Bob's early 70's tone

Bob's early 70's tone

Postby mijknahs » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:45 am

OK. Let's say you had a 335 (or similar) and a Twin (or similar - SMS?).

What guitar and amp settings do you think Bob is using most of the time. I doubt his amp settings are like Jerry's. Maybe less treble and a touch more bass?

I'm hearing the middle setting on the guitar pickup switch (both pickups). Any pictures for proof?
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby jahozer » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:07 am

I play a 335 through a Fender Pro, and I do both Jerrry and Bobby parts and usually in the same song! its a weird setup we have, since the other guy wont really do the chord inversions, so I end up taking them, and frankly have more fun with them than some of the Jerry parts. Usually, I will take the solos, and the bobby rhythm parts, but other times I do a conglomertion. I find that its not that difficult to switch, tonally, for the older 70s sound. I used try to cop the buzzy flange modern Bobby sounds, but now I just play straight with a little tap delay and a good chunk of Fender Reverb. I have a coil tap on my 335 so that helps me get more of a bite for solos and change it up on the fly.

I find that the Fender amps and their reverbs are very key to the sound. And a good chunk is in the hands, and how you choose your voicings. I am not like most on this board in that I am not interested in nailing the exact tone for each. I try to play fairly genuinely, but tonally, I feel I am close enough. I will post some samples. I do keep a tad more bass in there than Jerry would, just because I like it. While we do mostly dead, we do other stuff, so I want to have as much of me in there as I can.
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby caspersvapors » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:53 am

was listening to the China > Rider from 11/9/73 yesterday and kinda wondering the same thing

also in that transition jam, bobby actually has a good amount of overdrive going on too, where was that coming from?

Ive always liked Bobbys 335 tone, very warm.
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby jester536 » Tue May 03, 2011 6:19 am

I was listening to the Dead Movie sound-track yesterday (China/Rider) and the Here Comes Sunshine clip from the new Road Trip release this morning...great Weir stuff. Not sure if anyone has really addressed this tone that Weir had at that time. Very muted and bassy...I'm assuming he's playing a 335 but I'd really like to get at that tone. Its almost muffled and this is the time that Garcia is really getting into the super clean tones with the Wolf...they really mix together well. I've seen some vague comments as to what might be going on...but we need one of those fanatics to really get into exactly what he is doing. People have gone over Jerry's tone with a fine tooth comb...its time to give Mr. Weir his due. Any thoughts.
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby mkaufman » Tue May 03, 2011 8:45 am

I would start with a semi-hollow guitar, humbuckers, Fender amp and a little delay.

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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby jester536 » Tue May 03, 2011 9:31 am

How about pickup setting...probably just neck pickup...maybe both...definitely not bridge...and the tone rolled down pretty far?
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby strumminsix » Tue May 03, 2011 10:20 am

mkaufman wrote:I would start with a semi-hollow guitar, humbuckers, Fender amp and a little delay.

mk

+1 I'd also use a bit of reverb with a shallow slap back.

Pickup-up selector is your choice. He seemed to do alot of straight rhythm on the neck and standouts with the bridge.
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby rotagen » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:37 am

Kinda off topic, but I would say to nail the early 70s weir tone a tube amp with 6l6's is required. They're just so much more bassy and warm than the EL34s. But I don't really know if he used them. I've got an old Acoustic 60 watt tube combo with 6l6 tubes that is so bassy that when you hit a low E, your butt moves.

I'm gonna take off the amp and convert to a head though, the combo is just too heavy at about 85 lbs.

I have a feeling he's like me, used the middle position (both pickups) most of the time, at least with my dual-humbucker fat strat, it's the only position that is both warm and chimey.
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby tigerstrat » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:54 pm

'71 is mostly Les Paul Custom and then that fall/winter dabbling with Jerry's Les Paul Special
'72 is ES-345
'73 is Les Paul-SG, and then in the Fall, the switch to the ES-335 used thru '74
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby claytushaywood » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:38 pm

As for the muffled tone mentioned above... maybe flatwounds?

I know bobby used flatwounds during many points of the deads career. Does anybody have the years that he used them?
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby mijknahs » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:07 pm

I don't think he had a muffled tone at all. I always considered his tone pretty "chimey" even with flatwounds.
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby strumminsix » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:57 am

mijknahs wrote:I don't think he had a muffled tone at all. I always considered his tone pretty "chimey" even with flatwounds.

Actually, I think Bobby's early 70s sound was rather undefined. Kinda reminds me of an acoustic player who crosses over to electric and tries to make it sounds like an acoustic,.
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby mijknahs » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:55 am

Yeah, it's pretty plain. Just sounds like a gibson plugged into a Fender amp with lots of headroom. Not very "hot" sounding at all.
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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby mkaufman » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:48 pm

This could be a good candidate for an early 70's Bobby tone guitar:

[ebayitem]190625551177[/ebayitem]

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=2&campid=5335901301&toolid=10001&customid=forum&ext=190625551177&item=190625551177

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Re: Bob's early 70's tone

Postby racecar » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:47 am

rotagen wrote:Kinda off topic, but I would say to nail the early 70s weir tone a tube amp with 6l6's is required. They're just so much more bassy and warm than the EL34s. But I don't really know if he used them. I've got an old Acoustic 60 watt tube combo with 6l6 tubes that is so bassy that when you hit a low E, your butt moves.

I'm gonna take off the amp and convert to a head though, the combo is just too heavy at about 85 lbs.

I have a feeling he's like me, used the middle position (both pickups) most of the time, at least with my dual-humbucker fat strat, it's the only position that is both warm and chimey.



I respectfully disagree. I think in general to get the Bobby Tone from various era's using EL84's would give you the most flexibly as the amps he has been using for years have had EL84's in them unless he did an octal conversion, which I doubt. This assists in getting the British voicing that he has preferred over the years, strong mid range, less pronounced bass. If you only wanted early 70's tone, then I guess the 6l6's would work, but it would move you away from the tonal qualities of Bobbys more modern tones (1976-current).

I think if you want flexibility in various Bobby tones, The EL84's is the way to go.
I personally prefer 6l6's as I play a wide range of music of which the dead is only a portion of what I play, but my current stage amp does in fact have EL84's in them and eminence cannabis Rex speaker configuration.
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