Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby Jon S. » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:49 am

This thread is better reading than The Hound of the Baskervilles. Well done on the research. Love this pic! Keep it coming. :cool:

Image
"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing, and the guitar is only the instrument." Jerry Garcia
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby waldo041 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:02 am

The SDS-1's have a very distinguishable Allen Head Pole Piece that eliminates them as the single coil he is using in this version of Wolf.

The Dual sound is a Super Distortion. It was designed to have 2 or a dual sound. It used to and I believe still does have a switch that comes with the pickup for wiring for a dual sound. So yes, the Dual Sound was designed to be split to a Single Coil. Now whether it is split with a switch or a coil is physically removed and reworked to work as a single coil makes no difference, the inherent single coil noise will be present. There are other ways to lesson the noise, ie.. shielding, but will always have the single coil physics. Same is true for D.Allen single coils, if they are true single coils. You can shield the cover and wire it to ground in a clever scheme ala Rick Turner and Frank Fuller to quiet them. Reducing and/or manipulating the number of turns or type of coil windings, wire gauge, magnet strength and type all help contribute in reducing or creating a single coils noise, but it is also a tradeoff on response as well.

~waldo
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby hippieguy1954 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:44 pm

I just remembered something, (besides getting old sucks lol). I should have remembered this last week!
Anyways, back in 1972, I bought a '69 stock American Strat. (sold it a year later :? ) One of the guys I was jamming with at the time was very much into the Dead, like me. :-) He would always be up front at shows watching and looking for everything Jerry and Bob used and seeing how to play songs etc.
When Wolf showed up, his conclusion on the pickups was that they had to be modified fender '69's in as that the staggered poles were very carefully pushed down so they were all even with the top of the pickup cover, which we both did to our Strats and thought we were cool like Jerry :lol: I can't remember for sure if it was better, but I think it was a long time ago :shock:
I'm certainly not saying this is anything to hang your hat on or that anyone should do it, but it is logical and doable. I remember it was tricky. You can't hammer them. They will break. We got them down somehow.
I currently have two guitars with VooDoo69's in one and Fender CS 69's in the other and HAVE NOT touched the poles. They remain staggered. Sounds fine to me.

I haven't heard anything that sounds as close or as good as '69 fender style pickups, weather it's DAllen VooDoo 69's or Fender Custom shop for Wolf with single coils.
Jim

First show: 1973
Last show: 1994
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby James-T » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:01 pm

Thanks Mike!

A few more things I've learned about vintage SDS-1's from someone who has had them in 4 out of his 6 strats since the late 70's:

The patent applied for decals on the rear changed to black and white square ones after 79 plus the colour of the bobbins changed from a creamy color to white or black.


I can't verify this but its an interesting unsubstantiated fact for anyone researching vintage Dimarzio "PAF's" and has hung in there in the ongoing speculation of who played what where and when and why. Trivial pursuit for deadheads anyone?

From Mike's website that white guitar Jerry is playing is identified as a
Travis Bean 1000A #715 played on Dec 13,15,16 1978. Onboard Effects Loop with On/Off switch. Alembic Blaster, and Custom made Travis Bean Single Coil Pickups.


Here is a link to the show on the 16th - it's an excellent audience recording probably recorded up close get some of Jerry's stage mix - his playing is crystal clear:

http://archive.org/details/gd1978-12-16 ... eok.flac16

After three days on a different guitar Jerry was one with his instrument. This show really kick's ass and the guitar tones are just killer! - Just read the comments on the archive site.

From Mike's site here are the pickups in that Travis Bean (shown below). I'm going to say these look more like a Bill Lawrence style design from what I've seen on the internet than the white/ cream coloured pick-ups in the images of the Wolf 2.0 above - although they are stamped Travis Bean - so factory fitted I would guess. Pretty creative way of fitting a single coil into a humbucker routing!

Image

Image courtesy of Mike's website!

