Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #157895  by Searing75
 Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:56 pm
bzbz wrote:How much drive do you use with it like that?
With differing gain structures, the ED settings will vary from one rig to another when used in. This spot. Set it by ear to your liking. I like a good amount of grit to my clean tone. Similar to '80-86 levels that Jerry had.
 #157898  by waldo041
 Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:01 am
Searing75 wrote: Similar to '80-86 levels that Jerry had.
Any audio examples to compare?

 #157926  by Brandon Bowlds
 Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:20 pm
I love my Earth Drive, but I don't leave it on all the time. I get plenty of gain from the my modded Twin reverb preamp. Sometimes finding the sweet spot is hard but its there.

I like the Quilter TB201 because its is a power amp but has some EQ adjustment and ability to dial in some gain. And it has loads of power and feels good and spongey without having to crank it. And its very light. That scores high for me because I gig a lot and carry my own shit. Try it before you knock it.

It is true power amp distortion? no not in the traditional sense but neither is putting an overdrive always on before your pre or clean power amp.

I personally don't think clipping the power amp is crucial to good "Jerry tone", whatever that means. besides the standard JG tone ingredients, volume is more important than anything. If you can turn up, it it will sound better. If you have to turn down, that is where challenges really start to pop up.
 #157928  by shadowboxer
 Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:05 pm
I think I've experienced the Jeff Mattson power amp clipping at one of their shows during a solo on Alabama Getaway. Wasn't that crazy about it. Wouldn't be something I'd seek at lower volume levels to be perfectly honest.
 #157942  by milobender
 Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:01 am
Kaifusha wrote:How do the Quilters play with pedals? Specifically, if anyone has used one with an Earth Drive or Q-tron (I have the big older one), I'd love to hear your reviews.
Listen to any of gdeloian's clips. It doesn't get much better for 70s Jerry/JGB.
 #157946  by SarnoMusicSolutions
 Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:09 pm
I'd like to re-address my previous opinions on the use of these Quilter amps. Pat Quilter just wrote me with a wonderfully detailed explanation of the design. Apparently, these things DO offer some forms of clipping and limiting that may actually be ideal for our Garcia-tone uses. I look forward to getting my hands on one and giving it a shot with the SMS Classic preamp - Quilter power - JBL cabinet. Very interesting. Pat Quilter is brilliant.

See text below for Pat's reply to me today.


(begin quote)

Hello Brad

Peak power management is critical to good performance of these compact
amps. The power supply technology we use has a power limit that will just
support 200 watts so we do need to manage this carefully so as to avoid
any obtrusive interference with normal playing dynamics.

The Block series has multiple means of peak power control.
--The preamp clips at a carefully designed threshold that is then managed
by the Master control, so that clipping occurs anywhere between zero and
200 watts. We build in some sag above the clip threshold but full
overdrive does increase output by another 25% or so, which exceeds 200
watts on full Master. Therefore we have more "governors" above this point.
Note that the amp remains within the normal 200W limit for Master settings
of 150 watts or less, which automatically avoids any further layers of
--When the power exceeds 200W for any reason, the power supply triggers a
limiter which gently reduces output. It only takes about 1-2 dB to get
below 200W so it's fairly imperceptible.
--If the limiter protection is still exceeded, which normally only occurs
when driving unlimited signals into the Effects Return (thus bypassing the
preamp limits), there may be brief power supply shutdowns. We try to avoid
these in normal use of course.
--If the amp overheats due to prolonged overdrive at high Master settings,
the limiter also reduces long-term power to prevent dangerous temperature
--The internal Class-D amp has a clipping headroom at 400 watts, so it
normally never clips. Its clipping would be "normal solid state" in

The preamp clipping is of course immediately obvious and part of our "tone
mojo", but the other mechanisms are relatively hard to trigger and take
quite a few minutes to kick in, even under the most extreme conditions. As
players ourselves, our primary goal is to provide good tools that don't
fight you when pushed.

Best regards

Pat Quilter
 #157955  by waldo041
 Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:07 pm
Cool, I was beginning to think you stopped reading emails. No need for a reply on my last, I got the hint loud and clear.

