share that. That's it for the GDPR notice.
I've been working on what I call TroubleBot 2.0. It is a different approach to learning about amps.
Click on the image to be presented with more information about the part, function, or control. Let me know how you like it, or what I missed! Use the Contact Page.
The combined onslaught of the coronavirus, resulting loss of business, health concerns, and age have convinced me to retire. It has been a great relief to me.
I am now taking on a few small and interesting jobs that don't involve a lot of stress. I'm building more (hopefully) exciting things, and still developing my products and solutions.
Many thanks to all my customers and friends over the years. It was a pleasure meet you, and to put your equipment put back into usable shape, and hear that music again.
Mods and Mod Kits!
Modifying amps for the classic "Brown Sound"
Even though we have lost Eddie Van Halen, the originator of the sound we love so much, the sound and style can live on. Scott Berry just got his amp back from me, and sent this video of the amp's, and his, performance.
His amp was a Metro Amp '69 Plexi Superlead that was just way too clean and did not have enough gain to reach these levels.
Call or email me for info on the mod, if it is even possible to do on your amp.
A repair kit for the dreaded red-plating JCM2000 amps!
Symptom: After a half hour or so, the output tubes would red-plate and overheat.
I used to do this mod as a repair when JCM2000 amps would come in with red-plating symptoms.
Now I'm offering it as a kit for owners and techs who want to do it themselves.
Cost: $25 plus shipping. You have to replace two parts on the main board, which requires quite a bit of disassembly just to get access to it.
Until I put it on this website with a Buy Now button, you'll have to call me about it.
Modify a Marshall JTM45 Reissue - rollback to the original design!
The RI version of the JTM45 is a good amp, but like many amp manufacturers, Marshall made changes that they thought were improvements but took away the tone of the original JTM45 (before it was called the JTM45).
It is a well-built amplifier, but the "improved" tone isn't what a lot of people want.
Here are two audio files that (hopefully) show the difference between the JTM45-RI and the rolled back version with my modifications.
The demo for this Box was done by Michael Anthony Shanks. A really great-sounding and informative YouTube video.
Excuse the appearance... This is the most-recent pre-production model.
It has a 3-position distortion level control, a tone control, and an output level control. The latest model has 4 levels and a Fuzz switch for those who want lots of fuzz.
Plus, always True Bypass and operation on standard 9V battery or standard stomp box power supply.
The new 4-Level Fuzz Version is in production! Available for $185.
I have finally started a separate amp-building effort under the name "MudBone Amps." All the other names were taken.
They are intended to be simple amps that are reliable and usable, and of course, affordable - without looking like cheap junk.
The amps will be made here in Houston, and will be customizable for tone.
Check out the new site at MudboneAmps.com and follow the progress.
A relatively unknown cause for an amp to stop putting out sound or to put out really nasty sound is shown in
this YouTube Video. If your amp has an
effects loop, please watch the video. You can save yourself some trouble.
OK, so you know your controls are scratchy... how hard can that be to fix? Well, it depends.
First, don't pull off the knob and spray some lubricant onto the pot shaft - that won't do a thing that is good,
and may put whatever you are using inside the control. Especially don't use a "no residue" spray, as that just
washes off the lubricant that belongs there.
Here's what you do: (follow all safety rules in doing this) Open up the cabinet and pull out the chassis to gain access to the BACK of the controls. That
is where the working part of the control is. (Most controls are able to be cleaned, but some are sealed or just
not able to be cleaned.) Then use a search engine to find a video about how to clean controls. (Really, that is the best thing. My point
is that you can't simply spray stuff in the front of the control, and it isn't necessarily easy.)
Sometimes the control is so bad that it needs replaced. See this video of me
replacing a volume control in a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. Its 4x time-lapse, so a 20-minute job takes 5 minutes.
And, sometimes its not the control at all, its a cap allowing voltage to get to the control. In that case, you
need a technician.
We repair, design and build Vacuum Tube Amplifiers and effects, pedals, vacuum tube microphone amps, instruments and so on.
