Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Re: Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Postby RiverRat » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:15 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:which says that Phil at one point had 8 POWER AMPS (not 10+) in his stage rig, not that big of a deal and not at all hard to replicate.

EEEEE's info is good. If you want 60's/70's Phil amp tone, use a Fender/Alembic/SMS preamp into a clean power amp and neutral speakers and you'll be in the ballpark. If you want his 80's/90's tone, use SWR gear. For his newer tones, use Eden gear. The preamp shapes the tone, the power amp should be neutral, and the speakers can either be neutral or tone-shaping or mostly irrelevant if you've got good PA support.


Dozin's site does say that Phil used 8 power amps in the early 80's but that doesn't jive with info that Peter Miller gave in an interview, part of it is quoted in the GD Gear Book:

"Of the 25 Godzilla amps made, the Dead purchased 5..."

With Bobby using one and Phil probably using two, with two for spares. The lead designer of the Godzilla was Andy Hefley, he was the one that built the PIE amps, only four were ever made and all of those were made specifically for Phil.

The Godzilla were used in the early 80's, then Phil switched to the PIE's, probably due to the fact that it was more economical to have Andy build NEW amps. In the 90's, Phill switched back to the Godzilla's.

Phil Lesh101 wrote:Any more questions Tough guy? :|


Lighten up Francis! :lol:
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Re: Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Postby JonnyBoy » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:31 pm

I was hoping the thread to be about replicating on a small scale than replicating in totality... As for the lack of/misuse of/or reposting of proper information, that is something this site is very thorough about making right. Lots of sites are VERY misleading with the information they decipher or sometimes just get plain wrong. Age and experience have a lot to do with it make no mistake, and you would be super surprised who some of the people here know, seen or burned with back in the day. Also all the above men are very accomplished musicians, spanning decades playing this music. When I first found this site, it was apparent to me what I knew wasn't much, but I thought I knew a lot, and I have seen the GD play many times!! So many guys here have been replicating Phil's/Jerrys/Bobs tone for DECADES, and have moved through thousands$$ in gear searching for the smaller gig sound. It is nice to hear from them so the same mistakes can be avoided. In the end, no one here will let this important site of proper info be spotted with misinformation, especially info from random web sites that are proven wrong often. Its about credibility, and it has to be corrected swift and quick. Nothing personal! Most websites are beyond spotty with the right info. The GD gear book would be anyone's best source for anyone that wasn't there like some of our other members that were, and closer than 12th row. And I think there was a mistake or two in that book.

Getting back on track:
Good info on the gear choices, he has a SWR and a new peavey amp with lots of tonal options. That is comforting to know we are barking up the right tree.

what I would like to know in the preamp stage what settings you find give you the best Phil tone for small/medium sized venues. I have been noticing the bass being thin sounding (almost not there) and have yet to really help him get authentic settings preamp wise....He kinda sets it to his liking which I don't think is the best tone he can go for, phil wise... He switches up cabs and amps all the time, it seems he is searching for the sound too and is very open to suggestion. He has a 4x10 cab and 1x15 and a new peavy amp that sounds nice to me. He also has a SWR tube combo with a 12" w/ a DI out, and access to my old twin preamp if that is worth trying... Any suggestions? you can listen to this to hear a recent recording:
http://www.archive.org/download/OtisLotusLiveAtGeorgiaBlueJune2011/HelpOnTheWay.wav
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Re: Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:55 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:You really need to figure out who you're talking to before you mouth off. You also need to read your own link, which is just a rehash of info that's on the web elsewhere, which says that Phil at one point had 8 POWER AMPS (not 10+) in his stage rig, not that big of a deal and not at all hard to replicate. At one point in the 90's when Phish got big enough to play arenas, Mike Gordon (who EEEEE knows personally) replicated Phil's rig exactly. It just takes time, money, patience, and a U-haul to move it, and there's no point for those of us who play club gigs.

And your spelling is pretty bad, a pet peeve of mine, which makes it harder for the reader to decipher what you're trying to say.

EEEEE's info is good. If you want 60's/70's Phil amp tone, use a Fender/Alembic/SMS preamp into a clean power amp and neutral speakers and you'll be in the ballpark. If you want his 80's/90's tone, use SWR gear. For his newer tones, use Eden gear. The preamp shapes the tone, the power amp should be neutral, and the speakers can either be neutral or tone-shaping or mostly irrelevant if you've got good PA support.

Listen here, Im 13 years old, okay. My life is the Grateful Dead. Does this mean i know more than you ( NO!) I Read All Of your comments about Bass Shit and its Great. But this Guy Is Busting My Stones Because I Wrote ( 10+ amps) Okay Its ( 8+ Amps.
And 1 Question About Mike Gordon, How Do you say he Duplicated Phil's Sound? When he plays i Do Beleive it Sounds Like A Later Phil sound Like 92-95 But Other Than That I Cant See how He Duplicated HIs Setup.
"I didn't ask them to misspell anything to prove their authenticity, but I believe they're legit." ~ Rusty The Scoob.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9EGVZio2M
https://archive.org/details/DA2013-10-19
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Re: Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Postby playingdead » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:59 am

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Re: Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:11 am

Phil Lesh101 wrote:
Rusty the Scoob wrote:You really need to figure out who you're talking to before you mouth off. You also need to read your own link, which is just a rehash of info that's on the web elsewhere, which says that Phil at one point had 8 POWER AMPS (not 10+) in his stage rig, not that big of a deal and not at all hard to replicate. At one point in the 90's when Phish got big enough to play arenas, Mike Gordon (who EEEEE knows personally) replicated Phil's rig exactly. It just takes time, money, patience, and a U-haul to move it, and there's no point for those of us who play club gigs.

