Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 28

Mountainview Publishing, LLC

Gibson GA20
A True Classic

Gibson Goldtone
The Player’s Guide to Ultimate Tone
$15.00 US, September 2016/Vol.17 NO.11 Report TM

Big Sound
in a
Gibson GA20 Amplifier
Small Package
The Gibson GA20 was introduced in 1950 and continued in production through 1953. Roughly
3 5,100 amps were produced at this time. The wooden cabinet is covered in a brown leatherette
covering with a light brown grill cloth and a horizontal wooden bar with a G logo. Controls
The Headstrong
consist of volume, microphone volume and tone with four inputs – 3 instrument and a mic input.
Sultan Tubes consist of two 6SC7s, 1 6SL7, two 6V6 power tubes and a 5Y3 rectifier. The original
speaker is an excellent Jensen Alnico and the amp is rated at 12-14 watts.
Swope Guitars

Les Paul Relic
We Find A Keeper

Playing A Beater

Ampeg VT40

The Lazy J35

Still A Classic

Xotic Effects
RC Booster
The GA20 was produced in four different versions from 1950-1967 utilizing various tube and
19 design changes. The 16 watt Crest version used two 12AX7 preamp tubes but was otherwise
similar to the earlier GA20 model. The GA20 Ranger added tremolo which also appeared in the
Effectrode final version, the GA20RVT Minuteman. Most fans of vintage Gibson amps will agree that the
Tube-Vibe original GA20 and the Crest version built from 1954-1961 are the amps to own for their tone

cover story

rich and full without melting down to a distorted mess. This

has long been one of our favorite ‘sleeper’ amps simply for
its vintage tone, which is unique among all Gibson amps.
Quest forth…TQ

Gibson Goldtone GA15

and overdriven mojo. For some unknown reason, when we The Gibson Goldtone GA15 is a compact 15 watt, 1x10 amp
do see vintage GA20s for sale it is usually the original ver- that packs a lot of tone and volume for its size. We acquired
sion built from 1950-1953, although 4,000 amps were built our amp on eBay for $499 in excellent condition.
from 1954-1959.

Our amp was in excellent condition but it needed some work

to sound as it should. Jeff Bakos spent several hours work-
The Gibson Goldtone GA15 is one of the best sounding amps
from the Gibson Lab Series. Compact and solidly built, the
GA15 is a Class A design with just two controls – Volume and
Tone. It’s all you need.

While the GA15 is rated at 15 watts, it develops enough

volume to hold its own with a band, and the sound is excel-
lent, balanced and full. The amp remains clean up to 5 on
the volume control, and then spills over into an overdriven
tone at higher volume levels. The Celestion G10 speaker
is rich and full, and it sounds excellent with this amplifier.
The Normal and Bright switch is very useful with a slightly
brighter tone, and the external 16 ohm speaker jack enables
the amp to function quite nicely with a 16 ohm, 4 speaker
ing on it, replacing seven components on the circuit board cabinet. We were pleased and surprised by the sound of the
including three large capacitors. The GA20 now sounded amp with a 4x12 cabinet. Designed in the U.K. and built in
just right. The amp stays clean up to 6 on the volume con- the USA, the Goldtone GA15 is an impressive amp with a
trol, and then blooms with a mildly overdriven tone. This voice that belies its size, and especially with a 4x12 cabinet.
amp is extremely versatile and toneful at all volume levels, The Goldtone is an amazing amp, especially for its size and

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

we recommend it highly.

Powered by two EL84 tubes, features are simple and straight-

forward – Volume and Tone with a standby switch, a Normal
and Bright switch, and a 16 ohm speaker out for running the
Goldtone with an extension cabinet. The stock speaker is a
Celestion Vintage 10 that suits this amp very well.

The Goldtone produces a classic tone that is very well bal-

anced. The amp remains clean up to around half volume, and

Bass, Treble, and Tremolo Speed and Intensity, the Sultan

swings with warm bass, solid mids and a sweet treble
character. This amp is balanced and richly satisfying stay-
ing clean up to 6 on the volume control and then grace-

develops a smooth overdriven tone with increased intensity

from 6-10. All three pickup settings sound excellent, with
a solid bass setting for position one, a balanced tone in
position 2 and a very good treble setting in position 3. The
Goldtone cleans up nicely with a drop in volume from the fully spilling over into a sweet overdriven tone at higher
guitar, and the range of overdriven tone from all three pick- volume levels. The tremolo is organic and rich, and this is
ups is excellent. an amplifier that true players can revel in.

The Goldtone is also a very well built amplifier. Weighing The Alessandro speaker is excellent, with superb clarity
32 pounds, it is solidly assembled and clearly built to last. and depth – a perfect match for the Sultan. If you pride
A valuable addition to any studio and capable of producing yourself in acquiring classic guitar tones this may well be
volume and a wide range of classic tones, we recommend this your next amplifier.
amplifier very highly. Quest forth…TQ
The build quality and materials in the Sultan speak to the

The Headstrong Sultan

If a vintage 40 watt 1x12 amp is in your future we recom-
mend the Sultan. Wayne Jones has been building custom
hand-wired amplifiers for 12 years and he knows his craft.
He sent us a Sultan and it is everything we expected and
more, with a smooth voice that is addictively captivating.

The simplicity of the circuit says a lot. With Volume,


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

well made and toneful instruments. Swope understands what

a custom guitar should be, and he has the chops as a builder
to back it up. If you would like to venture beyond the typical
Fender/Gibson formula and play a guitar that is excellent in
terms of tone and design, Swope does a fine job of meeting
those criteria. Enjoy …

We posed some important question about Swope guitars:

What is a knock-around finish?

A Knock-Around is essentially a slight relic. The lacquer on

the body is checked. There may be a few bumps or bruises
here or there. The solid colors have a white undercoat which
shows nicely when dinged. The bodies are glossy and the
plastics are clean. While the headstock has a deep gloss the
back of the neck is a thinner, satin finish. There is no lacquer

builder’s art. Nothing fancy, just a solidly built amplifier

with tone for days. Quest forth…TQ

Swope Guitars
above the fret tangs of the rosewood fingerboard. The edges
of the fingerboard are blended nicely into the sides.

Benefits for the player:

• The finish treatment takes the fear factor out of playing the
guitar. The customer will continue to add to the story with his
own player wear through the years. I have only started the
ball rolling.

• The neck treatment provides a broken in feeling for the

player’s hands while the glossy headstock retains the depth
and shine that so many vintage guitars still possess.

Benefits for the dealer:

• The Knock-Around is a guitar that can be handled, pho-
We are pleased to present reviews of the three Swope models tographed, played and sold without having to worry about
currently in production. All of these guitars are extremely the perceived “imperfections” that certain customers tend to

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

• The treatment of the neck, with regard to the lack of lac-

quer above the tang, is especially helpful if there is a change
in temperature or humidity. The issue with sharp fret ends
or “fret-sprout” is all too common. With the knock-around,
all that is required is to kiss the tangs with a mill smooth or
diamond file. The lacquer has been removed already. Simply
re-oil the fingerboard and all is lovely.

Please clarify which models we have in addition to the


The slab body guitar is the MG (Steve Cropper reference due

to the obvious Tele inspiration). The one with all the comfy
contours is the GTO

find in the most pristine of guitars. The slight relic treatment

means that any dent, scratch or check is simply part of the
story. These guitars are not meant to be “garage queens.”
They are meant to be played.

There is a smaller knob in-between the volume and tone on

the Geronimo. What is the purpose of this?

This is the “funk-bump.” It’s a high pass filter so it pinches

the lower frequencies. It’s subtle, and I debated its merit. But
all my test-pilot guys really dug it. It is only functional in the
#3 position (both pickups on). It could easily be wired in to
all pickup options if someone preferred but I wanted to keep
it simple. Turn the knob clockwise to engage the funk bump.
Clean, it has a bit of a cocked wah effect, mostly on the
lower strings. Dirty up your amp and play any Zeppelin riff.
It’s got a cool rip to it.

Can you clarify the pickups used in each guitar and fea-
tures - Alnico, resistance, etc?

The Geronimo pickups have a lot going on under the hood

and I have to be a little mysterious about those. Basically

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

each of the coils has a slightly different recipe. Be it magnet, The GTO pickups are Alnico V rod magnets, 42 AWG,
turns, geometry, wire … The way the switch works is: Formvar. Calibrated for neck and bridge position. Neck is
8.3K and bridge is 8.9K. The bridge pickup is reverse wind/
1- bridge pickup reverse polarity so the middle position on the 3 way is hum-
2- one coil from bridge and one coil from neck in series cancelling. Pull up on the tone knob and you bypass the
3- both pickups on (funk bump optional in this position only) switch and put the two pickups into series, acting as a hum-
4- same coils as #2 but in parallel bucker.
5- neck pickup
The MG pickups are the same materials and the switching is
the same, though the geometry of the coil is different. Neck is
7.5K and bridge is 9.5K.

Please describe the wood type used for each guitar.

The Geronimo and GTO are both alder. The MG is ash. All
Swope guitars are made from 2 piece center seam, clear fin-
ish quality blanks, (no paint grade wood, even though many

Neck humbucker is 7.2K and Bridge is 7.8K DC resistance.

Since each coil’s recipe is different, #2 is essentially a unique
3rd humbucker option.

of my finishes are solid colors). Light weight wood is selected

with the goal of the finished guitar being between 7 and 7.5
lbs. All this in an effort to build the most consistent sound-
ing instrument I can. Necks are flat or rift-sawn maple with
quarter-sawn rosewood fingerboards.

Additional features of each guitar.

Finishes are a very pure nitro-cellulose lacquer that will
check all on its own. I just get the ball rolling with the knock-
around finish treatment. The backs of the necks are a very
thin satin finish but headstocks are deep gloss. Gears are
staggered but I still use a string tree for the high E and B
strings. You can sometimes hear a ghost of “ping” sound
without a string tree. I find even with staggered gears the
open strings ring better with the tree. All guitars have the
truss rod adjustment at the heel but with an easy access spoke

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

wheel. All models are available with a vibrato or hardtail The MG

bridge. Mildly suggestive of a Telecaster with its ash body and see-
thru blonde finish, the MG is in fact a very unique guitar
design that won’t be mistaken for anything but a Swope. The

The Geronimo
The Geronimo is a great
playing guitar with a unique
voice that is both clear and
toneful. Our review guitar
featured fine checking on the
body but in all other respects it
is a new guitar. Workmanship and
paint are flawless. The moderate
C shape neck features a rose-
wood slab board and large fret
markers. The medium jumbo fret
work is precise, and the rosewood
fingerboard is uniform in grain
and color. The guitar weighs 7.9
pounds – heavy enough to main-
tain an authoritative voice yet
light weight and responsive.

