|Body||Cocobolo, maple, padauk|
|Neck||Maple, padauk, with brass binding and inlay.|
|Fretboard||Ebony with pearl inlay and brass bindings; 25-1/2" scale|
|Bridge||Brass Schaller tune-o-matic style|
|Pickup(s)||One Dimarzio SDS-1 single coil (neck); two DiMarzio Super II humbuckers (mid and bridge)|
Tiger was Jerry Garcia's main guitar from 1979 to 1989. It was designed and built by Sonoma County luthier Doug Irwin. The instrument was commissioned by Garcia in 1973 following delivery of Wolf, his first major Irwin-built guitar. Upon commissioning the instrument, Garcia enjoined Irwin to "make it the way he thought was best, and don't hold back."
Throughout the design and construction process, it was provisionally designated "the Garcia". The final name came from the tiger inlaid on the preamp cover located on the guitar's top, just behind the tailpiece. The body features several layers of wood laminated together face-to-face in a configuration referred to as a "hippie sandwich" by employees of Alembic Inc., where Irwin worked for a brief period in the early 1970s. The combination of several heavy varieties of wood, plus solid brass binding and hardware resulted in an unusually heavy instrument, weighing 9.6 pounds (4.4 kg). After Garcia began using a new Irwin guitar (known as Rosebud) in December 1989, Tiger became his backup guitar.
During the Grateful Dead's final concert on July 9, 1995, a mechanical problem arose with Rosebud. Tiger was brought out and thus became the last guitar Garcia played in public.
The electronics of Garcia's Irwin guitars are unique, and feature an onboard preamp and effects loop. Much like a Stratocaster, the three pickups are selected with a five-way switch. Signal from the pickups passes through the tone controls, followed by an op-amp based buffer preamp, or unity gain buffer, which is designed to prevent signal loss due to capacitance when long cables are used. From the preamp, the signal could be routed via a mini-toggle on the guitar's face to pass through a Y-cable to Garcia's effects rack, and then back into the guitar. This onboard effects loop serves to send the full output of Tiger's pickups to the effects while allowing the guitar's volume control to vary the final output.
The effects loop could be bypassed by the aforementioned switch, sending the guitar's signal from the preamp to the volume control, and then out to Garcia's preamped (and heavily modified) Fender Twin Reverb into a McIntosh Labs MC-2300 solid state power amplifier. Tiger started with DiMarzio Dual Sound humbuckers in the middle and bridge positions with a DiMarzio SDS-1 single coil at the neck. The humbuckers were switched to Dimarzio Super II's in 1982. Each of the humbuckers is equipped with a coil cut switch.
In summation, there is one 5 way pickup selector, one master volume control, one tone control which affects the neck and bridge pickups, and one which affects the middle pickup as well as three mini toggles, two for the coil-cut of the bridge and middle pickups respectively and one for the on-board effects loop on/off.
After Garcia's death, a dispute arose between Irwin and the Grateful Dead regarding ownership of Garcia's four Doug Irwin guitars. In his will, Garcia gave possession of these instruments to Irwin. The Grateful Dead challenged whether Garcia had the right to convey title and insisted that the band owned the instruments. The parties reached a settlement in 2001 where Irwin was awarded two of the guitars, Tiger and Wolf, and the Grateful Dead took possession of the other two, Rosebud and Headless (the latter of which Garcia had never played onstage).
Irwin sold Tiger and Wolf at auction on May 8, 2002. Tiger was purchased by Jim Irsay for $957,500, including commission. Wolf was purchased by Daniel Pritzker for $789,500.
In 2017, Pritzker sold Wolf for $1.9 million at an auction to benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center. The buyer was Brian Halligan.
Jerome John Garcia was an American musician known for being the principal songwriter, lead guitarist, and a vocalist with the rock band Grateful Dead, which he co-founded and which came to prominence during the counterculture of the 1960s. Although he disavowed the role, Garcia was viewed by many as the leader of the band. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 as a member of the Grateful Dead.
A humbucker, humbucking pickup or double coil is a guitar pickup that uses two wire coils to cancel out the noisy interference picked up by coil pickups. Humbucking coils are also used in dynamic microphones to cancel electromagnetic hum. Humbuckers are one of the two main types of guitar pickups. The other is single coil.
A guitar amplifier is an electronic device or system that strengthens the electrical signal from a pickup on an electric guitar, bass guitar, or acoustic guitar so that it can produce sound through one or more loudspeakers, which are typically housed in a wooden cabinet. A guitar amplifier may be a standalone wood or metal cabinet that contains only the power amplifier circuits, requiring the use of a separate speaker cabinet–or it may be a "combo" amplifier, which contains both the amplifier and one or more speakers in a wooden cabinet. There is a wide range of sizes and power ratings for guitar amplifiers, from small, lightweight "practice amplifiers" with a single 6-inch speaker and a 10-watt amp to heavy combo amps with four 10-inch or four 12-inch speakers and a 100-watt amplifier, which are loud enough to use in a nightclub or bar performance.
A DI unit is an electronic device typically used in recording studios and in sound reinforcement systems to connect a high output impedance unbalanced output signal to a low-impedance, microphone level, balanced input, usually via an XLR connector and XLR cable. DIs are frequently used to connect an electric guitar or electric bass to a mixing console's microphone input jack. The DI performs level matching, balancing, and either active buffering or passive impedance matching/impedance bridging. DI units are typically metal boxes with input and output jacks and, for more expensive units, “ground lift” and attenuator switches.
