Which guitar for OBEL?

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Which guitar for OBEL?

Postby ImJerryToo » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:55 am

Hey Kind-ers. Long time tab reader and occasional forum lurker. I'm recently on such a deep and extended Jerry kick that I finally registered here... and I think I'm going to make the move for an OBEL. Trying to decide which guitar to equip.

Option 1: American Standard SSH strat (which is probably soon going to have a Dimarzio SD in the bridge).

Option 2: A Warmoth build mahogany tele body, stop piece/tune-o-matic, 2 Rio Grande HBs with coil splitting.

Option 3: Well this isn't technically a guitar yet. HH strat body with beautiful pao ferro top, which is targeted for a pair of Lollar P-90ish HBs (forget what they're called -- similar to a Phat Cat). Going to get some kind of bare wood neck for this.

Option 4: Least likely but most wide open -- a G&L swamp ash strat body with swimming pool route. Got this a while ago thinking to drop in a DG20 pickguard set. Still might do that, but don't have the DG20s, and might do something else (eventually).


And FWIW, for the most part I don't feel a need to completely imitate Jerry's tone. I do like to nail the Mutron sounds, but for the most part I think that comes from the box and the fingers. Oh and... what the heck, here comes a tangent.

There's another Jerry tone I'd like to get close to. I call it the "Searing Tone". An example is a Loser solo from late Brent era -- it sounds high gain, very sustain-y (you know -- searing! :) ), but it isn't like a buzzy distortion. Know what I mean? If you do, I'm curious as to how you think Jerry was getting this, as well as how I might approach something similar (without preamps that I can't afford!).

Thanks for any input!
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Re: Which guitar for OBEL?

Postby jeffm725 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:29 am

Actually in my opinion it is precisely the Mutron that benefits MOST from the OBEL setup. Auto filters are Dodgy units by nature and the constant, even signal sent out of the OBEL setup Pre guitar volume allows you to dial in the Mutron to the sweet spot.

As for the Loser tone, that is simply hitting a Distortion Pedal (depending on year a MXR D+ or later on some Boss models) and some volume and letting it rip!!
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Re: Which guitar for OBEL?

Postby myoung6923 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:55 am

Jerry also used to go for the pinch harmonics a lot on those Loser solos
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Re: Which guitar for OBEL?

Postby Scarlet » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:12 am

If you install OBEL you will need a buffer to deal with the long cable lengths (and to maintain tone consistency when you use your vol knob). You then have to figure out where in the guitar you can put the buffer & also the 9V battery that it will require. That might be the determining factor when choosing which axe to install the OBEL in. I don't use the trem on my Strat, so I put it all in the trem cavity. If your G&L strat body has a swimming pool rout, then that would be useful if you ever to decide to install a Super II or Dual Sound in the middle position like Jerry did.
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Re: Which guitar for OBEL?

Postby ImJerryToo » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:35 am

jeffm725 wrote:Actually in my opinion it is precisely the Mutron that benefits MOST from the OBEL setup. Auto filters are Dodgy units by nature and the constant, even signal sent out of the OBEL setup Pre guitar volume allows you to dial in the Mutron to the sweet spot.


Absolutely. I guess I wasn't clear there... what I was trying to say is, in picking a guitar to sorta Jerry-rig, I don't feel a need to (attempt to) completely cop all his tones. The mutron sounds, yes, and that's the prime reason to go OBEL. But for those sounds the box (once its dialed in) and the player vastly outweigh other tonal factors, such as pickups and guitar body.

jeffm725 wrote:As for the Loser tone, that is simply hitting a Distortion Pedal (depending on year a MXR D+ or later on some Boss models) and some volume and letting it rip!!


Really? I haven't actually sat down and gone for that yet (been playing mostly acoustic all summer), so maybe my ear is misleading me. It just sounds different from usual pedal or amp distortion. Maybe its a factor of the tone knob... there are certainly times when Jer sounds more "distorted" to me (a more typical distortion sound). I'll have to play around with that. Sadly I just picked up a Distortion+ [script back] on Ebay and the damn thing is DOA! :?
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Re: Which guitar for OBEL?

Postby ImJerryToo » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:43 am

Scarlet wrote:If you install OBEL you will need a buffer to deal with the long cable lengths (and to maintain tone consistency when you use your vol knob). You then have to figure out where in the guitar you can put the buffer & also the 9V battery that it will require. That might be the determining factor when choosing which axe to install the OBEL in. I don't use the trem on my Strat, so I put it all in the trem cavity. If your G&L strat body has a swimming pool rout, then that would be useful if you ever to decide to install a Super II or Dual Sound in the middle position like Jerry did.


Thanks, good points. As I've been thinking through this there are times when I consider the battery and times when I kind of forget about it!

But I think I got it figured now. The strat, having a top-mounted jack, would be a little dodgy for installing the second jack. And the HH tele I just finally got wired the way I want. So it makes sense to put the OBEL in a fresh build. And, hopefully that will motivate me to finish the *@#$ thing.

So I'm pretty sure I'm going to go for the pao ferro strat (which is a rear-route with lower bout jack). If I end up not liking the Lollar P-90s it would be a simple enough matter to swap those out... maybe even for Dimarzio SDs for serious JG axe.
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Re: Which guitar for OBEL?

Postby foolofships » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:03 am

I used a standard Strat-type body for my OBEL/buffer build. I found the top-mounted jack to be no hinderance as I simply removed the angled jack plate and made a new cover for that cavity out of an old pickguard. I drilled two holes in it for the jacks, and it's great
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Re: Which guitar for OBEL?

Postby jeffm725 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:32 am

ImJerryToo wrote:Really? I haven't actually sat down and gone for that yet (been playing mostly acoustic all summer), so maybe my ear is misleading me. It just sounds different from usual pedal or amp distortion. Maybe its a factor of the tone knob... there are certainly times when Jer sounds more "distorted" to me (a more typical distortion sound). I'll have to play around with that. Sadly I just picked up a Distortion+ [script back] on Ebay and the damn thing is DOA! :?


As Myoung mentioned, Jerry would employ the pinch harmonic technique in many losers, which would give a different type of sound,but that is technique not a pedal. Otherwise in my humble opinion there was nothing else there but a distortion pedal and an Assload of volume! You need to really crank it to get pinch harmonics to ring through at any significant level.
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