The Truth About Vintage Amps, Ep. 12

Twice a month, guitar amp guru Skip Simmons fields your questions on tube amp buying, restoration and repair. Co-hosted by the Fretboard Journal’s Jason Verlinde.

Submit your guitar amp questions to Skip here: fretboardjournal@gmail.com or by leaving us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848.

Some of the many topics discussed on this episode:

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

This episode is sponsored by Grez Guitars and Mono Cases.

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