Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby tapestry » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:11 am

I went down to the Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, Dec. 10th to catch JGB. I was very much looking forward to hearing and seeing Melvin Seals again and was also interested in checking out Stu Allen and his rig. I figured with some folks helping him from this board, he would have a great Jerry tone and Jerry rig.

Melvin was hot and I thought he sounded great. My friend Tom (who plays a digital hammond) noticed that he was not playing his full B3, but another smaller model. It still sounded great but was to low in the mix.

We stood over on Stu's side, because I really wanted to check him out. Let me start by stating that I had never heard Stu before this night. He played a new (looked new) Gibson SG. I noticed a couple of heads checking it out saying "cool - it's just like Jerry's!". Alot of folks think the SG is what Jerry played. His SG was totally stock.

He played through a pedal board on the floor with a Boss power supply A/B switch, Boss t-wah, Boss od-2, Boss Delay, Boss chorus, Boss Octave and a mini tuner of some sort. Ernie Ball pedal for volume that was kicked on all the way the whole first set. A couple of times Stu stepped on the volume pedal to make sure it was all the way up. From the pedal board, the cable ran to a new (looked new) fender twin reverb laying almost all the way on its back. It was miked with a e609.

They opened with Cat's and that made me hollar a big wooohoo! Stu is a very good guitar player and his voice was DEAD ON for the older, scruffier Jerry voice. His guitar tone though.....I wasn't impressed. it was very muddy and sounded like...well, a gibson cranked through a fender amp. The peaks were harsh and actually hurt my ears at time (you know that hi-mid vibration?). I give him credit for doing his very own interpretation of the JGB tunes, but I would have liked him hitting some more of the signature licks from the songs as well. I wished I had brought my rig for him to play through! Again - he played REALLY well and sang INCREDIBLY well, I just wanted to hear and feel a more Jerry guitar sound/style.

One more thing I want to bring up for discussion: Stu didnt look at the audience ONCE while playing - nor did he look at the band members except when to end. He stared at his feet the whole time. When he sang he looked out to the back of the room overtop of everybody's head. I made eye contact and smiled back and forth at EVERYONE else in the band - but not Stu. It was just weird that Stu seemed like he wanted to be somewhere else. There were some heads right in front of him trying to cheer him on, but they gave up and lost energy when he never even looked up to them. ANY dead style band I go to see, thats any good, works with the crowd - back and forth - to reach a higher level. Maybe he was just having a rough night? Anyone else catch Stu with JGB?

Anyway, here are some pix - and I recommend catching JGB! So much family showed up!!!!

stusguitar.jpg
Stu;s guitar
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stuspedals.jpg
Stu's pedal board
stuspedals.jpg (248.68 KiB) Viewed 3642 times

stu.jpg
Here is Stu:
stu.jpg (196.17 KiB) Viewed 3642 times
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby mijknahs » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:36 pm

I think the lack of eye contact, etc. is nervousness. At least it is with me...
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby NashvilleMike » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:40 pm

Nice complete report!
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It seems like all this life was just a dream
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby jdsmodulus » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:07 pm

I have always wonderd why he doesnt use more of a Jerry rig. I think he is a great guitar player and I like the way he sings Jerry. I have never seen him play in person. There are a bunch of Youtube vids of this JGB. Thanks for the pics of his rig and guitar. He would benefit from a little info on Jerrys rigs for sure. Some guys are not into that though I must say.
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby mijknahs » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:11 pm

Maybe he loves the 1970 Jerry sound (or whenever that was that Jerry played an SG)?
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby playingdead » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:18 pm

I think Brad is building him a bona fide Jerry rig and modding his SG, he's playing with The Schwag now, in Brad's neck of the woods.

I saw him a couple years ago, same rig, SG through a Twin with a few pedals. His tone was really nice then, and he is a good player. He can tackle some of the really slow JGB stuff and sing and play it with great poignancy ... they did "Lucky Old Son" the night I saw them and it was pretty spellbinding. Big contrast from the last time I saw Melvin a few years ago, that guitarist played through a rented Twin Reverb with a beat up Strat and didn't come close.

