Travis Bean P/U humbuckers -75' tone

Re: Travis Bean P/U humbuckers -75' tone

Postby jeffm725 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:51 am

Also,
on the topic of the original post, jonarobbs recommendation is totally on the money. That is about as close as you are going to get to the real thing (unfortunately not all the way there, but pretty close). I absolutely love the tone of the stock pickups in TB1000's. It is a one of a kind tone. Jerry's tone from 75 through mid 77 was ALL ABOUT the TB pickups. I would say they were the single most important sound shaping characteristic of his tone in that time frame. The Pickups in the TB500 sound a bit different to my ears than the ones in the 1000a's, just as distinctive, only in a slightly different manner. I think in the 500 he often had ALL THREE pickups on at once.
Those bean pickups were awesome.
One of my guitar students has a 1000a and when he brings it to lessons I want to hold it hostage! I plug it directly into my Boogie, no effects, no nothin', and it is instant 76 Garcia Band!
.......................................................have you heard the one about the yellow dog?
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Re: Travis Bean P/U humbuckers -75' tone

Postby jonarobb » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:59 am

The A or B designation for any early pre-78 Mesa Boogie is irrelevant. There was no model other than a base head, combo 1x12 or combo 1x15. They didn't have any other identifying letters, numbers or names. It was just a Boogie. The various H's, R's, etc....,that were written in sharpie on the side of the chassis were internal identification marks for various production benches. At one point Boogie amps were made in 2 different locations, one of those being Randall Smiths porch. Those sharpie letters of course led to the slang of Hunree's, etc...

Garcia's main rig from early 75 to late 76 we're 2 Boogie 100w 1x12 combo's. 1 primary, 1 backup. This was preamped out obviously to the 2300's and then to a variety of extension cabs depepending on gig and/or band. For most of 76 the boogies were bookended by a pair of custom Alembic 2x15's left over from the wall of sound.

I believe some of the confusion about Boogie letter designations for what are now referred to as Mark I's, stem from the collection of schematics at tubefreak.com showing only 2 of the many circuit variations that were in early Mesa Boogie Amps. If you line up 10 mesa boogie guitar amp chassis from 1975 I guarantee from experience you will see 10 different and significant circuit variations and custom "one-offs" that no schematic can chart.

I just worked on boogie # 71 from 1974. It has a factory limiter in it similar to what was seen on a son of boogie many years later. This of course is not mentioned in any early mesa boogie literature. This same amp also has a Schumacher OT with only a 4 ohm tap, AND and pot wired in series with the negative feedback loop. As for Fetrons adding to the confusion, I've seen factory fetrons in models from 1976 with and without toggle switches. I recently saw a 1977 60w head with no fetron but a 2N3822 FET tied to the V1 preamp tube socket. All this just supports the notion if you could dream it, they would build it. I'm sure Jerry Garcias was no different. Most likely some custom ideas implemented there.....
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Re: Travis Bean P/U humbuckers -75' tone

Postby tigerstrat » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:22 am

Very informative couple of posts from Jon R and Jeff M and I stand corrected again, this time on the "Super 60" designation (which should have been clear to me as erroneous since the Blues For Allah Weir's house shot show 4 6L6 tubes burning.)

but I do kinda wonder about this:
jonarobb wrote:For most of 76 the boogies were bookended by a pair of custom Alembic 2x15's left over from the wall of sound.


In at least 4 shots on my PC, 7/76, 8/76, 10/76 and 5/4/77 Garcia has two 2x12 WOS cabs stacked (Bobby has what looks like the first 3x12)... in the 9/28/75 pics, Jerry appears to use four 2x12 cabs, bookending the Boogie/2300 stack. There are sometimes 15 cabs near him onstage but I am fairly positive those are for bass and/or piano monitors, as seen well into the 80's. 2x15's were not used in the Wall, they were all 1x15's.

Back to the pickups, one of the TB1000A's that I helped purchase for Ruk actually had Super Distortions in it... sounded just like the other Beans to me, and was/is one of the nicest in his collection.
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Travis Bean P/U humbuckers -75' tone

Postby jeffm725 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:38 am

tigerstrat wrote:Back to the pickups, one of the TB1000A's that I helped purchase for Ruk actually had Super Distortions in it... sounded just like the other Beans to me, and was/is one of the nicest in his collection.


That is a very interesting observation and one that I will put a lot of credence into. You are lucky to be able to hear a bean like that. One simply doesn't come across that many Beans in a lifetime (unless you are RUK or that putz movie director :evil: ), and most are kept pretty stock. So that would mean that the structure of the way the pickups sit directly on the aluminum neck through (well, I guess I should say 3/4 neck thru) actually plays a bigger part than the pickups themselves. That of course is entirely possible,as that would obviously have to be a factor. Every Bean I have played (maybe 3 or 4 different ones) has sounded remarkably consistent (unlike, say, a strat). I obviously had to take the aluminum into account, and did, but the pickup quality and "feel" struck me even more so. First of all they are hot as heck.Second and this is what really impressed me, is that even with some of the hottest output I have ever had from a pickup (I had to roll the volume on my amp down from what it is at with my super 2 loaded guitar), it stayed clear as a Bell. It would stand to reason that a Super distortion on a Bean would kind of be in that ballpark, at least from an output standpoint.
I guess it would be another great musical instrument example of the alchemy in making a great guitar. It is the "Whole is greater than the sum of its parts" example yet again.
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