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Artificial Speaker Aging

Bear with me folks, this might be a fairly lengthy blog!  A few months ago I received this email from a very knowledgeable fellow, Rasmus in Denmark.  Read along, you’ll be glad you did: ___________________________Hi Vaughn,Thanks for all you efforts - and thanks for you pushing speaker business in the right direction. Long story short, I have been at fender guy all my life and a tone seeker for about 20 years. Been tweaking at noodling with amps, pedals, pickups etc. etc. Recently I have been through at seek for the right 10" for my vintage 65 Princeton Reverb, and been...

Guitar Players: Why Being LIKED Beats Being Talented

When I was about 14 years old my band was playing a gig at a little Bar-n-Grill in Superior, Iowa; a scruffy fellow walks up at break & invites us to his place to see how a REAL guitar player plays.  We were all little teenies and, lured by the promise of seeing a “real” Les Paul, off we went.  We arrived at this … well … it wasn’t quite a shack, and it wasn’t quite a trailer; truth is, it didn’t really look like a place any human would inhabit.  As we were all getting used to the stench and filth, out from under the bed comes an honest-to-goodness gold-top Les Paul...

The WGS Blackhawk vs Black & Blue (Paper vs Kapton)

Hi Yawl! This blog is one that has been heavily requested, and it’s one I’ve been just itchin’ to do myself.  In my earlier blog: Paper or Plastic? The Great Kapton vs. Plastic Former Question!, I used up all kinds of words describing the subtitle sonic differences between a speaker with a voice-coil wound around paper as compared to one wound around Kapton.  This week I put my guitar where my mouth is! For those of you who don’t want to watch the video, here is the skinny: ***Spoiler Alert*** The paper sounds just a little brighter than the Kapton.  There ya...

What Exactly DOES a Presence Control Do on a Tube Amp?

That mysterious control, usually found on the far right (or sometimes left) side of the control panel; what the heck IS it, anyway?  Most of us can figure out terms like Bass, Mid, and Treble, but “presence”, well that one seems a bit ambiguous.  Fact is, it IS ambiguous!  Enough so that it can mean very different things on different amps.  For the purpose of this blog, we will only concern ourselves with the true presence control found on some tube amps. Here is a question I received via email: The issue is that I have my presence control cranked really high...

A Little Love for the Fender Bandmaster Reverb

The Bandmasters, like most of the classic Fender amp models have existed for decades, and have went through several metamorphoses in their lengthy lifespan.  From very early tweed models with a single 15 or a trio of 10’s, the short lived (1960 only) brown combo, the fabled blond, brown, and blackface “piggy-back” heads of the 1960’s, and finally the silver-face models that began in 1967 and ran through the early 1970’s.  Although these amps run the gamut tone-wise , they all are fairly universally loved.  From the super-woody raw no negative feedback sound of the early...

WGS Reaper vs Reaper HP!

Hi gang! This week is a bit of an extension of my earlier blog, where I compare paper to Kapton former materials: Paper or plastic? The Great Kapton vs. Paper Voice-coil Former Question!  This one, however, is flat-out hearing-is-believing.  I won’t bore you with facts, just a straight comparison video between the WGS 30-watt Reaper, with its paper former, and the 50-watt Reaper HP, which has a Kapton former. Spoiler Alert!  It’s a quick little video, but for those of you who want to get right to the answer, well here it is: The Reaper is just a touch brighter and...

The Difference A Speaker Can Make in YOUR Guitar Amp

Okay, lets say ya got a gig, and you want to be heard above the drums.  What will serve you best, a 100-watt Marshall or a 40-watt Fender?  Yea, that’s a "loaded" question.  There is no answer, because I have left out the most important piece of the equation.  I didn’t say anything about the Speakers! Let’s start with this stat: a 100-watt Marshall is only about 3dB louder than the same model in a 50-watt version.  Twice as loud?  Not even close!  Truth is, once you get above about 40 watts or so, simply throwing more watts at a speaker cabinet is...

1967 Fender Deluxe Reverb: Quest for the Best Replacement Speaker!

Today I went on one of my most extensive tone quests yet, seeking out a love-mate for my new favorite amp, the ’67 Deluxe Reverb featured in last weeks blog.  I want to be able to box and store the original light duty Oxford 12K5 speaker and preserve it’s vintage value, plus maybe find a speaker with a little more oomph, to give the amp good gigeable volume, and clean headroom (ever elusive in 2-6V6 amps). I decided to try ALL the WGS models I suspected may be a good match, plus quite a large variety of vintage models by various makers.  Wow, every amp is different! ...

1967 Fender Deluxe Reverb: Mods, Speakers, and More!

By every imaginable yard-stick, the Fender "Deluxe" is one of the most popular musical instrument amplifiers of all time.  The Fender Deluxe Amp has been around since 1948, that’s longer than most of you reading this.  Even more amazing is the fact that the Deluxe Amp actually pre-dates Rock and Roll itself.  Wow.  Six generations of guitar players have now been exposed to the Fender Deluxe Amp.  Probably no other amps influences are as widespread.  From your great-grandpa freshly back from WWII and learning those swingin’ big band chords all the way up to...

The rare and fabled: 1967 drip-edge Fender Deluxe Reverb and Zinky Supro Tremolectric

Life is full of fine lines.  Often we are blissfully unaware that the lines even exist, especially when we are young.  The job we take as a high school kid, unaware that we have just made a decision that will affect the rest of our life.  The girl we kiss, with equally life-altering results.  Receiving a guitar for Christmas.  For some of us, this was an event that would forever change the direction of our lives. I’m not going to go for exact statistics here, but I imagine the number of 12 year old kids getting guitars for Christmas, birthdays, and so on is...

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