That said, while I do believe a good power amp is key to a good JG tone it is not as important as having a great preamp, A properly modified preamp is ideal in nailing the tone. If the preamp is correct most amps will suffice but JBL''s are a must. Jerry proved that with his use of the MC2500 and Crest he used at different points in his career. Both sounding pretty much the same as Budman, but both having more wattage and both hi-fi designed. No, the power amp is not that key to me in nailing his tone. The guys who play my amps usually just stick with the tube power section of the twin (of course i have tinkered there as well) because it is so juicy with the preamp mods I perform. Don't believe me, just ask them or better yet, LISTEN to the demos that have been posted!

 #157964  by shadowboxer
 Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:39 am
At the risk of being kicked out of the tribe, i think that if Jerry was still alive, he'd be very interested in what Mr. Quilter has developed and maybe even using it. It's the whole mad scientist in the lab, working to perfect things vibe, kind of like a modern day Owsley.
 #157965  by milobender
 Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:37 am
shadowboxer wrote:At the risk of being kicked out of the tribe, i think that if Jerry was still alive, he'd be very interested in what Mr. Quilter has developed and maybe even using it. It's the whole mad scientist in the lab, working to perfect things vibe, kind of like a modern day Owsley.
:smile: :smile: :smile:
 #157985  by waldo041
 Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:03 am
shadowboxer wrote:At the risk of being kicked out of the tribe, i think that if Jerry was still alive, he'd be very interested in what Mr. Quilter has developed and maybe even using it. It's the whole mad scientist in the lab, working to perfect things vibe, kind of like a modern day Owsley.

To each his own, no hate when i say this but.... Jerry is not alive. He played with the GD for 30 solid years as well as his own band and many other sit-ins or benefits. This left a trail of good, amazing and shitty tone. If you are after HIS tone, the equipment is pretty much known and available to try and achieve what he laid down. Some equipment may need some modifications but the actual gear is known. If anyone is after a "modern day" Jerry tone, one that some may "believe" he may have used is only speculative because again, Jerry is not here to use today's gear. And if he were, the opinion would still be out whether it was good, amazing or shitty. One thing i can guarantee though,even though he had roadies and trucks to haul it, he would not be searching for his sound based on the size or weight of the equipment. That is not saying he would not use or try some of it, I am only saying he would not have pigeon holed his options only to size or weight. And that does not mean bigger sizes or heavier gear is better, but if it is avoided because of that, a sacrifice in tone has been made.

His 90's acoustic sounding tone was only an experiment of in-ear technology and he and they tested a few avenues trying to eliminate the bleed over of the monitors on the stage in an attempt to produce the finest live show sound. That is what they did, one only needs to look at what both Phil and Bobby use today to see where the in-ear experiment led to, even in smaller rooms.

 #157997  by Staemius
 Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:40 pm
Whatever works friends. I sold my SMS in favor of a Mach II a few month ago. I also sold my pedal board in favor of an M9. Amp and pedal in one bag is quite nice. 'Solid state' and 'multi-effect pedals' are not what they once were. These are the days of miracles and wonder -- so many ways to reach the sound you want.
 #158027  by Brandon Bowlds
 Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:51 pm
I got to use the latest version of my "Jerry rig" this last Sunday.
David Taylor modified '74 Twin head>Quilter TB 201>SSP 1/4 cab with a K120. Using a diy switcher in the OBEL. In the switcher loops: OC2>Earth Drive>MAxon AF-9>Strymon Riverside>block logo Phase 100>Eventide H9.

Sounded freaking amazing. We play weekly at a club called Cosmic Charlies in Lexington, KY. The cops came first set and told us to turn down, so I declared it a win!

Seriously though, I did turn it down but the tone was still great. It had a great "feel" even though the power amp was only in btw 9 and 10 o'clock on the dial.

Love my Mach II head for grab and go but this is my A rig! (until I get my SSP 1/2 cab)

Does anybody else think the reverb of the Twin sounds better when the amp is vertical? Is this just in my head? I though maybe without gravity pulling on the springs in the middle, perhaps that made some difference, but I dunno.....