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Jerry Garcia "Alligator" Guitar 2020 Natural

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Listed:over a month ago
Sold By
420 Guitars
Orinda, CA, United States
Joined Reverb

Copy of Jerry Garcia's "Alligator" Guitar

Alligator was a '57 Strat gifted to Jerry by Graham Nash after Jerry laid down the Pedal Steel licks on "Teach Your Children".  It was heavily modified and can be heard on the iconic Europe '72 tour.

Here's some info on this Alligator:

The body was an unfinished Swamp Ash vintage specs (more prominent belly and elbow cuts) from Warmoth with a similar grain pattern.   The original Alligator was a tremolo model Strat on which the tremolo cavity was filled with epoxy.  This one was made with Warmoth's option of a tremolo cavity on the back that isn't routed through the top, so the top looks like a hardtail.    I finished the body in nitrocellulose.   I hand fabricated the wooden rear cavity cover just like the original.

The neck is a Fender MIM neck with the same skunk stripe as the original.    I leveled and crowned the frets.
1970's Schaller tuners, just like Jerry's.
Brass scalloped nut, vintage Alembic brass adjustable bridge, shifted input jack with brass surround, brass control cover, brass tailpiece over wood base, brass "Footman's Loop" string retainer, vintage Ratheon knobs, string tree, and strap buttons.
I wound the pickups to Fender 50's spec - Alnico V magnets, vintage stagger, vintage bevel, approximately 5.9-6K each.  One tone knob is double stacked and controls tone for neck and bridge pickups, like on Jerry's.  The other tone knob controls tone to the middle pickup.   Also, like on Jerry's, I shielded the inside of each pickup cover and ran it to ground.  Jerry did this so the strings didn't need to be grounded which made the guitar safer to play - no chance of shock.   All cavities shielded with copper foil.  Guitar also has internal active Alembic Stratoblaster type circuit.

I made a couple of small mods.  Since I didn't need to fill up the rear tremolo cavity with epoxy, I placed the battery and the Blaster in the tremolo cavity instead of under the jack where they were on the original.    They are now more easily accessed.  I also added a push/pull pot to the second tone control.  Pulled up, the Blaster is turned off, pushed in turns the Blaster on.  This give you the option of setting the Blaster to low gain and leaving it always on, as the original was wired, or, alternatively, you can adjust the Blaster to higher gain and use it as an on-board boost by using the tone knob switch.   I also installed brass inserts to mount the neck with machine screws instead of the usual wood screws that can strip over time.
This Alligator weighs in at a very comfortable 7 lbs 4.8 z.

Comes with a brand new "Alligator" HSC - what could be more appropriate??!!

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