Gettin Deep Here- cable capacitance, PA systems, etc

Gettin Deep Here- cable capacitance, PA systems, etc

Postby claytushaywood » Sat May 26, 2012 2:24 pm

I'm writing this thread because I recently saw the effects of cable capacitance on guitar pickups frequency response. WOW! a 10ft cable really takes out some high end... and a typical guitar speaker like a celestion... phew... But jerry's rig with the buffer and the JBL... MAN! that is bright... I mean i always knew this of course, but that is almost like full range piezoey bright. Then I started doing a little learning about PA systems and the effects of speaker wiring in these huge systems. Basically, they are bass heavy, and they were even more bass heavy back in the day... only recent technology has really given high end a real fighting chance in the world of concert amplification---- I know this is a very arguable point, but in general, this is what I've learned. dont shoot the messenger.

It became apparent that Jerry's rig was developed to combat all of these factors. And SUPER long cable runs of course. But it really made me wonder if we should be contemplating some sort of tuneable low pass filter for our smaller gigs and rigs. Just to shave a lil' off the top. To really emulate the top end that was shaved off jerry's mic'd speaker tone that ran through the board and had to be reamplified and all that. Maybe that's what sound guys are for... but what if we're playing a small gig without a PA and a sound guy. I feel like this is where these thoughts really come into play. My setup right now is pretty darn bright... with my tone control above 7 (which with a standard guitarist setting and my rig ie: bass 3-4 treble 6-8. normal fender input... 7 or below is pretty lacking in high end.

I guess the point of this post is... does anyone have any info on jerry's signal once it left the speaker?
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Re: Gettin Deep Here- cable capacitance, PA systems, etc

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Sat May 26, 2012 5:15 pm

claytushaywood wrote: To really emulate the top end that was shaved off jerry's mic'd speaker tone that ran through the board and had to be reamplified and all that.

........I guess the point of this post is... does anyone have any info on jerry's signal once it left the speaker?



It's my understanding that there was nothing at all done to Jerry's tone after it left the speaker. It was simply mic'd, typically with a Sennheiser 421, sent to a Crest/Gamble console with high quality mic preamps - and if there was any EQ, knowing Healy's general philosophy, he may have shaved off some low bass with the console's hi-pass filters. But I really doubt that Healy did any kind of treble reduction or EQ'ing to Jerry's channel. If so, it would have been very slight. Healy is VERY anti-EQ, anti-phase distortion.

Regarding signal (treble) loss thru long cable runs, that's generally an issue in guitar setups with high impedances. Balanced low-z runs like we use with PA systems don't suffer this loss as the cable capacitance has a VERY small effect on low impedances. The Dead's sound systems were very flat response and balanced and low-distortion. I don't see how there would have been any shaving off of highs from Jerry's mic channel. I think that a lot of what we hear in that warmth and smoothness in Jerry's tone had to do with him being so super loud, pushing the speakers and the amp. The natural result of that is a warming over, a taming of the crisp brightness, a fuller midrange.

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