Amplification: Fender Blackface Deluxe Reverb powering 2×12 felt covered, side-by-side cabs. Fender-philes rejoice: The Deluxe Reverb is Returned. Leslie G-37 rotating speaker.
Note on Amplification: at the LOCKN festival and at Dick’s, the Mesa Boogie Mark III, which was onstage throughout Summer 2016, was not present at all. It is possible that it was obscured and out of site, but I have seen enough pictures and video to be fairly confident that the Mark III head was not present on stage, nor were any of the Bogner Shiva heads or combos.
Additionally, in pictures I’ve reviewed from Summer 2016, it is not clear to me in retrospect that a 1/4″ input cable was plugged in to the Mark III at all during the summer. As a result, I’m starting to think the Mesa Boogie Mark III may have been backup throughout Summer 2016, and the Deluxe Reverb has been the primary amplifier, running a speaker line out to the 2×12 cabs just like Trey used to do with the Bruno cabs (see here for more on the Deluxe Reverb/Bruno Cab combination). This would answer the question I raised previously as to why an unmic’d Deluxe Reverb had returned to the rig. Answer: it’s just a head (although it’s possible that the built-in 1×12 speaker is being used as an unmic’d guitar monitor for Trey). In any case, it was almost certainly the case at LOCKN’ that the Deluxe Reverb was the primary and exclusive guitar amplifier.
Note also that this particular Deluxe Reverb has seven knobs in Channel 2 and four in Channel 1; a stock DR has 6 and 3, respectively. It appears as if in each case one of the two input jacks dedicated to each respective channel (a stock DR has 4 inputs; 2 per channel) has been replaced with a knob, although I can’t get a close enough look to determine what the new knob does. More on amplifiers, below. Bill Carruth has been known to mod Trey’s Blackface amps.
Guitars: Blonde No. 2 (LOCKN’ 1); ’96 Koa (LOCKN’ 2, Dick’s 1)
Floor Pedals: Beigel Tru-Tron; Boomerang, Whammy II, CAE RS-10 Audio Switcher, Ross Compressor, Crybaby Wah, Ernie Ball Volume
Rack Pedals: 2 x TS-9 (one clearly Analogman); Way Huge Supa Puss; Shin-ei Uni-Vibe; H&K Tube Factor. Alesis Microverb.
Rack (from top): Furman PL-PRO DMC E Power Conditioner, Korg DTR-2 Tuner, Ibanez DM-2000, TC Electronic D-Two, 3 x CAE 4×4.
First to the amps, as a return to the Deluxe Reverb would represent the most significant rig-shift in quite some time. The last time this way Trey’s primary amplifier with Phish was Coventry in 2004. The above photo from Phish’s FromTheRoad Instagram feed is key to my belief that the Mark III is absent at LOCKN’. You can see one Blackface Deluxe Reverb to Trey’s right pointing up toward his head. There is another behind him facing back toward us, presumably a backup (notice it, too, has the extra knobs), with the Megaphone sitting atop it. If the Mark III was hidden somewhere on stage, it would be back here.
The photos below come from a video a friend of mine took from backstage at LOCKN’ during the changeover between sets, and also show pretty clearly that there’s no Mark III on stage. They give us great views of the 2×12 cabs, the floor array, the rack-top pedals and both guitars (the new Blonde No. 2 guitar is up front here, with Koa #1 set up toward the back).
I wish I could say the tonal differences from the Mark III to the Deluxe Reverb were strikingly obvious to me and that I’d suspected all through Summer 2016 that the Deluxe Reverb was back in favor. Although the Mark III’s clean channel was designed in the 1980s to be a then-modern take on the Fender Blackface sound, they are in many senses very different amplifiers.
The Mesa is a 100 watt 3-channel head with a solid-state rectifier and the Deluxe Reverb is a 22-watt combo with a tube rectifier and effectively 1 channel. The Deluxe has a much softer, rounder, bubblier sound, and will organically break up at moderate volumes, while the Mark III is known for nearly limitless headroom and a more sterile, less “vintage”-sounding clean channel. The Mark III is designed to more effectively cut through a mix, and generally has a more mid-forward sound that some people describe as “nasal” or refer to as the Mesa “gronk.” The Mesa’s solid state rectifier will more closely track and accurately reproduce quick passages at high volumes (hence it’s popularity among prog/metal players), while the Fender’s tube rectifier tends to get a little “looser” when pushed hard. The trade-off is the Fender’s somewhat sweeter sound. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
The fact of the matter is, with all the tone shaping that happens before the amplifier (pedal and rack gain stages and effects), and all the tone shaping that can be done in each amp’s pre-amp stage, it would be difficult for the vast majority of people — myself included — to spot the difference between the Mark III and the Deluxe Reverb with 100% certainty in a totally blind “taste test,” especially with the rest of the band in the mix. And I say that as someone who owns 2 Blackface-era Deluxe Reverbs (a ’66 and a ’68) and a Mark III combo, so I’ve played with these amps quite a bit. It’s especially difficult because Trey rarely runs the amps totally clean during live performances.
More updates on the amplification as more information comes in.
Above, the 1996 Koa guitar (Koa #1) at LOCKN’ night 2.
Above, the Blonde No. 2 guitar at LOCKN’ night 1.
The lighting is poor, but above you can see the Boomerang (far left), Ross Compressor (center), CAE switcher (near right), Beigel Tru-Tron (far right). Trey is working the Dunlop/Teese wah (this is the beginning of the LOCKN’ Moma Dance; audio above as well) and the Ernie Ball volume is behind his foot.
