#168728  by wpmartin1979
 Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:21 pm
Hello everyone! I'm a long time head, now father of 4, living in rural Wisconsin. I grew up in L.A. and have always been into Dead music. In my spare time I transcribe Jerry Solos by ear and learn to play them best I can note for note. Then, I take what I learned and arrange my own solo for the song; the one rule being not to steal any of Jerry's licks by using them in the same place, time, etc. (Sometimes I will use a lick in a different context for my own arrangement)

Anyway.... I recently took the leap and got on the waiting list for the Eastwood Tiger tribute. I was interested in seeing how close I could dial in the exact tones that I am hearing when I transcribe the solos (with access to the split coil hum buckers and OBEL).
I received the guitar in the mail the other day. I was wondering if anyone else received one and what their impressions are? Here are my first impressions:
Pros:
1. Only cost $1500
2. I really like that it is a "tribute" and not an exact copy. i.e. doesn't have the inlays, etc. I like that it is plain but in the shape of the original
3. I like the extended fret board and access to the higher octave of notes for solos
4. Like that I can now experiment and find out what a guitar with an active buffer and OBEL is capable o
4. overall seems like a solid built guitar for a decent price

So,so's:
1.I'm having trouble dialing in the level of the buffer pre amp. I just can't really get it to sound that great to my ears. Not sure how to get "unity gain" as the real tiger had it
2. Not sure how high to have the pickups from the strings. I keep adjusting but between that and the gain adjustment I am driving myself crazy trying to dial in the perfect levels
3. Running my overdrive pedals through the OBEL totally changes the nature of the pedals. They are like totally different beasts and need to be cranked up really high to get adequate volume in the OBEL (MXR vintage distortion Plus (modded for more full sound by modest mike), Boss OD-2). Hard to make the adjustment from what I am used to with my Strat going into the pedals
4. Pickups seem so, so - I mean why not put DiMarzio Super 2's and SDS-1 in it (after all its a Jerry Garcia Guitar and a lot of his tone comes from those specific pickups)

Cons:
1.Fret buzzing, guitar is not set up properly when it arrives
2. Brass nut is really crude and cause buzzing on open G and B strings
3. Can't seem to dial in the preamp/buffer so that my pedals sound clean, loud and clear

I have already ordered the Dimarzio pickups to replace the ones that came with the guitar. I will also have the guitar professionally set up so that it gets dialed in perfectly.

Anyone have any advice for using the gain/preamp and adjusting the levels to find unity gain? Also, anyone have any tips for maximizing the tone from your pedals through the OBEL?

I was thinking down the road I might replace the pre-amp buffer with one from Wald Electronics - do you think that would be a good move? Would it improve the tone/sound?

Thanks for reading! Hope all is well for everyone right now :)
Will
 #168730  by lbpesq
 Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:04 pm
While I have no experience with the Eastwood Tiger, unity gain is usually accomplished by turning the trimpot on the pre-amp all the way down. You really aren’t looking to get boost. Rather, with unity gain, the pre-amp/buffer is giving you a fuller, more present tone, rather than more volume, and converting the high impedance output of the pickups to a low impedance signal.

As for your pedals, you should expect them to act a little differently as they are now seeing a stronger signal. That’s the whole concept behind the OBEL circuit. The pedals always see the same signal from the guitar, so it is easier to get consistent tone from the pedals from one gig to the next. It does seem a little strange that you are finding yourself turning the pedals up. Logically, you should be needing to turn them down. Are you hearing much change in volume when you turn the OBEL circuit on and off while all the pedals are turned off?

