Early production STAK 130RMS UL EL34 amplifier

One of these was one of my earliest valve amp purchases. They are also excellent amplifiers and the guy who made them in the 70s is still about and we chat sometimes. I have a fair stash of them at this point and use the 230RMS KT88 variant live. This one is number 4, when they were still built on tag strip, later ones had a PCB laid out basically same.

Nice and simple, basically Fender bassman front end, UL EL34 output section. Fairly untouched. The big grey dubiliar caps had issues with shroting so need replacing, along with the aged electrolytics.

Master voll is a 12 position rotary switch. Inspired by Japanese hifi.

8-String Wishbass finishing

Lockdown project, been after an 8-string for a bit, unreliable guitarists. Seems an ideal lockdown project, contacted Stephen Wishnevsky in the States to get something to match my other gnarly wishbass, went for wormy spalt maple wings this time, similar scarab shape.


All the worm holes were filled with baked woodworm shit, as the wood was kiln dried. Took a fine brash brush to it then had to manually pole out the rest with tiny screwdrivers. Wiped it over with white spirit to show up the grain am working with.


Plan is to black dye it before any sanding so all the holes are highlighted. Current status is hung up drying with Rustins ebony wood dye, dilute with white spirit for penetration. got a torch on it and can see some holes are not fully dyed inside so need to give another going over tomorrow.


More amp guts, stuff for sale, excuses

Massively been neglecting this blog in favour of Facebook, but facebook is dying and temp post banning me every time I have a gig to promote. Check the ‘Sale” link at top of page and let me know if it works, I’ll need to sort out some sort of online sale page of my own at some point, ebay is expensive and Reverb sucks.

Here’s a bunch of amp guts that came through in the meantime:


Ashdown ABM 300 guts, bought as no sound, the valve was dead, which made the valve grind feature not work, but replaced and dusted a bit and it worked fine, messed with it a bunch with no issues. Sold it, and it came back couple of weeks later as no output. Opened again, and it was full of dust, think use blew a load trapped in the heatsink out, patching the fx loop gave output, cleaned a buncha dirt out of that and it was fine again, and seems to have been since.

50w Kelly guts, after a sorting out, a lot of bits replaced, but its easy work in these, really nice amps. This one is for sale.

Oh yeah, I remember why I got annoyed with using wordpress, fucked with picture upload format, not sure if get full resolution just by clicking on them now. This one had its branding clipped off, but fairly sure it was a Sola Sound branded Vampower. Clearly Vampower guts and sound. Again, for sale, Vampowers are really rare, not many made and a bunch got trashed to feed that bizarre make any rare amp into a bad marshall clone thing some bodgers have.


Here’s a favourite. Burman Pro502, this is a combo, but this is the important bit, high gain preamp, laid out and built to a quality level there is really low noise. Vast amounts of flexibility due to multiple gain controls and active mid EQ. Currently have one of these for sale.


The magic inside a Sunn Beta Lead, combo one, but its only a sleeve difference from the head. Stored damp so all external hardware rusted, the knobs have all burst, wound up replacing everything on the outside, jacks and pots. Now it is working, there is definitely something to it, great sounds, using on the next Warrior Pope album, and not selling. Might sell the combo part though.


Matamp Quasar 1000. Big power amp. Sounds like big power. Serious device. Is for sale.

Laney TT100H guts

Not come across these much, rarely mentioned. Fairly big fan of the GH series, and the VH100R, figured this is a more fiddly, MIDI enabled variation.


Too many knobs and buttons


Stacked PCBs, board mounted pres, power valves wired up oldschool though, different layout to most Laneys.


Top side, pres pulled, all JJs and all super loose inisde, causing various issues. JJ have not been doing great of late.

This amp is for sale, £300.

Ashdown LB550 Little Bastard Class D hybrid head guts.


Totally forgot to take a pic of the front, but not a hard one to track down. Hiwattish preamp by Dave Green, coupled with a ICE power module by Bang and Olufsen. Took apart as cut out at a gig.


Not sure of the function of topside PCB. Seems a complete pre undernneath and the power module is its own thing. Important thing noted in this pic is ECC82 in the inner position. I totally forgot previous time I whipped the valves out of one, seemed to work happy with an ECC83 in there though.