The Truth About Vintage Amps Podcast: Big Index Page

By popular demand (well, at least one of you asked for it), a growing index of topics found on the Truth About Vintage Amps…  

Episode 1
-Restoring a Gibson “Charlie Christian” amp from the ’30s/’40s
-Repairing amps on a drawbridge
-60Hz/50Hz hum
-Troubleshooting amps
-Solid-state rectifiers
-Recommended new vacuum tubes for amps
-The magic behind Alexander Dumble
-Skip’s influences (Les Paul, Jack Darr, Steve Melkisethian/ Angela Instruments, Earl Yarrow)

Episode 2

-Safe, long-term storage of tube amps
-The magic behind tube Standel amps
-Calculating the exact wattage of an amp
-Good “goos” (and how to fix a torn speaker)
-Paul Rivera-era Fenders
-The Kalamazoo Model 2
-The modern tube marketplace
-Simple tube amp maintenance anyone can do
-The limits of safely mismatching speakers to a stated amp load

Episode 3

-The death of guitar shows
-The Truth About Vintage Amps rant on Skip’s website
-Why you may not need a three-prong plug on your amp
-The “death cap” and the magic behind certain capacitors
-Modifying non-MASCO P/A heads as guitar amps
-Inheriting and maintaining a ’65 Super Reverb
-Amp biasing
-Learning how to read a schematic

Episode 4 

-Different aftermarket speaker options for a Fender Champ
-The dangers of working on vintage amplifiers
-What to look for when shopping for a vintage guitar amp
-A perplexing 2000-era Gibson amplifier
-Output transformers in a Silverton 1481
-Carbon comp resistors versus metal film
-The value of an DIY amp kit
-“Converting” a Knight (or Bogen) vocal PA head into a guitar amp

Episode 5 

-Spring Reverb, 101: How does it work, how to fix it
-Grounding tips
-Skip’s recommended multimeters and soldering irons
-Using vintage US-made amps overseas
-Making a 1968 Fender Super Reverb a little less loud
-Breaking in a new speaker
-Gigging with a ’58 Fender Vibrolux
-Octal tubes
-Skip’s thoughts on DIY amp kits

Episode 6

-Modding a Silverface Fender Champ
-Buying a good speaker wiring harnesses
-Keeping seldom-used guitar amps in usable shape
-Groundbreaking amplifiers through history
-The standby switch (again!)
-Craigslist shopping tips
-Replacement fuses
-A 1948 Gibson BR6 with an unusual chasis mount
-The explosive proliferation of effects pedals
-Wet/dry rigs and recommendations for an A/B box
-Tips on buying NOS vacuum tubes
-Discovering a Coastwise Electronics Model 310 amplifier
-Replacement tubes for a hand-wired Vox AC30
-Buying a transformer for a 5E3 Tweed Deluxe amp kit

Episode 7

-Dick Dale and the Fender Showman amp
-The differences between Fender Tweed, Brownface, Blackface and Silverface amps
-Noise floor: What’s acceptable, what indicates an amp problem
-Broken tube pins
-Using amps in stereo (safely)
-Toroidal power transformers
-Thoughts on the Universal Audio Ox attenuator and attenuators in general
-Using a Fender Champ as a tube tester
-The “bright cap mod” on a Fender Deluxe Reverb
-Skip’s mods to the Silverface Champ circuit
-Building your own kit amp
-Achieving the sound of Billy Childish without a Selmer Triumph Reverb
-Replacement bass amp speakers

Episode 8

-Skip replies to a critic of his WD-40 hack
-Jason’s Gibson EH-150 amp needs help
-An answer to last week’s Silverface Fender Champ baffler
-Speaker re-coning recommendations
-A buggy reissue Gibson GA-20 prototype
-Recommendations for a baritone guitar player
-Protecting an amp from the elements in damp Southeast Texas
-Running a Traynor head (or any head) on only one power tube
-Can you break an amp through loud playing/boost/effects?
-Making a reissue Blackface Deluxe Reverb sound vintage
-How to buy pre-amp tubes online
-Alternative chasis materials
-Fitting bigger speakers in a Champ cab
-Capturing the sound of Billy Childish (again)
-A ’60s Gibson Skylark with numerous issues
-A new amp baffler

Episode 9 

-Skip takes care of a baby goat
-Who was Ray Massie (the answer to this week’s baffler)
-A Clavioline needs TLC
-Identifying a tube when you have no schematic
-The affect a speaker size has on even the smallest amps
-The Garnet Herzog mod
-The different tremolo circuit between a Blackface Deluxe Reverb and a Blackface Princeton Reverb
-Tube amp touring advice (including the often-asked, ‘Which way do I lie my amp down in the van’ question)
-Baffle board construction
-RAW switches
-Radio noise in a Fender reverb unit
-Removing tube covers
-A funky Gregory Mark XX
-Skip offers a music recommendation

Episode 10 

:22 Skip and Jason discuss possible Truth About Vintage Amps t-shirt designs (coming soon)
2:55 Jason and Skip discuss the Fretboard Journal (modified) Fender  Champ
4:26 How to install a quarter-inch output into a Champ with an RCA speaker connector
6:02 Recommended solder
8:00 Our first sponsor – Grez Guitars!
10:26 Our new Instagram page!
10:54 This week’s Baffler
12:08 A walk-through of the Fender Champ 5F1 schematic (available online, print it out)
21:10 Wall power fluctuations
26:38 Recommended tube amps for acoustic guitars
33:05 Father’s Day and the Tweed Deluxe
36:05 BB King’s Gibson Lab Series (solid state) amp
38:26 A yard-sale find pre-war Rickenbaker amp and a dim bulb current limiter
41:14 Stew-Mac’s Snufferstick, Part One
44:00 Leaning a tube amp on its stand – good or bad?
46:30 A noisy Fender silverface Princeton
49:26 Boutique amps
51:54 Recommended new components
55:22 Snufferstick, Part Two
59:40 Capturing that Champ distortion with a louder amp (and a shoutout to Tim Foster)
1:03:26 Manitoba’s Johnson Sound System amplifiers
1:06:30 Replacing old can power capacitors cleanly
1:15:15 Recommended bigger speakers / impedance for a Fender Champ
1:18:38 Converting an old Hammond AO-39 organ reverb amp to a guitar amp
1:27:15 A 1957 Fender 5F4 Super amp with an original selenium bias rectifier
1:35:13 Skip’s record picks of the week
1:38:22 Best position for the three-way ground switch on a Fender
1:40:00 Skip has to return a Weed Eater

