Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #113861  by Jon S.
 Sun May 13, 2012 7:22 am
There are so many points here worth understanding and supporting. The main one, to me, is anyone trying to emulate Jerry's exact rig who's not playing at stage volumes like he did is, ultimately, chasing after wind. Better to seek his sound than his gear and that will often mean deliberately not seeking after all of the exact same components he used. Myself, this took me quite a while to accept but as a result I've been playing more and chasing less.

Regarding a plexi shield for a combo, personally, I own one of thesen by Clearsonic but honestly, I don't use it (I don't like the overall tone impact):


On building compression into an overdrive pedal directly, the Visual Sounds Route 66 pedal is 2 pedals in one but the concept is similar:


On standing as close to your speakers as Jerry, no thanks, I subject my ears to enough stress already without deliberately doing this.
 #113864  by Smolder
 Sun May 13, 2012 8:22 am
Well said Jon. My search is for great tone an for my tone. The huge influence of Jerry, on everything musical for me is very relevant. Sounding 'just like Jerry' is not the goal. But understanding how he got there is very helpful. So far my use of a twin pre, alembic mods, and JBL alnico speakers have put me on a great path. I'm leaning towards exploring the alligator/tiger rig, but I'd be surprised if I adopt that full time.

The research and discussion is very helpful for things I'm not able to explore directly myself. I think understanding the discrete steps in the chain... Hands, pic, pickup, pedals, preamp, power amp ans speakers is critical... Whether the goal is pure emulation or not.

Towards the speaker beam issue, lots of band aids... Plex, beam blockers, turning cabs around... The biggest issues to me are setup and broken in speakers. Vintage 30's have a terrible reputation for beaming, but I have a couple very road worn v30's that now sound warm and bright, but far from beamy. Open back cabs help a lot (if your not playing winterland).
 #113865  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Sun May 13, 2012 8:38 am
My solutions for the "beam" has been to keep the cabinet well below your head (ears) and vocal mic, tilt up just a bit, and aim it at your back so the beam doesn't reach the people. That worked for Jerry pretty well. From what I can gauge, his top speaker in his 3-12" cab aimed at his gut, maybe 2' below his ears. The slight tilt kept it from blasting the nearer folks in the crowd. Also aimed a bit off to the side of the soundman.

 #113866  by Pete B.
 Sun May 13, 2012 9:00 am
Jon S. wrote:...anyone trying to emulate Jerry's exact rig who's not playing at stage volumes like he did is, ultimately, chasing after wind...
I would have to disagee with this.
Playing along with Jer is a pretty good way to know if your rig sounds like his or not.
This is independant of Volume, ime.
 #113867  by Jon S.
 Sun May 13, 2012 9:22 am
I believe we agree more than we disagree.

Where I think we agree is that the sound of one hand clapping (i.e., answering the question, "Do I sound like Jerry," by doing and listening) is the acid test.

Where we might disagree is on the realism of playing through the exact same components as Jerry did at bedroom-to-small-club volumes and literally expecting it to sound like Jer's rig at arena volumes. If what you're saying is the volume element is irrelevant under those conditions, we can respectfully disagree on that.

But no biggie - in the end there's just a song (written quite seriously - that's truly where it's at in the end). :smile:
 #113869  by Pete B.
 Sun May 13, 2012 9:55 am
I'm just saying that I use a pretty standard hobbyist type Jerry rig with respect to guitar/effects, and it sounds just like Jerry's rig, when I play along with Jer in my living room.
I'm using Jers actually playing/tone in real-time as a live reference.
I mean, if you don't play along and match the desired tone at some point in your quest, then you are chasing a tone in your head, and in the absence of a tangible reference, I would agree there's going to be alot of tone chasing.
 #113872  by Jon S.
 Sun May 13, 2012 11:33 am
I see what you mean. Sounds good to me! :smile:
 #113875  by Smolder
 Sun May 13, 2012 12:46 pm
A recipe does not make a man a chef, but some of us just need a good meal today.