The pickups are difficult to high quality, tightly grained ash body and see-thru blonde
describe since it isn’t likely that finish may make a familiar statement, but this is where any
you have heard resemblance to the Telecaster ends. The neck on the MG is
anything quite like tight grained maple with a thick slab of rosewood beneath
them, but fortu- the perfectly dressed medium jumbo frets. The large fret posi-
nately Swope has tion markers are identical to those found on the Geronimo,
loaded sound clips but the Swope pickups are quite different, with a bigger tone.
on his web site. Pull the tone knob up for Series humbucking mode for both
What we can say pickups and a fine tone indeed. These are excellent sounding
about the Geronimo pickups in all positions, deep and robust. Mark liked them a
is that it is a very
nimble guitar soni-
cally, not easily
described as pos-
sessing a typical
single coil or
voice. The
Geronimo is a
chameleon capa-
ble of many sounds. It
is also simply a joy to play
with an extraordinary feel and a responsiveness to touch. This
guitar feels remarkably consistent along the entire length of
the neck and it works so well as an instrument. Excellent on
all counts. Sonically this guitar can cover a lot of ground and
will please both Fender and Gibson players. Mark Johnson
spent some time with this guitar and really liked the tones he
was able to produce.


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

lot, too. The string-through design of the MG creates a vivid a USA Les
tone that is very full, rich and versatile. We really like this Paul painted
guitar and recommend it highly. with nitro
gold paint
and aged
Same platform as the MG but
on an alder body with comfy
USA Zebra
contours. Features Swope’s GTO
PAF pick-
pickups. These pickups are lap
ups, a ‘50s
steel inspired and have a bit
more output and fuller mid-range
neck, maple
than the MGs but still retain that
cap over
famous Swope clarity. The body of
the GTO is realistically checked
and the weight is 7.25 pounds. The
Kluson tun-
neck shape is consistent with the
ers, 500K
other guitars reviewed here, with
Gibson pots
a moderate C shape and oversized
and a MOP
fret markers. The body style is small
and compact which makes for a very
Weight is
pleasant playing experience. Like
8.6 pounds.
all Swope guitars the fingerboard is
fairly flat, further enhancing play-
ability. Like the MG, the tone knob
This has got
features a push/pull function on the
to be one
pickups, for a full series humbuck-
of the most
ing mode with the knob
pulled up and a very
deals on
useful tone. The GTO
eBay, and at
possesses a very ani-
$1050 it’s a
mated tone, lively and
steal. At 8.6
pounds it is
the perfect
All three of the Swope
weight, and
guitars are very toneful
the aged and
with a personality all
checked nitro
their own. The out-
gold top is
standing nature of the
just too cool.
fret work makes all
The back of
three guitars excep-
the body is
tional players, each
aged and
with its own unique
painted black
tone. Swope has got-
and the neck
ten off to a great start
shows wear
with these three unique
to bare wood
and great sounding guitars. TQ
on the back.
The neck
shape is just

Relic’d Les Paul

perfect, and
the feel of the
neck is out-
When we saw this guitar on Ebay we had to have it. Imagine


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

aged relic to the world of Gibson guitars at a very afford-

able price. It’s about time. We’ve had aged Fenders now for
a long time, and an aged beater Les Paul is long overdue.
What a kick it is to play a rightfully aged beater Les Paul.
The painted on binding is extremely well done, and this gui- We would be proud to own and play our relic Les Paul, and
tar just feels good and right. Fret work is excellent, and the consider it to be a major bargain among aged instruments.
neck is straight and true. The Kluson tuners are tight and As far as we know, the this is the only reliced Les Paul being
right, and at the other end the stop tailpiece and tune-o-matic created and we recommend it very highly. How easy it will
bridge are perfect. be to find one we cannot say. There was just one available
when we searched, but another option would be to purchase
The ‘61 your own Les Paul and send it to Dax & Co. to get the full
Zebra coil treatment. You can contact them at: www.daxcocustom.com/
pickups contact-daxco/ TQ
are excel-
lent, bright
with good
and solid
low end.
Overall, we
Playing a Beater
Playing a Beater

couldn’t be There are

happier with so many
this guitar. advan-
It looks real, tages to
plays great playing
and sounds a beater
excellent. guitar.
The check- First, the
ing on very first
the top is real ding
absolutely you put on
realistic, it will be
and you’ll of no con-
be proud sequence
to play this whatso-
guitar. ever, and
We view liberating.
this reliced Second,
goldtop as a your
major development, now bringing an artfully beater gui-


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

tar will retain its unique personality and in turn, become part
of your personality as a player. A well done beater makes
a unique statement about you – I care, but I don’t care too
much. Beaters can inspire like no other guitar, and change
your relationship with the guitar in a good way. You will
never have to be careful with a beater – just play it. And yes,
a beater has a personality all its own.

Who has twenty years to break in guitar? Buy broken in and

the work has been done for you. There are inspired builders
who can create an aged guitar so well that no one will ever
look at your guitar as a ‘relic.’ Your custom made beater
will be yours and yours alone, and in no time at all you’ll
own every bump, as if you had put them on honestly over
two decades of use. The guitar will become yours, and yours
alone. Yes, it will. Quest forth…TQ

put Ampeg’s big rigs on the map in the late ‘60s and early
‘70s when they signed on to play SVT’s, VT22’s, V4’s, and

Ampeg VT40 Mick Taylor’s favorite, the VT40. Mick, we need to have a
talk. We once suggested to a very high profile guitarist long
regarded as a virtuoso with a much-publicized collection of
We’ve chosen to lift the skirt on a still affordable vintage vintage guitars and amps that he explore the attributes of an
amp that was first profiled years ago by Todd Sharp in the Ampeg V2, to which he replied, “I only play ‘point-to-point’
June 2000 issue of TQR. Why revisit the VT40 now? Because amplifiers because they sound the best.”
we’ve reviewed a shitload of amps since 2000 and having
recently scored our own VT40 and tweaked it out, the stature Well, having obviously never played a V2, he missed the
point, and he was probably poorer for it (in more ways than
one.) You, however, are likely to be a bit more open-minded,
so let’s proceed by first disposing of a few myths associated
with Ampeg guitar amplifiers and the VT40 specifically:
Ampegs are dull, one-dimensional, too clean, and they got no
mojo. Similar to Gibson amps from the ‘60s, many of the less
powerful Ampeg combos like the Jet and Reverberocket truly
earned their reputation for being dull, one dimensional and
sorely lacking in the boogie factor compared to Fender com-
bos of the day, but aside from the nameplate, the VT40 bears
no resemblance to these amps at all. The fluid dynamic con-
nection that develops between the VT40 and the pickups in
your guitar is unlike any other amplifier we have ever played,
and it remains one of the most underrated amps in history.
of this amp absolutely demands a renewed recommendation. Why? Human nature. There is a code in our DNA that assures
You may recall that we also previously reviewed a very wor- the preservation of the numerical equilibrium between leaders
thy cousin to the VT40 – the Ampeg V2 “Ventilator” head and followers … worker bees and queens. Worker bees would
featured in the September 2003 issue of TQR. In the vintage never think of playing a VT40. The VT40 is a ball-buster of
landscape dominated by Fender, Marshall, Vox and Hiwatt, incalculable mass that will cripple you for life. Actually, with
Ampeg guitar amps continue to be largely ignored and dis- the stock speakers it weighs less than a Super Reverb, and
respected. Oh, sure… bass players speak of the Ampeg SVT being shorter and deeper, it’s easier to handle while not being
with appropriate reverence, and they may even wipe a tear nearly as “tippy” as a Super. All Ampegs require weird tubes
from their eye as they wistfully recall an old B18, but the hey- that are no longer made and when you substitute something
day of powerful vintage Ampeg guitar amps ended as quickly else they never sound as good. The “oddball” tubes in the
as it began, and fortunately for you, few players today think VT40 consist of a single 12DW7, 6CG7 and 6K11. New old
of Ampeg when searching for a new (old) amp. The Stones stock singles are still available and fairly cheap because the

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

The Sovtek (Russia) 7027’s

were a pleasant surprise, and
at $48/pair, a screaming good
deal. We heard none of the
brittleness, razor sharp distor-
tion or muddy mids that can
plague current production
tubes. The Sovteks are very
musical with a pleasant upper
midrange notch and clear
highs that don’t bite. The
bottles were a little crooked on
the base but who cares?

The big GE 7027A’s were the

muscle of the group – bold and
bright with solid mids, less
bass than the RCA’s and an in-
your-face edge. Not our first
choice, but they scored first in
overall attitude. Very kickass,
but perhaps a little too raucous for single coils…$110/pair.
demand for them is low. The VT40 was also originally pow-
ered by the mighty 7027A beam power tube. We tested five Jeff Bakos recommended JJ 6L6’s as another economical
different pairs including a few alternatives – all good but dif- alternative ($33/pair) and typical of all the JJ tubes we’ve
ferent – so here’s a quick review in order of our preference: used, there isn’t a whole lot not to like. JJ’s are known for
their pleasing neutral character and dependability, and they
The NOS RCA 7027A’s at $140/pair were the warmest are one of very few 6L6 tubes that can safely take the plate
sounding of all, with a thick, rich tone, superior lows and voltages in a VT40. The tone was great, but the low end and
mids sounded just a little muddy compared to all the other
tubes in the group. Don’t wait too long to buy NOS… they
are scarce and prices will
only go up.

