Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #104960  by jmfranc
 Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:14 am
I am about to start another Tiger build. Going for a true carbon copy. But then I thought of what I didn't care for on my first Tiger copy and what's available today versus 1975.

I'm not a big fan of the bridge for one. And I think the pickups could be improved upon. So I was wondering, what if I built a current day version? What would YOU include on the 21st Century Tiger? Keep it "tiger-ish"!

For example, I really like the Schaller tune-o-matic bridge which is highly configurable. What would you do within reason?

My first Tiger build:

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 #104961  by strumminsix
 Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:28 am
Seems like Jerry's pickups are well, the pickup of choice :)

What about mounting the pickpus direclty to the body? Schaller 3D-6 Gold bridge? More accenting with the brass vs mountings? Carbon fiber reinforced neck?
 #104970  by jmfranc
 Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:30 pm
But you are basing that on what's already come. This is a scenario where Tiger is being built for 35 year old Garcia today. What would it be like?
 #104973  by jackevorkian
 Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:44 pm
jmfranc wrote:But you are basing that on what's already come. This is a scenario where Tiger is being built for 35 year old Garcia today. What would it be like?
the Cripe guitars, perhaps? they seemed to be the next iteration.

guitar construction hasn't changed too much, with the exception of carbon fiber neck reinforcement and roasted/carbonized neck woods. he was already using exotic woods and pushing the envelope with wiring and i have to assume he'd have continued with more midi interface. on board sampling and looping? that could have been wild. i'd be surprised if he ever ditched the middle super 2, but with all the boutique pickups available now, who knows maybe he would have found a neck and bridge pickup that actually inspired him to use them more often.
 #104983  by tcsned
 Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:47 am
I would think if changed anything on the guitar he'd ditch the DiMarzios and go with Lollars, Bardens, or one of the other higher end pickups. The area of change for him would have probably been effects.
 #104986  by williamsaut
 Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:38 pm
There's two ways to think about it. Cosmetically and functionally. From a Functional point of view. IMO, Tiger would have a hex pickup and be a fully midi instrument. I saw a custom strat made for Billy Gibbons that had the familiar cable jack but it was on the BACK of the instrument! Talk about and elegant and functional solution. This would really clean up the front of a guitar especially Tiger that has two jacks. That would pretty much make it cutting edge. From a cosmetic point of view, I'd want to set the neck nearly flush with the top and inset an ebony pickup surround so that the pickups are basically flush with the top. The bridge and knobs would also be inset into cavities carved into the top. Going for absolute minimum string height off the top of the guitar here. I'd also thin out the overall thickness of the body as much as possible and make the carve as slight as possible and still retain the reflection of the original tiger. I'm actually going to start a build that incorporates most of these changes to create a 'working mans' version of tiger that's lighter, more comfortable and has cleaner, simpler, more elegant lines BUT still is without question a tiger.

MY 3cents
 #104988  by Rusty the Scoob
 Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:12 pm
jackevorkian wrote:
guitar construction hasn't changed too much, with the exception of carbon fiber neck reinforcement

I'm a big fan of graphite or steel reinforced necks. Nice and stable, even with skinny necks and New England weather swings.
 #105030  by JonnyBoy
 Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:31 pm
I want to agree with wireless, but I think the technology was there for him to attempt that when he was alive too, so I dunno about that. I like to think he would have made things more simple, or less complicated. cleaned up the lines, the flash, the wires. Incorporate Midi, effects loop, volume and tone in a stream lined package, maybe even digital. Instead of 3 wires/jacks, its is all jacked out of one interface or junction. I also think he would have gone with ON/OFF pickup selections rather than a 5 way, again could have done that before too. The neck and modern hardware promoting better tuning and setup would be state of the art for sure, fixed bridge though. Crystal frets? I have to also agree with him looking at new boutique pickups. He was always paying attention to his pickups. I think he may have been playing a Moriarty these days too, So what would you do Matt? :lol:
 #105057  by rugger
 Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:06 pm
Thats a pretty good idea .....
I dont how much mine weighs ( heavy ) but 13 lbs ????
According to Dozin's site, Tiger weighed 13.5 lbs. I'm surprised Jerry didn't have neck or back issues luggin' that thing around all night, lol.

I think another improvement I would add would be stainless fret wire.

John in San Diego
 #105257  by Jon S.
 Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:33 pm
If Tiger was built now - what changes?
I really like your question. Benjamin Franklin said that there are two kinds of fools: the first says, "Old and therefore good"; the second says, "New and therefore better." IOW, neither choose nor reject an approach based solely on its history/pedigree, rather, consider what's truly best for you under your circumstances. Understanding and respecting what the luthier and guitarist did and why is a great beginning and take it further! I don't have suggestions of my own to offer now but will definitely follow the discussion.