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The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons

Sep 27, 2019

Summary: Skip has never had sushi; Earl is not a fan of low-balling; and Fender Bassmans rock

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 John Lennon in Sacramento

3:17 A quick story about Earl Yarrow

12:20 Western Electric hi-fi collecting

14:40 Music recommendations: The Originals; Skip Mahoney & the Casuals; Julie London; "On the Alamo"

17:28: This week's sponsors: Grez Guitars and Mono Cases

18:15 Skip addresses the critics (on grounded cords, replaced caps)

30:02 "Solder," revisited

31:39 Removing the ground hum of two amps running together

34:50 Making an amp out of a sushi platter; recommended needle nose pliers

38:27 6L6s in a Deluxe Reverb 

42:41 Skip on your voicemail

45:20 President Skip?, practicalities of running an attenuator

50:33 Acoustic tube amps, revisited

54:45 A 1968 Princeton non-reverb lacking volume

57:47 Other vintage Gibson amps

1:03:00 The truth about unmodified Gibson Falcons and Silverface Champs

1:09:41 Vox Pacemakers overview

1:12:24 The unique properties of a Fender Bassman

1:15:38 Using pre-amp tube as a power tube

1:19:40 Learning soldering and circuits from simple pedal kits and the little Ruby:

1:24:58 Running a Champ through a Variac versus a Hammond 290AX power transformer

1:27:44 A 1963 Fender Vibrolux with treble hiss

1:35:14 Speakers for a 1965 Ampeg Reverberocket 2 GS-12R

1:39:44 Non-lead solder

1:43:54 Biasing a cathode bias amp

1:49:49 Measuring plate current

1:54:57 The Baffler returns!