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The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons

Jul 20, 2023

This week, we’re joined by the one-and-only Ben Harper, who has a couple of questions for Skip right before his Lyon, France concert. Ben regales us with tales of a rare Weissenborn spotted on a Disneyland ride, Dumbles, and pre-show skateboarding (which Skip is a little worried about). He also spills the beans on his new touring amp of choice… a Two-Rock.

Before Ben joins us, we’ve got our usual assortment of listener-submitted questions on tremolo and speaker impendence, Larry Chung references, and a tamale suggestion.

Want to be a part of the show? Keep the amp questions for Skip coming to! Voice memos or emails are welcome.

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Some of the topics discussed in this episode: 

:34 Special thanks to Shure for that MV7 that Skip uses; the Fretboard Summit (August 24-26 in Chicago;

1:51 PSA: Skip is retired through September

2:23 A forthcoming Danelectro documentary, early Nat Daniel-built Epiphone Model M amps

15:32 This week's sponsors: Emerald City GuitarsStringjoy Strings (use the code FRETBOARD to save 10% off your first string order), Amplified Parts, and Grez Guitars

19:05 Peter Jensen’s Magnavox 12" speakers

20:54 Don Pepino canned tomato sauce (thanks, Rob), Remington Model 5 typewriters

22:27 A 1964 Fender Vibrolux Reverb with a replaced power transformer…but not really; Skip gets a visit from Larry Chung

29:46 The dangers of playing a bass through a small guitar amp; Versatone amps; Los Hernandez tamales in Union Gap, Washington (; Bruce Harvie & the Sound Flea’s ‘Overhead at Darrington’ (Bandcamp link)

38:47 A humming Ampeg GS-12 Reverberocket: Was the speaker affecting the reverb spring?

43:26 Changing the tremolo depth on an Ampeg Jet

46:12 Skip’s favorite trem circuit; a Massie that modulates the guitar signal; Chris Vincent  (

51:03 Tube amp kits (Mod 102 and Mod 102+ from ); grilled asparagus; the Good Ol’ Grateful Deadcast

59:54 The rising cost of everything

1:02:17 Speaker impedance for a Gibson Falcon GR-19RVT Crestline

1:02:53 What to do with the reverb on a Silvertone 1484; JHD Audio Ice Cubes

1:06:09 Special guest: Ben Harper! Forestry; a vintage Weissenborn spotted on Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride; Ben’s new Two-Rock Bloomfield Drive; Marcus Eaton; Jimmy Page seeing David Lindley’s Kaleidoscope; Liuteria Guarnieri guitars (; Dumbles are like Basquiats; skateboarding before a concert; kicking Princeton Reverbs; tech Bill Webb; and vintage Gibson amps 

Recorded July 19, 2023. 

Hosted by amp tech Skip Simmons and co-hosted/produced by Jason Verlinde of the Fretboard Journal. 

Support us on for added content and the occasional surprise and don't forget to get a subscription to the Fretboard Journal (link). Digital subscriptions start at just $30. Ben has a huge feature in our 53rd issue! 

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