New "old" guy needs gear advise......

New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby oldjoebones » Fri May 28, 2010 11:44 am

Ok, here's the deal. I'm a 44 yr old guy who hasn't "really" played guitar seriously since I was 22. I can still play chords and what not but never really got into leads and scales since I went off to college and other things came up. The last 22 years I have spent working and taking care of my wife and kids (19 &15). I have had/have a very successful career and I am financially secure to the point where in the given state of the economy I feel very fortunate.

But now.............its time to do something for me. I am going to start up on the lessons to learn the scales and everything I need to learn to start playing leads. I have always been a Deadhead and have always loved the sound Jerry was able to achieve thru his playing and gear. While I could easily plop down all the funds I need to reach my goal right now, I am in no hurry as I still have a lot of learning to do and can piece the gear together as I go. I have read a lot of threads on these boards and I will admit I'm not a electronics, sound or effects specialist so a lot of stuff I understand yet would not know how to put it together. Hopefully you all can help me if you have the time and patience. I may never play live or get to jam with others as of now since if I practice for 5 yrs Ill be damn near 50!!!............but having the gear to mess with is nice. That being said and based on my readings on these forums a good set up seems to include (if I'm missing anything feel free to add to it) the following:

Cab and Amps

2 x 12 Cab with JBL speakers - though I saw someone here who builds and sells them for around $400-$500 (I'm not to handy in that dept)
Korg rack tuner or similiar
SMS preamp
Amplifier - McIntosh or other. Does not have to be an old amp. Prefer a new one even if I have to sacrifice little on the "exact" sound size.
not sure what else on this end........

Guitar

Currently going to use my 1979 Guild S60D (not my actual guitar but I have the same exact one) until I get better and then spend the money on a guitar with the OBLE and the unity gain buffer pre amp.

Image



Effects Pedals

Haven't reached that far yet but still doing some research on what would be necessary.


I know you all are thinking, "this guy is nuts!!" Maybe, but I believe if you do something you do it right the first time.....its not like Im getting a wolf or a tiger at the same time here....I just want to start with the right sound gear and then work my way to a new guitar. I can live with my current guitar and pedals routed thru the mono until I get where I want to be then upgrade it to fit the existing rack I would using.

Assuming you all think Im not crazy....would this set up be a good start?
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby dleonard » Fri May 28, 2010 11:51 am

Dude, that is going to be insanely LOUD in your house. If you're going all out, maybe some sound insulation would be in order too.
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby oldjoebones » Fri May 28, 2010 11:56 am

I understand that......I like loud but if there is a better alternative to achieving a clear sound that wont make the neighbors deaf I'm all ears. I also don't want some crap setup as well. I was just going about what I have been reading and it seems everyone was partial to the 2 x 12 set up.
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby FretWilkes » Fri May 28, 2010 12:01 pm

Welcome "old guy".

1. Now, lay off the old guy stuff! I'm 53 years old a have been gigging for over 35 years and will continue to until they pry the Tele out of my cold dead hands. You're YOUNG...me too. lol

2. While having that kind of gear is indeed fun I would suggest getting a good smaller wattage amp with a single 10 or 12 if you are initially just playing at home. A Princeton Reverb, Blues Junior, or Deluxe Reverb are all great options and will yield a good Jerry tone(s). Any of these amps will work well if you start jamming with friends as well. IMHO the 2 JBL, SMS/Mac road is cool, but perhaps a little overkill in your current situation, but if you must, have at it.

Anywho, the best of luck to you in rekindling your relationship with guitar playing. You must be very excited.

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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby brutusbuck45 » Fri May 28, 2010 12:06 pm

oldjoebones wrote:I understand that......I like loud but if there is a better alternative to achieving a clear sound that wont make the neighbors deaf I'm all ears. I also don't want some crap setup as well. I was just going about what I have been reading and it seems everyone was partial to the 2 x 12 set up.


Hi! ...and welcome a"board". Sorry, couldn't resist. I would say most, if not all, of the players here that have Hardtruckers-type 2 x 12 cabinets, have some sort of gig where they either jam in a large space with a full band or they are playing clubs and bars that can handle high volumes. There have been many recent discussions about low volume rigs. It is several member's same goal. Good luck and have fun searching for the sound.
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby oldjoebones » Fri May 28, 2010 12:07 pm

Hey fret...

Thanks for the reminder.....

If I go the smaller route which I have no aversion to doing.......will a guitar with the unity gain and OBEL still play thru that amp? Like I said I'm no sound or electronics expert :oops:
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby jkstraw » Fri May 28, 2010 12:10 pm

Welcome! I don't think you will get bad advice from anyone here - if you go the route you have laid out I think you are going to love the set up! I have the same thing...and yes it is probably overkill ... for me as well. But you know - I practice more than I ever have before and am getting closer to my goal of learning to solo. I have never regretted the time money and effort I have spent.

All the best regardless of your choices...enjoy it and report back :cool:

P.S. I was crazy enough to go for the guitar as well. As far as effects I went for the AXE-FX to cover my needs. The real pedals make for good holiday/birthday/anniversary gifts :-)
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby FretWilkes » Fri May 28, 2010 12:13 pm

oldjoebones wrote:Hey fret...

