91 episodes

Twice a month, guitar amp guru Skip Simmons fields your questions on vintage tube amp repair, restoration and collecting. Often hilarious and always insightful, it's like no other guitar podcast out there.

The Truth About Vintage Amps with Skip Simmons The Fretboard Journal

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 15 Ratings

Twice a month, guitar amp guru Skip Simmons fields your questions on vintage tube amp repair, restoration and collecting. Often hilarious and always insightful, it's like no other guitar podcast out there.

    Ep. 87: "Waxy... and Leaking"

    Ep. 87: "Waxy... and Leaking"

    It's the 87th episode of the Truth About Vintage Amps! Plenty of amp tips for newbies, some deep Ampeg talk, music recommendations, amp tips for steel guitar players, and more. This week's episode is sponsored by Jupiter Condenser Co., Amplified Parts and Grez Guitars. 
    Support us on Patreon.com for added content and the occasional surprise. 
    Some of the topics discussed this week:
    :54: RIP Alexander Howard Dumble
    1:58 The TAVA Big Index Page (link) / Tableau Index Page (link)
    2:21 Jason attempts to finish his Champ kit project
    4:05 A Massie-built Electro amp on eBay (link)
    8:05 Beginner's Corner: Speaker cables versus guitar cables
    9:41 The capacitors in our brain
    11:19 A replacement optocoupler for Gibson GA-20 RVT?, tremolo circuits
    16:02 A tip for pros: Max-Pro.com
    18:18 Frank Sinatra's 'Songs for Swingin' Lovers;' cleaning and retensioning tube sockets, redux  
    27:10 Music recommendations: https://www.wwoz.org; typewriters; The Deputy (YouTube link)
    32:37 The dual fixed and cathode bias circuit on a Fender AC568 Bassman
    37:27 Mother of toilet seat amps; Skip's preferred wiring, tube sockets and more
    50:00 Fixing a vintage tube with a broken guide key, aftermarket tube bases
    54:42 Fender Deluxes: 5E3 vs 6G3, roasted brussels sprouts
    59:16 Skip's speaker picks; Skip's reference cab
    1:04:31 How to make a lot of mead; the Prudence Penny Cookbook
    1:07:09 Ampeg Gemini I reverb tank
    1:10:32 The tone control circuit of an Ampeg M-12 Versus Tweed Deluxe; Kenny Burrell's 'Bluesin' Around'
    1:17:00 What's up with my early '60s Ampro combo amp?
    1:22:09 Amps for steel players, revisited 
     
    1:30:22 Interviewing a tech before you let them work on your amp, a lazy guy's lo-mein 
     
    1:38:05 Anyone need an original NOS car radio potentiometer? 
    The Truth About Vintage Amps is hosted by amp tech Skip Simmons. Co-hosted and produced by the Fretboard Journal's Jason Verlinde.
    Email or send us a voice memo to: podcast@fretboardjournal.com or leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848. And don't forget to share the show with friends. 

    • 1 hr 39 min
    "You Run Hot"

    "You Run Hot"

    It's the 86th episode of the Truth About Vintage Amps featuring special guest, Joe Halliday of Hello Sailor Effects (@hellosailoreffectsofficial)! 
    This week's episode is sponsored by Jupiter Condenser Co., Amplified Parts and Grez Guitars.
    Support us on Patreon.com for added content and the occasional surprise. 
    Some of the topics discussed this week:
    4:37 The business of cheese, the Prudence Penny Regional Cookbook, mead
    10:34 Custom can capacitors from Hayseedhamfest.com
    12:00 Skip re-builds a hacked 1961 Fender reverb unit; half-wave rectifier circuit vs. bridge rectifier circuit
    16:38 Special guest: Joe Halliday from Hello Sailor Effects (Instagram link) Building amps and pedals while at sea with the British Navy, a love for old parts, octal pre-amp tubes, dummy loads (mini Wall of Sound), Free, Gibson Melody Makers, PA heads, Watkins Scout, etc.
    40:48 Replacing a 6EU7 on a Gibson Falcon, DangerUXB
    46:49 A Gibson GA-80T Vari-Tone with the push button tone selectors
    50:46 Beginner's Corner: Guitar-amp feedback
    52:01 A Silverface Vibro Champ with a bypassed can capacitor, Ooni pizza ovens
    59:55 Restoring a 1958 Fender Bassman estate find
    1:10:46 Garland Jeffreys' "Wild in the Streets" (YouTube link), a Vespa car (shell)
    1:13:56 The caps in a vintage guitar
    1:19:17 Vibro Champ hum since a speaker upgrade, and a 80uF 450V cap from pin 8 of the 5Y3 to ground
    1:24:40 The Benson 300H, Howard Roberts, and the Fender GA-50
    1:27:04 Are all AB763 Fender amps made equal?
    1:30:15 Starting a '70s Carlsboro 50 Top Head that has been dormant for decades
    1:35:47 Vox AC-4 vs AC-15; DIY Fender Bassman kits
    1:43:54 $325 into a 1965-1966 GA-15RVT Explorer
    1:49:16 Skip says "thanks" to Joe, a vintage porcelain grilled cheese sandwich maker
    The Truth About Vintage Amps is hosted by amp tech Skip Simmons. Co-hosted and produced by the Fretboard Journal's Jason Verlinde.
    Email or send us a voice memo to: podcast@fretboardjournal.com or leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848. And don't forget to share the show with friends. 

