#166464  by NeilG1
I am certainly not an expert on this, but did go through this recently.
First, there are several detailed threads on this in Jerry Tone. Search “newbie” and you’ll find the collective wisdom of the people who really know.
The advice I was given, was start with a strat and a good JBL speaker and go from there. The JBL seems to be critical, and I certainly love my D120. As I was told this gets you “90% there”.
Amps become more of a debate, but for easy, I had a lot of recommendations for a Deluxe Reverb Reissue. In the end I got a Quilter 101 Reverb. I know there is some compromise there from real tubes, but depending on your needs it’s amazing. There are lots of threads about them here, and some really experienced heads use them (check video from Jerry’s Middle Finger, for example).
After that I get out of my depth - of course you can look into guitar mods, more classic amps (BF twin reverb, MacIntosh power amps, etc). Then the discussion of effects (personal vote for Brian’s Thick Air pedal from IO guitars).
And of course, you then have the small matter of learning to actually play like the man himself 8)

My novice view of a simple place to start....
joshq, BOUKINATOR liked this
 #166465  by ac4468
Well the Strat and JBL advice is pretty agreed upon as a great starting place. While those recommending a DR are right on IMO. I'm a huge Quilter fan and own a 101 reverb and a Mach II. If it were not for the weight and portability factor (which is important to me) I would pursue the usual Fendery preamp into a separate SS amp. The 101 is a great little head but it is not the ideal choice. Almost every reference to Quilter as being a great option is in reference to the Mach II head into a JBL type speaker. Garrett at JMF uses a Mach II into a Commonwealth or E120. The two amps are different animals altogether. After that there are millions of options and combinations and lots of searchable threads on the topic. Without getting into the tone is in your fingers debate, I would give some thought to what era's sound you are looking to achieve and then search the threads and ask the question again. It will save you from getting 50 different opinions which may all be correct but not relevant to your own personal rabbit hole :-) The only common thread for most of his tone eras is the JBL. Good luck!
 #166466  by bzbz
Hi! This is indeed a rabbit hole - here is the most important thing I can tell you:

All the equipment in the world will never make up for your technique, touch sensitivity, phrasing, creativity, etc - the truth is that Garcia-type gear actually accentuates sloppy playing, especially if you use a JBL-type speaker - there is little room to hide.... so practice! The gear should serve you, not dominate you -

That being said, you are getting good advice - a Strat - or, really any Strat-type of guitar (single coil capability, and a neck scale length longer than 25") is a solid starting point.

I use JBLs, but I think, to start, a clean Fender twin-style amp will suit you, even with stock speakers (at first). It ought to be a tube amp (though nowadays, even that is debatable), and reverb ought to be part of the amp.

Quite frankly, practice playing clean through that guitar and that amp - muddying up tone with pedals will detract from your setup.

Then, simple pedals, such as delay, overdrive, and a phase shift will suffice.
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 #166468  by BOUKINATOR
Great info so far. I would not have thought to go the strat route.

I'm playing a stock Deluxe Reverb (2013) so maybe I'll start on the amp side (JBLs and what not). I think it would make the most sense to have someone build it for me, suggestions? (Chicago)
 #166470  by Bigfoot Co.
4 space shallow rack case

Sarno SMS Classic preamp JG Mod ($625 on sale now!)

Mosvalve MV 962 power amp

1x12(or 2x12) HT style speaker cab (pretty sure ac4468 makes some very nice cabs,)

JBL 120 (K,D or E) I like the K , but I am not pushing the volume like some do.

IMO unless you are going to go full custom, Jerrified strat is the most cost efficient way to go with the guitar. In the sea of compromise that is "off the rack" stuff, I think the strat probably gets you as close as anything. Search "Mattsoncaster" on this forum- Brad Sarno built a few for Jeff Mattson of DSO years back, did an amazing job as you would expect.

This is gonna get you in the ballpark for about $2K +/-, less if you've already got a strat to maasacre. The next step beyond this is you are spending quite a bit more for a custom guitar, mcintosh power amp, twin in a head, roadie to carry your shit, etc....

Have fun and good luck!
 #166471  by bzbz
the Strat route is good because it has a middle single coil pickup and a long neck scale length - both important to "our" preferred tone. Also, Strats are easy to mod, given a good tech. so that pickups, wiring, etc., can always be improved.
 #166472  by ac4468
BOUKINATOR wrote:Great info so far. I would not have thought to go the strat route.

