Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby James-T » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:01 pm

Hey Vic,

At first I thought this thread was going off topic, as it was not intended to be one of those “how I nail that perfect Jerry Tone” posts, using an exact replica of Jerry’s rig – circa 1989 playing in the middle position, single coil, but after reading that you are now using a Scott Walker and not your regular tribute Jerry guitar you are bringing it back to the theme :-) …. of getting some good discussion on tone shaping and getting some cool Jerry like tones (not time period specific) without the Jerry guitar (hence why I posted a video with three very different guitars played through the same rig).

It’s funny you are thinking of trying the Dual Sound route, as I just received my first Super 2 in the mail. I’m headed in the opposite direction! I picked up an old Dimarzio 1978 catalogue as part of my own research on pick-ups and its interesting how they portrayed the difference between the two pups. Here are their old write ups. As I understand it from a senior Dimarzio rep, there is almost zero sonic differences between what we can call a vintage Dimarzio DS or S2 and what you would receive today from the factory. He also mentioned that unlike PAF’s the ceramic pick-ups don’t mellow (or as some claim improve) with age.

Regarding your Scott Walker (funny in that I saw a cool picture of it on facebook just a few days ago! – really nice looking guitar by the way), what are the basic specs on your new guitar – fret board, weight and electronics. Are you using Scott’s buffer (or perhaps Mike’s) and if so how does it compare to the Wald unit? Do you think it is integral to the sound – only one of the three guitars in my demo has a buffer.

Image

Image

And here’s a video of my PRS with the Dual Sound in action through a stock 73 Twin reverb/ D120F’s, which as a surprise to me reminds me a lot of a 73 or 74 Jerry tone and definitely not a 78 tone (even though that’s what I was going for!). This was from the last show before moving to the Fractal and I threw my back out just before the show carting around that damn Twin Reverb through Whistler Village!

Peace, :smile:

James

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby aiq » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:10 pm

OK I have to ask, Vic. What is that light show?

Well, it is gear.
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby ccw3432 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:12 pm

aiq wrote:OK I have to ask, Vic. What is that light show?

Well, it is gear.


Ditto. Very cool.
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby playingdead » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:44 pm

The Dual Sound is actually identical to the Super Distortion ... you can see on those specs that they figures they are giving for the Dual Sound are for the tapped position, it even says in tiny type that the specs in the non-tapped position are identical to the Super Distortion. These days, if you buy the Dual Sound you are really getting a Super Distortion, as the Super Distortion now comes with the four-conductor wiring.

I've had my Walker for about three years now ... it has a spalted maple top, chambered rosewood body, maple/purpleheart neck with a Brazilian fingerboard. The electronics are a bit different; a Super II in the middle, but wired single coil only, a Lollar Imperial humbucker at the bridge (splittable) and a Duncan Lil 59 at the neck (splittable). After some brainstorming with Scott and Brad Sarno, we invented the "Sarno Switch" which allows you to use a 3-way pickup selector (like a Les Paul) but depending on what position the Sarno Switch is in, you get either the middle Super II alone (Jerry mode), the Lollar and the Lil 59 in a Les Paul configuration (LP mode) or Strat style switching -- neck-middle, middle-bridge or -- for the Bob Weir guys -- neck, middle and bridge all at the same time, the secret to the Cowboy sound.

The guitar has Mike Wald's buffer, and Scott's own design for the blaster, which gives a big fat boost that has a pot to control the volume. I don't use that playing the Dead stuff. In fact, the guitar lives almost all the time on stage with that Super II in the middle position.

The tone is similar, not quite as fat as the Tiger guitar (output is not quite as hot, either, for some reason). It plays waaaaay better than the Tiger does, though, and it's lighter and more resonant (chambered body, perhaps). I have been playing that pretty regularly the last year or so.

I am talking with PRS about modifying my Custom 24 to put the Super II (or Dual Sound) in the middle, as I really like that guitar. How I like the Dual Sound in the Tiger will likely determine what happens there.