Thanks for the reminder.....

If I go the smaller route which I have no aversion to doing.......will a guitar with the unity gain and OBEL still play thru that amp? Like I said I'm no sound or electronics expert :oops:


Absolutely sir. The amp/speaker is just the end of the road signal wise.

As an example I have used a Blues Junior with an Eminence Cannabis Rex speaker in it to get it a little tighter with more headroom for the Jerry stuff. I've used that rig at many gigs. In fact I've been told to turn down many times. Such is my lot in life...always too loud!

I'm envious of your new quest. It's so cool to get all charged up.
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby dleonard » Fri May 28, 2010 12:20 pm

A Blues Junior will make a great, low power Jerry amp. Put a K120 in it and you're basically there. If you wanna tweak, you can upgrade a few cap's and the preamp tube plate resistors. It should voice nicely and give a very close Jerry sound for a low power, affordable amp.


That's coming from B Sarno who is essentially setting the new Jerry players up in DSO with the right gear.
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby oldjoebones » Fri May 28, 2010 12:21 pm

Thanks for all the replies and encouragement.....yes it is rather exciting to start this up again.

One last question....or two:

1. Since I will be playing on a guitar without the OBEL I assume I can just set then up in between guitar and amp (not ideal I know) unless there is a better option.

2. What pedals should I get?? Never went this far as of yet.
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby muletrane » Fri May 28, 2010 12:22 pm

Sweet guitar. I've never seen that one before. Why not get/make a custom pick guard that has the loop and electronics you want? BTW, I'm a bedroom player and use big amps (Twin or 50 watt ODS clone) that pushes one or two JBL's depending on the mood. Great thing about a large wattage amp like a twin is that they sound bigger than the smaller amps and still sound good when played at low levels. Maybe get both a small watt and big...there are a ton of cheap options for small amps out there.
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby tcsned » Fri May 28, 2010 12:24 pm

44? That's too old to play guitar . . . just kidding, I'm 44 too :cool: never too old to rock!

I would agree with dleonard - that is a lot of amp for the house, not that it wouldn't sound great. If your space allows you to be really loud then go for it otherwise I would go with something a little more modest. From what I hear the SMS is a great preamp - I'm thinking of selling off a few toys gathering dust and getting one myself. Though getting a less powerful power amp might be better - mesa boogie made those 50/50 power amps - I never used one but that might be a good alternative. Or get a cool, vintage Fender tube amp in the 15-50watt range. Even if you want to build a Jerry amp rig, having a low-powered Fender is still a good thing to have around.

For effect pedals - an envelope filter of some sort would be a must as would some kind of distortion device. Next a delay, a phase shifter, and an octave divider.

I had a buddy in high school that had one of those Guild's I loved the look of them. Looks like a couple of single coil pickups and a rosewood fretboard so that should be a reasonable guitar to start with.

First, I'll preface this by saying I am a total hypocrite - I love my toys and have a bunch of very-Jerry stuff. Getting that sound has as much if not a lot more to do with the person holding the pick than the gear you are playing through. I would focus on the playing part and get the toys as you need them.

Hey, you're never too old to start playing out with folks - Les Paul and Stephane Grappelli were gigging into their 90s - you've got another good 45 years to go!
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby oldjoebones » Fri May 28, 2010 12:55 pm

muletrane wrote:Why not get/make a custom pick guard that has the loop and electronics you want?


Ok your scaring me here. No idea what you mean. I'm good with numbers not electronics....besides I would like to upgrade eventually so i figure its ok to start with. It is a neat guitar. Hope it still plays well. Thanks.
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby oldjoebones » Fri May 28, 2010 12:56 pm

tcsned wrote:For effect pedals - an envelope filter of some sort would be a must as would some kind of distortion device. Next a delay, a phase shifter, and an octave divider.


Thanks...that's a good start.
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Re: New "old" guy needs gear advise......

Postby JonnyBoy » Fri May 28, 2010 1:04 pm

You can still play that set up low (2x12), or low enough for an alright tone, but to get that exact Jerry sound you will need to play it loud. And keep in mind, with technique being 90% of his sound, you will still sound 90% like Jerry through anything if you master the style.I play in a band 3-4 x a week, and practice at home everyday. I use a small cheap practice amp for learning, and my rig to play with others. You can turn down that big rig set up, and still play low, but its overkill unless you plan to use it for what its intended for. Plus you stifle all the good frequencies playing something that powerful too low. There is nothing pretty about one guitar playing louder than hell, especially when you are learning.

I have recently been using a 1x12 through my rig (Black widow-vintage like a k120) and it sounds great and loud. 2 speakers give me a fuller sound more mids and low end, but the 1 speaker cuts through nicely and sounds more Jerry like, imo. I am using a twin preamp->100-125 watt amp-> 12" Black widow and I can melt faces off.

A blues Jr. is a great choice for a practice amp that you will always Keep due to its versatility. There is nothing wrong with you building a stage rig before you have a stage to play on, it's fun and you'll be ready to play with a band when the time comes. FWIW- I still get my best Jerry tone through a cheap fender amp (15 watt Gdec Jr.) for low volumes though, and if I were you I'd go that route at least for now.

Do what will make you happy, and all of us here will be happy for you.-- Jboy,
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