Phil Distortion

Phil Distortion

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:39 pm

Now that I've done all this work to clean up my tone, of course the first thing I do is start thinking about making it dirty again. :lol: I'm a big fan of the early years, 69-72, and sometimes Phil gets a real nice grind to his tone.

I suppose it's probably just a Fender tube head pushed near its limits, right? What would be a good way to get that tone in a pedal form? Or maybe rackmount as long as it's easily switchable.
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby DeadlyHeptet » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:54 pm

I never remember seeing any boxes when I saw Phil early on. A couple of thoughts though; Dave Barber makes what he calls a Linden Equalizer, basically a re-creation of the front end of the old Ampeg flip top bass amps. He refers to the sound as "'charmingly aggressive' without any abrasive shards that could offend." However, if offending is part of your sound, there are other options.

If you are considering an overdrive, he also makes a number of low gain overdrives that would be wonderful if they indeed respond as they do with guitar. Regardless, he is always there to offer advice and I can highly vouch for his products.
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby JonnyBoy » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:04 pm

Yhea Rusty, I would bet the OD is from the tubes being pushed to the brink. I am actually surprised there isn't more distortion from the amps...not to mention the lower wattage D120's breaking up....
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:11 pm

I believe you're both exactly right - he just didn't have the wattage to achieve a clean sound.

That Linden pedal looks like what I'm after, but modeled after a Twin or similar head instead an Ampeg. I'm not sure what the differences are, but nobody knows Fender heads better than RUKind!
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:40 pm

"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:56 pm

Rusty the Scoob wrote:I believe you're both exactly right - he just didn't have the wattage to achieve a clean sound.

That Linden pedal looks like what I'm after, but modeled after a Twin or similar head instead an Ampeg. I'm not sure what the differences are, but nobody knows Fender heads better than RUKind!


That's interesting, you might give the Ampeg-modeled pedal a chance. Always felt my 70's SVT head could really womp some primal Phil growls and moans, whether I was using a 4x10, 2x15 or 1x15- never did play it through an SVT 8x10 cab.
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:33 pm

Rusty the Scoob wrote:Now that I've done all this work to clean up my tone, of course the first thing I do is start thinking about making it dirty again. :lol: I'm a big fan of the early years, 69-72, and sometimes Phil gets a real nice grind to his tone.

I suppose it's probably just a Fender tube head pushed near its limits, right? What would be a good way to get that tone in a pedal form? Or maybe rackmount as long as it's easily switchable.

Your the Bass player From Fennario I asume? Right? I Just Happened to pot on your Webpage that You said That Phil Uses No Pedals?Effects...... Are you serrious? :-?
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:08 am

Not as part of his basic sound, really. He's got them in his rack for sure, but can you point me to a recording where he's using a very obvious and prominent effect like Mike Gordon in Makisupa Policeman, for example?
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:56 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:Not as part of his basic sound, really. He's got them in his rack for sure, but can you point me to a recording where he's using a very obvious and prominent effect like Mike Gordon in Makisupa Policeman, for example?

True. he shurely didnt stikck the basic sound though, But he used the Crap out of his pedals in the Space jams :smile:
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:09 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:Not as part of his basic sound, really. He's got them in his rack for sure, but can you point me to a recording where he's using a very obvious and prominent effect like Mike Gordon in Makisupa Policeman, for example?

Mike Gordon isnt in anyway a Phil Lesh" All Mike Gordon uses in everysong is some type of pedel, When your in a Band Called Fish. But you spell it with a " PH " You cant stay to the basic bass tone :lol:
It wouldnt be right
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby seanc » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:13 pm

I really think that was 100% unintentional. While it may have been kinda neat in hindsight. I would have to bet that this was just a situation where somebody did not turn down, a volume war started and ultimately Phil lost..
Personally, I find it painful to listen to those situations. In my mind everything seemed out of control, but not in a good way.


If it was at all desirable on Phil or the band's part, distortion would have easily and very early on been incorporated into his sound.
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby Phil Lesh101 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:57 pm

He never Distorted His tone
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby zambiland » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:13 pm

I would love to try Brad's overdrive. I think it would be just about perfect for this kind of grit. I've been contemplating this recently in conjunction with my current Starfire configuration. I also miss the tremolo from the Fenders.
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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby JamminJommy » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:37 pm

Phil Lesh101 wrote:He never Distorted His tone


My ears beg to differ with regards to everything up until '73 or so. In fact, on the Hundred Year Hall second disc, he gets quite a bit of grit during the super spacey section of The Other One. Now, while this is not necessarily 100% intentional, it is fairly evident. It's a fairly noticeable byproduct of running a bass through a tube guitar amp. That touch of grit on the attacks is what makes it sound sweet to my ears. Later on, especially with Peter Miller's rig, his tone is crystal clear.

eeeeee wrote:I would love to try Brad's overdrive. I think it would be just about perfect for this kind of grit. I've been contemplating this recently in conjunction with my current Starfire configuration.


I would love to hear that! I have a sneaking suspicion that that might give you that Live Dead kind of thunder!

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Re: Phil Distortion

Postby tastyjams » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:31 am

eeeeee wrote:I would love to try Brad's overdrive. I think it would be just about perfect for this kind of grit. I've been contemplating this recently in conjunction with my current Starfire configuration. I also miss the tremolo from the Fenders.


I let my bassist use my Earth Drive during practice a while back, and it gets reeeally close to Phil's '69 sound. He's really into Phil and the Dead, but he plays with his fingers, and has a more standard jazz approach to the instrument, but when he played with a pick through the Earth Drive, the bombs just flowed out of his fingers.
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