#164847  by warlok1965
 Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:11 pm
I dunno.. it's not like the Dead were gear luddites. Who knows what Jerry's rig would have looked like in 2019. You can't tell me they weren't moving in modeling/direct direction in the 90's with in-ears, amps off stage, Jerry's (admittedly horrid sounding) Trio + speaker emulation, etc. Are the sound waves hitting the eardrum fundamentally inferior if they don't pass through a couple of 12AX7s on the way? I think the Helix (and presumably AxeFX, Kemper, etc) are fantastic ways to go if you want to try and emulate Jerry's tone but don't want to spend the kind of money it would take to actually replicate his physical rig from whatever era you're going for.
 #164849  by Jimv
 Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:34 pm
so in the movie Long Strange Trip, in the last part, Jerry is seen noodling in a hotel room or backstage somewhere. What is the amp he was playing through? If I was going to go a different route than I am, I would pick the rig Jer himself picked to emulate his own sound. I couldn't make out what that amp was.
 #164852  by lbpesq
 Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:23 pm
If I were to play through an exact copy of Jerry's rig, and he were to play through a $50 First Act amp, I would still sound like me, and Jerry would still sound like Jerry. Fingers are, at minimum, 90% of the tone equation.

Just my $.02

Bill, tgo
 #164854  by strumminsix
 Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:16 pm
warlok1965 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:11 pm
I dunno.. it's not like the Dead were gear luddites. Who knows what Jerry's rig would have looked like in 2019. You can't tell me they weren't moving in modeling/direct direction in the 90's with in-ears, amps off stage, Jerry's (admittedly horrid sounding) Trio + speaker emulation, etc. Are the sound waves hitting the eardrum fundamentally inferior if they don't pass through a couple of 12AX7s on the way? I think the Helix (and presumably AxeFX, Kemper, etc) are fantastic ways to go if you want to try and emulate Jerry's tone but don't want to spend the kind of money it would take to actually replicate his physical rig from whatever era you're going for.
Considering they were doing more with quieter stages, IEMs, and JG using a GT Trio... it's a great theory that they'd play with modelling. Bobby did with the ElevenRack for a few years....


****Clarifying... my use of "play with" was not literally saying they would be on stage with it. I meant dabble with, experiment with, play around with that technology.
 #164856  by waldo041
 Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:53 pm
They were the pioneers of modeling! Jerrys custom Reality Amplifier was modeling his 2300 and JBLs and a second was ordered just before he passed for the JGB. That said, amps are used onstage again today and in-ears are usually only used for ducking and vocals. Jerry is not alive so we cannot say one way or the other what he would be using today. The vast majority, imho, have no idea what that little .5% his rig added to the equation of his tone anyway. So if you have no idea what that actually sounds and feel like when played in person, how can you model it? 99.5% of his sound is all in his hands and that is what fools most in believing their rig has that same mojo or close enough to pretend. If you can nail his playing technique you are already there, and only really need an acoustic guitar to get the message across. Or a good modeling amp, it really does not matter to the listener. The mojo in the rig is for the player! Modelers do not model that because they are not specific enough to be able to dial it in yet. I think they are made and marketed for a larger base of customers so it is not pigeoned holed as the old known Jerry rig was known to be. A one trick pony, which it is not. Modelers sounds great, feeling has always been off for me. ymmv

~waldo
 #164858  by TeeJay
 Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:28 pm
Some photographers still shoot film when digital is more convenient. Some painters still work with oils when acrylics are faster. Some woodworkers still insist on hardwood when MDF is cheaper. We are artists and what we choose to work with matters. The listener can tell a difference. :D
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 #164871  by warlok1965
 Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:07 am
waldo041 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:53 pm
They were the pioneers of modeling! Jerrys custom Reality Amplifier was modeling his 2300 and JBLs and a second was ordered just before he passed for the JGB. That said, amps are used onstage again today and in-ears are usually only used for ducking and vocals. Jerry is not alive so we cannot say one way or the other what he would be using today. The vast majority, imho, have no idea what that little .5% his rig added to the equation of his tone anyway. So if you have no idea what that actually sounds and feel like when played in person, how can you model it? 99.5% of his sound is all in his hands and that is what fools most in believing their rig has that same mojo or close enough to pretend. If you can nail his playing technique you are already there, and only really need an acoustic guitar to get the message across. Or a good modeling amp, it really does not matter to the listener. The mojo in the rig is for the player! Modelers do not model that because they are not specific enough to be able to dial it in yet. I think they are made and marketed for a larger base of customers so it is not pigeoned holed as the old known Jerry rig was known to be. A one trick pony, which it is not. Modelers sounds great, feeling has always been off for me. ymmv

~waldo
I couldn't agree more. The modeling route is my way of putting on headphones and taking lessons from Jerry, and getting a sound that is "close enough" that I focus on things like his pick attack, dynamics, volume/tone adjustments, and the little quirks of playing that makes him "him". Maybe that's me being fooled, sure. Maybe if you heard me play you'd think I was way off base. Or not. I'm sure that if I were to play through Jerry's gear from 1990 at full volume on the stage at Shoreline, the first thing I'd say is "wow, this doesn't sound like I thought it would." The sounds of Jerry Garcia's music in my head were layered and deposited there over many years and countless hours of listening to recordings from 30 years of his career. It's a representation filtered through my own brain, colored by my thoughts, perceptions, emotions, memories. It's been 24 years since I heard that sound without the intervening medium of a recording.