Our thanks to
Mike Kropotkin at
(703-430-3645) for send-
ing us the NOS tubes
reviewed here. By the
way – our amp came
with the original pair of
mids, an exceptionally smooth top end, and the best note RCA 7027A’s and they
definition of the group. Hard to beat in every regard, these still sound great +30
are some creamy damn tubes that get your attention with a years later. We bought the
full, wet kiss. Some say it’s the way the engineers at the RCA Philips 7581’s as spares.
factory in Harrison, NJ gassed the tubes that makes RCA’s so The VT40 is a 60 watt
delicious. Whatever they did, they did it right, and the recipe amplifier with massive
seems to have been lost. They are getting very scarce and transformers and it oper-
prices are going up, but the NOS Philips 7581’s offer incred- ates on plate voltages that
ible bang for the buck at $90/pair. Their tone is exceptionally scream bloody murder. If
well-balanced with a silky-smooth overdriven character simi- you feel intimidated by
lar to the RCA’s. Definitely recommended for your Ampeg or such high power, don’t
any other 6L6 amp where increased headroom is desired. be. Yes, if you want to

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

crank the VT40 up to 7 or 8 you will pay the price (fired, the more familiar sounds
evicted or divorced), but this isn’t really necessary, because of a Fender or Marshall
the VT40 kicks ass and takes names on 4. And 4 doesn’t amp. We acquired our
equal 60W, does it? You can also place a ClearSonic baffle in VT40 at auction on eBay
front of the amp on stage as described in the February 2004 for $727. Just a few years
interview with Joe Bonamassa to calm down the decibels ago you could buy them
without emasculating yer tone. It works. Even baffled, the for half as much, and the
price of our amp undoubt-
edly climbed due to its
exceptional condition. A
solid “9” cosmetically and
completely original inside
and out, it’s a top-mounted
control panel model built
during the first year of pro-
duction in 1971. It arrived
from California with all
the original RCA tubes, the
un-reconed, original CTS
speakers and the optional
Ampeg dolly (a miracle
of biblical significance
for such a valuable removable accessory.) Upon arrival we
Linden Loogie can chunk power, presence and punch on 4 replaced three microphonic 12AX7 pre-amp tubes with new
that a 20 watt amp on 8 can never do, and you can hear and Russian “Tung-Sols” (excellent and highly recommended)
feel the difference. The VT40 produces a very big tone, but and then set out to evaluate the vibe of the CTS 10’s.
it doesn’t necessarily have to translate into ear-splitting vol-
ume. Playing a VT40 also begs for the use of a very effec- In 1971 Ampeg merged with Magnavox, which also owned
tive effect found on every electric guitar ever made called a CTS, and the original speakers in our amp produced what
volume control, and guess what? You can open up the VT40, Jeff Bakos described as a “papery, reedy” tone lacking
feed it bloody meat and gunpowder, and when you back off power and low frequency response due to their 1-inch voice
the volume pot on the guitar your tone will clean right up. coils and puny ceramic magnets. They were incredibly
We kid you not. Now, we could chastise those of you who cheap speakers then, and they still sound cheap now. In fact,
never use the controls on your guitars and amps… but we Jeff had never seen a VT40 with the original speakers still
won’t. You know who you are, so just repent and repeat this intact. After several days of intense speaker swapping we
phrase before plugging in … “Yes, I will use the controls on settled on a pair of Tone Tubby Alnico 10’s on the bottom
my guitars and amplifiers to shape my tone, volume, attack, and two Jensen reissue P10R’s on the top. The Jensen’s were
and the complete clean & dirty paradigm.” You’ll need to a definite surprise, since we usually find them to be far too
heed this advice if you plan on playing a VT40. trebly, but paired with the Tone Tubbies, their upper mid
and high-end emphasis was perfect. As pleased as we are
The 60W VT40 and V2 were developed following the suc- now, we can still hear all four of the replacement speakers
cess of the 100W VT22 2x12 combo and V4 head, and all loosening up and improving every time we play the amp.
share the same preamp circuit originally developed for the The VT40 presents rock and blues guitarists with an oppor-
SVT. In addition to two inputs with separate volume controls tunity to acquire remarkably unique and inspiring tones at
and shared bass, midrange, treble and reverb controls, three a very reasonable price. The gain, sustain, compression and
rocker switches control “Input Sensitivity,” “Ultra Hi/Ultra EQ-shaping controls produce a rough and ready character
Lo” EQ, and a midrange band pass filter with three settings and exceptionally smooth voice that are entirely unique to
ranging from 300Hz, 800-1,000Hz, and 2,500-3,000Hz. The the Ampeg V Series. Depending on the condition of the
midrange pot can cut or boost frequencies above or below amp you find, access to an experienced amp tech may be
the parameters selected with the band pass filter. In practi- required, as well as a clutch bit for the wacky clutch drive
cal terms, this means the VT40 can be dialed in to produce screws Ampeg used in all the ‘V Series’ amps (including
an extremely broad range of clean tones, gain, compression, the speaker mounts), but owning and playing a VT40 is
sustain, attack, EQ, and cut/boost midrange emphasis. And definitely an adventure worth pursuing. Do it while you can.
we can promise you this… the VT40 will not be mistaken for Quest forth… TQ

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

Recommended Ampeg technicians: Offering a very personalized service, he draws on his

Todd Sharp, Nashville Amp Service own extensive experience as a musician to help him better
www.amprepair.com, 615-591-7556 (Nash Vegas) understand musicians and their pursuit of tone. Spending
Dennis Kager, Central Jersey Music Services, 732-572-1911 over 20 years on stages in clubs and bars, Jesse’s approach
(NJ) was born out of necessity. Like everyone else, he worked on
Jeff Bakos, Bakos Ampworks,404-607-8426 (Atlanta) ideas about how to get the best out of his equipment and in
Don Butler, www.tone-man.com, 661-259-4544 (CA) the process, developed a certain philosophy about the crazy
world of ‘better tone.’

As a result of his interaction with fellow musicians, as well

as his own projects, Jesse built, serviced and customized
countless amps and pedals. He has remained in contact

The Lazy J35 with many of these players over the years and miles and
continues to work with them into the future. It is with their
encouragement that Lazy J Projects has come about and is
now making some of its projects more widely available. In
your personal quest to get the best out of your equipment,
Jesse is available to listen to your ideas and work with you
on your way to achieving them.

Jesse’s description of the J35

Jesse Hoff has lived in many different places, both in Europe

and the US, making a living partly as a musician and partly
as an amp tech. In all these different places he found himself The J35 is a 3x10 combo which is derived essentially from
working with fellow musicians on their specific ideas about the J40 platform. With its slightly lower output and easier
their tone and equipment. Someone would need a switch- drive capability, the J35 covers the space between the J20
ing system, which would allow them to use their equipment and the J40. It has a warm, clear bottom end, good head-
more effectively…someone else wanted a certain type of room and when it drives, it has a lot of the harmonically
preamp or distortion pedal. And then there was a whole host rich J20 character.
of amp modifications and set ups.
Like the J40, it has a full Tone Stack, with Treble, Middle,
Over the years, Jesse has worked with countless musicians Bass and Presence, a Push/Pull Boost, Tweed/BF switch
on their specific requirements. From many of these musi- and Sensitivity Control, which controls the harmonic con-
cians, he learned that their big frustration had been that tent in the output stage.
they couldn’t find anyone in their area who would work with
them on their quest for better tone. While many techs have I built the first 3x10 J40 as a prototype for Pete Townshend
vast electronic knowledge, they often don’t have a musical and after some tweaking it quickly became apparent that it
background. Therefore they are sometimes at a loss when was special in its own right… and so here it is, the J35.
it comes to dealing with musicians and the tonal subtleties
they are trying to achieve. It has always been Jesse’s goal to The inspiration for the J35 was literally Alan Rogan calling
bridge this gap. me, saying ‘Can you build a 3x10 J40 for Pete’? Pete had
several J40s already …and Pete likes the 3x10 thing …so it


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

same as the J40 …it has a push/pull switch on the Bright

Volume which acts as a slight Gain and Mid boost. The
switch between the preamp tubes affects the voltages in
certain parts of the preamp. Pulling that switch back cre-
ates more compression and a less punchy response. With
the switch forward, the amp is distinctly more black face.
The control next to the fuse holder (GROUND) controls the
feedback around the power amp. Turning it up gradually
removes the feedback and makes the amp run free …like a
J20, AC30 etc.

was literally a ‘let’s build a prototype’ kind of request.

Since it was going to be a 3x10 J40, the chassis was essen- TQR Review
tially already there. I started with a straight up J40 chassis,
and a Bassman cab with a 3x10 baffle. I decided to use the
Eminence speakers because Pete was familiar with them.

So, I built the prototype and fired it up …and it was mov-

ing into its own direction all by itself. It put out a little less
power, the mids were thicker and more J20ish when driven
…those were things in which this J35 prototype was immedi-
ately different from the J40. I liked the direction it wanted to
go in …so I tweaked it further until I felt it was happy with
it (and hoped P.T. would be as well).

Pete had no direct input in the development …it was Alan

Rogan who got the ball rolling on this, because he’s obvious-
ly very much in touch with what might be useful to Pete. So I The J35 is a very special amplifier. Expertly crafted with
Lazy J’s aged tweed covering, this amp makes a statement
of quality and a builder who cares deeply about his work.
The J35 isn’t merely assembled, it is crafted with care
and attention to every detail. Weighing 48 pounds, it is a
solid piece of kit, built to last. The brown lacquered tweed
cabinet conveys quality throughout, flawless and perfectly

The Eminence Alnico speakers are mounted perfectly and

sound as they should, bright, warm and very detailed, per-
fect for this rig.

The build quality of this amplifier is beyond compare –

perfect in concept and execution. The tidy, hand wired cir-
cuit board is flawlessly assembled. The J35 is an amplifier
you would be proud to use in studio or on the road.

sent the prototype over to Pete …and he ended up buying it. The tone of the J35 is special indeed. You can no doubt
imagine the sound of three Eminence tens reverberating in
The amp is essentially a 3x10 J40 with some tweaks towards a pine cabinet. The sound is woody, organic an exception-
the thicker mids and lower output …I deliberately allowed ally toneful, and the three ten-inch speakers deftly capture
a slight mismatch in the output impedance, which gives the the full tonal range of the amplifier. The reverb and tremo-
J35 a lot of its character. In terms of features, the J35 is the lo are both lush and very organic in tone.


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

mended. Quest forth…TQ

Still a Classic
Shrouded in mystery and urban legend, Dumble amplifiers
have attained mystical status as the most coveted and costly
guitar amplifier ever built. Many of the players using amps
built by Alexander (a.k.a. “Howard”) Dumble got in the
game early when Dumble custom built amplifiers for specific
artists, often voicing them for the individual playing styles
The controls make this amp capable of a wide range of
tones. Presence is just that, adding definition and sparkle
to the notes. Middle controls midrange. Bass adds warmth
and low end to the mix, and treble adds sparkle and defini-
tion to the treble tones.

The two inputs are also very useful. Volume Bright is just
that – a brighter tone overall, while Volume Normal is more
balanced. Both are very useful and bring out the best in the
J35. While it is a powerful amplifier, the J35 doesn’t over-
whelm with raw power and volume, but a more balanced
tone that is clear and clean. The amp develops a beautiful
of his elite L.A. customers. We’ve been told by someone who
should know that David Lindley was a chief test pilot for the
Dumble Overdrive Special way back in the ‘70s, and it is a
fact that both Lindley and late Little Feat guitarist Lowell
George were among the very first to play Dumbles on stage.
Lowell George also owned a Dumble-modified Fender
Showman, and other Fender amps modded by Dumble surely
exist. Fans of the Dumble Overdrive Special include John
Mayer, Robben Ford, Steve Kimock, Rick Vito, Stephen

overdriven tone above 6 on the volume control, yet it never

becomes too dirty or overbearing. Perfect for rock and
blues, and even at full volume the J35 is entirely manage-
able. Perfect for bringing out the best in the Eminence
Legend 1028K 35 watt speakers.

