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11
Back in the shop! - I was extended for few more days on the AC/DC tour but flew in early Wednesday morning & was in the shop all day yesterday. The entire crew was among the best I have ever had the pleasure to work. Special thanks to Trace Foster (Angus' Tech), Greg Howard (Stevie's Tech), Tim 'Grape' Mattefs (Cliff's Tech), Richard 'Dickie' Jones (long time Drum Tech), Paul 'Pab' Boothroyd (FOH), Sara Full, Pete Merluzzi, Cozmo Wilson, Jon Lewis, Super Chris, Opie, Jake Berry, Maurice Johnson, Lorraine Harvey, Tudy Martinez, Andrew 'Dead Shot' Bongardt & everyone else who is a part of making such an incredible production happen every day!

A strong cup of coffee in one hand, soldering iron in the other & back to work I go! I don’t get to check in here often as I would like so please have a great day & remember to do a kindness for someone along the way - Trace Davis, President / Founder


"Always great to see Trace Davis from Voodoo amps, we salute you!!!!!!!"
From Trace Foster's Facebook Feb 9th 8:39am 

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Update - Good morning to you from the west coast! Just got some coffee & getting ready to head to the venue here in sunny Las Vegas where AC/DC's playing tonight. I was extended a bit for the tour but it looks like I'm flying home tomorrow & will be back in the shop with the crew on Monday morning! Have yourself a great Friday & a relaxing weekend. More to follow shortly! - Trace Davis, President / Founder [more]
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AC/DC - I will be going the road for a couple weeks to work on amps for the up coming AC/DC tour. I am deeply honored & extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with one of the most iconic & legendary rock bands of all time. Many thanks to those who recommended me & a heart felt thank you to all of you who have continued to support us over the years. As always please feel free to share our posts as you like. - Thank you one & all, Trace Davis - President / Founder Voodoo Amps 

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Here’s the new rig I’ll be using for working on AC/DC’s amps & for this year’s up coming tour season! Let me say a big THANK YOU to Jimmy Freck (President), Matt Koontz & all the crew at ‘Mental Cases’ for building this custom work box on short notice. As always their work is top notch & I couldn’t be happier. Here’s some quick photos from arrival, to completion to being placed on the loading dock for pickup. All it needs now are some cool stickers & some road miles. – Trace Davis, President / Founder

 


 

Mental Cases Official Website

Mental Cases Inc Facebook Page

Mental Case Inc
1307 Jewel St. Nashville, TN 37207
(615) 750.2754
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08

A true piece of Rock & Roll History - This amp belongs to the legendary Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd & you've heard this amp on Classic Rock radio stations around the world every day. This amp was used on the first (2) Lynyrd Skynyrd debut albums 'Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd' (2x Platinum) & their 2nd album 'Second Helping' (2x Platinum).
 
The amp is a 100 watt Marshall, model 1959 Non-Master Volume 'Super Lead' & has seen its share of road miles over the years. This amp was manufactured in 1973 & was in need of some well deserved TCL. She came equipped with (4) EL34 power tubes & (3) 12AX7 preamp tubes.

When we initially bench tested the amp it was running approximately 525vdc on the plates & the amp was biased in crossover distortion. The Power Transformer (PT) was spec'ed to run on 110vac, verses 120vac. We installed a 2nd smaller PT on the primary side which lowered the AC voltage down to 110vac (ala a fixed variac) allowing the amp to run at 480vdc on the plates. This helped to reduce the strident / harsh high end, smooth out the mids & add a nice richness to the tone.

 

Additional TLC & Maintenance - We performed a long over due Cap Job using F&T Filter Caps, repaired several solder connections, reworked grounding for quieter operation, replaced the (2) Fuse Holders that were held in place by silicone, cleaned & retention’ed all sockets & control pots, metered all Screen Grid resistors, and removed as much residue as we could from gaff tape that had been applied to the front & rear panels throughout the years.
 
A prior tech had replaced the factory power cable with an extension cord & the Ground / Polarity Switch was still active. We installed a Voodoo Amps 50/50 Series Power Cable & disconnected the Ground / Polarity Switch for safer operation. We retubed the amp with JJ-EL34's & 12AX7's that we Burned-In, Tested / Selected & Matched.
 
