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Thread: Obsolete Electronics?

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    Obsolete Electronics?

    Hi, this is my first post here on Ampage in about 2 years. Everything here looks very new and polished.

    So I've been wanting to build another design after I get out of GIT, but when I went to my favorite transformer site it's now gone. I did a search for Speedracer on this forum and found nothing. What happened to Joe and Obsolete Electronics? Is it just a name change or is it shut down?

    Thanks,
    John Kelley Brown

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    Senior Member Daver's Avatar
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    I don't have the answer, but I've wondered the same thing. It would be a shame if Obsolete was gone. JKB, good to see you around here again.
    Dave

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Kelley, its good to see that you're alive and kicking! We've missed you while you've been gone.

    I haven't seen Joe logged on since tBoy brought up the new site, and I've been wondering about him too.

    Here's the skinny on his web site registration from network solutions. He has the name registered until 2009. If you drill down on the links in that page, you can find Joe's contact info.

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    Does anyone want to volunteer to contact Joe (once) on our collective behalf?
    I don't want to pester him if he's ill or just sick of us.

    If noone who's better acquainted steps up by, say 6:PM EDT tomorrow, I'll go ahead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daver View Post
    JKB, good to see you around here again.
    Dave
    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    Kelley, its good to see that you're alive and kicking! We've missed you while you've been gone.
    Nice to talk to you again Dave and Bob! I miss you guys as well. I've been so submerged with everything they dump on us at guitar school, it's a lot of work but I'm getting good grades and having fun. I miss building amp but when school is out at then end of September I've got some projects I've been itching to start.

    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I haven't seen Joe logged on since tBoy brought up the new site, and I've been wondering about him too.

    Here's the skinny on his web site registration from network solutions. He has the name registered until 2009. If you drill down on the links in that page, you can find Joe's contact info.
    I couldn't tell which email there to use, both the one under Administrative Contact and Technical Contact look quite cryptic.

    I've been out of the loop on amp building so long I don't know who's making the good transformers these days. I really liked Joes trannys and really dug the Delft handwound output trannys. I never heard back from Simcha Delft on transformers i wanted to order, the one I got was so dialed in I wanted more. In the case I cant contact Joe, any recomendations?

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    those cryptic emails don't look good. i followed the link at the top to better contact info to this.

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    If it's off line go to http://web.archive.org

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    Aleksander Niemand
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    Just call Trace. He'll know. I guess a lot of us have been wondering the same thing.

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    Well, an email to the cryptic address hasn't had any result.
    Trying the one bobp pointed to.

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    Lifetime Member Ray Ivers's Avatar
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    Kelley,

    Great to see you back again! I've been kinda MIA lately...

    I think Joe's been pretty involved recently with his band Louder Daddy, as I see their gigs advertised regularly around here (he lives in the same town I do). I've got his contact info around here somewhere, I can give him a shout if you'd like.

    Ray

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    Ray,

    Long time no read! Do give him a shout, ask him to visit this thread.

    Kelley

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    Lifetime Member Ray Ivers's Avatar
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    Kelley,

    OK, will do!

    Ray

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    Heard back from Joe - message copied:

    Nice to hear from you! I hope you have been well.

    I'm ok, thanks. It's just been a very rough couple years. I had to stop running OEI due to time constraints with family & work. I really never meant to drop off the planet the way I did. A lot of things happened all at once, personally and professionally, and something had to give. OEI was that something for better or worse. I still feel guilty about it. I kept bouncing around the idea of trying to find someone to take it over, but never really pursued it.

    I still have a bunch of OT's out in the garage if someone ever needs anything. But I shuttered the website and 'closed' the business for tax purposes in '06. I haven't had any time to even solder something since I moved to CT in '03. Most of my parts and stuff never got unpacked. Maybe when the kids are older or something I'll be able to get back into it. I am still playing guitar though, and even found a band - a bunch of other dads in town who are also 'ex' musicians. So instead of poker night or whatever, tues night is rehearsal. That's my one indulgence these days. And there is an OEI output in my 50W Marshall that continues to make me proud to have been a part of it all.

    Please send my best to the ampagers, I miss checking in every day.

    Best Regards,

    Joe P

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    Senior Member Marc's Avatar
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    Ok,so

    Who's going to be the conduit to get joe to open those boxes?
    I've got a kekiid 50W plexi chassis beggin' for something to dress it up!


