Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #135620  by JDB30
 Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:32 am
racecar wrote:I always was of the strong opinion that Bobby used compression.

When I attended DSO School, I had the opportunity to sit with Rob Eaton at length to discuss gear and tone. To my stunned amazement, he told me that Bobby did NOT use compression, but used the limiter portion of the Ashly unit. Rob actually told me compression is BAD for what I am trying to accomplish (approximation of Bobby tone). He helped me with my amp and effects set up and was able to take my little Roland and bring out the best in it. I have removed the compressor (Empress, which I find to be the most natural) from my board. Since the summer, I have not used compression and I do not miss it. There are places it could help, but overall my tone improved without using compression. I now run a stereo set up using a Roland JC120 head and two separate 12 in cabs and I do use a boost to get a bit more oomph when needed. But compressor is a thing of the past for me....... what I thought was the gospel, turned out to be a false reality for me.....and yes, I was stunned....but I realized Rob was right once I worked on the settings . I truly don't miss the compressor. May use it down the road again but since Sept, I have readjusted my thought process and set up to be compressor-less. And I am a happy camper so far.

That's interesting because Bob used an Ashley SC-50 in his rig which is, most certainly, a compressor. Are we sure about this??? It sure sounds like he's using it to me.
 #135903  by mkaufman
 Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:26 pm
SC-50 is a limiter & compressor. If you set the gain to 0, it's just a limiter.

I learned a lot from reading the manual which can be found here: ... er-r01.pdf

 #135941  by racecar
 Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:56 pm
flyingheelhook wrote:C'mon, racecar, don't be a tease! Can you tell us more about how you get your sound?
To be quiet honest, I spent a lot of time on this forum just reading . You can learn more here about chasing Bobby tone there anywhere else. All these questions have been asked and answered for years.

The Roland idea, I purely credit Mike Kaufman. He wrote his thoughts on the amp on this forum a long time ago. I read it, searched one down for cheap and said wtf, I will give it a try and low and behold, got me a lot closer than where I was with my mesa boogie. The Roland does a great job for small places, for larger places I used a roland jc120h with two 12 in cabs.does a very nice job for me. The Jazz I pick is essential. Eaton said it, I have been using it and I believe it...right hand technique with the use of that pick can help you get a lot closer without buying anything (other than the pick). I was skeptical at first, but I am a believer now and thats all I use now.

I think 85% of it is in your hands. Need to be able to approximate some of his technique and voicings to get close. A good guitar with an HSH set up is a great start. Nice clean amp , a good chorus, overdrive and delay are the basics in my opinion.

You can spend $10,000 or more chasing tone..... invest time in your playing.
 #135962  by Dozin
 Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:20 am
Being a Bartolini / EMG guy for a long time. This tone is not from the guitar. Those pickups are super clean. I would say it's in the UE400 unit. Almost sounds like the distortion in the UE400. It's a overdriven tone to me. I noticed at 23:00 bob switches on top of his rack. I think he's hitting the compressor on the pedal board because of the location of the switch??? Anyway, I think it's distortion.