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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Joshabr1
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Re: Jimi Hendrix' Gear and Mods at West Coast Organ and Amp

Post by Joshabr1 » Sun Aug 15, 2021 8:40 am

I notice with old Marshall’s especially the 100 watt amps that if you turn them all the way up the power transformers tend to get really warm after playing 30-hour. Just wonder with all the feedback and crazy stuff Jimi did how he didn’t burn up a few?? Was that ever an issue Dave?? I know I read that you liked to use different transformers than drakes or dagnalls? Can you expand?

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

Post by daveweyer » Thu Aug 19, 2021 2:40 pm

Yeah, they blew up, but usually from shorted capacitors. On a real hot day though, their internal insulation could give way. Blown transformers was a fact of life at West Coast, and very few could be salvaged to run again.
We were always swapping or switching to keep the gear going.

By the way, if you want to build or have built a 3 transistor fuzz, a seller has listed some NOS RCA 2N591 transistor on ebay. Brand new out of the box. They are rare so be sure to get a few.

I'll post this on the fuzz thread too.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/131568335758?h ... Sw~gRVu7mu

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

Post by daveweyer » Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:01 am

Hey pretty cool, this topic busted 200,000 views!!
Folks are watching even if not speaking-- wasn't that a Simon and Garfunkle line?

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

Post by shakti » Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:56 pm

Dave,

could you share a photo of those prototype alnico speakers? I am very curious about them. Not sure if I am going down that road since I love my West Coast amp with a stock G12H30 cab, but you never know...
JTM45 RS OT, 1973 18W, JTM45/100, JTM50, JMP50 1986, JMP100 "West Coast", AC15, AC30, BF Super Reverb, Boogie Mk 1, Hiwatt CP103, DR103

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

Post by msmith40 » Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:57 am

The ‘Foxey Lady’ fret-notches.
A possible explanation.

Let me start by saying I haven’t ventured into this forum for many years.
Many years…………

I saw Dave Weyer’s Youtube video regarding the ‘Woodstock Wah’ (Man, is poor Dave getting hammered there big-time…and by ‘experts’…….Yikes!) and I wound up back in this forum.

1) The ‘Foxey Lady’ notches in Jimi’s frets……..
Having been a Hendrix-fan since I picked up my 1st guitar 50 years ago (Good-God………..*sigh*…..), I can recall several times when I slid the neck of my strat across a mic stand/amp cabinet only to regret it much later.
Why?
Because I wound-up driving the strings into some of the frets which resulted in tiny perpendicular grooves in those frets.
When I tried to bend a string I was stopped cold.
Time for a serious fret-dress……………………
Jimi was known for scraping/sliding his guitar neck across mics and amp cabinets, so this might be where the ‘Foxey Lady’ fret-notch story begins.
It’s quite possible that Neal Moser (or whomever) spotted the results of a neck/mic stand scrape and said ‘WTF? How did those notches get there?’.
Thinking those notches were intentional, Neal (or whomever) reasoned they existed to facilitate the ‘Foxey Lady’ intro.
But let’s all take note of how big Jimi’s hands/fingers were…..he didn’t need a notch to help him get that ‘Foxey’ intro lick.
My hands are nowhere near his size and I can replicate that intro lick quite easily, sans notch.
This is not to imply any ill-will towards those who’ve put forth this long-debated story/rumor (or who’ve argued one way or the other).
I merely wanted to share my experience (pun intended) and present a more likely scenario for how those notches came to be.

2) A question for Dave Weyer………
Summer of 1976….I purchased a 200-watt stack of Marshalls – vintage – from a keyboard player in Woodstock.
He told me he’d jammed w/Jimi on multiple occasions, and that Jimi had loaned this particular stack to him. Jimi split for Europe and never came back. I held onto that stack for maybe 2 years before selling it.
Question: Did Jimi ever use a 200-watt head/stack?
There was no stenciling of any kind anywhere on the head/cabinets. Basket weave….gold logo….gold 100 in upper corner of both cabs. Cabs each had 4 huge rubber wheels that were too big for the cups located on top of the bottom cab.

Oh! 1 more question: What value resistor did you add to the wah to eliminate Wah & Fuzz Face squeal?
THANKS!

Very glad I stumbled back into this forum, especially to read Dave’s stories regarding Jimi!

msmith40

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

Post by msmith40 » Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:47 pm

daveweyer wrote:
Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:51 pm
That black Strat showed up at West Coast Organ and Amp I think sometime early in 1969 or late 1968, and it had the fret notches too. I believe that guitar is how we learned about the notches.
This helps prove my theory!!!

The notches would be the direct result of Jimi scraping the guitar neck along the front of the cabinet.

msmith40

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

Post by msmith40 » Mon Oct 11, 2021 2:34 pm

daveweyer wrote:
Tue May 19, 2015 12:41 pm
....I also have inspected the white Strat, worked on the white Strat, replaced parts on the white Strat.....
Wait.....what?
daveweyer wrote:
Tue May 19, 2015 12:41 pm
....including frets.......
Wait.....WHAT??????????