Bill, tgo
 #168732  by wpmartin1979
 Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:42 pm
Bill! Thanks so much for the reply ... ok so all the way down, wow, I never thought of that, I will try it right away and see what happens :-)
About the pedal thing:
Yeah so with my Strat plugged into the pedals then to the amp, the settings on my pedals (on the MXR) for example were around 2 o clock gain and 10 o clock distortion. This gave me a fairly clean tone but right on the edge of breakup for the intense notes (think 4-12-78 Bertha solo).
But with the Eastwood through the OBEL I need to have the gain all the way maxed and the distortion all the way down to get the correct level of volume, however there is still too much distortion/break up for my taste even with the distortion all the way down. So it's like the pedal is getting a stronger signal but at a lower volume. Not sure if that makes sense. For the Boss over drive, same thing, I can't have the drive turned up at all or there is too much break up, even if it is on a little bit, but the level knob needs to go higher to get the right volume.
I will try turning the buffer all the way down and see what happens. Maybe it will fix all these issues.

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Anyone else get an Eastwood Tiger? Anyone .... anyone ... lol!
 #168734  by wpmartin1979
 Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:07 pm
Update:
Ok, so I turned the gain on the buffer all the way down, here's what happened:

1. Everything sounded fine playing the guitar through the amp, but when I activated the OBEL switch (with no effects turned on) the volume dropped considerably.

2. When I turned on one of my overdrive pedals it was hardly audible at all.

3. I then started turning the gain up little by little and playing a chord with the switch off, then on. In all cases (at all gain levels) the volume dropped when I switched to the OBEL.

4. I was not able to achieve and equal signal at any level of the gain adjustment. It always dropped when I switched on the OBEL at the guitar

I am using an OBEL switch box that I ordered from American Loopers on eBay. I am wondering if there could be an issue with that box if the signal is dropping when the OBEL is activated?

Otherwise, I am starting to wonder if my guitar has a problem? If so, I am glad there is a generous return window at Eastwood.

Or is the volume supposed to drop when switched to the OBEL? lol

Thoughts?
 #168735  by Jon S.
 Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:32 pm
Welcome to RUKIND. I hope you stick around!

IF you otherwise love the guitar, putting some extra $$ into it to get it "right" is something many have done with guitars we basically like but that need some TLC to be perfect. If this is the case, it might be worth having an experienced "Jerry guitars" tech (several post in this forum) check it out.

IF, on the other hand, you're on the fence with the guitar overall, were I in that position, I'd return it.
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 #168737  by wpmartin1979
 Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:03 pm
Jon S. wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:32 pm
Welcome to RUKIND. I hope you stick around!

IF you otherwise love the guitar, putting some extra $$ into it to get it "right" is something many have done with guitars we basically like but that need some TLC to be perfect. If this is the case, it might be worth having an experienced "Jerry guitars" tech (several post in this forum) check it out.

IF, on the other hand, you're on the fence with the guitar overall, were I in that position, I'd return it.
Thank you for the warm welcome, the sage advice and the calm wisdom.
I guess I'll wait and see if any one with any tech "know how" can chime in possibly on this thread and then go from there. Like I said, I live in a rural area and I am sure there are guitar techs in the more urban areas but not sure about Dead heads with OBEL knowledge around here since I just moved two years ago from Cali.
 #168738  by lbpesq
 Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:17 pm
No Will, the volume should not drop when you engage the OBEL. Let’s try and isolate the problem. First, does the problem happen regardless of which pedal or pedals is in the OBEL chain? If it does, the first thing I would try is to get the switch box out of the equation.

I assume you are using a stereo TRS 1/4” cable from the guitar to the switch box, and two mono 1/4” cables from the out of the box to pedal(s), and back to the box. What you need to make, or buy, is a cable with a stereo TRS plug at one end that splits into two mono plugs at the other. If this rig works, your problem is the switch box. If the problem persists, it’s in the guitar.

Also, if you are handy with a soldering iron, you can even wire a stereo TRS plug to complete the OBEL circuit itself.

Bill, tgo
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 #168741  by wpmartin1979
 Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:49 am
lbpesq wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:17 pm
No Will, the volume should not drop when you engage the OBEL. Let’s try and isolate the problem. First, does the problem happen regardless of which pedal or pedals is in the OBEL chain? If it does, the first thing I would try is to get the switch box out of the equation.