I'm playing a stock Deluxe Reverb (2013) so maybe I'll start on the amp side (JBLs and what not). I think it would make the most sense to have someone build it for me, suggestions? (Chicago)
If you're talking about getting an amp rig with separate pre/amp/cabinet then I can help with the speaker cabs. I still have 2 - 1x12 and several 2x12 HT style cabs available.
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 #166474  by BOUKINATOR
Thanks again everybody. Looks like I might want to find a Mac amp and a JBL 120 in a cabinet. I'll worry about the guitar later.

So, I have no idea where to look. Does anyone know someone (preferably near Chicago) that builds these things for people?
 #166486  by sw72
Jim - Pat McKeever at Chicago Fret Works could do this. He already makes boutique Fender recreations. Would not be a stretch for him to custom make a portable gig worth high end single speaker black face twin. Another option less local is Dan Lurie at FYD. He makes a Trips 44 combo this is exactly a Jerry Garcia Modified Black Face twin with a JBL 120 (D,E,F) speaker in it. Very good product I have one. I also have a lot of experience with Pat. Neither is going to be a disappointment.
BOUKINATOR liked this
 #166492  by kurt eye
If you are on a budget like most people you can do it in steps.

Most everything I have is from Craigslist or Reverb unless otherwise noted:

I started out with an American strat I got for $500
I then got a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe for $375
I promptly added a JBL K-120 $250ish - don't wait on this.
I constantly trolled CL for good deals on Jerry style pedals which typically cost between $50 and $200:
Boss OD-2 Turbo (I use this for overdrive)
Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal (I use this for distortion)
Boss OC-2 Octave
MxR Script Phaser
MxR Carbon Copy Digital Delay
Modded Vox Wah
3 Leaf proton envelope filter

I upgraded the pickups in the strat to David Allen Voodoos (new - $250ish)

I sold the Hot Rod Deluxe (but kept the JBL of course) and bought an SMS (new - $700) and a Carvin DMC200L(new$250) and put them in a combo box I built.

The SMS was a significant piece of the tone IMO. It ads a distinctive "cluck" type tone.

I eventually sold my strat and bought a Troy Post Wolf (new- $1900)- which I love

I then had to try a McIntosh. I got an MC-250 for $600ish. I found my Mcintosh to be nice but a little muddy sounding to my ear. It had newer caps but perhaps could have used some additional work. I ended up selling it because the tone difference did not justify the added weight and hassle compared to by SMS/Carvin combo box.

My wolf came with an onboard CAE buffer and OBEL set up. I had issues with the CAE buffer that I had to constantly troubleshoot. I was going through batteries like crazy. I got fed up and took it out and decided to just go with a buffer pedal. I put a bona fide buffer pedal ($50) at the beginning of the pedal chain. I like not having to constantly put batteries in my guitar and I like using a single ordinary guitar cable. Though OBEL will give you the full volume effect at any volume with your pedal chain, its a nice to have, but not a have to have.
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 #166494  by sugarinthegourd
I’ve heard that about the CAE buffer eating batteries. I bet they used something like a TL071 where they could have used, say, a TL061 which uses FAR less power, and there would be no downside in its use as a unity gain buffer. Maybe you’ve given up but if not: is the opamp socketed?

[EDIT: I see it’s not socketed and what’s more the markings are sanded off the chip in the photo online. But I bet that’s what they did, which is unfortunate. Good reason to use Waldo’s buffer instead.]
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 #166495  by sugarinthegourd
I recently got a used Quilter Aviator Gold at a very good price and have just put a JBL 2130 into it. Sounds great and I think with a good Strat* gets me very close to ’72 tones. I have no doubt that it would do very well with a Wolf or Tiger style guitar as well.

The digital reverb is pretty stinky though. I love reverb so I’m going to see if something like a Catalinbread Topanga does a better job.

Here’s a Quilter (different model but gives you a sense of how good they can sound for JG): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nMfd_XnxyUM

* I’m surprised at how close I can even get with a Tele, with some vol & tone knob manipulation.
 #166496  by kurt eye
sugarinthegourd wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:26 am ... Good reason to use Waldo’s buffer instead.]
I agree. When I ordered the optional buffer install from Troy Post, I asked for a Wald buffer. In fact, when I started to have troubles I messaged Waldo with pictures who informed me that my buffer was a CAE. Dooh!