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Author Topic: Anyone else play guitar or work on Vintage tube amps  (Read 1316 times)

alnicopu

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Anyone else play guitar or work on Vintage tube amps
« on: October 17, 2012, 07:44:34 PM »
Hey,  I just got back on here after about a 6 or 7 year hiatus.  Just wondering if anyone else works on vintage tube amps or plays guitar.  Its a hobby with me, I repair and modify amps for a couple starving musicians in the Atlanta area and have rebuilt a few of my own and play blues guitar.  I just starting working on converting an old high school tube record player into a 50's era approx. 6 watt Fender Tweed Princeton amp and am adding a 10 inch speaker to it.  Gonna be an old school blues machine.  With the right speaker, I can get a loud 100+ db's out of it!!  Just wondering if there are any other tube snobs out there. 

exCSER

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Re: Anyone else play guitar or work on Vintage tube amps
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 11:39:15 AM »
Hi alnicopu,
I've been playing guitar for 45 years now. I don't tinker with the amp much unless it doesn't work, and that isn't very often. I play thru a Mesa Mark 1 that I bought around '79, and it's only not worked twice. When I ordered it, Randall Smith answered the phone and took my order. I asked him how many people he had working for him, and he told me he personally built and tested the amps, he had a woodworker that built the cabinets, his wife did the covering of the cabs, and he had a young guy for a 'gofer'. Man have times changed!!
I live in So. Cal. and my last band (cover band) split up a year ago. We played local clubs and Indian gaming casinos. I'm auditioning for another group tomorrow night. I'll let ya know if I pass the audition.
It's amazing how much volume you can get out of 6 watts! How long have you been playing?
Don

alnicopu

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Re: Anyone else play guitar or work on Vintage tube amps
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 12:18:39 PM »
Off and on for about 35 years, pretty steadyly for about 5 or 6 now.  I picked up a 76 Fender silverface princeton reverb for a song.  It had a bad signal cap in the trem circuit.  5 minute fix.  Sometimes I get lucky and find newer circuit board amps broken, fix them and flip em on ebay.  I have a 57 tweed champ clone with a 6x9 speaker I play on my back porch all the time.

Philthy_McNasty

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Re: Anyone else play guitar or work on Vintage tube amps
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 12:06:05 PM »
Albeit an old thread --- I just think it's cool to know other Xerox personnel out there are musicians/audiophiles.

exCSER

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Re: Anyone else play guitar or work on Vintage tube amps
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 01:49:59 PM »
Wow! It's been almost 5 years since my last post on this thread! Just to catch up- I did pass the audition. I also picked up a Mesa Mark V amp that is wonderful!
What's your story Philthy??

Philthy_McNasty

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Re: Anyone else play guitar or work on Vintage tube amps
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 12:38:31 PM »
I like Boogie's --- I played in a band back in '95 or so that was hired to cover a bunch of Sabbath tunes, so I used a Mark IV for that --- which sounded pretty damn incredible I might add. I have a couple of friends who currently use Boogie Triple Rec's or some other models that I can't remember right now... but those are good amps.

I'm barely 47, so you've been playing WAY longer than I've been breathing!

I started out on classical guitar [probably around '84 or so.] I found an old Frederick Noad book at a book store [I used to sit in front of the TV on Saturday morning’s and learn from his PBS program] — picked up the bass maybe a year later --- I’m pretty equal on both.

I’ve played in bands here and there… got serious only once — had a good thing going with them [but drama ensued] — did some studio work here and there… all while being comfortable employed by Xerox.

I still play both guitar and bass — I’m a versatile musician; Friday nights I’ll play guitar with friends who’ll wanna play covers from the Doors, SRV, Pretenders, some 80’s New Wave… then on Saturday nights I’ll play guitar with friends who’ll wanna play 60’s Psychedelic/Garage Rock, Zeppelin, Tool, King Crimson… then I’ll play bass for bands that do Top 40 “bar band” stuff.

On my own, I’ll record videos on YouTube of me playing the solo for Commodores’ Easy, or my ‘solo guitar interpretation’ of the Beatles’ In My Life, or Marty Robbins’ El Paso… I’m all over the place, and quite frankly, I need to get out and play more originals — I’m getting the itch again!

Anyway… I LOVE old tube stuff — whether it be old tube radios, McIntosh, tube testers, or old R2R’s with magic eye tubes!!! Ugh! I’d LOVE to build a guitar amp with a Magic Eye tube display!!! I had a friend of mine build me a box for my old Carvin tube amp --- I asked him to use a Philips Plano BiAmp for inspiration --- it came out very cool --- he also made a matching 4x10" box, that I threw some Jensen 10" ceramics in... sounds [and looks] great!

But yeah… I play… but just for fun. I can definitely make it as a pro-level player — like getting a gig with Tom Jones or something, but I think I’m gonna start writing music again — I dug when I was creative — albeit, it was a morose and dark period for me, but it was creative nonetheless…

How about yourself — what’s happening these days?

You do tube amp repairs/builds/designs?

I’m a hack — someone gives me their tube combo to check out, I’ll do the basic chopstick inspection, change filter caps if need be, swap out some tubes and be done with it — I’m probably gonna take a stab at slapping together a 15w amp. I build guitars and stomp boxes, but tube amps are a different monster — and these monsters RULE!

[Apologies for the mini-novel]