Wow. You guys are the fastest user group I've ever seen...
I posted this a couple hours ago and on a topic from 1995! LOL
Anyway, first and foremost, I'm not looking for any kind of arguement about anything with anyone so if you have better info than I... fantastic! Not like it matters - as I've noticed on every chat room on the internet - I am always wrong - even though I share 100% truthfully what I have learned.
Here's what I'll say about what I said:
Somewhere around about '94-95 I played a PRS guitar with the Mike Christian piezo installed saddles (and you are correct, 'Hogan', that there were little wires visible that disappeared into the stop bar tailpiece). I asked all kinds of questions about it and three guys in the store gave it a try through a Mesa Boogie Mark IV head and a 4x12 cabinet. I can still remember the whole thing like it was yesterday. I was assured you can install this on most guitars without showing wires (something I was concerned about). But, anyway, I was shown the little plastic box the pickup came in and with it a little piece of paper with a paragraph about the Dead (and I'm paraphrasing); 'as recently used on tour by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead'. After hearing that I was more than just a little interested.
So, it would have been easy to hide the little wires of the Christian pickup on Rosebud - there was already a Roland GK2A (something else I used to want desperately) mounted right in front of it, so it would be easy to 'make disappear' in the same way. That guitar was fully loaded with cavernous routes for preamps, pickups and buffers.
But, thinking about the timing... 1994/95... I certainly concede it's possible that Christian sold one to some representative for the band (a crew member or maybe Jerry) and believed he was using it since we all clearly heard a very 'acoustic/electric' sound on tour. But, if you're correct that the guitar techs never did install a piezo it may very well be that the 'acoustic' tone came from a blend of the Roland synth and Christian's people just assumed they were using it? I'm also wondering about the timing - it may be that the store or Chrisitan's people copied an article and inserted them into their pickup boxes as little inserts made up right before Jerry died (and probably yanked them right after)? Who knows. I only know what I saw and heard.
Next, with the speaker thing - to be honest I don't remember who told me about it, but I had many conversations with amp techs at GrooveTubes and Mesa Boogie - with practically everyone who works the phones at either company over the years. But, I seem to recall a phone conversation with Glenn Goldstein at Hard Truckers about Jerry's cabs. I just looked through some emails - sorry nothing on the speaker behind the line, but I did find a neat bit of info about some old Gauss speakers I bought and asked questions about (before I tried the JBL's). I'll reprint that in a minute - hopefully with the photos he sent me - don't know if they'll transfer or not?
Anyway, sorry, back to topic... I think it's likely there was always a direct to board line from Garcia's rig throughout the band's history - this was common practice in studios all the way back to the birth of the direct line out (the 50's I believe)? So, in one way or another (and especially in the 80's and 90's) a lot of options would have been useful for a band (and the engineers). I know most bands with large scale stage setups were (and still are) submixing everything with their own mixers (Jerry had that Rane line mixer) and sending either a mix or ALL the sends to the stage/house mix.
The more I think about it the more difficult it would seem to know what was going on at the time unless you were there. I wasn't so I will gladly concede anything's possible.
Strumminsix: Thanks for the welcome and point taken. I didn't want to offend. I figured these were facts due to the sources (and who knows - they might still be - I think only the boys on stage will know).
Playingdead: If that's true it must have been the Roland synth ...or the magic Roses!
Tigerstrat: You could blend all of these to any mix you wanted as noted by many of Jerry's fades in and out of synth tones. There's actually a knob right on the original GK-2A pickup that let you control how much synth to add to your guitar signal. I tested this out back in the early 90's in an early franchise Guitar Center. I was so impressed with Guitar Center at the time that I bought stock in the company. They looked to me like the WalMart of music stores and they were going to do just what WalMart did to their competition. I knew nothing about investing, but figured it was the one thing I knew something about. I made three times my money and got out. The stock went from $8.00 /share to $65.00 over the next couple years. Anyway, Roland was great about getting their products out to the general public - they were (and still are) a behemoth of a company! The thing is, you could always turn off the Roland, or the Christian pickup, right on the body of the guitar and it wouldn't effect the tone of the guitar's pickups running straight to the amp.
So, I dunno. It seemed like iron clad info to pass along. Maybe yes, maybe no. No hard feelings to anyone and good luck to all with YOUR sound - that's all that's going to matter in your world anyway. In the end, you can't BE Jerry because Jerry's Jerry!
I love the site though - plan to read lots more when i have the time - always liked the Grateful community on tour and off. Peace!