Monday, August 22, 2011

Further Tales From The Tonal Fringe: The Ampeg That Nearly Wasn't

A couple of weeks ago I had gotten an Ampeg jones and started trolling Craigslist for likely suspects. I found an ad that had just been posted from the Lincoln, Nebraska area and it was for a 1961 Ampeg M-12-the very amp you see in the pictures, and thereby hangs a tale.

I talked to the owner on the phone and I had his first name, phone number, and a place to meet in his smallish town north of Lincoln. So the Dragon Lady and me climbed into the Honda a/k/a Jackie Chan and headed west.
About 200 miles later we were there. I dialed the phone number I had been given and it was the fellow's work number, an answering service and they were completely unhelpful, didn't know anything and couldn't do anything until Monday. I then went through the Valparaiso phone book and called every Kevin in the book. No joy. I found the local public library and convinced the librarian to post a response to the ad which was still up on Craigslist, and went back to the meeting place.
Just as I was settling in for a good wait, I saw a red Dodge truck hurtling down a side road and it was our guy. His wife had intercepted the message and called him.
The amp was secured, cash was paid out, and I and the Dragon Lady retired to Lincoln for a repast at Five Guys.

How's it sound? It's clean, with a swampy vibrato, and cosmetically it is a peach. It is the early style 'random flair' vinyl covering with silver sparkles that predates the more common herringbone style covering. It sounds so good I'm seriously thinking about selling a couple of other amps I have here.

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