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The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons

Nov 7, 2019

This week, Skip and Jason are joined by a very special guest, John Vanderslice. John is a prolific singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and engineer. We have a candid, unfiltered conversation about vintage amps, food, life, the music industry and so much more. Seriously, just listen... 

After our chat with John, we once again field your questions about all things guitar amplification.

As always, if you'd like to contribute to a future show, submit your guitar amp questions to Skip here: or leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848.

Order a PDF download of Steve Melkisethian's tweed Princeton amp project here

Some of the topics discussed on this episode:

1:05 "Naming calls" and PG&E

2:33 A/B box updates

3:00 The TAVA "book club" launches: Order the Angela Instruments' tweed Princeton article and schematic (see above) 

9:18 John Vanderslice (singer-songwriter, Tiny Telephone Recording!) joins us: Living room shows, eating on the road, Gibson Falcons, mics for recording amps, Stromberg-Carlson pre-amps, surviving the music industry

1:01:40 Brian, the speaker re-coner at Weber Speakers:

1:03:03 Erick Coleman's amp tech recommendation: Paul Schmittauer (email us)

1:04:08 Great Goo: Pepper Plant hot sauce (Amazon link:

1:05:40 Epiphone Pacemaker amps

1:07:23 Misspelled "Colombia" Fender amps

1:08:52 How multiple inputs work on amps

1:11:57 Using the second input on a Fender as a line-out

1:14:14 Amp builder Bob Gjika (Gjika Amplification), the mojo behind single-ended amps

1:20:09 A noisy Peavey Delta Blues 115

1:24:44 Solder in Italy (Soldergate revisited)

1:26:17 Breaking-in new tubes; upgrading parts in a Champ kit

1:32:00 What's on Skip's bench

1:33:01 Sano accordion tube and Audio Guild amps (see our Instagram for photos)

1:38:07 Skip on biasing

1:43:00 St. George amp heads, built by Ray Massie

1:46:50 The lifespan of tweed Fender caps

1:49:17 The "Fountain of Sound" Ampeg JS-35

1:53:02 Music recommendation: Pat Martino’s ‘El Hombre’ and the Guild Double Twin combo

1:55:43 Music recommendation, part two: The Nat Turner Rebellion's cover of "Going in Circles"

1:56:43 Parenting tips: Classic Walt Disney movies

1:58:15 Slowing the tremolo rate in a blackface Fender

2:00:58 6973 power tubes in Supro amp

2:02:28 Replacements for a 6c10 tube found in an '80s Fender Super Champ

2:06:38 Working on a Montgomery Ward 55 JDR 8436

2:10:49 Tube naming 101

2:13:16 Our forthcoming one year anniversary, a brief state of affairs  

Like the show? Share it with your friends, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and stay tuned for next month, when we unveil even more surprises for our one year anniversary.