What parts?
Which frets? (And why? Did those frets have notches by any chance.....?)
Yeah I know it was a million years ago......but you gotta share, Dave.

(Been reading these posts all morning.....now on P64.....)


msmith40

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

Post by revolver1 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:50 am

Not wishing to brush over the questions asked by smith40 but I've been thinking about something and this is clearly just speculation....

Woodstock for me has a slightly more aggressive edge to the guitar than the BOG sound and this got me thinking.

There are clearly speakers up there to Jimi's side either for re-amping or just monitor mix but either way why would you need either of these if you had 3 full stacks turned up to 7?

Jimi has a big beautiful voice but I don't think even Steven Tyler could sing over that. I'm more inclined to think he was running two stacks with the third as a back up. That's still hellishly loud and more than enough for a vocal P.A of the time to compete with.

So Woodstock looks like two full stacks and that's an out door gig. The Filmore isn't really that big of a space and considering it was being recorded what if in order to bring the stage levels down just south of insanity it was just two heads into one cab each?

Assuming the NFB was on the speaker jack and the roadies had made the appropriate change to the amps this would put the NFB on 16 ohm rather that the 8 ohm that we assume it to be. I think this could quite possibly explain the difference between the Woodstock and BOG tone.

Maybe this 16 ohm tap is what Xprorer can hear in his 45/100 that sounds familiar.

BOG set list is a little more refined, not so much rawk, maybe in an effort to conserve the speakers with the heavy power load.

This may also explain the extra stage monitoring or perhaps re-amping. My suspicion is monitoring but hey (Who Knowes...) it's all just speculation.

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

Post by daveweyer » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:01 pm

Well well well.....
Where do I start?
Welcome back anybody and everybody who can get or has gotten some good out of this forum. As with any and all stories from the distant past, every point will be arguable. None of us are ever sure of the infallibility of our recollections in situations where there are no pictures or soundtracks available to prove the point. Shared testimony is about the most reliable verification second to those more solid forms of evidence.

It seems the Woodstock wah story upset a lot of people. I did not know it would be so inflammatory when I decided to talk about it, so it rather surprised me to hear so much name calling and vitriol over such a simple and obvious situation. By August of 1969 pretty much every single piece of gear Jimi played through had been modded at West Coast. Was it really all that surprising that I had access to every single part available at Thomas Organ Company, when both first and second engineers, Brad Plunkett and Bob Hovland were my close friends, and that Jerry Sanders, owner of West Coast, was assistant national service manager at Thomas until 1967 and a close buddy of Brad's?
And, that I had advance knowledge of every single product Thomas was intending to produce and access to the components as well? It is really a no brainer, and completely verifiable by paper evidence in the records of Thomas Organ Company picked up by Geoffrey Teese at the Whirlpool liquidation of the factory. Blueprints show the new V-46 slender casing as of October or November of 1968!

JimPress of England did a wonderful piece about that wah pedal, and provided the entire chain of events with pictures and the narrative of how I even came to know the Thomas Organ Company and its people.
So, like it or not, that story and the events around it are true, and it has become the official story of The Jimi Hendrix Foundation Of America regarding the wah pedal and the rest of the gear Jimi used. But I am not so naive to think that everyone will be convinced no matter who endorses what I say.

Suppose Jimi was wrong when he called me after Woodstock to report on the new gear, it would only mean he used another West Coast wah pedal, so the argument gets pretty tautological pretty quickly. The new pedal with the 2N5089 transistors was a drastic improvement, and the original 10K resistor stopped the squealing of the old fuzz pedals, later changed to 1K as the fuzz units were improved or swapped for the 3 transistor fuzz.

I'll post on the frets next.

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

Post by daveweyer » Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:01 pm

Shakti,
Message me with your email and I'll get you a photo of one of the old prototypes we used in the Marshall bottoms.
Eventually we'll publish it here and other places.

You may be unable to improve your setup, but then if you could hear these speakers I know a light would go on in your brain. Even if they weren't right for you, you could hear what Jimi heard, and get an idea of what he was after.
There are some little secrets, accidental it seems to me, which occurred in this driver (which apparently was originally intended for other uses at Thomas, but ended up in the guitar section of Vox). When Bob Hovland and I first heard these speakers we both looked at each other with wonder. It was just another experiment to show them to Jimi and install them in some bottoms to gauge the overall response of guitar player-driver-listener.

Perhaps we can make some of these one day and give everyone a chance to see and feel what they are like. Either way I am afraid this revelation will be like the others I have shared that have gone against perceived wisdom and enduring myths--I'll get hammered for making up stories and being a liar and trying to rewrite the history that everyone believes!
If you don't like the story, attack my character, that's always a good way to make history go back to the way you want it, or maybe not...........