Episode 11

4:00 We talk about the dramatic results of the Skip-modified Fretboard Journal silverface Fender Champ
13:17 Skip’s unusual four amp switcher / mixer / pre-amp invention
19:48 Looking at the Fender 5F1 Champ schematic, part two (listen to episode 10 to get the first part)
31:37 This podcast now has an Instagram page (please follow us)
32:30 The problem with Skip’s Ep. 10 Baffler (on Fender tremolo circuits)
34:00 This week’s Baffler: A recently-serviced Fender Princeton Reverb with noisy pots
37:08 The smell of vintage tube amps
40:42 Gibson Falcon mods
45:00 Skip’s preferred NOS tubes
51:02 Loose tubes on a Gibson GA-6 Lancer
56:38 Thoughts on vintage Magnatones and the Magnatone pitch-shifting vibrato
1:02:36 A listener with a rare Hohner Contessa CA-300 amp asks for tips on keeping terminal strip/point-to-point wiring repair tidy
1:09:44 Why the 5E3 tweed Fender Deluxe is so loud, even with the volume turned down… plus the perils of replacing vintage pots
1:13:06 More Snufferstick talk and a Fender 6G15 reverb tank that hates high humidity
1:16:38 Tips on finding a good amp tech
1:26:45 A battery-powered(!) Gretsch Safari owned by a member of the Blue Man Group (see above photo, courtesy Jeff Mezzrow)
1:29:15 Finding tube amp treasures via Ham radio enthusiasts
1:33:54 Sleuthing on the origins of a Venice-branded amplifier
1:36:06 A repaired 1966 Ampeg Reverberocket 2 with some quirks
1:43:18 A hissing 1967 Fender Vibrolux Reverb and a great Danny Gatton tale

Bonus content: Travis Wammack’s “Scratchy;” a cardiologist chimes in; Skip’s beer of choice; why you should befriend your dentist; the novels of Patrick O’Brien and much more.

Episode 12 

2:05 Skip works on a barn-find 1960 Fender Tweed Bassman
6:10 Parenting tips
7:50 Jason confesses to Skip that he got a Stew-Mac Champ kit; DIY amp tips
12:33 Skip’s music picks of the week
16:05 Building a tube stereo amp (Dynaco Stereo 70, for music playback) versus a guitar amp
19:39 A synth repairman gets a contact high thanks to LSD residue
20:33 Disgusting things found in old amplifiers
21:16 Last week’s Baffler (a noisy Princeton Reverb, listen to episode 11) responses and answer
27:37 This week’s Baffler is the image above (and on our new Instagram page): What is the thing used for?
28:45 A listener in a hurry fixes his Les Paul thanks to Skip’s tube amp advice
30:34 Preserving (sloppy) originality on a CBS-era Fender or making it better than original
35:13 A non-reverb Silverface Fender Princeton with a weak vibrato
40:48 A reissue ‘63 Fender Vibroverb that needs more clean headroom
45:42 How do amp circuits get named?
47:40 Cleaning vintage pots
49:49: An ‘80s Tusc amp with EQ
51:06 What to do with a ‘70s Silverface Champ with no maintenance history
54:14 A ‘66 Ampeg Reverberocket with an unusual distortion sound
1:01:18 A ’69 Fender Bassman with both fixed and cathode bias
1:05:20 Rebuilding an amp found in a Hammond M-3 organ and melted wax on power transformers
1:07:52 A glimpse at the Fender Musicmaster Bass amps
1:11:40 Differences between an amp schematic and layout
1:13:24 A bargain Ampeg cabinet with four Altec 417 speakers
1:15:28 Sleeper pedal steel amp recommendations
1:17:00 An ‘80s Mesa Boogie SOB amp with a red-plating 6L6BC tube
1:20:01 Alternatives to the 6C10 tube on a ’82 Fender Super Champ
1:22:40 Negative feedback: What is it? Adjusting it…
1:29:21 A 1963 Gibson Discoverer Tremolo (GA-8T) amp with too much treble
1:32:01 Skip’s brief tutorial on speaker efficiency

Episode 13

3:27 Skip’s roll call of who is getting an A/B box
5:11 We discuss episode 12’s Baffler, the 3 Channel Psychedelic Control Center
9:10 A new Baffler!
11:44 An unlikely backup amp suggestion
14:30 This episode’s sponsors: Grez Guitars and Mono Cases (and TAVA t-shirts, coming soon)
17:00 Little Charlie’s Spanish rice (yes, our first recipe)
18:22 More parenting tips
19:11 A preview of our next amp schematic 101
22:34 More Champ mod talk: One difference between Blackface and Silverface Fender Champs, the Hammond 290AX transformer
27:38 Gain stage: What makes an amp distort
32:14 Bringing a Blackface Fender Tremolox with a solid state rectifier back to stock
37:21 A ’60s Kay 704 “Vanguard”
43:54 An amp motherlode in Lodi, California
45:35 A Princeton Reverb with a pilot light that is too bright
48:43 A Gibson GA-20 RVT found in a trash bin
54:28 Channel jumping and a vintage Airline Model 62-9013A
1:01:48 The pop you hear turning off your amp
1:07:03 A speaker dilemma on a 1962 Brownface Deluxe
1:09:28 Converting a PA head to a tube mic pre-amp
1:14:20 Turning an old tube radio into a guitar amp
1:18:18 Norwegian lues and Helge Tallqvist
1:19:11 This week’s recommended music
1:20:49 High-powered tube amps and the Hiwatt 400 bass amp
1:25:32 Using a light bulb limiter instead of a variac
1:27:34 Speaker replacement on a Gibson GA-40
1:31:50 A tribute guitar repairman Glen Quan, inventor of the Badass bridge

Episode 14

2:18 We have Truth About Vintage T-shirts (support the show!)
5:33 This week’s sponsors: Grez Guitars, Martin, Gibson and Carter Vintage
6:29 The Epiphone version of a Gibson Falcon
9:00 More cooking tips with Skip
12:12 Skip can’t find his schematic
12:30 Thrifty Leo [Fender]
14:12 More music tips: Bix Beiderbecke, Ned Boynton
18:00 Skip’s looking for someone to recone field coil speakers
19:35 Skip talks about his Champ mods, once more
24:45 The final Baffler
28:06 Correction re: Guitar Center’s return policy
29:28 A listener with an interesting way to use an electric amp with an acoustic guitar
33:27 The Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound
37:12 Skip’s test guitar and cheap British amp recommendations
43:00 Skip’s test cabinet
45:15 A 1968 Fender Pro Reverb with a delayed vibrato
47:32 What’s a tone stack?
51:15 Pinpointing the buzz on a Silverface Fender Princeton
54:35 Class A, Class A/B and single-ended power tube arrangements
59:17 Tips on looking at vintage Gibson amps
1:02:48 A listener fixes his own Gibson Discoverer Tremolo
1:08:00 The triode mode used on high-powered amps
1:14:01 A brief chat about Dumble
1:18:44 A mid-60s Epiphone Galaxy that’s won’t turn off
1:20:23 Salvaging parts from a heavily modified Blackface Fender Bassman
1:24:30 Discussing changes on an early 1969 Fender Twin Reverb
1:29:50 Making homebrew amps sound less civil
1:33:11 Making a late ’50s Sylvania powered speaker amp work better as a guitar amp
1:42:12 Modding PA heads to work for guitars

