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Ask Amp Man

It’s no secret that tube amps require regular TLC to sound their best. But it doesn’t stop there: Tweaking key components can yield dramatic sonic benefits—but you have to know what you’re doing. Whether you’re looking for more gain, higher clean headroom, or simply want to return an old combo or head to its former glory, amp guru Jeff Bober has the answers you’re looking for. Got questions? Shoot him an email at pgampman@gmail.com.

ARTICLES

Ask Amp Man: A Fond Farewell

June 4, 2018
Our beloved Amp Man signs off after 13 years of answering readers’ questions from under the hood.
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Ask Amp Man: Adding Gain to a Tired Regal R-1160

May 11, 2018
Transforming a vintage pedal platform into a powerful player.
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Ask Amp Man: Tone Tweaks for a Carvin Series III X

April 6, 2018
Bolstering an amp that boogied its way alongside the ’80s competition from Petaluma.
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Ask Amp Man: Revisiting the Dawn of the Sundown Artist

March 20, 2018
An ’80s amp that displays the singular perspective of player/builder Dennis Kager, with multiple effects loops and unique tricks.
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Ask Amp Man: Flat-Tire Fixes

January 18, 2018
Amp failed on the gig? Here’s what to check before panicking.
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Ask Amp Man: Positively Negative Feedback

January 4, 2018
Wanna shake up an old Fender? Try modding the negative feedback loop.
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Ask Amp Man: Add Some Marshall Grit to a Fender Bassman

November 27, 2017
How to convert a half-unused tube into a gain stage.
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Ask Amp Man: Beefing Up a Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue

November 1, 2017
How to add reverb and tremolo—and new tonal colors—to the “normal” channel of a workhorse amp.
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Ask Amp Man: A ’60s Premier Combo Gets Cleaned up for Dirty Work

October 16, 2017
Restoring a cool Multivox-made 1x12 G2R amp to its original nasty state.
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Ask Amp Man: Modding a Supro 6420 Thunderbolt

September 1, 2017
A few simple mods may, or may not, make a vintage Supro Thunderbolt ready to rumble on modern stages.
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Ask Amp Man: Modding for Headphones and an Effects Loop

August 4, 2017
How to use a Super Reverb, with a slew of pedals quietly looped in, for late-night practice.
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Ask Amp Man: A Vintage Showman, Not Ready for Prime Time

June 30, 2017
This oddball 1963 Fender head demanded serious examination.
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Ask Amp Man: A Space-Age Gibson Titan Gets Relaunched

June 11, 2017
A rare find from 1964 lands on the workbench and is up and running after a little ground control.
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Ask Amp Man: Limited Edition Ampeg SVT

May 12, 2017
A rare “Skunk Works” production amp is brought out of the woodwork and up to speed.
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Ask Amp Man: Troubleshooting an Epiphone Electar

April 14, 2017
Amp Man does a total resurrection of an old lap-steel amp riddled with puzzling dysfunction and mismatched tubes.
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Ask Amp Man: Reducing the Bass on a Fender DeVille

March 17, 2017
How to use a pedal or mod to put a 2x12’s big bottom on a diet.
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Ask Amp Man: Beware the Clean Ones!

February 24, 2017
Pristine-looking old amps are often full of dirty secrets.
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Ask Amp Man: Supercharging a Super Reverb

January 13, 2017
Six ways to beef-up the breakup on the classic Fender combo.
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Ask Amp Man: Restoring a Worn Regal’s Royal Tone

December 2, 2016
Some new components and a speaker might make an old Canadian tuber sound über.
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Ask Amp Man: Restoring Electrical Flow to Peavey Combos

November 11, 2016
Although certainly not a benchmark of tone, these amps delivered affordable reliability.
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