A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby Capt Rosebuddy » Fri May 01, 2009 7:33 am

I was hopping to open a discussion on Jerry's effects all in one place. I fully know that the envelope filter thing has been beat to death but there are a few stones unturned in the realm of octave, delay overdrive/distortion. Just to get going I currently have in my setup: Mutron III, Boss OC-2, MXR Distortion+,MXR Phase 100 (reissue), & a Boss DD-3.

So personally I'm not real happy with the Distortion+. While it's a great little box it lacks the full body overdrive Garcia tone that I love. I really haven't bothered to research what Jerry was using after he switched to the Boss distortion pedals so if someone could fill in that blank that would be awesome (think Dozin at the Knick's All Along the Watchtower).

Also my OC-2 is starting to go bad, what's the collective mind on the Mutron Octave box? Other than hard to find and expensive..

I hope this idea works I could talk effects till the cows come home.
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby playingdead » Fri May 01, 2009 7:41 am

For overdrive, I like the Boss OD-2r (Jerry used it) ... it's just exactly perfect to my ears on the middle pickup single coil without rolling off the tone ... hear a clip of it it here:

http://www.playingdead.net/road.html

That clip is through my current rack rig, and it's great sound quality. Here's an older clip, the sound quality is not as good but you can hear that the overall tone is basically the same ...

http://playingdead.net/060608death.html

I found the MXR+ too shrill for me, although you can get that certain 70s sound out of it.

I run the OD-2r with the Turbo on, drive up about 11 o'clock, tone about 1 pm.
Last edited by playingdead on Fri May 01, 2009 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Fri May 01, 2009 7:59 am

I dig the boss Blues driver but it has been panned alot. To each his own i guess ...
I get a decent overdrive-y type sound out of it ...
I wish I afford a Mutron Octave box too....
peace and I like this idea for a thread
:smile:
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby tigerstrat » Fri May 01, 2009 8:14 am

I liked maintaining the existing separate threads for each effect type, but what the hey...

I recently posted my new overdrive acquisition, the Danelectro CTO-1, to Strummins "Dirt" thread (which I still think should have been titled less slangily... then again it seems the general preference is to begin new threads and rehash old territory). I know a lot of people will see the name Danelectro and roll their eyes :roll: but it's one of the most versatile OD's I've ever tried, with a lot of subtlety in the mids, not to mention true-bypass and in a rugged metal shell... for under $50.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby Guardian » Fri May 01, 2009 8:17 am

After his MXR Jerry switched to using 2 distortion pedals, both Boss, the Turbo OverDrive OD-2R and the OD-1. You can see an actual decent pic of his 90's rig here:

http://dozin.com/jers/90srig/90s.html

Regards.
Andrew
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby strumminsix » Fri May 01, 2009 9:54 am

tigerstrat wrote:Strummins "Dirt" thread (which I still think should have been titled less slangily... then again it seems the general preference is to begin new threads and rehash old territory).

What would you like the new title be? "Pedal Review: OverDrive/Distortion/Fuzz"
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby tigerstrat » Fri May 01, 2009 10:15 am

strumminsix wrote:
tigerstrat wrote:Strummins "Dirt" thread (which I still think should have been titled less slangily... then again it seems the general preference is to begin new threads and rehash old territory).

What would you like the new title be? "Pedal Review: OverDrive/Distortion/Fuzz"


My main point was I don't think people like to use older threads anyway, but maybe since you asked, just "Overdrive Pedals"? Doesn't seem to be too much call for Fuzz or Distortion discussions (the MXR Distortion+ is an OD, not a distortion) , but those would be easy enough to start discrete threads for. Speakin o which, I coulda sworn I heard a fuzz pedal on 10/22/67 while listening yesterday)
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Fri May 01, 2009 10:35 am

To me, the MXR Distortion+ is THE sound that best typifies Jerry's killer distortion tone. I agree though that if you go and buy one, you may find it a bit glassy and buzzy. I'm no wiz on these things, but I do see that the more modern ones use mylar film caps and the old ones use those nasty ceramic disks. I gotta say that there's something to ceramic disks. I often hate them in audio, but for some things, that ceramic grit and distortion can give pretty musical results. So maybe it's worth trying a vintage tan MXR instead of a modern yellow one. I just love the many solos I've heard with Jer using the MXR. It's got this extremely clean character that's always there, but the distortion then sits on top of it. The Boss pedals sounded real good too, but they change the guitar tone a lot where the MXR leaves it sounding like it sounds. Also, the MXR dirt sounds a bit glassy if you aren't pushing your rig. At low volumes the glassiness dominates, but when things are cranked and going, the warmth takes over and it's really just the right pedal for doing the Jerry thing, IMHO.


Brad
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby tigerstrat » Fri May 01, 2009 10:59 am

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:To me, the MXR Distortion+ is THE sound that best typifies Jerry's killer distortion tone. I agree though that if you go and buy one, you may find it a bit glassy and buzzy. I'm no wiz on these things, but I do see that the more modern ones use mylar film caps and the old ones use those nasty ceramic disks. I gotta say that there's something to ceramic disks. I often hate them in audio, but for some things, that ceramic grit and distortion can give pretty musical results. So maybe it's worth trying a vintage tan MXR instead of a modern yellow one. I just love the many solos I've heard with Jer using the MXR. It's got this extremely clean character that's always there, but the distortion then sits on top of it. The Boss pedals sounded real good too, but they change the guitar tone a lot where the MXR leaves it sounding like it sounds. Also, the MXR dirt sounds a bit glassy if you aren't pushing your rig. At low volumes the glassiness dominates, but when things are cranked and going, the warmth takes over and it's really just the right pedal for doing the Jerry thing, IMHO.


