The guitar is called Tiger because of the inlay on the battery/preamp compartment cover. Doug worked at Alembic guitars for a year and half or two. Tiger was built in the Alembic "Hippie Sandwich" tradition. "Hippie Sandwich" is several different layers of wood sandwich together which creates the beautiful layers of the guitar. Tiger's top layer being Cocabola, then a Maple stripe, a layer of Vermillion and a Flame Maple core. A brass binding is set around the body of the guitar and across the front. There's a beautiful inlayed on the back side of Tiger's body too. The Western Maple neck has a hardwood section of paduk inlayed in the back and the ebony fret-board has a brass binding. 13 1/2 pounds of muscle and beauty, which is where a major part of Jerry's rich deep tone comes from.



   Garcia played with high action 7/64" at the 12th fret, with .030" relief in the neck.  At the nut, the strings where also quite high at about .030" above the 1st fret.  The ebony fingerboard has a 16" radius and sports.  .105" x.45" frets.  The neck and middle pickups are 10/64" from the strings, and the bridge pickup sits 14/64" away.  (The bridge was made by Schaller for Gibson, and the tailpiece was custom made for the guitar.)  The brass nut is scalloped between the strings, and the spacing -as specified by Garcia- is equal between the edges of the strings (as opposed to the centers of the strings being equidistant, which is more common).  Garcia used Vinci strings, gauged .010 - .046, but from time to time used an .011 on the highE and a .047 on the low E.

    The guitar features a single-coil in the neck position, as opposed to the humbuckers you see in other configurations.  Garcia used a DiMarzio SDS-1 Strat-style pickup in the neck, and DiMarzio Super IIs in the middle and bridge pickups.
    The guitar's wiring is unusual.  The pickups are switched by a standard 5-position pickup selector. The neck and bridge have a tone control, and the middle pickup has its own tone control.  The ouput of the pickups goes directly into a unity gain (no boost) preamp powered by a 9-volt battery. The preamp protects the guitar signal against high end loss due to cable capacitance by lowering the output impedance.
  Unity-gain buffer Pre-amp for Electric Guitar designed by John Cutler for Jerry Garcia. Use long cables between your Guitar and Amp Low-Z output, 9-volt power.
click on image to find out more
     From the preamp, the signal goes to an onboard effects loop switch, which routs the signal either directly to the guitar's volume control or to Garcia's effect (via a TRS jack), and then back into the guitar (through the same TRS jack) to the guitar's volume control. From there, the signal finally goesout the main output jack.
     The genius of this wiring is that it allowed Garcia to keep full volume going to the pedals while controlling his output volume from the guitar.  The advantage is that the tone and response of the pedals would not change with the guitar's output volume, as it normally would if Garcia plugged directly into them.  The wiring also allowed for a true bypass of the effects when they weren't in use.

Tiger Guitar Electronics
and how they work: SCHEMATIC

     Again, The Tiger has two Dimarzio Super ll pickups and one Single coil Dimarzio SDS1 in the neck position. The humbucking pickups are wired with Black and White wires together in true single coil switching mode.  There is a 5 way strat style pickup selection switch, two 3 way toggle switches for coil selection on the humbuckers (hum/canceling dual/single coil) configuration of the dual-coil pickup and one toggle to turn the effects loop on and off. There are two 500k tone pots one for each humbucker and one 25k volume pot. There are two output jacks, both are stereo type jacks. The mono cable uses a stereo jack so it will turn the battery off when you unplug the guitar. The mono cable runs straight to the Fender Twin. The stereo jack runs out of the guitar to the effects rack and then back into the guitar BEFORE the volume control.
Here is the important stuff. By running the effects loop from the guitar you are able to shape the sound of the effects with the tone controls of the guitar. In the effects loop is a Unity Gain Buffer. It is a little op amp that keeps the gain of the signal in the loop constant and makes the output of the guitar low impedance. The Buffer is always ON and seeing a signal no matter if the effects loop is on or off. You can get one from EMG . The model number is JG1. (or now a JG-2) Since the loop is wired pre- volume, the effects are always seeing the same full output from the pickups. When your signal from your guitar is not going up and down with volume you know right where your effects levels are going to be. Most importantly this allows you to shape the tone of your effected signal with the tone controls of your guitar. When you daisy chain stomp boxes in between your guitar and your amp you are sucking a lot of tone away and when you kick in any effect it takes over your signal and you have no control over it. Try turning on a distortion pedal and switching your pickup selectors or turning your tone knobs, you see very little change in the sound. With the effects loop and unity gain buffer you have 5 different distortion tones and you can roll the tone off to get real cool horn like sounds. In this way, Garcia was seamlessly painting with an incredible number of varying tones that were controllable right from the guitar and one control foot switch.

Get it? : )

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