Episode 15

2:40 New goats!
5:34 The search for good amp repair people (introduce yourself!)
8:10 Music pick of the week: Thee Lakesiders
9:00 New sponsor: the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery
10:15 Cooking on amps: Hot dogs and the tale of Leslie West’s meatball sub (thanks, Greg!)
12:37 An answer to last week’s Baffler
13:44 Digging deeper into the Fender 5E1 Champ schematic
17:07 Skip’s stir fry recipe
23:27 A listener searches for a vintage tube amp book [Update: It can be found online here.]
28:03 New shirt ideas; working on tube AM radios
35:32 Quieting the ticking tremolo of a Silverface Fender Deluxe Reverb
44:20 Evaluating a 1966 Epiphone Pacemaker and a National Studio 10
50:13 The tonal and volume difference between 10 and 12-inch speakers
53:20 A 1965 Ampeg Reverberocket GS-12R transformed by a replacement vintage Alnico speaker
56:20 Low-watt alternatives for a Marshall lover
1:01:51 The “thing” that Fender Bandmasters do
1:08 Pros/cons of pulling the V1 tube on two-channel Blackface amps
1:12:08 A ’65 Pro Reverb with a splashing reverb noise
1:17:08 Joshua Yenne’s Falcon shootout:
1:17:46 A listener avoids a bad amp trade thanks to Skip
1:24:50 Skip’s take on a kit 5E3/5E5 Proluxe
1:28:35 A sag resistor to make a Fender Pro Jr. sound squishier
1:31:32 Another music pick: Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You”

Episode 16 

1:50 Jason starts his Stew-Mac Tweed Champ kit, Skip offers soldering tips
9:33 Skip offers some new surplus aluminum amp chassis
11:05 An A/B box update
13:50 Skip’s latest projects: A Blackface Fender Bassman and a Blackface Bandmaster
15:52 An eBay score: A bargain Park-branded Marshall JTM45
20:16 TAVA t-shirt updates
22:25 Sponsors: Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery & Grez Guitars
24:30 Any female amp techs out there? (Shoutout to @fazioelectric!)
31:20 Finding an amp’s EQ sweet spot via hearing the greatest amount of change on the knobs
41:30 Higher-wattage single-ended amps
48:30 A 1960 Epiphone Pacemaker that breaks up too soon
54:15 What type of wire(s) for a vintage-style Fender clone?
1:01:00 The next steps after building a Champ
1:10:05 The horrible distortion on an Ampeg V4
1:16:20 Damage from powering a tube amp without a speaker
1:21:28 Two amp reverb from vintage Gibson, Gretsch and Supro amps
1:28:24 Fender combo speaker output 101
1:35:47 Skip’s cheap speaker cabinet tips
1:42:24 Noisy filament wire in Filmosound conversions
1:50:19 Digging deeper into the Champ schematic

Episode 17

1:57 Skip’s A/B box update
2:50 Skip’s music picks: Curtis Mayfield!, Larry Norman!, Stryper!
10:11 Skip’s video pick: Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer performing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”
12:00 TAVA shirt updates
12:22 Skip’s amp packing recommendations
14:05 Jason asks all the dumb Champ build questions you’re scared to ask
32:33 A higher-powered single-ended amp recommendation (a contemporary Supro Comet)
39:36 The 18-watt WEM Dominator V and a plug for David Minter’s Marshall and UK Made Pre Owned Amplifiers Facebook group
45:22 The amps built inside Fender Rhodes
48:12 “Blackfacing” a 1975 Fender Bassman
51:03 A unique 5F1 build and a question about speakers with whizzer cones
58:59 A Model 21 National-Dobro-made amp-in-case
1:02:54 Cloning the DeArmond R5 amp
1:08:52 Oddball European tube amps
1:11:34 The pros and cons of FX loops
1:17:38 The sonic differences between octal and 9-pin pre-amp tubes
1:25:03 Does a 2×12 speaker need a baffle
1:29:48 Uncle Doug videos
1:31:17 Harmonic tremolo
1:34:48 The rare Fender Vibroverb
1:46:20 A terminal board rattle

Episode 18

2:40 Jason brings home a Marshall Mercury
13:40 Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders
17:47 A request for a deeper dive into the Fender Champ schematic
24:34 Skip sells his Fender Tremolux head; an Ampex 960 reel-to-reel for free
27:45 Pat Boone’s recording console
30:45 Putting a VU meter in a Champ?
34:10 Truth About Vintage Amps shirts update: Shipped!
34:34 This week’s sponsor:Grez Guitars
37:20 More soldering advice
38:42 Scratchy pot tips (spoiler alert: WD-40)
41:43 An ’80s Fender Concert
47:08 A Vibroluxe Reverb versus Deluxe Reverb and the sonic difference between 10″ and 12″ speakers
57:25 Ray Massie’s The Vibe amp
59:30 18-watt Marshalls and a listener’s clone attempt using a Rauland PA amp platform
1:06:34 A 1955 Tweed Bassman with nearly all-new parts
1:10:32 When to replace drifted resistors
1:12:30 Converting a Fender PA-100 into a guitar amp
1:14:16 How many watts from a 6L6?
1:17:40 The Vingtor amp from Norway (and fixing a tremolo)
1:23:53 More Champ kit tips (wiring tube sockets)
1:25:22 A proposed Skip certification program
1:26:52 Coffee advice (Amazon link for the lazy)
1:29:40 Soap advice (Amazon link for the lazy)
1:31:50 Getting a 1965 Fender Princeton Reverb reissue rewired by Alessandro
1:37:45 Bad solder joints and troubleshooting a DIY 5F1 that stopped behaving

Episode 19

3:06 Soup hacks
4:01 An affordable, American-made boot
5:41 Frampton plays B.B. King
9:00 Site specific amp problems
12:37 Recommended Music: Joe Craven & the Sometimers’ ‘Garcia’s Songbook,’ Aretha Franklin’s ‘Aretha’s Gold’ and Charlie Musselwhite’s ‘Stand Back’
18:36 Skip goes to Harvard
20:04 Parenting tips
30:06 Today’s sponsor: Grez Guitars
32:15 More Larry Norman talk and props to Jon Linn
33:02 Solder or “sodder”
35:05 Skip’s recommended vintage tube supplier and advice on replacing tubes
40:22 Putting a solid state rectifier in a tweed-style amp
49:00 Fixing an output transformer in a 1961 Fender Brownface Pro
56:07 Hi-fi tube amps and phono pre-amp basics
1:04:06 A ’67 Fender Bassman that was plugged into a DI box
1:09:14 More output transformer talk: Ampeg Reverberocket
1:11:26 A vintage Niviko MA120X Japanese amp
1:19:06 A 1968 Fender Super Reverb with a rattle
1:25:34 The “trimmer” in a ’60s Silvertone 1431
1:28:40 Dirty power, an electric fence and an early ’60s Gibson Skylark
1:34:33 Changing the head gasket on a Subaru Forester
1:35:25 More on the trimmer on a Silverton 1431
1:38:28 Car talk
1:43:36 A Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with a busted volume pot
1:47:52 A clean, high-headroom, low volume steel amp
1:52:15 A Fender Silverface Champ vs Blackface Champ

