I think that the mid '80s dirty factor was Jerry's sheer drugged wastedness and penchant for extreme, unabashed loudness. I still feel that most of THAT particular dirt or grunge in his clean tone was McIntosh power transistor distortion and the JBL's saturation was secondary. There was some real grungy clean around then, and I think the thing that helps reveal how extremely loud he was comes from the microphonic pickup squealing that you often hear when he kicked on the distortion pedal. There were a ton of shows where there was good guitar feedback, but that high, out-of-control, microphonic squealing comes from the pickups themselves causing microphonic feedback, that squeal you hear between the notes. That's a whole other level of "LOUD".
When he seemed to clean up his tones after the '86 coma, you still hear that nice, sweet, squirty, speaker compression/distortion and warm peaking (ice-pick removal), but less of that all out power amp grunge in the clean tone.
... and it's just like any other day that's ever been...