I assume you are using a stereo TRS 1/4” cable from the guitar to the switch box, and two mono 1/4” cables from the out of the box to pedal(s), and back to the box. What you need to make, or buy, is a cable with a stereo TRS plug at one end that splits into two mono plugs at the other. If this rig works, your problem is the switch box. If the problem persists, it’s in the guitar.

Also, if you are handy with a soldering iron, you can even wire a stereo TRS plug to complete the OBEL circuit itself.

Bill, tgo
Thank You Bill!!! Problem has been solved thanks to your advice. I began isolating and it led me to the culprit!

Culprit = cheap (inadequate) TRS cable

So I purchased two different TRS cables from amazon, both of them were inexpensive. I had been using one of them randomly for no reason really. When I switched to the other cable (made by Donner) I instantly got equal volume between my guitar (straight to amp) and OBEL (switched on) signals :)

Who would have known that a cable can make such a huge difference? That is my main takeaway from this long strange trip. I may consider investing in some seriously high quality TRS cable now.

Next I followed your advice and turned the gain all the way down on the buffer preamp. The results were good. Everything runs at equal volume now and my pedals aren't doing the clipping/distortion thing anymore. Doug Irwin's website says that the buffer on Jerry's Tiger was set to unity gain, so that's where I want mine as well. Don't need the extra boost, especially when it causes clipping.

I compared with my Strat straight into the pedals and the sound is pretty close to the same (different pickups obviously, so a little different).

Another cool thing is that with the OBEL, I can now control the tone of the pedals through the tone knobs on the guitar. Its like adding a tone knob to each of your pedals.

So all is good in the land of the Eastwood Tiger! A couple of days ago I ordered the HubBub Stage Pro OBEL box from Godfrey Daniels. It will allow me to keep the Tiger plugged in through the OBEL, but also plug my Strat straight into the board and switch between the two guitars with a foot switch! How cool is that? I will be able to go between Europe '72 and Cornell with the flip of a switch!

Also excited to get those DiMarzio pickups in this thing and get the guitar set up.

Thanks again Bill!
 #168742  by Jon S.
 Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:15 am
wpmartin1979 wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:49 am
A couple of days ago I ordered the HubBub Stage Pro OBEL box from Godfrey Daniels. It will allow me to keep the Tiger plugged in through the OBEL, but also plug my Strat straight into the board and switch between the two guitars with a foot switch! How cool is that?
Godfrey not only makes great junction boxes, he's a totally cool cat. I own a pair of his boxes and a pair of his cables. In well over a decade they have never given me a moment's pause. Your post, though, makes me want to also cop a Stage Pro, too!

[Disclaimer: I'm a Godfrey Daniels Guitarworks Artist, along with Steve Kimock, Scott Walker, and Andrew Olsen, among others. http://hubbubpedal.com/artists/]
Last edited by Jon S. on Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #168746  by lbpesq
 Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:44 am
Glad I could be of assistance. I’ve certainly gained more useful info from this forum than I’ve provided, so it’s nice to offer something that helps. Enjoy that Tiger, and how about some pics?

Bill, tgo
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 #168749  by wpmartin1979
 Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:53 am
lbpesq wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:44 am
Glad I could be of assistance. I’ve certainly gained more useful info from this forum than I’ve provided, so it’s nice to offer something that helps. Enjoy that Tiger, and how about some pics?

Bill, tgo
[https://www.flickr.com/photos/191244016 ... ed-public/][/img]
[https://www.flickr.com/photos/191244016 ... ed-public/][/img]
[https://www.flickr.com/photos/191244016 ... ed-public/][/img]
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 #168752  by wpmartin1979
 Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:56 am
Ok so pics were a bust, but here’s a link to a YouTube video of me playing the Eastwood Tiger. I’m playing my arrangement of

Eastwood Tiger Demo:
Bertha solo circa ‘78 - Middle Pup Clean + Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster (6db) + Milkman The Amp + JBL e120 original cone

https://youtu.be/eKmaXgoq-HY

Sorry for the poor phone mic on this, but you can at least get an idea of how the pickups sound
Last edited by wpmartin1979 on Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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