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> Historic 1960s Back Line Rigs, When amps were really loud in San Francisco
Blue Willy
post May 28 2013, 03:12 AM
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In the early days of "psychedelic rock", when back lines were not usually miked, many of us in San Francisco used really loud amps. Some, like Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane), John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service) and myself (The Charlatans), also used stereo wired guitars. (Please don't confuse the original Charlatans with those upstarts from Manchester.) All three of us were fingerstyle guitarists who wanted clean headroom.

Jorma Kaukonen used a pile of 4 Fender Twin Reverb Amps fitted with JBL speakers.

John Cipollina used a stack which typically consisted of 2 Standel 100w amps fitted with 15" Altec Lansing or JBL speakers (I'm not sure which) for the bridge pickup of his stereo wired Gibson SG. The treble pickup ran through a Fender Twin Reverb (also with Altec or JBLs) plus a Fender Showman head driving an array of Wurlitzer Brasshorn treble horns. Below on the left is illustrated his rig as displayed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. cool.gif cool.gif Too cool!

My rig wasn't nearly as powerful as John's but was still capable of tremendous volume. I ran the neck pickup through a Fender Dual Showman with 2 JBL D130F 15" speakers and the bridge pickup ran through a Fender Twin Reverb with 2 JBL D120F speakers. While Twin Reverb and Showman amps are rated by Fender at 85w RMS, it is important to remember that when using 2x8 ohm speakers wired in parallel the actual output is 115w RMS. JBL D series speakers are extremely efficient and rugged. They have 4 inch edge wound flat wire voice coils, 26 pound alnico magnets and cast aluminum frames. All of my guitars were stereo wired. My rig is pictured on the right as it appeared in Gold Star recording studio in Los Angeles during my tenure in Flamin' Groovies.

This post has been edited by Blue Willy: May 28 2013, 03:14 AM


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