This amplifier is unique with its three Eminence speakers

and they create a tone that is equally unique. The three
Jensens present a soundstage that is rich and pure at all
volume levels, and the amplifier creates a rich presence
that is full and very detailed. Using a pair of Sovtek 5881
output tubes, the J35 is the consummate rock and blues
amp, with a tone that is both rich and clear. Highly recom-


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

Bruton, Henry Kaiser, Carlos Santana and Steve Carlton. protecting. John Mayer’s Dumble is equipped with a quad of
Dumble built heads, combos and extension cabinets, and an EL34’s rather than 6L6’s, but we’d describe the clean tone of
even rarer model called the Steel String Singer, played by this amp as very Fender like, only bigger, with tremendous
Stevie Ray Vaughan. Most of the early Dumble amps initially sparkle on the top and the unmistakable linear, laser focus
sold for $5,000 new, and today vintage Overdrive Specials of a great Twin. With the gain kicked in from the Overdrive
cost $30,000 and climbing. We have heard Sonny Landreth’s circuit, the Dumble produces a thick, polyphonic roar that
Dumble amp many times in large and small venues, as well remains intact and in full bloom even at lower volume set-
as Stephen Bruton and Steve Kimock playing their Overdrive tings. This amp has a distinctly unique voice that is hard
Specials live and on recordings. Of course, the burning ques- to describe in words – a specific timbre that seems to lurk
tion on every guitarist’s lips is, “What’s so special about beneath everything you play, regardless of how the controls
the Overdrive Special?” In terms of their collectible value, are set, but once heard, it is unmistakably “Dumble.” It is
only a few hundred were built, and given their mystical sta- not coincidental that a big amplifier like the Dumble delivers
tus among so many renowned players, supply and demand a robust ambient tone and dynamic feel that simply cannot be
has caused their value to double every five years. Does a duplicated by lower-powered amplifiers. The classic sound
Dumble sound so much better than any other amplifier to of a great 50W Hiwatt or Marshall is hard to beat, but they
don’t succeed in reproducing the spatial effect of their 100W
siblings. The notes produced by big amps are simply big-
ger, and that’s a fact. If you’re captivated by the Dumble but
hobbled by the price of entry, take heart – you’ve got options.
We acquired a credible perspective on Dumble amps with a
truly stellar guitarist and amp tech, Todd Sharp.

TQR: You owned and played not one, but two Dumbles when
justify its $30,000 price tag? Of course not. The high cost of you were with Christine McVie and also Rod Stewart,
a Dumble today is based on its collectible value and rarity. yet there seems to be a veil and a mystique hanging
Strictly speaking, John Mayer’s Overdrive Special does sound over them, probably because so few of us have ever
incredibly good, as do those played by the artists we’ve seen played one. What can you tell us about them?
play them live, but these days you can get very close to the
tone, power and dynamic vibe of a Dumble for a lot less I don’t claim to know all about them, but I did own two that
money. For those of you who are strongly motivated to own were built for me and they were unique and different. Mine were
a Dumble, understand that they are worth precisely whatever big-ass heads with four 6550’s, reverb, tremolo, and the over-
just one motivated buyer is willing to pay, and a Dumble with drive channel, but most people are familiar with the Overdrive
special provenance will demand even more. And as more Specials. I’ve had a number of those in the shop and they actually
Dumbles are taken out of circulation and placed into private had Fender Twin or Showman transformers
collections, their value will continue to appreciate. In addi-
tion to being a very clever and creative designer and builder, (same thing). Dumbles really are very Fender-like, and if you
Dumble is nobody’s fool, and it has often been his practice think about it, there isn’t that much new or terribly original
to pot the heart of his preamp circuit to prevent duplica- in guitar amp designs from the past 30 years. Fenders and
tion. And why not? He certainly created a design worth Marshalls are essentially the same circuit and very little was

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

He may have used a couple of Mylar caps or Orange Drops

here and there. He usually used metal film resistors, which
is interesting, because everybody else seems to prefer carbon
comps hands down. He used good quality pots and sockets,
and his circuit boards were kind of crude, home made things
which were not exactly point-to-point. He made amazing-
sounding amps building his own boards, but they aren’t built
like most builders.’ I think what you see in the circuit is very
close to a Fender Twin, but you’ll see a little more attention
paid to the phase inverter – what he used in the feedback resis-
tors and his special selection of components. He did some-
thing different in the feedback loop … I looked at Rick Vito’s
Dumble and it seemed that he had found an opportunity to
find a different shape in that amp. It’s like if you took a really
sweet sounding Twin to Alexander and said, “Just tweak this
thing out for me,” he would have given you back an Overdrive
Special more or less. And of course, he has the three toggle
done differently. There is a slight difference in cap values, the switches that are sort of his trademark, labeled “rock/jazz,”
value of the slope resistor … Marshall used the cathode fol- “bright/deep,” and “mid.” I never quite got the “rock/jazz”
lower to drive the tone stack and Fender used the plate … The switch and I think I always left it in one position or the other.
earliest Vox amps didn’t even have tone controls – just a single Personally, I always wished they did something different, just
“cut” control. Traynor had unique tone controls that were like every other guitar player with a switch on his amp. “If it
outside the Fender circuit and Ampeg definitely did their own only did this …” (laughing). And then he also had two inputs
thing, so in that respect, a Dumble is a Fender, but Dumble is that seem to be another signature of his. In the “normal” input
also a custom builder. He is a unique and different individual the guitar goes straight to a tube and in the “FET” input it
who I got to know personally, and I think I understand him goes to a unique stage that is a little hotter and makes the amp
better now that I do this kind of work myself than I did when I sound a little more hi-fi – maybe a little less rock & roll with
was just trying to get my amps from him to play. I think he is a wider range. FET stands for a field effect transistor and it’s
very caring about his work and his amps were his babies – he a high impedance device that is voltage controlled so it almost
wasn’t interested in letting them go until he was completely behaves like a tube. It’s a transistor but it doesn’t act like one.
happy with the way they sounded.
TQR: We know that Dumble modified a Showman for
As far as the Overdrive Specials are concerned, even if the Lowell George before he was building his own
tone circuit wasn’t epoxied to prevent you from seeing what he amps…
was doing, I don’t think you’d find anything terribly unique.
The component selection would have been done to the nines, And there you have it. He modified a Showman and I
not that there is anything terribly expensive or fancy there … understand that perfectly. I wasn’t thinking along the lines
of a Dumble, but I’ve modified and built a few amps from
Showmans and Twins because there you have a perfect chas-
sis and a set of great sounding transformers. I’m sure that
is how he began building amps, and make no bones about
it, the transformers I’ve seen in Overdrive Specials were all
Fenders. He inserted another stage of gain for his overdrive


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

and as far as I know, he was the first guy to do it. When I TQR: And today, are there other options that can put you
first played his amp it floored me. It was the ultimate guitar in that same that place?
player’s amp. You plugged in and thought, “Oh, my god – this
is the best amp I’ve ever heard and it’s going to make a dif- Well, I think there are, but then I’d have to start bragging
ference in my life.” The overdrive channel was a lot of that, about my own designs. Although my approach is different,
and while no one else was doing it, what he did wasn’t all I have a much greater admiration for Dumble because it’s
that revolutionary. But the attention he paid to exactly how it harder than hell to do it. It’s like a profession for a retired
sounded is what made it sound so good. He didn’t just throw guy who can say, “I’ve got nothing better to do with my life
in a tube and say “here’s more gain” – he threw in a tube and but take my time and do this just right.” Paying attention to
he filtered it and made it sound really nice. And while I don’t all that detail … Even some of the boutique amps I see that
know this for sure, I have to think that he must be a guitar are beautifully built by people with admirable skills just don’t
player to have done that so well. We’ve talked about this seem to have that something …
before, but a lot of this isn’t sound at all – it has nothing to do
with sound – it has to do with touch. A good amp makes your Whoever is building them doesn’t have the ear or true instinct
fingerboard feels better – it makes your strings feel lighter … for it. I don’t meant to be arrogant about it, but I can do it
A good amp lets all that happen. You know what it’s like on when I have the time. It can be done. But my philosophy may
any given day … “Who put these .011’s on here? I swear my
action is high tonight … I wonder if my neck is bowed?” But
nothing has really changed – you’re just playing through a
shitty amp or you aren’t hearing it right that night (laughing).
You’re fighting the guitar because of the amp. And the beauty
of the Dumble – the holy grail – is that he knew how to build
an amp that lets you stop fighting your guitar and play it.
And the Overdrive circuit is magic – just listen to Lowell
George or Larry Carlton or Robben Ford and you can hear
that creamy, thick distortion that no one else was getting. The
Dumble was thick, rich and delicious.

be a little different from Dumble’s, which is to take an amp

like a Showman or a Twin and make it sound as good as you
could ever get it to sound with embellishments like the FET
input, the different tone coloration switches … little tricks,
if not particularly clever electronically, but they work well.
And then you have the Overdrive circuit, which was unique
and probably the best onboard overdrive ever. But still, the
approach is, you’ve got this big, powerful amp, and if you get
the right Twin – the one that puts out about 70 watts – that’s
a pretty sweet sounding amp. My approach there is that you
still have that kind of overdrive, but you also current-limit the
output stage to give you a 65W, a 50W and a 30W amp on
one chassis. But with that I should probably shut up because
I don’t need to be giving away what I’ve been working on.
Although overdrive is kinda neat, I think we’ve learned that
we seem to prefer the sound of a real amp being overdriven.
Larry Carlton


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

TQR: The power seems to have a lot to do with it,

because even when you knock the volume down on
the Dumble, it never gets that faux overdriven tone
– that zizzy, fizzy tone we associate so often with
Effectrode Tube-Vibe
master volume circuits and lower powered amps This pedal is
that are attenuated. a mighty cool
tool and a rec-
Well, that is a trick. There is definitely a correlation between reation of the
the size of the iron.. Matter of fact, I built my amp on the Shin-El Shiftee
chassis of a red-knob Twin for a guy just as an experiment, Uni-Vibe used
and that fuckin’ thing sounded unbelievably good when I was by David
done. I think the output transformer may have been even big- Gilmour, Robin
ger than a normal Twin, and I like a big output transformer Trower and
where the core isn’t being saturated so quickly – especially Jimi Hendrix.
where you are creating preamp distortion. They seem to pass According to the manufacturer this unit contains the same
distortion better. A distorted signal through big iron sounds four photocells, light bulb and stagger-tuned capacitors as
really good. TQ the original Uni-Vibe but instead of budget transistors it uses
premium vacuum tubes in the preamplifier, mixer and phase-
Todd Sharp, Nashville Amp Service shift circuitry.
www.amprepair.com, 615-591-7556
Effectrode Uni-Vibe Effectrode has done a stellar job of rec-
reating and improving this effect.

