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The Truth About Vintage Amps, Ep. 70


On this very special TAVA episode, Skip and Jason welcome audiophile guru Michael Fremer (, Stereophile) for a lively talk about modern day hi-fi, tube vs. solid state stereo systems, vinyl’s comeback, affordable stereo gear and more! We also field a few questions that actually involve guitar amps, talk tomato paste, Bathyspheres and more. Don’t worry amp purists, we’ll get back to all of your gear questions on Ep. 71. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy!


As always, we’re also sponsored by and .


Some of the topics discussed this week:


5:04 7199 to 6GH8 tube adapters from Amplified Parts


14:34 Customer Tom picks up a Fender Bassman with a 1949 Beechcraft Bonanza


20:08 Herbie Mann and Duane Allman


20:44 Deluxe’s 200th El Pato-Tone practice amp ()


21:40 Special Guest: Audiophile writer Michael Fremer (!): Michael’s lefty Strat; Max’s Kansas City; tube vs. solid state audiophile gear; vintage Saabs, CDs vs. vinyl; Elac speakers; AR turntables; Schiit SOL turntable; U-Turn phono pre-amp; A/C cords; double-blind tests; Quincy Jones vs. Michael Jackson; the size of the audiophile industry; recommended records (Herbie Hancock’s ‘My Point of View’, Duke Ellington’s ‘Masterpieces’, ‘Plastic Ono Band’); cocaine; reel-to-reel players!


1:21:24 Skip’s book pick: ‘Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss,’ by Brad Matsen


1:26:27 Aftermarket transformer picks in a post-ClassicTone world


1:33:14 How to test a bunch of tubes, easily; old tubes in new amps


1:38:03 Using a loop pedal to voice amps


1:39:30 When Fender eyelet boards go bad


1:44:31 A Magnatone 480 baffler


1:47:07 “Medical grade” 12AX7s?


1:52:13 Amp packing 101


Support the show as a and get bonus episodes, in-depth articles on amp circuitry and other surprises.


Have an amp, life or kitchen question for Skip? Email or send a voice memo to: podcast@fretboardjournal.com or leave us a voicemail or text at 509-557-0848.


Above: Listener Tom picks up a Bassman from Skip using his Beechcraft Bonanza. 


Want to see all the former topics discussed on the TAVA Podcast? for all the show notes on one page.




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