Author Archives: Dave Hunter

Excelsior Americana


If you play any breed of twang, country, roots-rock or, well, “Americana,” could there possibly be a better amp than this? Okay, according to specs and tonal preferences, sure there could. But for sheer vintage-hip and all-out cool, you really can’t do better than dragging this 1966 Excelsior Americana to the next Gram Parsons tribute […]

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Vox Pacemaker V-3


1965 Vox Pacemaker v-3 Preamp tubes: three Mullard ECC83 (12AX7) Output tubes: two Mullard EL84, cathode-biased, no negative feedback Rectifier: Mullard EZ81 Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass, Speed, Depth Speaker: gold 10″ Oxford “Vox Bulldog” Output: approximately 17 watts RMS No doubt the mere appearance of that Vox logo and the diamond (more…)

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Gibson GA-CB Custom Built


Gibson GA-CB Preamp tubes: three 6SJ7, two SQ7, two Sj5 Output tubes: two 6L6 Rectifier: 5T4 Controls: Microphone Gain, Instrument Gain, tremolo Intensity and Frequency, Treble, Bass; four-position Jensen High Frequency Control Speakers: one (more…)

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Ronnie Wood’s ’69 Hiwatt 100 DR103


1969 Hiwatt 100 (Model DR103 Preamp tubes: four ECC83 Output tubes: four EL34 Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Normal Vol, Brill Vol, Bass, Treble, Middle, Presence, Master Vol Speaker: four Fane 12s Output: In excess of 100 watts RMS. The written history of British guitar amplification tends to trace the rising importance (more…)

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The Selmer Zodiac 50

The Zodiac Twin Fifty

An amp maker at the very heart of the British guitar boom of the late ’50s and early ’60s, Selmer was, for a time, the leader in the field, though it’s all too easy to (more…)

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The Fender Showman

The Showman

In addition to several significant shifts in style and presentation, for Fender, the transition of the late 1950s into the early ’60s represented a more concerted push into big-amp territory. Having introduced the 80-watt “high-powered” tweed 5F8 Twin (VG, March ’09) in ’58, this rapidly (more…)

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The Fender Princeton


1962 6G2 Fender Princeton Preamp tubes: One 7025, one 12AX7 Output tubes: two 6V6GT in fixed bias Rectifier: 5Y3 Controls: Volume, Tone, Speed, Intensity Speaker: one 10” Oxford 10J4 Output: approximately 12 watts RMS For the past couple decades the Fender Deluxe of the ’60s and early ’70s (more…)

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Masco MAP-15


1946 Masco MAP-15 Before Leo Fender’s rise to prominence, which is to say, before anyone knew what the Platonic form of the electric guitar amplifier would ultimately be, a broad free-fire zone existed between general-purpose amplification, PA amps, and guitar amps. Many companies covered (more…)

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50 Years of Vox


1966 Vox Guitar-organ and ’66 Phantom XII. The Guitar-organ was a Dick Denney creation that combined the mechanical elements of a Phantom guitar with the oscillators of a Continental electric keyboard. Photo: VG Archive. In (more…)

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Roger Mayer

Straight-shooting Effects Builder to the Stars

In the early 1960s, a young Research Laboratory engineer named Roger Mayer filled his “spare time” hanging out with a jaw-dropping collection of up-and-comers on the fledgling London blues-rock scene, and building effects pedals for these (more…)

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