Episode 20

1:50 John Lennon in Sacramento
3:17 A quick story about Earl Yarrow
12:20 Western Electric hi-fi collecting
14:40 Music recommendations: The Originals; Skip Mahoney & the Casuals; Julie London; “On the Alamo”
17:28: This week’s sponsors: Grez Guitars and Mono Cases
18:15 Skip addresses the critics (grounded cords, replaced caps)
30:02 “Solder,” revisited
31:39 Removing the ground hum from two amps running together
34:50 Making an amp out of a sushi platter; recommended needle nose pliers
38:27 6L6s in a Deluxe Reverb
42:41 Skip on your voicemail
45:20 President Skip?, practicalities of running an attenuator
50:33 Acoustic tube amps, revisited
54:45 A 1968 Princeton non-reverb lacking volume
57:47 Other vintage Gibson amps
1:03:00 The truth about unmodified Gibson Falcons and Silverface Champs
1:09:41 Vox Pacemakers overview
1:12:24 The unique properties of a Fender Bassman
1:15:38 Using pre-amp tubes as a power tube
1:19:40 Learning soldering and circuits from simple pedal kits and the Little Ruby
1:24:58 Running a Champ through a Variac versus a Hammond 290AX power transformer
1:27:44 A 1963 Fender Vibrolux with treble hiss
1:35:14 Speakers for a 1965 Ampeg Reverberocket 2 GS-12R
1:39:44 Non-lead solder
1:43:54 Biasing a cathode bias amp
1:49:49 Measuring plate current
1:54:57 The Baffler returns!

Episode 21

8:00 Cloning vintage knobs (video link, h/t John from Australia!)
9:34 This week’s sponsors: Grez Guitars, Roberto-Venn
11:01 An open call for our first live caller
13:39 Bartell guitar history (site link)
14:49 Skip’s schedule
16:49 More Solder-gate
17:15 Single-ended, parallel twin power tube amps
21:18 WD-40 to the rescue, again
23:28 Unwanted noise from an Echoplex
32:02 Lower B-plus voltage on a Blackface Fender
37:38 Tweed Princeton with a choke vs a resistor
44:18 Speaker cable vs guitar cable (and a sad bird tale)
53:46 Skip’s soup tips
56:43 The story behind the TAVA intro music
57:44 Sal Trentino and a Standel 80L15 schematic
1:05:22 Asking boutique makers for their schematics
1:10:37 Dr. Z’s new Jetta amp and the story behind the 7591 power tube
1:15:25 Figuring out what’s original in a 1953 Fender Tweed Deluxe (5B3)
1:18:14 How noticeable are bad caps?
1:26:06 A solid state Peavey Firebass 700 that won’t stop power cycling
1:29:00 An AmpRX BrownBox for a Brownface Deluxe
1:31:57 Skip’s picks: Treme; Aretha Franklin’s ‘Amazing Grace’; ‘Harlan County, USA; ‘The House That Trane Built’; the Recordium on YouTube; “Wherever You Go” by Skip Mahoney
1:37:00 Cheap Amazon variacs
1:39:41 Mystery tubes in a 1960 Lafayette tape deck
1:44:16 Putting the 5U4GB back into a 1969 Fender Princeton
1:51:29 Cooling off an amp that runs hot

Episode 22

1:37 Charles Baty (Little Charlie & The Nightcats! Little Charlie & Organ Grinder Swing!) joins us: Termite tales, Spanish rice hacks and amp tips from the road
43:09 Movie recommendations: ‘Wattstax’; ‘Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey’
44:16 Skip plays a gig
46:30 This week’s sponsor: Grez Guitars
46:55 Robert Keeley (!) calls in on Dean’s Echoplex woes (a follow-up fromTAVA #21)
50:24 A ’68 Fender Vibrolux reissue with a wonky footswitch
54:16 Replace a two-prong cord with a three-prong cord
57:29 “Getting to ‘no’ you;” “Suzie Q,” the Instant Pot, mashed potatoes and hot dogs
1:04:10 An amp with a noisy front plate
1:06:27 Instrumental music picks (Leo Kottke, Nels Cline), Skip’s early music influences
1:12:19 Future TAVA interviews plans
1:14:25 “Why we don’t replace all vintage electrolytic capacitors” video (YouTube link)
1:18:00 Robben Ford’s Dumble-modified Fender Super Reverbs
1:24:29 Why don’t amps have no-speaker protection?
1:31:53 AC568 Bassman amps, Fender grounding plates, sources of hiss, the 500 pF Baffler
1:37:55 Music picks: Erkin Koray’s ‘Elektronik Turkular’ and Bloodstone’s “Natural High”
1:39:07 Bogen PA heads and Harvey Mandel’s fuzz tone
1:43:43 Replacing drop capacitors in Victoria amps
1:49:47 Canada, part one: a Traynor YGL-3, Mark III with no input signal
1:53:14 Canada, part two: Sleeper Canadian amps (Garnet, Traynor, Johnson); check out the Corry Boys
1:57:00 An (almost) free vintage speaker (act fast)
1:58:15 Coffee in a can updates

Episode 23

1:05 “Naming calls” and PG&E
2:33 A/B box updates
3:00 The TAVA “book club” launches: Order the Angela Instruments’ tweed Princeton article and schematic (PDF, use at your own risk)
9:18 John Vanderslice (singer-songwriter, musician, Tiny Telephone Recording!) joins us: Living room shows, eating on the road, Gibson Falcons, mics for recording amps, Stromberg-Carlson pre-amps, surviving the music industry
1:01:40 Brian, the speaker re-coner at Weber Speakers:
1:03:03 Erick Coleman’s amp tech recommendation: Paul Schmittauer (email us)
1:04:08 Great Goo: Pepper Plant hot sauce (Amazon link:
1:05:40 Epiphone Pacemaker amps
1:07:23 Misspelled “Colombia” Fender amps
1:08:52 How multiple inputs work on amps
1:11:57 Using the second input on a Fender as a line-out
1:14:14 Amp builder Bob Gjika (Gjika Amplification), the mojo behind single-ended amps
1:20:09 A noisy Peavey Delta Blues 115
1:24:44 Solder in Italy (Soldergate revisited)
1:26:17 Breaking-in new tubes; upgrading parts in a Champ kit
1:32:00 What’s on Skip’s bench
1:33:01 Sano accordion tube and Audio Guild amps (see our Instagram for photos)
1:38:07 Skip on biasing
1:43:00 St. George amp heads, built by Ray Massie
1:46:50 The lifespan of tweed Fender caps
1:49:17 The “Fountain of Sound” Ampeg JS-35
1:53:02 Music recommendation: Pat Martino’s El Hombre; the Guild Double Twin combo guitar amp
1:55:43 Music recommendation, part two: The Nat Turner Rebellion’s cover of “Going in Circles”
1:56:43 Parenting tips: Classic Walt Disney movies
1:58:15 Slowing the tremolo rate in a blackface Fender
2:00:58 6973 power tubes in Supro amp
2:02:28 Replacements for a 6c10 tube found in an ’80s Fender Super Champ
2:06:38 Working on a Montgomery Ward 55 JDR 8436
2:10:49 Tube naming 101
2:13:16 Our forthcoming one year anniversary, a brief state of affairs