    Marc

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    "Who's going to be the conduit to get joe to open those boxes?"

    :: "I still have a bunch of OT's out in the garage if someone ever needs anything."

    It sounds like an order for one would do it - but response might be a bit ... relaxed.

    joe.pampel has a gmail.com address

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    Kelley,

    All right! I just happened to stop by here today for the first time in many months. Glad to hear that you are doing well and enjoying GIT. I have been pretty busy for the past 3-4 years and have not had much inclination to post online much. I no longer frequent the big musician/amplifier related chat forums. However, I always enjoyed the hell out of Ampage about 5-7 years ago--and it seems like the new format is a good thing. I think I'll be stopping by a bit more often for sure... The technical prowess on this board was always far and above most others IME. Good to see some familiar faces still hanging around.

    As far as OEI goes, I ordered a few 3.4K Plexi OT's for use in one of my custom EL-34 designs back in 2001. I haven't heard a peep out of Joe since. I hope all is well. Knowing what I know about the music/amplifier business, I wouldn't blame him if he just decided to quietly live his life in peace. But man oh man, his Iron just blew away the competition in every respect. My hat's off to Joe and his work as a designer. My 2 EL-34 Purple heart amps have OEI Iron and perform like a million bucks. I actually prefer the 3.4K primary impedance on the EL-34 duet with OEI and prefer doubling up the reflected impedance when switching to 6V6's in these amps. When I designed the Golden Ratio amp [6V6 duet/cathode bias], I was trying to get ahold of Simcha to provide a couple pristine OT's for the prototypes to use as a "gold reference standard". Difficult if not impossible to get ahold of, so I went with Phil @ Heyboer instead for my custom stuff. No complaints--as a matter of fact, these are some of the best 20 watt transformers I have had the pleasure to behold as well as being an excellent company to deal with in every respect. Still, if Simcha Delft is still making Iron, I'd still be inclined to have her hand wound OT's for the occasional limited run/exotic flava' type of thing.

    Good to see you around JKB.

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    Last edited by Circuit1; 09-07-2007 at 07:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Circuit1 View Post
    Kelley,

    All right! I just happened to stop by here today for the first time in many months. Glad to hear that you are doing well and enjoying GIT. I have been pretty busy for the past 3-4 years and have not had much inclination to post online much. I no longer frequent the big musician/amplifier related chat forums. However, I always enjoyed the hell out of Ampage about 5-7 years ago--and it seems like the new format is a good thing. I think I'll be stopping by a bit more often for sure... The technical prowess on this board was always far and above most others IME. Good to see some familiar faces still hanging around.

    As far as OEI goes, I ordered a few 3.4K Plexi OT's for use in one of my custom EL-34 designs back in 2001. I haven't heard a peep out of Joe since. I hope all is well. Knowing what I know about the music/amplifier business, I wouldn't blame him if he just decided to quietly live his life in peace. But man oh man, his Iron just blew away the competition in every respect. My hat's off to Joe and his work as a designer. My 2 EL-34 Purple heart amps have OEI Iron and perform like a million bucks. I actually prefer the 3.4K primary impedance on the EL-34 duet with OEI and prefer doubling up the reflected impedance when switching to 6V6's in these amps. When I designed the Golden Ratio amp [6V6 duet/cathode bias], I was trying to get ahold of Simcha to provide a couple pristine OT's for the prototypes to use as a "gold reference standard". Difficult if not impossible to get ahold of, so I went with Phil @ Heyboer instead for my custom stuff. No complaints--as a matter of fact, these are some of the best 20 watt transformers I have had the pleasure to behold as well as being an excellent company to deal with in every respect. Still, if Simcha Delft is still making Iron, I'd still be inclined to have her hand wound OT's for the occasional limited run/exotic flava' type of thing.

    Good to see you around JKB.
    Great to hear from you Jason! Thanks for the pointer for the Heyboer OTs, I should get one and shoot it out against the Delft. I'm so spoiled on the Delft 20watt OT. My friend Heiko and I did a shoot-out of 15-22 watt OTs using a switching system for fast comparisons, with everything from an old Davis, some Fender Deluxe trannys, to a couple of Hammond 20 watt range transformers, (everything EXCEPT the Heyboer), the amp was a design with Fender Deluxe DNA but still quite different, using 6V6's, the Delft was clearly the favorite, much more complex in it's overtones and punchy on the bottom end. Unfortunately it spoiled me, I hope the Heyboer can get me there or at least close.

