Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #129272  by Deadhead85
 Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:24 am
So I play the Jerry role in my band and I'm looking for some tips to dial in my tone better and achieve Jerry's late 70's tone as close as possible without buying every little piece of equipment. Here is my rig:
Fender Strat with 2 super 2s and an SDS1 wired similar to Jerry's wolf minus the OBEL and Albembic Stratoblaster.
Fender Twin 65 reverb (reissue) with original wiring but with Two eminence commonwealth speakers
Boss Oct. 2, Distortion +, GE7 EQ, Qutron +, MXR Carbon copy, MXR Phaser (the reg one), Cry Baby Wah. Not wired in that order, but would love any tips for what way to run them.

I'm looking for that sparkly high end tone pretty much like closing of winterland and can get it close but am always never 100% happy.
Run my amp with the levels as follows: vol. 4.5 - 5. Treb. 7 - 8. Mids. 5.5. Low 1. I set my reverb as needed.

Would love some feedback ASAP!

Much love
 #129275  by TI4-1009
 Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:58 am
One word: JBLs
 #129277  by jeffm725
 Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:29 am
I saw you didnt have the OBEL. Do you have the buffer in there?
 #129278  by Deadhead85
 Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:29 am
TI4-1009 wrote:One word: JBLs
I do hear you on the JBLs, however the Commonweaths are very close in spec to the JBLs and were designed to mimic the JBLs Jerry used and we all want. That being said, does it still stand to reason that JBLs could give me that tone I'm looking for? I'm almost of the mind that it could be something with my amp settings.
Thanks for the quick reply
jeffm725 wrote:I saw you didnt have the OBEL. Do you have the buffer in there?
No I am buffer less at the moment and I do know it is a major component that people swear by, however I'm not sure if that is more of an 80's and beyond component (Jerry first had it in Tiger and not in Wolf to my understanding). That said I do plan on having one in a pedal in the near future (as soon as financially possible). I also have always wondered if having the stratoblaster would help attaining that perfect tone I'm after. Is the Waldo Buffer the missing link you think???

Thanks for the input brother
 #129280  by ccw3432
 Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:13 pm
I'd monkey with your amp setting some more. Try the amp settings posted on Waldo's website. They are different for a Twin combo amp than a twin pre/Mc amp. Scroll down aways on the page and you'll see them.

Have you tried bypassing your pedals and going directly into your amp. Some pedals like the Crybaby will cut some of your high end. I've also found that the strings can make a huge difference. I use to use Elixirs but have changed and thier's no going back. Lately I've been using the DAddario Pro Steels :P and I also really like the D'Angelico Hot Nickel Concepts, thanks to folks posting about both here. I have to change out strings more than with Elixirs, but the snappy brightness these strings add is well worth it.
 #129282  by Pete B.
 Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:28 pm
My standard thoughts on this type of stuff include...
If you're not playing along with the tone you are tying to match, you will never convince yourself that you are in the ballpark.
If your strings are more than 3-hours to one-day old, you probably won't be able match it as closely as if your strings are brand new.
Accept the fact that you will probably never be able to really match any live recording that is coming through the PA system, because what you are hearing is Jerry's rig after it has been processed by Healy's soundboard Mojo... in some cases it's Jerry's rig mic'd through a studio recording soundboard. Your not hearing the same thing as if you were standing in the room with Jerry's amp, like you are with your amp.
In your case I would I set up my rig and stereo speakers so it sounds like I'm in the mix, and throw on the Scarlet Begonias solo from C o' Winterland and play along with it. It's a pretty clean guitar tone setting as I recall.
Realizing all the criteria as to why you can't match it, you should still be able to get satisfyingly close enough to enjoy playing along with the boys with your rig.
Beyond that it's all Chops once your out with your band.
 #129284  by Jerry1996x
 Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:52 pm
It sounds like your amp setting are right on. Maybe dime the treble. As long as the super 2 is split, you should be getting pretty close! One thing to consider though, is that Jerry used Dual Sounds up until around 82. So if your looking for a late 70s wolf tone, you should be grabbing some of them. Another thing to think about is ditching the Commonwealths for some JBL K120s. It seems like a lot of people dive right into the Es when The Man actually used the Ks up until around 81(?) or so. After that, you can start adding on the bells and whistles: buffer (definitely a good idea), OBEL, different power amp, etc, etc...

One more thing, make sure youre using thick picks. I just ordered a bag of Adamas (for the first time) but Iv'e tried the Telefunken graphites. The material definitely does not make as big a difference as the thickness so if you dont want to spend $16 on picks, grab some 2mm Dunlops.

Good Luck!!!
 #129285  by waldo041
 Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:58 pm
if you are serious, or just waiting for a miracle, no one is going to give you some "magic" amp settings with the rig you have that will get you where you want to go. if they could, then you probably would not be here asking. So if you are actually serious about searching for the sound, changes need to be made. You seem to have done some research on what is needed, but i think what you are asking for is a shortcut that does not exist. There are compromises, if you want to continue to be less then 100%, if not changes need to be made. I listed below some guitar changes that need to happen to put you at a good base.

Jerry late 70's

Dual sound's instead of super 2's
Alembic Blaster, not for the boost but it is the period correct buffer for maintaing your high end by isolating cable capacitance.
OBEL, to remove the additionally buffered tone sucking pedals you have in your chain. Also, period correct.
Wired like tiger, the wolf schematic is from after jerry played it in the 90's and was never played live wired like that.

That is just a start, i know you stated you wanted to get close without "buying every piece", but there are some things you will need to attend to also with your amp. A good tech can decipher the post alembic mods and apply them to your reissue, which you need to get done if you are indeed serious.

These will help in the eventual turn to preamping the twin and using a solid state amp(mac)

But if you just want to turn knobs, middle, right, middle, left and a splash of reverb.

 #129298  by Jon S.
 Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:55 am
+1 to waldo's advice. (Two years ago I'd have questioned some of it but I was so much older then - I'm younger than that now.)
 #129300  by Deadhead85
 Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:53 am
Well I Deff have my work cut out for me. Thanks everyone and props to Waldo. I've looked at the schematics a 100 times or more and never saw that it was not the correct wiring I was after. This will be addressed ASAP as well as the other things mentioned.

Thanks all