I really do take personal pride in restoring/tweaking a classic example, or creating that 'custom' tube guitar amplifier for the discriminating guitarist. I have set myself apart by making very 'toneful' amplifiers that were very user friendly, and very un-complicated. Every amplifier I made was as unique as the guitar player buying a piece of my philosophy. I am proud to have made some truly one-of-a-kind amplifiers for guitar players who really wanted to stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Then again, perhaps you didn't need to look radically different, you just wanted something traditional, yet custom tailored to your playing style and needs. While my building days are over (for now?), let's take a little stroll down memory lane, and visit some of the amplifiers I've built over the years.
Above is a very early production (early 1990's) Tone Lizard amplifier. It is a simple 2X6V6 ciruit in a brown vinyl cabinet with a single 12" speaker. It could still be tailored to your needs, and have a few extra features not found in regular store bought amplifiers. Half-power switching, diode or simulated tube rectifier switching, and of course the unmistakable Tone Lizard sound will definitely get you noticed on the bandstand.
One classy touch on mid-period Tone-Lizard amplifiers was the engraved panel, similar to what Hiwatt used. You don't need to worry about rubbing off the letters, as with regular silk-screened lettering. Using a black-and-white color scheme means these panels are readily seen, even on the dimmest stage.
You don't always need to strictly emulate the classic American 'Tweed' look either, should you want to have a custom-built amplifier. The look of the 'later period' Tone-Lizard amplifiers combined the servicing ease of the 'tweed' era chassis with the look of a vintage British amplifier. You may not make note of the gold-plated hardware (thanks to the crappy photography), but I thought it made for a very 'elegant' looking amplifier (along with the gold 'piping' seen around the cabinet and baffle board).
We know how difficult it can be to part with an 'old friend'. That's why Tone Lizard Amplifiers still offers the best in restoration and modification service, bar none! Specializing in all the brand names like Fender, Marshall, HIWATT, Gibson, Traynor, Garnet, plus many other 'pawn shop prizes' you may have. Put Tone Lizard to the test! All modification work carries a 3-day money back guarantee if you are any less than 100% satisfied with the results! These are not simple 'tack on' mods. Your amplifier is 'voiced' to sound the way you want it to, to work with your particular guitar/playing style. How many other 'Mod Merchants' even ask what string gauge you use?
I am still in the business of offering all the free advice you can tolerate regarding your tube amplifier. I am even getting a lot of email enquiries asking about test equipment and servicing techniques. While I am very flattered that anyone thinks of me as any sort of expert, I have to admit I am not. I may also take more than a few days (even approaching weeks) to answers your questions, but I do answer each and every email. The delays are for a few reasons.
That's about it! Now, get back to reading a few pages here that will actually teach you something useful! Instead of paying $$$ for those Blackplate 6L6's, buy an oscilloscope and a signal generator. Tinker with your amplifier, and learn more in an hour than you could even in a whole day surfing this website. Have fun, and don't take any of this 'stuff' too seriously. Remember why you play guitar in the first place..... OK, the second reason why you play guitar!