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The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons

Sep 1, 2023

It's the 120th episode of the Truth About Vintage Amps, the call-in show where amp tech Skip Simmons fields your questions on all things tube amp. 

This week in a nutshell: Is this the Fender Yale?; lots of Fretboard Summit love; Skip sneaks a mower across the border; magnifiers; tomato gravy; and rumblings of a possible Oregon Truth About Vintage Amps meetup! 

Special Note: Our friends at Amplified Parts are having a Labor Day Sale right now. Use the code LABOR10 to save 10% off your order, but act fast.

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

Don't forget we now have a Patreon if you'd like to support the show featuring weekly installments of what's on Skip's bench, random eBay finds, and surprise content:

Some of the topics discussed in this episode: 

:00 Fretboard Summit recap (thanks, Kevin!); a gift of Del Cabo mangos; Rob Abernathy's robots (; our sponsors (Emerald City GuitarsStringjoy Strings (use the code FRETBOARD to save 10% off your first string order), Amplified Parts, and Grez Guitars.

10:30 Donny Hathaway plays "The Ghetto" (YouTube link); Skip brings a Tweed Deluxe back from the dead (and possibly a Princeton Reverb), lousy amp repair people

16:22  A Fretboard Summit recap; a transitional Gibson Falcon find

21:40 An Ampeg SVT CL that sounds sort of like the opening to the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" when you turn it on

24:46 Offshoot amp brands we can spot in the wild

26:43 Magnifiers, redux! Recommended: YOCTOSUN Head Mount Magnifier on Amazon (link, on sale for just 16 bucks right now); LED garage lighting (Costco link)

29:55 How do self-split output stages work? Kalamazoo KEA amps

32:30 Help me make sense of this Bell PM33 Pacemaker schematic

37:53 Speaker-driven line out and reverb, together; a Seattle TAVA meetup?; an Oregon Coast TAVA meetup at Pelican Brewing?

41:01 Skip's contraband riding lawn mower

49:01 Is this the Fender Yale? John Peden's Sidetrack Liner Notes podcast (Apple Podcast link:

53:05 Kate Wolf; Eminem

56:25 Transformer windings and tomato gravy

1:02:12 The Silvertone 1484 TwinTwelve input section; Fender Musicmaster Bass amp mods

1:06:17 The Gibson tone-sucking circuit in the GA19RVT Falcon (Instagram link)

Recorded August 31, 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.  

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