Charvels… um… Chestnuts roasting over open pyres…

7 12 2012

As Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule and whatever else you celebrate when it snows… looms;

We’re getting hammered by guys and gals who want to buy that “something special” for their significant others.

guitar-storeMany of their intended targets already HAVE nice axes. In fact, most guitarists have at least a pair of “Maple Mistresses” in their harems.

But, if we’re to believe the statistical data, most of these players bought guitars before they bought (or even budgeted for) that “perfect” Guitar amplifier.

Around here, we’re “vintage” guys. Real men play tubes and we avoid “pointy headed guitars” at all costs. LOL!

I mean, seriously…

Ever try to fight your way off stage using a pointy headed guitar neck? It’s like a spear. If you miss that jerk’s adam’s apple by just a tad, the neck slides off one way or the other. Now, a blunt headed guitar neck… THAT’S a spear.  LOL!

Okay, that pointy headed axe might be good for stabbing your lead singer in the .. um…er… well… let’s just say you can use it as incentive to help “him/her” hit that high note…

In fact, I have an old Charvel I keep on a stand on stage for just that reason. I never actually pick up the damned thing unless our “Prima Dona” starts showing her ass… and then… “instant attitude/pitch adjustment”.

Makes me think of “Deliverance” every time I have to apply it… She squeals like a pig… LOL!

Okay, we don’t advocate using your beloved axe as an “extraction tool” or even to sodomize your lead singer… but we have all suffered “lead singer drama” and played gigs in places that we never want to return to… am I right? 🙂

But I digress;

Regardless of what you play, it’s important that what you play sounds good.

And I don’t care how many speakers you stuffed into that cabinet, or even where they came from, if they aren’t being pushed by the right tubes and circuits, it’s still just like owning a Ferrari with an empty fuel tank.  You ain’t going nowhere…

We’re seeing a LOT of what’s out there and frankly, while guitar amps are getting more affordable, the good ones are still out of reach of most guitarists.

IMHO – If you really want to have that “GREAT” amp that “pumps out tone for days”… you need to do it yourself.

And, if you do it right, you’ll spend a lot less than you think and have an amp that you’ll keep forever, or until you get married. (Then, all bets are off and you’ll be selling off that rig to buy diapers and baby clothes, trust me on this…) 🙂

Many of you know that here at SUAPYG, we’ve partnered up with the guys over at RenaissanceRonin  and The Bubba Effect to build “Strats for Soldiers“. The “Secret Strat Project” has shipped over a hundred (104 counting the axe that left today) Stratocasters, Telecasters and assorted Axes to places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

(The last time I was in the shop, they had #’s 105-113 on the benches and they were working away like demented elves on Mescaline… They had 2 gorgeous Strats, a pair of Telecasters, a Les Paul, an SG, and a trio of exotic custom chambered guitars that I would give up my eye teeth and more than one of my “mistresses” for…)

These “mad dog” Vets use their own paychecks to build and then donate some really tasty axes and gear to guys and gals who really need some “Maple Love”.

It just made sense to join in and and help them fight an uphill battle… their “lunch money” only goes so far.

Along with those axes (safely tucked into SKB cases) they’re also shipping amps. Usually, they’re of the battery powered variety and we include rechargeable batteries and a recharger. However, if the guy or gal is stationed somewhere in a zone where they have good power and some protection from dust and grime… we ship “the good stuff”.

(Not that battery powered amps aren’t “good”… in some cases we’re able to ship something a little more versatile to some players, so that they can entertain the troops while they use that axe as therapy… and when they get back to their families, they can then gig with it.)

So here’s the skinny;

While we are usually talking “guitar” here;

We thought it might be valuable to SHOW you how to take an Ebay or Craigslist Amp and then turn it back into something really cool AND save some cash in the process.

Along the way, we’re going to point you at the RIGHT guys to deal with – as you stride boldly forward into “Toneville”…

We’re going to start this off by introducing you to a pal of ours, a Nashville Cat who spends most of his days toiling over “Gibson Goodness” in the Gibson Custom Shop.

A veteran of decades of Gibson “Fun and Games”, he’s about as knowledgeable as you’ll find anywhere and he’s personally had his hands on some of the most fantastic guitars you’ve ever seen or heard.

I know it’s true because I currently have one of his own GEMS in my personal harem – scheduled from some really tasty session time.

He’s gonna show you how he crawled through his Fender Bassman, an amp that has literally been passed down through his axe-slinging family.


Along the way we’re gonna look at Super Reverbs (in my personal opinion the most important amp a player of “classic rock, blues or jazz” could ever have…) and we”ll work our way down to Champs and even Blues Jr’s…

So, watch Ebay, your local Craigslist ads, your local Penny Saver, your local bulletin boards at the guitar shot, et all… and look for old amps that need some love.

You still have time to put ’em under the tree with a card attached that reads “to be modded shortly”…

We’re gonna show you how to turn them into real players.

Stay tuned.

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