The Truth About Vintage Amps, Ep. 100

Our 100th episode! To help us celebrate this milestone, Skip and Jason are joined this week by friends of the show Nels Cline (Wilco), Barry Grzebik (Grez Guitars), Jesse Quitslund (Acme Instruments), Steve Melkisethian (Angela Instruments), and Colleen Fazio (Fazio Electric).

We tackle a few amp questions, get the first-ever ambient remix of our podcast, catch up, and announce the winners of our 100th episode giveaways.

This week’s episode is sponsored by Calton CasesJupiter Condenser Co.Amplified Parts, and Grez Guitars. You can also use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your Izotope purchase.

Support us on Patreon.com for added content and the occasional surprise.

Some of the topics discussed this week:

4:48 ‘California Burning’ book (Amazon link)

7:05 Special guest: Nels Cline: Daybreak Seaweed Flakes (link)

8:26 Our TAVA 100 Giveaways: A Grez Mendocino Junior; a Skip-modded SF Fender champ; a Madsen Amplification GE Boost (use the discount code TAVA 20 at madsenamps.com); a FirstCoast Amplification-modified Masco-turned-5F2A Princeton (FirstCoast’s Reverb store); Eric Daw’s new book ‘Solid Sound: 23 Schematics for Wiring Vintage and Modern Single-Coil, Solid-Body Guitars’ (order link)

11:01 Special guest: Barry from Grez Guitars

11:23 Special guest: Jesse Quitslund (acmeverb.com)

17:55 Special guest: Steve Melkisethian (Angela Instruments), a rough tomato season, the Angela SSE amp project

21:52 Special guest: Colleen Fazio (fazioelectric.com)

26:35 Marty from the Oregon Coast

28:05 Carlsbro amps, haunted amps

33:38 What does a wattage rating really mean?

38:29 Derek the Cruise Ship Guy’s ambient TAVA remix; increasing the tremolo on old Fender amps, pulling the tremolo pre-amp tube to increase gain, McGohan PA amps

48:14 Building the Angela SSE amp (link to order the catalog/schematic)

53:35 Favorite speakers for black panel Fenders, Colleen’s test cabinet

56:26 A philosophical question: What if the modded vintage amp you bought was modded by a genius?; homemade hot sauce, mica caps, replacement Fender Silverface pilot light washers

1:07:19 The amp that Barry at Grez puts all his guitars through

1:09:06 Was the Vox AC-30 circuit inspired by a Gibson design? EL34s in early AC-30s

1:12:19 Music recommendation: Billy Jack Wills’ Crazy Man Crazy (YouTube link), Bob Wills’ 1941 Martin D-45 (catch Jason in this Emerald City Guitars’ YouTube video)

1:13:54 How to tell a tube’s origin from its appearance?

1:18:06 Thoughts on putting a vintage transformer in a Champ kit; single-ended Hammond output transformers (125 BSE, ESE, etc); 5932 tubes

1:33:52 TAVA’s most boring or brilliant moments; laptop-to-tube-amp connections (speaker-driven line out from a headphone jack?)

1:36:22 The differences found in top boost and bright switches

1:39:22 The Coriolis effect on electrons in a pre-amp tube in the Southern hemisphere, the Goldentone amp book (link)

1:40:51 Grid leak bias amps and giving an amp more headroom

1:46:57 Barry describes the Grez Mendocino Junior that we’re giving away

1:48:08 Special guest Nels Cline joins us, again! Nels’ touring amp with Wilco, eating on the road, Standels, hot sauce, and more

2:00:39 Homemade coconut rice; Hank Mobley’s ‘Roll Call’ or ‘Soul Station;’ Dexter Gordon; Wynton Kelly’s Piano with Kenny Burrell; the best progression for a Champ clone to a Filmosound; ‘Norman Blake/Tut Taylor/Sam Bush/Butch Robins/Vassar Clements/David Holland/Jethro Burns’; Fripp & Eno; Bill Evans’ ‘Live at the Village Vanguard’

2:08:23 More advice for those wanting to build a Champ

2:10:15 Adding a speaker jack to a Tweed Champ; balanced power? homemade hot sauce

2:13:53 One last “giveaway”

Submit your amp questions, recipes and life hacks to the podcast via podcast@fretboardjournal.com and please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify if you love the show. It helps others discover it and you may win something!

The Truth About Vintage Amps is hosted by amp tech Skip Simmons. Co-hosted and produced by the Fretboard Journal’s Jason Verlinde.

Want to see all the former topics discussed on the TAVA Podcast? Click here for all the show notes on one page.