Guest blogger Rob Roberge remembers his search for the perfect vintage, cheap amps – back at a time when they were actually pretty damn cheap. Those were the days… I have a buddy who used to write about cheap vintage gear—this is going back to the late 90’s and early 21st century (maybe up till […]
Apparently, the new Gibson Modern Flying V announced at CES 2018 wasn’t the first model with more than a little “Star Trek” flavour: Guest blogger Michael Wright shares his views on the 1986 Kramer Triaxe – a guitar that’d be perfect for a Klingon heavy metal band! I’ve always thought it highly ironic that among […]
Guest blogger Michael Wright tells us about his favourite Heavy Metal “shredding guitar”. Never mind he can’t shred… he still thinks this Ibanez RS540S Pro-Line Saber is awesome! Back at the beginning of the 1980s I became enamored of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (I didn’t make that up; that’s what it was called) […]
Casio. Not a name you’d expect to find on a guitar’s headstock. But yes it’s true – they did have a go at guitar manufacturing, and guest blogger Michael Wright tells us more about the Casio MG-500 MIDI Guitar! Back in the mid-1970s guitar players got a bad scare from Disco. Hard rock had ruled […]
The 1984 Aria Pro II RS Series Rev Sound RS-E is much more than a Strat lookalike. Guest blogger Michael Wright explains why he loves this rare and very special model… Most guitars first speak to me as visual works of art. The color, the shape, or some sort of unique design. Or it might be […]
Last month, we left off with a team in place to design, prototype, test, and market the new line of Magnatone amplifiers. This month we look at each series and model of the new Magnatone line and the features of each, including the world famous pitch-shifting vibrato circuit.
Magnatone was started in 1946 by Art Duhamell, who purchased the Dickerson Musical Instrument Manufacturing Company. Dickerson was a small, Southern California builder who produced lap steels and amplifiers. Dunhamell changed the name to Magnatone a division of his Magna Electronics Company in Los Angeles. Magna also produced record players, speakers, radios and organs as well as amplifiers under brands such as ToneMaster, DaVinci, Pac-Amp, and Estey. The Estey organ’s vibrato circuit was integral in the birth of the famous Magnatone pitch shifting vibrato feature,(but more on that later). Though Magnatone had a good run of building some of the first, high fidelity, innovative, “boutique” amps to hit the market, the company was plagued by mergers and buy outs, poor business decisions, and bad investments. In the end, Magnatone was no more by the end of the 1960’s.
Today, we have the long overdue follow-up to the “10 Classic Guitar Amps” article by Ben Fargen of FargenAmps.com. Ben’s first post has become one of the most popular articles ever published on this site, so we asked Ben another list of definitive amps and songs. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below!
I’ve only owned two Kay tube amps, and they were both keepers. One was a pretty standard (for its era) dual 6V6 with tremolo (a really rich and deep tremolo). It had a tone pretty close to the Silvertone 1482, its Dano-made Airline counterpart, the rare 1964 Ampeg Reverberocket with 6V6’s (wow, what an amp!) Lectrolab 600B (though this is the best of the bunch, IMO) and any number of other cheapie versions/variations of a Tweed Deluxe.
I wasn’t in the market for any more amps, but how could I pass up this Lafayette LA-75? A buddy of mine (thanks Rob S.!) sent me an email, letting me know that this baby was on ebay for a really good price and that I should snatch it up. “If you love the (Valco-made) Harmony 415,” he said, knowing it was one of my favorites, “you’ll love this one. Similar output and tone, only out of one 12” instead of two.” And he was right—and then some. I do love the duel EL84 Valco/Harmony 415, but I think I like this little sleeper even more.
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