Very nice, unassuming guy.
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby tigerstrat » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:23 pm

I'll be darned- that's Jimmy Tebeau from The Schwag playing the bass
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby tapestry » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:30 am

tigerstrat wrote:I'll be darned- that's Jimmy Tebeau from The Schwag playing the bass


I was wondering where this cat was from..He played solid and was smiling all night! he had an old alembic bass.
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby waldo041 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:45 am

brad will be more informative on the topic, but i do know firsthand the matter has been addressed, just not implemented yet. he has a brand new SG being rewired by brad, now owns a couple different mcintosh's for venue sizes and a "classic" preamp(of course). topped off with a tiger preamp clone. :cool:

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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby SarnoMusicSolutions » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:15 am

Stu is sort of a bi-coastal musician, if you consider the Mississippi River a coastline. He's got a Bay area amp rig, and a St. Louis area rig. I'm in St. Louis, and we're just finishing up his "real" rig. It's full on the real deal. We found him a second SG that we could mess with and do some routing and stuff. That sweet '61 reissue you see here is a guitar he didn't want to get surgical on. That's just like what Derek Trucks plays. I've actually got the new SG here in my house ready for some electronics work. Waldo's buffer arrived in the mail yesterday. Last week, local luthier (and great bluegrass picker/steel guitarist) John Higgins routed a middle humbucker slot, a cavity for the buffer, and a rear battery cavity and cover plate, a second output jack, and installed the Dimarzios so we can go full on Tiger pickup/wiring setup on it. This guitar will be "correct".

Rig-wise, Stu has rounded up a Mc250 and an Mc2300 (for big summer stage shows), my SMS Classic preamp, 2 K120's in a SoundScaper cab, a real Mutron III (a killer sounding one at that), a Phase 100, a Distortion+, an OD-2r, MXR Analog Delay (Carbon Copy), Boss Octaver, and the pickups are SDS-1 in the neck and 2 Dual Sounds for the middle and bridge positions. He wanted the slightly darker, meatier Dual Sound tone over the thin and bright Super II because he's so used to those Gibson humbuckers, and he loves that '79-81 tone.

So I think Stu would agree that the rig you saw was not exactly an authentic Jerry tone setup. It has more to do with the fact that he's not inherently a gear nut (like us here) and needed a little coaxing and guidance, and also the practicality of having to fly his guitar and pedals around with him and have various amps rented or stored in different towns for him. But this rig will be the deal. We're very close. If I can get the guitar wired up by Tuesday, he'll probably take the WHOLE setup out for its maiden voyage that night for his weekly Schwag show here in town. He has been using the Mc250 and JBL and SMS Classic rig recently and while it sounds good and close, without the right pickups, those Gibson humbuckers just won't tell the whole story. Also, the OBEL will be brand new to him.

I'll tell Stu he should smile more and look at the crowd. I don't think it's nerves, but probably his style of concentration. I know stage presence can sometimes make people form opinions about a person, but he's an extremely kind and cool and super-mellow guy. Perfectly friendly and warm personality, and quite humble to boot. I'm going to try and get someone to record one of his shows with the new rig so we can all check it out.

Brad
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby broesau » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:27 am

With that new rig it sounds like he may be gearing up to take John's place in DSO. I have heard a couple SBDs of JGB shows w/ Stu and his voice any playing is first rate. Wouldn't surprise me if he did join DSO since he already has the inside connection w/ Melvin.
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby krzykat » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:53 am

broesau wrote:With that new rig it sounds like he may be gearing up to take John's place in DSO. I have heard a couple SBDs of JGB shows w/ Stu and his voice any playing is first rate. Wouldn't surprise me if he did join DSO since he already has the inside connection w/ Melvin.

