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 roughly
a bazillion per year. About half of
these guitars will be quickly relegated to the closet or attic never to be seen
or heard from again. We can consider
this a fine line that was NOT crossed. But
what about the rest? Well, for a very
few the guitar will be like a powerfully addictive drug, and from day one the
rest of the world will cease to exist.
These folks are destined to be the guitar heroes of the next
generation. But what about the REST of
Now we get to the life of the average guitar player. We get a guitar. We love it and integrate it as a part of our
life, of who we are. We also get
married, have kids, buy houses, launch careers, and so on and so forth. All the while, "guitar player" remains etched
upon the very essence of who we are. We
don’t often realize it, but we are now poised to slowly cross one of life’s
thin lines; from the realm of casual guitarist to the realm of the true TONE
For some, the point of no return will come early, when they replace their
first vacuum tube, pickup or speaker.
For me it was a pickup. At the
tender age of 13, I did not realize that by placing an order for a Dimarzio
Super-Distortion, I was fundamentally altering the course of my entire life.
Fast forward a few decades! My life
is now a sea of guitars in various states of modification and "upgrades". My God, one look at my shocking main ax, the 5-pickup
stratobastard, complete with several extra switches, a roller nut,
Wilkinson Vibrato, and Sperzel tuners will signify how thoroughly I have
crossed the line from a fellow who enjoys playing guitar to one who is obsessed
with unlocking ALL the secrets hidden within the enigma that is the combination
of ingredients that result in electric guitar tone! Where’s that paper bag, I’m hyperventilating.
The room I sit in as I compose this blog is literally littered with various
guitar paraphernalia. Most notably would
be the 30-something odd amplifiers.
God, I love amps. From sensible
gals born in the 1940’s to wild young things.
I could be wrong, but I believe that for those who have fully crossed
the line into the realm of the Tone Seeker, Amplifiers are in fact the final
frontier. Nowhere else can such drastic
and dramatic tonal differences be had, nor can such subtle changes be
It is in this spirit that I introduce you to the two newest gals to join my
little amp harem: The rare and fabled 1967 drip-edge Fender Deluxe Reverb (the
blackface that isn’t), and the equally rare and fabled Bruce Zinky “Supro” Tremolectric (the VibroKing that isn’t).
I have a strange suspicion that in the upcoming months these two rare
beauties will be lavished with all manner of speaker and tube upgrades. And seriously, they deserve it, right? Tone seekers, you’re going to LOVE the next
few blogs as we delve into the mysteries of these fine ladies.