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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #152943  by MattMan
 Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:53 pm
IMO, besides the obvious right hand finger picking/flat picking style/musical theory approach, and ability to swing, I'd say the first three pieces of gear on the list have got to be a guitar with active electronics and a middle pup, played through a Fender Twin (blackface) with a nice plate reverb, and a JBL speaker. Everything else beyond that gets you closer and closer to the tone.

I started with a strat that has EMG active single coils played through a silverface Twin, and I thought it was a very good start. Then I developed my tone-changing relationship with Waldo. First upgrade was to switch out the Twin's EV 12Ls for a JBL E120 and the tone got much closer. Next, I blackfaced the Twin and did some other mods including the preamp tap. My first amp was a Mosvalve--closer still. The MC2100 has gotten me even closer still. I also upgraded my guitar by first finding a guitar that felt good for me and that had some room for modifications. The axe of choice for me is the PRS S24. I modded the axe first with the Wald TPCsm1 buffer and the OBEL, middle pup, and Super II's. It has taken time and $, but its been super gratifying to put the rig together.

Finally, your guitar and rig have got to be functional for you--my rig just feels super comfortable for me. This way when I'm playing in the band, I can focus on the music.

We haven't addressed effects. For me, top of the list of effects for Jerry's 80's and on tone is the OBEL and an overdrive effect--I use an MXR Series 2000 and an OD-1 (and the other standard Jerry effects--octave, envelope, phase, and delay).

Jerry!!
 #152946  by JustinJohn
 Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:29 am
Technique is #1. Hands down.

As far as gear, imho:

#1 pickups>>>TPC1... (pickup position on the guitar body has a huge impact)
#2 pre-amp... (proper mods and config define the subtle detail)
#3 speakers... (warm, clean-breakup was all about the D120s for me)
 #152952  by MikeInMarin
 Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:17 pm
MattMan wrote:IMO, besides the obvious right hand finger picking/flat picking style/musical theory approach, and ability to swing, I'd say the first three pieces of gear on the list have got to be a guitar with active electronics and a middle pup, played through a Fender Twin (blackface) with a nice plate reverb, and a JBL speaker. Everything else beyond that gets you closer and closer to the tone.

I started with a strat that has EMG active single coils played through a silverface Twin, and I thought it was a very good start. Then I developed my tone-changing relationship with Waldo. First upgrade was to switch out the Twin's EV 12Ls for a JBL E120 and the tone got much closer. Next, I blackfaced the Twin and did some other mods including the preamp tap. My first amp was a Mosvalve--closer still. The MC2100 has gotten me even closer still. I also upgraded my guitar by first finding a guitar that felt good for me and that had some room for modifications. The axe of choice for me is the PRS S24. I modded the axe first with the Wald TPCsm1 buffer and the OBEL, middle pup, and Super II's. It has taken time and $, but its been super gratifying to put the rig together.

Finally, your guitar and rig have got to be functional for you--my rig just feels super comfortable for me. This way when I'm playing in the band, I can focus on the music.

We haven't addressed effects. For me, top of the list of effects for Jerry's 80's and on tone is the OBEL and an overdrive effect--I use an MXR Series 2000 and an OD-1 (and the other standard Jerry effects--octave, envelope, phase, and delay).

Jerry!!
Matt - Great info. Thanks. I have a stupid question related to the Wald buffer and active pickups. Does the TCP1 make the pickups active ? I had one when I originally wired my guitar and did not notice much difference at all. The guy who re-did my wiring did not put it back in, mostly because there is so little room and he just wanted to get a fairly complicated wiring setup working properly. I also had the TCP1 in my strat before that and also notice no difference in the tone. Am I mad ? Or was it installed incorrectly ?

Been planning just to put it back in, but have not gotten around to it.

Thanks.
 #152953  by Tennessee Jedi
 Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:28 pm
MikeInMarin wrote:
So you are saying I should stick with my telecaster and Vox AC-15 if I want to play in a Dead tribute band ?
.
good god man no !
:smile:

SMS -> Mosvalve -> JBL

1980 tone ? Super 1 pups

Image

The Mosvalve Power and SMS Pre Amps are in a "easy on the back" case

JBL 1 x 12 - again semi easy carrying and you only need 1 speaker as everything is mic'd up anyway

Basic Jerry tone cheap and so easy to set up a caveman could do it


IMHO its too much of a hassle to lug around vintage gear

Have fun
 #152954  by MikeInMarin
 Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:44 pm
TJ-

Awesome. Yeah, I am on my way to a similar setup. Just won an ebay auction for a JBL K 120, and I ordered my SMS Pre-amp yesterday. Just need the McIntosh, but will try by Fender HR Deville Power Amp section for now.

