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Through recent phone calls & emails it seems many are under the impression that we only work with big name players. The truth is we love helping improve tone for all players. The same attention to tone & feel goes into every amp we build or Modify.

We do work for guys playing sold out arenas but we also work with guys playing in clubs to those playing at home for their own enjoyment. I still play in the local clubs & at home, music is music to me & as long as you enjoy playing, then we are here to meet your needs.

 Thanks for reading this & I hope you have a great weekend!!

Trace Davis, President / Founder

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18

Last week Trace Davis took part in a local interview with Correspondent Matthew Montague that was recently released in the 'Ithaca Journal.'  - Click on the pic to check it out!

 

Out back of the Verizon building, near the town garage in an unimpressive steel building, Trace Davis builds, modifies and repairs guitar amplifiers for many of the top artists throughout the world.

He does work for Joe Perry and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, Keith Urban, Alice In Chains, Alter Bridge, Bon Jovi, Five Finger Death Punch, Styx, Joe Bonamassa, Thin Lizzy, Steve Miller Band, Foreigner, Bush, Creed, Alice Cooper, Queenscryche, Kings X, Bob Seger, Moe, Gretchen Wilson, Journey, Whitesnake, Three Days Grace, Smashing Pumpkins, The Spin Doctors, Widespread Panic, and that's just half of the list.

Each amp is different.

"It's like making a red sauce," Davis said. "You could take ten chefs, each with the same recipe and ingredients, and each sauce would come out differently. In its most basic form an amplifier is just a set of transformers, tubes, capacitors, resisters and voltages, and there are countless ways to combine them. And you can take ten capacitors of the same value and rating from ten manufacturers, and they all sound as well as feel different."

Davis starts with the player.

"I go out with them and I talk to them and watch them play. I watch their hands as they play, as that tells me volumes. What is the context of their playing? Are they country, jazz, pop, rock or metal? Is this amp being used for playing live or in a recording studio? I want to make the amp sound good and feel good for the way they play."

Davis draws on his years of playing in bands, as well as being a session guitarist, recording engineer, live 'front-of-house' and monitor sound engineer to be able to speak the musicians' language.

It's important that the amp sounds and feels right to the player, but it also has to sound good in context with the band. He also has the benefit of growing up with a dad, Gary Davis, who oversaw the production of Westinghouse's vacuum tubes and who also loved rock and roll.

"My dad was always listening to Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, The Who — all those classic rock bands of the '60s and the '70s," Davis said. "Music was the background to everything we did, and that helped to shape how I hear and perceive guitar tone today."

Shortly after graduating from high school in Bath, Davis went on the road as a "hired gun" and later to New York City with his own band, As It Is.

"I was planning to move to NYC to open an amp shop, but as I was working with Alex Perialas at Pyramid Recording Studios I decided to make Ithaca my home, and I've been here ever since," he said.

He also did sound and monitors at The Haunt, first on Green Street and then moved over to booking the bands when The Haunt moved to its new location on Willow Avenue.

Davis has never been formally trained in electronics or acoustics.

Everything he knows comes from what he learned from his father, as well as tearing down electronics and speakers to learn how they work and why they sounded the way they did. He kept track of what he learned in piles of notebooks. He officially launched Voodoo Amps in 1998, and by 2003 he was busy enough to go full-time.

Today, Voodoo has four technicians and an administrator and is the largest tube amp modification company in the world with a satellite shop in the United Kingdom. More than 450 amplifiers leave the shop each year — modified, repaired or new-built. The company is building a line of amps for non-rock hero consumers. Davis also spends a lot of time on the road, working with clients who are always looking to improve the way they sound.

"I have tours scheduled through September right now," Davis said.

He spent a recent weekend with the band Bush, talking about customizing amps for guitarist Chris Traynor and making sure that the gear they have now is absolutely reliable in constantly changing conditions and an environment where there is little margin for error.

"While working for the headliners, I have also ended up working with the opening acts, too," Davis said. "They say, 'Hey, can you take a look at this for me?' and I have a new client."

Most of the time, Davis spends the show backstage "to save his ears." But sometimes he will go out front to watch the guys he grew up listening to play through his amps to a sold out show.

