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The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons

Jan 28, 2021

Once again, guitar amp tech Skip Simmons is fielding your questions on all things tube amp.

This week's sponsors: iZotope (use the discount code FRET10 to save 10% off your order), Amplified Parts and Grez Guitars. Want to support the show? Be a part of our Patreon page.

Some of the topics discussed on this week's episode:

1:00 California weather and old dogs

3:08 Sharpening knives, Carter Cutlery (link)

8:51 How not to ship amps and amp parts

13:09 SAMS Photofacts and obscure schematics

18:36 Making the reverb in a Fender-style amp less bright

23:05 Why are boutique amps so expensive; Benson Chimera (link); improving an amp’s tone by unplugging the reverb tank; a DYI Ice Cube; El Pato

30:58 The layout of Skip’s workspace

37:00 Building an amp out of a tape deck with 250k volume and tone pots, redux

43:21 An Ampeg M-15 with a thumping tremolo

46:36 A vintage Weller 8200 solder gun with a smelly tip

49:41 Adding speaker-driven reverb to a 5E3 clone without using a second amp

52:13 Converting a Kalart 7015 projector into a guitar amp, Filmosound conversions, Tex Amps

58:19 Recommended reading: All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr (Amazon link, thanks Brian in Seattle)

59:40 Recommended watching: Derek DelGaudio’s In & of Itself (on Hulu)

1:02:14 British amp heads at 16 ohms, Rick Beato’s YouTube channel (link), leftover holiday spices

1:04:59 What to do with a Wurlitzer 920 combo amp?

1:09:22 Preserving a completely original 1953 Gibson GA-20

1:15:35 Sweet potato fries

1:16:05 A Masco MA-35 powered up with no speaker, dried white onions

1:23:46 The grounding switch on a Fender, spiking store-bought ranch dressing with Balsamic vinegar, death caps

1:31:44 Slowing down the vibrato of a vintage Magnatone 440

Have a topic for a future episode? Email or send us a voice memo to: or leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848.

Be sure to check out the ever-growing Big Index of Truth About Vintage Amp topics to see if your amp questions have already been covered.