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The Early Peavey Sleaper Amps - Tons of Tone For The Dollar

Howdy tone friends!  I promised another "sleeper amp" blog, but I'll do ya one better and turn y'all on to an entire line of stupidly inexpensive sleepers ... cool, right? I'm talking about the early Peavey tube amps and tube/ss hybrid amps.  Stick with me gang, these amps have been dissed for decades, so you may have decided they are crap without even HEARING one ... that would be a mistake; these amps have some serious mojo that's all their own.  Let's talk about them. Throughout this blog, I'll be...

The Early Marshall ValveState VS-100 Sleeper Amps - With a Speaker Upgrade

Okay, before I jump into why I truly believe the early Marshall Valvestate VS100 is indeed a terribly overlooked "sleeper amp", I need to tell you how I discovered these amps.  A couple weeks back two Marshall amps arrived in my shop for repair, one was a DSL 40 full tube amp and the other was a early 90's VS100.  In a nutshell, the (much more expensive) DSL really disappointed me, while the VS was way cooler than expected.  Rather than get too wordy, I'll use bullet-points, and I will NOT get into...

Vox Limited Edition AC15 To Carry WGS G12C Speakers.

When pros think Vox, they think AC30 and AC15 ... and when a limited edition of one of these flagship amps are issued, it's always something special.  Traditionally, the most dramatic change to limited edition Vox amps has been largely cosmetic,  previous editions sported British "Union-Jack" and other custom grill cloth designs as well as a plethora of tolex colors.  Over the years a couple of speaker upgrades have been available in the limited models, although none have ever strayed far from the distinct mid-...

The Best Replacement Speaker Upgrade For A Fender Twin Reverb

Hi Y'all and happy 2019 to ya! Today as I took my daily stride through the Musical Instruments listings on Craigslist I noticed several silver-faced Twin Reverbs at stupidly low prices.  Man ... could it be that the Twin Reverb has become an ultimate sleeper amp?  Maybe so!  My first "big" amp was a twin with the JBL D120F speakers, at the time they were kinda holy-grail level amps, but today folks generally find them too bright, too clean, too heavy, and more than anything else ... too LOUD!  Let...

What Guitar Players Need To Know about 2018

Gibson: Okay, I'm NOT(!!!) going to waste a lot of time on this one, since it's been covered to death already; I'm only going to share the take-away that ALL of us guitarists need to remember.  After years of f-ing up the great Gibson name with over-priced stupid guitar designs and features no one wanted, and a ill-conceived attempt at making Gibson a "consumer electronics brand" rather than a guitar company, Gibson went into bankruptcy in 2018.  Gibby has "re-structured" and has new folks at the helm who promise to...

The Perfect Gift for a Guitar Player (and it's FREE)

Hi guitar friends!  It's just before Christmas and I'm going to let you in on an important secret.  If any of you have a "significant other" who is having a hard time finding just the right gift for you, call their attention to this blog.  Sure, we would all love to find a '59 Les Paul under the tree, but I'm going to be realistic with y'all.  Over the years we have all been gifted with picks, strings, and all kinds of guitar related accessories; while it's nice to know our loved ones are thinking of us...

Floyd Rose: Still The Best Tremolo Bridge System Ever?

Howdy fellow guitar guys and gals.  As is often the case, I will start this blog with a little trip back in history.  It was about 1980, and I decided I just flat HAD to have a guitar with a Floyd Rose, hey like I said, it was 1980!  In my little town in the middle of nowhere, no Floyds were to be found, so I call a music store on the east coast to see what was available.  They just got in a few Kramer's with Floyds, and the price was right.  One small issue: these were the Floys Rose models...

Eddie Van Halen Secret Amp: the Fender Bandmaster!

Okay, I never imagined how far this journey would take me.  It started with a simple request to do a blog on Eddie Van Halen's use of a Variac.  Cool, but while researching that I stumbled upon some seriously interesting tidbits about his first Frankenstein guitar, which of course led to another blog.  However, as a SERIOUS fan of Leo Fender, this last gem I uncovered may just be the coolest of them all.  We all know that Jim Marshall basically copied a Fender Bassman when he had his first amp designed, so...

The TRUE Story of Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat

Howdy again fellow guitar tone seekers!  Last week, in researching Edward Van Halen's use of a Variac, I stumbled on a couple of OTHER tidbits that caught me unaware.  I promised I would bring you this info, so here goes!  Today we're talking about the pickup in the first "Frankenstrat" ... yep, the VH-1 guitar that broke sooo much ground tone wise.  Are ya ready for this?  It was a vintage PAF he yanked out of a vintage Gibson ES-335!  Holy crap, I'm not sure what blows my mind the most ... the...

The TRUE Story of Eddie VanHalen Using A Variac With A Tube Guitar Amp

Okay gang... this one is, if ya don't mind me tooting my own horn, gonna be GREAT!  This is also one of the first ever blogs I'm doing by special request.  And one last thing before we jump in, in researching this topic, I found soooo much new and EXCITING info on Edward Van Halen's tone that this will be the first in a three-part series on the TRUTH about Edward Van Halen's tone!  So, might as well JUMP ... in :-) Okay, just in case you don't know exactly what a Variac is, A Variac is simply a...

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