In further research I decided to give the Autzen Stadium show from 78 a listen. Thats' the one show where Jerry played the Ibanez - it's also on the archive - even some on the non musician listeners commented on how it appeared jerry was fighting with that instrument all through the show. Myself - I would have never pegged that as a different guitar than the Wolf in a blind test.

One thing's for sure - in that Nashville show Jerry gets a killer tone from only two single coils and no middle position pick-up. Sort of blows the theory you need a middle pick-up to nail a decent Jerry tone. The Big River is on fire! So is the Sugaree, He's Gone, Other One and Scarlet!

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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby cmc64 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:36 pm

Is is just me or do those epoxied TB singles (especially the neck pup) look like they have adjustable pole pieces?
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby cmc64 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:12 pm

The more I really critically listen to show throughout all of 1978and then on into early 1979, late 1979, 1980 ->1982 (when he switched to Super 2's) and then as the 1980's progressed the more I think that they were also continually working on the mods to his Twins. During these years, guitars, pickups, Stratoblaster and then UGB changed which of course will have an effect on the tone, but I don't think it is that cut and dry. Listen to to the Scarlet Begonias solo from the aforementioned 12/16/78 show. Jerry used the TB1000, with two humbuckers, no middle pup and a Blaster. His tone at that show is of course different than other shows of the year (or the next day, or two months prior) but the underlying tonality that is so defining of that period is still there. Fast forward to Brent joining the band. He is playing the DualSound equipped Wolf but it does not sound like it did during the Jan -> Feb 1979 tour (or mid through end of 1978). When he stats playing Tiger on 8/04/1979 things change a bit again but it is not an over-the-top change. 1980 and 1981 sound a bit different (maybe he was driving the rig harder) but then things change again in 1982 when he switches to Super 2's.

I am going to note here that he did switch from K-120's to E-120's in the 1980's but I don't know exactly when and the two speakers, while much more similar than different, do not sound the same. Jump to 1983 and the things change again, heading closer to that late 1980's tone that so many of us chase. But of course 1983 (and 1984 with the rig driven to maximum velocity) have their own mojo happening. And it continues with subtle changes on thorough the 1980's and then Rosebud shows up and it continues with things becoming drastically different as the 1990's closed things out.

I am becoming of the opinion that without absolute knowledge of what was going on in those Twins we won't ever quite nail this down. We know everything that was used throughout the years with the exception of exactly what (and when) was being done inside those Twins. I would venture a guess that I am not the only one who believes this as waldo did pull down the "Post-Alembic mods" info no his website.

[/late night ramble}
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby James-T » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:37 pm

Waldo said

The GD never made it out to NY?


Good point, however according to the Bill Lawrence website he was not in NYC in 76/77 but in Nashville Tn. It’s possible that Dan Armstrong’s shop was still at that location and placed “custom orders” for Bill but that’s pretty speculative. Here is a more accurate timeline of Bill’s earlier career on his own:

1968-72 Bill Lawrence(Willi Lorenz Stich) helps out with the pickup design on Dan's Ampeg plexiglas guitars. Runs Dan Armstrong's shop. Works with Dan and son Kent, and Larry Dimarzio among others. Dan's shop at that time catered to the who's who of popular music of the day.

1973-74 Bill Lawrence(Willi Lorenz Stich) works for Gibson, designs guitars (and the pickups for these) such as the S-1, L6-S, and Marauder.(leaves in ~1977?).

Contributes to the design for the Gibson "Super-Humbucker" featured in several Gibson models in the 70's and 80's.
1975-76
Bill Lawrence Pickups (Classic)
Bill Lawrence(Willi Lorenz Stich) starts up Lawrence Sound Research, and opens shop in Donelson, TN.
Relocates in mid to late '76 to Nashville, TN.


So how does one identify an early Bill Lawrence pick-up? According to the website 76/77 was in this time period that Bill Lawrence (Willi Lorenz Stich) created the L-90,L-500, L-510, L-250 and others.

There’s a whole website dedicated to it!

http://billlawrencereview.com/

According to this source:

The L-100 was introduced by LSR before the L-500. Featuring bobbins and Phillips screw-pole pieces, did not have the 'tub' or surround found on the L-500 and later L-350.