We disconnected the Bulgin 'plug-in-style' Impedance connector as the metal connections on the female receptacle were too brittle to be retention. We hard wired (2) Speaker jacks for use with (2) 16ohm cabs or with (1) 8ohm cab & additionally we hard wired (1) Speaker jack for use with (1) 16ohm cabinet.
 

Part of the criteria was to retain the vintage overdrive but at lower, more manageable stage volumes. We installed a Master Volume (MV) on the rear panel (as requested), which is the same MV we use on our 'V-Plex' Series Amps & is consequently the same MV we installed on all of Joe Perry's amps that were use do the last Aerosmith tour. This MV is very transparent, retains the amps original 'feel' & tone while allowing the vintage overdrive & richer low end to come through at any volume level.

 

 

Documentation – The end results were amazing & we all played several classic Skynyrd songs through it as we smiled endlessly. This is truly a great example of what an older Super Lead should be. There were some unique values that we had not seen before & these were ‘stock’ or rather were installed at the factory when the amp was first made. As with all amps that are part of Rock & Roll History, we made detailed schematics, took numerous photos & videos to properly document the amp so that the original owner or anyone else can order a duplicate through our Custom Shop. 

The amp was then placed on our proprietary Break-In Rig, was thoroughly Bench Tested & Audio Tested before being shipped back for active duty. We very much look forward to hearing this amp back in its rightful place behind Mr. Gary Rossington on stage this tour season with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
 
Many thanks for reading this & please feel free to copy this link & share it as you like!

Voodoo Amps
www.voodooamps.com
(607) 256-0465

 

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22
Dawk worked closely with Richie Blackmore of Deep Purple & Rainbow throughout the 70’s - 80’s servicing, maintaining & Modding amps as well as working on gear for the whole band. He also worked with Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath during the Ronnie James Dio era. He also worked with such acts as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi & in his final years & perhaps one of his longest stints was with the band Manowar

He had a very
special relationship with Jess Oliver of Ampeg. Jess took a liking to Dawk & soon took him under his wing. They remained close up until the day Jess passed on. He had given Dawk all of his original schematics & technical notes that he had drawn up including schematics of the amps Jess designed after he left Ampeg.

Dawk was also one of the first techs to work on Marshalls when they made their way to the states. He provided a great deal of technical support to Marshall & he was the first amp tech to install 6550’s as Marshall was having trouble with the reliability with EL34’s at the time. Marshall adopted Dawk’s suggestion & began shipping their amps with 6550’s, which proved to be more reliable until the quality of EL34’s later improved.

He also visited & worked at the Marshall factory in England for a few weeks. Founder & CEO Jim Marshall took Dawk out to dinner. Jim graciously gave Dawk a factory tour & it was during this tour where Dawk met & befriended Ken Bran. Dawk worked at the Marshall factory for 2 weeks before being called back out on the road with Richie Blackmore. Dawk is probably best known for his work on the Marshall Major amps, which is what Richie Blackmore used for many years.

Dawk lived about 30 minutes down the road from our Voodoo Amps facility (Lansing NY) & on average he by stopped by the shop once every week or two to hang out as well as to visit his brother Danny Stillwell who also worked with us as an amp tech. Dawk enjoyed coming to see what we were working on at the time, to trade or swap parts but most of the time it was to hang out & talk amps as well as the history of the business & tubes. It was very much like family coming to visit & I can safely say that they ‘broke the mold’ when they made Dawk, which he would laugh at that himself (lol).

He recounted numerous stories of his years on the road, what he did to Richie Blackmore’s amps, how he wired the electronics in Richie’s guitars & all the fun times as well as the mischief he & Richie would get into. He worked with a lot of iconic artists but he always seemed partial to Richie. About 9 months ago someone contacted Dawk & said he was writing a book on Deep Purple. He asked for Dawk’s input but after a few conversations Dawk got the sense that he was more interested in the ‘dirt’ on the band. In his own words Dawk said “No way in hell I would tell him anything that happened, those were my friends & I wouldn’t do that under any circumstances.” He was a man of principle & he was always honorable, I always admired that.

When Dawk arrived at the shop it was very similar to the TV Show ‘Cheers’ (for those who remember it) as we would always shout “Dawk!” when he walked through the door & he would smile ear to ear. He loved our little Dachshund Sasha & always called her ‘Squeaker’ as she would make squeaky like noises whenever he arrived as she was so excited to see him.