The rhythm player in your clip is overwhelming your guitar a bit there, but it sounds like you might have been using an in-between position on the PRS? It is well played and sounds Jerry-ish. Hard to pick it out clearly though!

But -- to get back to the guitar or the amp mattering -- this is how I sounded one night with the stock PRS Custom 24 (59/09 pickups) into a 40 watt Vibrolux Reissue with stock 10" Jensen speakers. Bridge and neck together, bridge as a humbucker and neck parallel, I believe. No effects or buffer. So ... well.

http://leftyguitarsonly.com/vic/tleoexcerpt.mp3

The light show is some piece of software hooked up with a microphone, it responds to what's happening FOH. Not sure exactly what it is (G-Force maybe) ... looks good on big stages, though!





James-T wrote:Hey Vic,

At first I thought this thread was going off topic, as it was not intended to be one of those “how I nail that perfect Jerry Tone” posts, using an exact replica of Jerry’s rig – circa 1989 playing in the middle position, single coil, but after reading that you are now using a Scott Walker and not your regular tribute Jerry guitar you are bringing it back to the theme :-) …. of getting some good discussion on tone shaping and getting some cool Jerry like tones (not time period specific) without the Jerry guitar (hence why I posted a video with three very different guitars played through the same rig).

It’s funny you are thinking of trying the Dual Sound route, as I just received my first Super 2 in the mail. I’m headed in the opposite direction! I picked up an old Dimarzio 1978 catalogue as part of my own research on pick-ups and its interesting how they portrayed the difference between the two pups. Here are their old write ups. As I understand it from a senior Dimarzio rep, there is almost zero sonic differences between what we can call a vintage Dimarzio DS or S2 and what you would receive today from the factory. He also mentioned that unlike PAF’s the ceramic pick-ups don’t mellow (or as some claim improve) with age.

Regarding your Scott Walker (funny in that I saw a cool picture of it on facebook just a few days ago! – really nice looking guitar by the way), what are the basic specs on your new guitar – fret board, weight and electronics. Are you using Scott’s buffer (or perhaps Mike’s) and if so how does it compare to the Wald unit? Do you think it is integral to the sound – only one of the three guitars in my demo has a buffer.

Image

Image

And here’s a video of my PRS with the Dual Sound in action through a stock 73 Twin reverb/ D120F’s, which as a surprise to me reminds me a lot of a 73 or 74 Jerry tone and definitely not a 78 tone (even though that’s what I was going for!). This was from the last show before moving to the Fractal and I threw my back out just before the show carting around that damn Twin Reverb through Whistler Village!

Peace, :smile:

James

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby playingdead » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:54 pm

But just to bring it all full circle ... here's Jerry playing a JazzMaster through a Roland Jazz Chorus 120 ... and he sounds like, you guessed it, Jerry!



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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby James-T » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:40 pm

Hey Vic,

Great post!

A Dual Sound in the middle position in a PRS. That's exactly what I have set up, but its a CU22 so they (the pick-ups) fall in slightly different territory under the strings. I like the description of your electronics. I went for a Bare Knuckles Stormy Monday in the bridge position. Its coil tapped but I never use it as a single coil on its own. It really brings on an edge. It sounds like you have a similar set-up. My tech had to rip out the PRS five way switch - it didn't work like a standard 5-way.

I've got a Lil59 in my Strat - just love it, although I don't use it much. It's in the bridge. My understanding is it's a PAF in the shape of a single coil.

I've just started in the last few gigs to hang on the middle pick-up in single coil. On that video I was on an in-between position. It was also lacking a buffer but has Mike's buffer in it now. The Dual Sound has a good bite to it as a single coil. You'll like it for sure.

Here's a video where at the end of the Bird Song jam (from that same show) where I utilized the Stormy Monday (with a Boss OD). Fast forward to the 6 or 7 minute mark.