In this 1979 add you can see the Phillips screw-pole pieces pretty clearly and the single coil is already a blade design. In fact it’s hard to find an early single coil LSR pick-up that has bobbins:

Image

The L-280 does but as I understand it was a later development when Bill was DBA Wilde Pickups. It seems Bill was swindled out of his name by his former business partner in the early 80’s.

Here is what the 280’s look like – signed by Bill himself.

Image

Waldo said”

Don't be naïve enough to believe that only Irwin wired Jerry's guitars, it simply is not true. In fact, they usually got ripped apart soon after leaving his shop.


Look at the horror show Jerry and Dan Healy created of this Travis Bean! Could they have used any more sharpie? I suppose it makes this instrument more period correct, undeniably it was once owned by Jerry.

Image

In fact it I think it's for sale if anyone has 600K – pedigree confirmed by Steve Parish. Looks like some ex-roadie is going to make more money off the Dead than any one band member probably made in salaries between 1965-1972. Here is the sales pitch - and story behind Jerry and Dan's tinkering with the Travis electronics:

http://www.maverick-music.com/other/1976-jerry-garcia’s-travis-bean-tb500-and-strap
you might have to type that link in!

Note that their sales video has been taken off the internet due to infringement rights.

Finally, in looking at the Maverick site it was cool to see that even Jerry had Grateful Dead stickers on his guitar case!

Image



Onto the Wolf 2.0

This was taken from the New Years run in 77:

Image

Waldo wrote:

The SDS-1's have a distinct allen head adjustable pole piece that the Jerry single coil pickups in late 77-early 78 did not have.

To further that comment I understand they were patent protected making it easier to properly identify an early Dimarzio pick-up.

Here is a detail of the hex shaped allen key adjustable poles:

Image

Here is a comparison of the Wolf 2.0 pups to the known SDS-1 in the Tiger (Greek shows 1988):

Image

I’m in total agreement with CMC64 :P . I’ve just started using the Axe Fx - but what I’ve found is it’s all about EQ. Once you have the ability to really adjust your rig – and mix and match amps for that matter - it’s possible to dial in almost any tone once you get a handle on how it’s going to be amplified. I think Jerry’s rig really started to evolve around this time, and prior to 74 his amp set-up was probably more stock than what I’ve at least thought up to now.

I’m guessing the similarities between the Travis Bean pups and the Dimarzio SD-1’s is that they seek to mimic a soapbar pick-up, just a beefier sound. If you look at the specs between a Dual Sound and Super II – the higher frequencies are night and day, yet Jerry’s tone did not change that radically – probably because he could simply compensate with his guitar’s tone pot and perhaps his amp settings. I’d say the big change came between 74 and early 78 years. After Jerry got comfortable with the thru neck guitar, the Cutler pre-amp and Dimarzio pick-ups the tonal evolution seems to slow down and sound more modern – at least to my ears.

I dont know if the the Wolf 2.0 pickup question has been resolved but I'm certainly warming up to the SDS-1 as a good single coil option for a Wolf style guitar. :smile:

Peace

James
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby waldo041 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:59 pm

First let me address this comment....
James-T wrote:Waldo said

The GD never made it out to NY?


Good point, however according to the Bill Lawrence website he was not in NYC in 76/77 but in Nashville Tn. It’s possible that Dan Armstrong’s shop was still at that location and placed “custom orders” for Bill but that’s pretty speculative. Here is a more accurate timeline of Bill’s earlier career on his own:


My comment came from the comment you gave here below....


James-T wrote:I’m guessing that Irwin simply dropped in some aftermarket single coils unless he had some sort of connection with Lawrence who lived 3,000 miles away in NYC. I’d place my bets on SD’s or Dimarzio’s, whatever they offered in 77 as an aftermarket pickup for a single coil slot but who really knows!



Also, my research on this subject never had a detailed photo like the one you have found from NYE 77. I do have some pics of this show, but none like the one you have found. GREAT find!

