The 18-Watt, Bletchley-Style

How come my DIY amps never look this pretty inside?

A couple of weeks ago I posted here about a Premier Guitar project in which I built two Marshall 18-watt clone kits. Meanwhile, the magazine received a review model of Marshall’s latest iteration of the 18-watt, a high-end, hand-wired version that sells for $2,700. […]

18 Wicked Watts

I had a blast building and testing two Marshall 18-watt kits for a Premier Guitar story — and I emerged with new respect for this cool 1965 design.

These mini-Marshalls were neglected in their day, but are now treasured. The oft-heard claim that they provide plexi tones at reasonable volumes is only partially true — these […]

Attenuation Nation:
Loud Sounds at Low Volume?

skrinking-ray

I just tried an interesting tone comparison, one I’ve never seen attempted. It concerns the search for loud amp sounds at low volumes.

Have any of you ever experimented with speaker attenuators — the passive load boxes that reside between your amp output and speaker input, which let you crank the amp while maintaining […]

Hey, Gang! Let’s Design a DIY Amp!

Let’s not just talk about one-knob gear — let’s design some! Any interest in conspiring to create a minimalist DIY amp?

Frankly, the intensity of the reaction to my recent One Knob Manifesto startled me. I had a general sense there was a growing interest in minimalist gear, but I was no idea the sentiment […]

Tonefiend Book Week 2013
Wednesday: Repair and DIY

Monday: Theory and Technique Tuesday: Gear Wednesday: Repairs and DIY Thursday: Biography Friday: Fiction

Tonefiend Book Week is simple: I discuss a few titles I’ve found particularly enlightening, useful, or entertaining, and then you jump in and do the same. I’ve organized the days of this week by subject matter. Today’s topics are repair and DIY.

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Tonefiend Book Week 2013
Tuesday: Guitar Gear

Monday: Theory and Technique Tuesday: Gear Wednesday: Repairs and DIY Thursday: Biography Friday: Fiction

This week we’re talking about our favorite guitar/music books. The plan is simple: I discuss a few titles I’ve found particularly enlightening, useful, or entertaining, and then you jump in and do the same. I’ve organized the days of this week by […]

Tonefiend Book Week is Coming!

Next week at tonefiend we’ll be talking about our favorite guitar/music books. I’ll write about some of the titles I find especially useful, inspiring, or entertaining, and I hope you’ll chime in with some of your recommended reading.

Since there’s so much potential material here, I suggest we focus on a different book category […]

The View from Here

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may have noticed a recurring pattern: I attend some interesting event and promise to report on it, only to get subverted by work, crowds, jabbering with old acquaintances, and jetlag. True to form, I’ve spend the first two days either demoing TriplePlay, or staggering […]

Grüße aus Musikmesse

It’s wet. Will it be wild?

Howdy from Frankfurt, where I arrived this afternoon to attend Musikmesse. United Airlines was its usual scuzzy self, though a nice flight attendant found a place for me to stow my guitar. And my pedalboard seems to have arrived in fine shape, even though I had to checked […]

NAMM 2013: The Analog Edition

UPDATE: My apologies if this page failed to load properly before. After a much screaming and crying some careful troubleshooting, it seems to be working correctly now.

I put together a little slideshow of some of the interesting things I saw last week at the 2013 NAMM show in Anaheim.

I covered some of […]