonal pallet in the ballpark though.


Waldo and Brad and many others have graciously shared lots of useful information and I thank you all for that...
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Re: Tone adjustments dialing in Jerry on sms or FTR?

Postby Jon S. » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:56 am

waldo041 wrote:i have to disagree Jon, the fact is with the correct gear and mods, it is very sufficient to use the "best" setting and have a tone almost identical to jerry! if you don't have the skill in the hands to pull it off is a different argument we have already been thru. the fact is with those that do have the skill, and the commonalities, and are using the "best" settings are NAILING his sound. to call this "crap" is a very insulting statement!

peace,
waldo
I'm sorry, it honestly did not occur to me that my admittedly quick but intended to light hearted use of crap in this context would leave you or anyone else feeling very insulted - no conflict intended & I'll be softer in the future. (Have also PM'd you.) On the merits, while I continue to disagree w/you as explained previously, folks now have two options they can try ("set 'em & leave 'em"; "set 'em & tweak 'em").
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