I thought the "Wall of Sound" was used in '74 only? I'm far to young to have been there, but I've got many bootlegs and the '74's definitely have a distinct sound.
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Airtaxi, I see where John Curl was a consultant on this system. I was in an audio shop in Berkeley about a month ago and this unassuming, but very friendly guy is in the store and we begin to chat. He obviously knows a GREAT DEAL about the amp I had in there and several other topics, so I ask him if he works there. He says no but he's worked on a lot of equipment. After about 10 more minutes, says he has to run and gets in his car and drives off. One of the guys from the shop comes out from the back and says, "Oh, I see you met John Curl". THEN he tells me!
I'm not sure how many times I heard the Dead with that sound system (but am pretty sure the Jersey City concert was one of them). I saw a lot of Dead shows in the early to mid 70's. The Wall was fantastic for instruments, but I didn't really like the way it handled vocals. IMO the out of phase mike setup took the bottom out of the singing, and made voices sound tinny at times.
I saw the Dead in October 1974 at Winterland Arena in San Francisco. The stage was dominated by scaffolds of speaker and tweeter boxes.It reminded me of the stage in the original King Kong film. At stage level, there was stacks of MacIntosh amps and what looked like a Mac oscilloscope which Garcia adjusted after every tune. It was surely better than the horrible "house sound" system(even at Winterland). It did sound cleaner and(wow) louder!! There was an excellent article about the "Wall of Sound" in one of the 1974 issues of Rolling Stone Magazine. (Does anyone know the issue and date, and if it is available on the WEB???)I think the Dead were trying to convey more of the nuances of their music and its relationship to sound by using this "system" Considering the theory behind "amplified music", the Dead, were as in other things pioneers and innovators. (Could you imagine some of these alleged rock bands of today investing in an advanced sound system??) It eventually became too expensive for the band to transport from city to city.... Long Live The Grateful Dead----I wish they would quit their feuding, and merchandizing T-Shirts and Jerry Dolls, and go on tour again as the Grateful Dead with Tre Anastacio from Phish. This would not be disrespectful of the memory of Jerry Garcia, but I think pay homage to his memory and musical genius. Sunnyjim