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Uncle Thor's Hamer

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About Uncle Thor's Hamer

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    Inner Circle
  • Birthday 11/18/1960

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  • guitars
    Newport Pro
  • amps
    Fender Super Champ XD

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  1. Which book or source for tube amp building?

    DIYaudio forums are full of info, including some level of cork sniffing. It is a little intimidating there tbh. I'm not looking to do anything too far out from any of the well known brand name amps. But I do want it to be mine, not a simple exercise in soldering a kit together.
  2. Which book or source for tube amp building?

    I did build from a kit once back in high school. A hybrid tube & transistor oscilloscope. 1976 or 1977!
  3. Which book or source for tube amp building?

    Let's start with me being an electrical engineer by degree, and many years of tinkering with electronics. I remember opening up and messing with transistor radios at age 10. But there is a vast difference between Engineer and Technician. Mini-rant here: Technicians are not Engineers, they are Technicians. I hate how everybody is now some kind of "engineer". Auto mechanics, air conditioning technicians, telephone repairmen, etc are all suddenly Engineers! It demeans the education required to become a engineer, and it demeans the practical knowledge and skills required to be a technician. So, I can (and have) designed numerous analog and digital circuits as a hobbiest, mostly many years ago. Those were built way back before computer aided circuit board layouts! I've got a couple of tube amp designs on paper. But I have none of that practical knowledge how to select actual physical components. E.g. a carbon resistor or a wire wound? And why? Which kind of capacitor, and why? What placements of components are asking for noise which might not be intuitively obvious? How about grounding strategies? Is there a book or other resource you'd recommend which addresses the practical aspects of selecting components and assembling them? I don't need electrical design help, just the practical knowledge a technician would have. Because they don't teach Engineers how to actually make it work!
  4. Ok what happened here? Amp question

    The top photo looks like some waxy (potting?) material ran down the inside corner and then pooled. As if the amp was tipped up on it's side and then got hot. Maybe sitting out baking in the sun for a while? The third photo also has an odd diagonal line to the corrosion/contamination as if the chassis was stored tilted and perhaps under water? I'm wondering if the amp was in a flood of some sort and then put out in the hot sun for while to bake dry before being turned on again. Presumably it is a steel chassis not aluminum, correct?
  5. Pro Guitar Shop - Shutting Down

    Dang Nabbit! Now you went and made me spend some money on a pedal! The prices are really good. Couldn't pass one up.
  6. Low volume/wattage amp that still sounds killer?

    Bugera T5 tube amp or Weber Mini Mass attenuator? Both are $150. My amp is a Fender Super Champ XD with an Eminence Ragin' Cajun speaker. I like the sounds of the amp pushing the tubes but need to get it quieted down at home. Which way would you go?
  7. Neck crud remover?

    On the fretboard or the back of the neck? I'd start with a damp or slightly wet and slightly soapy dish towel. If that doesn't take it off, Dunlop 65 cleaner on everything but the fretboard. Acetone works on my Ovation acoustics and solid bodies without disolving the finish, but I would be extremely careful to test before using any petroleum type of product on any painted or finished surface. Acetone will disolve plastic binding!!! Rubbing alcohol should be totally safe for the painted or finished surfaces, but I'd test it first just to be safe. For the fretboard I use Clayton's Lemon Oil which is a real lemon oil, not a lemony scented mystery product. Plain old mineral oil is fine for fretboard, too. I've never needed anything more than that to get crud off of my guitars. I don't use steel wool on the fretboard in order to keep from getting iron filings stuck in the wood or migrating to the pickups.
  8. Who has experience with an IOS device for plugging a guitar into an iPad (or iPod)? I travel a lot and want to be able to play along with recordings with headphones, either using iTunes or any other free app. My current setup is a guitar and an iPod plugged into a Korg Pandora headphone amp (with lots of effects etc). There is some kind of impedance mismatch between the iPod and Pandora, resulting in lots of static. The iRig HD looks like a good solution. Plug in the guitar to the iRig, plug it into either the iPod or iPad. Plug headphones into the iPad/iPod Play along with songs stored on the iPod/iPad using the free Amplitube app or iTunes or Garageband. There seem to be several competitor products, though I am not certain they do exactly what I'm looking for, which is primary to play along with songs stored on the iPad/iPod. Your experiences and suggestions welcome.
  9. " Working Man Guitar "