Simple to use and quick to digest, the Speed knob controls

Xotic Effects RC Booster the rate of notch across the audio spectrum.Turning the knob
clockwise creates a progressively deeper, swampy sound
simulating a Leslie rotating speaker.
We recently
received a new Intensity restricts the sweep of the sound for more subtle
RC Booster for effects.
review, and this
is one pedal that Volume sets the output level.
belongs on your
pedal board! The Chorus/Vibrato switch selects between the classic
Finished in a cool Hendrix Uni-Vibe chorus and the de-tuning pitch bending
chrome cover and Vibrato.
inspired by the
Scott Henderson The Classic/Smooth switch selects between the classic Uni-
model RCB-SH, Vibe throb (switch up) and a more ethereal chorus with the
the RCB-V2 offers switch down.
an added gain
channel with a Additional features include the Blend trimmer, footswitch, and
20dB+ clean expression pedal input.
boost. The adjust-
able +15dR two The Effectrode ships with a 12AU7 but you can use a 12AT7,
band active EQ lets you dial it in adding a huge range of har- 12AX7 or 12AY7. We subbed a 12AX7 and the result was
monic content to your overall sound. The original RC Booster more volume, and a stronger overall signal. The tone of the
was a cool tool, but the RCB-V2 is a definite step up in terms 12AU7 is more subtle and perfectly fine, however.
of flexibility and overall sound. Controls remain simple –
Volume, Gain, Treble and Bass with a Gain 2 switch and a The Tube-Vibe is a very useful and toneful tool, versatile
Bypass control. It takes no time at all to absorb the capabili- and very quiet at idle. The internal Blend trimmer allows the
ties of this pedal and get your settings just right. A very cool dry and effected signals to be mixed in any proportion. We
tool and very highly recommended. Quest forth…TQ strongly recommend this effect for classic tones that you just
won’t get with any other pedal. Quest forth…TQ

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016
Resource Directory

Piera is one of the premier guitar Callaham Vintage Guitars & Amps
effects dealers and manufacturers New from Callaham! Check out
serving professional players world- the new billet steel ABR-1 style
Don’t miss your opportunity to save wide. Analogman is unique, since it ‘tune-o-matic’ bridge: Bill Callaham
10% on selected products offered manufactures, modifies, buys, sells, is a builder of exceptional electric
by members of your ToneQuest and repairs vintage and new guitar guitars that exceed the original
Resource Directory! effects. Specializing in vintage and quality, tone, and beauty of the vin-
high–end effects, you won’t find tage models that inspire his work.
Look for exclusive ToneQuest dis- cheap Taiwanese “ happy meal” “ Better than vintage” is an apt
count offers in gold and reference style, toy effects there. Analogman description for the Callaham “ S”
TQR when placing your order. is dedicated to helping you success- and “ T” model electric guitars that
fully pursue your quest for tone, feature premium lightweight ash and
TQR Directory News! Check out and every customer is treated as a alder bodies, custom hand–shaped
Wampler Pedals and updates from prospective friend. Analogman can rock maple necks, and cryogenically
Carr Amplifiers, Visual Sound, meet all your effects needs, includ- treated Lindy Fralin pickups spe-
Toneman Don Butler and more! ing: Buying and selling vintage, cially wound to Callaham’s speci-
new, and custom built effects, and fications for true vintage tone. Bill
modifying pedals to sound and func- also offers cryogenically treated,
tion better. A full repair service, pre-wired vintage pick guards for
AllParts: Top players and guitar including referrals to specialists. Strat style guitars, and his exclu-
builders rely on Allparts for the right Creating the best new effects with sive formula for cold–rolled steel
guitar and bass parts they need, in vintage values, schematics, and alloy tremolo blocks continue to
stock and ready to ship. AllParts original owner’s manual copies. delight players around the world
offers a complete range of finished FREE help with effects problems with improved resonance and sus-
and unfinished guitar bodies in a by e–mail or in our Web Forum, tain. Callaham vintage saddles also
variety of premium tone woods, plus professional consultation and improve sustain while minimizing
including alder and swamp ash, technical services. Analogman string fatigue and breaks. Additional
with optional highly figured maple specializes in pedal modifications Strat parts include stainless steel
tops. Finishes include all of the most for the Ibanez and Maxon Tube trem arms, string ferrules, bridge
popular vintage col8.5ors, including Screamers and several Boss pedals plates and mounting screws, and
see–through blonde! Premium necks (SD–1, DS–1, BD–2, DD5, etc). string retainers. Attention Tele
are also available with maple, rose- They also modify Fuzzfaces to vin- Players! Callaham now offers a
wood, and ebony fingerboards in a tage germanium specs. Analogman complete line of custom Tele parts.
variety of neck shape profiles, with hand–built pedals include the Clone Please visit their web site for infor-
or without binding. Custom design chorus, Comprossors, and Sun Face mation on pre–wired control plates
your next guitar with AllParts, fuzz pedals. There are 3 versions of with premium pots, capacitors, and
including tailpieces, tuning keys, the Comprossors available, based cloth–covered wire, specially wound
bridges, nuts and saddles, pickups, on the Ross style and/or the Orange and cryogenically treated Fralin
pickguards (that really fit), knobs, Squeezer style of compression. vintage Tele pickups, compensated
hardware, and electronics for many Other hand–made pedals avail- brass bridge saddles, bridge plates,
popular models. Bass players and able from Analog Man include the knobs, jacks, tuners and string
lefties can also find the parts they FOXROX Captain Coconut and trees! The only thing better than
need at AllParts! You can also rely TZF flanger, Teese RMC wahs, Z Callaham parts is a Callaham gui-
on Allparts for hard to find parts, Vex, Black Cat, Tubester, Ultravibe, tar. We said that, and you can take
along with vacuum tubes and ampli- Pedaltrain and George L cables. Jim it to the bank.
fier hardware. Weider recently collaborated with
Mike on the King Of Tone overdrive Callaham Guitars, Winchester, VA
AllParts, Houston, TX pedal, which is being introduced callahamguitars.com 540–678–4043
www.allparts.com 713–466–6414 in December 2003! Please check
the web site for more information,
and e–mail if possible. If you must
Analogman TQR readers are invited call, please mention ToneQuest and Carr Amplifiers: Carr Amplifiers
to save $25 on the Sunface NKT they’ll make time to help you. is a small company located in
with Sundial Fuzz, or receive free downtown Pittsboro, NC. With
shipping on all handmade Analog Analog Man, Bethel, CT six dedicated full-time craftsmen
Man brand pedals, Foxrox, Teese www.analogman.com Carr Amps kicks out some of the
wahs, and the PedalPower2: Mike 203–778–6658 best-made, professional grade, and


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016
Resource Directory

dimensional-sounding tools a gui- The Impala (44w) is one of those Our Skylark takes all this fun utility
tarist can have, whether onstage or very rare amps that can do it all. a giant leap forward.
at home. From sweet glassy clean tones to
pushed, in your face, American Spring reverb, built in power attenu-
Carr Amps models are all: hand- overdrive---you will find it here. ator, Hi/Lo Gain switch, and the
wired using true point to point The control panel is deceptively extended range Presence control
construction. Loaded with premium simple with its ultra wide range offer an incredible pallet of tones
electronic components, i.e., Solen Volume control the star. At lower from the Skylark’s beautiful dove-
capacitors. Equipped with cabinets settings the Impala stays in the 60s tailed cabinet. This amp goes from
made in-house from local NC yel- American clean voice while taking the round clarity of Joe Maphis to
low pine with dovetailed joints for the Volume past 3 o’clock brings in the nasty savagery of Hound Dog
tank-like sturdiness. heightened preamp toothy over- Taylor.
Issued a lifetime warranty for the drive. The Master Volume allows
original owner. Made by Americans you to dial in the right amount of The Sportsman (19w) Fusing the in-
at a fair wage. power tube thickness and overall sistent purity of 60s American 1x10
loudness. Amazing with pedals due reverb-style amps with the more
to its wonderful solidity and open- aggressive dual 6V6 power section
The Lincoln (19w) embraces the ness. on the late 50s, we bring you the
simple Lone Wolf vibe yet goes so Sportsman! Tones ranging from
much further with ultra-expanded The Slant 6V (40w) offers an clear and snappy to Texas pushed
tonal range and the convenience of impressive array of legendary twang to intercontinental grind are
channel switching. This American American and British tones, and un- all under the hood of the Sports-
intrusion into Vox territory features precedented versatility and usable man! The combination of Volume,
sparkling cleans to heavy overdrive power without sacrificing warmth, Headroom, and Mid controls puts
all at the tap of a toe, lush reverb clarity, and hand-built all tube tone the entire tonal palette at your cal-
available on both channels, and that are the hallmark of our ampli- loused fingertips!
a two-position power attenuator fiers. At the heart of the Slant 6V
for the full 18 giggable watts, or are two independent footswitchable The Rambler (14/28w) is a wonder-
a house-trained 6 watts, and a 12” channels; Channel One bridges ful all around amplifier. It delivers a
Celestion Creamback M65. The our shimmering clean tone with classic American Deluxe tone with
clean channel chimes along in a gutbucket, overdriven blues, while dramatically expanded clean head-
Voxy way, i.e., The Jam. The dirty the dual gain settings on Channel room, solid bass response, and the
channel gets more into Jeff Beck’s Two offer pure tube crunch, soaring included option of 28w Pentode and
Yardbirds tone, and the boost takes sustain and fluid dynamic response. 14w Triode. The Rambler is warm,
that channel into Randy Rhoads/ The Slant 6V can be operated at crystalline, and very seductive with
Van Halen territory, both of which half-power in cathode bias (18W) a high threshold of clean tone. The
are loads of fun! This is an explo- or fixed bias mode (22W), yielding Rambler is considered by many
sive amplifier and must be heard to tones reminiscent of early tweed to be the quintessential club amp,
be believed. and AC-style tones combos in voiced to meet the needs of virtu-
cathode mode, and a punchier, more ally any player, all types of music,
Channel 1: Volume, Treble, Bass, tightly defined sound in the fixe and is the perfect platform for all
Reverb and a Normal/Bright mini- bias mode. And at full power, the types of pedals.
toggle Slant 6V runs four 6V6tubes split in
Channel 2: Drive, Tone, Master, cathode and fixed bias pairs, placing The Viceroy (7/33w) is a little
Reverb and a Low/High min-toggle every conceivable classic tube tone boogie amp, built small and tough,
at your fingertips. like little pit bull. This 6L6 amp is
The Raleigh (3w) is a versatile biased deeply into Class A, yielding
practice/studio amp designed to The Skylark (12w) is the ultimate a pushed, ready-to-jump feel, explo-
deliver both pristine cleans and low-powered American inspired sive and forward tilting. It distorts
heavily overdriven tones at us- amp! The Skylark idea began with in a large curd Tweedish way when
able volumes. The clean side has our love and appreciation for classic cranked. It’s got plenty of power,
startling clarity, and the dirty side is home/student 60s American amps warmth, clarity, and a few features.
fantastically dirty! Two extremes in such as the Harvard to name but The Mid-Boost is footswitch-con-
one amp. The Raleigh’s styling pays one. These small student amps de- trolled and frees up a blast of mids
homage to the funky practice amps livered organic tube juice and vibe for your disposal during a solo. The
of the late 50s and early 60s. at real world volumes, making them pot on that footswitch allows you
super usable and very satisfying. to preset the level, like any pedal.


