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: email@example.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:
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
PS: The reason Jason is preoccupied during this episode: https://www.myballard.com/2019/10/07/2-alarm-fire-on-market-st/
Special thanks to the presenting sponsors of the Fretboard Journal: Gibson, Martin and Carter Vintage Guitars.
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Butchered 1965 Fender Princeton Reverb photo above sent in via listener Steve Frost.