Episode 24

9:49: This week’s sponsor: Grez Guitars (link)
10:35 The Fretboard Journal’s Electric Guitar Annual, Vol. 2 (pre-order here)
>11:56 The TAVA First Year anniversary celebration: Win a Tweed Champ kit from Stew-Mac (Instagram link) !!!
15:26 Who wants to order a TAVA hat like this one? Email us…
18:36 Skip on our Angela Princeton reprint
24:36 Transformer 101
35:35 Amps for harp players
43:26 Building your first bass amp
51:54 Using an ART tube pre-amp in front of a guitar amp
55:18 A Traynor YBA-1 Bass-Master with a sensitive master volume
59:18 British vs. American amp tone
1:04:22 Another listener recommended amp tech: Tyler at Boss Organ in Somerville, Mass.
1:10:11 DeArmond amps
1:16:57 Bringing a Gibson EH-150 back to life
1:22:34 Kenny Burrell’s ‘Midnight Blue’
1:24:17 Craig Korth on the Fretboard Journal Podcast and the Ray Butts EchoSonic amp (link)
1:25:58 Salvaging stuff from a dead RCA film projector for a Princeton Reverb clone
1:34:32 A 1972 Fender Super Reverb with a weak tremolo; plus, what is an opto-coupler?
1:41:54 Trying different tubes on a Music Man Sixty-Five Reverb
1:48:35 KTNN: The Voice of the Navajo Nation

Episode 25

1:18 The TAVA Index (with a nod to Harper’s magazine)
6:55 What’s on Skip’s bench?
8:49 Speaker reconing: Scumback speakers
10:46 Skip’s Christmas wish list: A Subaru replacement, a break from phone calls
13:42 TAVA givewaway: A Stew-Mac Tweed Champ kit!
14:12 Our Angela Instruments amp project download
15:35 Manbroidery’s two-prong patch / a potential Ebbett’s Field Flannels hat
17:00 Yet another giveaway: An A/B box or $125 Skip labor credit
19:40 Skip gets a tractor
24:14 Dual rectifier tubes and Sag 101
28:40 Jason tries to get a special guest
31:29 Cabbage and mushrooms
35:00 Cabinet glue
40:49 Fender’s White amplifiers
44:09 Choosing a Fender for your band
48:12 How Skip drains filter caps
51:35 Lafayette amplifiers
54:28 A 1971 Fender Bassman (AA371) with stray voltages
59:23 Making an Ampex 602A work for guitar
1:11:32 Splitting a 2×12 speaker cab
1:15:19 Using a looper pedal to help with soundchecks (h/t Julian Lage)
1:16:50 Music recommendation: Red Norvo
1:18:12 Budweiser Copper Lager and cast iron pans
1:25:43 A Cornell Romany Pro that goes through power tubes
1:33:34 Book review: Maurice J. Summerfield’s The Jazz Guitar
1:34:32 Light bulb limiters
1:36:56 A Princeton Reverb-style amp with a pull-switch on the volume control
1:41:35 A Classic Tone 5E3 power transformer with one metal washer
1:43:35 A history of phase inverters
1:46:02 More new parallel, single-ended amps

Episode 26

1:46 An update on the Angela 5F2 Princeton schematic/article
4:23 TAVA Podcast Giveaways: A Stew-Mac Champ kit; an A/B box from Skip (winners to be announced during Ep. 27)
12:43 Reserve one of Manbroidery’s two-prong TAVA hats (Instagram link)
14:33 More cast iron
17:26 Triad Electronics’ return to guitar amp transformers, via Benson Amps
25:02 Charles Baty returns: Red Norvo, Tal Farlow, Chico Hamilton, Red Garland & Chile Colorado!
48:21 Gibson GA8T (Discoverer) amps
51:14 A 1966 Fender Vibro Champ with a mystery hum
57:02 Silverface Fender Champs versus 1960s Gibson Skylark / Atlas / etc.
59:11 Sonic variations between matching and serviced vintage Fender amplifiers
1:03:59 Using a Variac and a power strip to power up multiple amps simultaneously
1:07:53 Vintage guitar amps with built-in legs
1:12:25 A request for a single-episode Champ schematic walk-through
1:12:46 25uf cathode bias 12ax7 cathode-bypass caps on Champs
1:17:19 Getting up to speed on electronics basics
1:20:08 Amp class
1:23:14 Buck Nickels and Loose Change – “Makin’ Wine” (Larry Cragg in action! YouTube link.)
1:23:39 A new speaker configuration for a Danelectro DS100 cab
1:28:08 Gibson Invader amps
1:31:11 Grid leak biasing vs. cathode biasing
1:34:56 Modifying the Angela dual-singled amp with Russian 6P1P-EV tubes
1:36:35 Australia, Toyota Land Cruisers and fly fishing guides
1:38:43 Swollen caps in a 1979 Fender Deluxe Reverb; tips on drilling holes in a chassis

Episode 27

1:20 Skip’s A/B box setback
3:00 A winner for our Stew-Mac Champ kit
4:40 A question for our Australian listeners
6:07 A glitchy Ampeg Reverberocket
7:09 Skip heads to a vintage guitar show
12:00 @manbroidery two-prong hat update, let us know if you want one (Instagram link)
15:22 Old carbon comp resistors and Domino caps in an amp kit build
20:23 Testing caps for leakage
24:58 Running a synth through a tube amp
28:33 The timing on Kenny Burrell’s “Chitlins con Carne”
30:07 Music recommendation: The Joe Mooney Quartet (YouTube link)
31:17 The rationale for crazy amps like the Baldwin Exterminator
35:53 The sushi boat amp update; Rob Robinette’s tube amp page; micro amps
40:40 1960s Guild Thunder series amps
43:52 New cast iron (link, link, link); rum & tonic
46:24 The Big Index page:
46:58 Wear and tear from maxed out amp settings
48:25 Restoring (and storing) a blown Oxford speaker
50:52  Where the magic happens in a non-master volume tube amp
59:00 Tips re: Little Charlie’s Chile Colorado
1:04:43 The speaker driven out / monitor jack on a Gibson Falcon
1:09:34 Tinkering with a one-tube reverb circuit
1:12:11 Modding a Gibson GA-5 Les Paul Jr. reissue amp
1:18:01 Thoughts on the Fender Musicmaster Bass amps
1:23:10 A cheap Variac hack with a current meter (eBay link; eBay link)
1:29:00 Safely using a ‘60s Supro Bantam “widowmaker” amp
1:33:08 Adding a polarity switch to an amp without one
1:35:36 Effects pedals between an amp and its speaker?
1:37:50 ART tube pre-amps (revisited) and Skip’s preferred tube preamps
1:42:00 Output transformer spec basics

Episode 28

2:13 Skip gets a $25 guitar; Jason goes to NAMM
11:05 Marc Silber’s inventory
14:16 Skip meets Grez
17:43 Tyler wins of our Union Bean Counter Tone Druid pedal giveaway (correct answer: Tom Waits)
19:17 Tyler’s fish taco recipe (email us)
20:29 A very clean Fender Tweed Deluxe
22:00 Joe Craven and Bruce MacMillan covers the Dead
23:24 Australians respond to Skip’s Robert Hughes query
23:51 More on Brent’s bargain Variac with a current meter hack
26:46 Leaving an amp on for a week
29:33 Vintage wire that just won’t solder
31:33 The Fender Greta as a pre-amp
34:02 The JHD Ice Cube Sustain Coupler (link)
37:43 The dangers of running an effect between an amp and a speaker cab
38:43 Changing a 1952 Gibsonette GA-8 from a field coil to regular magnetic speaker
42:30 Increasing the headroom on a Peavey Classic 50
45:45 Substituting a 5Y3 with a 5V4 in a 5E3 Deluxe
49:16 A 1950s Gibson GA-6 with an adapter for a 12AX7 pre-amp tube; more rectifier tube talk
51:50 Marshalls versus Fenders and the difference between 6V6/6L6 and an EL34/EL84
54:26 A Canadian Gibson Falcon that needs a massive overhaul
55:47 Choosing an amp for re-heating food
59:49 Little Charlie’s Chile Colorado, revisited
1:02:05 Export model Silverface Fenders
1:04:16 Questions on Angela’s Super Single-Ended Amp

