The Mu-Tron III

Now’s Your Chance to Buy One of Jerry Garcia’s Iconic Guitar Pedals


February 11, 2019 Culture : Music By
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Longtime Grateful Dead roadie Steve Parish is selling one of Jerry Garcia’s iconic Mu-Tron III pedals on eBay. It was used by Garcia in both the Jerry Garcia Band and the Grateful Dead, but Parish ended up utilizing it for parts after its manufacturer, Musitronics Corporation, went out of business. Garcia used the envelope filter’s unique auto-wah effect on classic Dead songs like “Shakedown Street,” “Fire on the Mountain,” “Estimated Prophet” and “Feel Like A Stranger,” among others.

Designed in 1972 by Mike Beigel, the Mu-Tron III was the world’s first envelope-controlled filter designed for a variety of applications (read: instruments). Along with Garcia, popular proponents were Larry Coryell, Bootsy Collins and Stevie Wonder. The pedal allowed for low-pass, bandpass and high-pass filter responses. It ran on two 9V batteries.

This isn’t the first time one of Garcia’s Mu-Tron pedals has popped up on the secondhand market. In 2015, a cleaner, fully-functional Mu-Tron III used by Garcia sold on Reverb with an asking price of $6,500. And while the example being sold by Parish has certainly seen better days, it is, without a doubt, still a historically important piece of gear.

At the time of publishing, the current bid was $4,650 with 17 bids and 261 watchers. If you’ve got the cash to spare and want to own a pedal that Garcia used for years, don’t wait — the auction ends on Tuesday, February 11 at 3:37 PM EST.

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John Zientek

John Zientek is Gear Patrol's style editor and in-house guitar authority. He grew up on the West Coast.

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