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016
Resource Directory

7/33 watts rotary switch allows you extremely competitive prices. professional and amateur musi-
to start off the evening in 7 watts Celestion International Ltd cians alike…anyone on the quest
with plenty of power, setting your www.celestion.com for quality. Some of these include
tone to your taste, then pop it up to For OEM Enquiries, contact Andy artists: Keith Richards, Lyle Lovett,
33 watts when the crowd shows up, Farrow at Celestion America, Pete Townshend, Emmylou Harris,
folks get drunker, and the drummer For all enquiries, contact John Andy Summers, David Crosby,
starts playing louder, and you’ll Sanchez at Celestion America, 732- Chris Hillman, Joni Mitchell, Don
never have a problem being heard, 683-2356, sales@celestion.com Felder, John Sebastian, Lou Reed,
and it doesn’t change your tone John Fogerty, Tim O’Brien, Pete
when you use it. The Drive pot is a Huttlinger, Kenny Smith, Brian
cool Viceroy feature that adds grit May, Joan Baez, John Prine, Nigel
and hair to your basic clean tone, Collings Guitars: Bill Collings’ Tufnel of Spinal Tap, and Steven
also adding a touch of volume. I story provides a classic example Spielberg to name a few. We invite
call this the “Mick Taylor pot.” of what can be achieved with an you to play a Collings today.
Features include reverb, 7/33 watt engineer’s brain, a machinists’
power selector, variable Drive, foot- hand and an experienced repair- For more information on the com-
switchable mid-boost. man’s eye. After dropping out of plete line of Collings instruments
medical school in Ohio to work in and dealer locations, please visit
Carr Amplifiers, Pittsboro, NC a machine shop, Collings moved our web site.
www.carramps.com 919–545–0747 to Texas in the mid 1970’s where
the experience he gained repairing Collings Guitars, Austin Texas
and restoring guitars guided his collingsguitars.com, 512-288-7776
design of the first Collings guitars.
Celestion Limited. Nobody knows His understanding of the flaws and
more than Celestion about guitar shortcomings found in production
loudspeaker design and manufacture. instruments was instructive, and he Dave’s Guitar Shop: Dave’s Guitar
Think of your all-time favourite gui- set out to eliminate those shortcom- Shop offers guitars by Fender,
tar riffs and solos, chances are, they ings with the very first Collings Gibson, PRS, National, Taylor,
were played through Celestion guitar guitars Gretsch, Ernie Ball, Rickenbacker,
loudspeakers. For the last fifty years Martin, Santa Cruz, Suhr, Collings,
- since the birth of the Celestion Today, Collings has 50 full-time Tom Anderson and many other fine
Blue (the first ever purpose-built employees working in a new, new and used instruments, plus
guitar loudspeaker) - our magical 22,000 square foot, state-of-the-art new and used amplifiers such as
mix of metal paper and magnets has facility, and Bill Collings remains Fender, Line 6, Matchless, Victoria,
formed an essential part of the sound hands-on, building all the tool- Bad Cat, and Dr. Z, plus hundreds
of guitar music. ing used throughout the shop and of guitar effects, and aftermarket
Some of the greatest speakers avail- personally working on guitars at pickups from Joe Barden, Seymour
able today are part of the Celestion his bench whenever time permits. Duncan, and more. Due to their
Classic Series. Over the years, we’ve As the business has grown and inventory of over 1,000 guitars,
applied our design expertise to build processes refined, there is one amps, and accessories, Dave’s is
a range of speakers that will give thing that has not changed…Bill an excellent resource for top of the
you classic Celestion tone, no mat- Collings’ commitment to building line Custom Shop and Historic reis-
ter what style you play. The Alnico the finest handmade acoustic steel sues, to intermediate new and used
Series and the Heritage Series, both string instruments in the world. gear. Unlike some dealers’ out of
hand-built in Ipswich, England, are date stock lists on the web and in
the result of meticulous attention Collings instruments have grown print, Dave’s inventory is updated
to detail, created for those who are to include 32 different acoustic daily. The selection of new and used
absolutely dedicated to the pursuit guitar models including the famed instruments is truly exceptional, and
of true Vintage tone. dreadnought and OM models, seven you can often select among several
award-winning mandolin models in models of the same new guitars to
For high-volume OEMs, Celestion both lacquer and varnish finishes, find that special instrument that was
Originals represent outstanding value three archtop guitars, and a new meant for you. Dave’s staff is friend-
for money. We have the specialist line of seven electric instruments ly and extremely knowledgeable
experience coupled with the most crafted to inspire rock, blues, jazz, about the instruments and gear that
advanced, high-volume manufactur- country, and your music, too. they sell, because they are players,
ing techniques to deliver Celestion too. Please check the web site for
tone, quality and brand appeal at Bill Collings work is respected by current inventory, and you are wel-


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016
Resource Directory

come to call for more information or Eminence is proud to present the

an accurate, in-hand description. Patriot and Redcoat series of guitar The Fishman product line began
speakers. Incorporating both British with the BP-100 acoustic bass
Dave’s Guitar Shop, LaCrosse, WI and American cone technology into pickup, originally developed to
davesguitar.com 608-785-7704 speakers that we manufacture in the meet founder and president Larry
USA gives us the ability to provide Fishman’s own jazz performance
you with virtually any tone you needs. With a track record of quality
Echopark Guitars desire. Be it British or American, engineering, reliability, functional
Echopark Guitars are uniquely clean or dirty, big bass or screaming simplicity and - most importantly -
designed, handcrafted instruments highs, we have a speaker that will the natural tone it enables, Fishman
that vividly reveal the vision, skill allow you to “ Pick Your Sound.” firmly established a reputation of
and experience of master luthier Choose from one of seventeen new excellence that consumers have
Gabriel Currie. Following the storied models! Eminence has been building come to expect from the brand.
tradition of luthiers who have col- speakers to custom specifications for
lectively defined the modern electric nearly every major manufacturer of For acoustic guitar, Fishman offers
guitar, Gabriel has attracted a loyal guitar amplifier and sound reinforce- the flagship Acoustic Matrix Series
following in the American boutique ment products since 1967. Their new active pickup system, the Rare Earth
guitar market among some of the Legend Series of guitar speakers Series active magnetic soundhole
most discerning and influential art- captures the essence of the vin- pickups, and the Neo-D magnetic
ists today. Dedicated to preserving tage American and British speaker soundhole pickup, as well as pas-
and enhancing the tradition and designs that are held in such high sive undersaddle, classical, archtop,
culture of American craftsmanship, regard today by so many discerning and resophonic guitar pickups.
Echopark Guitars offers a definitive players. The Legend Series includes Fishman’s new Ellipse series com-
line of custom instruments ranging classic British and American designs bines the Acoustic Matrix pickup
from the revered Clarence models, for 6,” 8,” 10,” 12,” and 15” speakers with our industry leading preamp
to the Downtowner family and the utilizing ceramic and AlNiCo mag- design. Designed to fit in the gui-
Ghetto Bird. Cut, carved, shaped nets, British or American cones, and tar’s soundhole, the Ellipse system
and crafted by hand, there are no Kapton polyamide voice coils for provides volume and tone control
limits to Gabriel’s exceptional cre- superior heat dissipation and durabil- at your fingertips and easily installs
ativity. Each piece of wood is hand ity. Best of all, because Eminence without any modification to your
selected from private reserves for has been successfully competing for instrument.
the most stable, consistent and tone- years with other speaker manufactur-
ful blend for each specific model. ers as an OEM supplier, the Legend Fishman pickups are also available
Currie also supports and works Series speakers are priced far below for banjo, mandolin, harp/piano,
with custom pickup winders such those of many other popular manu- violin, viola, cello and acoustic
as Curtis Novak, Arcane Pickups facturers of “ reissue” and custom bass. In addition, the Concertmaster
and Jerry Amalfitano in creating a speakers. The Eminence Legend amplification system for violin and
dynamic voice and personality that Series delivers all of the tone and the Full Circle upright bass pickup
clearly set Echopark guitars apart as durability you need, at a lower price, offer two elegant and cutting-edge
both works of art and exceptional with no compromises in quality. To string amplification solutions.
musical instruments. The highest locate genuine Eminence dealers in
quality accessories and electronics your area, please visit their web site Utilizing cutting-edge Acoustic
only work to enhance the individual or call Eminence Speakers. Sound Imaging technology, Aura
characteristics of each guitar. From features the most innovative acoustic
the tree to the stage, in the studio Eminence Speaker LLC amplification technology available
or as part of a coveted collection, Eminence, KY today. This stompbox-sized unit cap-
Echopark heirloom guitars repre- www.eminence.com 502–845–5622 tures your instrument’s true acoustic
sent Currie’s lifelong passion and Contact: Chris Rose sound with stunning, studio micro-
respect for handcrafted quality in phone quality. Anytime, anywhere.
the quest for pure, unchained tone. Fishman: Widely recognized as the Aura eliminates the boundaries of
For detailed information on the 13 premier designer and manufacturer conventional acoustic amplification
Echopark models currently offered, of acoustic amplification products, and gives the most natural, realistic
options and to view our image gal- Fishman is committed to making amplified acoustic instrument sound
lery, visit our web site at: acoustic musicians heard while available - both on stage and in the
faithfully maintaining their own studio.
www.echoparkguitars.com natural tone, for the best possible
626-536-3317 sound. Joining the award-winning Loudbox