Episode 29

3:34 Skip goes to see Temple Grandin
10:20 A Facebook group for the TAVA Podcast?
10:48 Manbroidery’s Two Prong Hat update
11:16 This week’s sponsor: Grez Guitars
12:57 A noisy reverb thanks to vintage tubes
15:55 Cooking (on amps) with Billy Cowsill; a hot Flotatone
21:41 Using DC voltage to heat tubes for quieter operation (the 2020 Soldano SLO-100, Otis amps, other examples)
26:58 Using an amp as a pedal platform (tube vs solid state)
32:39 A successful 5F1 copy and liability concerns when selling boutique tube amps
38:42 Why can’t they fit reverb into a Fender Vibro Champ?
41:51 Evolution of the Fender Deluxe Reverb reissues
45:15 Power for an outboard EQ section DIY project
48:28 A new DIY project: Changing the power transformer of a Fender Twin Reverb and modifying it for 6V6s to reduce weight
52:17 What to do with a non-working Gibson Hawk?
55:09 Why do tube amps sound better after a few hours of use?
58:59 Correct fuse for a 1973 Fender Champ
1:02:21 Replacement speakers in a vintage Gibson Skylark
1:06:18 Where to grab a chassis before removing it?
1:08:08 Laurens Hammond vs Donald Leslie
1:12:00 Tips on speaker cabinet construction
1:15:26 Discrepancies in the Angela SSE schematic
1:23:06 Listener Nate’s favorite hot & sour soup recipe (link)
1:23:36 A failing 5Y3 rectifier at a gig
1:28:51 Troubleshooting a weak channel on a 5D3 Tweed Deluxe
1:35:07 Coffee from Mechanicsburg, Ohio (Hemisphere’s Redline Roast, link)

Episode 30

4:10 The hillbillies from Olivehurst: A cursed Gibson GA-15RVT and an early ’60s Gibson Melody Maker
11:09 A 1951 Fender Tweed Pro with a factory field coil speaker (with one end on the B+, the other end grounded)
14:38 A TAVA Facebook group? Looking for moderators (inquire within)
18:44 Frito Chili Pie
20:42 Biasing for Class A Fixed, Class A/B and Cathode biasing; A Fender 5F2A’s inverse negative feedback
30:49 Built-in power attenuators
35:40 Installing a headphone output jack on a vintage Fender Champ
37:16 The future reputation of modern amp builders (Carr, Dr. Z, Bartel, etc.)
47:04 More on Skip’s Retropolitan amps
50:35 Breaking-in a speaker with a looper pedal
53:49 Music recommendations: Stanley Turentine, Grant Green, Lou Donaldson, Shirley Scott
55:21 What’s wrong with Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s amp on his 1946 recording “That’s All Right”?
57:35 Vintage Australian amps: Goldentone, Vase & Moody
58:34 A Fender Blues Deville with too much reverb
1:00:58 The “tone expander” switch on a Gibson GA30RV “Invader”
1:02:20 Vintage Gibson cabinet talk: Redwood? Any available reproduction cabinets?
1:05:54 Music recommendation: ‘Unshaven: Live at Smith’s Olde Bar’ by Shaver
1:07:34 A John Vanderslice / Tiny Telephone update
1:09:07 Mac & cheese revisited
1:10:15 Picky goats
1:11:12 Selmer Triumph Reverb schematic
1:13:50 Grounding schemes, halloumi cheese
1:21:17 Special guest: Chris Benson of Benson Amps! (Triad transformers, new releases, granola, cast iron)
1:39:19 Replace the bypass cap on your silverface Champ
1:40:10 Rodriguez & Searching for Sugar Man
1:42:01 Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven

Episode 31

1:32 Skip tries to stay in the middle
5:04 Little Charlie Remembered
13:47 The hillbilly amp bought on eBay by listener @scschooling on Instagram (link)
14:49 Adam Grimm (Satellite Amps) builds a motion controlled boost with a mercury thermostat
16:08 Skip on Selmer amps, again
18:42 Making a Fender Acoustasonic Junior road worthy
24:13 Play through an amp while you’re warming it up with a Variac?
29:43 Cramming a 10″ speaker into a Champ kit
31:21 A 1956 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul amp that doesn’t match the schematic
36:38 Smoked glass tubes
39:40 A project for a late ’40s / early ’50s Magnavox mono amp; plus, beans
46:38 “Why is Mesa Boogie so bloody minded and contrary?” asks an Australian listener
52:28 Special guest: Executive Chef Chris Robertson (Southpark Seafood, Portland, Oregon)
1:11:36 Harmonic tremolo and tremolo vs. vibrato circuits; Travis Wammack, “It’s Karate Time” (YouTube link)
1:15:54 Pots that say 250k, but are actually 120k
1:18:25 A Brownface Princeton with 250k volume pots
1:21:52 Breakup on a Fender Deluxe 5E3
1:28:08 Comparing a 1962 Magnatone Custom 440 to a Fender counterpart
1:33:20 A Magnatone M7 with a mysterious foil wrapping around a coupling cap
1:37:35 Don’t Be Me: A listener’s speaker-replacing follies
1:42:30 Options for replacing a reverb tank in a ’65 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1:46:44 Recommending reading: ‘Shop Class as Soul Craft,’ ‘Trustee from the Toolroom’
1:52:08 Recommended watching: The Repair Shop (Netflix), homeschooling hacks
1:56:35 A 1963 Gibson GA-5T Skylark (Crestline series) with an annoying tremolo
2:02:02 Skip’s trip to Marijuanaville
2:05:27 Nesting with Netflix: Shetland; The Detectorists; Inspector Morse, Lewis; Better Call Saul; Trailer Park Boys
2:09:41 When is a vintage amp no longer a vintage amp?

