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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #158480  by LongStrangeJam
 Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:53 am
Hi everyone,

As of yesterday I was trying some different Garcia tones in practice, and came across something interesting. For starters, everyone knows the classic Live Dead tone was just pure crankage. Like full volume and everything. Yet I have read somewhere (though I couldn't find the article), that he never turned his amp up past 6. Now this was in the mid-seventies, and I assume he is referring to that time point and on. So in mimicking those volumes, I find that a twin cranked with humbuckers sounds great, while a twin past 8 or 9 with single coils sounds terrible. Which makes sense, according to what he actually did. But now, I find that this has risen a playing problem for me. If I want to play Live Dead, there's no way I can get that tone without CRANKING the amp. Yet any 72' tone and on, I have to constrain my volume to six or seven, which is still loud, but the single coils have no real punch through the mix unless loud (but they can't be cranked, hence leading to gross tone). This makes sense in why Garcia used 3 twins in 72' and 4 jbls afterwords. Not to mention the entire 30ft tall wall of sound. So, only having one amp, I was wondering how to appropriate volume levels, both Live Dead and afterwords. Wanted to know what you guys did. Anyways I found this interesting. Thanks
 #158482  by PurpleTrails
 Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:43 am
Just twist the volume dial on the amp depending on which guitar you use. I've never been able to get that live dead tone without higher output pups than typical single coils, though I generally use a LP with p90s. I'm assuming you're not trying to get substantially different tones in the same set, though I guess that is possible using split/full SDs, though I can't remember Jerry really pulling that drastic of a tonal difference off with the simple flick of a switch on his guitar.
 #158483  by Bigfoot Co.
 Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:30 am
Maybe try an attenuater for the live dead stuff and a blaster for the e72 stuff?
 #158484  by Gr8fulCadi
 Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:57 am
^^^ this ^^^
or I like what a ppimv does to my super and twin. Not the same as an attenuater but does the job and it's One less cable and piece of gear to take with you. Had a Dr Z airbrake which was great btw.
 #158489  by strumminsix
 Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:03 am
things to keep in mind:
* he also worked his volume knob a lot
* the volume difference in most fenders between 7-10 was little volume but lots more clipping.
 #158494  by seniorpesca
 Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:58 am
i put a mystery overdrive pedal in front of my sms to get some artifical gain at stage volume and able to have the same volume/tone with my obel. love it.