Zander's blog

Matching JFETs for Modulation Effects

So we've been doing a lot of work to put information into the wiki here on the site. We've completed the catalog of all the pedals we have. This doesn't include just the brand-name already-assembled pedals by larger manufacturers. We actually also undertook a lot of work scanning different websites and companies that offer more than just the run-of-the-mill pedals and found ourselves drawn into kit pedals and pcb-only pedals. Now, of course this site is about tube amps, and tube amps alone, while they take us to the promised land of heavy music, they won't alone keep it interesting.

Rullywow JFET tester boards
Additional Links: 

Carvin Amplifiers: Going Out of Business

Carvin Audio is shutting down.

Wow. As of now, they've already sold out of their most popular model amps...

...The competitive pressures in the amplifier business are enormous right now - and they don't show that they're going to be abating anytime soon. Despite massively increased competition domestically, the relatively-new advent of tube amps from China and other low-wage nations, it still seems like more people are getting into the "I'm gonna build tube amps" business...

X100B.  Carvin Audio is Going Out of Business.  No More USA-Made Carvin Amps.

We're Gonna Rescue This Old Girl, Part II

So when we last left off, we were talking about a 5-watt Natural Music Guild / Massie Amplifier called "The Vibe". Truth be told we've been working on another few projects (first was straightening the house, the other is a... another business idea and we'll leave it at that...). However, we do expect that now we should be able to update with increased regularity.

So as previously discussed, we've come to the conclusion that our "Natural Music Guild"-labeled amp is a 1959 Ray Massie creation. Here are some interesting things that we've found along the way...

1946 Fender Pro Schematic showing three inputs. Ray Massie's influence?
Additional Links: 

We're Gonna Rescue This Old Girl, Part I

We bring you the Natural Music Guild of Santa Ana / Massie Amplifiers "The Vibe" 5 watt amp.

Yes, there's been a hiatus in posting. We're pretty sure that for the most part, you don't care about the story why. Maybe we'll get to that in the coming days. It's a sad tale of a tragically flawed leader. Bye-bye KLBP.

So let's pick up at any old random spot... Actually this isn't a random spot, but it may seem that way to you... We've picked up a lot of tube amps in the past few months that we haven't shared yet. We picked up a few Marshalls. We picked up a VHT gone bad (and sold cheap!) that was going to start life as an 18-watter, but that we're going to turn into a 50-watt beast. And there are more still...

1959 5-Watt Natural Music Guild "The Vibe"
Additional Links: 

Peavey: Undercover Boss and Catastrophe

So I've spent a little bit of time trying to find this episode of Undercover Boss for you to see. CBS makes you sign up for some membership. But then so does Hulu. Hulu seems to be the least objectionable from what I found. The best solution is if you have Tivo, or a DVR from your Internet/Cable/whatever company and can manage to record it on re-run.

Additional Links: 

Smithsonian Channel: Rock 'N' Roll Inventions

So the Smithsonian Channel has this show called "Rock 'N' Roll Inventions". Of course, is a site where we talk about gear (mostly tube amps, and the heavy bands that play them) it seemed like something I (and you) would very much want to watch. I actually found it over the New Year's Eve / New Years Day break. As I recall, I was watching Smithsonian Channel, probably something about American History. I imagine it was either something interesting like the Civil War, or something...

Dave Davies Smithsonian Channel Rock 'N' Roll Inventions Vinyl Cassettes Walkmans CDs Digital
Additional Links: 

Report: Los Angeles Amp Show, October 1 & 2, Part I

So we went to the Los Angeles Amp Show in Van Nuys. My main reason for going was to attend the "Tone Wizards" panel where the discussion of vacuum tube amplifiers went into some interesting, if depressing, directions.

Sorry for the late posting - we were waiting for the Tone Wizards posting to go up - which it did a week ago. If you're interested in some opinions as to what's going on in amplifiers today, give this a watch.

Ampshow Tone Wizards Bogner Selfridge Heistand Demeter Gallo Rose
Additional Links: 

John Garcia of Kyuss Interviewed by VICE

So we were listening to Bandcamp, going through different heavy bands, trying to find some good material for a heavy music show. You may or may not know that we've been working a long-time plan for throwing a heavy music festival here in Long Beach, California. Part of getting that happening has been driving around and looking for places to actually host the event (we're thinking a warehouse somewhere).

John Garcia interviewed by VICE
Additional Links: