Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

His guitar slung across his back, his dusty boots is his cadillac.

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bill bokey
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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by bill bokey » Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:48 pm

First clips of my latest 'West Coast' Super Lead Replica:

Fuzz face is always on in this one
https://soundcloud.com/castle-made-of-s ... -lead-west


Another one with a wah. Fuzz face is switched on at 1'26
https://soundcloud.com/castle-made-of-s ... ead-west-1

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by FloPoeKo » Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:56 am

bill bokey wrote:
Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:48 pm
First clips of my latest 'West Coast' Super Lead Replica:

Fuzz face is always on in this one
https://soundcloud.com/castle-made-of-s ... -lead-west


Another one with a wah. Fuzz face is switched on at 1'26
https://soundcloud.com/castle-made-of-s ... ead-west-1
Beautiful! :rock:

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by revolver1 » Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:15 am

Sound great Bill. Great vibe. :toast:

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by bill bokey » Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:56 pm

Here's another clip, a DI track sent by Julijan Eric, who sounds just like Jimi!

https://soundcloud.com/castle-made-of-s ... ead-west-2

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by mark » Sat Jun 26, 2021 9:53 am

I noticed that PRS has entered the Hendrix gear line. Several things amazed me about the amp. It doesn’t seem to use mods described here (12AX7’s and EL-34’s).

The speakers are 75’s instead of greenbacks, 55Hz models and Scumback speakers. Considering Doug Sewell owns Scumback speakers, and he specialises in old Celestion speakers. I find it a bit strange.

Has anyone made a circuit diagram of the mods described here?

The dialogue is a bit hard to follow.

Thanks for your time.

Regards

Mark

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by revolver1 » Mon Jun 28, 2021 4:45 am

Bill, all I can say is Wow! Really sounds superb. Julijan's playing is great as well really does it justice. :toast: well done...

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by bill bokey » Tue Jun 29, 2021 5:22 am

Thank you :D
I am very pleased with how it turned out. I have modded and built a few 'West Coast' Super Leads but this one really captures Jimi's later tone. I don't have the right guitar or the right fingers but as you can hear in Juijan clip, this amp recreates Woodstock, Fillmore etc tones.

Thank you so much, Dave. Thanks for all the time you took to tell us about the mods and all the technical info you gave us.
I still have your original tubes and will use them when Julijan comes over to make some videos with me. He was blown away when he heard his clip reamped through my amp. Imagine how it will sound when he plays it live, through a ful stack!

By the way, I feel the Creamback G12H-75 is a great 'Jimi' speaker and will certainly sound better in a full stack as each speaker will only have to deal with half the power. Should be even punchier.

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by revolver1 » Wed Jun 30, 2021 3:07 am

I think your right about the speakers. My set up's slightly different, I've got a Scumback H55 and H75 65watt versions in a cab but I agree Green back type H speakers sound right.

So did you do anything particularly different with this amp?

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by bill bokey » Wed Jun 30, 2021 4:26 am

The PT I used for this amp was custom made and allowed me to have 600V on the plates and 300V on the screens. I had never tried ths before, I always went for 560V B+ with 2k2 screen resistors.
So that's the main difference. But I also changed a few things in the preamp : I removed the bright cap as it made the amp too thin and trebly with the Fuzz Face, then I added a 680nF V2b bypass cap and reverted back to standard 47k / 8 NFB.
I was very pleased with the previous amps I built but this one is the best for the Woodstock tone.
The only thing I might mod a little more is the Fuzz Face : I built and tuned it with the bright cap so I might need a bit more boost from the FF.

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by revolver1 » Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:40 am

Thanks for sharing Bill, very interesting. :thumbsup:

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by daveweyer » Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:59 pm

What a great page on this topic! The good folks at PRS should be reading this!

Let me chime in with a few things about all the mods and speakers and such:

From the PRS promo material I read, it seems Janie Hendrix lent them an amp to analyze so they could capture the authentic sound of Woodstock based on the West Coast mods I did. They very kindly mention me as Jimi's amp doc back in the day, so they got that much right, and they give their deep thanks for the opportunity Janie gave them to sample the amp which was used at Woodstock. But as far as I can tell, the mods are mostly gone, and have been for many years now. All this really means is that whatever PRS sampled, is only a shadow of what the amps really sounded like during the 69-70 period. Any of you who have been following this thread for the last few years will know that much beyond any doubt, and the last few posts show it in spades--the REAL West Coast mods are alive and well right here on this forum. Thank you Bill, for proving that once again.

Now, for another revelation: the speakers in Jimi's lead cabinets were alnico, we have discussed this before on these pages. Bob Hovland and I got 24 prototype speakers from Thomas Organ Company in spring of 1969 and replaced all the British ferrite magnet speakers with these alnico prototypes. Why, because Jimi LOVED the sound of them, they had a bit more compression at higher volumes, and they had a different tone signature, with accentuated bands in the ideal guitar tone range. I still have the graphs of both frequency and phase response of these drivers, and they are quite different from any Celestion driver, even the alnico models.

If you could hear these speakers, you would recognize the tonal characteristics at once, and with any luck we might be able to get some recordings posted here with these speakers actually playing. Maybe Julian could be coerced into sending me some raw files that I could use to demonstrate the actual speakers in Jimi's cabinets used at Woodstock and beyond.

Any truly authentic Jimi amp sound has to be made with Beam Power tubes, the pure pentode types won't do it. Jimi knew this. But for some reason, the folks in charge of Jimi's old equipment don't seem to get it, and the cloning folks don't get it either.

Whenever we started these discussions several years ago, the revelations about Jimi's gear were treated with great skepticism. That was how it should have been. But concept after concept has been proven right by the dedicated folks here who built the mods and demonstrated the results for everyone to hear. And photographic evidence has also emerged during the same time which shows West Coast's influence on everything Jimi owned and played through.

The last few pages are great. I am considering doing a short video explaining these mods and what happened with Jimi at West Coast, just for historical purposes, and maybe to save another generation a whole lot of work and wasted money.

Again, thank you all so much for your work and dedication, especially those who gave me enough rope to hang myself by testing out what I did at West Coast. It is all contained in these old spiral notebooks kept from the time period. Lots of funny stuff too, hot girls' phone numbers, pot dealers, sexual graphics etc. One day maybe we can publish these too.

Great great work here.

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by revolver1 » Thu Jul 15, 2021 3:10 am

Dave,

I think a video round up would be a great idea, for history's sake.

I guess the commercial builders get scared off by the plate voltage involved and the ultimate reliance on new production tubes. I don't think they are ever going to do it right.

This is just my opinion so please everyone just take it with a pinch of salt. I really feel it's the mix of 3 different heads run into 6 cabs with mixed speaker types. I don't think its 3 identical heads with 6 identical cabs. I think there's a bit of EL34 in there somewhere as well. A huge powerful broadcasting rig with wide frequency response. It manages to make a Strat with thin rock 'n' roll strings sound huge.

Dave, if the majority of the speakers were the ones you replaced and they are not being made any more perhaps you should get in touch with Jim Scumback, could be interesting.... :thumbsup:

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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by daveweyer » Thu Jul 15, 2021 3:39 pm

A very reasonable proposition. The only time you would have heard all the same amps and speakers was at the first few shows of the spring 69 tour. Amps came back for "more of whatever you did" (Jimi's words) all during the year, and fuzzes and wahs kept getting improved too, so everything was evolutionary.

The six lead cabinets kept the drivers for quite a while, until Jimi did the "Who" thing and stuck his guitar neck through the cones. We tried to get the drivers reconed, but the WALDOM cone kits didn't sound the same as the originals. We got some British alnico (blue, but painted grey or silver) drivers to use as replacements when we couldn't get any more prototypes from Thomas Organ, and they worked okay, but still bent the sound from what we had.

So the "true" Jimi sound is a range of sounds he got while playing or recording, and we can't change that. As far as I know, the only record of what Jimi thought was his "true" sound, is shown in the West Coast notebooks, the amps and speakers and effects combinations he loved the best, and his desires for how it should sound going forward, along with the circuits and ideas jotted down on paper to guide the path forward. That's about all we have in the whole world to go on, besides "channeling" and other magic related efforts. (I don't discount those either)

You know, I have thought about involving a speaker company to help make clones of the original alnico speakers we used in Jimi's cabinets. Since I have a couple of the old Thomas prototypes, it would be theoretically possible to copy them, but to get it right is pretty involved and would take repeated tries. Somebody would have to invest some serious money and devotion. I'm not sure that's what modern business is about so I would expect the usual rhetoric about "just get it out there, who's going to know? You are the only one who really knows, let's make some money."

Jury is still out on how to proceed with this, but it would sure be cool!

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