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The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons

Mar 26, 2020

Amp tech Skip Simmons is once again fielding guitar tube amp questions from around the world. 

Note: We now have a private Facebook group for TAVA listeners: Search for "A Rustic Kegger in the Woods" or click here.   

Submit your question to Skip here: or, better yet, leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848. 

This week's sponsor: Grez Guitars (link)

Some of the topics discussed on this episode:

1:32 Skip tries to stay in the middle

5:04 Little Charlie Remembered

13:47 The hillbilly amp bought on eBay by listener @scschooling on Instagram (link)

14:49 Adam Grimm (Satellite Amps) builds a motion controlled boost with a mercury thermostat

16:08 Skip on Selmer amps, again

18:42 Making a Fender Acoustasonic Junior road worthy

24:13 Play through an amp while you’re warming it up with a Variac?

29:43 Cramming a 10" speaker into a Champ kit

31:21 A 1956 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul amp that doesn’t match the schematic

36:38 Smoked glass tubes

39:40 A project for a late '40s / early '50s Magnavox mono amp; plus, beans

46:38 "Why is Mesa Boogie so bloody minded and contrary?" asks an Australian listener

52:28 Special guest: Executive Chef Chris Robertson (Southpark Seafood, Portland, Oregon)

1:11:36 Harmonic tremolo and tremolo vs. vibrato circuits; Travis Wammack, "It's Karate Time" (YouTube link)

1:15:54 Pots that say 250k, but are actually 120k

1:18:25 A Brownface Princeton with 250k volume pots

1:21:52 Breakup on a Fender Deluxe 5E3

1:28:08 Comparing a 1962 Magnatone Custom 440 to a Fender counterpart

1:33:20 A Magnatone M7 with a mysterious foil wrapping around a coupling cap

1:37:35 Don’t Be Me: A listener's speaker-replacing follies

1:42:30 Options for replacing a reverb tank in a ’65 Fender Deluxe Reverb

1:46:44 Recommending reading: ‘Shop Class as Soul Craft,’ ‘Trustee from the Toolroom’

1:52:08 Recommended watching: The Repair Shop (Netflix), homeschooling hacks

1:56:35 A 1963 Gibson GA-5T Skylark (Crestline series) with an annoying tremolo  

2:02:02 Skip’s trip to Marijuanaville

2:05:27 Nesting with Netflix: Shetland; The Detectorists; Inspector Morse, Lewis; Better Call Saul; Trailer Park Boys

2:09:41 When is a vintage amp no longer a vintage amp?