James-T wrote:
This was taken from the New Years run in 77:

Image

Waldo wrote:
Dentifyt
The SDS-1's have a distinct allen head adjustable pole piece that the Jerry single coil pickups in late 77-early 78 did not have.
To further that comment I understand they were patent protected making it easier to properly identify an early Dimarzio pick-up.

Here is a detail of the hex shaped allen key adjustable poles:

Image

Here is a comparison of the Wolf 2.0 pups to the known SDS-1 in the Tiger (Greek shows 1988):

Image



As i stated earlier in the thread, i really did not want to debate, but since you have made such a great find which is not debateable, can you identify these 2 different sets from Oct 77 and Jan 78? What colors did SDS-1's come in, in 77? Can you identify the allen head poles in the 78 photo like you can in the Tiger 88 neck pickup you posted for comparison?

Oct 77
Image

Jan 78
Image

~waldo
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby Chinarider1A » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:21 am

This thread is why I love this site. I too have been going after that '77-early '78 sound and have used at different times a SDS-1, Lollar, Bill Lawrence, Dual Sound, etc. and have yet to really nail it, but the conversation around this is really interesting. I may be incorrect, but didnt Jerry also use the Blackface Twin during this period that had the special black knob (possibly a master volume)? I would assume, and we know what happens when you assume, that using the blackface twin also added a dimension that was different than the silverface.
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby waldo041 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:11 am

Chinarider1A wrote:This thread is why I love this site. I too have been going after that '77-early '78 sound and have used at different times a SDS-1, Lollar, Bill Lawrence, Dual Sound, etc. and have yet to really nail it, but the conversation around this is really interesting. I may be incorrect, but didnt Jerry also use the Blackface Twin during this period that had the special black knob (possibly a master volume)? I would assume, and we know what happens when you assume, that using the blackface twin also added a dimension that was different than the silverface.


Yes, he was using the blackface as the number 1 in this period. And Yes, it was a Master Volume. I asked Healy about it and he confirmed that.

~waldo
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby James-T » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:34 pm

Although Jerry only played a handful of guitars on stage I read that he had at least 25 guitars in his collection at the time of his passing. I read that he would buy guitars on the road – some almost unplayable and take them to Irwin (that’s what I recall) to fix up. Obvioulsy some he simply had local techs work on as well. Here’s a great story about one of his guitars “the trainer” taken from the Visions of Garcia auction site:

Jerry Garcia called this solid body electric guitar the 'trainer' others jokingly called it a 'pony' (ie a junior Fender Mustang). Whatever you called it, this guitar was always a work in progress. I was originally looking for an inexpensive beginners guitar for my son Lucas. I had asked our friends at Bananna Music ... to be on the watch for a decent instrument ... When they located this ... I think they wanted around $100 (this was end of 1979). Jerry looked it over, plugged it in to a Yamaha practice amp and reeled off some stocatto triplets, octavoes and arpeggios. Jerry laughed and announced 'we should hot-rod this little sucker up.' First, he said, we needed to have it fitted with a new bridge. He had recently heard that this guy Kahler, who had been building cross for Fender, had started his own company. He told me to take it back to the store and see if their techs could outfit it with Kahler's new tremolo bridge which doubled as a fitted bridge as well. I'm going, 'Jerry the bridge is over $200.-,' and he then tells me to have the store order two P-90 pick ups and have them put it on his tab. This was very generous of Jerry but it meant that Luke would get it for Christmas 1980 maybe. The guitar finally found its way to Lucas who was actually able to learn some chords from Jerry.


Image That’s the guitar!

Did Garcia know about Bill Lawrence pick-ups? Well Garcia was published in Guitar Player – LSR advertised in different guitar magazines – one would assume he was up to date on these things – and out of 25 + guitars, which I’m guessing were collected in the 70’s when it was OK to walk into guitar stores without being mobbed, that he tried them out for sure, hence the Bill Lawrence rail added to Wolf at some later date – but perhaps not played in concert.