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016
Resource Directory

and Loudbox Pro acoustic instru- dramatically improves the perfor- ered to your door. Shop online at
ment amplifiers, the new Loudbox mance and aesthetics of the guitar. JustStrings.com, or place your order
Performer completes Fishman’s Our stainless steel, with its greater by fax at 603–889–7026 or tele-
popular, highly-acclaimed family of hardness and tighter grain structure phone at 603–889–2664..
acoustic amplifiers and represents has much higher wear resistance for
the size, power and features that greater fret life. In addition, string JustStrings.com, Nashua, NH
musicians demand. Setting a new bending is much smoother without juststrings.com info@juststrings.com
standard in acoustic amplifiers, the the friction or grinding felt with
Loudbox series feature a powerful traditional fret material. We have
tri-amped system that delivers sweet selected a stainless steel alloy that Lollar Custom Guitars & Pickups:
highs and undistorted lows-even at provides the best combination of According to Jason, he never really
tremendous volumes. fret life and installation ease. Most set out to become a custom pickup
fretwire is manufactured in coils for designer and builder. Jason Lollar
As Fishman celebrates its 25th year ease of installation. Our FW39040 is a guitar builder on Vashon Island,
as the leader in acoustic amplifica- and FW37053 are only offered Washington (near Seattle) who
tion, the company continues to in 24” straight lengths to prevent originally began building pickups
redefine the benchmark of acoustic twisting if coiled. Pricing is based for his own guitars and a few friends
sound. For more information, please on orders of one pound minimum when he couldn’t find the tone he
visit: quantity per size, plus shipping via was after. The word spread, and
www.fishman.com UPS, FedEx, or USPS. Gold colored now Jason custom builds over 30
Fishman Transducers Inc. EVO wire is available on selected different pickups, including Strat,
Wilmington, MA sizes only. Individual frets cut to Tele, humbuckers, P90’s, custom
978–988–9199 size, straight cut or cut and notched steels and Charlie Christian–style
tangs, are available upon request. pickups, all persoanlly designed and
Minimum order quantity for pre-cut wound by Jason. He is especially
Jescar Fretwire Securely pressed frets is 2000 pieces. well known for his P90, Imperial
into the fingerboard, the fret wire CAUTION: Jescar Fretwire will Humbucker and Tele replacement
is the gateway between the musi- improve the tone and playability of pickups, but he has also designed
cian and the instrument. It is one of your guitar. pickups for many unusual applica-
the most critical components in the www.jescar.com tions.
playing quality of the guitar. The 877-453-7227 Recently, Jason was acknowl-
interaction between the strings and edged by gonzo pedal steel player
frets determines the feel of the neck Just Strings.com: Now more than Robert Randolph for having wound
as much as the neck contour, finger- ever, guitarists are reaping the bene- the pickups in his two custom
board material, or finish. fits of technical innovations in string Fessenden pedal steels. And the list
There are many different fret wire making that have led to the wid- doesn’t end there – Jason has wound
profiles available, from small to est selection of guitar strings ever pickups for guitar greats such as
large, low to high, narrow to wide, available. JustStrings.com is dedi- Billy F Gibbons, Peter Stroud,
oval to round to triangular, all cated to providing guitarists with Kevin Russel, Rick Vito, Elliot
affecting the playing characteristics the largest selection of acoustic, Easton, Duke Robillard, and the
and feel of the instrument. Brass roundwound, and flatwound strings, Beasty Boys, among others.
frets from days past have given way complimented by exceptional per-
to today’s standard material, 18% sonalized service and outstanding Jason is always happy to personally
nickel silver, also called “German value. Trying different types of consult with his clients via phone
Silver.” Our highly refined nickel strings often results in amazing new and e–mail to determine the pickups
silver consists of 62% copper, 18% discoveries that not only improve that are right for each player, and
nickel and 20% zinc. But even with the sound of your instrument, but TQR recommends Lollar pick-
18% nickel silver, there are differ- dramatically enhance your playing ups without exception. His Lollar
ences in hardness, tensile strength, enjoyment. From traditional hand– Special Strat pickups are standard
surface quality, grain size, and other crafted strings to high–tech exotics, equipment in our custom built
metallurgical properties that influ- JustStrings.com exists to help you ToneQuest guitars.
ence a fret’s quality, performance get the most out of your instrument.
and feel. Try a new set today, or order your Call Jason or check out all the
favorite acoustic or electric sets and options available on his web site.
Beyond 18% nickel silver, new SAVE! Juststrings.com offers the
alloys have been employed in the best prices on all of the major and www.lollarguitars.com
production of modern fret wire that specialty brands, promptly deliv- 206–463–9838


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016
Resource Directory

Mercury Magnetics: The basis of the end of their life expectancies. the professional luthiers at Stewart
every tube amp’s characteristic sound That’s the bad news – now for the MacDonald first! The master build-
is the unique design of its transform- good… Mercury will restore, rebuild ers and repairmen on staff include
ers. Mercury transformers are legend- or rewind your valuable original Dan Erlewine – well–known author
ary for their stunning tonal superior- transformers. Or, we can clone your of guitar repair books and magazine
ity, build quality, consistency, and originals so that you can continue to articles, member of the ToneQuest
reliability. We believe in old-world play your old amp without fear of Report advisory board, and a regu-
customer service and single-minded further “wear and tear.” lar contributor to TQR. Dan and
focus. Transformers are our only all of the experienced luthiers at
business, allowing us to concentrate Free Transformer Testing And Stew–Mac personally develop and
on providing you with the best- Evaluation Service: Do you think test every product the company
sounding guitar amplifier trannies in there might be something wrong offers, and they are also dedicated to
the world. with your transformer? Send it education. The Stewart MacDonald
to us. We’ll test it in our lab and catalog is packed with helpful tips,
If your amp is suffering from bland report back to you. Our evaluation and the company produces an exten-
and unexciting tone, then it’s time procedures are thorough, complete sive series of training videos at their
for a transformer upgrade or repair. and reliable, and always free. The facility in Athens, Ohio.
Here are your options: only transformers that come with a For more information on the entire
10-year Manufacturer’s Warrantee range of products available, please
ToneClone™: Best-of-Breed and a Money-Back Tonal Guarantee. visit the Stewart MacDonald web
Series Transformers: Behind every Made entirely in the U.S.A. site. In addition to their free online
great-sounding vintage guitar amp help service, your telephone call is
is a piece of transformer history. Mercury Magnetics also always welcome.\
Within any amp line there are usu- www.MercuryMagnetics.com
ally a large number of transformer Sales@MercuryMagnetics.com Stewart MacDonald
variations, inconsistencies and 818-998-7791 www.stewmac.com,
just plain ol’ building errors that 1–800–848–2273
affect their sound (good or bad). At
Mercury, we seek out, study, blue-
print and replicate only the best-of- Stewart MacDonald: Stewart-
breed transformer designs (includ- MacDonald offers a complete line of Ruokangas: Juha Ruokangas is the
ing their all-important anomalies) hard–to–find tools, parts, accessories, founder and sole owner of Ruokan-
and add these discoveries to our instructional videos and books for gas Guitars (est. 1995). He designs
catalog. And we make these incred- building, repairing, setting up, and all the Ruokangas guitar models,
ible tonal selections available to you optimizing the playability and tone and builds them together with his
through our ToneClone™ line. of stringed instruments. Whether you small dream team in Finland. Juha
are just getting started or you’re a is one of the very few Finnish
Axiom® Series Next-Gen seasoned luthier, you’ll find every- luthiers with a Master’s Degree,
Transformers: Next-generation thing you need in the Stew–Mac and his guitars are regarded in
guitar amplifier transformers. The catalog, including: fret wire, finish- various books, magazines and other
Axiom series are in a class by them- ing supplies, glues and adhesives, independent sources as some of the
selves. We’ve taken our advanced wood, bodies, necks, binding, tuners, finest in the world. Juha is also a
knowledge of modern transformer nuts and saddles, inlay, bridges, tail- co-founder and the vice president
design and mated it with histori- pieces, electronics, pickups, and free of EGB (European Guitar Builders
cally best-sounding designs of the information sheets and professional association) and the chairman of
past. Axiom trannys are hybrids that advice! Their friendly customer ser- Guild of Finnish Luthiers.
take vintage tone to the next level! vice and technical support staff are
More bloom, more overtone color, trained to help you make the best “In the world of boutique gui-
and awesome tonal depth. If you product choices, and they also offer tars, Ruokangas sets the bar as
ever needed convincing as to how an Unconditional Return Guarantee. a standard by which all of the
outstanding transformers affect your If you’re not satisfied with an item boutique guitar companies should
sound, Axiom trannys will astonish for any reason, simply return it. be measured against for making an
you. Stew-Mac is the leading supplier outstanding product. I am a very
of innovative products for guitarists proud owner of these instruments!”
Mercury Vintage™ Transformer and repair pros, and every thing they - Jay Jay French / Twisted Sister
Service: Most vintage transformers make is guaranteed to work well,
have already outlived or are nearing because every product is tested by “Ruokangas guitars are well-


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016
Resource Directory

made and they sound really sweet. rectified beast with an über simple Truetone: formerly known as Visual
They’re built in what I’d call the circuit revolving around the soulful Sound, was launched by Bob Weil
right tradition.” – Mick Box / Uriah 6V6. The amp delivered big sound in his apartment in 1995. With a mix
Heep with unmatched musicality along of innovative ideas, and plain old
with amazing distortion. The 18w hard work, Bob became a member
“Last time I bought an electric Atomic Space Tone soon followed to of the vanguard of stomp box build-
guitar (Telecaster) in 1966, and now wide acclaim, and Swart amplifiers ers that in the mid 1990’s turned the
it was time to buy another one. The were quickly embraced by work- effects world on its ear with new
Mojo Grande is the most acoustic ing pros and guitarists who shared and exciting designs that finally
electric guitar I’ve ever played. This Swart’s appreciation for truly excep- gave guitarists everywhere a new
is superb!” – Tommy Emmanuel tional guitar tone. pallet of tones to work with. Weil
amply did his part with innovative
“My Duke is an indispensible tool Today, six different Swart models products like the Visual Volume,
in my toolbox. It is an exceptionally are hand-built to serve the needs of 1 SPOT power supply, Route 66
made guitar that sounds and plays guitarists for live performance and American Overdrive, Jekyll and
like a top quality instrument should. recording: Hyde Ultimate Overdrive, and the
The feel and finish is as good as it H2O Liquid Chorus and Echo.
gets. It barks and growls like a p90 Space Tone 6V6se - The amp that These products quickly made an
loaded 50’s era guitar. It will always started it all. 5w, Class A, Single- impact with users and dealers alike.
be a part of my arsenal. I use it all Ended, Tube Rectified, 8” Weber, Visual Sound became know for
the time.” – Josh Smith finger-jointed, lacquered tweed pine having great sounding products
cab. Amazing STR-Tweed - Another that were backed up with top notch
“Your attention to detail and sonic BIG Class A, Single-Ended 5w w/ service and support. Visual Sound
resonance is as good as it gets. The extra stage, Swart reverb, and 12” is now Truetone, but the people
fret work is perfect and they almost speaker. haven’t changed and the products
have a bell like ring to them, even and service are still first rate.
the solid bodies but especially the Atomic Space Tone - Perhaps the
Unicorn Artisan. Great work, keep amp that REALLY put Swart on the Weil explains his vision this way:
it up!” - Bob Willcutt / Willcutt map. Considered one of the finest “We’ve worked hard for many
Guitars made. 18w 6V6 or 6L6 with tube years to make our products not only
reverb & tremolo sound great, but also hold up to the
“The Ruokangas guitars kick ass!” demands of the working musician.
– Matias Kupiainen / Stratovarius, AST Pro: AST circuit w/slightly larger The test procedures and quality con-
Finland cab, recessed knobs, 12” of choice trol standards that Chief Engineer
AST Head MKII - AST in a head w/ R.G. Keen and I have developed are
Ruokangas Guitars, Harviala, Finland defeatable master volume and choice extremely thorough. On top of that,
juha@ruokangas.com of cabinets we designed our switching system
www.ruokangas.com to pretty much last forever, and
Super Space Tone 30 Head (SST- we’re very picky about our critical
30) 30w of soulful 6V6/6L6/EL-34 parts suppliers, too. When it comes
Swart Amplification: Long before mother of tone beauty. Richer than down to it, we hate to have our gear
the first Swart amp ever appeared, chocolate. Matching, custom tweed go down in the middle of someone’s
Michael Swart had been playing 2 x 12 Space Tone Cabinet gig, so we’ve gone over the top with
through vintage amps for decades at reliability. To prove it, we’re now
live gigs and recording sessions as Head to Swart Online for the latest offering a lifetime warranty on all
both a guitarist and recording engi- news, rants, photos, raves, artists, of our V3 pedals. And since we’ve
neer in Wilmington, NC. events, and dealer locations. Michael been around since 1995, you can be
Despite his access to countless vin- answers every call. Kelly responds confident we’ll be around to support
tage Fender, Vox, and Ampeg amps, to every mail. Personal service is #1 that warranty.”
Swart always felt the quintessential priority.
small recording/home use amp had The V3 line of pedals began with
yet to be built, thus begin the quest Swart Amplifier Co., Wilmington, NC the Dual Tap Delay, the first dual
for the best tone via a small, man- www.swartamps.com delay pedal with a tap function gov-
ageable package. After a slew of 910-620-2512 erning both delay circuits, followed
suitcase amp wannabees, emerged by the Single Tap, which was half of
the original Space Tone 6V6se, a the mighty Dual Tap. The line then
Class A, 5 watt, Single-Ended, tube expanded to the VS-XO Premium


TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016
Resource Directory

Dual Overdrive, followed by the V3 75 watt Retro 30TM, among others. happen. For many years WD® Music
H2O, which both won the Editor’s WGS also builds high-power bass has also carried a full line of replace-
Pick awards from Guitar Player, and PA speakers, and we are con- ment parts for just about any stringed
and Platinum Awards from Guitar stantly developing and adding new instrument.
World. The latest in the V3 line are speaker models to meet the demands
the new V3 Route 66 and V3 Jekyll of today’s guitarists. WD® Music is proud to continue the
& Hyde which are more than mere legacy of Kluson® tuning machines,
re-boots of signature pedals: they Why should you consider buying one of the most respected OEM
are carefully thought-out complete WGS speakers? At a time when and replacement tuners for decades.
redesigns with all new features and speaker manufacturers have moved Replace or restore your vintage
additional tones. production to Asia, compromising instrument with genuine Kluson®
quality and reliability while prices tuning machines from WD® Music.
In summer 2015, Truetone intro- continue to increase, our speakers We stock Kent Armstrong® pick-
duced the new 1 SPOT Pro CS-7 are proudly assembled in the USA ups, L.R. Baggs® acoustic gear,
and CS-12 power supplies that are by a team with decades of speaker Q-Parts® custom knobs and acces-
capable of powering just about any design and building experience, at sories, Bigsby® tailpieces, Graph
effects device, and are usable any- a reasonable price. Our employees Tech® products, Wilkinson® bridg-
where in the world. take pride in building the very best es, Grover® tuners and accessories,
speakers available anywhere. Selling Big Bends® maintenance supplies,
Check out the Truetone website for direct via the Web enables us to Guitar Facelifts, effects and much
information, videos and news about keep prices low without compro- more.
all the great Truetone products! mising quality. You buy direct from History is repeating itself with
the manufacturer, and we proudly genuine Kluson® tuners, continu-
Truetone.com stand behind our products with fast ing with WD®’s customer service,
931-487-9001 shipping and exceptional customer and…Stromberg® Jazz Guitars. No
service. one can attempt or claim to repro-
For information on the entire range duce the prestige of the original
of WGS guitar and bass speakers, archtop Stromberg® guitars. But
Warehouse Guitar Speakers® LLC: please visit our web site today. with history in mind WD® is also
is an Internet-based retail speaker proud to distribute Stromberg® Jazz
supplier and manufacturer based in Warehouse Guitar Speakers Guitars. With six models to satisfy
Paducah, KY – an area of the country www.WarehouseSpeakers.com everyone from the serious work-
with a long history in speaker manu- 270-217-0740 ing jazz musician to the rockabilly
facturing that includes the original king Stromberg® offers an afford-
CTS company, Credence Speakers, able, quality instrument for almost
Voice Communication Coil, and any taste or style. Stromberg® jazz
Hawley Products – the oldest cone WD Music Products: As a special Guitars is a small, limited produc-
manufacturer in the world. When an offer WD® Music Products, Inc. tion archtop guitar company whose
OEM speaker manufacturer needed to is offering a 10% off coupon to main goals are quality, playability
clear warehouse space in 2006, WGS Tonequest readers… Visit us at www. and affordability. Play one and see.
was born and began manufacturing wdmusic.com and enter coupon code
and selling American-assembled gui- TQWD at checkout. Please note: WD® Music Products. Thirty
tar speakers to the public. Coupon good for wdmusic.com web years of knowledge, service, qual-
orders only, offer not valid on wdbiz. ity parts and accessories waiting to
Today we build a wide range of com orders. serve you. Everything from pick-
high-quality and reasonably priced guards, tuning machines, pickups,
10 and 12-inch Alnico and Ceramic For the past thirty years WD® Music electronics, necks, bodies, bridges,
magnet guitars speakers that cel- Products has been providing quality prewired assemblies and hard to
ebrate and reprise the golden era of service and parts to satisfied working find hardware—if your guitar or
speaker manufacturing in the USA musicians, discriminating builders bass needs it, chances are WD®
and England during the ‘60s and and OEMs. WD® pioneered the field Music has it. Old fashioned cus-
‘70s, including the 15 watt Alnico of aftermarket pickguards and contin- tomer service, genuine Kluson®
Black & BlueTM, 50 watt Alnico ues to lead the way in the niche we tuners, classic Stromberg® Jazz
BlackHawkTM,60 watt Veteran created in 1978. We have manufac- Guitars, and so much more.
30TM, 25 watt Green BeretTM, tured thousands of pickguards and if
80 watt British LeadTM, 65 watt you need a replacement or something 877-WDMUSIC
ET65TM, 30 watt ReaperTM, and you envision yourself we can make it www.WDmusic.com

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016

PO Box 717 Decatur, GA. 30031-0717 TM DECATUR,GA

ToneQuest Straps ToneQuest
Report TM

Editor/Publisher David Wilson

Associate Publisher Liz Medley
Graphic Design Rick Johnson


Analogman Billy F. Gibbons Greg Martin

ZZ Top The Kentucky Headhunters
Tom Anderson
Tom Anderson GuitarWorks Joe Glaser Richard McDonald
Glaser Instruments VP Mktg, Fender Musical Instruments
Mark Baier
Victoria Amplifiers Tom Guerra Joe Mloganoski
Mambo Sons Co-Founder K&M Anaslog Designs
Jeff Bakos
Bakos AmpWorks Johnny Hiland Todd Money

ToneQuest Straps
Manager Gibson Repair & Restoration
Dick Boak Gregg Hopkins
CF Martin & Co. Vintage Amp Restoration Justin Norvell
Sr. Mktg Mgr, Fender Guitars

Joe Bonamassa Mark Johnson
Delta Moon James Pennebaker
Phil Brown Artist Relations, Fender Musical Instruments,
Phil Jones Nashville
Dan Butler Gruhn Guitars
Butler Custom Sound Riverhorse
Mark Karan
BEST GUITAR STRAP ON THE Don Butler Bob Weir & Ratdog Juha Ruokangas
Ruokangas Custom Guitars
The Toneman
PLANET. Our players agree that Steve Carr
Robert Keeley
Robert Keeley Electronics Tommy Shannon
ToneQuest leather straps are com- Carr Amplifiers
Gordon Kennedy
Double Trouble

Erick Coleman Todd Sharp

fortable, durable and look good at a Stewart-McacDonald Ernest King
Gibson Custom Shop
Nashville Amp Service

great price! Made special order in Larry Cragg

Neil Young Chris Kinman
Tim Shaw
Fender Musical Instruments Corp.
2 distinctive colors. A cool gift too. Jol Dantzig
Kinman AVn Pickups
Randall C. Smith
Mike Kropotkin
Please allow 2-3 weeks delivery. Jol Dantzig Guitar Design Designer & President, Mesa/Boogie Ltd.
Ronnie Earl John Sprung
Sonny Landreth American Guitar Center
Dan Erlewine
Albert Lee
SAVE $10 OFF regular price. Only $45, Stewart-MacDonald Peter Stroud
Larry Fishman Adrian Legg Buddy Whittington
plus shipping and handling. Made of Fishman Transducers John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
Dave Malone
quality German leather. Black and chest- Bill Finnegan
Klon Centaur
The Radiators Greg V
Los Angeles
Jimbo Mathus
nut are in stock and ready to ship. Order Lindy Fralin Lou Vito
Shane Nicholas
online www.tonequest.com or… Peter Frampton Sr. Mktg Mgr, Fender Guitar Amplifers Mike Voltz
R&D / Product Development, Gibson
Call 877.MAX.TONE. Greg Germino
Germino Amplification
René Martinez
The Guitar Whiz

The ToneQuest Report™ (ISSN 1525-3392) is published monthly by Mountainview Publishing LLC, 235 Mountainview Street, Suite 23, Decatur, GA. 30030-
2027, 1-877-MAX-TONE, email: tonequest1@aol.com. Periodicals Postage Paid at Decatur, GA and At Additional Mailing Offices. Postmaster: Send address
changes to:TheToneQuest Report™, PO Box 717, Decatur, GA. 30031-0717.The annual subscription fee for The ToneQuest Report™ is $89 per year for 10
monthly issues. International subscribers please add US $40. Canadian please add $20. Please remit payment in U.S. funds only. VISA, MasterCard and
American Express accepted. The ToneQuest Report™ is published solely for the benefit of its subscribers. Copyright © 2016 by Mountainview Publishing LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any form or incorporated into any information retrieval system without the written permis-
sion of the copyright holder. Please forward all subscription requests, comments, questions and other inquiries to the above address or contact the publisher
at tonequest1@aol.com. Opinions expressed in The ToneQuest Report™ are not necessarily those of this publication.Mention of specific products, services or
technical advice does not constitute an endorsement. Readers are advised to exercise extreme caution in handling electronic devices and musical instruments.

TONEQUEST REPORT V.17 N.11 September 2016