    I checked out your site. It's great to see your designs becoming products and your well deserved notariety. Keep rockin' and sniffin' the solder fumes.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Well, since Joe WAS going to look for someone to take over the biz, maybe he could just sell the whole thing as a company. He'd have to fire it back up and roll for a short time. But the rep is there. He could probably use the coin if he's that busy. I guess the hitch is the time it would take. But it would be a shame if everything Joe did and all he was about in transformer R&D were just allowed to evaporate.

    Of course, there is the Qs about who might end up running it. Not so much WHO but what kind of WHO. To secure the ideology he started, he would have to interview prospective buyers and all that crap. Which is just more time...

    Just thinking out loud. And my best to Joe in ALL his priorities and goals.

    Chuck

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    Kelley,

    The Heyboer OT's are quite good--and affordable. I think that most guys who know me know that I don't just go for cheap--I tend to use the best parts for the job regardless of cost--which used to PO a couple other friends here on Ampage in years past.... I respect their opinions but still recommend doing it my way. That being said, and not having a Delft OT to compare to--I'd wager that the stock Heyboer 8K/20 Watt Iron is every bit as good if not a bit better than other 8K/20 Watt Iron for EL-84's from most manufacturers. I'd also wager that the Delft handwound Iron is just supreme and quite good--maybe the last 2% of perfection--which is what we pay dearly for.

    In my amp, I am using Iron which which is similar to stock Heyboer offerings--but a different primary impedance, inductance, different wire gauges and splits [interleaving]. It is basically optimized for what I wanted to get out of 6V6's. Perhaps we could set up a "taste test" here at some point? I'd be interested in knowing your results for sure.

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    Hi Guys, Yes, I'm sorry I have been difficult to contact. And my apologies to folks who wrote about trannys and didn't get a proper reply. Life has been crazy for the last couple of years...but seems to be settling down now.
    I still have all the specs on the OEI and Delft trannys I designed.
    I do not have space in my life at this moment to make any significant quantities, though the music store in NZ for whom I just designed a little tube amp has shown an interest in making some models.

    Meanwhile, the designs still exist, I have them, and any competent US tranny company could probably make them ....if they would source the same materials and follow the same winding and interleaving.
    Personally, I'd very much like to see these trannys them available again - if only because I sweated blood to get some of them tweaked just right.
    Sooo....over to you guys...... Maybe form some kind of collective, or make a deal with one of the established amp makers who posts here, find a willing tranny maker, and lets talk !! Just off the top of my head, as a possible winder, Edcor seems to be trying to get into the guitar tranny business and their prices are reasonable.
    So are Hammond's .... Any Ampagers here from Canada?
    Best regards, Simcha in NZ.
    You can find me at a_zwolleXXYYZZ@mail2world.com ( remove the XYZ's to make this address work)

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    this is 2016 and im looking to buy an Obsolete Electronics 'Bluesbreaker' OT...... does anyone out there have any info?

    Frank

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    I expect any OT that would work in a JTM45, kit or original, will do fine.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uboat229 View Post
    this is 2016 and im looking to buy an Obsolete Electronics 'Bluesbreaker' OT...... does anyone out there have any info?

    Frank
    Marshall Style Transformers By ClassicTone
    That would probably be like a JTM45.
    Marshall JTM 45 Output Transformer
    It would depend on if it has KT66s, or EL34s.
    T

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    "Here I come to save the day!"
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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    I think its gone, while there are several compatible OTs on Ebay, including some with very Italian names which say they are made in USA (?) I might look at a good Edcor unit for less than $80. For comparison a similar Mercury Magnetics version will cost $290.

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    "Here I come to save the day!"
    That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!
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    "Obsolete Electronics" was a member here (sn: SpeedRacer, incorrect above as Speedracer, and now simcha it seems). He made very few transformers overall and wrapped things up about twelve years ago. So now they're made of pure unobtanium. As the above thread informs us.

