The TPC1 Preamp Buffer

Jerry Garcia's well known guitar "Tiger" had his first Operational-Amplifier(OpAmp) Preamp Buffer inside it. Tiger's Preamp Buffer was located under the Tiger plate on a blue perfboard. The preamp onboard the guitar changes the high impedance output of standard passive pickups to a low impedance output rendering NO signal loss and the ability to drive long cable runs. It gives back the loss in clarity due to additional cable capacitance/resistance at extended lengths of cable. Even shorter cable runs can benefit from the use of an Onboard Preamp.

TPC1 & TPC1sm

The TPC1's are available in 2 sizes, the TPC1(JG Version) and the TPC1sm(Smaller size). The TPC1sm's output capacitor is switched to a tubular type and the circuit board is altered to accomplish the smaller footprint. The TPC1sm version is specifically made to accomodate those with a smaller/tighter control cavity. Both the TPC1 and TPC1sm retain the same circuit, component material, and identical tone. The Original TPC1 is left the same for the Jerry Purist's that need/want a clone of what JG's Tiger utilized. Their physical footprint is the only difference between the two.

Also, a Unity Gain Version of both are available. Unity Gain simply means the Gain that goes into the preamp is equal to the Gain sent back out of the preamp. JG's was NOT Unity Gain, but for those that need or want this version it can be selected as an option.

When ordering please select the option that best fits your need.


Audio Clip Sample:

These Sample Clips were recorded by Vic DeRobertis's with his Resurrection Tiger (D'addario 10's / Adamas 2mm Pick) , and his previous stage rig consisting of a Modded Twin Reverb> Focus 2R amplifier> 2 JBL E120's in his home studio. All sample clips were recorded with identical parameters. However, because the TPC1 is slightly less then Unity, the recording volume was slighty raised to match recorded outputs. you can check Vic and his talented band out at his links below;

First sample is the CB1, and the second is The Tiger Preamp Clone for each track.

This text will be replaced by the flash music player.

Track List;

1) Tennessee Jed intro -- middle pickup, single coil, EQ pots wide open.
2) Big Railroad Blues intro - same as above.
3) Althea intro -- same as above, fingerpicked.
4) UJB chorded intro.
5) Terrapin solo -- middle pickup, single coil, with a pick.
6) Chinacat Sunflower E interlude -- bridge pickup, double coil, with a pick.
7) Midnight Moonlight solo -- bridge pickup, double coil, with a pick.


TPC1 Notes:

~ A Stereo (Tip/Ring /Sleeve-TRS) Output Jack IS needed for on/off switching purposes.~

~ Jerry's OnBoard Effects Loop(OBEL) is NOT needed to operate.~

~ The JG Version - TPC1 - is NOT a Unity Gain Preamp. A Unity Gain version IS available but is NOT how the original was.~

~ A Layout for installation is located here.~

~ A schematic of Tiger's actual wiring is located here.~

~ Strat Type Wiring Layout located here ~


Approximate Size in Inches:

TPC1 = 1-43/64" X 1-25/64" X 1/2" Tall

TPC1sm = 1-19/64" X 1-25/64" X 1/2" Tall

(NOTE: To help decipher the preamp that suits your needs, measuring out a small piece of cardboard/paper and placing it in your control cavity can help determine which preamp you can use.)


Pricing & Shipping:

$75.00 ea. W/$4.50 FIXED Shipping To The Continental 48 States(CONUS)

If you need shipping outside CONUS then Please Contact Me First.
Turn around time is USUALLY around 7 to 10 Business Days.

TPC1 Options

I accept PayPal and United States Postal Money Orders. If other arrangements are needed, please contact me.


Just a few players using The TPC1;


Jeff Mattson - Zen Trickster's, Dark Star Orchestra

"I currently have your TPC1 Preamp Buffer in both of my main guitars. My newest guitar has the smaller version (TPC1sm) and it was a real easy fit. I love how sweet and clear and natural the sound is. It does a great job of driving my effects loop and keeping a perfectly even tone at any volume. Thanks for accurately re-creating Jerry's Tiger guitar buffer for the rest of us to enjoy." Jeff Mattson, Dark Star Orchestra



Stu Allen - JGB, The Schwag



Jim Shank - Skull & Roses, Rum Runners



Mik Bondy - The Garcia Project



Tom Wright - Ramblin' Rose, Cats Under the Stars (Oregon)



Vic DeRobertis - Playing Dead



Zach Nugent - Cats Under The Stars (Vermont)


Wald-Electronics © 2009 All Rights Reserved