Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby waldo041 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:05 pm

JustinJohn wrote:I believe there must be other poweramps that can create a similar sound/feel/dynamic, and probably at half the weight.=)


Nope, and no amount of random knob turning is gonna get one there either!

~waldo
"Tone is in the instruments. Technique in the hands. Do what you will." ~ quote from some guy at the TGP forum
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby lunasparks » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:29 pm

waldo041 wrote:
JustinJohn wrote:I believe there must be other poweramps that can create a similar sound/feel/dynamic, and probably at half the weight.=)


Nope, and no amount of random knob turning is gonna get one there either!

~waldo


LOL! Ain't that the truth....
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:48 pm

I'd love to see the results of a multi-sample blind A/B/C "Mac challenge" taste test, with A being a Mac 250 or 2300 or whatever does "it", B: another quality solid state amp like a QSC or Crest or whatever, and C: the Twin output section inline, or perhaps a tube power amp like a 50/50. The gear would be behind a screen as you noodle away, and an assistant changes out each power amp without you knowing what it is. Better yet, I'd love to allay my own skepticism in the only way possible, by getting to A/B a Mac vs my Ashly, which I have no complaints about.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby mgbills » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:12 pm

T.S. - I would actually like to see that too.

And I'd like to see a frequency spectrograph of the whole experience.

Even more fun would be to mic a sound chamber so they could be pushed to crazy volume with an MD421.

My bet would be that the louder it gets, the more sterile most SS power sections would get. Mattson's Bryston at loud volume at the Crystal was freakin' icepicky painful....and still very Jerry.

My other guess is that the most out there would be the Twin. To my ears a tube power section is a whole different sound. I would think something like a Mesa 50/50 would be in the ballpark of the Twin.

Not because I don't love my Mc's...more because I would love to study the sound phenomena we all find appealing.
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby lunasparks » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:17 pm

tigerstrat wrote:I'd love to see the results of a multi-sample blind A/B/C "Mac challenge" taste test, with A being a Mac 250 or 2300 or whatever does "it", B: another quality solid state amp like a QSC or Crest or whatever, and C: the Twin output section inline, or perhaps a tube power amp like a 50/50. The gear would be behind a screen as you noodle away, and an assistant changes out each power amp without you knowing what it is. Better yet, I'd love to allay my own skepticism in the only way possible, by getting to A/B a Mac vs my Ashly, which I have no complaints about.



I've done something along these lines a couple of times, actually. First time was MC250 vs Rocktron V300. That time I recorded some clips (poorly) and it was harder to tell the difference on the recordings. I mostly think it's poor recording technique because it was much easier to tell the difference in the room. Transparency, body, etc....there was something special going on with the Mac. Another time did it with MC2105 vs. Mosvalve 962. To me it was the same story. Didn't record clips that day but there in the room it was obvious. It's always possible it's all in my head but...nah :-)
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby waldo041 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:28 pm

I think a similar example would be using a JBL k or e 120 vs any other speaker out there. There just is no comparison, except maybe for a clone of one. A mac can be cloned it just has not been done, nobody has replicated the autoformer yet.

I agree with you luna, the feeling a mac has is a big factor for those that own them, especially modded correctly. In my back up rig. I use a crest power amp and have dialed in the output coupling cap and have used a crude zener diode clipping mod on and off. And on tape or live for that matter it is close to a jerry tone as almost anyone can get, and i have been dialing in for many years, but it in no way compares to my mac and the way it feels.

However, ymmv.

~waldo
"Tone is in the instruments. Technique in the hands. Do what you will." ~ quote from some guy at the TGP forum
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby Pete B. » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:53 am

The thing about A/B'ing amps and speakers and stuff is fun!
I have done a bunch of it, including setting up my 2x12 cab so one E120 is coming from the Mac and one E120 is coming from a Twin Reverb, and mixing/matching on a gig.
Here's the deal... It doesn't matter at all to anyone in the audience. They will still yell out stuff like "Laaaame!" if you fuck up the intro to China Cat (even if it's the Bobby guy who fucks up).
We've gone Around & Around with this gear vs tone thing tons of times in the Pedal Steel world.
Fact: Playing the same/similar gear as your hero makes you feel good. Most players couldn't tell the difference between a Twin/Mac/MosVave. The audience certainly doesn't care at all as long as the playing is in the ballpark of what they came to hear.
Last edited by Pete B. on Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby waldo041 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:03 am

You are absolutely correct Pete, the majority of the audience could care less. But this discussion or debate has never been really about what the audience hears. It is all about what the musician playing the rig is after. That is where it all starts. But if there are musicians that can't tell the difference then they should not be debating it. There are definitely differences.

