At first glance, the Deluxe Bob Weir Bedford is unassuming enough. Three knobs, three pickups, one five-way selector. But look a little closer, and the variety of tones quickly becomes expansive.
Let’s start with the pickups. In the neck and bridge positions, a Seymour Duncan Stacked P-90. In the middle, a Lollar Blonde—“brighter than a thousand suns,” as Bob says. Easy enough, but it gets a bit complex from there.
The volume and tone knobs are both push/pull, allowing for coil-tapping the stacked P-90’s. This reverts the stacked, noiseless pickup to a more traditional P-90—famously big and broad. And then there’s that third knob—a blender that allows the “odd man out” pickup to be blended into your selected position. We know—hang on.
“Odd man out” refers to the pickup that isn’t inherently a part of the position. For example, when you’re in the neck position (position 5), you’re able to blend in the bridge pickup. Or when you’re in the bridge and middle position (position 2), you’re able to blend in the neck pickup. This goes for every position except for position 3, which is simply that Lollar blonde single-coil.
Still not crystal clear? That’s just fine. We’ve put together a diagram and demo to highlight the dozens of tones onboard.
POSITION ONE DIAGRAM
Bridge pickup only
POSITION TWO DIAGRAM
Bridge and middle pickups
POSITION THREE DIAGRAM
Middle pickup only
POSITION FOUR DIAGRAM
Middle and neck pickups
POSITION FIVE DIAGRAM
Neck pickup only
The spirit of offering so much tonal nuance is not to overwhelm—but to help each player develop their unique voice. “Knowing that if I just sit with the instrument for a while, I’m going to grow,” says Bob. “It is going to stretch my soul. That’s what it’s about.”