Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Chat about Equipment Info
 #102070  by Dr MIX
 Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:42 am
I, like most people on this page have gone on an extended search for the Jerry Tone from Amp to Guitar. I have finally stopped at the tube amp stage as the recordings I have with our band have as close of a tone as I could hope to get. At this point I think it is my fingers and brain that are the greatest obstacles. I might be able to get one nth degree closer with a Solid state (SS) Mac and modding my Fender to be preamp out only but I am not convinced. I have built my own Hard truckers style cabs for myself and our other guitarist (for 1/3 the price minus labor) with 2x12 Eminence Commonweath twelves and connected to a fender twin and at other times a fender twin silverface reverb. What surprised me is that the twin (eg the 100 watt tube amp with distortion channels) gives me the best jerry tone I have yet to elicit from a phiga wolf tribute. I think Jerry went to SS for two reasons: volume and reliability. That is why he had a backup fender twin reverb (reliability). I would bet that in a small club he would have been more than happy with the tube amp portion of a twin for his volume. I play with my amp at a volume of 3-4 with my guitar volume at 75-80% and it is LOUD. I mic my cab into our board and the signal is then fed to a 300 watt SS amplifier and the PA system for the front of house mix. In other words, if you are in a band situation and are micing your guitar you dont need 300 watts of power on the stage behind you. Unless you are Jerry and your stage is the size of the Hampton Coliseum. I certainly understand the pursuit of tone and how elusive and it can be but at some point practicality and cost come into play. I can still get some amazing Jerry tone out of a fender strat and a fender deville 4x10.
 #102116  by mijknahs
 Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:39 am
Jerry used his Twin with MC2300 with JGB at small clubs such as the Keystone in Berkeley or the Stone in SF and it sounded fine. Not too loud. The McIntosh volume was not to fill a hall or staduim. That's what the PA was for. The McIntosh was for Jerry to hear himself. Even Mickey needed another monitor for Jerry (powered by "half a mac").
 #102272  by hard truckers co
 Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:54 pm
Come down to the Dead Gear Expo and ask McIntosh themselves. They will have a booth manned by their sound specialists this weekend at the Expo. Go right to the horses mouth!
 #102273  by mijknahs
 Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:59 pm
Unfortunately McIntosh probably won't know that much about the actual applications the Grateful Dead used their amps for. They were probably somewhat baffled by the Dead using their amps for PA and guitar amps. These are designed to be high end home stereo amps. Not amps you tour with. Hence the banana plug and 1/4" mods...