    • 1 hr 53 min
    "Remington Starfire"

    "Remington Starfire"

    It's the 85th episode of the Truth About Vintage Amps featuring special guest, Calvin McCormick (Hiwatt, @ampfreek)! 
    This week's episode is sponsored by Jupiter Condenser Co., Amplified Parts and Grez Guitars.
    Support us on Patreon.com for added content and the occasional surprise. 
    Download the 2021 TAVA Cookbook here. 
    Some of the topics discussed this week:
    1:59 El Pato hot sauce in a bottle 
    3:13 Nothing but cans: Skip's recent meal
    9:58 Update on the amp that lost the majority of its volume during shipping (ep. 84)
    11:24 You think this gig is easy, part 7: A Fender Reverb unit with nearly every part replaced
    17:42 The tone of the Fender Twins in the Beatles' 'Get Back' documentary
    23:41 Special guest: Calvin McCormick (McCormick Analog / Hiwatt / @ampfreek): Meeting Hy Bloom, founder of Soundmaster; Hiwatt today; a new Hiwatt fuzz pedal announcement, Grand Funk Railroad, Garnet Herzog, MTI tube stompboxes and lots more.
    1:03:23 Laurens Hammond, inventor of the Hammond organ
    1:08:02 Fender 5F2 vs 5F2A fuse specification
    1:11:37 The input pre-amp on tube PAs, 12AX7 versus 12AT7
    1:14:58 What makes a good steel amp; Steelin' Home by Noel Boggs (YouTube link)
    1:22:12 Reforming NOS capacitor cans: Trash or Treasure?
    1:24:39 Fitting a reverb tank with space constraints, cooked salsa
    1:27:53 Skip needs an Ampeg Gemini II trem module (TM-1), running an old rotary phone into a computer
    1:29:45 Skip's new name
    1:30:38 Adding a cut control to a single-ended Vox style amp; cheese dip; Pat Martino's 'Live at Keystone Korner'
    1:39:47 Replacing the V1 on a two 12AX7, two 6V6 amp to a 12AU7
    Hosted by amp tech Skip Simmons. Co-hosted and produced by the Fretboard Journal's Jason Verlinde.
    Email or send us a voice memo to: podcast@fretboardjournal.com or leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848. And don't forget to share the show with friends. 

    • 1 hr 44 min
    "What's Past the Weeds?"

    "What's Past the Weeds?"

    It's the 84th episode of the Truth About Vintage Amps! 
    This week's episode is sponsored by Jupiter Condenser Co., Amplified Parts and Grez Guitars.
    Support us on Patreon.com for added content and the occasional surprise. 
    Some of the topics discussed this week:

    1:52: Full transcription of Ep. 83 on our Patreon (yay or nay?) 
    4:14 Skip's recommended gifts: Jack Darr, Joy of Cooking, the Gibson amp book, the Ampeg amp book, Fender Amps: The First 50 Years; El Pato

    6:57 A new baffler: 1964 Super Reverb with a three-prong cord

    10:10 A pristine 1956 Fender Pro that needs TLC 

    14:42 An Audio Guild Bonham 120 with low vibrato intensity

    20:34 Taming a Fender Twin Reverb reissue by pulling the 12AX7 on the normal channel

    27:27 ID'ing the oil for a Tel-Ray oil-can echo unit / Ucon LB-65

    29:55 How to find replacement 1" diameter Mallory can capacitors for a 1950s Valco with 1" diameter Mallory can capacitors, re-using old funky wire, the Fender 5E5 Pro input, adapt-a-cap.com

    40:36 A 1965-ish Princeton Reverb that makes wave crashing sounds

    42:31 PSA on three-prong power cords: SVT or SJT jackets 

    45:46 Finding time in your busy life to work on amps 

    50:57 Changing the circuit on a late 1940s Harmony Model 200; Mr. In-Between; Pig 

    57:51 Fender Concert IIs: Any good? 

    1:01:07 Resistors influence on tone? 

    1:06:10 Ledaig single malt scotch, Jameson's Black Barrel whiskey, and other stuff sent to Skip; Body and Soul Pedals by listener Yann (bodyandsoulinstruments@gmail.com, available at Real Guitars in SF)


    1:12:02 A recently shipped tube amp that lost its volume 

    1:16:53 The unique field coil wiring on a Hammond M-3 organ

    1:24:19 Some Leslie 147 amp discoveries

    1:33:47 The answer to this week's baffler

    1:35:08 A Tweed Bassman clone with a loud squeal 

    Hosted by amp tech Skip Simmons. Co-hosted and produced by the Fretboard Journal's Jason Verlinde.
    Email or send us a voice memo to: podcast@fretboardjournal.com or leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848. And don't forget to share the show with friends. 

