tell me all you know.... about Phil Lesh's SG bass

Re: tell me all you know.... about Phil Lesh's SG bass

Postby Rick Turner » Fri May 02, 2014 11:05 am

I suppose I could be wrong about Bear and the SG, but the timing is right, and it's what I recall. That was before Ron joined the team, and Bear was the guy with the soldering iron and the chutzpa to do stuff. It was Ron who figured out how to test pickup frequency response, I think before anyone else was doing it, and he determined that the Hagstrom pickups tested the best in addition to there being that certain something else that they have which I think is a kind of magnetic compression. But I think it was Bear who did the "add another magnet" trick. Then I came on the scene with the ability to wind pickups and also custom cut ceramic magnets; that was in 1969.
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Re: tell me all you know.... about Phil Lesh's SG bass

Postby zambiland » Fri May 02, 2014 11:23 am

Rick Turner wrote:Dan is correct. The discrete transistor emitter followers came into the picture with the Starfire, and were mounted directly on the pickups. Bear did the SG, Ron W. did the Starfire.


So, I'm a little confused. I had thought that the pickup mounted emitter followers entered the scene with the Starfire prior to the SG and were there by the time of the Live/DEAD shows. I'm remembering the SG as described as having battery powered preamps. Of course, I wasn't there, so I have no real idea, but I would have thought that once the preamps were introduced they would have stayed. The SG does have less room under the pickups, so I'd assume that if there were preamps, they'd be in the control cavity, along with the batteries, which would make for a very cramped situation.
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Re: tell me all you know.... about Phil Lesh's SG bass

Postby Rick Turner » Fri May 02, 2014 11:43 am

I don't think you quite get how hand made the original BiSonic mounted preamps were. There wasn't even a perfboard layout. It was transistors soldered directly to resistors soldered directly to capacitors! It looked like spider group sex. This was components directly soldered to one another with a terminal here or there mounted on the plastic bobbin assemblies of the pickups. Worked great.
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Re: tell me all you know.... about Phil Lesh's SG bass

Postby Mr.Burns » Fri May 02, 2014 5:06 pm

Rick Turner wrote:...It looked like spider group sex.


Now you're talkin! :cool:
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Re: tell me all you know.... about Phil Lesh's SG bass

Postby zambiland » Fri May 02, 2014 7:34 pm

Rick Turner wrote:I don't think you quite get how hand made the original BiSonic mounted preamps were. There wasn't even a perfboard layout. It was transistors soldered directly to resistors soldered directly to capacitors! It looked like spider group sex. This was components directly soldered to one another with a terminal here or there mounted on the plastic bobbin assemblies of the pickups. Worked great.


That is exactly what I had envisioned. I have a couple of projects that look like that….
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