Episode 32

8:04: Good Goo: TR3, SiliKroil
11:53 Our new Facebook Group (link)
13:13 Vacaville, CA’s hardware store (Pacific Hardware)
15:32 This week’s sponsor: Grez Guitars
16:44 The Fretboard Journal’s #FJFest (TAVA listeners will enjoy seeing DJLavalamp’s Treble Booster operation or TJ Thompson’s shop tour)
19:30 The lettered squares on an amp layout
21:05 Skip’s starter kit for aspiring amp tinkerers: Solder iron, solder, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, a stainless steel brush (and the Jack Darr book, of course)
26:06 Modding a 5F2A from China / Reverse Feedback
29:52 Jim Campilongo’s Silverface Princeton woes (NOS tube problems)
34:30 The Mullard Factory Tour on YouTube (link)
35:04 Damage from looping through a vintage amp?
41:40 Fixing a buzzy 1979 Musicmaster Bass amp
46:30 Skip’s desert island amp
48:25 How did Skip and Jason meet?
52:21 Troubleshooting white noise on an amp
56:40 Running a dummy load on a stereo amp to go mono
1:00:00 1974 Fender Champ with a cat in the amp
1:05:48 A new Baffler! Ralph Shine & Sylvia Massy trivia!
1:07:38 NOS tubes recommendation: Fbenkor on eBay
1:08:26 Otis Amps
1:13:41 Skip makes a service call to Roman Coppola (Story & Clark “Storytone” Electric Piano)
1:18:35 Skip’s travel toolkit
1:20:30 Sticking reverb in a Vibrochamp (link and link)
1:21:19 A Premier 90 Reverberation with stretched-out springs
1:23:58 Groovy tunes: Skip Mahoney’s “Wherever You Go;” Grant Green’s ‘Street of Dreams;’ William de Vaughn’s “Be Thankful for What You Got;” Timmy Thomas’ “Why Can’t We Live Together”

Episode 33

5:24 This week’s sponsor: Grez Guitars (link)
6:01 Jimmy from the Deadlies and his 5D3 Tweed Deluxe
8:13 Rustic Kegger in the Woods origin
8:48 Recommended reading: White Bicycles by Joe Boyd
9:42 A 1960 Gibson GA-6 Lancer with inputs that keep cutting out
15:34 What’s the deal with the 1954 Fender Super?
20:02 Who was Glen Quan?
21:56 Servicing a Sears Silvertone 1482
30:05 The Magnatone 280 owner’s manual
32:23 A Fender Tonemaster with a pop
41:30 The roots of tremolo with Hammond, DeArmond, etc.
44:13 A 1987 Marshall JCM-800 2210 picking up ham radio signals
52:40 Special guest: Sam Bolle (Dick Dale!)
1:09:10 A Hammond AO-35 amp conversion project
1:14:11 Seasoning cast iron pans
1:15:18 AmpRX BrownBox attenuator use
1:19:00 A steel player’s pre-amp tube needs, spiral filament design
1:22:26 What’s on Skip’s bookshelf (Trustee from the Toolroom; All Music Guide to the Blues)
1:25:16 Cartoons that adults want to watch


Episode 34

21:39 This week’s sponsor: Grez Guitars (link)
22:33 A Musicmaster Bass amp in a Vibro Champ cabinet (and vice versa)
25:19 The crest on a Gibson Crestline-era Skylark / the Gibson amp book (link)
27:49 A resistor to bias a tweed Vibrolux; power transformers in a 5F2A
38:51 Using the speaker of a Deluxe Reverb with a Quilter head
42:34 A Silverface Vibro Champ with a weak tremolo; the Capacitor Wizard
47:55 This week’s quote: “The mind that is not baffled, is not employed” -Wendell Berry
49:19 The popping Fender Tonemaster update
55:01 A gridleak bias mindworm
1:02:06 In defense of Lodge cast iron; crisper potatoes
1:07:37 Pickups and how they interact with tube amps
1:11:59 Music recommendation: Skip James’ Today!
1:13:01 Free video time killers for the DIY set: Camel Finds Water (link), Resurrection: Rescue of a 1955 VW panelvan (link), The Beast of Turin (link)
1:16:56 Rogue Hoe gardening tools (link); symptoms of a bad bias circuit
1:23:46 Dialing in your tone on a Mesa Boogie Mark IV
1:30:58 Tubes for a Fender reverb tank
1:34:33 “Chitlins Con Carne” rhythm revisited: Timmy Thomas’ “Why Can’t We Live Together,” the Police’s “Deathwish;” Gibson Falcon mods
1:39:12 Modifying a ’60s hi-fi home kit amp, plus Vinnie’s mashed potato recipe (see below)
1:48:17 Movie pick: ‘Pow Wow Highway’

Episode 35

2:39: Special Guest: Bill Krinard (Two-Rock Amplifiers): Troubleshooting a Fender Tonemaster that pops when turned off; Bodega red potatoes; Bill’s current projects; flipping the pilot light)
34:45 This week’s sponsor: Grez Guitars (link, get a behind-the-scenes Grez shop tour here)
35:39 Tips on buying a tube tester (Skip’s fave: B&K 700)
45:05 Speaker recommendations for a Champ
47:58 Troubleshooting an early ’70s Fender Bassman 50 with hum
1:00:57 Choke talk
1:05:31 Cast iron cleaning
1:10:55 Vacuum Tube Valley online (link)
1:13:53 RIP Art Dudley (FJ and Stereophile contributor)
1:14:10 Skip’s hi-fi setup
1:18:14 A Garnet Pro with built-in Stinger fuzz that sounds worse as it warms up
1:22:49 Skip’s book tips

Episode 36

4:41 One for the Tweakers: Putting a filament transformer in a HiWatt, backwards
7:38 Unfreezing pots with rubbing alcohol
11:53 Turning a Rogers Cadet hi-fi into a guitar amp
13:19 A 1953 Massie Woody on Reverb (link)
15:59 Red lacquer on solder joints
17:30 This week’s sponsor: Grez Guitars (check out the video with Tim Lerch and Tommy Harkenrider here)
21:27 The stereo-to-mono conversion box project
31:56 The only thing you’ll remember from this week’s podcast: How to say “Tony Cachere’s”
32:58 The Danelectro DM-25
35:56 Josh Yenne and the Gmail / Comcast guys
37:45 The hairy overdriven, brown sag sound for pedal steel (Charley Pride’s “Cotton Fields”)
44:45 RIP: Brian Dennehy (crooked cop in ‘Gorky Park’)
46:40 Lodge: The Blues Junior of cast iron pans?
49:00 Tips for repairing Tolex and tight-fitting chassis
50:35 The language of amp feel
54:47 Will this Kay 703 kill me?
59:59 Ry Cooder’s Instagram page
1:00:18 The tone difference of PCB vs wired amps
11:04:25 A Victoria with a thumpy tremolo
1:08:04 An early ’60s Fender Princeton with an extraneous noise
1:13:00 Different tone controls for a Gibson Falcon (link, link)
1:17:45 Getting rid of the bias resistor in a Vibroluxe clone; super-simple, homemade hot sauce
1:20:03 A Brown Box for an Aussie?
1:25:20 ‘How to Hot Rod Your Fender Amp’ book, DLabs
1:29:40 Why Skip hates pentode triad switches

