Does it Still Pump Your Heart?

There is nothing like cranking your amp, hitting it with a germanium fuzz, and throwing some delay on for good measure. I did this a couple nights ago, and my blood literally started to rush through my body. Like, real adrenaline. If it’s not still pumping your heart, then there’s something wrong.

Of course, once service started, I had to turn back down. But there’s something therapeutic about soundwaves beating your heart for you, for even just a few seconds. And I’ve needed that this week. I apologize, as this is the longest I’ve ever been away from the blog. I literally have not had time to even check back in here. I don’t think I’ve ever asked for this publicly, but if you happen to remember throughout the day, if you could throw up a prayer for me, I wouldn’t be against it. 😉 My sincerest apologies for not being around, but I hope to be back pumping my heart with tone, and your ears with U2 and delay propaganda, very soon.


And because you just can’t not smile when you hear this song (and yes, Tony Levin is wearing knee pads…as he skips):

hehe You’re smiling right now. I know. Can’t help it. Even here:

22 thoughts on “Does it Still Pump Your Heart?

  1. I got that on Sunday playing the chorus of Majesty. I was playing an anti-solo over the chorus just my T-Rex Replica tapped in at eights and my Timmy on a mild drive with my guitar on the neck pick up.

  2. This weekend I had the same feeling. I used a Rebel 30 head/cab for the first time.

    The amp OD was soooo good. I’m rethinking my entire pedalboard (ie life). I had a delay in the FX loop and that was the only pedal used.

    Maybe less really is more? Nah, that can’t be right.


  3. Sam–right on. Anti-solo with a Replica and Timmy? I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong there. 😉

    TimH–haha Pedalboard=life. Nice. And the Rebel was good, huh? Right on. And less absolutely is more. Except when it comes to delays. And trems. Maybe reverbs. And fuzzes. Phase-shifters? Yep. Ah blast. 😉

  4. I had the same feeling during practice last night! It was during the climax of the chorus, we broke down to a 4 bar instrumental turn around and I devised this little anti-solo, switched to the bridge pick up with octo and some tube drive! It was a thing of beaty!

    BTW, that double electric violin is KILLER!

  5. Yes, barely. During the first song yesterday I was running my Small Fry Burn Unit ( along with the usual culprits before and after ) into one PA channel. That signal also went to my Carvin Vintage 16 Tube amp set up behind me, leaning against the back stage wall. Both sounded good but the amp provides feedback to your playing that I can’t detect in my wedge from the PA channel.

    Even on it’s 15 watt setting the amp was barely keeping up with all the other sound though. I’ll have to cut the PA channel gain so I can boost what’s hitting the tube amp.

    Once again, our sound guy was saying ” you don’t need the amp, I’ll bump up your wedge level” but I’m just not buying it anymore 🙂 He loves to keep the stage volume down, but unfortunately he has no control over the keyboardist’s amp or the box drum.

    No more air guitar. Maybe I need a larger tube amp 🙂

    • I use a V-16 Carvin and have been using it for gigs and church. Are you using an amp stand? This will help with your stage volume as far as having the amp actually pushing sound towards your ears. I also modded the amp and switched out the speaker which makes this amp an awesome sounding amp. The watts on this amp do not represent decibel level and should handle any small gig or church stage easily. Actually a bigger amp is not necessary unless you are looking for more headroom.

      In some cases I will run one signal direct to the board and the other to the amp for my own monitor mix. But since the mods I have been using the amp tone as part of my overall sound.

  6. Karl – Yeah the Rebel was surprisingly good. It’s a nice little amp. Sounds ALOT bigger than it looks.

    Great cleans and the amp OD made me hate my OD pedals. Timmy will survive since he’s Timmy, but the other guys are on thin ground.

    Might be a keeper.

    Too soon to tell yet, but the first weekend was “heart pumping”.

    • Sal, I used to put the V16 on an amp stand in front of me pointed at my face, but I didn’t like the sound as well that direct — more piercing. Back on the floor about 6 feet behind me is much better. Sunday I had the master volume maxed with the “soak” (gain) about half-way. It stayed pretty clean even with the Small Fry etc pushing it. The power tubes are EL84s which I’ve heard Karl mention before ( I replaced the originals with a set from JJs ). The speaker is the original Celestion ( V30 I believe ). What did you do exactly to your V16?

      “The SOAK control goes from stout clean tones with rich midrange body to a filling upper-midrange snarl defining its tweed sound. The ALL tube design incorporates 3 V1 12AX7 preamp and two EL84 output tubes. The power amp in its normal “PENTODE” mode puts out a crisp 16 watts. The “TRIODE” mode produces 5 watts of incredibly sweet spongy harmonics”


  7. Karl, there are people praying for you brother. Take comfort in that. I’ve been going through the wilderness myself. Remember James – Count it all joy when you face trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience… I know it’s easier said than done. Make it your prayer. You will grow in wisdom, grace and patience. Take care brother.