And your spelling is pretty bad, a pet peeve of mine, which makes it harder for the reader to decipher what you're trying to say.

EEEEE's info is good. If you want 60's/70's Phil amp tone, use a Fender/Alembic/SMS preamp into a clean power amp and neutral speakers and you'll be in the ballpark. If you want his 80's/90's tone, use SWR gear. For his newer tones, use Eden gear. The preamp shapes the tone, the power amp should be neutral, and the speakers can either be neutral or tone-shaping or mostly irrelevant if you've got good PA support.


Listen here, Im 13 years old, okay. My life is the Grateful Dead. Does this mean i know more than you ( NO!) I Read All Of your comments about Bass Shit and its Great. But this Guy Is Busting My Stones Because I Wrote ( 10+ amps) Okay Its ( 8+ Amps.
And 1 Question About Mike Gordon, How Do you say he Duplicated Phil's Sound? When he plays i Do Beleive it Sounds Like A Later Phil sound Like 92-95 But Other Than That I Cant See how He Duplicated HIs Setup.


Believe me, sooner or later, and probably several times over, you will get your stones busted a LOT worse than that. :lol: It's all good, you'll always know more than some people and less than others, the important thing is to not take it personally.

Mike had an exact duplicate of Phil's stage rig made at one point, 1995 or so is about when it happened IIRC, it was definitely during the SWR years. The point is that Phil's rig can be duplicated, and it's not even that hard... just expensive and impractical.
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Re: Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:44 am

Phil himself gave misinfo about his early gear in the GD Gear book, and Blair corrected him. He called his first bass an EB1 when it was likely an EB0. They're very different basses. You can't trust anybody without verification. :lol:

JonnyBoy wrote:Getting back on track:
Good info on the gear choices, he has a SWR and a new peavey amp with lots of tonal options. That is comforting to know we are barking up the right tree.

what I would like to know in the preamp stage what settings you find give you the best Phil tone for small/medium sized venues. I have been noticing the bass being thin sounding (almost not there) and have yet to really help him get authentic settings preamp wise....He kinda sets it to his liking which I don't think is the best tone he can go for, phil wise... He switches up cabs and amps all the time, it seems he is searching for the sound too and is very open to suggestion. He has a 4x10 cab and 1x15 and a new peavy amp that sounds nice to me. He also has a SWR tube combo with a 12" w/ a DI out, and access to my old twin preamp if that is worth trying... Any suggestions? you can listen to this to hear a recent recording:
http://www.archive.org/download/OtisLotusLiveAtGeorgiaBlueJune2011/HelpOnTheWay.wav


IMHO when it comes to bass, the amp is the least important part of a quest for a specific tone.

If you listen closely to Phil, EQ-wise his tone is constantly changing. In the 70's it was tweaks to the filters in his custom Alembic electronics, and in the 80's/90's it was different Moduluses, first with Bartolinis then with EMGs.

Maybe I'm the wrong person to ask... personally I set my EQ flat and tweak it only if the room seems to need it. Usually then it's just a matter of boosting low-end in really dead rooms, cutting it in boomy rooms, etc. I don't use it as a tone-shaping tool very often.

Listening to your recording now. It's pretty distorted in the low end, so fairly hard to get a good feel for his tone. From what I can tell it's not that thin, but it definitely sounds like roundwound strings without a pick, and some sort of Fender or fender-ish bass... flats and a pick will make a much bigger difference than any amp purchase or EQ setting ever will. Nice playing!
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Re: Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Postby JonnyBoy » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:38 pm

Thanks Rusty, I have a HARD time hearing him, and then I listen to recordings and it seems to blend into the mud, or lack volume may be more accurate. He is using his fingers and I will suggest the pick... Yes a modded 5 string peavey active bass... He digs the blending filters on that bass and the extra string. He has yet to get bad GAS and get a custom made bass. If things keep getting better I bet he will go that way... I bet that will help the attack of the notes come out much clearer, your right.
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Re: Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:22 am

A Peavey active should cut through just fine, they make good basses. Both my my SWR rigs almost always got set the same way, EQ flat, with the Aural Enhancer somewhere around halfway up. I found if I turned that knob down the amp would never cut through. Too far up and it got too harsh.

A pick is a huge adjustment for most bass players and some have too much pride to use one. But it really is key, I've never heard a good Phil sound without one.
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Re: Phil Lesh Amplified Settings

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:04 pm

Rusty the Scoob wrote:
Phil Lesh101 wrote:
Rusty the Scoob wrote:Believe me, sooner or later, and probably several times over, you will get your stones busted a LOT worse than that. :lol: It's all good, you'll always know more than some people and less than others, the important thing is to not take it personally.

Mike had an exact duplicate of Phil's stage rig made at one point, 1995 or so is about when it happened IIRC, it was definitely during the SWR years. The point is that Phil's rig can be duplicated, and it's not even that hard... just expensive and impractical.

Sorry i was just trying to tell eeee that phil's setup wouldnt be easy to duplicate. But i guess it is. Good luck is all i have to say
"I didn't ask them to misspell anything to prove their authenticity, but I believe they're legit." ~ Rusty The Scoob.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9EGVZio2M
https://archive.org/details/DA2013-10-19
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