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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #70479  by lesh_lash
 Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:32 am
I just love that guitar!!! I am always into learning different things about the Dead and their equipment and I guess this is just what I am into now. But it is really cool because all the symbols have meaning and most are alchemy type symbols, I assume because of Alembic, but the most interesting thing to me is that on the back of the Osage is the Egyptian God Osiris who had a son Horus, and now Phils new guitar is the symbol for Horus "The Eye of Horus". I wonder if that was by accident or not???? You know how the Dead had such a weird connection with Egypt.
 #70744  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:13 pm
That's interesting above about the lowest few frets being out of position. I've always felt that a big part of Playing Phil is staying above the 5th fret or so. Looks like there could be an actual technical reason for this! Very cool to know.
 #101931  by seanc
 Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:23 pm
Phil Lesh101 wrote:Phil is Known for his unusual Basses :lol:
A better way of looking at it is that they are always striving for a certain specific something and trying to push the envelope to making "it" better.
They have a vision and they actually go about trying to make it happen.

What they are striving for, the "IT" of making "it" better always changes. Once "it" has been achieved then they attempt to take that it to the next level and the next step.

But the vision to what they are trying to do and where they are trying to get to is what makes them really interesting.

And unlike many, they are not afraid to try and fail.. *cough* casio guitar, Day Job,*cough*
 #101936  by strumminsix
 Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:29 pm
seanc wrote:And unlike many, they are not afraid to try and fail.. *cough* casio guitar, Day Job,*cough*
I think both were awesome!! Bobby's Casio brought an element unheard of on guitar before that time and Day Job is so oddly major and bluegrassy that I loved hearing how happy Jerry sounded when playing.
 #119766  by Sparechaynge
 Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:41 am
Sorry to bring up this old thread again, but I have recently heard mention of mystery 4th pickup on the OO (right near the bridge, after the regular bridge pup). I was told that it is a "frequency detector" that works in concert with the filters. Does anyone here know any more about it?
 #119924  by zambiland
 Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:44 pm
I'm trying to remember where I read about this. The first time it came up that I can recall is in Hank Harrison's book. There's an interview with Phil ca. 1971 and he talks about the concept, including the idea of having wired frets that allowed pressure on the frets to be translated to frequency of a filter. That seems pretty cool.

The pickup with the frequency detector concept was around the idea that with a fixed EQ, if you have a boost at a certain frequency, it changes context from note to note, depending on where in the harmonic spectrum it falls. With the frequency detector concept you can decide to boost the third harmonic of every note rather than just boosting at 800hz and letting the chips fall where they may. I'm not sure how completely this idea was implemented. I'm pretty sure there was a digital frequency detector circuit involved, but it must have been pretty crude tech compared to today's circuits. I bet that if it was ever really functional, it could be heard in the Seastones parts of the '74 shows.
 #119926  by Sparechaynge
 Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:04 pm
Ahh, ok. I have read recently that it was for the quad system, to make a cleaner separation of the strings. What you are saying makes more sense though. There is an article on the Alembic forum, posted by you I think, that has Phil describing the electronics. I would like to read more if there is more to read.
 #121423  by Sparechaynge
 Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:09 pm
Lesh_Lash, I do believe I have found the 15th inlay of the bass. To me it looks like a depiction of Isis, with wings spread. I was staring at the pictures in this thread trying to figure it out, and it just jumped out at me after a while.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%C3%8 ... r._001.jpg
 #121457  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:25 am
zambiland wrote:With the frequency detector concept you can decide to boost the third harmonic of every note rather than just boosting at 800hz and letting the chips fall where they may.
This just clicked in my head - it's just like the drawbars on a Hammond! (or pipe organ, for that matter) That'd be really interesting.
 #121466  by Sparechaynge
 Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:19 pm
like the drawbars on a Hammond! (or pipe organ, for that matter)
Oh, so that's what RT meant in the GD movie! I always thought that when he is describing the bass he just meant the filters were really special, but I see now that it's much more than that. Cool!
 #121489  by zambiland
 Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:09 pm
It's actually a very common concept in synthesis. Given Lesh's background in music, it would seem like like a concept he'd take to pretty easily, whether from the background of organ stops, electronic music or from orchestral arrangement where using different instruments gives a similar result to the above, i.e., given the different waveforms of different instruments (flutes being sine waves with limited overtones, oboes more like a sawtooth wave with huge overtones), you can create harmonic structures with the overtone capabilities of each instrument in mind resulting in a unified textural experience. I'm not sure how much of this was realized in the Osage Orange bass, my suspicion is not much.