~waldo
"Tone is in the instruments. Technique in the hands. Do what you will." ~ quote from some guy at the TGP forum
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby Pete B. » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:20 am

Yet, Garcia sounds like Garcia, on any rig.
I mean, what's the value of anyones tonal opinion of gear?
My first criterea is... Does the guy have the chops? If so, that peaks my interest in gear.
I realize though, once you have it in your hands, you can sound like Jerry G with any of those amps.
Having tried most of this stuff, my opinion is, Yes, there are differences, just, not enough to matter. Folks should focus more on their ability to play their instrument and give a quality performance, imho.
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby TI4-1009 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:10 am

"Give me 5 minutes with any guitar and amp and I'll sound like Keith Richards." -Keith Richards
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby Pete B. » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:49 am

Your tone will always have more of a "Jerry vibe" if you use a Mac.
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:10 am

The ironic thing about the "Its -all - the -hands" theory is that Jerry himself was always looking to upgrade his rig.
Seems like as soon as they had extra cash they started the tinkering ..... why was that ?
:!:
Maybe its cause i have been practicing as much as I can the last few years or maybe its the Jerry rig talking - maybe its both ? - but I have never been this "close" to the " tone " as this .....


I'm never going to be confused with the great players ( Jim , Keir , Vic , etc ) here but IMHO investing in some solid gear is never a bad thing ....
:-)
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby waldo041 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:50 am

Jerry's playing will ALWAY'S sound like Jerry. I honestly believe no one can argue with that. We all understand that the only way to truly nail jerry is in nailing how jerry played the guitar. It is belittleing and disrespectful to continually bring up that fact and completely disregard the other part of what also contributed slightly to that tone he got all those years. Jerry played like Jerry, yes, but jerry through 3 twins and the peanut is different sounding then with tiger through the twin pre and mc2300 or bolt through the trios to the board. Yes, it is jerry playing it, but it does not sound identical. Why is that? What is he doing playing wise that makes those rigs with different equipment sound different. Could it actually be that his gear altered his tone and in some way maybe altered the way he played to some extent? If so, could those properties be achieved for my own playing or should i forget trying to nail those aspects just because i am not jerry nor do i play like him? Or since jerry sounded like jerry on any guitar he played, any one can nail those 83 tones with a blues junior and a squier strat as long as they play like him? Nope, my ear as well as few here on this board would not be fooled. If it was as simple as picking up any guitar or amp and you can sound like anyone, there would only be one guitar and one amp.

~waldo
"Tone is in the instruments. Technique in the hands. Do what you will." ~ quote from some guy at the TGP forum
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby NQL » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:25 am

Well said,Waldo
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Re: Really, can anyone actually nail this tone?

Postby mgbills » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:53 am

I may be in a slightly divergent camp here as well.

I have been diggin' the FatMan since 1981. LF time all of a sudden. But I'm under no illusions that I'll ever play just like him. Oh, I'll keep working my Jerry riffs, studying his technique, stealing goodies from guys like Seth & Pete & Justin when I can. But... I've got me a JobJob, and have for 40 years more or less constantly. If I could quit, I'd still not be Jerry. But the perfect & architypal guitar tone I hear in my head...is that ebullient Jerry tone.

So...I plays my guitar every day for an hour or two, and I intend to have a local type folky jam band one day (again). And it'll be guys like me who like to improvise. And the drummer will have hands not musk-ox hooves. And we'll play some versions of Dead tunes. And my rigs (which I've thoroughly enjoyed building), will still be similar to Jer's.

Maybe someday somebody will pay me the compliment that I sound a bit like Jerry, but I'm not the type to study the WangDang Doodle from 1991 RFK note for note. I'll know that on some nights Jer walked up to the 3rd, and other nights he landed on 5ths...but as a rule I'm more interested in principle than replication. My memory is far too poor for that.

Rant concluded. You don't have to be Jerry...to enjoy the tonal qualities of the gear he used.
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