And then I need 12k for a guitar. 8)
 #152961  by jkstraw
 Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:39 pm
I'm going all in on the pre-amp :-)

McIntosh and JBLs primary job is to amplify (of course they add Color too) but I have always felt tone is most notably shaped by the pre-amp.

* not mentioning the picks here - Jerry's got great tone when finger picking too
 #152965  by MikeInMarin
 Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:42 pm
jkstraw wrote:I'm going all in on the pre-amp :-)

McIntosh and JBLs primary job is to amplify (of course they add Color too) but I have always felt tone is most notably shaped by the pre-amp.

* not mentioning the picks here - Jerry's got great tone when finger picking too
I'm glad it is the preamp in your opinion. Good point on the picks. I think they do help a tiny, but noticeable amount. I just got the Adamas ones yesterday and only tried briefly. They do make a bit of a difference, but perhaps not as much as others may have claimed, perhaps because of the heavy dunlop picks I was already using or my technique. I'll know more after testing in back and forth once my serious rig starts coming together over the next couple of weeks.
 #152968  by Searing75
 Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:00 am
Once you have the other aspects of the correct gear in place, you will notice a bigger difference in the sound from the Adamas pick. This rig is very co reliant. Each variable makes up the whole.
 #152969  by jkstraw
 Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:27 am
Searing75 wrote:Once you have the other aspects of the correct gear in place, you will notice a bigger difference in the sound from the Adamas pick. This rig is very co reliant. Each variable makes up the whole.
Ya I agree with this line of reasoning - to this point the action of your string setup (think high action) and how you attack the strings with your fretting hand should have a substantial affect on tone (at least that's what the man himself said on the topic)
 #152997  by MattMan
 Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:08 pm
MikeInMarin wrote:
MattMan wrote:IMO, besides the obvious right hand finger picking/flat picking style/musical theory approach, and ability to swing, I'd say the first three pieces of gear on the list have got to be a guitar with active electronics and a middle pup, played through a Fender Twin (blackface) with a nice plate reverb, and a JBL speaker. Everything else beyond that gets you closer and closer to the tone.

I started with a strat that has EMG active single coils played through a silverface Twin, and I thought it was a very good start. Then I developed my tone-changing relationship with Waldo. First upgrade was to switch out the Twin's EV 12Ls for a JBL E120 and the tone got much closer. Next, I blackfaced the Twin and did some other mods including the preamp tap. My first amp was a Mosvalve--closer still. The MC2100 has gotten me even closer still. I also upgraded my guitar by first finding a guitar that felt good for me and that had some room for modifications. The axe of choice for me is the PRS S24. I modded the axe first with the Wald TPCsm1 buffer and the OBEL, middle pup, and Super II's. It has taken time and $, but its been super gratifying to put the rig together.

Finally, your guitar and rig have got to be functional for you--my rig just feels super comfortable for me. This way when I'm playing in the band, I can focus on the music.

We haven't addressed effects. For me, top of the list of effects for Jerry's 80's and on tone is the OBEL and an overdrive effect--I use an MXR Series 2000 and an OD-1 (and the other standard Jerry effects--octave, envelope, phase, and delay).

Jerry!!
Matt - Great info. Thanks. I have a stupid question related to the Wald buffer and active pickups. Does the TCP1 make the pickups active ? I had one when I originally wired my guitar and did not notice much difference at all. The guy who re-did my wiring did not put it back in, mostly because there is so little room and he just wanted to get a fairly complicated wiring setup working properly. I also had the TCP1 in my strat before that and also notice no difference in the tone. Am I mad ? Or was it installed incorrectly ?

Been planning just to put it back in, but have not gotten around to it.

Thanks.
Yup it sure does. You'll be able to swap out the 500K volume pot for a 25K pot because you'll now be active.
 #152998  by MikeInMarin
 Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:21 pm
MattMan wrote:
MikeInMarin wrote:
MattMan wrote:IMO, besides the obvious right hand finger picking/flat picking style/musical theory approach, and ability to swing, I'd say the first three pieces of gear on the list have got to be a guitar with active electronics and a middle pup, played through a Fender Twin (blackface) with a nice plate reverb, and a JBL speaker. Everything else beyond that gets you closer and closer to the tone.