    • 1 hr 40 min
    "No, But I Will"

    "No, But I Will"

    It's the 83rd episode of the Truth About Vintage Amps: More capacitor talk than you can shake a SnufferStick at, push-pull circuits, Ethiopian cooking tips and more! 
    This week's episode is sponsored by Jupiter Condenser Co., Amplified Parts and Grez Guitars.
    Support us on Patreon.com for added content and the occasional surprise. 
    Some of the topics discussed this week:

    1:56 The TAVA Cookbook (coming soon, email us if you want it)
    5:15 Skip's real voice or a young Jerry?
    7:56 Interactive controls on amps, Neil Young's Whizzer, an Epiphone Blues Custom 30, roasted pickled onions
    14:06 Old filter caps in PA conversions; Pelican Bay Brewing
    17:59 1957 Tweed Deluxe with all original caps; a chassis-only Tweed Deluxe on eBay; Ampeg M12
    20:15 Skip's philosophy on replacing caps in a customer's amp
    22:30 Illinois capacitors; a Marshall JTM45 that pops when you turn it off
    27:40 Even more capacitor talk: Orange Drop capacitors, Illinois MWR capacitors, Jupiter capacitors, Blue Drop caps
    35:03 A Rickenbaker M-8E with modified output transformer wiring; Ethiopian ful beans
    41:54 TAVA Big Index Page (link)
    43:04 Wiring a new home for a vintage PA
    48:44 Recommended book: 'Grateful Dead Gear' (Amazon link)
    50:44 Washable Crayola on the Mona Lisa; an owner's manual for a 100-watt Multivox P88?
    53:42 How to get better at diagnosing amp problems?
    55:21 First 5E3 Clone upgrades, even more capacitor talk (disc capacitors), CTS metal-shaft pots
    1:01:11 Overview of a push-pull circuit, single-open ended; mountain pie makers
    1:05:25 Cast Iron Revival (Portland, Oregon; Instagram link)
    1:09:13 Gibson GA-17RVT Scout oscillations
    1:14:06 What to put inside a Gibson GA-15RVT?
    1:17:50 Polarities revisited and rice water soup
    Hosted by amp tech Skip Simmons. Co-hosted and produced by the Fretboard Journal's Jason Verlinde.
    Email or send us a voice memo to: podcast@fretboardjournal.com or leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848. And don't forget to share the show with friends. 

    • 1 hr 24 min
    "The Velvet Touch"

    "The Velvet Touch"

    Tune in for a new chapter of TAVA, where Skip and Jason Zoom through your tube amp and cooking questions with our highest fidelity yet (thanks to our friends at Shure for sending us that MV7...and to Mrs. Simmons for figuring it out). 
    This week's episode is sponsored by Jupiter Condenser Co., Amplified Parts and Grez Guitars.
    Support us on Patreon.com for added content and the occasional surprise. 
    Special podcast offers: Use the discount code TAVA10 to get 10% off all orders at  amplifiedparts.com through November 13, 2021.
    Be a part of the first-ever, last-ever TAVA Cookbook: Email us your favorite recipe ever and we'll add it to our forthcoming, free PDF eBook, just in time for the holidays.
    Some of the topics discussed this week:

    :31 Skip puts the trem in the PA head
    1:50 RIP Pat Martino
    4:08 Green El Pato enchilada sauce
    6:19 Swapping the 6C4 for a 6J6 on a Bogen CHB-50
    10:05 A Magnatone vibrato pedal
    12:58 A Princeton Reverb clone with a single-note rattle
    16:00 Glossary according to Skip: Bypass cap; Baxandall, bright cap
    23:17 A late '50s Epiphone Century aka Gibson GA-20T in disguise (see our Instagram)
    26:23 More on amp hum
    28:21 A '56 Fender Champ or a '60?
    31:07 Shoutout Bob at Brookwood Leather (link)

    32:14 New boutique amps worth seeking; McClostone; Hamstead
    37:23 Typewriters, again
    38:24 Giveaway: A La Tosca accordion
    39:36 Jason's plan to keep the typewriters typing (free business idea); They Might Be Giants 'Book' (redux, link)
    42:48 Finding a clean tone American amp in Norway; silverface Twins
    45:49 Why does the primary impedance run high on 6L6 tubes on PA heads; repairing vintage transformers
    50:45 Why amps in the '80s and '90s got power transformer replacements; Gibson GA-1RT (YouTube link)
    55:10 Looking for a Danelectro Virtuoso schematic; what to do with an butchered amp with no available schematic; Sierra Nevada Old Chico beer
    59:36 Guitarist Bobby Eli; the sound of Philadelphia; Vinnie Bell; 'A House on Fire' (Amazon link)
    1:02:18 What happens in a tube amp?
    1:05:57 Guitarist Pasquale Grasso
    Co-hosted by the Fretboard Journal's Jason Verlinde.
    Email or send us a voice memo to: podcast@fretboardjournal.com or leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848. And don't forget to share the show with friends. 

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Yodacruse ,

These guys are idiots

This is the best cooking themed vintage typewriter podcast about vintage amps there is! 10/10

JasonMVM ,

My dose of pleasure

These guys are idiots. NEXT! 😁

m,,,Kzmzkz ,

Wonderful

Informative and entertaining. So good

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