#171663  by Phrygian
I am trying to achieve an approximation of Jerry's Europe 72 tone at home, without deafening the rest of my family. My purpose is to play along with recordings and backing tracks - for my own amusement and practice. So everyone knows where I'm coming from, I am aware that even if I could be magically transported to a Paris stage in 1972 and had Jerry's equipment in my hands, I would not sound just like him. I know something about his stage rigs at the time and I am not out to copy that. I have heard Jerry's guitar isolated and was surprised by the difference between the records and the isolated sound - very thin by comparison. I have read that Jerry did not use a compressor on stage, but surely compression was used somewhere in the process of turning the raw recordings into the album. The amp I am using lately is a stock 1964 BF Super Reverb. It has an excellent clean tone at home volume levels.

I am falling short of getting a nice creamy breakup, for lack of a better term, without harshness and brittle attack. I think a compressor might help smooth the attack. My old CS-3 has died so I am looking for a replacement. As for the breakup, I have a Tube Screamer, Wampler Pinnacle and Joyo AC Tone. None of them on their own gets quite the right breakup to my ears. I have tried feeding the TS9 into the Wampler with gain turned down on both but still didn't get the right sound.

Would I be better served by another dirt pedal, or should I try an attenuator and crank up the amp? I don't expect to sound exactly like Jerry, just looking to approximate his 1972 tone at a lower volume level.
 #171664  by Gr8fulCadi
Which guitar are you using? Pickups etc. Buffer or blaster?

Try cranking the amp and controlling the overall volume with your guitar. You may not get to levels that are family accepted though but it’s worth a shot before spending additional $$$. (Also try adjusting the EQ settings differently from the norm just for low volume playing).

I have a Super Reverb and have no problems getting a similar early 70’s tone but that is with the volume up. So in your case I would suggest a transparent drive like a V3 Timmy or for less, MXR Timmy. I have both and both do the edge of breakup very well.

A more expensive route would be an attenuator. The Super Reverb is a 2 ohm load so that limits your choices. I have a Fryette PS2 which is AMAZING but $$$. It will get you there at very low volumes. Plus it is also very versatile beyond re-amping/attenuation. Can do silent recording, has an FX loop and the list goes on.

Others will chime in with ideas as well.
 #171667  by Chocol8
There are two approaches to this that can work well.

1) Digital modeler

2) reactive load and re-amp

The modeler topic is a long one, but the big names can all do credible Fender BF edge of breakup tones. The trick is they all have a learning curve before you can dial them in to get their best.

For a reactive load, I run the amp into a Suhr RL-IR (You don’t need the IR version for this!) and then into a MosValve and on the the cab. That allows me to crank the amp and control the volume with the MosValve, and then also have fine volume control on the Suhr.

I do not recommend trying to get the edge of breakup tone by turning down a tube amp. That just won’t work well, even with a master volume amp. Same with traditional attenuators. They work…sorta, but they change the tone. The reactive load and re-amping works much better for me.
 #171669  by NeilG1
Couple thoughts:
1. Agree very strongly with the above suggestion to dial up amp and down guitar. This, IMO, is a huge piece of Jerry tone. I play with my power amp dialed halfway up - crazy loud, but my guitar only around 5. Maybe 6 for a lead. Control the volume with your fingers - stiff pick, gentle touch. Makes such a huge difference in my hands.
2. Correct - I don’t think Jerry ever used compression.
3. Europe 72 is obviously legendary. However, a lot of production strangeness went into that recording - for instance, the incredible version of Morning Dew is a 1/2 step out of key. Find the individual shows - all released officially as one giant box set. They sound WAY better, and I believe way more true to tone as well. The Dew is in key at least :) Those recordings will give you a way better window into 72 tone, in my opinion. Personally, I don’t hear much “dirt” at all in ‘72 Jerry.
 #171672  by franklins_timmy
I use the Bearfoot Fx Pale Green compressor to help simulate amp & speaker compression. Playing a Strat with Fender Pure Vintage 65 pups into a Lil Dawg Wonderdawg (AB763 circuit). Often referred to as the compressor for people who don't like compressors. He sells on reverb now & it is called the Putting Green. Donner is very helpful too, give him a holler.

https://www.bearfootfx.com/store/compre ... -v4-new-2/
Last edited by franklins_timmy on Sun Sep 19, 2021 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #171674  by Phrygian
For those who asked, I have a Strat with Fralins, a CS Nocaster, and a 1964 SG with stock pickups. I generally use the Strat or Tele when I play Dead tunes. No on board buffer or blaster on any of the guitars. I do have a very nice multi-head tape echo emulator that has a four stage JFET preamp to emulate a vintage triode preamp. It has gain, pre-DSP level and master pots and can be used as a boost without echo to add some harmonic content.

I agree with you NeilG1, "dirt" is too strong a word to describe Jerry's Europe 72 tone. But that tone isn't BF Fender at low volume either. I have played around with turning the amp up and guitar volume down a bit. I will try playing around with the EQ next time.

The Timmy sounds interesting. Is it currently in production? Paul Cochrane doesn't appear to have a website. All I could find was Reverb and Ebay listings.

I have used a DAW to tweak the pitch of the Europe 72 songs that I like to play. Some of them are pretty far from A440. One reason I enjoy playing them so much is that I often find a little fill or riff that I hadn't noticed before.
Last edited by Phrygian on Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #171675  by Gr8fulCadi
Paul just listed 6 on Reverb a couple days ago and they went like hot cakes…see TGP thread below.

The MXR sounds identical as I have both. It’s just, the MXR is a mini.

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index ... y.2273599/

https://reverb.com/shop/paulc-audio?utm ... ent=439090
Last edited by Gr8fulCadi on Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:35 am, edited 4 times in total.
 #171676  by tdcrjeff
I believe Alligator had the Alembic blaster installed by the time of Europe '72, so not just pickups > Twin.
 #171678  by NeilG1
Having had many, if I could only have one drive for a range of Jerry tones, it would be the Sarno Earth Drive. But my Spud Drive arrives soon, so maybe that will change.
 #171679  by Phrygian
The Tone Master amps are interesting but not under consideration at this time.

Last night I tried the "Fender magic 6" settings on the Super Reverb - V6, T6, M3, B2, Bright switch on - and turned the guitar volume down. I also used the preamp from my Blue Nebula tape echo emulator as a boost. It is a step in the right direction. Not quite there yet. The Timmy might be worth trying if I can get one at a reasonable price. It seems most sellers of new units are charging a "convenience fee".
 #171680  by NeilG1
I think you'll find almost universally that Jerry settings on a Fender amp are Bass off, treble dimed, mids to taste at around 5-6. Then you can cool the tone off on your guitar knob if needed, depending on your set up. Jerry bass note sound is a huge part of his tone, and as I understand comes largely from playing bass notes with zero bass dialled on the amp.