  8. Ben G–tube drive! Ya! And isn’t that recut trailer amazing? I watch that all the time…just brightens my day. haha

    Anonymous–absolutely. There’s a reason we care about the speakers in our guitar amps, and the monitors don’t have those speakers. Plus, they’re usually not eq’d, blind eq’d, or eq’d for the house sound. It’s definitely a better thing to hear and feel out of your actual amp. I’m with ya, brother!

    Sal–awesome points, both about an amp stand, and about using the amp as a part of your overall sound. 🙂

    TimH–right on! And ya…the Timmy’s one of the few that’s survived for me as well. 🙂

    Mark H–haha Didn’t they do a great job with that recut? It seriously does look like a family movie! haha

    Anon–thank you so much for that. I can’t express my appreciation enough. Have a wonderful evening.

  9. “Anonymous” was Randy. Not sure how that happened. Hope all is well with you Karl.

    I think I’ve reached the point where I have certain “minimum standards for continuing the ministry.” If this is an attitude problem, may the Lord strike me between the eyes. As of now, I’m pretty much ignoring the sound guy and my Senior Pastor’s request that I use my acoustic until we get a bass player. ( ran an ad in the bulletin for a few weeks — could be months or years before someone steps up to play bass )

    Sunday I used my hybrid Carvin AE185 along with the usual setup, PLUS the tube amp. What a difference.

    Sometimes you have to go with your vision of the ministry.


  10. Love it 🙂

    I got a new speaker (eminence gb128) for my amp a few weeks ago but hadn’t had a chance to crank the amp until last night. Now this thing gets mostly 10’s on hcfx but I’d had a bit of trouble seeing why before…. That changed pretty quickly last night!

    SG -> Cusack Screamer Fuzz (fuzz past noon, drive just below) -> Cranked VC30 with TAD valves and eminence gb128.


    God bless you Karl, I really appreciate what you do with this blog and will try and remember to pray for you!

  11. Randy–thanks for the prayers, brother. I need them a lot. And sometimes, you do have to set a few rules and run with ’em. Sometimes it’s the only way the ministry is ever gonna do anything. I hear ya there.

    James–nice! Glad that Eminence is workin’ out for ya! And thank you so much for the prayers. That means a ton to me, bro.

  12. Got a new OD today. NOC3 Rock Candy and all I can say is wow. I think it might replace my Timmy as my main OD or at the very least share the duties 50/50.

    I’ll be praying for you mate.

  13. Hey Karl! Been a while since I’ve posted.

    Our church had a little “camp retreat” weekend a couple weeks ago. When I say camp I really mean that we were at a conference center that happened to be in the mountains. I’m not much of a camper. Where do you plug in the guitars?

    Anywhoo – We do a version of “Praise Ye The Lord” a la Crowder that has a cool instrumental part, in the middle and at the end. It had been a pretty good spiritual weekend so far and this was the wrap-up. We got to that song and to that instrumental at the end. I was playing my Heritage 150CM (Les Paul) into Matchy (the Lightning 15 Reverb) using a Suhr Riot and I boosted the solo with a Keeley Katana.

    Think Gary Moore’s “Still Got The Blues”. It was stellar. And, while I certainly got that hit-you-in-the-chest-massive-tone that makes your heart soar, best of all it was awesome worship. I really felt myself letting my emotions go and sending them skyward into Heaven while playing that solo. Now I think I really now what David meant when he “played skillfully for the Lord”. Everything I am as an artist, a person, and a Christian, came pouring out at that moment.

    To quote my favorite bloggist;



  14. Been praying for you.

    I think I know how you feel about the M13 now. I went to practice the other night and my buddy had borrowed a M13 from another worship leader to test out. Ugh, what is that?! Dude, can you turn the octo off? Do you need me to help you update the firmware? 🙂
    The dotted eighth got me going that night. Obnoxious jackhammer that it is!

  15. IT”S NEW PEDAL DAY!! My nu-valve just arrived in the mail (my wife called God bless her 🙂 ) I’ll send an update later tonight after I’m played about with it.

  16. Sam–really?! Wow! I’ll have to check that out. And thanks a ton for the prayers. Seriously.

    Tom–just reading that pumped my heart! So awesome!! 🙂

    Dan–haha Maybe it really is in the hands then. Or the firmware updates. 😉

    And thanks a lot for the prayers. That means a lot.

    Ben G–ya!! Looking forward to the update!!

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