He was one of the kindest & most giving souls that I’ve ever met. He was a bright light & always brought a positive presence with him. He never stayed for less than 2-3 hours at a time & he always brightened the day. I will forever remember Dawk working on & restoring a Marshall Major in our shop. Dawk worked at his own pace & took his time, which he would happily agree with. He was incredibly methodical & his attention to detail was impressive. When it was completed, the amp looked just as it did the day it left the Marshall factory. He performed a quick bench test, took a few voltage readings & immediately turned it full up & said ‘Play some Richie (Blackmore) riffs.”

I was happy to accommodate. I played ‘Man On A Silver Mountain’, ‘Smoke On The Water’, ‘Knocking At My Back Door’, ‘Burn’ & many more. My jaw hit the ground & it was at that very time that I instantly fell in love with the sound of a well tuned Marshall Major. He gave me his tech notes on the Marshall Majors, which he had added to throughout his career as he was working on them. He also gave me what he called his ‘MTC’ (ie: Master Tone Circuit), which he designed for Richie’s guitars so that I could install it into one of my Strats. It was also an integral part of Richie’s tone but that was Dawk, he was forever inventing & fine tuning circuits.

“Dawk, I always had a good time hang out with you & loved talking shop with you. It’s incredibly hard to imagine that we will never have another conversation again, never share another meal or BBQ at the shop… even as I write this I am tearing up. You’re back home with all your friends now & we’ll all carry on as best as we can. Thank you for your friendship, your sage advice & for always being you. Say hello to Jess & Sasha for me, we’ll meet again soon, God speed my brother, God speed.” – Trace Davis, President / Founder Voodoo Amplification Inc.
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23
Monday Morning Update! Our new facility is fully operational, our phone system is working beautifully & we couldn’t be happier! As one might expect we’re still unboxing some tings here & there but over all 85% of everything has it’s home & we’ve been soldering away for several days now.

It’s been a brisk chilly morning here in Upstate NY as ‘Old Man Winter’ has finally graced us with his presence. To be fair the weather has been unseasonably warm, which we were very grateful for as it made moving a little easier verses doing so in a snow storm (lol)

Thank you one & all for all of your support, we would not be here without you! Have a great day & do a kindness for someone along the way. Back to soldering we go! – Trace Davis, President / Founder
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22
Richard Fortus of Guns N' Roses & The Dead Daisies pedal board - Note the white box with our Circle-V is a prototype of our new Talkbox set for official release at Summer Namm in Nashville TN June of 2016.

Product Info - This talkbox is full range where as traditionally talkboxes roll off the lower mids & bass frequencies resulting in a thinner tone where as this talkbox is full range giving you the same thick, meaty tone you normally have. It goes in between your amp's speaker jack & your speaker cabinet much the same as the highly sought & costly vintage talkboxes such as the Golden Throat, etc.

Richard Fortus used this on the new The Dead Daisies record & on tour. Joe Perry is using this on the 'Blue Army Tour' with Aerosmith

 

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11

Join us in paying our deepest respect to all those Veterans who have served & to those who have given their lives in service to our country as well as to those who are currently serving. We can never repay the debt but we can honor them on this day. 

 

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28
For Immediate Release - We are very pleased to announce we signed a distribution deal that will allow us to not only increase production & manufacturing of Voodoo Amps Products but also to help us set a dealer network throughout USA & abroad. To help us accommodate the increase in manufacturing of Voodoo Amps Products & Modifications we are moving our operations to Horseheads NY. The new facility is 10,000 sq ft in size & is outfitted with loading docks, lift gate service, full production size 3D printer, offices, full conference room & much more.

We will be located a ½ mile from the Elmira / Corning Regional Airport, FedEx & UPS hubs as well as 1 mile off from Highway 86. The move will begin on Thursday Oct 29th & will reopen for business as usual on Wednesday Nov 4th. Any & all deliveries will be automatically rerouted to our new facility. All Voodoo Amps Products will continue to be exclusively manufactured with the highest level of quality & tone right here in the USA.

If you are traveling through Upstate NY or are close enough to visit please call us to arrange a tour of our new factory! If you are or know a dealer who would be interested in carrying our products please email us!

New address;
Voodoo Amplification Inc
315 Daniel Zenker Dr, IST Center, Bldg 202
Horseheads, NY 14845

Phone (607) 256-0465

 

Thank you for your continued support;

Trace Davis, President / Founder

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