Brad


Agreed. For my 2 cents, an audible difference between the 80's (and late 70's) Jerry overdrive and the 90's Jerry overdrive.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Fri May 01, 2009 11:38 am

Yeah, totally. I love Boss overdrives, they've really got something to them, and for certain Jerry solos like the middle Stella or Black Peter where it's all about that searing, woman-tone, extreme sustain into feedback kind of thing, the Boss Turbo OD (OD-2) is killer. But when Jerry played, he was real loud, so even with the MXR, he'd get that sustain and feedback thing too. But in general, the MXR maintains that super clear sparkly top end where you can hear all the pick noise, and it's just very Jerry to me. It still has a cleanish sound to it because of the nature of the MXR. The Boss pedals do more EQ'ing to the tone so you sort of lose the natural guitar sparkle, but you gain a rich mid-heavy harmonic content that sounds real nice.

Now technically, I know people debate the differences between fuzz, overdrive, and distortion, but the MXR+ to my understanding, is the classic textbook example of a true "distortion" pedal. It uses a clean booster stage and then a pair of reversed diodes in parallel that short the signal to ground for the clipping. That's a "distortion" pedal in a nutshell.

What people call "overdrive" pedals tend to be in the Tubescreamer camp where the clipping diodes live in the feedback loop around an opamp. It's a warmer, more amp-like sound, so they call that "overdrive".

Fuzz pedals are typically when one transistor slams the next one into hard clipping, like a Fuzz Face.

A Nobels ODR-1, or a RAT pedal are a perfect fusion of a distortion and overdrive pedal in one. Actually there are a lot of pedals that blur the distinction. A number of Boss pedals also blend the topologies. One reason I love the Boss Turbo Overdrive is that it's all discrete, no opamps. If my pedal board was set up for truly doing the Jerry thing, I'd have an MXR+ and a Boss Turbo OD (OD-2). That would nicely bridge the 70's, 80's, and 90's.

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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby strumminsix » Fri May 01, 2009 11:58 am

tigerstrat wrote:
strumminsix wrote:
tigerstrat wrote:Strummins "Dirt" thread (which I still think should have been titled less slangily... then again it seems the general preference is to begin new threads and rehash old territory).

What would you like the new title be? "Pedal Review: OverDrive/Distortion/Fuzz"


My main point was I don't think people like to use older threads anyway, but maybe since you asked, just "Overdrive Pedals"? Doesn't seem to be too much call for Fuzz or Distortion discussions (the MXR Distortion+ is an OD, not a distortion) , but those would be easy enough to start discrete threads for. Speakin o which, I coulda sworn I heard a fuzz pedal on 10/22/67 while listening yesterday)


Agreed that they don't. And I think that kinda sucks. I hate recycling info or redirecting but it's necessary, IMO.

Per Brad the MXR+ is Dist. Jerry had an OD at some point. Bobby had an OD. Bobby had a Dist. Bobby also had fuzzy sound in the 80s. I cop that tone with a fuzz but cannot say 100% it was a fuzz pedal.

Sadly, I think many people's ears aren't very good good at discerning the diff between those pedals. Also, it's true that if we take 3 example of high quality pedals of each (meaning they have sweet spots up and down the pot twists) you can get very similar tones between all 3.

Just letting you into my brain. If you want to start a review of Dist's great! and I'll be happy to rename Dirt to OD and include yours in the link stickied topic!
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby waldo041 » Fri May 01, 2009 12:34 pm

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:Now technically, I know people debate the differences between fuzz, overdrive, and distortion, but the MXR+ to my understanding, is the classic textbook example of a true "distortion" pedal. It uses a clean booster stage and then a pair of reversed diodes in parallel that short the signal to ground for the clipping. That's a "distortion" pedal in a nutshell.


Exactly! the distortion+ is a classic! it does have the clipping diodes, but the beauty of it is the 741IC. it distorts also! changing the chip can clean some of the dirt out of it. the vintage ones also used germanium diodes vs. the silicon ones today and in my opinion make for the difference in the vintage and reissues.

my 2 cents.

carry on!

peace,
waldo
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby playingdead » Fri May 01, 2009 1:51 pm

True enough, I had a reissue MXR, not a vintage one. But I gravitate toward Jerry's 80s sound anyway, so the OD2-r is a good fit for my rig.

Does anyone know the specifics on the guts of the OD2-r?
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby Capt Rosebuddy » Fri May 01, 2009 2:41 pm

Well my MXR is a vintage one (mustard color block lettering early 80's I think) and glassy is the word for it. Vic, I think that video is about what I'm looking for, I'll have to test out a Boss with the rig and see how it goes. And for the record I love the MXR box it's all a work in progress.
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Re: A Unified Garcia Effects Thread

Postby bcresci » Fri May 01, 2009 2:44 pm

Guardian wrote:After his MXR Jerry switched to using 2 distortion pedals, both Boss, the Turbo OverDrive OD-2R and the OD-1.
Andrew


Don't know that I've ever seen an explanation for the difference between the two pedals and when Jerry chose to use each of them. I think I have read in other threads that the two EQ pedals were for each of the ODs.
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