Jerry's acoustic tone

Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby Poor Peter » Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:03 pm

jdsmodulus wrote:Jerrys Alvarez Yairi model was DY-99 w/vine. That was the later version with the Modulus neck. It had a custom LR Baggs system installed. Both Bob and Jerry were working with St Lous Music to build custom guitars and electronics. Bob had a rackmount version of his preamp. Jerry and Bob both used the Pendulum SPS-1 acoustic preamp. This is the best preamp out there! Jerry used a Trace Elliot TA100r Acoustic amp for the show in Berkeley. Before that, when he played the shows wtih Grisman he played an Alvarez custom I cant remember the number. He had a few of these. The GY1 came later, he didnt play this one with Grisman. Not sure about amps during 90-91 but up until then (JGAB) he was still using Fender>Mac>HT Cabs. There really isnt a lot of info from this time and I would guess because alot of this work was done outside of the Dead. Less publicity and less photos to look at and such. Just like everything with JG it changed all the time. Even show to show.


Thanks guys. Great stuff as always. This is the exact info I was after. I'm leaning towards a Martin thin line gold. I have a 00-28 that has this system. I plug it into a fisman pre-amp that clips to my belt and then right to the board. It sounds fantastic although I suspect the small bodied Martin may have more to do with that than anything. I have a Baggs system in a Taylor 714 but I've never been able to get that right balance beetween the p/u and the mic. It always winds up sounding too boomy. That guitar has a cedar top though which I'm sure contributes to that problem.
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby KCJones » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:53 am

Whatever you do, don't emulate Jerry's acoustic tone from the Reckoning sets. His tone is just horrible. The buzzing from the ultra low action is so loud and prominant that it's distracting and rather annoying. Why he set up his acoustic like that is puzzeling. My only conjecture is that he was switching over to electric for the next set. Switching immediately from acoustic to electric is hard.
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby Keith » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:51 pm

I once met David Grisman and he told me Jerry used light guage D'Addario strings ("the blue pack)). Upon further research, I learned through an online article that Jerry used Vinci strings for a long time. They were custom and the guage sizes are as follows:
E-10
B-13
G-17
D-27
A-37
E-47

I also read that Grisman tried to get Jerry to switch to a larger guage in the latter years. According to our conversation, he must of convinced Jerry because D'Addario light guage are larger in comparison to the Vinci's. Hope this gives you some insight to that sweet, sweet, sweet tone.

Good luck and have fun!
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby mijknahs » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:47 pm

Keith wrote:...I learned through an online article that Jerry used Vinci strings for a long time. They were custom and the guage sizes are as follows:
E-10
B-13
G-17
D-27
A-37
E-47


This was his electric string set. Not acoustic.
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby tcsned » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:53 am

Keith wrote:I once met David Grisman and he told me Jerry used light guage D'Addario strings ("the blue pack)).

I vaguely remember Grisman saying that he had been cajoling Garcia to use heavier gauge strings and quit using piezo pickups. So the light acoustic set (usually 12-54s) sounds about right. The tone from the Reckoning stuff sure sounds like lighter gauge strings. It would also fit with interviews I've read of Jerry talking about having trouble going back and forth between electric and acoustic and keeping them as close to the same feel as possible makes sense in that regard.
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby TI4-1009 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:43 pm

I don't know, I'm not sure I can completely buy into that theory. You and I might have a tough time going back and forth and adjusting to the different action, but this was Jerry freekin Garcia! Is there any quote from him saying that, or are we speculating? I guess Grissman or one of the band or crew would know.
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby JonnyBoy » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:07 pm

I am pretty sure it is not a theory, Tcsned is right, I have read and heard in an interview from him saying there is a switch factor with performing electric and acoustic. He plays so much that I am sure the difference is more profound to him than it would be to us, his hands literally hold a guitar neck most of the day, every day back then. I know I'm not Jerry G., but I don't find playing an acoustic that difficult if I haven't played electric at all that day. But, If I play one for a few hours, then the other will feel weird and it seems like my muscles are conditioned to do something else it seems action wise. I wouldn't believe it either if I haven't heard him say it. :D
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby tcsned » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:50 am

I can't find the source where I heard it but I've believe he was talking about the acoustic shows they did in the early 80s and how problematic they were for him. There was also an interview he did on MTV where he was talking about liking to only play the same guitar and didn't even like switching between electrics. He's said the same thing about banjo and pedal steel - he put them down for the same reason. He has said many times that playing didn't come naturally to him and he had to really work at it. Though, I think we'd all agree that the work paid off!
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby Pete B. » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:44 am

Fwiw, I would take other folks perceived problems with a grain o salt.
For example, I personally have no problem whatsoever going between acoustic or electric guitar, pedal steel, or banjo.
I would never not play those instruments just cuz Jer had an issue going between them.
I don't like mushrooms however, so I tell folks I am allergic to them.
See what I'm sayin'?
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby tcsned » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:42 am

Pete B. wrote:Fwiw, I would take other folks perceived problems with a grain o salt.
For example, I personally have no problem whatsoever going between acoustic or electric guitar, pedal steel, or banjo.
I would never not play those instruments just cuz Jer had an issue going between them.
I don't like mushrooms however, so I tell folks I am allergic to them.
See what I'm sayin'?

Great point. When people say things in an interview a lot of times it's not exactly the reason - he may have just been done with those instruments and that was a lot more convenient answer. It could also be Jerry being overly picky about his playing. I don't play as many instruments as Pete but I'll play some lap steel in various tunings and I don't have a problem switching back to guitar. Then again, I don't play anywhere near Jerry's level.

fwiw - I've told people the same thing about mushrooms :lol:
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby TI4-1009 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:59 am

Check out this 1985 interview with Jerry about playing acoustic. Lot's of detail about setups, problems, etc, but no mention of issues going back and forth.

The acoustic interview is the second one- about 2/3 of the way down the page. Pretty brutal preface about Jerry's condition at the time, but the guy could still be very lucid while wrecked.

http://malfalfa1.tripod.com/garciainterview.htm
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Re: Jerry's acoustic tone

Postby tcsned » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:02 pm

TI4-1009 wrote:Check out this 1985 interview with Jerry about playing acoustic. Lot's of detail about setups, problems, etc, but no mention of issues going back and forth.

The acoustic interview is the second one- about 2/3 of the way down the page. Pretty brutal preface about Jerry's condition at the time, but the guy could still be very lucid while wrecked.

http://malfalfa1.tripod.com/garciainterview.htm

I don't remember where I heard him talk about the problems with those early 80s acoustic shows - it was an MTV interview with Nina Blackwood I think where he talked about not liking switching electrics around and staying on the same instrument.

Agreed about his ability to maintain in really sad shape. He must've had the constitution of a horse.
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