And yes its full circle on this thread! I wish that Jerry had experimented more with different guitars. I love mixing it up, although I have to admit I've been gravitating to my PRS mostly, as its easy to string, great action, light and the best made instrument I have. It also looks cool. I've been tempted to go the tribute route but have resisted. I play lots of other stuff, and not just dead!

If I ever go custom, the SW route looks pretty tempting. You are a great spokesman for his products!

Thanks for posting! and thanks for those IR's.... :smile:

Peace,

James

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby waldo041 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:18 pm

playingdead wrote:But just to bring it all full circle ... here's Jerry playing a JazzMaster through a Roland Jazz Chorus 120 ... and he sounds like, you guessed it, Jerry!






Yes sir, sounds EXACTLY like Jerry.........



........................playing Costello's JazzMaster through a Roland Jazz Chorus 120!


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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby waldo041 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:28 pm

And here he sounds EXACTLY like Jerry........




.................playing a Les Paul through what i believe is a Marshall.

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby waldo041 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:33 pm

And here he sounds EXACTLY like Jerry.............




.........................playing a Natural Gibson ES-335 through a Marshall.

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby playingdead » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:42 pm

And, hell the whole damn band on different borrowed gear .... sounds just like the Dead!

Garcia on a Yamaha, Weir on a knockoff Tele (through a Peavey amp) ... electric is 39 minutes in.

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby waldo041 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:57 pm

playingdead wrote:And, hell the whole damn band on different borrowed gear .... sounds just like the Dead!

Garcia on a Yamaha, Weir on a knockoff Tele (through a Peavey amp) ... electric is 39 minutes in.




Yes sir, sounds EXACTLY like the Grateful Dead............

.....................playing Borrowed Gear!

Here they sound EXACTLY like the Grateful Dead playing their own gear.



Like in the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, one sounds just right!

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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby James-T » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:17 pm

Peavey! Now that's something uncovered in the world of Dead trivia! I always assumed from listening to the tapes that Jerry played a Strat at those shows until I saw the post here about the Yamaha a while back (as usual most news on RUKind is old news!). In fact I've been drooling over some old Yamaha's on eBay recently. Not necessarily Jerrify-able ones, but damn they made some nice guitars in the day! There's even a guy on you tube doing a cool demo of one playing Samson and Delilah. And if that's not weird, I was listening to Samson and Delilah when I stumbled upon it and had to do a double take!

I've been watching that Hendrix PBS special this weekend, thinking how he probably went through Stratocasters on a regular basis and just didn't give a s^it about the guitar he was playing, but he was a master of the phaser, amplifier and various other electronic gizmo's.

Perhaps the amp matters more than the guitar.....no wait, it must be the other way around if Weir is playing a Peavey! :?

I expected that this thread had no answer! :smile: That's the magic of music. At its core it knows no formula's. That first video is really James-T sounding just like James-T on three different instruments with a heavy Garcia influence, but I sorta sound like myself no matter what I play. That was the surprise at least to my ears when I completed that small musical experiment. By tying the solos together in video over one track it was easy to compare, and what's really interesting is that out of those three guitars the most powerful pick-up was the circa 65 Gibson PAF which sits on that Les Paul DC. I had to really dial down the volume to match the other two guitars. The pick-up only reads 7.1K. That was also a surprise, but it proves a run of the mill PAF can get you a decent Jerry tone in a pinch, which Vic really nails with his PRS! Like really nails!!

Thanks for the great posts! :-)

Peace,

James
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:20 am

It's the JBL's that matter the most. And the pick.


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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby TI4-1009 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:32 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:It's the JBL's that matter the most. And the pick.


Brad



Ahhhh.... Very wise, Grasshopper. The Alpha and Omega of the equipment spectrum. Ommmmmm........
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Re: Jerry Tone: is it the guitar or amp that matters?

Postby PaulJay » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:36 am

Ok, Jerry sounds like Jerry and Hildago sounds like Jerry too. Now I am totally confused. :?
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