Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #98379  by ChiroVette
 Thu May 19, 2011 10:42 pm
I know this is very common topic, but the only thread I was able to find was over 2 years old, so rather than bump that thread, I will create this one. ;)

Anyway, I am having this discussion in real life with a fellow Deadhead. He is claiming that Garcia's settings on the Twin are:

Treble: 10
Midrange: 5.5
Bass: 1 (completely off)

Now that is nowhere near how I set my amp. I set my amp:

Treble: 2
Midrange: 8
Bass: 2

And then I adjust the treble and bass slightly depending on how the room sounds. Now I have never heard this guy play Garcia, but I know that my tone sounds damned close at least to my ear. So what do you guys set your amp settings on? Not just the tone controls, but whatever.
 #98381  by tastyjams
 Thu May 19, 2011 11:02 pm
Treble:9 Middle:7 Bass:2 on my Twin. I get pretty close to Jerry's 69 sounds with my SG and my Earth Drive.
 #98382  by mijknahs
 Thu May 19, 2011 11:08 pm
Treble: 10
Midrange: 5.5
Bass: 1 (completely off)
Volume: 5
Twin preamped into an MC2300 into 2xJBL E120s: ... 102210.mp3

However, if I was using the 6L6 power tubes, then it gets a thinner sound so I would roll the treble down to 6 or 7 and turn the mid up to 7 or 8. Using a good power amp fattens up the tone.

 #98392  by RiverRat
 Fri May 20, 2011 7:06 am
If you have the modded value tone stack (.022uf Bass, .022uf Mid, 250pf Treble), use the 1, 5.5, 10 settings...

If you have a stock value twin tone stack (.1uf Bass, .047uf Mid, 250pf Treble), use 2.5, 5.5, 10. (actually, the bass sweet spot is between 2.5 and 3)

Running the Bass completely off with the stock tone stack will make the lowest octave sound less full, the harmonic content of those notes are getting filtered out.
 #98399  by tigerstrat
 Fri May 20, 2011 8:00 am
DiMarzio Dual Sound (middle, single coil)> modded '68 Fender Showman Reverb (Twin) Treb:9, Mid:9, Bass:1.5, Vol:5, Reverb:5 > Mesa Mk III power section> JBL E120 >>> (I'm playing the normal Jerry parts, PeteB. was subbing for our keyboardist and therefore playing rhythm/fills)
 #98910  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:43 pm
No, no, no...

Never use the bright switch!!! And not just because Jerry never did. That whole range of ultra high treble energy that gets added with the bright switch will only detract from the musical midrange and treble and put a harsh, glassy, crispy edge on top that just isn't helpful or useful. It's an instant tone killer.

 #98911  by mijknahs
 Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:37 pm
The bright switch has never been my friend. Plenty "bright" without any extra "brightness".

Hey Brad - why'd you even put a bright switch on the Classic? No one uses it. Love the Dark switch though. That has been my friend at times.
 #98916  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:45 am
mijknahs wrote:Hey Brad - why'd you even put a bright switch on the Classic? No one uses it. Love the Dark switch though. That has been my friend at times.
That's a good question. I guess I did it to remain authentic to the old Twin's preamp schematic. But I agree, it's never been my friend. And it seems that virtually any great Fender tone I've heard didn't seem to use the bright switch.

 #98918  by Pete B.
 Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:40 am
What's that rule of thumb for bright switch vs tone stack?...
If your volume knob is at 10, it's the same as having the bright switch on?...
...or something like that?

fwiw, I use the bright swtch with the treble knob around 7-8 sometimes, because the wound strings sounds better to me in some situations. I've heard that "tone killer" stigma about the bright switch, but to me it's just another tonal option to be used to get your tone at your desired volume with whatever axe/pickups/speaker/etc you decide to go with that day.
For example, if I'm playing Jerry stuff at rehersal volume on a Les Paul with no coil splits, I'm gonna be using the bright switch.
Last edited by Pete B. on Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
 #98919  by mijknahs
 Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:44 am
Ok. I guess that's why Brad left the bright switch on the SMS Classic. Some people use it!
 #98921  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:42 am
Well, to be fair Pete, you're right. I guess that sometimes the un-sparkly humbuckers can use that extra bit of slice, but as soon as an overdrive or distortion pedal is kicked on, I really don't like that extra buzz on top that the bright switch adds. But with single coils, I've never found the bright switch to be beneficial. Sounds like adding a tweeter to the speakers.

Technically, the bright switch allows all the crispy highs to pass thru (or around) the gain pot whenever the pot is anywhere less than 10. For example, if the amp gain is on 3, the crispy highs sound like they're on 10, so it's dramatic. But if the gain is on 8, then the crispy bright-switch highs are on 10, which isn't really that much more than 8 so it's a subtler effect. As you crank the gain, the bright switch's effect diminishes. With the gain on 10, the bright switch does nothing at all, as if it's not even there, no bright boosting whatsoever. With Jerry's typical gain setting of 4, the bright switch is VERY pronounced sounding and to my ears is very UN-Jerry. There's already plenty, gobs of crisp sparkle without it. The "meat" of Jerry's tone lives in the musical treble range, maybe in the 1kHz to 4kHz range. The bright switch boosts stuff well above that, like 7kHz on up past 16kHz. With the buffer, the single coils, and the JBL's, that can be an unpleasantly abrasive and glassy characteristic in a guitar tone that pulls the ear's attention away from where the musical harmonics live.