The Truth About Vintage Amps, Ep. 98

With Skip’s internet down, we recorded our 98th episode the old-fashioned way. Once you get past the distorted land-line telephone, you’ll hear about how you can win some truly amazing gear on our 100th episode (including a new Grez Mendocino Junior guitar… pictured below!), plus what inspires Skip, screen resistors on power tubes, center taps on resistors, and one heck of a goat story.

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:

:54 The Fretboard Journal 50 (link) …and issue 1; NAMM Shows

6:15 Our 100th episode giveaways: Win a Grez Guitars Mendocino Junior; a Madsen Electronics GE Fuzz; or a First Coast Amplification Masco – 5F2A Princeton conversion… plus, Josephine Baker was a spy

11:57 What exactly does a Variac do on a dormant amp?

15:43 A super microphonic Deluxe Reverb

17:33 Screen resistors on power tubes: 1-watt resistors vs 3-watt resistors

22:10 Center taps on power transformers: Grounded, tapped-off, or artificial?

26:29 Replacing the rotary off-on switches on Gibsons; Carling rotary switches (link)

29:45 What inspires Skip

35:23 Skip and the Reserve Champion goat

47:09 How important is the orientation of film capacitors?

53:20 A 1974 Fender Pro Reverb with a hissing problem that goes away with the vibrato; rosemary seasoned foil-wrapped corn on the cob

59:08 Voltage on the chassis of a two-pronged Harmony H-195

1:03:50 Replica cabinets from Lightning Music in Marengo, Ohio; Electro-Harmonix Hum-Debugger pedals, Bruce Forman, James “Blood” Ulmer, the Westerlies

1:07:48 The Fretboard Summit at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, August 25-27, 2022 (www.fretboardsummit.org)

1:09:18 Ananyo Bhattacharya’s ‘The Man From the Future: The Visionary Life of John Von Neuman’ (Amazon link), vacuum tubes for computer memory, Nixie tubes, Fender Dimension IV Sound Exploder / Tel-Ray goo

1:12:26 The tone of Orange Drop capacitors: polyester versus polypropylene; spaghetti bolognese with a slug of El Pato

1:19:25 A Carl’s Custom Amps Octal Princeton that can use either a 6L6, EL34, KT77, or 6CA7… and the difference in wattage

1:23:24 Musical instrument insurance; Heritage Insurance (link)

1:26:25 Do you need an insulator board on a turret board amp build? How to find time to work on amps when you have a busy life and family and other parenting tips.

1:36:22 Homework: How to add a tone control to a Gibson GA17-RVT?

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.

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.

Above: Listener Drew’s Harmony H-195, as mentioned on this week’s show. Below, the Grez and Madsen Amplification GE Fuzz that we’re giving away for Ep. 100.