Thursday, April 28, 2011
Judybox Revival Notes and Comments
I've recently acquired a couple of Judybox amps and I'm well on the way to becoming a self taught expert. Some of my findings are on my blog at http://cornponepapers.blogspot.com which you're welcome to peruse.
It's sort of odd because the reason I acquired the first one was because my wife's name is Judy and I thought it would be cool to have an amp with her name on it. I wasn't expecting much, having heard all the stories, but I can tell you that they are a great bargain.
The first one, which I've named Brownie, sounds a lot different from the second, the Redhead, which arrived here yesterday. The Redhead sounds thin on one channel, and I'm not yet in a position to comment on how much the Bad Betty speaker has to do with it. I've got a few things here to try out, as the Redhead is going in for some remedial work this weekend.
A bit of what I do is to ask what Leo would have done.
I'm in the process of developing a suite of technical information on these amps, and if you have anything available in that line I'd like to see it, including production figures, and maybe contact with the elusive Al Nelson or whoever was part of the original company or the successors. I believe most of these folks were or are in the Austin, Texas area as both these amps came from Texas. Any information on other amps that were built under the Judybox name is welcome, and if you've got one you're entitled to a guest spot here.
They're great bargains right now, and although they mostly seem to look like the assembly was a little hurried, with some product improvements they can be the equal of any handwired boutique amp on the market. Having just finished reconstruction of an older Dr. Z Rx, it doesn't take a whole lot to get there.
Some of the components that were used definitely are third rate and need replacement, and a general reorganization and rationalization of the layout and componentry is indicated.
As I am a part time amp tech and hobbyist, I'm in a position to help you realize the potential of this amp.
Brownie is a case in point. With some work and carefully selected glassware, it's got midrange bark and it does the Fender thing really well-sparkly tone with good balance and a hefty lower end. I expect the Redhead will follow along. The build was a little cleaner and it appears newer. I suspect it was a store remnant because it came from a music shop in south Texas with the hang tags still in place.
I realize a number of people got stiffed and lost money on amps that were never delivered, but I'm not part of that.
Even so, consider this your forum to tell your stories and post your comments.
Stay tuned for further posts as this project metamorphoses. I don't know where we're headed but the lines have been cast off and we're under way.