While not a tube snob, I do find that tubes provide a much more musical and natural sound than most solid-state gear.
If I do make solid-state amps, I will strive to design them to be natural-sounding and not sterile.
Although Guitar Amp Repair is our main business, you are welcome to ask about other vacuum tube devices.
A new product is an EF86 tube converter, which lets you use quieter tubes in the EF86 position, because most all EF86 tubes I find are terribly microphonic.
Or, if you are thinking of a new amp, look at my Custom Amp Estimate
page to get an idea of what a custom amp from me could cost. New formula on 4/15/2015! (Closer to reality, I think.)
For repair services, look at Repair Services for more information.
Want to build your own amp? See Amp Kits page.
Did you find something you liked here? Use my Tip Jar!
For your enjoyment and for a chance to see something new, see these Videos.
Many are local bands, but there are also some tutorials and demos.
If you are interested in lots of opportunities to learn electronics for audio
there is a page for that, as well.
And, finally, there are Links to lots of stuff, from electronics references to stores and parts suppliers. Also, sources of schematics for your equipment.
Call Mike at
If you have a Vox or another amp that uses the EF86 tube for vintage sound, you probably know that this tube is
Its hard to find a current production or even an Old Stock tube that is not microphonic. I have a solution
for that. My new EF86 Tube Converter will plug into the EF86 socket and allow a quieter 6AU6 tube to be used.
The first units are now available. Call for pricing.
Secondary Mission: Provide information for musicians.
Its hard to depend on somebody to take care of your equipment as carefully as you would.
That is, if you knew how. You know how important it is for stuff to work. I think that everyone should know at least a little about the equipment
they use all the time. Even if you only learn some basics, it will help in the long run when deciding what to do about problems
or when selecting new equipment. I prefer to have some idea about what is inside some "mystery box" that I use all the time, or at
least have a vague idea of how it works. Eventually I will probably open it to see what makes it tick. There are lots of places on
this site to learn anything from the basics to advanced electronics, or even how to solder properly.
Serving Houston and the surrounding areas, such as
West University Place and all the Greater Houston Area.
If you are up to the drive, serving Austin, San Antonio, New Braunfels, Corpus Christi, Bryan, Round Rock, Georgetown, Huntsville, Beaumont, Lake Charles, Port Arthur, Victoria.
Receiving UPS, USPS, and FedEx shipments of equipment from all around. If you ship "return shipping paid" you will get a better shipping rate.
Some brands that I work on:
Acoustic, Alembic, Alesis, Allen, Ampeg, Ashdown, B-52, Bad Cat,
Andrews, Ashton, B.C. Rich, Blackheart, Blackstar, Bogner, Bruno,
Behringer, Carvin, Crate, Crown, Diezel, Earth Amps, EBS, Eden,
Burgera, Carr, Diaz, Divide by 13, Cornford, Elmwood, Framus, Garnet,
Electro-Voice, Epiphone, ENGL, Fender, Fuchs, Gallien-Krueger,
Genz-Benz, Gibson, Hartke, Hiwatt, Hoffmann, Ibanez, Johnson,
Heritage, Hughes & Kettner, Koch, Matamp, Mojave, Naylor,
Kendrick, Korg, Krank, Kustom, Laney, Legend, Line 6, Marshall,
Matchless, Mesa-Boogie, Metaltronix, Orange, Peavey, Randall,
Reeves, Rick-Tone, Ross, Selmer, Session, Sewell, Soultone,
Rivera, Rocktron, Roland, Silvertone, Soldano, Sound Research,
Sovtek, Squier, Sunn, SWR, Tech 21, Top Hat, Trace Elliot,
Trident, Stephenson, Straub, Suhr, Supro, Synaptic Amps, THD, Tone King,
Trainwreck, Traynor, VHT, Vox, Yamaha, Yorkville Sound,
Two-Rock, Valco, VSP Labs, Yerasov and more.
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