Above at LOCKN’ you can see the two TS-9 Tube Screamers sitting atop the rack (left), one of which is clearly an Analogman mod. To the left of the Tube Screamers, you can see the Alesis Microverb II with the Way Huge Supa Puss sitting on top of it. The rack those pedals are sitting on is unchanged from Summer Tour, with (from top) the Furman Power Conditioner, the Korg DTR-2 tuner, the Alesis DM-2000, and the TC Electronic D-Two. However, the D-Two appears to be powered down — you can see here there are no lights operating on the unit. The Blackface Deluxe Reverb is to Trey’s right behind the rack. The 2×12 felt cabs are behind him to his left, and the Leslie G-37 rotating guitar speaker is behind the cabs.
Above, a photo of Trey tweaking the delay times on the Supa-Puss during the LOCKN’ Tweezer, along with the resulting audio.
A screengrab from night two LOCKN’, above, gives us a look at the rack, right, and the pedals sitting upon it, including the wedge-shaped Tube Factor and the Shin-Ei Univibe behind it. Another view of the pedals sitting atop the rack is below:
Below is a piece of audio from the Dick’s Tweezer (T-Wah-zer) opening; Trey did a long slow sweep of the wah from the bass end to the treble end as part of the opening buildup — very cool:
Above, Dick’s night 1: Koa #1, next to the two TS-9 Tube Screamers (1 with Analogman logo) and the H&K Tube Factor.
Dean Ween posted a back stage pic where he’s holding blond #1. It has been sunbursted as well now.
Check it out and see if I’m right.
Hi — I saw that pic. He was holding #2, which is a spruce guitar. I talk about the sunburst-ing and renovation here: https://treysguitarrig.com/the-guitars/
I’ve always been curious what all if any modifications have been done on the DR(s) Trey uses. I thought I read somewhere that they were modded. Anyone happen to know?
Per your “taste test” comment about not knowing if it were the Boogie or Fender: yes, and _especially_ if the Fender’s output was going to the same cabs that the Boogie uses. It appears he still had the Boogie lead channel pedal up there, perhaps now connected to something else.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I believe the boss latching foot switch normally used to activate the Mesa lead channel would now be used to activate the mid boost in the Fender, which is how Trey previously had it configured.
Thanks Ryan — do you have a source/link for the Fender having a footswitchable mid-boost? I’d love to include that fact if I could link to something. Thanks!
Here’s an interesting bit on the mid-boost: goo.gl/9iYvAZ
Are both the cabs being used? If so, how do you use two 2/12 cabinets out through a Deluxe Reverb (and potentially the internal 1/12)… if it only puts out an 8 ohm speaker load?
There are two speaker jacks on a DR; 1 for the internal speaker and an extra for an external speaker. I assume he skips the internal 12″ speaker and runs one 2×12 from each jack, adjusting the resistance of the cabinets to align with the Fender’s 8ohms.
I don’t know what ohm his new speakers are, but if they are 16 ohm then he could just run each Jack to a 2X12. Whatever he’s doing, something has to be plugged into the cabinet speaker Jack at all times or damage can occur to the amp. I believe pigging backing speaker cabinets might also splits their ohm resistance as well, but don’t quote me on that one.
I havnt looked into it recently , I don’t get nearly as involved in treys gear as probably most people on here but it would assume that he’s only using one of the 2/12 cabs as he’s been doing for the past couple tours . A buddy of mine noticed that one of them wasn’t hooked up . Myself and buddy happened to be at Paul languedoc’s shop and asked him about it and he concurred . Only using one 2/12 purple haze can . Which makes Sense . It sounds more like 22 watts going into 2 30 or 40 watt speakers . As a pose to 4 . Anyway , this might be all info that’s been previously discussed but I just happened to be here and thought I’d comment .
LikeLiked by 1 person
Always a way to rig a rig
Just wanted to make sure everyone knows not to run their amp without the internal speaker Jack plugged in.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Just want to know what loop the TS9 is in because it was moved to the top rack. Is it now being ran through that rack? Or is he just controling it with CAE switcher and it’s still in the same line? Also the wammy tron and Ross are they linked up at all with the top rack delay and effects, Uni Vibe, and distortion? I guess my real question is which pedals are running through the send and return effects loop or are all of them? How does he have that all connected from guitar to amps? Trying to put everything together with all my pedals which are all the same pretty much. Thanks see you in Vegas!
I’ve never really looked up how his CAE switcher works entirely. However, he would need to have a switch for each ts9. Whether or not the switcher has sub functions for switching within (every) loop is unknown to me. However, I use a 5 loop true bypass strip that I built and use a separate loop for each ts9 so I only have to push one switch to access each, rather than switching on a loop and then switching on the ts9. If they were in one loop together, they would still effect one another’s signal while one is off and one is on. Easiest way is to use a loop for each ts9 and put your compressor after the loop strip. Hope that helps.
Bill Carruth is the one who modified Treys DR as far as I can recall. It was explained to me by an amp guru at Vodoo Amps that it is a fairly simple mod in which a mid adjustment knob is added to the original tone stack. The only thing that I’m aware of being switched with a foot switch was the channels. He had one adjusted for rhythm and one for lead.
Any idea what effects he is using during the Dicks NMINML jam on 9/2? I’m obsessed with that jam. Is that mainly the supa puss? Something else? I’m referring to the echo-y part in the last maybe five minutes.
Yep, the Supa Puss.
Do we know for sure if Trey put a purple haze inside the deluxe reverb, or is the Weber speaker still internally in the amp?
Also, any info on whether the marshall jtm45 hws had any mods or tube changes from stock?