The Truth About Vintage Amps., Ep. 20

Note: The Fretboard Journal is in the midst of our first-ever Subscription Drive. We hope you’ll join us. (Notice the Skip Simmons-modified Champ in our Frisell video, too.) 

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: podcast@fretboardjournal.com or, better yet,  leave us a voicemail at 509-557-0848. Include a photo of your amp if you can so we can post it on our Instagram page.

Some of the topics discussed on this episode:

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!

Special thanks to the presenting sponsors of the Fretboard Journal: Gibson, Martin and Carter Vintage Guitars.

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1968 Fender Princeton (non-reverb) photo above via listener Justin in Nashville.