I took a second read at the fall 77 interview. In the transcripts Garcia refers to those Wolf pick-ups as being made by a company – not hand wound – a new company. Both Dimarizio and LSR were relatively new, and just starting to advertise – hey those first pick-ups could have been either. Without decent photography no one will really know.

Here’s the transcript:

**GT:"What kind of pick-ups are those?"
> **JG:" These things? I don't know. There's this new company that
> makes these things and I don't even know what they're
called...yeah,
> I don't know what the name is, but they're uh single...single-coil
> pick-ups like a, a Tel-, uh, Stratocaster."


Waldo asked:
What colors did SDS-1's come in, in 77?


Did Dimarzio have black pick-up covers in 1977? Good question. The first guitar I thought of was Gilmore’s black strat with the Dimarzio FS-1’s in it. Here it is in the middle image with a black bridge FS-1 pickup (from a Gilmore gear site).

Image

It does make sense however that as Larry was a rising star in the music world and hell bent on taking over the world that he would want to hit as broad of an audience as possible by offering different color pick-ups to match different guitars (probably including the Japanese market). In fact I read that he had some sort of patent on double cream pick-ups. Read more here:

http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/show ... eme-patent

Here is a 1977 Dimarzio advertisement which also shows black single coils:

Image

Waldo asked:

can you identify these 2 different sets from Oct 77 and Jan 78?


I can identify the photographs but sorry to say I can’t identify the pick-ups with that sort of resolution. These images are really blurry but I’m guessing at least one of them if brought into focus would show alley key slots. Here is another image of the Wolf with what appears to be black pick-ups but it’s actually from the New Years 77 run.

Image

The poor image quality and idiosyncrasies of lighting make them appear black - but in fact the Wolf had white pick-ups in it for that run.

Did that Oct 11th image pulled of the Dead’s website show Wolf with black pick-ups? First of all without knowing the photographer or having access to his/her site it is hard to tell if even the October 11th date is correct but assuming it is, it would be when Jerry first got the Wolf back and like I said in an earlier post – we are told by Irwin that the Wolf was designed to have plug and play pick-ups, it was designed for Garcia to try different pick-ups so those could have been black LSR pups for sure, but they could have also been Dimarzio’s. Hey they might have been black Travis Bean single coils. SD was just getting off the ground that year so it’s doubtful they were SD’s.

That Jan 78 photo with Jerry in tye dye is from Fresno and was shot by Ed Peristein – with better resolution I’m thinking the pole cylinders would come into focus and the allen key slots would become visible – but he wants $400 a print.

The image you have posted on your website of the Wolf 2.0 is from Santa Barbara. It was shot by Steve Schneider. Steve lives in Seattle. I’ve been in touch with him. He told me he would try to look at some his images this weekend. Most of my images from that time are on film. Apparently his filing system is not the greatest and he’s leaving town on Monday so it may or may not happen.

However here are two close up shots that Bill Fridl emailed me last night. They are from that same Santa Barbara show in June. He was kind enough to provide us with a cropped close up in exchange for giving his site a plug.

Image

Image

The resolution is still a bit sketchy but I can see what looks like allen key cylinder slots on the pick-ups.

He was kind enough to provide us with a cropped close up in exchange for giving his site a plug.

http://www.grateful-dead-photos.com/ Great site!

The 12/30/77 photo I posted ealier is much higher resolution than these. Just the cropped image alone was 1.5megs. It was shot by Ben Upham. He just purchased a Cannon 9000F Mark II scanner and had just started scanning some old Garcia negs at 4800 dpi so the timing was serpindepity!

I’m going to go out on a limb and connect some dots. It goes without much doubt now that by the Winterland run in December 77 the Wolf 2.0 had a set of SDS-1’s in it. It appears, but not with certainty that the Wolf 2.0 still had SDS-1’s in it in June of 78. I’m going to also guess that these are the same pick-ups from the Winterland shows.

