Back in 2002, when I was heavily into buying, selling, and trading equipment, I placed an ad in the Qwik Quarter classifieds selling my Carvin Steve Vai half-stack. A punk rocker, I forget his name, called and offered me many different things in trade for that amp. None of his offers caught my attention until he said he had a broken old Fender amp that looked like a suitcase. I began to sweat, and tried to contain my excitement... "Hmm, yeah, I guess I could check that out...".
I drove out to the guy's punk rock house, with the Carvin in tow. Sure enough, his amp was a broken old tweed, and he was thrilled with the 100 watt stack I traded him for it. (They remain the loudest band I have ever heard, with guitars so blisteringly loud they drowned out the drums!!).
I brought the little amp to Bud Chandler, owner of the Amp Shop in town, and he sold me a vintage output transformer to repair it. This was the beginning of my fascination with repairing amps, and Bud became a mentor to me, showing me much of what I know today about amp repair. He closed up shop shortly after that and has since passed away. RIP, Bud.
Over the years my preference in amplifiers has consistently been the mid 60's Blackface amps, but this tweed has hung around, outlasting a Tweed Harvard, Princeton, Super, Twin, Pro, and Tremolux. I always had a soft spot for it, in spite of not using it much. I've maintained it, and done everything I could to make it a player for the style that I play, and even brought it to the experts at Komet amplification in Baton Rouge to see if they could make it more usable. They said it sounded as good as it could. I still felt that it was too muddy and midrangy to work for me.
This week, it occured to me that I could make this amp work with judicious use of an EQ pedal. I picked up a tiny 5-Band EQ pedal and this little guy is tranformed!! The bonus is that the footprint of it is the same as my Ditto Looper, so I will swap the Ditto for the EQ and be able to make use of this amp! It is very exciting to have it in the rotation again. I recorded a short clip of it with my 335 to demonstrate the tone.
I hope you enjoy, and you will see this amp on a stage near you very soon!!