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Archive for the ‘Rock Gear’ Category

I’ve never owned a Gibson amp, but I see them around and always think they are interesting.  Then a GA-20 showed up on eBay and it caught my eye for a couple of reasons:

1. The GA-20 is very much like a Fender tweed Deluxe.  Both have two 6V6 power tubes (maybe my favorite power tubes), simple controls (volume, tone) and compact cabinet with a single speaker.

2. This GA-20 was really cheap at $225.  It was cheap because it had been recovered in smooth, black vinyl and has a non-original, non-vintage 12” speaker.

3. Maybe it would be a good project to either restore back to original condition, or mod into a killer little amp.

So I bought it.  With shipping, just under $250 invested.  Here is what it looked like when I got it:

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I recently worked a deal that netted me a tweed Fender Bandmaster.  The model designation for this amp is 5E7, which is the classic narrow panel 3×10 bandmaster produced form 1955 to 1960.  These are cool amps.  The three ten-inch speakers is interesting, and sounds punchy.  Of course it is all tube with 5881 power tubes and three pre-amp tubes.  And it is all point-to-point wired by hand – no printed circuit board or el-cheapo components.  The ideas is to get as close to how Leo Fender was doing it back in the 50s as possible.

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I read an ad on Craigslist for a vintage Ludwig drum kit that need some work.  The photos posted were small and blurry, so it was a pretty tough to see what was actually being offered.  Even though the images were poor, I could tell there was a chrome snare drum, and it looked to be a Ludwig Supraphonic.  I’ve always wanted one of these drums, and I figured maybe I could get the whole kit pretty cheaply.  I went to the seller’s apartment after work to have a look, and decided the whole kit was not really something I wanted (it was mismatched and the insides of the shells had been painted black).  But the snare turned out to be a 1970 (date stamp visible inside) Ludwig Super Sensitive in decent shape.

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After having so much fun with my Project Ludwig Snare Drum, I decided I needed another project…

Are you familiar with the Rogers Dyna-Sonic snare drum?  If not, you should be.  They were once called “The Cadillac of snare drums,” and they featured some of the most unique innovations.  And I just bought one off of some StonerDude down in Kyle, Texas.

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A brief update on the Ludwig project snare…

Jammin’ Sam came through and delivered the silver sparkle wrap that will nicely match my Ludwig kit.  If you have never wrapped a drum before, Jammin’ Sam makes it really easy.  You call him and give him the measurements on the shell.  He pre-cuts the wrap and applies the tape to the back.  No glue or cutting is involved which makes the job really easy.

Here’s my shell and the wrap prior to installation:

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I always like a project.  Just that kind of guy I guess.  So, here is the idea behind my latest undertaking…

If you read the post, then you know I have an old 1970’s Ludwig four-piece kit which I re-wrapped in silver sparkle.  I love the kit.  It looks and sounds great.  The kick, tom and floor tom are the drums that I re-did, not the snare. 

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Since I graduated from Michigan State University back in 1990, I’ve not really considered additional education or advanced degrees.  First off, how much smarter can I get?  I may have peaked around my sophomore year.  But also, I have never been interested. Simply put, not in to it.  Until now!

Yep, I’m going to go back to school. 

Tuition is pretty steep, but I think it’s worth it.

Amp School, here I come!

Two days of intensive training on how to build a classic tube guitar amplifier.  You actually build your own custom tube amp during the class.  How cool is that?  You learn all about how tube amps work, and why they sound the way they sound.  You’re taught how to assemble the amp, including soldering.  You even get schooled on mods.  I’m so down with this class.

So, maybe for my birthday, if I’m good, I might get this class as a gift.  $1,600 may be kinda expensive, but you do come home with a boutique tube head that is your own creation.  And you just can’t put a price on that. (Well, I guess you can. They put it at $1600 bucks).

Who’s with me?  Check it out here.

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