Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #138543  by Rick Turner
 Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:32 pm
In the "what a long strange trip it's been" department, Mission Control, Alembic #'74-0008 is in my shop for a ground-up restoration. I'm going to document the process for Fretboard Journal.

One nice thing about the totally hacked condition (thanks, Turbo Tom...hope to ruin something you built someday!) is that the LED side dot markers still work after 40 years!

Also there is absolutely no validity to the rumor that any frets were incorrectly placed. The fingerboard lay out is fine.

Making new pickups for it based somewhat on what I was doing in the early 1970s but with some updates and tweaks.

Can't say much more about the project, but Mission Control will live again. In it's quadness...and stereosity.
 #138544  by waldo041
 Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:45 pm
Awesome news! Thanks for sharing with us here Rick!

 #138545  by TI4-1009
 Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:40 pm
 #138595  by rugger
 Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:21 am
Very cool new. Definitely brightened my morning. Question: how long do you anticipate the process taking?

John in San Diego
 #138597  by Rick Turner
 Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:20 am
This is going to take months and months. I need to replace the entire face that Turbo Tom so thoughtlessly destroyed...the center section/neck laminates as well as the koa top wings. I need to design and make new this case two wide aperture mono/stereo pickups for neck and bridge plus a quad piezo bridge, and I'll be working with John East on the electronics for the "normal" neck and bridge pickups. And I will refinish the instrument; it needs it!

I'm not going to attempt to redo the pickup switching network; it was always twitchy and extreme overkill/confusing. But it will live in two channel mode (neck on output A, bridge on B), true mag stereo mode using the neck and bridge pickups with N/S, S/N hum cancelling, and full mono/stereo/quad piezo bridge mode. The piezos I make now are far superior to the magnetic quad pickups I made in the mid 1970s for tone and separation. I think when it's done, it will be significantly better, and simpler than it was in 1974 while still having the essential features. When done, it should probably feed a six channel stereo mixer that could have direct outs on each channel, too, to be able to get the full quad experience. If I were starting from scratch, I'd probably keep all tone control circuitry off-board, but this is a least a partial one.
 #138600  by TI4-1009
 Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:49 am
Very neat.

Skimp on the shielding- we want it to still make the cool hums and buzzes when a camera comes in close- like in the GD Movie :lol:
 #138601  by HeadSpace
 Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:38 pm
Glad this valuable artifact is in the best possible hands and look forward to its restoration. One thing though.
Forgive my ignorance: Who is Turbo Tom and why/how did he mess up the mission control bass?
 #138602  by Rusty the Scoob
 Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:21 pm
Love the sound of all these plans! Very happy this bass is back in the right hands.

Very excited to see that John East is involved too, he makes the best bass preamps that are currently easily available on the retail market IMHO and I'm still grateful that he helped me wire up the second of my two ACG preamps in an unorthodox way. :hail:
 #138633  by zambiland
 Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:09 pm
This is awesome news! The question does remain. Where was this thing hiding out for so long? :-)

Thank you so much for checking in with us, Rick. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that I'm so glad it's in your hands. I have no idea who Turbo Tom is/was, but being able to rebuild it is better than not having anything to work with at all!

Glad I have a subscription to Fretboard Journal!

Out of curiosity, what sort of preamp/filters will it have? I have an ACG preamp designed by John in my Modulus and it's a great sounding preamp. At this point, I don't use the filters all that much, but the preamps has an excellent basic tone.
 #138685  by zambiland
 Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:24 pm
Rusty the Scoob wrote:I'm still grateful that he helped me wire up the second of my two ACG preamps in an unorthodox way. :hail:
How so?
 #138696  by Rusty the Scoob
 Thu May 01, 2014 6:02 am
zambiland wrote:
Rusty the Scoob wrote:I'm still grateful that he helped me wire up the second of my two ACG preamps in an unorthodox way. :hail:
How so?
I was wiring it with a bypass switch and no volume pot in a P/J so I can get some Phil tones in a pinch along with John Kahn's more traditional P tone, but it had a super loud pop/thump whenever I flipped the switch. Turns out the volume pot is needed to bleed some voltage off the output capacitor to ground, and putting a 10k ohm resistor between the output and ground did the trick nicely. John East himself chimed in on my thread with that info. :cool:
 #138706  by Rick Turner
 Thu May 01, 2014 11:39 am
Turbo Tom was a Phil roadie at one point. He'd previously worked for the McLaren F-1 team. He did a pretty great job destroying the face of Mission Control. I suspect that it happened in the days of too much Peruvian Army marching powder...days that went on way too long.