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View Full Version : Jerry Garcia Single Coil Pickups in Wolf - Fall 1977 -> May 1978


cmc64
09-22-2013, 12:59 AM
Hey all,

After extensive use of the search feature here and over at rukind (and much discussion) - I have reached an impasse. In the Alligator guitar and the early Wolf, Garcia used stock Strat pickups and a Stratoblaster (amongst other gear and technique, technique, technique) but in the Fall of 1977 when he went back to the Wolf after the Travis Bean affair (Irwin had done some refinishing) he was using a Strat-style single coil pickup. There is speculation that these were made by Bill Lawrence but after speaking with Bill and Becky they are not sure.

I know that you can get pretty darn close to those earlier tones with the D Allen Voodoo 69's, but does anyone have the slightest idea what was in the Wolf right before the switch to the DiMarzio DualSounds in June of 1978? Or even something that will get one pretty darn close? That clean/dirty slightly overdriven tone that you hear in the JGB stuff from March 1978 and the following April /May GD tour is the elusive tone I can't not for the life of me seem to track down.

Any help would be so greatly appreciated. I have the JBL K-120's, Fender front end and the McIntosh (working on the technique) - but no one seems to know what those pup's were. I recently heard an interview from 10/02/1977 and Jerry mentioned them and said he didn't even know what they were (which I found a bit odd as he was so meticulous about his gear).

Anyway, please shed some light if you have any info at all.

Thanks for the space!

Cheers,

cmc64

imastratoholic
09-22-2013, 01:03 AM
I'm signed up to find out too.

Jon Silberman
09-22-2013, 08:44 AM
Every hear of Google? (Hey, relax, just pullin' yer legs!) ;)

Start here: http://www.wald-electronics.com/wolf.html

Then go here, register, and the search function will take you to all of the presently existing knowledge on this topic from the people who know: http://www.rukind.com/forum/index.php

Jon Silberman
09-22-2013, 08:48 AM
ds in June of 1978? Or even something that will get one pretty darn close? That clean/dirty slightly overdriven tone that you hear in the JGB stuff from March 1978 and the following April /May GD tour is the elusive tone I can't not for the life of me seem to track down.
And here's a "fish," I mean post, to get you going (hint - those tones you seek may not have been predominantly due to the PUPs): http://www.rukind.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=419&t=14506&p=129873&hilit=Wolf+pickups#p129873

Re: Jerry's 77/ early 78 tone
Post by waldo041 Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:20 pm

A lot of changes happening in this period. From the the new OBEL and first steady use of effects other then a wah in his arsenal, to the reintroduction of Wolf. Then Wolf gets the blaster put in once the OBEL gets an in/out switch which requires the db's to be raised for matched levels on both sides of the switch. Then he actually puts humbuckers in Wolf. Like the changes to Alligator in an attempt to find what he actually wanted out of a guitar, this period represents what he actually wanted from the effects side of things and culminates in Aug of 1979 with the introduction of Tiger, new buffer preamp and the new Cutler effects rack and switching system. The pickups get switched out, an occasional effect gets swapped out and a different power amp may be utilized for a brief period, but this Tiger/80's rack stays a constant for the next 11 years. And then it pretty much stays the same with only an addition of the midi system which was it's own rig in parallel with it. I agree that 77/78 were pretty big years on the equipment front for Jerry.

McQuade
09-22-2013, 10:31 AM
they aren't just the same alligator strat pickups that were in it in 73/74?

cmc64
09-22-2013, 12:23 PM
And here's a "fish," I mean post, to get you going (hint - those tones you seek may not have been predominantly due to the PUPs): http://www.rukind.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=419&t=14506&p=129873&hilit=Wolf+pickups#p129873

Thanks for your reply. I have been chasing the late 1970's tones for some time now and I have the whole thing laid out at this point - Wolf with blaster post volume, then OBEL added and Blaster moved to pre-volume (just as the UGB would be placed in Tiger, Rosebud and the Cripe guitars). I have a true bypass system set up with all of the period correct effects - and I know that to really get the tone (beyond technique) is to drive the hell out of the MCIntosh and JBL's. To sum up, we are all on the same page concerning Garcia's tone evolution.

I do know, however, that when he got Wolf back with the OBEL (minus a swtich, i believe and with the Gibson knobs) for Fall 1977 until he swtiched to the DualSounds (and SDS-1) in June of 1978 he was not using a stock Strat pickup. Waldo throught they might have been made by Bill Lawrence and when I called him he said he did set Jerry up with pickups but without actually seeing the pickup in the flesh he could not tell which one it was (or if it was actually his that was used on stage during that time)

I know i will never hit that tone spot on - i am just curious if anyone knew what pup's those single coils were.

cmc64
09-22-2013, 02:52 PM
I put in a post a bit earlier but it does not seem to have appeared. To rehash, thanks for the reply! And in summation, we are on ther same page as far as Garcia's tone/gear evolution has gone. so.....

....I see the point you are trying to make and I get it.
I have a few Strats that have been Jerrified (would love a Wolf but the budget does not currently allow for it - in time...). So a Tiger w/ Super 2's, a Wolf style with the Blaster and Dualsounds - and a single coil work in progress. It has a blaster and obel, but the pup's - bridge is an SDS-1, middle is a Super 2 converted to a single coil and the same for the bridge but a DualSound. It should be in my hand in a week or so. I may have another pair or the DualSound "singles" made to give them a try in the middle position and dig on that for a while. Trying to get a good Jerry tone that covers a few different time periods but it doesn't have to be just exactly perfect - just in the ballpark. I am a gearhead by heart and this stuff is just too much fun. Anyway, current rig is a Sarno CTP w/ Jerry mods -> McIntosh MC250 -> JBL K-120 1x12 (x2) so I have flexibility. Effects of course are the requiste MU-III, MXR 1976 Script Phase 100, 1975 Script D+, and the big green Analog Delay (the earlier model that does not have the dual outputs). Octave is the BYOC Divided Octave until I can afford the real deal but after some A/B's they realy sound damn close if not right on.

Thanks guys! Love these discussions here and on rukind!

So, give me some single coil suggestions that might get me in the ballpark. I have heard the Lollar Blackfaces can do it but have not hear a sample. The D Allen VooDoo 69's are great for 1972 -> 1975, maybe I should get some and just "blaster" them a little harder and really push those K-120's. When I think of the dream "elusive" tone I hear Mission in the Rain from 3/18/1978.

Sock it to me!!

Thanks!

Cheers,

Kyle

edit: for clarification and potential loss of a previous post.

Jon Silberman
09-25-2013, 11:03 AM
Always a pleasure to discuss Jerry's tone! Here's another potentially helpful RUKIND thread:

http://www.rukind.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=419&t=12350

And thought I'd mention, I myself have a Scarlet Fire Wolf 2.1 (example below) on order now. It will have David Allen Voodoo 69's.

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y337/softmachine72/_DSC2939_zpse88e4f14.jpg

tdarian
09-25-2013, 12:06 PM
Interesting topic. I have always really liked his tone with the Travis Bean(s), too.