Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby claytushaywood » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:43 am

how was jerry achieving that early distorted tone from like 70-74 ala bertha? video of this sound in the next post. I really like the tones from 71, 74, 77 a lot better than the later sounds. I guess in 71 he was using the black LP with p90's and in 74 he was using wolf with stratoblaster. walds site says it has an on/off switch after the volume pot in the original incarnation of the wolf. but i could have sworn i read somewhere at one point he had a pot to control the gain of the stratoblaster. did he get some of the drive in 71 from his mc75 tube power amp? or maybe because he was plugging into the vibrato input and jumpering from input 2 to normal input 1 then flicked on the stratoblaster for solos?

What do you all think would be a good setup for getting some early jerry tones? I know this era is not nearly as thoroughly studied or confirmed as later years, but cmon man that bertha 74 sound!!!! woooo doggy!
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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby claytushaywood » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:43 am

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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:04 am

Not hearing any overdrive in the '74 Bertha ... sounds clean to me ... love it
Not a fan of the '71 tone ... yuck
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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby tigerstrat » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:34 am

In 71 he had lots of different pickups going at different times: PAF's (Turner Peanut), mini-buckers (LP Deluxe), P-90's (LP Special), Guild humbuckers (S100), AND Strat pups on the Ash strat.
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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby claytushaywood » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:18 pm

that's clean? like 95 clean? 81 sounds so bad its like he's playing through a transistor radio... maybe a blown speaker even. anyone else?
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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby tigerstrat » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:52 pm

claytushaywood wrote:81 sounds so bad its like he's playing through a transistor radio... maybe a blown speaker even. anyone else?


It's not a great recording, but it sounds like the delicious full-bodied phatness of the '81 Tiger. The '74 Berthas are just not for me- too slow and too much busy syncopation going on for this tune. '77 sample is a bit sleepy (I am in the minority in that imho '77 is a generally overrated with several stellar exceptions)... the 71 and 79 rock out! The '85 recording is truly horrible quality, they should have tried for some consistency across these samples.
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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby jester536 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:36 am

To each his own...I really dig the '74 and the '77...I always come back to those years. Thanks for putting the whole thing together.
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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby claytushaywood » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:45 pm

okay... if that 74 tone isnt distorted. how about say a deal from 72 (the one on europe 72) or a loser from 72? i read somewhere that he had the alembic stratoblaster always on with a switch to increase the gain. was it this? did he flick the alembic boost up to kick it in high gear? or do you think it was just using the volume knob? is anyone even interested in jerry's 72 tones?
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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby waldo041 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:54 pm

claytushaywood wrote:okay... if that 74 tone isnt distorted. how about say a deal from 72 (the one on europe 72) or a loser from 72? i read somewhere that he had the alembic stratoblaster always on with a switch to increase the gain. was it this? did he flick the alembic boost up to kick it in high gear? or do you think it was just using the volume knob? is anyone even interested in jerry's 72 tones?


the blaster in alligator did not have a switch at all, and the blaster comes stock with a 3db gain with the trimpot at zero. he was just using the volume knob with the blaster set at a fixed value.

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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:09 am

claytushaywood wrote:okay... if that 74 tone isnt distorted. how about say a deal from 72 (the one on europe 72) or a loser from 72? i read somewhere that he had the alembic stratoblaster always on with a switch to increase the gain. was it this? did he flick the alembic boost up to kick it in high gear? or do you think it was just using the volume knob? is anyone even interested in jerry's 72 tones?

Heck yeah '72 is a top year for the Dead ....
Maybe the '74 is distorted and I just think its a clean tone ... sounds like its just a loud guitar -> amp to me though ..
I dig the Stratoblaster on my guitar .... its mainly to keep signal flow even over a long length of cable .... but it does juice up my sound a ton.
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Re: Jerry's Early Overdrive sound

Postby claytushaywood » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:54 pm

ive read that jerry at one point had it always on, with a switch to boost it a couple dB's... i think like 4-8dB or so. if you hear him play more than one note at a time during this period with a similar solo tone (which he doesnt do on this song) you can hear the overdrive. Does the mcintosh have a musical distortion if it's pushed?
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