The Gibson Les Paul is a solid body electric guitar that was first sold by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1952. The guitar was designed by factory manager John Huis and his team with input from and endorsement by guitarist Les Paul. Its typical design features a solid mahogany body with a carved maple top and a single cutaway, a mahogany set-in neck with a rosewood fretboard, two pickups with independent volume and tone controls, and a stoptail bridge, although variants exist.
Robert Hall Weir is an American musician and songwriter best known as a founding member of the Grateful Dead. After the group disbanded in 1995, Weir performed with The Other Ones, later known as The Dead, together with other former members of the Grateful Dead. Weir also founded and played in several other bands during and after his career with the Grateful Dead, including Kingfish, the Bob Weir Band, Bobby and the Midnites, Scaring the Children, RatDog, and Furthur, which he co-led with former Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. In 2015, Weir, along with former Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, joined with Grammy-winning singer/guitarist John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge, and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti to form the band Dead & Company. Dead & Company's last performance occurred on 16 July 2023 at Oracle Park in San Francisco.
The Fender Jaguar is an electric guitar by Fender Musical Instruments characterized by an offset-waist body, a relatively unusual switching system with two separate circuits for lead and rhythm, and a short-scale 24" neck. Owing some roots to the Jazzmaster, it was introduced in 1962 as Fender's feature-laden top-of-the-line model, designed to lure players from Gibson. During its initial 13-year production run, the Jaguar did not sell as well as the less expensive Stratocaster and Telecaster, and achieved its most noticeable popularity in the surf music scene. After the Jaguar was taken out of production in 1975, vintage Jaguars became popular first with American punk rock players, and then more so during the alternative rock, shoegazing and indie rock movements of the 1980s and 1990s. Fender began making a version in Japan in the mid-1980s, and then introduced a USA-made reissue in 1999. Since then, Fender has made a variety of Jaguars in America, Mexico, Indonesia and China under both the Fender and Squier labels. Original vintage Jaguars sell for many times their original price.
Music Man is an American guitar and bass guitar manufacturer. Originally formed in 1971 by Forrest White and Tom Walker, along with Leo Fender as a silent partner, the company started manufacturing electric and bass guitars under the Music Man name in 1974. In 1984 it was acquired by Ernie Ball, the subsidiary of which is branded as Ernie Ball Music Man.
A pickup is a transducer that captures or senses mechanical vibrations produced by musical instruments, particularly stringed instruments such as the electric guitar, and converts these to an electrical signal that is amplified using an instrument amplifier to produce musical sounds through a loudspeaker in a speaker enclosure. The signal from a pickup can also be recorded directly.
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A P.A.F., or simply PAF, is an early model of the humbucker guitar pickup invented by Seth Lover in 1955, so named for the "Patent Applied For" decal placed on the baseplate of each pickup. Gibson used the PAF on guitars from late 1956 until late 1962, long after the patent was granted. They were replaced by the Patent Number pickup, essentially a refined version of the PAF. These were in turn replaced by "T-Top" humbuckers in 1967, and production ended in 1975. Though it was not the first humbucking pickup ever, it was the first to gain widespread use, as the PAF's hum-free signal, tonal clarity, and touch sensitivity when paired with higher-gain amplifiers made the pickups popular with rock and blues guitarists. The PAF is an essential tonal characteristic of the now-famous 1957–1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitars, and pickups of this type have gained a large following.
DiMarzio, Inc. is an American manufacturer best known for its direct-replacement guitar pickups. The company also produces other guitar accessories, such as hardware, guitar straps, and instrument cables.
The mini-humbucker is a humbucking guitar pickup. It was originally created by the Epiphone company. The mini-humbucker resembles a Gibson PAF humbucker, but is narrower in size and senses a shorter length of string vibration. This produces clearer, brighter tones that are quite unlike typical Gibson sounds. It fits in between single-coils and full-sized humbuckers in the tonal spectrum. It is frequently used in jazz guitars, mounted under the fingerboard or on the pickguard.
Doug Irwin is an American luthier who designed five custom guitars for Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. The guitars he built for Garcia included Eagle (Alembic), Wolf, Tiger, Wolf Jr. (headless) and Rosebud.
Guitar wiring refers to the electrical components, and interconnections thereof, inside an electric guitar. It most commonly consists of pickups, potentiometers to adjust volume and tone, a switch to select between different pickups, and the output socket. There may be additional controls for specific functions; the most common of these are described below.
Jens Ritter Instruments is a manufacturer of high-end electric string instruments. It was founded by Jens Ritter in the mid-1990s and was known as Ritter Bass Guitars until 2010 when Jens expanded his line to include guitars. Jens produces 50 to 60 handmade instruments each year in his shop located in the small wine town of Deidesheim,Germany.
The Black Strat is the nickname for a black Fender Stratocaster guitar played by David Gilmour of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It appeared for the first time with Gilmour at the 1970 Bath Festival. Gilmour stated in an interview prior to the auction of his guitar collection that 'The Black Strat' featured in many of Pink Floyd's and his individual albums and was used in “Money”, “Comfortably Numb” and “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”, among many others.