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The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons

Apr 9, 2021

The 67th installment of the Truth About Vintage Amps!

TAVA Discounts: Use the discount code THETRUTH10 to save 10% off your order from Amplified Parts between now and April 15, 2021. 

Use the discount code TRUTHV150FF to save $15 off Caddis readers between now and April 30, 2021. 

Highlights: Capacitor talk (leaking and otherwise), fancy square dance rigs, more reverb taming and a special guest from the craft beer industry!

Some of the topics discussed this week: 

:29 Colleen Fazio's YouTube channel (YouTube link; listen to Colleen on TAVA 44)

:40 Recommended amp tech in Seattle: Jesse at

3:07 This week's sponsors: Grez Guitars, Amplified Parts, Caddis 

6:12 Taming the reverb in a combo amp with a tone circuit, redux

10:39 The '68 Custom Line from Fender

16:14 Vintage capacitors in Fenders: Myths and realities

20:26 What to do with leaky caps that sound great?

25:24 Replacing electrolytic capacitors with exact value matches or close enough? Plus: Eric Johnson's pilot lamp hack returns!

31:08 Skip's "George Thorogood" story

35:05 Skip finds a Red Foley cowboy / stencil guitar

36:55 Can too much boost hurt your amp?

39:39 Special guest: Marty from the Oregon Coast (Martin Bills, Director of Brewing Operations, Pelican Brewing!): Everybody's Brewing, the Mini Wall of Sound, the actual Wall of Sound, McIntosh Amps, Jerry Garcia's onboard buffered effects loop (Wolf Guitar), Deluxe Reverbs with 6L6s, gumbo explorations

1:13:00 Ampeg B-15/B-12 reliability, blackened cabbage

1:18:43 Putting a 6SL7 tube in a Gibson BR-9

1:22:35 Taming the "Traynor tang" on a YGM-3

1:26:04 The two-amps-in-one Hilton HP-95

1:28:56 Turning a low-watt amp into a harp amp, Kalamazoo Model 1s

1:31:48 What's going on with the Geloso G-18R; 6N7 tubes (Note: We'll walk through this schematic on our next episode)

1:35:16 Test equipment for grabs: a Ballantine volt meter; a Hickok 532 tube tester

Support the show as a TAVA Patreon patron and get bonus episodes, in-depth articles on amp circuitry and other surprises.

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