Episode 37

4:26 Carter Vintage’s under $1000 amp shootout (YouTube link)
7:40 Satan & Adam
9:32 Tom Ball
11:44 Updates on Drew’s Fender Tonemaster
17:54 We’re doing a good job
19:48 Phil Lee
21:00 Tube condensation during cold weather
24:12 The Fender Bantam Bass amp
26:26 Eric Johnson’s pilot light placement, redux
29:44 A 1973 Fender Princeton Reverb with a sticky speaker
32:52 Swapping out a phase inverter tube versus swapping out a pre-amp tube
35:17 Recommended tool: OXO turner for skillet cleaning (link)
37:38 The gain stages of the Fender 5E8-A preamp
42:10 Replacing the handle on a ’60s Gibson GA-5 Skylark
46:09 Footswitch 101 and an ’80s Rivera-era Fender Princeton Reverb 2
50:29 Using EQ to lower the volume on a 50-watt Mesa Boogie Mark II
56:05 A 1968 Fender Vibro Champ with a hum that goes away
1:01:56 Power = Voltage × Current
1:03:38 A 5881 or a 6L6GC power tube in a 5F1
1:05:48 Speaker recommendations for a 1966 Ampeg Gemini II

Episode 38

0:00 Addendum: The tubes on Springsteen’s Mesa Boogie
3:25 Why Steve Melkisethian of Angela Instruments, this week’s guest, is important
7:58 The Danelectro DM-25 reverb trick, redux
13:41 What’s on Skip’s bench?
17:02 Jason buys a Garnet
18:50 Pronouncing Tony Chachere, again; El Pato and Herdez
23:05 Speaker driven reverb schematic
29:06 Special guest: Steve Melkisethian of Angela Instruments (

Episode 39

4:00 Satan & Adam on Netflix
5:38 How to pronounce Tony Chachere (link)
7:13 A step-up transformer for a guitar
10:54 Tubes on a drawbridge?
13:27 Reversing the pilot lamp in your amp, again
16:42 Flux remover for turret boards and PCBs
18:15 Preventing pitting on an amp chassis
19:54 Hitting a power chord to discharge the caps on an amp
22:25 Vintage Hilgen amplifiers (link)
25:32 Tiny Moore’s Music in Sacramento
26:28 A clone Deluxe that unexpectedly cuts out
30:32 A 1982 Vibro Champ with a ’60s power transformer
34:37 Increasing gain on a Valco-made Gretsch 6150 amp
37:30 Skip thanks you for all the gifts; Steve Soest and Michael Lee Allen
40:50 Chili oil from Xi-An Famous Foods (link)
41:55 A Gibson Falcon picking up radio signals
46:26 The Baxandall tone stack and a Japanese karage recipe
54:18 Sierra Nevada Summerfest beer
55:28 Lead dressing and salsas
1:00:55 A pre-amp circuit for an RCA MI-12188A theater amp
1:07:54 A Fender Vibrolux with a loose 5U4 rectifier tube
1:11:17 ‘Moby Dick,’ Tony Hillerman, ‘Bosch,’ ‘Happy Valley,’ ‘This Sporting Life’
1:18:20 A vintage Japanese “Reverb Master” tank
1:22:30 A reverb fix for Silvertone Twin Twelves
1:23:48 Skip’s grooming tips

Episode 40

Vintage guitar and amp dealer/repairman Steve Soest joins us for a very special Truth About Vintage Amps episode. Steve shares stories of meeting Leo Fender, Doc Kauffman and other legends from the world of electric guitars; he recounts of some of his days of vintage gear buying and selling; and he even walks us through the time he joined Dick Dale’s band. Plus: What to do with a free Hammond M-3 organ, the New Bedford Whaling Museum and much, much more…

Episode 41

4:46 Bill Krinard’s Silvertone Twin Twelve reverb fix (tease)
20:23 This week’s sponsor: Grez Guitars (watch RJ Ronquillo’s demo video here)
21:20 Whatever happened to Jason’s Stew-Mac Champ kit?
25:03 An input no. 2 aficionado
31:11 Re-gluing a Fender faceplate
34:00 A ’54 Champ and a VanAmps Reverbamate
41:11 A test cabinet for field coil speakers
44:39 A patch bay for multiple amp outputs
49:33 The magic of JBLs
56:09 A Subaru Outback with an oil leak & Toyota Land Cruisers
1:05:17 How long can an amp sit without needing a voltage ramp-up
1:07:14 9-pin or octal tubes for a Fender 5C3 Deluxe
1:14:09 Scavenging parts from an inherited Heathkit Thomas organ
1:17:59  A blonde Fender Bassman with a single 12″ speaker; the “Helmholtz Resonator”
1:22:05 Yellow Jackets converters in a 1971 Fender Vibroluxe Reverb
1:26:18 Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
1:31:08 An outboard 110 to 240 converter for a New Zealander

Episode 42

1:20 A request for the sold-erers
9:00 A “don’t just think about it, do it” project: A Strat pickup on an acoustic
12:37 An input 2 fan from Ireland
15:30 DIY wiring harnesses for a speaker cabinet
18:52 Extra radio interference on master volume amps
27:23 Skip’s long-awaited hot & sour soup recipe
33:00 Building a first amp with a 15-year-old
39:07 What to do with Bozak speakers
43:30 Safe to use A/B/Y to test two amp heads into one cabinet?
48:16 When to put on a grounded cord and would a polarized two-prong plug work?
53:06 What to do with a Grommes Little Jewel LJ2
59:02 Dave Miller, (check out his new video here), Newcomb PAs, and Skip on TMZ!
1:03:17 Converting a PA amp to a spring reverb
1:07:14 Circuit Corner: Leslie speaker amps

Episode 43

3:11 Making an amp cabinet out of a beehive, a new baffler
8:23 Winding your own power transformer (YouTube)
9:54 Flot-A-Tone Amplifiers
23:11 Octal tubes revisited
26:30 A kit Vibrochamp with an intensity problem
30:02 A one-string b-bender, the Pitch Pilot
31:32 Helping fellow pro amp techs, a motorboating tweed Bassman
38:28 A low-watt 2×12 combo amp?
41:03 Plate dissipation differences for cathode-biased, Class A and Class A/B amps
44:48 Alamo amps
48:01 Megger cables and a 1968 Fender Bandmaster for bass
50:51 “Bumble Bee” capacitors & Mass MOCA
55:42 Itemized invoices
58:45 Powering a pair of speakers with a Fender Blues Jr. IV
1:03:44 The TAVA Big Index Page
1:08:16 A loose tube socket on a homemade 5F2A circuit
1:13:05 How episodes get named

Episode 44

:54 A silverface Twin left on without a speaker
3:44 A tweed Deluxe with two serial numbers
5:58 Meet our new sponsor: Amplified Parts
16:57 Deluxe Amplification’s 1949 Ford and car radio reverb units
21:14 Special guest: Colleen Fazio of Fazio Electric (mid-century modern inspired amplifiers, repair tips, Vero amps, pasta sauce!) Follow her on Instagram and subscribe to her new YouTube channel.
1:03:10 Fender Vibro Champ XD pre-amp tubes; extending transformer leads
1:08:45 The tonal impact of a loose ground connection with a three-prong replacement cord
1:13:55 Free green onions forever
1:15:15 Recommended combo setup for an organ and guitar player
1:19:21 Using an extension cord with a GFI outlet
1:22:50 An underwhelming Massie 966 Squire amp
1:28:09 A Peavey Vintage 4×10 with compaction 6C10 tubes
1:31:37 Appreciating the Fender Bassman 70

Bonus episodes: Larry Cragg (12/10/19); Adam Grimm (Satellite Amplifiers)