The only way I've found to get a decent Jerry tone at volume levels less than full power clipping of a power amp is to emulate amp clipping with a pedal like Mattson sometimes does with his monster Jerry rig.
I can't stress enough this clipping thing. When we have more power than we can use, we naturally find ourselves playing purely clean. When purely clean, our pick attack transients are brutal, and it's hard to get that guitar amp "feel". Sure it works for some clean type players, jazz players, whatever, but Jerry was a lot more clipped and dirty than many realize. That outrageously clear and trebly tone into a JBL does sound VERY clean, but smoothing the attack transients via clipping/distortion are critical when really rockin with a band at higher intensity levels. Sure we could get away with a gentle and clean Black Muddy River type solo or some clean finger-style stuff, but that super sweet, magical clean-ish lead tone Jerry got does depend on quite a bit of clipping. And if we can't clip our power amp, we need to clip somewhere in the signal path to get that powerfully clear and smooth result.
(Quilter comments edited, see follow up on page 3 of this thread)
For those that do like this Carvin DCM-200L, are you pushing it all the way to the distortion/clipping point? If so, do you hear a protection limiter kicking in or do you hear a little bit of clipping dirt? I'm curious. To me, that threshold where an amplifier hits the power limit and begins to distort is where the magic lies. Jerry mastered working at and around this threshold. Too quiet/clean is too sterile. To loud is too dirty. There's a sweet spot.
I've just seen way too many people get the rig all going, the right pick, pickups, buffer, pedals, preamp, strings, speakers, etc., and then get a WAY TOO LOUD power amplifier that is too loud to max out and clip. In that setting it's pretty cool to hear the truly clean side of the Jerry-tone, but when really laying into the guitar for a solo (no dirt pedals on), or for a punchy Scarlet rhythm intro, this can be a terribly harsh ice-pick in the ear, and just not harmonically rich and sweet enough on those special notes that are intended to sing sweetly. Jerry used amp and speaker distortion to get that magic sound, and unfortunately for us we need to find this action at a MUCH quieter power/loudness level. I've unquestionably had my best luck at this with a Mac Mc250 or Mc50. But I trust there are modern power amps that clip nicely at a reasonable volume.
Last edited by SarnoMusicSolutions on Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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