my friend promoted the JGB tour on the east and heard from some people involved with the tour that Stu is indeed joining Dark Star!
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby tapestry » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:02 pm

SarnoMusicSolutions wrote:Stu is sort of a bi-coastal musician, if you consider the Mississippi River a coastline. He's got a Bay area amp rig, and a St. Louis area rig. I'm in St. Louis, and we're just finishing up his "real" rig. It's full on the real deal. We found him a second SG that we could mess with and do some routing and stuff. That sweet '61 reissue you see here is a guitar he didn't want to get surgical on. That's just like what Derek Trucks plays. I've actually got the new SG here in my house ready for some electronics work. Waldo's buffer arrived in the mail yesterday. Last week, local luthier (and great bluegrass picker/steel guitarist) John Higgins routed a middle humbucker slot, a cavity for the buffer, and a rear battery cavity and cover plate, a second output jack, and installed the Dimarzios so we can go full on Tiger pickup/wiring setup on it. This guitar will be "correct".

Rig-wise, Stu has rounded up a Mc250 and an Mc2300 (for big summer stage shows), my SMS Classic preamp, 2 K120's in a SoundScaper cab, a real Mutron III (a killer sounding one at that), a Phase 100, a Distortion+, an OD-2r, MXR Analog Delay (Carbon Copy), Boss Octaver, and the pickups are SDS-1 in the neck and 2 Dual Sounds for the middle and bridge positions. He wanted the slightly darker, meatier Dual Sound tone over the thin and bright Super II because he's so used to those Gibson humbuckers, and he loves that '79-81 tone.

So I think Stu would agree that the rig you saw was not exactly an authentic Jerry tone setup. It has more to do with the fact that he's not inherently a gear nut (like us here) and needed a little coaxing and guidance, and also the practicality of having to fly his guitar and pedals around with him and have various amps rented or stored in different towns for him. But this rig will be the deal. We're very close. If I can get the guitar wired up by Tuesday, he'll probably take the WHOLE setup out for its maiden voyage that night for his weekly Schwag show here in town. He has been using the Mc250 and JBL and SMS Classic rig recently and while it sounds good and close, without the right pickups, those Gibson humbuckers just won't tell the whole story. Also, the OBEL will be brand new to him.

I'll tell Stu he should smile more and look at the crowd. I don't think it's nerves, but probably his style of concentration. I know stage presence can sometimes make people form opinions about a person, but he's an extremely kind and cool and super-mellow guy. Perfectly friendly and warm personality, and quite humble to boot. I'm going to try and get someone to record one of his shows with the new rig so we can all check it out.

Brad


thanks for the info, Brad! I can't wait to see them with the rig your cooking up! :) :) :)
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby modz » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:12 pm

I agree about Stu being a kind guy! He is so easy to work with and open to all opinions. I am going down this Tuesday to have a listen to his rig. The Schwag invited me to set in so I may bring my rig and jam a little. I'm no place close to Stu but I was in the Schwag for years so it will be a blast, especially to jam with Stu!. Maybe I can get brad to set in on my stuff:) Here are a couple photos of Stu with part of the Jerry rig. Brads preamp is in a rack on it's side and my JBL cab is pictured. Stu is investing the time and money into his rig. I'm sure he is open to all suggestions. The little Fender amp was for Devon Allman who sat in this night
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Re: Stu Allen's rig/tone and JGB

Postby GratefulPat » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:24 pm

i saw stu at gr8fulfest this past summer and his tone was superb.. his voice to say the least is incredible in comparison to the later jerry shows and hes a very cool guy. i hope by the time dso hits the midwest hes replaced mattson. no hate on him, but vocally this will once again replace dso at the top of the dead tribute bands. many bands have great players but vocally there not there and stu and rob together is as close as it was with rob and john... god that would be sick, im promoting for the dso midwest run, ive beeen doing this for years now and not heard any word of stu joining but it wouldnt be any shock to me as hes great
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