Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #134960  by slatelacy
 Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:49 pm
Hey guys. New to the forum, but I've been trying to play this stuff forever. I finally have gotten close to where I want to be, but could use some advice on getting the rest of the way! Im currently playing a Phiga eagle that I've basically gutted and set up identically to Tiger (pickups/spacing/actions/wiring schematics). Im playing through a 90s Mesa MarkIII with a Tone Tubby. Any advice would be appreciated!
 #134963  by PaulJay
 Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:50 pm
Hey Welcome aboard. Nice playing. Like you said you are close. To my ear a JBL E-120 will do the trick. I think the Tone Tubby is warming things up a bit. Happy Holidays ,Paul
 #134969  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:45 pm
In my opinion, there is no single ingredient to Jerry's tone more vital and essential than a JBL. Preferably a D120F or K120. But if you're in a really loud band and need to play at VERY hot levels, the E120 is the tool for the job. The high-power, ceramic-magnet E's don't shine at lower volumes as well as the alnico-magnet D120F or K120. But that's nitpicking. The JBL 12" (any of the three versions) with that metal dustcap is the #1 most important thing to use. It's the one element that was ALWAYS there for Jerry from the beginning. Other things evolved, but JBL's were the constant till the end. Tone Tubbies are very nice speakers for most styles of music, but they're quite different sounding than the JBL signature sound we all associate with Mr. Garcia.

 #134970  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:50 pm
Oh, and your video sounds like you may have some bass in your tone. Jerry turned his bass completely off on his amp. He also cranked the treble all the way. This doesn't work with all amps, but eliminating all the bass helps the mids and clarity come forward, makes low notes VERY clear and spanky and growly, like Jer'.

 #134972  by slatelacy
 Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:41 pm
Sounds like a plan. I just recently replaced the stock black shadow with a tone tubby, trying to get a little more warmth. It seems like the high end "sizzle" is a pretty important part. I shall try a JBL!( I'll also roll the bass off.)
 #134973  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:52 pm
JBL's are interesting. They're actually warmer and smoother in response than most "guitar" speakers that often have sharp resonant peaks. People refer to JBL's as bright, but really that just comes from the extended treble response from the metal dustcap. That metallic treble is very much a part of Jerry's clarity and sweet top end, but overall, the tone of the JBL as a whole is very smooth. Typical "guitar" speakers can be very sharp and peaky in the mid-treble range. With overdrive and dirt and tube compression, that kind of speaker does really well to clearly deliver and bring out the distortion harmonics, but playing dead clean into that kind of speaker can be brutal and ice-picky.

Think of SRV's "Lenny," a very beautiful and sweet tone, warm, clear, juicy, sparkly, and not the least bit harsh. That was a JBL 15", basically the same voice coil and treble as the 12" like Jerry used, a very similar speaker. People think of JBL's as bright because at low volume the metal dustcap zing is very present and up front. But when you get louder and push the speaker, the paper begins to dominate and show off that smooth overall character and warm JBL voicing, and the metal dustcap is there to keep things present on top and not get buried in a mix.

JBL's can be ugly sounding if you use the wrong kind of distortion pedal. Some pedals have high treble distortion content that really sets off the JBL metal dustcap in the wrong kind of way, buzzy and kazoo like, not pretty.

 #134985  by milobender
 Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:19 am

I just got a JBL K-120, had been using Weber NeoMags... I liked the Webers, but I LOVE the JBL, the clarity is great, a different world from the Webers.
 #134996  by Griffyote
 Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:07 pm
There you have it slate lacy. Just ask here. That is the best description of JBLs I've read anywhere. I was just about to recommend a SMS Classic Tube Preamp. 8) I'm finally sold and convinced on the vintage JBLs and regretting letting the opportunity to pick some up pass me by recently. :?
Your playing sounds great! I'll be thrilled when I sound that good.

Question for Brad. Do you play pedal steel through 12's?
 #135000  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:33 pm
Griffyote wrote:...

Question for Brad. Do you play pedal steel through 12's?

Depends on the gig and the amp rig. Sometimes it's an old D130 (15") in an open back cab. Often times it's my trusty orange D120F in a "vintage" SoundScaper 1-12" cab. I had my pair of these orange D120F's reconed back in 1988 for my Jerry-esque amp rig. The D120F's are still perfect. Those are my most trusted speakers for sure. Very pedal steel friendly.

12's have really come back into vogue with pedal steel players - especially this new breed of custom Neo designs by Eminence, but the 15" JBL or Peavey Black Widow is still the pedal steel standard.

 #136521  by Searing75
 Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:53 pm
K120's are the boom diggity!
 #136658  by wfrobinette
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:36 pm
+2 I just did the same thing
milobender wrote:+1

I just got a JBL K-120, had been using Weber NeoMags... I liked the Webers, but I LOVE the JBL, the clarity is great, a different world from the Webers.