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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #138392  by TruckinThruTennessee
 Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:53 pm
my grandfather passed away two days ago, he was the man that got me into the Grateful Dead the first place, his favorite shows were the 69-74 shows. he played guitar, he usually covered old time country but also covered grateful dead song, he loved Jerry and Bobby. after the funeral we attended the reading of the will, turns out he left me his favorite guitar. my grandmother informed me he got this guitar after seeing a dead show, she informed me that he loved how the guitar mixed Jerry and Bobby together so well. It's got flat wound strings (Bobby influenced?) Extremely high action (Jerry?) Anyway, my grandmother said he bought this used in 71. I love the sound this guitar has, but the action is almost unbearably high for me. My question is should I leave it as is or have it Jerry AND Bobby-ified, the best of both and name it as the finished product of a lifelong dream? He always talked about putting buffers in it and he wanted OBEL (that double jack thingy Jerry uses *my grandfathers exact words) .just need some
advice.
[url]http://s1364.photobucket.com/user/Truck ... g.html[url]
 #138394  by TI4-1009
 Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:13 pm
Very nice. Yup, time to make it your guitar now- go to it.
 #138395  by TruckinThruTennessee
 Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:18 pm
TI4-1009 wrote:Very nice. Yup, time to make it your guitar now- go to it.
I plan on it, it's a beautiful fender/Gibson (fenson?) and I plan on making her all she can be!
 #138419  by mikelawson
 Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:12 pm
I think it would be very difficult to install an OBEL and 9-volt battery into that kind of guitar unless it has a back plate to access the wiring. You need somewhere to mount both the OBEL and battery, too. My advice is to leave it be and do up another guitar in his honor.
Last edited by mikelawson on Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #138512  by zambiland
 Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:11 pm
mikelawson wrote:I think it would be very difficult to install and OBEL and 9-volt battery into that kind of guitar unless it has a back plate to access the wiring. You need somewhere to mount both the OBEL and battery, too. My advice is to leave it be and do up another guitar in his honor.
But in the meantime, adjust the truss rod and/or reset the neck to get the action into shape. That's very doable and doesn't permanently alter the instrument.

Enjoy! It's great to have a legacy like this. I have my grandmother's flute (a Powell from the 50s) and while I'm not much of a flute player, it will be a lot of fun to learn in my later years.
 #138553  by Griffyote
 Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:42 am
Yes, play that guitar in his honor!!play,play,play :cool:
 #138749  by Rick Turner
 Fri May 02, 2014 3:58 pm
"Back in the day", we didn't think twice if we needed to cut a hole in the back of an archtop thin bodied guitar...or for that matter the top. The spirit of the early '70s scene around the Dead was one of uninhibited experimentation. That attitude is what got us to where the state of the art is now. Don't be afraid to mod a guitar; just do it well.
 #138752  by tatittle
 Fri May 02, 2014 4:22 pm
I would probably look more into getting p'ups I was happy with in this guitar and maybe looking to imitate Bobby's tone of the early 70's when he used these type Gibsons so effectively. I was lucky enough to have a 1959 Gibson ES-335 Dot...just like Bobby's (and likely what this guitar is modeled after)...and it was just fantastic. It was really cool to feel the air pumping out of the F-holes during heavy jams too. Gosh I miss that guitar...you don't know how fortunate you are until things are gone LOL.

I question how close you could get to Jerry tones with a semi-hollow like that no matter how many mods were done. If it were me I would use a more typical platform to turn into a Jerry guitar, and exploit that guitar for the things it is naturally good at. They are usually terrific for singer/songwriter stuff, jazzy stuff, and blues. Very versatile. To trade that versatility in order to attempt to capture just 1 application (which may not work anyway) is something I would think about.

Of course everyone doesn't like to have 7 electric guitars cluttering their home, so individual needs trump all else. And the posts re: experimentation are very valid IMO. The nature of experimentation is you have 10 failures for every success though. Thomas Edison had 100's of patents that went nowhere, and thousands of failures, before he changed the world with his successes. Advances seem to come about by experimentation and accidents, rather than "smart" folks designing something in their head and ending up with exactly what they were going for originally.
 #138765  by Jon S.
 Sat May 03, 2014 5:39 am
May your grandfather's memory be a blessing forever. Best of luck and however you proceed I'm sure he'll be proud of you.
 #138772  by TI4-1009
 Sat May 03, 2014 9:23 am
From what I can find, the Marquis was a Japanese knock-off, most likey made by Teisco, so it's not like it would have historic value (but it does have personal value for you). So if it were me I wouldn't hesitate to mod the guitar to make it more useful to you. If you play it more- that's better, right?

I have a Jay Turser 335 knock-off that I call my "Mule" (in true Jerry spirit I put a mule sticker on it). It was the first guitar I started "messing with"- pickups, electronic upgrade, coil cut, brass nut, etc. It sounded surprisingly good for a cheap Japanese copy- and it sounds even better now. Fishing controls through the f-holes is do-able, but a hassle (use the string trick). I was really temped to cut a hole in the back, I think I would next time.