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Author Archives: Dave Hunter

Rickenbacher Model 200A


Several vintage amplifiers that have graced these pages over the years have taken us back to the early days of guitar amplification – the early 1950s, maybe even late ’40s with some of the crustier subjects. This month, however, we travel way back, to the dawn of the electric guitar itself, to visit an amplifier […]

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Matchless DC-30

Matchless DC-30

Preamp Tubes: One EF86, three 12AX7s (one for PI) Output Tubes: Four EL84s in class A, cathode-bias. Rectifier: GZ34 Controls: Channel 1 – Volume, Bass, Treble: Channel 2 – Volume, Tone: Shared – Cut, Master Speakers: one Celestion G12M Greenback, one Celestion G12H-30 (modified) Output: 30 watts RMS While one-man operations like Dumble and Trainwreck […]

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Gibson GA-200 Rhythm King


Preamp tubes: two 12AX7, one 12AY7, two 6BJ8, two 6SK7, one 6V6 (used as a voltage divider) Output tubes: two 6550 Rectifier: GZ34 Controls: Ch1: Volume, Treble, Bass; Ch2: Volume, Treble, Bass, Compressor Speakers: two 12" Norelco/Phillips twin-cone speakers Output: (more…)

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Traynor YBA-2 Bass Mate


Canadian amp maker Traynor gets a lot of respect in some circles for turning out solid, good-sounding tube amps that are built with quality components and, in many cases, can easily be modified toward a sonic condition more substantial than when they left the factory. It’s also frequently noted that they “blend British and American […]

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The “Last” Trainwreck?


Ken Fischer’s prolonged illness and subsequent death at the age of 61 remains one of the great tragedies of the guitar-amp world. Aside from the fact he was a good soul taken too soon, if this rare and genuine tube-amp guru had enjoyed better health and greater longevity, he would most likely have blessed the […]

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Gibson GA-80T Vari-Tone


In the late ’50s and early ’60s, Gibson was apparently convinced the Vari-Tone switch was the way of the future, with its instant access to six different tones. But a high proportion of players who clocked serious miles on their ES-345 and 355 guitars had the switches disabled (and the guitars rewired to mono!). As […]

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Vox AC50


Vox AC50 Preamp tubes: one ECC82 (12AU7), three ECC83 (12AX7) Output tubes: two EL34s, fixed-biased Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume, Treble and Bass for each channel. Output: nominally 50 watts RMS, but upward of 70 watts flat-out. Where the evolution of guitar amplification in general traces musicians’ needs to be louder, the history of Vox follows, […]

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The Soldano

Super Lead Overdrive

One of the leaders of what we might call the second wave of high-end high-gain tube amps, Soldano has been making a big noise since 1987 – the year Michael J. Soldano released his (more…)

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Building a Studio

The Art of Home Recording

There has been a sea change in the music industry over the past several years. Recording has become more of a do-it-yourself component of the creative process, and less an end achieved in a professional studio. This shift has, on one hand (and rather sadly), (more…)

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The Supro “Model 24”


Okay, Zep police, sound the alarm and prepare to loose the hounds – we are finally about to lift the lid on the Jimmy Page amp. Well, maybe not the Jimmy Page amp, but almost certainly a Jimmy Page amp, and even this claim should be (more…)

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