"For me it's like coming full circle from when I was a kid listening to music and now working closely with the many of the same players," he said. "It's truly an honor for me."

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16

A Piece of History – This rare Fender made in 1957 in the Fullerton, CA factory & is 58 years old. This is a ‘Champ’ model & is part of the Tweed-Era due to its tweed covering & is nearly bone stock. It recently came into our facility as it is needs a CapJob & the speaker needs some TLC. We wanted to quickly share this with you as we have always enjoyed vintage pieces like this - We hope you like seeing it too! 

We have blue printed this amp so that we can offer the same great tone & feel to you! You can send us a Silver Faced Champ or Vibro Champ or we can build one for you from the ground up through our Custom Shop!
 

 

Pic 1 of 7 - Close up of the 58 year old Fender Tweed Champ. This amp's in pretty good shape with a little aging on the Tweed covering. There is a rear panel for it but it's not original so we'll 'relic' the rear panel to match the rest of the amp.

 

 

 Pic 2 of 7 - Close up of the rear view of the Tweed 5F1 Champ circuit as it arrived to us. As you can see there is a 12AX7 preamp tube, 6V6 power tube and a GZ34/5AR4 rectifier tube in place of the stock 5Y3.

 

Pic 3 of 7 - Closer close up of the Tweed 5F1 Champ circuit. The stock filter caps are still presently in place. We have measured all of the caps, resistors & blue printed the amp in it's present form.

 

Pic 4 of 7 - Super close up for gear geeks like us (lol) of some circuitry. You can see the stock 'Astron' coupling caps & the 25uF bypass cap across the cathode resistor on the 1st stage, often not included on the 5F1 schematics.

 

Pic 5 of 7 - Close up of the 58 year old Fender Badge Logo from the Fullerton California Factory, such a great logo!

 

Pic 6 of 7 - Close up of the 58 year old Fender Factory Production Label, which is still intact over all the years.

 

Pic 7 of 7 - Fender Tweed Speaker close up, Note; this speaker was approved by the 'Department of Building & Safety in Los Angeles, CA'.

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Many thanks to each & every one of you who took the time out of your busy day wish me a Happy Birthday, I am humbled & honored (truly). Have an amazing week & may it be filled with tone as well as warm weather! – Trace Davis, President / Founder

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Customer Reports -  “The amp won’t pass audio & the ‘HT’ Fuse keeps blowing as soon as I turn the Standby Switch on.” Houston I believe we’ve tracked down the problem. We're just happy that this was an easy find & easy fix, if only all repairs were this easy!

 

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LIVE RIG! - Platinum Modded JMP-1 preamps have been a main stay in the rig of Chris Trayor’s rack for several years now. Chris & Trace are discussing plans to build a dedicated Clean Amp head & a dedicated Gain Amp head through our Custom Shop. This will be Chris' next Live Rig, Fun times ahead so stay tuned!

 

 

 

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04
Where has this week gone? – After a weekend on the road with the band ‘Bush’ we were back in the shop bright-n-early Monday morning soldering away like crazy. Yesterday afternoon we were hit with freezing rain & more snow. Once the roads were passable this morning we headed to the shop! We’re crossing our fingers for spring! (lol) More photo updates are coming with amps that have passed through the shop so please stay tuned! [more]
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The spring tour season is kickin' off early this year! Can’t wait to see my good friend & fellow Tone-Guru Chris Traynor & his tech Brian Herb! Back in the shop Monday!

 

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NEW FACEBOOK PAGE! - Friends please visit the following link & click 'Like' to follow us on our business page. NEW LINK - (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Voodoo-Amps/139200736143497?ref=ts) – It is our hope to keep this page active for as long as possible as there are several years of Voodoo History & interaction with you. Thank you so much for your support & please join us on the new page! - Trace Davis, President / Founder

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24
This just in - It is -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-28c) this morning *not* counting the windchill factor & the state has changed it's name from New York to New Alaska. If you need us we'll be in the shop freezer warming up! smile emoticon That is all, have a great day & stay warm! [more]
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