Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby waldo041 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:27 am

the "technique" versus "tone" diatribe has been played out many times. we all know these guys were masters at their individual unique techniques, but their individual tones have changed a ton of times. and at times some players look for a particular moment or rig and try and mimic that tone and incorporate it, or manipulate it to their own technique. same holds true for jerry, phil and bob, their techniques were pretty much the same from the start, but their tones changed with the rigs and guitars they played. denying the 2 differences is being closed minded.

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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby mgod » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:51 am

No argument- I didn't just single out hands. I listed a lot of stuff. The circuit in the EB is trivial compared to other stuff, and the hands are bigger still.
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby hogan » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:56 am

waldo041 wrote: same holds true for jerry, phil and bob, their techniques were pretty much the same from the start, but their tones changed with the rigs and guitars they played.
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Were you able to type that w/ a straight face? If you think their Technique/approach didn't change over 30 years, more for Weir and Lesh, then i'm not sure what you've been listening to.
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:10 am

mgod wrote:No argument- I didn't just single out hands. I listed a lot of stuff. The circuit in the EB is trivial compared to other stuff, and the hands are bigger still.


I'm fully obsessed with the overall goal of chasing after those small (or large, depending on your point of view) differences between my sound and Phil's - whether it be in technique, theory, amplification, bass mods, etc. However, we can't realistically discuss all possible approaches to all the various eras of Phil in one thread, so this one happens to be narrowed down to the electronics in the EB3.... or at least it used to be. :lol:

So back on the subject of the EB3 - where did you get that bridge? I'm very gradually approaching the time when I'll need a bridge like that made.
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby mgod » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:27 am

A guy in Finland made it for me, but you can get one from Alembic probably.

Remember that the emitter follower circuit was an impedance dropper - and the point of that was to preserve high frequencies down long cables. When you listen to the critical recordings of that bass, a wide-band tone isn't really what makes it great. But a Mac amp is a one-of-a-kind sound, just like a Versatone is, or certain mics, or the x-former Barncard used to DI Phil at Heider's.
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby mgod » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:41 am

BTW, if its of any value here I own what according to RW was the first bass he put emitter followers in, done for Phil in 69 or so. They are no longer there.

I've also had RT rewind an old Guild p/u to a 600 Ohm output using Cardas litz wire and installed in an old SF bass, but that was intended only for studio use, direct from bass, lo-z, to mic amp.
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby mgod » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:54 am

011.jpg
011.jpg (12.67 KiB) Viewed 1921 times


Here's a nic pic of Vince with the head of that bass in the foreground, a Barncard session in early 2001. Photo by Steve I think.
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby waldo041 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:06 pm

hogan wrote:
waldo041 wrote: same holds true for jerry, phil and bob, their techniques were pretty much the same from the start, but their tones changed with the rigs and guitars they played.
peace,
waldo


Were you able to type that w/ a straight face? If you think their Technique/approach didn't change over 30 years, more for Weir and Lesh, then i'm not sure what you've been listening to.


imho, technique and approach are 2 different things, i'll let you look up the definitions. yes, their approach changed but there techniques stayed pretty much the same. that's why jerry, bob and phil individually can be deciphered even as their approach to the music changed. of course their individual techniques improved with time and some will argue for or against their approach, but again approach and technique are two different things. just as their individual rig/guitar tones were different but did lend a little to the approach changes and improved techniques.

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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby hogan » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:12 pm

They might be defined differently, but you don't have one w/o the other. If you think Garcia's playing on a Bertha from '71 isn't technically different from '74 or '90 or a Dark star from the same years then i'd like to hear why you think that.
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby zambiland » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:00 pm

mgod wrote:
011.jpg


Here's a nice pic of Vince with the head of that bass in the foreground, a Barncard session in early 2001. Photo by Steve I think.


Dan, you are such a tease!
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby JonnyBoy » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:48 pm

Mgod makes a point I have always believed to be true, and two examples that prove his theory are the april fools show where they all switched instruments and the noises coming from Jerry's axe by Mickey were horrible. Also Melkweg when they played on borrowed instruments and amps, none of which had all the low Z, pedals, bobby's enless rack, etc... and they sounded like the dead. And I think Jerry can sound like jerry more than some of the best jerry musical impersonators through a crate after he tweaked the knobs to his liking. hell he sounded like Jerry in the late 90's through a mixing board right? icepicks and all.