    There are a lot of offerings for the JTM45 OT. Most sound good. I've followed a lot of threads here on the subject and read about many side by side comparisons. The difference between OT's (provided none are of poor quality) is no great shakes. So if you're looking to "Holy Grail tone" your amp don't get sucked into the magic OT vortex. There's probably nothing "inferior" about the OT you have now. The only reason anyone ever posted that they "Put a Mercury Magnetics OT into it and now it sounds amazing" is because they're drinking the KoolAid and they just spent a ton of money. What's amazing is what people can hear when they want to. There was a thread here where someone linked a side by side Marshall OT comparison with all other things being equal. There were four. Heyboer, Weber, Mercury Magnetics and I can't remember the last one. If it helps I remember the Weber came in last, but switching between the OT's was unimpressive. There's absolutely no earth shaking difference as some claim. My advice would be to keep the OT you have. Or, if you're building a new amp buy a quality unit but not the least expensive one and certainly not the most expensive one (you all know which one that is). Another member here (sn: daz) swapped his 50W Heyboer Marshall OT for one of the Hammond "guitar amp replacement" models and swears the Hammond was the better OT. And, of course, Hammond has a good reputation anyway. So there's that.

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    Last edited by Chuck H; 03-17-2016 at 02:25 PM.
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    There was a thread here where someone linked a side by side Marshall OT comparison with all other things being equal. There were four. Heyboer, Weber, Mercury Magnetics and I can't remember the last one. If it helps I remember the Weber came in last, but switching between the OT's was unimpressive. There's absolutely no earth shaking difference as some claim.
    May be thinking of this? Paper Vs. Plastic

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdf64 View Post
    May be thinking of this? Paper Vs. Plastic
    That's it. Unfortunately the audio clips seem to be gone That, or my poot just can't "see" them. Which happens sometimes.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    That's it. Unfortunately the audio clips seem to be gone That, or my poot just can't "see" them. Which happens sometimes.
    My Chromebook can "see" all four clips, but can't "hear" the first one (Weber).
    When I initially accessed the page, all clips were playing at once. Talk about a "shootout"- it sounded like WWIII.

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    Chuck:
    where do I get some of that unobtanium, and what is the symbol on the periodic table?
    T

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    "Here I come to save the day!"
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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    Chuck:
    where do I get some of that unobtanium, and what is the symbol on the periodic table?
    T
    Unobtanium, unfortunately, cannot be obtained. It doesn't use letters for it's symbol like the other elements so I cannot write it with my keyboard. But it's the same as the one used by the artist formerly known as Prince.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    My Chromebook can "see" all four clips, but can't "hear" the first one (Weber).
    When I initially accessed the page, all clips were playing at once. Talk about a "shootout"- it sounded like WWIII.
    Egads all 4 clips play simultaneously when I open the page! What a horrible sound ! Like Skynard on Quaaludes!

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    Last edited by tedmich; 03-18-2016 at 04:44 AM.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    where do I get some of that unobtanium, and what is the symbol on the periodic table? T
    Not yet available, there will be unobtainium mines on planet/moon Pandora by 2154.

    From film "Avatar" on Wikipedia:

    "By 2154, humans have depleted Earth's natural resources, leading to a severe energy crisis. The Resources Development Administration (RDA) for short, mines for a valuable mineral – unobtanium – on Pandora, a densely forested habitable moon orbiting the gas giant Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri star system."

    I didn't see "Avatar" until late last year, thought it was a hoot that they called their miracle element "unobtainium," a term I first heard 20 years ago from an IBM engineer.

    - - - - - -

    I'd seen that transformer shootout result & thought it supports my observations, especially that Mercury have nothing special despite all their carnival barker claims. Transformers for 'seekers', and there's a seeker born every minute isn't there. The only reason to go there is if you need some special transformer that simply isn't available anywhere else, and you have an unlimited budget to buy that transformer.

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  34. #34
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Yes, it may be justified to get, say, a 4 secondary driver transformer for a bridged output SS Sunn amp, stuff like that where there's no other source, but, say, for a Plexi ot Fender OT?
    At those 3-4X prices?
    Forget it.

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

  35. #35
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    But the adds have a chick!!! These are total rock star transformers!

    Seriously. I was taken aback the first time I saw an add in a guitar magazine for amplifier transformers?!? And all dolled up like a guitar or amp add too. It's pretty clear they're marketing at players rather than amp designers or repair techs. And for that you DO pay a hefty premium. So I suppose it's to their credit that they actually do make a good product since in this light they only need to be average. Still, I decided when I saw the add that I wouldn't be considering them.

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    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

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