Okay. So I know I just said that putting new strings on each week can keep you from buying new amps. This would be a lie. Putting new strings on should be able to keep you from buying new amps; but does it? hehehe ;) The very fact that you are on this site probably means that you know the answer to that question. That, or you have a quite unhealthy obsession with U2/delay (same thing).

So I got a new amp. But not really. The main amp stays the same…not sure I’ve ever been happier with my main amp. But you know those ambient pads I talk about? The ones that I run through a separate rig, and into a separate tube amp instead of running them direct because the amp allows them to ‘sit in the mix better’? Ya. That’s kind of true. But mostly, it’s just so I can experiment with new amps. Because the pads are recorded off of my main rig, so as long as it’s any decent tube amp in the pad rig, they sound fine. So I buy and sell my pad rig amp every few months. Gotta feed the monster so that it doesn’t overtake you completely. (The monster being gear. It’s a very beautiful and warm-feeling monster. And something about that sentence doesn’t work.)

And it’s been a few months, so in comes the new amp. And…um… (that means I can’t think of a segway)

  • Amps are like children. If you must ship them, make sure to protect them. (The metaphor there doesn’t quite work, but hey.) I got the box and thought, ‘Huh. Must be a small amp.’ Ya. Nope. The box barely fit the amp, and it was wrapped in some butcher paper. Awesome. The price you pay for the money you save on Ebay.
  • UPS. I can’t blame you fully, because the packing was well…not there, but……well, it’s UPS.
  • Needless to say, I turn the amp on, and there is no sound. Which brings me to my next point: always have a backup plan. Having a backup amp, pedal, guitar, whatever…has saved me so many times.
  • Luckily, it was just a bad power tube. Anyone else feel all special, like you’re a real amp tech, when you change a tube? hehe ;)
  • Do you really ever need more then 12 watts? The answer is of course ‘Yes’, because power is wonderful, but just for the purposes of the fact that I’m diggin’ the new amp.
  • KT88 tubes? Make you feel like a rockstar. Those things are huge and make you feel cool just for playing them. Oh, and they light up more than other tubes…bonus round.
  • Oh ya! It’s a Frenzel. It’s a dude who’s making some point-to-point amps for really cheap. Self-biasing with 6L6 sockets, so that’s pretty cool. Makes me feel even more like an amp tech for putting new tubes in there and telling myself that since the amp is biasing the tubes as I put them in, that I biased my amp. It’s all about what makes you happy in your own mind. I am The Edge.

Splendid.
Karl.

P.S. Apologies for taking so long to get back to this blog and respond to things. My wife surprised me this week for my birthday, and took me to Hollywood for a couple days to see John Mayer at Staples Center. It was quite amazing, and so is she. Then we went on a Heat pilgrimage through LA (hehehe…is she great or what?), and randomly saw Mario Lopez, and ate lunch next to Christoph Waltz and Orlando Bloom at a little vegan place on Santa Monica Boulevard. See? Eat vegan and you get to see all the celebrities. Or, that’s what I keep trying to tell myself as I try to go vegan. (It is not going well.) That was unplanned…obviously, because it’s Orlando Bloom. Legolas would not have been my…uh…first choice. Oh, and a post on the Mayer concert to come soon. But, that’s the reason I’ve been out for a little while. And in case you don’t know who Mario Lopez is:

That’s good tv right there. I’m pretty sure I had Mark Paul Gosselaar’s pants. I mean, no I didn’t…and…I don’t know his name.

Splendid…again. (hehe What a post…sorry.)
Karl.