In any case I do think its neat that there is this community here that works to understand and emulate those sounds through custom Fender-style preamps, McIntosh amps, JBLs, etc. Very cool and I get it.
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 #164873  by Jimv
 Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:54 am
TeeJay wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:28 pm
Some photographers still shoot film when digital is more convenient. Some painters still work with oils when acrylics are faster. Some woodworkers still insist on hardwood when MDF is cheaper. We are artists and what we choose to work with matters. The listener can tell a difference. :D
All good points!
I agree that if you are a musician, you are an artist. I for one don't think there is right or wrong art or approaches to it. We all go about it in our own way for our own reasons. There is a matter of pride in what we do and that is a very personal matter. I, for example, think that the crew that assembled Jerry's gear were sound geniuses. I am trying to put together a rig based on their ideas and philosophies for:
A- MY tone, played through various types of guitars, as best as I can afford, and to what suits MY ear. It just so happens that the Jerr rig is that. AND,
B- To get THAT sound that is forever imprinted in my DNA, through a Jerrycaster (for now), as best as I can afford, to what suits MY ear.
I agree that it is all in the fingers and a jillion hours of noodling. Personally, I am in the learn it on an acoustic camp. If I could play like Jerry, I would be happy to plug into ALOMOST any super clean rig. That being said, Jerry played his guitar AND his amp. I like the headphones idea mentioned above. There are so many ways to go about it, and a lifetime of learning to get from him. I say, if you are diggin' it and feel groovy, FUCKIN-A!!!! Thats what art is about.
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 #164874  by lbpesq
 Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:18 am
FWIW, a few years ago I was modifying a guitar that had dual humbuckers - (I'm mostly a 3 pickup Strat guy). In my research on pickups I called the DiMarzio company with some questions about their pickups. Of course I asked about the Super 2's and we got to talking about Jerry's tone. Interestingly, the DiMarzio tech (who seemed to know his stuff) commented that Jerry achieved his tone IN SPITE of the Super 2s, not because of the Super 2s!

Bill, tgo
 #164875  by playingdead
 Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:33 pm
I don't use the Line 6 stuff but I do use an $1100 Fractal AX8 floorboard into a monitor for everything -- amp, pedals, speakers. Was thinking about this after reading the thread here ... I think it also depends to a certain extent on how you are interacting with your equipment. I opted for something very lightweight and consistent that I could hear well onstage without shredding my ears or busting my back loading in and out. In my instance, I play acoustic guitar just about every day but the only time I pick up an electric -- or play any Grateful Dead music at all really -- is the 2 or 3 times a month that the band is gigging. At those moments, for me, it's all about hearing and interacting with the guitar. And, I've found, the guitar needs to be right -- heavy wood, Super IIs, Mike's buffer. No cutting corners there. I don't mind 11 pounds all night, I'm used to it now. But all the gear pretty much lives in the garage until it's gig time.

If I were set up in my home studio with a GD rig, and was recording and practicing all the time then I would have the real deal and enjoy the heck out of it. As long as I didn't have to move it or turn it up to concert volumes.

Some guys are strictly into the guitar -- practicing, scales, modes, theory. Some guys are super heavy into gear, trying out new amps, pedals. Some guys like both. Some play at home exclusively, others only play out live. No wrong answers here. I take what I can get out of my fingers -- through osmosis for the most part as I am self taught and wouldn't know a dorian mode if I fell over one -- and I live with the modeler because onstage, I just want to hear myself and enjoy playing with the band. I think its akin to what the keyboard guys go through ... if you want to sound just like Brent in 1985, then you're hauling about a 1000 pounds of B3, Leslie and Yamaha GS-1 synth. Or you can save your back with a Nord Electro and be "close enough to pretend."

This is the Nord and the Fractal ; )



I would love to be in a situation like DSO and have someone moving my gear around 150 shows a year but it ain't happening!

So, look at your playing situation, and use it if you need it, if you don't just pass it on : )
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 #164892  by Lephty
 Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:41 am
My primary motivation for going the Helix route is protecting my hearing. I'll be 49 in a few weeks (33 years of playing in the bands), and just in the last year or so, I've been noticing that my ears seem to be getting more sensitive...the ringing has gotten worse, and even after a relatively low-volume gig, I really notice it.

On top of that, just in the last few weeks, I've done gigs doing Dead songs, Phish songs, Steely Dan songs, original country/Americana songs, acoustic folk/bluegrass songs, and tomorrow morning I'm doing a set of Beatles songs. I can walk into any of these rehearsals & gigs with my Helix in one hand and my guitar in the other, and I can get good tones at low volumes. I can certainly understand why a lot of guys would not be happy going this route, but for me it has been an incredible tool.