Author Archives: Dave Hunter

Ampeg VT-22

Ampeg VT-22

Preamp tubes: four 7025 (12AX7 types) Output tubes: two 5881 (a more-rugged 6L6 type), fixed-bias Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Bass Instrument channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; Normal channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; shared: Presence Output: 50 watts RMS Insiders from the golden era of the New Jersey amp manufacturer have frequently (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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Ampeg R-12-R Reverberocket


1962 Ampeg R-12-R Reverberocket Preamp tubes: two 6SL7, two 6SN7 Output tubes: two 6V6, cathode-biased Rectifier: 5Y3 Controls: Volume, Tone, Dimension (reverb), Speed, and Intensity (tremolo) Speakers: Jensen Special Design C12R Output: approximately 18 watts RMS In the view of Ampeg main man (more…)

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Music Man HD-130 Reverb


1977 Music Man HD-130 Reverb Preamp tubes: solidstate preamp circuit with 12AX7 phase-inverter tube. Output tubes: four 6CA7 (similar to EL34) Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass on “Normal” channel; Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Reverb, Intensity, Speed on “Reverb/Tremolo” channel; shared Master. Output: 65 watts or 130 watts RMS. Intended to be the masterpiece of […]

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