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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #131161  by twizzlybear
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:37 pm
Firstly, this forum is fantastic. Thank you all for creating such a wonderful resource.

My 'holy grail' Jerry tone is from the JGB double CD set

http://www.amazon.com/Jerry-Garcia-Band/dp/B000002VM1

I was thinking about trying to get a single speaker combo amp to get as close to this as possible -- including the reverb built into the amp.

I think the collective wisdom is to go with a DRRI or a Blues Junior and swap out the stock speaker for a JBL (it seems like the Blues Jr is the optimal choice, right???). Anyway, I'm curious if I can get there without a heavy speaker (I have some injuries that prevent me from hauling the heavy stuff). In other words, can you guys recommend a combo amp with reverb and a neo speaker that'll get me close? Thanks so much in advance.

Separately, regarding the guitar / pickup setup -- I understand that Jerry was mostly playing the middle position with a coil split. Does that mean I'm going to get closest using an off-the-shelf strat in the middle position? I'm not going to go for the whole buffer/onboard electronics gig -- so what "off the shelf" guitars/pickups are going to get me close? Carvin something or other? Strats with a middle position?

Thanks and I apologize if this is redundant -- I really did poke around in advance before I posted.
 #131164  by twizzlybear
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:04 pm
barefootdave wrote:A strat in the middle position and a DRRI W JBL will get you most of the way there.
Thanks, this is what I thought. Is there a neo alternative to the jbl?
 #131165  by TI4-1009
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:57 pm
Welcome!

Not that you'll really be happy with, the JBL makes an order-of-magnitude difference.
 #131166  by Jerry1996x
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:05 pm
TI4-1009 wrote:Welcome!

Not that you'll really be happy with, the JBL makes an order-of-magnitude difference.
+1

You just can't understand till you have one :D
 #131167  by tcsned
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:30 pm
twizzlybear wrote:
barefootdave wrote:A strat in the middle position and a DRRI W JBL will get you most of the way there.
Thanks, this is what I thought. Is there a neo alternative to the jbl?
The Beyma Liberty is pretty darn good. They ain't cheap, but it's as close the JBL as you're gonna get in a new speaker.
 #131168  by ccw3432
 Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:53 pm
The JBL K-120 or D-120, although not lightweight, are definitely lighter than the E-120 :-) I haven't tried any of the neo speakers. I tried the Weber California, and wanted to like it but I couldn't. It wasn't even close.
 #131169  by Hackdog69
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:57 am
The DRRI is a better choice than a blues deluxe IMHO, but I would suggest finding a silverface deluxe reverb instead of a reissue.. Mid 70''s
 #131170  by Jon S.
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:18 am
People, when one of our members writes, "I have some injuries that prevent me from hauling the heavy stuff," the replies about how you'll never be 100% happy w/o a JBL, true or not, are not fully responsive. The OP has an injury. He's not asking for a miracle cure, only for practical suggestions he can live with.

Twizzlybear, the other guitarist in my band, at practices (not gigs), runs his Strat into pedals into a stock Blues Junior. It's not perfect but it works. When we play out and he needs more volume, he uses his Hot Rod Deluxe. Also not perfect but quite passable (I can assure you no one in the audience is walking out over his horrible Fender combo tone!).

For a reasonably light neo option for either amp, this is probably your best bet: https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/neo12.htm

Injuries and back issues definitely do suck. My own back goes in and out on me. I have a 2X12 cab with one of the above Weber NeoMags in it paired with a Jensen Neo 12-100. It is reasonably easily transported.

I also recently copped one of Tracy Lowes' Sound Scaper Productions 1X12 cabs. http://www.soundscaperproductions.com/page0/page0.html I put my JBL E120 into it just this Friday. I was surprised, due to the SSP 1X12's small footprint, how readily portable it is. So if you're willing to forget the combo and go head/cab, this could work nicely for you.

For your head, this combination would, in total, weigh under 18 lbs. and mate up well with any of the above speaker recommendations:

http://www.sarnomusicsolutions.com/products/ctp.html (4.5 lbs./$695) + http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/DCM200L (4 lbs./$279) + http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GR2S (9 lbs./$110)

That's a total of around $1100 (less if you buy used) which ain't bad considering what you're getting.
 #131173  by Jerry1996x
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:51 am
Honestly, if you're not interested in dumping a lot of $$$ into it, and don't want a heavy JBL, a Deluxe with the stock speaker would get you there. Will it be totally on the money? Probably not, but if you have a split Super II in the middle position, you would be getting a tone I'm sure you would be happy with. My twin gets a really nice Jerry tone with the stock speakers.

Another speaker to consider is the Emi. Red White and Blues. I had them in a 2x12 and they definitely sounded better then the stock speakers, and they aren't that heavy, (compared to JBLs at least)
 #131176  by Jon S.
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:35 am
The nice thing about the stock DR recommendation is that, for Dead music, you'll be turning the bass control to or near off anyway - that will address a key shortcoming of the DR (for folks who like clean tones) that the bass tends to fart out some at higher volumes.
 #131178  by mgbills
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:38 am
Welcome,
I'm an advocate of the Head & 1x scenario. I almost bought one of these in a Head form off my local CL. I played it, and I wish I had bought it. http://headstrongamps.com/Lil_King_AMP.html

My '68 Deluxe with a D120 is quite heavy. Not as heavy as a rack with a McIntosh, but it's no easy haul. I've hauled it 5-7 city blocks, and had to set it down. (49 YO, 6'1", burly, muscled ...bad low back). My point is...if I'm playing with a reasonable drummer I grab my Mesa TA-15 head (wish it had reverb), and the 1x. I may still find a TA-30 head which has reverb at a good price.

Hope this helps.
Peace
M
 #131179  by Smolder
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:05 pm
A Princeton NR with a JBL L110, and a pedal for reverb isn't bad at all. Not huge volume, but it's certainly light.

I don't find D120 or K120's particularly heavy compared to other speakers... the E120 is in a whole different weight class. INHO - the cab is hugely important for the weber neo and has to have some mass... the 10" I had sounded very nasely until I moved it out of the princeton cab and into the vibrolux.
 #131190  by TeeJay
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:39 pm
Be careful with the Blues Junior as it does not accept various speakers very well. The cabinet is too small for many of the speakers that are desirable for Jerry tone. They end up hitting the chassis. The problem with the Deluxe Reverb is the fixed mid control. How about a silverface Pro Reverb and take one of the speakers out. It has the mid knob and 6L6s plus a big cab you can throw in any speaker you want.
 #131223  by Smolder
 Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:42 pm
TeeJay wrote:The problem with the Deluxe Reverb is the fixed mid control.
Pull the (useless, if you have a grounded three prong power cord) polarity switch, detach the 6.8k resistor and put in a 10-25k pot and you'll have your mid control. 15 minutes and 4 dollars in parts.