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You Never Forget Your First ... Guitar and Amp!

You never forget your first time!  So, reader friends, I’m curious.  What was your first guitar and amp, and how do you think it influenced your playing?  In my Christmas Blog I described my first electric set-up, check it out! Wasn’t I cute?  So, my first guitar was a no-name cheapo, but my first amp was a brown Fender Deluxe.  The guitar really stunk, but through that brown Fender the resultant tone was thick, rich, and downright delicious with the tremolo of the Gods!  I’m convinced that I was forever set down a tone-path.  To this very day, I...

Amped, The Illustrated History Of The Worlds Greatest Amplifiers

  Hi Ya all! Let’s travel back through time to about one year ago.  Ya game?  Okay then, go check out the blog on my ’59 Fender Super, an amp that, as far as Fender is concerned, never existed!  That amp was featured in Vintage Guitar Magazine in 2010; in December of that same year, with a new house and a baby on the way, I sold that once-in-a-lifetime sweetheart at an amp show.  Gosh I miss that ol gal.  Ah, but true love never dies!  My old flame haunts me once again, from my bedside table no less.  You see, she is featured in Dave...

The Wonderful Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe Distortion Pedal

Fellow tone travelers I come to you in peace!  Like all of you, I’m a pedal lover from way back.  My first pedal was an MXR Phase 90 that I bought when I was about 15.  I walked into Lusk Music in Jackson, MN with about $80 in one-dollar bills and another twenty in change; I had literally saved up for months to buy that pedal!  Today, overdrive/distortion pedals are my main floor-bound addiction.  I just counted, and as of today, I own 27 "dirt" pedals; from simple tube-screamer types to complex modeling jobs to a vintage 60’s Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face.  Big,...

Walterweight slugfest: The Bugera V22 vs. The Jet City 20 (JCA2112RC)

Hi-diddly-ho fair tone-seeking neighbors!  This week I put to rest the saga of the low-buck current production amp series.  In the last two weeks I featured the popular Jet City 20 combo and the too awesome for its price Bugera V22.  Both of these amps are made in China, and that may understandably scare some buyers off.  However, for some folks, these amps may just be the only affordable option when it comes to acquiring an honest-to-goodness tube amp.  And besides, as we have proven in the last two blogs, these amps can quickly go from good to great with the...

The Jet City 20(JCA2112RC) by Soldano; She's Cheap & Loves to get Dirty

This week I'm comin at cha with another low-buck current production tube amp review.  Last week it was the Bugera V22, this week it's the very popular Jet City 20, this one is the JCA2112RC 1x12 combo with real spring reverb.  It's a cool amp to be sure, and the build quality actually appears to be quite good. However, if ever there was an amp crying out for a speaker upgrade, this is the one!  First, a big ol Vaughn-style review of the amp: Now, let's see how she opens up with a WGS Retro 30: All together now: "wow".  Right?  Looks like the Ret30 is...

About Vaughn Skow... what I am... what I am not...what Kindness Is...

Hey Tone-friends!  This is a rare mid-blog update.  I received a comment on last week’s blog from a fellow who shall remain unnamed.  I will paraphrase his comments (cleaned up a little and shortened): “What a crappy demo.  I’ve bought a couple of WGS speakers, but if I’d heard Vaughn play that crap first, I never would have.  His playing sucks.” I deleted his comment; we simply don’t tolerate rude, unkind, and downright mean folks around here.  I try to make it clear what my speaker demos are, and are not.  But in case you missed it: They...

Bugera V22 Amp - Great Tone at a Great Price!

Hey fellow guitar tone addicts!  This week I get to review the Bugera V22 all tube amp.  This inexpensive lil amp has been really impressing me, maybe you’ll be impressed, too!  I’ll also feature a speaker shootout between the V22’s stock speaker and the WGS Blackhawk.  Truth is, the V22 sounds so great that I’m not sure the Blackhawk will make that big an improvement.  Only one way to tell ... let the demo begin!  This vid starts out with a thorough tone demo of the V22, then the speaker shootout.  Once again, the short answer is: YES!...

WGS Blackhawk Alnico Speaker in a Tweed Fender Deluxe Amp

Hey fellow toneaholics!  This week I get back to some long awaited (hopefully) speaker comparison videos.  I’ve been just dying to try a Blackhawk in my ol’ tweed Deluxe; she’s a Hurricane Katrina survivor, and when she found her way to me a few years back, the original speaker was long gone.  The electronics had been completely re-worked to utter perfection by Mike Clark, but the speaker (from a 69 Deluxe Reverb) just wasn’t tripping my trigger.  So, I tried literally dozens of speakers and finally settled on a Modern Fender-branded Alnico model.  It didn’t...

WGS Custom-Shop Speakers Looking Marvelous!

Wow, wow, and wow!  First off, thanks to all of you who chirped in to congratulate the custom speaker winners.  That shows some real class.  I can only imagine that you ALL really hoped to win a free custom speaker, but yet there were almost no cases of sour grapes, just gracious congratulations all around.  That’s awesome.  Okay, so, this blog was going to highlight the results of a speaker shootout I just did with my ’59 tweed Deluxe; which left me saying "wow" ... but ... then I received pics from Dean of the first "WGS Custom Shop" speakers as they near...

WGS Awards Free Custom Guitar Speakers!

I’ll state the obvious once again: WGS customers are a cut above the rest; my latest contest proves this in spades!  In my blog four weeks ago, I asked you all to design your custom dream-speaker and then explain why you chose the components you did.  Of the 150 or so entries, almost all were truly stellar. Wow, you all know your stuff; given your styles and tone objectives, you all made some great choices, backed up by sound reasoning.  It was insanely difficult for Dean, WGS production manager, to pick just one that stood out head-and-shoulders above the rest.  And...

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