#166201  by Benjamos86
 Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:29 am
Hi there everyone!

This is my first post on this forum. I’ve frequented other posts but have yet to start a thread. I figured this topic would be as good as any for a first!

So I’ve been playing guitar for about 8-9 years, and The Dead is a big influence on me. I was listening to my Europe 72 LP the other day and every time I do I’m always so taken back by the clean Jerry tone from this era. I’ve read over multiple forums about small Jerry rigs and I am aware of the common setups that people recommend (SMS JG, MC50, JBL). While I would love to try this route, the MC50s seem to be pretty hard to come by and quite pricey. So, that brings me to where I’m at currently.

I have had a 68 custom Princeton reverb reissue for a couple years now, and I really love it. I don’t think it’s the best thing for Jerry by itself, but I play a lot of other stuff too and I think it’s a great little tube combo. Mine is basically all stock. Though I’m planning to swap the speaker to a Jupiter 10sc and also swap out the noisy ruby reverb tank for a MOD long decay tank. I use a 59 AVRI Strat with a maple neck and absolutely love this guitar. I’ll never let this one go. It’s all stock and I honestly see no need to modify it whatsoever.

A few weeks back, my uncle hit me up and said he had an old Carvin SX200 amp (2x12, 100 w combo) that he wasn’t using, and said if I wanted it I could take it. I’m not one to pass up free gear so I snatched it up! I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about Carvin before getting this, but it seems like they used to be pretty popular and were well known for quality gear. I have seen people mention the Carvin DCM200L on here too as a backup to the MC50.

What I’m wondering, is basically whether or not it would be worth it to throw some JBL speakers in the Carvin or not. Also I’m curious about the D123 JBL speakers and how well they will work for Jerry tones. There is a guy selling two on reverb right now for 240 for the pair. Can anyone comment on these as they relate to the tone we all know and love?

Anyone on here have much experience with these amps? The clean channel is all I really use on it, and then I have a pedal board for effects. I believe the speakers in the Carvin amp are Celestion GT12-75s which are supposed to compare to greenbacks from what I can tell. It sounds nice, but I don’t think they are appropriate for Jerry tones.

My actual intent is to build a switchable wet dry rig with the Carvin and the Princeton by means of a quality ABY box (gigrig ABY BABY or a Lehle P-split ii). I think this could end up being a killer set up! I would run all my wet effects to the Princeton ( and use the Princeton’s on board reverb) and then keep the Carvin dry (gain stages only).

What do you guys think? It was a free amp, but I’m not fully convinced on throwing a few hundred bucks at it in speakers just yet. Any cheaper options for Jerry tone speakers? I’m thinking the answer is “no” as I’ve continuously read that the metal dust cap JBLs are absolutely crucial for his tone.

I appreciate any input!



Here is my pedal board set up. I am changing it from time to time as my mood strikes (right now it’s very Hendrixy) but the current set up is:

CM95 Cry Baby Wah>
JPTR FX Silver Machine Fuzz - this thing is wild!>
Monsterpiece Scratchy Snatch Fuzz (FF clone)>
Wilson Haze Univibe clone>
3Leaf Proton V3>
DOD rubberneck delay-awesome pedal!>
TC ditto looper

Definitely not a Jerry board by any means, but lately I’ve been contemplating letting go of the silver machine to pick up an OD like the earth drive. My board is at max capacity (for some reason, I really dig big obnoxious pedals). So I’ll either have to sell off one or two or get a bigger board to expand (obviously would prefer the latter).


Let me know what you guys think. Thanks!
 #166203  by czyfingers
 Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:55 am
Hey...I can't really comment on the Carvin because I'm not familiar with it. But the JBL D123 speakers are great. I have a couple and I often have one in my Deluxe Reverb and it sounds great. They're a pretty well kept secret and usually less expensive than the E or K. The only thing is, you can't pump 300 watts into them like you can with the others...especially the E's. They don't have the same high power rating. But as long as you're not looking to play at stadium stage volumes they get the job done nicely.
 #166204  by Benjamos86
 Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:11 pm
Heyyyy czyfingers thanks for the reply!

Good to know those speakers are a viable option! I definitely don’t see myself playing stadiums anytime soon :P so the need for 300w power handling capability isn’t really there. I mostly play at home, especially since I have two little ones running around. Hopefully I’ll be able to start playing out a bit sometime next year!

Thanks again for the reply.
 #166362  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:07 pm
I can't comment on the SX200 as I've never met one. Regarding the JBL D123, that's a special guitar speaker. It has the motor (voice coil) from the smaller D110/K110 series. It's a smaller 3" voice coil and has a much higher resonance than the 4" voice coil we all know and recognize from Jerry's tone. I find the 3" voice coils in the JBL line to be quite a different sound in the high treble, sweeter, crisper, higher. I wouldn't say it does a good "Jerry" as the 4" voice coil really is THAT SOUND. But the D123 is a sweet and musical speaker if you feed it the right signal. If you feed it that excessively bright Jerry sound, it may be just too crisp and thin and glassy on the very top, almost like a tweeter or an acoustic instrument in comparison. But on its own, if you feed it a nice tone from your electronics, the D123 is great.

BUT - the D123 is rated at something like 25 watts, so be careful with anything more powerful than a Deluxe Reverb. It would take very little to pop a D123 and it'll be gone forever.