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

Episode 45

10:24 Chris’ Tone Scoring System
14:12 The three colors of El Pato
17:07 Silverface vs. late Blackface Champs
21:46 A Sherwood Master 8422 amp
24:55 Installing a pre-amp switch on a pair of tube amps
30:05 A TAVA handbook?
35:32 Modding the volume on input two of a reissue Princeton
39:06 “Expansion Control” on a Knight PA amp
43:23 Dan’s summer BBQ marinade

Episode 46 (Special guest: Steve Melkisethian)

Steve Melkisethian of Angela Instruments makes his eagerly anticipated second Truth About Vintage Amps appearance and it doesn’t disappoint. Included: Tracking down vintage Marshalls in the UK, selling gear to U2, Ken Fischer, tube sockets, recommended books, Orange amps, Jesse Quitslund of Acme Instruments, Jef Brown, Steve plays drums for the Cramps, and more!

Episode 47  (Special guest: Colin Cripps)

:55 “The unluckiest dude that there ever was,” Skip’s advice to fellow amp techs
10:16 The Truth About Vintage Amps Patreon page (support the show, fireside chats with Skip, grab bags of vintage “stuff”!)
16:24 Special guest: guitarist/producer Colin Cripps (Bernie Raunig’s Filmosound amps, Johnson Amplifiers, TEX amps)
55:07 Music Picks: Emitt Rhodes, Esquerita, The Melodians
58:31 Replacement pots of choice
1:00:18 A Magnavox amp with a push-pull output but no phase inverter stage
1:02:10 What to do with a busted 1962 Fender Deluxe output transformer
1:04:39 Vibro Champs that lose volume when tremolo intensity is increased, revisited

Episode 48

2:55 Special guest: Greg Cravener from Amplified Parts (watch the videos on how Amplified makes can capacitors here)
33:27 Plate load resistor function
39:00 Power conditioners and vintage amps
41:23 Building a simple hi-fi from scratch
44:52 Building an amp with two different power sections and two different output transformers

Episode 49

3:32 A brief moment of despair
10:34 Our new Patreon page: Hear Skip’s actual voice!
21:30 Colin Cripps’ Filmosound, revisited
25:15 Skip’s chassis stand
30:37 Changing the linear taper volume pot on an early ’80s Princeton Reverb
34:53 Putting a guitar input into the pre-amp of a Hammond L-100 organ
40:33 Salvaging tubes from a free Lowry organ
43:40 The 5F10 Fender Harvard
47:17 “Peekofarad” or “pykofarad”
48:35 The light-dependent resistor on a Gibson GA20-RVT tremolo
52:30 Replacing the 6CA7/EL34 power tubes with new old stock Sylvania/RCA or brand new Electro-Harmonix
57:40 Bass cut on a Tweed Deluxe clone
1:02:20 Vibro Champ tremolo revisited
1:06:17 Boutique parts & homemade ramen
1:17:32 Patton fans

Episode 50

6:11 Pyko de Gallo
7:09 Deluxe Amplification’s TAVA-tribute El Pato Tone practice amp (link)
11:51 A circuit to investigate: the Kay K550
15:34 DJ Cruise Ship Derek
22:48 Hy Bloom, founder of Soundmaster, redux
28:36 Is the RCA Manual the reference for tube specs?
32:11 Can amps be cursed?
36:01 An Ampeg that gets mushy
37:39 Skip’s fallback job
38:14 Model airplanes
39:28 Netflix recommendation: ‘John Was Trying to Contact Aliens
40:13 When caps go on a 1964 Fender Champ; El Pato & yogurt
45:23 Win stuff from Manbroidery, Voyager Guitar Cabs and Chris Vincent of R2R Electric!!
49:44 Special guest Chris Vincent (DJLavalamp on Instagram, R2R Electric)
1:06:26 Occasionally farty bass on multiple amps
1:11:04 A Philly Roast Pork Sandwich
1:12:19 The bologna sandwich from Oklahoma
1:13:27 A Fender Champion 600 with a disconnected pilot light
1:15:55 Special guest: Matt Clouston of Clouston Amplifiers
1:31:18 Music to solder by: The Peddlers
1:33:56 Australia’s Goldentone 1750 / Broadway amplifier and the 6GW8 tube
1:37:48 Schematics in the public domain?
1:39:28 A reissue Fender Vibroverb with a reverb that rings with a C-note
1:43:09 A life changed thanks to Skip
1:46:58 Ranch Water; pico de gallo
1:48:58 Skip’s riff when testing out an amp

