Recommendations for Amp and Cabinets to use for Grateful Dead / Phish

Anyone out there using the quad cortex to play jam band songs from the likes of the dead or phish? Would you please share what amplifiers and cabinets you’re using in the quad cortex?


The Dead just smoked some weed and played. :rofl: Funny though. Their first couple albums were my favs and they were more psychedelic.

I’ll be working on PRS J-MOD 100 profiles as soon as my Quad Cortex arrives (hopefully later this month). That should be a good start. I’ll post back here when they’re ready.


When I try to build a tone to match one of the pros, I try to find their signal path, and build a patch to match, then tweak as needed. I found the link below. It’s not straight forward, but it seems if you used a Twin amp block, bring the sag way up to mimic the McIntosh tube power amp, and use some similar FX, you will get pretty close. Of course a similar guitar and good skills will help too.

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He used a modded fender Twin Reverb amp with preamp outputs going to a McIntosh 2300 amp. He later switched to a Groove Tube Trio sometime in the early '90’s.

As with all Fenders, especially the Twins, they are bass heavy. Garcia rolled off the bass to about 2 on his Twins and set the mids anywhere from 5 to 8 with the treble usually at 9 or dimed (couldn’t find a decent picture of the Twins). I would recommend this to achieve his more cleaner trebly sound but you will also need to add an EQ and roll off the lows (up to 100-125hz and the highs at 8k or higher depending on taste).

He also does this with the GT Trio as shown here:

You can even get a good idea of the other gear and settings he uses in his rack. I have listed them below in chronological order.

I am sure you can find comparable effects in the QC…with the possible exception of the Mutron III. I have not purchased the QC yet, but will soon so I don’t know if they sampled one and how it will sound. I own just about every guitar software program you can find and I have yet to find a decent rendition of the Mutron.

For now I am using Neural’s Cory Wong Plugin via Reaper (DAW) to run my Garcia rig. I use the Dumble designed amp and swap the 3 cabs for different sonics. The plugin has an envelop filter (I don’t use), nice transparent compression and 2 OD’s with different sonics. The envelop filter can get close to the Mutron , but just not close enough. I do use the delay and reverb as well. I would normall just run it in Stand Alone except that I need one other plugin to get the Mutron III sound.

Unfortunately NDSP said that you will not be able to load 3rd partly plugins, which makes sense since the QC is not a DAW, but I will need another work around should the QC be unable to attain the sound. Fortunately I found a solution that is hardware based: go to the new Mutron site (google) and grab a Micro-Tron IV that you can put in the effects loop.

I hope this helps!

Garcia’s Effects.
MXR Distortion + Script Logo for leads and gain.
MXR Analog Delay- the green one with 3 knobs.
MXR Phase 100 Script logo -( think candyman lead)
Mutron lll envelope filter- there is no other like it.
Mutron Octave Divider

In the 80’s he changed the Mutron Octave Divider out for a Boss OC-2 octave divider. He ran his without the stabilizer and without the ring modulator on.

The gain /distortion sound went to a Boss HM-2, that’s right Heavy Metal 2. He also added a BOSS OS-2 Overdrive/Distortion PEDAL and a Overdrive pedal, OD-1 both these pedals are yellow. After each of these he placed a Boss GE-7 Graphic Equalizer to shape the sounds of these pedals.

For a delay in the 80’s and 90’s he used an ADA 2FX which is actually a digital multi effects unit from the early 80’s. He had this unit modified so that he could control the length of the delay and the regeneration with foot pedals. Those two knobs were actually missing from his rack unit. He used Ernie Ball foot pedals to sweep these parameters.

For Speakers he used JBL E120s stacked in a vertical cabinet in four then eventually three speaker configurations.

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