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The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons

Aug 2, 2019

Twice a month, guitar amp guru Skip Simmons fields your questions on vintage tube amp buying, restoration and repair. Co-hosted by the Fretboard Journal’s Jason Verlinde.

Submit your guitar amp questions to Skip here: or by leaving us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848.

Some of the topics discussed on this episode:

1:50 Jason starts his Stew-Mac Tweed Champ kit, Skip offers soldering tips
9:33 Skip offers some new surplus aluminum amp chassis
11:05 An A/B box update
13:50 Skip’s latest projects: A Blackface Fender Bassman and a Blackface Bandmaster
15:52 An eBay score: A bargain Park-branded Marshall JTM45
20:16 TAVA t-shirt updates
22:25 Sponsors: Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery & Grez Guitars
24:30 Any female amp techs out there? (Shoutout to @fazioelectric!)
31:20 Finding an amp’s EQ sweet spot via hearing the greatest amount of change on the knobs
41:30 Higher-wattage single-ended amps
48:30 A 1960 Epiphone Pacemaker that breaks up too soon
54:15 What type of wire(s) for a vintage-style Fender clone?
1:01:00 The next steps after building a Champ
1:10:05 The horrible distortion on an Ampeg V4
1:16:20 Damage from powering a tube amp without a speaker
1:21:28 Two amp reverb from vintage Gibson, Gretsch and Supro amps
1:28:24 Fender combo speaker output 101
1:35:47 Skip’s cheap speaker cabinet tips
1:42:24 Noisy filament wire in Filmosound conversions
1:50:19 Digging deeper into the Champ schematic

Special thanks to the presenting sponsors of the Fretboard Journal: Gibson, Martin and Carter Vintage Guitars