I started with a strat that has EMG active single coils played through a silverface Twin, and I thought it was a very good start. Then I developed my tone-changing relationship with Waldo. First upgrade was to switch out the Twin's EV 12Ls for a JBL E120 and the tone got much closer. Next, I blackfaced the Twin and did some other mods including the preamp tap. My first amp was a Mosvalve--closer still. The MC2100 has gotten me even closer still. I also upgraded my guitar by first finding a guitar that felt good for me and that had some room for modifications. The axe of choice for me is the PRS S24. I modded the axe first with the Wald TPCsm1 buffer and the OBEL, middle pup, and Super II's. It has taken time and $, but its been super gratifying to put the rig together.

Finally, your guitar and rig have got to be functional for you--my rig just feels super comfortable for me. This way when I'm playing in the band, I can focus on the music.

We haven't addressed effects. For me, top of the list of effects for Jerry's 80's and on tone is the OBEL and an overdrive effect--I use an MXR Series 2000 and an OD-1 (and the other standard Jerry effects--octave, envelope, phase, and delay).

Jerry!!
Matt - Great info. Thanks. I have a stupid question related to the Wald buffer and active pickups. Does the TCP1 make the pickups active ? I had one when I originally wired my guitar and did not notice much difference at all. The guy who re-did my wiring did not put it back in, mostly because there is so little room and he just wanted to get a fairly complicated wiring setup working properly. I also had the TCP1 in my strat before that and also notice no difference in the tone. Am I mad ? Or was it installed incorrectly ?

Been planning just to put it back in, but have not gotten around to it.

Thanks.
Yup it sure does. You'll be able to swap out the 500K volume pot for a 25K pot because you'll now be active.
Matt- I think it already might have the 500k pot, assuming he used the one I had in there. This might explain why the tone seem lacking in treble. I need to do some experimenting. I was going to do it later today anyway. Thanks.
 #152999  by MikeInMarin
 Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:14 am
MattMan wrote:
MikeInMarin wrote:
MattMan wrote:IMO, besides the obvious right hand finger picking/flat picking style/musical theory approach, and ability to swing, I'd say the first three pieces of gear on the list have got to be a guitar with active electronics and a middle pup, played through a Fender Twin (blackface) with a nice plate reverb, and a JBL speaker. Everything else beyond that gets you closer and closer to the tone.

I started with a strat that has EMG active single coils played through a silverface Twin, and I thought it was a very good start. Then I developed my tone-changing relationship with Waldo. First upgrade was to switch out the Twin's EV 12Ls for a JBL E120 and the tone got much closer. Next, I blackfaced the Twin and did some other mods including the preamp tap. My first amp was a Mosvalve--closer still. The MC2100 has gotten me even closer still. I also upgraded my guitar by first finding a guitar that felt good for me and that had some room for modifications. The axe of choice for me is the PRS S24. I modded the axe first with the Wald TPCsm1 buffer and the OBEL, middle pup, and Super II's. It has taken time and $, but its been super gratifying to put the rig together.

Finally, your guitar and rig have got to be functional for you--my rig just feels super comfortable for me. This way when I'm playing in the band, I can focus on the music.

We haven't addressed effects. For me, top of the list of effects for Jerry's 80's and on tone is the OBEL and an overdrive effect--I use an MXR Series 2000 and an OD-1 (and the other standard Jerry effects--octave, envelope, phase, and delay).

Jerry!!
Matt - Great info. Thanks. I have a stupid question related to the Wald buffer and active pickups. Does the TCP1 make the pickups active ? I had one when I originally wired my guitar and did not notice much difference at all. The guy who re-did my wiring did not put it back in, mostly because there is so little room and he just wanted to get a fairly complicated wiring setup working properly. I also had the TCP1 in my strat before that and also notice no difference in the tone. Am I mad ? Or was it installed incorrectly ?

Been planning just to put it back in, but have not gotten around to it.

Thanks.
Yup it sure does. You'll be able to swap out the 500K volume pot for a 25K pot because you'll now be active.

Matt - I just finished installing it and WOW !!! What a difference. I had already been playing through the new JBL k120 that arrived today and was really happy with the speaker difference. And when I added the Wald TCP1 back into the guitar. I am blown away. Thanks for the help. Now I realize I did not have the right volume pot when it was in my strat and that is why I was so unimpressed with it. Makes sense because all you guys use them and love them. And obviously waldo is a star contributor around these parts.

The SMS preamp is coming next and then I just need to find the McIntosh.

Mike