Episode 51

4:35 Soundmaster PAs, revisited
16:20 Turret boards versus freestyle wiring
21:24 Adjectives for the tones of tweed-era Deluxe and 4×12″ Bassman
27:37 Matching a 16 ohm speaker to a 4 ohm amp output with a transformer
31:20 A schematic, but no layout
33:33 Power tubes in series (Milkman amps)
35:54 A Gibson GA-15 that rattles its tubes out
40:54 Silvertone 101
45:50 Advice on a 1966 Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve: Watts, speakers, tips
52:26 A Silvertone 1474 and desoldering components from terminal strips
1:05:50 Using Telefunken EAM86 indicator tubes in an amp application

Episode 52

8:54 ‘Practical Amplifier Diagrams’ (1947)
17:02 The grounds on an all-original 1962 Fender Tweed Champ
22:34 Power section filtering
26:30 Special Guest: Jef Brown! (Jef’s band, Jef’s amp blog)
1:13:32 A Gibson GA-25 RVT Hawk that smells
1:19:23 Bass-ifying a single-ended amp build
1:23:00 A Silverface Princeton Reverb missing its foot switch
1:25:15 El Paso fajita seasoning
1:26:04 Turning your amps on-and-off during the workday

Episode 53

1:11 A new TAVA Baffler
4:41 An Angela Super Single Ended amp group build?
10:28 Mrs. Simmons’ favorite amp?
13:16 Identifying the work of Fender’s Lily, Lupe, Eileen, etc.
14:43 Strategies when you discover an amp with few original parts
19:50 Saving amps with fire/smoke damage
26:07 Driving larger power tubes 101
29:14 That tube amp fizz / hiss
34:25 Why smacking the top of your amp sometimes fixes it, microphonic tubes
39:22 Vintage Guild amplifiers and homemade taco seasoning
49:18 Why did 1955 tweed Deluxe shock me?
54:27 Sticking new caps inside of an old capacitor
57:59 New USA-made tubes, revisited
1:04:27 Cleaning the lead wires on old parts
1:07:07 Numb mouth after eating El Pato
1:07:50 Adding the tone control of a Magnatone 213 to a Magnatone M2 Custom
1:10:39 Selenium rectifiers going bad
1:13:49 Al Di Miola, John McLaughlin, and Paco de Lucia ‘Friday Night in San Francisco 1980’
1:14:14 Sleeper amps that need a boost or overdrive pedal to shine, Harmony H415
1:16:58 Zep Smoke Odor Eliminator Pro
1:18:22 Using a 6 volt rectifier in place of a 5 volt
1:24:06 Converting the power tube bias modulating tremolo on a Princeton to the pre-amp tube bias modulation of a Vibro Champ; recommended dining: Shan Dong in Oakland, Calif.

Episode 54

4:12 A new Tony’s: Pappa Earle’s (link)
6:03 This week’s sponsors: Grez Guitars and Amplified Parts (use the discount code TAVA10 when you check out for 10% off any Amplified purchase)
7:43 Eddie Van Halen (link to Zocala Public Square video mentioned)
14:45 The answer to Ep. 53’s Baffler
18:30 A cabinet conundrum
20:23 Another Baffler!
21:36 Cleaning chrome Gibson faceplates, Metal Rescue
24:00 A Vibroverb reissue with ringing reverb… fixed
27:42 Restoring amps that have been underwater
34:17 The harmonic tremolo and pre-amp tubes in a brownface 1960 Fender Super
40:47 Hammond organ amp conversions
45:21 Taming a Super Reverb clone; Instant Pots
40:49 Skip’s traveling coffee rig
51:15 Mat’s Skip-inspired iPhone to guitar amp interface
57:08 Getting analog warmth into a digital recording chain
1:00:11 Brian’s protein-packed smoothie; Rasta Kevin; homemade tomato sauce; Burning Spear
1:03:35 Supro tube tremolo
1:08:13 “Sodder” versus “solder,” the final word

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