#144427  by Morningdewstone
 Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:11 pm
Hey everyone. I'm new to the forum. I'm interested in hearing feedback on your favorite Jerry Guitar. And by favorite, I mean best sound-not aesthetic quality. As an 80's and 90's head, I'm a huge fan of Tiger and the occasional Wolf showing(first saw wolf at spectrum ''89--California earthquake) but after all these years of listening, I'm convinced Alligator was Jerry's best. Love to hear some thoughts
 #144428  by James-T
 Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:14 pm
Rick Turner's peanut guitar - on anything country. Had to be those 63ish Gibson PAF's.


 #144432  by Searing75
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:31 am
Travis Bean and Wolf! I love the Bolt, but his overall tone suffered from other variables at this time.
 #144433  by dleonard
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:38 am
I gotta go with Wolf. I love the '74 Grateful Dead Movie tone and then in '78 Wolf was a screamer. Casey Jones on SNL is plain ol' nasty.
 #144434  by tcsned
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:54 am
I'm torn between Wolf and Tiger, I got my first real impression of Jerry's guitar watching the Grateful Dead movie when I was in high school, I had been to a couple of shows but there were no big video screens and such so Tiger was a pretty tiny thing from the distance I was sitting. Though the vast majority of the shows I went to were with Tiger from 82-93. I didn't particularly care for the Cripe guitars and Rosebud seemed to me a copy of Tiger.

I play a Wolf but have a Warmoth WGD and also play a cocobolo/maple tele with mostly Tiger guts.

Either way, they are the two coolest guitars ever built. All the others take a back seat to those IMHO though are all cool in their own rights just none with the originality of Wolf and Tiger.
 #144435  by Maybeck09
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:04 am
Tiger for me and that's just my bias. Really getting into the band in '83 forward I was loving Tiger-both look and sound. I remember thinking it pretty cool that these guys had custom guitars built for them and played those guitars relatively exclusively. Loved the cocobolo and custom inlays, the switching and the way Jerry just made it his. He held most guitars well and in-command, but I grew up watching him grab and rip it up with Tiger and it was awesome!
 #144441  by FrettyBoy
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:45 pm
Alligator for me. My first show was September 73, so as Maxwell Smart would say; "Missed it by that much".
 #144443  by James-T
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:42 pm
Thinking about this some more it depends on the tune. Dark Star - that SG for sure. Truckin - the Allogator. NFA - Peanut.

Scarlet - The Wolf. Big River - Alligator. But you have to hear the Big River sound check on the E72 box set to appreciate that one.

I dig the Travis tones for jazzy stuff like Lazy lightning and it Jerry rocked on that guitar anytime they played St Stephen.

I don't think st stephen sounded that great in 84 with the Tigar tone. I think it sounded better in the 70's and I dig the live dead version.

So perhaps that's why most folks on this forum have more than one Jerry guitar.


 #144444  by tatittle
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:00 pm
That depends on exactly what your asking; is it literally guitar vs. guitar (as in which would I want to own value aside), or performance tone in Garcia's hands (which for me has more to do with Garcia's state or even what drugs he's on than what guitar he's using).

Every one between Gibson's and the one after Tiger has its strengths. But Tiger overall.
 #144445  by waldo041
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:39 pm
Old Debate

Tone and Technique are two different things. If you only hear his technique with each guitar and rig then you are TONE-DEAF.

With Los Lobos 1986 _ Gibson & Marshall

GD 1987 - Tiger & Fender/Mc2300/JBL's

Tiger is my choice and apparently was Jerry's as well. He played it for 10 or 11 years! By far more then any other, and just to note from Mr. Parish, the guitar that came in 2nd most played after Tiger was his Travis Bean TB500 #12.

 #144447  by James-T
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:54 pm
Waldo - Apparently this is not a debate. It's like arguing over what your favourite Charlie's angel is - I liked Jaclyn Smith. :-) Favourite Jerry Guitar. Not Jerry's favourite guitar. I doubt if any of us are tone deaf. :) But that Los Lobos video is cool. Thanks for sharing and its good to see you back and well!


 #144448  by tatittle
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:00 pm
I am not merely talking about technique. More so inspiration; inspired playing is most moving and it need not include great technique strictly speaking to be moving. I prefer an inspired Garcia over an uninspired one almost regardless of the guitar.
 #144449  by James-T
 Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:51 pm
I am not merely talking about technique. More so inspiration; inspired playing is most moving and it need not include great technique strictly speaking to be moving. I prefer an inspired Garcia over an uninspired one almost regardless of the guitar.

I totally concur with this statement. To me the quintessential Dark Star is Live Dead - and I've read Garcia thought the same. Garcia was young and on fire in that performance. It shines above the others from that run. And I think they never got that vibe back after Garcia moved from PAF's to single coils. But it's the technique in that passage of music that really shines. And the short little transition from the Manhattan Center in 71 between NFA and GDTRFB - same thing. Just really soulful and the later NFA's in 72 didn't quite capture that same spirit. Even the few that they pulled out in 77 and later.

I've got this theory about guitar players - once they put in their 10,000 hours they are always at their peak. They just evolve. Like Clapton's solo on Crossroads with the Yardbirds - it's just that much better than his solo from the Cream reunion shows - but he was playing things later in his career that were off the charts compared to earlier in his career - his playing just evolved - his taste and style changed. And his tone in the Yardbirds version is better to my ears. His noiseless single coils with the Clapton boost gets him in that PAF territory but its not the same sweet vintage tone associated with his Yardbird days (when Clapton was God).

The way Garcia approached improvisation in Dark Star in 78, then in 81 and in 84 and into 89 changed. But they were all so different than back when his rig was paired down, and to me at least lacked the raw energy he had when he was younger - and to my ears the tone as well. I guess that's why bands like the Dead retire certain songs.

The wonder of guitar tone. It's a magical topic. And to the non players I knew on tour in the 80's. They all lamented the loss of creativity from the old days of the early and mid 70's.To them it was about Garcia's inspiration I guess, along with the band's collective appetite for improvisation. Funny how the last Spring tour Box set didn't sell out but the older ones did and some very quickly. I passed on it as well.