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The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons

Sep 13, 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.

It's our most veer-filled episode to date, including soup and footwear tips, a trip to Harvard and, yes, even some amp repair advice!

Some of the topics discussed on this episode:

3:06 Soup hacks

4:01 An affordable, American-made boot

5:41 Frampton plays B.B. King

9:00 Site specific amp problems

12:37 Recommended Music: Joe Craven & the Sometimers’ 'Garcia’s Songbook,' Aretha Franklin’s 'Aretha’s Gold' and Charlie Musselwhite’s 'Stand Back'

18:36 Skip goes to Harvard

20:04 Parenting tips

30:06 Today’s sponsor: Grez Guitars

32:15 More Larry Norman and props to Jon Linn

33:02 Solder or "sodder"

35:05 Skip's recommended vintage tube supplier and advice on replacing tubes:

40:22 Putting a solid state rectifier in a tweed-style amp

49:00 Fixing an output transformer in a 1961 Fender Brownface Pro

56:07 Hi-fi tube amps and phono pre-amp basics

1:04:06 A '67 Fender Bassman that was plugged into a DI box

1:09:14 More output transformer talk: Ampeg Reverberocket

1:11:26 A vintage Niviko MA120X Japanese amp

1:19:06 A 1968 Fender Super Reverb with a rattle

1:25:34 The "trimmer" in a '60s Silvertone 1431

1:28:40 Dirty power, an electric fence and an early '60s Gibson Skylark

1:34:33 Changing the head gasket on a Subaru Forester

1:35:25 More on the trimmer on a Silverton 1431

1:38:28 Car talk

1:43:36 A Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with a busted volume pot

1:47:52 A clean, high-headroom, low volume steel amp

1:52:15 A Fender Silverface Champ vs Blackface Champ