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

Post by revolver1 » Sat Oct 16, 2021 4:50 am

Dave,

Why some people get so hung up over all this I don't know. In the grand scheme of the universe it's not really all that important.

There is really only one way to prove or dis prove what you have shared with us all and that is to do the mods and decide for your self.

I think most of the people who have been negative have not modded or built a single thing in their life and are probably not capable of trying some of these things in which case they haven't even got a dog in the race.

If someone did some mods and didn't think it sounded right then they would perhaps have a case for discussion but no, they haven't done this. Its futile to even enter into debate with people who are not even willing to try, even more pointless to enter into a debate with someone who is not capable of trying.

For me the stock plexi is close but no cigar but having tried your sugested mods and also listening to the results of others around here I am a believer.

Big thanks Dave for taking the time to share all of this, I think the vast majority of us really do appreciate it.

:thumbsup:

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

Post by daveweyer » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:44 pm

Yes, I did have to replace frets on the white guitar. Before Neal Moser joined up I had to handle the guitars too. Now, I am not claiming to be a guitar expert, but rough handling of the Strat, like ramming through the cones of his Marshal bottoms did some damage to the neck, and I did repair the damage to the extent of my skills.

Neal took over the guitar neck repair and replacement business, to my great relief, and did all those jobs that became so famous, including a fret job on the white guitar.

But let me quote his own words on the notch issue:

NEAL MOSER: " One thing I noticed on some of Hendrix' guitars was a very small file cut on the 16th fret, just to the treble side of the G string. This was so Jimi could rattle his 3rd string back and forth across the notch for that little thing he does on 'Foxy Lady'......."

Okay, now we can argue this assumption and come up with alternate theories, and that's totally cool with me. But any theory should take into consideration that there was only one file cut on one fret, and then go from there as to how and why it got there, and also happened to be in the same place on several different guitars.

Because no one but Neal, other West Coast techs, and myself, have ever claimed to have seen those fret notches on Jimi's guitars, it has been quite a puzzle for the the Jimi acolytes who have closely followed his career, and have seen those guitars either in pictures or in person. When the frets all seem to be normal, it doesn't automatically line up that the story was in fact true. Some visual evidence would be very helpful. Fret jobs later on would of course erase all the evidence of notches, and apparently have done exactly that.

In the mean time we can speculate........

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

Post by revolver1 » Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:22 pm

I had a bit of fun today playing around with a few ideas, I wanted to check out the 16ohm tap for NFB. It sounds quite good, very powerful but it's not as fluid to play as the 8ohm tap so I think I will go with the 8.

I was going back over some info from early in the the thread and there was some talk of a Superlead can't remember exactly but I think it was SL/A 5073, something like that anyway.

So that put it as an early 70's metal panel. So I took a look on amp archives and there is nothing on there exactly but there are amps with serial No's either side of it. I noticed the dog bones are starting to show up quite a bit. When I had the dog bone in mine although it's a 470pf which I know isn't quite right but there was something undeniably right sounding about it.

So just messing about I put the preamp filter back to 50uf, I put the dogbones back in the phase inverter and tone stack, I put an Iskra 820ohm that read 830ohm on the V1 cathode and a 1k on the V2 cathode. I pulled the film foil bypass cap I had there and replaced it with a polycarbonate Philip's chiklet 2.2uf and it sounds great.

Theres a kind of ambience to it that sounds just right. I've never really been a big fan of the Philip's chiklet but I think it does a great job here. I still have the .0047uf cap in place of the. 0022uf.

Tazin had said that some of the supposed Hendrix amps he had seen had that cap swaped out for a slightly different value but then he later went on to say 2 out of three dentists prefer the .0022uf so make of that what you will. For me just going by ear I like the .0047uf.

A good day was had by all ..... :thumbsup:

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

Post by masonbeckham » Wed Dec 01, 2021 3:04 pm

Hello everybody,

I’ve had the West Coast fuzz for about a month now, and it is absolutely incredible! It’s unlike any other fuzz (or pedal in general) I have ever plugged into! All of those growls and subtle nuances you hear on Band of Gypsy’s where you sit there scratching your head “how is he doing that?” are all in this fuzz, and I don’t even have the West Coast amp! I’m playing through a 45/100, and the fuzz took my amp to an entirely different level. The neck pickup sounds like BOG and the bridge pickup sounds like Woodstock! I agree with Xplorer when he said “it’s not a fuzz, rather a magnificent boost.” When it’s going through the gain stage you really don’t even need the “wild mode”. You have everything in your volume knob and then you can take it further with a click of a button. I can’t wait to plug it into a West Coast amp someday. This IS IT!!

Thanks Dave for sharing your knowledge and helping everybody on this forum. And thanks to all the users who tested and tested all of these circuits throughout the years! All of the hard work has paid off! :jimi: :jimi:

-Mason

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