Vintage Audio Gear: Tubes, Tapes, Transistors

Swing Wide the Gates of Hades!!! 13/ 03/16
in By admin
0 Comments

Actually that title has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of this post; it just felt fun to type. I just finished restoring this mid-50s Gates preamp for a friend and I wanted to share. First a little background: The Gates Corporation began manufacturing radio equipment in 1922; the preamp I restored–a “BiaMote”–was manufactured […]

Read more
Radio Gaga 23/ 06/15
in By admin
1 Comments

It’s been quite a few weeks around the studio. In addition to the “regular” work of writing music, a few extra-curricular projects are keeping things spicy here. One is the annual low-volume hecticity of the Quiet Music Festival, which I record live to 2-track tape (what else?) every year. Another Festival-themed endeavor is Wilco’s Solid […]

Read more
I Love Trash 01/ 03/15
in By admin
0 Comments

As pretty much anyone who has ever met me knows, I love trash. Much as some kind-hearted pet lovers cannot turn away a stray, I am a sucker for anything old and cool–or often, not that cool–left out on the sidewalk or in an alley. Over the years I’ve collected a good deal of audio […]

Read more
Tannoy Tale 28/ 10/14
in By admin
6 Comments

Anyone who knows me (or reads this blog) knows that I’m a sucker for stray dogs, of a certain sort. Occasionally, that includes actual stray dogs (I live with one). But in this case, it refers more to discarded or otherwise trashed audio gear. I just cannot leave an old, cool–well, come to think of […]

Read more
Take Another Little Piece of…Heart? 23/ 05/14
in By admin
2 Comments

    “You’ve never heard of Ron Nevison?!?” Um, no, I answered. Thus began a conversation with my friend Rick King, noted gear hustler and owner of my favorite guitar shop on Earth: Tacoma’s Guitar Maniacs. Rick was describing the Roland tape echo he was bringing in for servicing; its flight case was marked “Ron Nevison,” […]

Read more
On the Mic 23/ 05/14
in By admin
4 Comments

  It’s rare that a fixit job makes me feel like a rockstar, but this one made me feel invincible, for about an hour or so. A client brought in a pair of beautiful Sony C-57 tube mics for rehabilitation. As far as I can glean, they use some of the same components as their […]

Read more
Mystery of the Magnatone 23/ 05/14
in By admin
63 Comments

  Actually there’s not much of a mystery about this amplifier, besides “Why did anyone design an amplifier this ugly?” and “Why was Seth dumb enough to buy it?” (By the way, the photo above is NOT of my amp. Mine looks nowhere near that good.) Fact is, I have a hard time passing up any […]

Read more
Preamp Madness!!! 19/ 05/14
in By admin
1 Comments

    Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve been fascinated by old–especially mid-20th century–technology. Especially aircraft. Since I got to climb around in an abandoned DC-3 at a Florida airstrip in the late 1970s, the sights and smells of sculpted metal, sun-baked plastic and cracked wiring have fascinated me. What’s this got to […]

Read more
Vox…Vibrations? No. Vox…Rocks? No, that’s worse. 14/ 05/14
in By admin
1 Comments

    I’m trying to think of a pithy, alliterative title for this post and can’t. Since I already wrote about my Farfisa, I could make some really weak pun along the lines of “Getting Organ-ized,” but somehow that would remind me of the deeply closeted, deeply unfunny photography teacher at the first high school […]

Read more
Farfisa Fandango 14/ 05/14
in By admin
8 Comments

    As my kid grows older, I find I have a little more time to muck about with longstanding repair projects. I’ve been trundling around a Vox Super Continental for 23 years now, though “B flat” never worked properly (nor did it for its previous owners, Shawn Swagerty and Heather Gonsior). And I have […]

Read more