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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Chat about Equipment Info
 #65811  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:29 am
I think we all agree that the guitars are amazing and beloved. The flaws only merit discussion because they're news to most people. Of course what matters is what was played on them... guitars are tools to make music!

My impression from visiting the HOF was that Wolf Jr was the most flawlessly built, even over the Cripe guitars. But who really cares all that much about it? We don't even know for sure if Jerry ever played it. The real excitement here are the flawed ones that he really used.
 #65853  by jester536
 Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:05 pm
I understand that you guys are just critiquing the work and there is room for criticism. It's just that I've read on another post that Irwin was a bit miffed about people making copies of his work...I wish he would embrace it...it just seems like the criticism would be another reason for him to not want to join in on the discussion. Having him contributing would be very cool. But don't get me wrong I greatly appreciate all that you guys do (all of you that contribute to this board). It's always a wealth of information.
Thanks.
 #65911  by aoguitars
 Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:20 am
I agree with Waldo...the construction of the Rosebud was fantastic--it was the attention to the smaller details that really surprised all of us. It was also interesting to notice that the headstock had been broken off at one point and repaired extremely well. The Cripes, however, surprised me in a different way. Construction-wise they were fantastic, the laminates were dead-on, but the finish work was pretty bad. TopHat especially was a big cloud and the backs of both of the Cripes were extremely roughed up. And even with the huuuuuuge volute on the back of the peghead, they both still had some serious stress cracks at the headstock.

To answer your question, Paulinnc, I'd have to say that now having been with all of them but Tiger, Wolf was the cleanest detail-wise throughout.
 #66332  by paulinnc
 Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:30 am
Is the stealie on Wolf Jr. a sticker or is that inlaid into the wood?

Also on a side note, I see why guitar builders let the wood sit around for awhile before using it. I haven't really done anything on my wolf project except get materials and some drawings, but what I noticed is the puepleheart I have has really changed color. I have it sitting in a wood shop were I will be doing the work. The shop is at this guys house who is going to help me. He finally took me on as an apprentice/helper for his cabinet work, after over 2 years of asking for a job. I don't get paid shit but I am learning how to use a lot of tools etc. So the guitar is going in a roundabout sort of way. When I brought the guitar project ideas to him, I thought it was going to be a lot simpler to do then it really is. I know it is not rocket surgery but Tom and I both want it to turn out really nice. I can see now how why Tom didn't let me jump into it right away. he would say stuff like, " You want to build a guitar, why don't you build a box first. Then we'll see what happens." So I am hoping to have something done on it by the end of the year. I don't mind the wait, the longer the wood sits the prettier it gets.
 #66337  by hogan
 Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:44 am
it's a sticker.
 #66338  by Rusty the Scoob
 Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:50 am
Wandering off topic - Purpleheart is well known to do that. It gets dark with age and loses its purpleness. You can restore it by sanding off the surface, and possibly slow the process with a UV protectant in your clear-coat. The main reason for letting wood season is because it shrinks over time as the moisture evaporates out of it.

And yes, building even a solid guitar body is harder than it looks. I'd say not to attempt it with good wood until you can build an absolutely fantastic box or other rectangular object first. It also doesn't hurt to glue some decent plywood or even MDF together and try for a prototype. You'll learn a lot!

Ok, back to Jerry's guitars! Andrew - were you referring to Wolf itself or Wolf Jr? (I know you've held both)
 #66347  by waldo041
 Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:57 am
paulinnc wrote:Is the stealie on Wolf Jr. a sticker or is that inlaid into the wood?
as stated it is just a sticker, BUT it sits on circular piece of inlayed wood just about the same size. i actually pointed that out to the RnR HOF curator. It's most likely where the wolf jr inlay is or where it was going to be. irwin stated he completed the inlay but don't know if it is actually under that sticker or not.
 #66413  by hogan
 Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:00 am
RiverRat wrote:
waldo041 wrote:it really seemed like a lack of focus, or attention to detail cosmetically.
Smoking Persian will do that to a person... There, it's been said!

Exactly.
 #66606  by strumminsix
 Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:13 am
phpbb wrote:Did you happen to notice any secret compartments on the guitars?
I knew a guy who had a battery slot put into a guitar for a secret stash compartment :)

Rumor has it that nobody in the band "carried". Instead folks in the crew did. Again, just rumors.
 #66614  by waldo041
 Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:12 pm
phpbb wrote:Did you happen to notice any secret compartments on the guitars?

no, if we had been able to poke around inside we most likely would have figured out how rosebud was chambered though. i have heard of the "hidden compartment" in tiger, but know for a fact it's not there. the hidden compartment rumor, imo, was started because when irwin shipped tiger, nothing was under the tiger plate. john cutler then installed the preamp and battery under there once jerry received it. so there was sort of a hidden compartment made by irwin, but it became utilized. i had the curator of tiger pull the pickup ring off and look for it under there, (as the rumor for those that don't know goes), the big oval on the back was removable by screws under the pickups. the screws are there, but they don't release that oval. he even removed the screws to no avail.

peace,
waldo
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