    There is no single guitar which will appeal to many. Everyone wants their own twist on it. Even the venerable Strat and Les Paul designs offer many versions. I think a "Working Man's" guitar will be durable, sound great, have some versatility, come in a really sturdy travel proof case, be comfortable to play (weight and balance), and cost less than $2k street price. Made In USA would be a big draw for many, too. It has to be delivered with a great setup and a perfect finish, which means a little bit of extra tlc from humans in the final step. The Ovation guitar custom shop website used to offer the ability to shop options. I think that is the place to start. Have a website which lists all of the options. Inlays, pickups, neck carve, fretboard, bridge/tailpiece, tuning machines, color, etc. Offer a visual simulation of what the final product would look like by piecing together images of the different parts and colors. I would offer pricing on the website and even allow ordering via website as long as there is some personal contact via phone (or skype) or perhaps email to verify everything. The ability to individualize the instrument would be a big marketing advantage. Let the customer upload a decent quality image for 12th fret inlay or for a headstock customization. I had a custom truss rod cover made for my daughter with her signature inlaid with brass into ebony. It cost very little. Something like that inlaid into the headstock itself would be cool. Or an image which could be embedded under the clearcoat would be great. Think like a 20 yr old with modern technology and how they prefer the web for shopping, and their desire for instant instant gratification. Make it super easy to see the options and place an order. After all that I think you are looking at perhaps 3 or 4 body styles. One semi-hollow in the Newport or 335 genre. A tele-ish, strat-ish, and les paul-ish solid body family. Offer excellent humbuckers or single coils from places like Fralin and Lollar. The new Ratio tuners look very interesting. Or 18:1 locking tuners. Offer TOM, wrap tail, sustain block and Floyd or Bigsby style bridges. Locking bridge & tailpieces for the TOM so they are easy to restring quickly.
  10. Whadja Get?

    A Kala brand U-bass. Its a uke, smaller than a guitar, but with fat rubbery strings tuned like a bass. Sounds great! Now I need to start learning how to play bass.
  11. Is C# the less "guitar-friendly" key?

    Just tune your guitar a half step sharp and you're all set! I keep several guitars in alternate tunings, though to be honest none are in higher tunings, usually some form of lower tuning or open tuning.
  12. Lost Prophets singer is a pedophile

    I hope we're not getting to far astray on this topic within this guitar forum. My observation, knowing several abuse victims closely, is that a very large part of the psychological damage is done by the other adults when the child tries to come forward. Whoever the trusted adults are, or perhaps a trusted older sibling, the abused child tries to tell what happened but is then told to hush up about it. The child is told she/he caused the abuse, or will be thought of as dirty or damaged, or will cause problems for the family, or perhaps even told they are making it up. There is no one-size-fits-all with how abuse affects the victim. The bottom line, though, is the child is indeed the victim of a criminal every bit as much as the robbery victim is a victim of a criminal. We live in the same area as Elizabeth Smart, with kids in the same age range. When she was rescued it was literally a party in the streets for the kids. Elizabeth was a hero to the kids for simply being alive and coming home. Kids need the message that they are not dirty or undesirable for having been victimized. I think we could greatly reduce the level of trauma in victims if the rest of society would stop sending the message that victims are somehow dirty. Seeing some perps harshly punished would also help victims.
  13. Lost Prophets singer is a pedophile

    We can never prevent all bad things from happening. But we can prevent repeat offences if we're willing to remove perps from the population permanently and if we're willing to make public examples of the perps (scare the living daylights out of anyone else who considers molesting a child), and we can work on educating the public that children are victims not co-perps of the crime. The first two steps require we be less civilized than we currently are. The last step is easy but requires admitting how big of a problem it is out there.
  14. Lost Prophets singer is a pedophile

    Whatever the cause, the cure is to make sure the perp never has a chance to repeat his/her crime.
  15. Stolen guitars alert

    Man, that sucks all the way around. A good friend of ours here in Salt Lake City had a bunch of nice equipment stolen. One item was a custom made electric violin. Amps, pedals, etc were also stolen. The police took the report but then failed to really follow up with pawn shops. You have to do the leg work yourself with pawn shops. They are supposed to send a list to the police of all items they take in, which is supposed to be compared to a list of stolen items. It never happened for our friend. She found most of her stuff in a local pawn shop a couple of months later. She even got a photocopy of the drivers license which the thief used when pawning the stuff and recognized it as one of the scum who had lived across the street from her. They had since moved, and the popo just shrugged their shoulders and said there was nothing they could do to track the perp down. I am glad your family is safe. With luck you'll get your stuff back and the thieves will get some good jail time.