Waldo is right too if I understand what he is trying to say, and I understand what he is saying by what I think he means by his definitions of the words or what he means by saying them.

Hogan also makes a huge point too because tone and technique changes too with everyone in the band over time. But there is something that is just timeless with each of them in terms of their playing. I was at my sons football practice listening to my ipod, switching from 1969 to '74 to '77 to 82 to 92 to 94 to 95 and noticed the broad tonal differences, but they had a consistent technique that is identifiable individually, maybe a foundation is a better term. BUT, Bobby did change some things drastically across the board over the years, especially in the late 80's and 90's technically and tonally. Jerry seems to evolve too technically, playing riffs a little different and adding new solo material/licks but still had his signature approach and stuff too. All in all they still had that core that was the foundation to themselves but were always looking to do things a little different with what they knew for the sake of their philosophy and musical approach as a band that never played the same song the same way. if that makes sense. :lol: Just a little stand up philosophy for the hell of it!
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:52 am

I'd say the one who changed the most is Phil. I don't think he even really got comfortable with the major scale on bass until about 1971, maybe 1970, and then it became the most distinctive part of his sound.
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:18 am

mgod wrote:BTW, if its of any value here I own what according to RW was the first bass he put emitter followers in, done for Phil in 69 or so. They are no longer there.

I've also had RT rewind an old Guild p/u to a 600 Ohm output using Cardas litz wire and installed in an old SF bass, but that was intended only for studio use, direct from bass, lo-z, to mic amp.


I'd like to hear more about both of them, please! :cool:

You west-coast guys have all the luck.
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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby JonnyBoy » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:45 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:I'd say the one who changed the most is Phil. I don't think he even really got comfortable with the major scale on bass until about 1971, maybe 1970, and then it became the most distinctive part of his sound.



I can believe that, I just don't have a trained ear for bass to hear all of Phil's technique since I never trained myself to listen to bass lines, so I can't feel right to make a bold statement about it either way. I naturally go straight to Jerry or bobby in my minds ear, sometimes even the keys, the bass lines are the last thing I distinguish separately or hear alone as the music plays. I do know it is hard to cop his technique, since the bassist in my band is having trouble working it into his natural approach. I think I liked our bassists playing before he got on the phil wagon, but I know he will come out the other side a better player for it wither way when it all clicks. One has to be patient with a band member is learning a new approach, especially if its Phil Lesh.

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Re: Teach me about the electronics in Phil's EB3

Postby mgod » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:08 am

Its a very long story and I don't have it in me to type it all out again. The bass of Phil's he gave me when I was 16, its a one-of-a-kind deep hollow body neck-through fretless that Guild built for him in 68, inlaid by RT in 69. Its mentioned in Blair's book -you can see a bit of inlay in the shot of Vince above. It was the project that Bear and RT and RW first met working on. I saw it in the summer of 73 when I spent a day at Alembic on Brady Street, and met Phil a few months later in Philly (I'm an east coast guy! Or was... I lived in NJ when all this went down). I asked Phil about it and he gave it to me. My god, 37 years ago.

That particular modded Starfire is an experiment. RT and I became lifelong friends that day in 73 and have done lots of things together. I have a number of his instruments. I introduced him to George Cardas, a wire guy, who uses golden section stranding in his wire layups, and RT had the thought to wind some pickups with some of his Litz wire, and I keep a stash of the old Hagstrom/Guilds in his shop, so I gave him a green 68 Starfire to try it on and worked it great. No output of course, but I was plugging it into a megabuck tube mic amp so what do I care? Then I gave it back to him to add a second 600 ohm pickup and that was 13 years ago, and I'm still waiting. As Jack C. sez, things happen in Rick time, which is not normal time.

I actually played Phil's EB in 78 when I was living briefly in Orange County (if you call that living). A guy nearby owned it, had bought it out of a pawn shop for $400. It was groovy. He said he'd contacted the Dead once he found out what it was and offered it back to Phil for the $400, but got a not interested response. I got the impression over the years that once Phil is over something, he's over it. But what do I know? Everything can change.

Back to the point - if you're Phil, and your picking style is yours and consistent, then whether or not you preserve the highs going from the pickup to the circuit may matter to you when you're standing in front of a bunch of aluminum domed JBLs. But if you're not Phil, then its far more likely that the difference between your picking technique and his will affect the sound WAY more than the output impedance of the pickups. Or if you're like me and hate the sound of aluminum domed 15s and change them out for paper domes, again, a bigger change.
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