Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #136636  by Stella Bloo
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:07 am
Okay, I have been on this board for a couple years. I started seeing the Dead in 1978 and my obsession with the music continues today. I play a Phiga Tiger >SMS > MC50 > 2X10 with JBL K110's. I follow all the discussion and appreciate all the input from extremely knowledgeable people.

My question is: Did people have these discussions while Jerry was alive? Did people chase his tone and style while he was alive or has this all happened after his passing?
 #136637  by Jon S.
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:13 am
In college ('75-'79) it was a Strat into a Twin Reverb and forgettaboutit!

 #136640  by Mr.Burns
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:22 am
Since the Internet is to blame for making the world such a tiny place, my guess would be that there were a brave few out there chasin Jerry Tone, but that as more and more Heads got online, the number grew because the info could finally be shared. So I don't think it actually had anything to do with when he died, it was coincidental that it happened right when the Internet was starting to happen.
 #136641  by TI4-1009
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:37 am
Excellent question- one that I've wondered about too.

There was barely an InterWeb at the time Jerry died so there was very little opportunity for discussion. We got setlists via the Mikel newsletters at shows and found out about tours through the hotline. Did the mail order ritual to get tickets. I was in a high school garage band in the 60's, I remember being intimately obsessed with Beatles equipment, got into the Dead late 60's and saw shows all 4 decades. But I don't remember being very interested in or observant of the Dead's equipment until about 6-7 years ago. Go figure?? I used RUKind for a long time to get tabs before I stumbled over to this board. Once I did it was like two worlds finally overlapped- "Hey, I might actually be able to sound a little more like those Jerry tones burned into my brain for 40 years?!"

I go back in time now and think about shows I went to and try and figure out what guitar Jerry must have been using at the time, but I don't remember being very interested AT the time, although I played guitar on-and-off over all that time. I was at Tiger's 7th show and didn't have a clue- now I drive 400 miles to see the thing hang on a wall! These days I can't go 30 minutes without checking in here to see opinions on how many winds Jerry had on his Super 2's during the '82 spring tour.... :lol:
 #136642  by hippieguy1954
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:06 am
I started checking out his gear around 1977. The same year I started to play their music on the guitar. I had been playing for about 9 yrs. Used to get up to the stage just to see what he was using. I remember when me and a friend spotted the dual sounds, and of course had to have them in our guitars. I think the next thing we found out about was the Stratoblaster. This out of chronological order, but it's the order that we found out about it.
So yea, for me it was the Strat with the blaster or pretty much anything with dual sounds installed with a coil split switch and a twin with an MXR Phase100 and a distortion+ for many years.
 #136645  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:33 am
I started getting interested in working up the gear in '87 and by '88 had started building up the rig. It consisted of a custom made rack-mounted Twin-like preamp made by Obeid Khan (of Ampeg, Crate, Reason, and Magnatone amps), a pair of JBL D120F speakers, a Phase Linear 400 rack power amp, an MXR Distortion Plus, a Mutron III, an Alembic Blaster buffer/pre, a Schecter Stratocaster with Warmoth pickguard loaded with 2 MXR Dual-Sounds and 1 Duncan single coil neck pickup, the two-wire buffer OBEL setup, a MXR Phase 90 (speed knob connected to an Ernie Ball pedal on the floor) By 1991 it was an MXR Phase 100 - pedals were mounted up in the rack and were connected to a home-made bypass/router box that had a 8-conductor wire down to a floor box to control the bypassing of the pedals. There was an Ibanez rack-mount delay and I took the MIX and DELAY TIME pots and removed them and routed the connections to the back of that unit and from there ran TRS cables to the floor where I had a pair of Ernie Ball volume pedals to control those two parameters. My reverb was one of those little Alesis Microverb II's. And a small handful of the Adamas 2mm picks. This was about 5 years before I had anything resembling internet. At the time, nobody I knew was taking it this far, but it's very possible it was happening in other places, I just didn't know. I did know one guy in St. Louis, Nick Romanoff (a KILLER Jerry player), who did have his Travis Bean re-wired with the correct Dimarzios and coil split switches right around 1990.

I still have some remnants of that old rig in the basement, the clusterf#$k router box, the modded Ibanez delay, the blaster, and I still to this day cling tightly to those same JBL's. Orange basket Fender/JBL D120F. Basically K120's.

 #136650  by tigerstrat
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:03 pm
Brad, did Nick really trick a Bean out with DiMarzios?? I've seen one like that! What color and model was this Bean?
 #136656  by James-T
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:18 pm
For me it was all about the the effects. I bought a Boss Octaver, Super OD, and Boss DM-2 delay thinking they were essential to the tone. I also lucked out with my first guitar, an SG junior 67, with a T-bucker stuck in it replacing the P-90 dog-ear, and I bought a deluxe reverb new at the time (late 70's). That rig nailed the live dead tone to a T. I was never quite happy with the deluxe and SG for anything else, but it was decades before I upgraded to a PRS and twin reverb (2007), to chase a more modern sound.

You could read about Jerry's gear in Guitar Player, and any decent guitarist into the dead had a basic understanding of his rig. The effects were visible to the audience, they way he had them set up on stage, and they showed up in many of the photos being sold on tour.

The biggest curse ever for me was stumbling upon RUKind. Too many tones, too many options, and way too many ideas for gear to lust over is what the internet has brought us. But hey its all good!

I saw Max Creek down in Costa Rica last month. Scott plays a stock Ibanez Musician he bought new in the early 80's through a Vibrolux. I was chatting with him the day after the show when I ran into him on the street. He's got the right idea! :) and I love his tone!

Peace, :smile:

 #136657  by wfrobinette
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:30 pm
MY first foray into the search of tone started when I found the digitech GSP 21 legend in 1992. It had a Garcia patch built in and that kept me quite happy until 2001. Then the GAS started.
 #136661  by waldo041
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:53 pm
Hello, my name is waldo and i am a Jerry Tone junky.

 #136666  by playingdead
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:09 pm
I used to go see a band named Timberwolf back around 1980-82 or so ... they would play around NY and NJ. They were seriously into the Dead and getting the sound right ... lead player played a Travis Bean, rhythm guy (looked a lot like Weir) played an Ibanez, they had JBLs and Macs onstage. They were seriously good. Barraco was their keyboard player, I believe, at least some of the time. It was pretty obvious they were into the gear and getting it right. They sounded almost exactly like the Dead circa 1976 but did a lot of tunes the Dead didn't do any more -- you'd see them play Doin' That Rag, etc. Lead guitarist and bassist were brothers. Terrific drummers. Great band.

Here's a Scarlet, I think that's Barraco on the keys and vocals.

 #136667  by tcsned
 Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:29 pm
those guys were seriously good! I remember seeing this Let it Grow video on here a couple of years ago. The guitar player really gets a great mid 70s tone.
 #136671  by PaulJay
 Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:55 am
I used to see them at Tuey's in Stony Brook, L.I. They got very close. Must have bee early tone junkies.
 #136673  by tommybo
 Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:17 am
the first step is finally admitting it- hi name is tom and I too am a jerry tone junkie!
 #136729  by czyfingers
 Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:54 am
Those guys really had it down early in the game. They sound almost spot on.