I’ve been trying to nail that Madison Feb 78 Garcia tone for a while with my Axe FX. The closest I can get is with a Mesa Mark IIa simulation. The Twin map sim doesn’t even get you in the ball park – even with it totally hot rodded. I guess for some reason I thought Garcia might have gone back to Mesa Boogie for a few months. This was my rationale: I understood that Garcia played a Mesa Mark II with his Jerry band and they were touring just before and after the Winter 77/78 shows; my thinking was that the unique tone, much different than the Spring tour came from not his pick-ups but the overall rig and my theory to date until reading Waldo's last post was that there was a possibility Garcia decided to experiment again with Mesa Boggie – and why wouldn’t he? He played that rig with the Jerry band around the same time – a band which included some Grateful Dead personal including its roadies. The Dead were on a limited budget and were trying to gang up their side projects with the Dead tour to make as much cash as possible. I figured it was plausible that Garcia’s rig simply moved from one band to the other and back again – at this point in his career.

This is an excellent piece of research which discusses the Dead’s touring schedule in early 78:

http://lostlivedead.blogspot.ca/2012/09 ... pring.html

Along that thread of thinking, here is a great shot of what is probably Bob’s Mesa at those Winterland shows:

Image

If Bob was happy with the Mesa why wouldn’t Jerry want to give it a try again? – after all they were band mates and learning from each other.

Here is Bob’s description of designed the Ibanez he designed for Jerry:

Image

Here is Bob playing that said guitar (in ash like Jerry's reconstruction Keystone image) at Santa Barbara in June of 78:

Image

Here is Jerry playing what looks to be that same guitar (at the Keystone):

Image

That’s my point – I think he was experimenting with sound in late 77/ early 78 and there was more to it than just his guitar.

Chinarider wrote:

I may be incorrect, but didnt Jerry also use the Blackface Twin during this period that had the special black knob (possibly a master volume)? I would assume, and we know what happens when you assume, that using the blackface twin also added a dimension that was different than the silverface.


I agree, although my theory was more controversial and from what Healy told Waldo obviously incorrect - but without some photographic evidence not fully proven wrong. As I said – I’ve found it really difficult to nail down that tone without resorting to a Meas Boggie amp sim. Hey its whatever gets you the sound that counts in my books - if it takes a vintage Mesa Boggie rather than a Twin Reverb to get that tone - cool! :smile:

Peace,

James
Last edited by James-T on Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby mkaufman » Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:44 pm

"And here is Ibanez taking the Jerry prootype guitar, reconfiguring it for the masses and selling it as a Bob Weir model."

This is totally wrong.

Ibanez made Weir's first guitar around late '74. Jeff Hasselberger worked with Bobby to create this guitar. Ibanez then issued the Professional 2681 and 2680 (Weir models) in 1975. The 2681 had the TOL & purling. The 2680 was less fancy with just dot inlays.

The picture actually shows Bob playing a Musician model. It was not played much and it was never released to the masses as a Weir model.

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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby James-T » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:00 pm

Hey now,

Sorry for that, I forgot to attach this:

Image

Looks like the guitar designed for Jerry - yet Ibanez appears to be calling it a Weir model. Perhaps I'm totally wrong but it certainly looks like the simplified version of the guitar he worked up for Jerry. I saw one on craigslist locally recently - the same deal, what looked like a musician - yet the guy called it the Weir model. This advertisement explains it.

Yes I've heard about the other guitars that Ibanez worked on with Bob.

Now for some comic relief:

http://vimeo.com/24762526

Peace,

James
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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby mkaufman » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:10 pm

Yes, that's the 2681.

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Re: Wolf 2.0 Pickup question Revisited

Postby James-T » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:34 pm

Your right, its not the same model as the Jerry prototype. The ash finish threw me off and I had the wrong shot of Bob. :-x He was playing the 2612 (his model) at Red Rocks and he played the Jerry model at Santa Barbara. I knew I saw it somewhere. :P

No worries!

Here is Bob playing what looks to be Jerry's guitar, that was sort of the point of the thing. I thought the Ibanez add was simply amusing - thinking it was based on that prototype - which clearly its not.

Image

Image

Peace,

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