they needed, they’d kick me out.
The first time that happened I
thought it was just one of those
things, and then the second time
it happened it kind of bothered
me. You know, sometimes when
it rains it pours. I had a little
shop in my basement so if our
bass player needed a bass then
I’d build him one and it was easy.
I thought everybody knew how
to do that. So, when I got thrown
out of the third group, I had to Hartley often doodled iterations of his now-famous logo during high school.
do a very difficult thing. I had to
look in the mirror and be totally and completely honest with myself and I said, “Okay
big boy. Looks like you’re not going to be
a rock star so what are you going to do?”
The answer was clear. I love music and I love
musicians, so I’ll just become what every
musician has always told me they wanted to
find: somebody to build good gear at a fair
price for them. I’ve been doing it ever since.
How did you turn the corner as an
truth. The reality is they
didn’t think about gain staging and they didn’t know
the first thing that should
overload is the power amp
and then the pre-drive.
The last thing that should
overload is the front end
for good dynamic range
and they didn’t do it that
way. Ironically, most of
the amplifiers that are
thought to sound good by
today’s standards were not
designed by engineers!
A lot of people seem to think there was
magic to it back then, but I quickly learned
that wasn’t the case. In fact, if you look
through some of the old Fender catalogs or
the old Gibson catalogs, they’d go on and
on about the amps being free of distortion
when nothing could be further from the
We should talk about tubes here. Many
people identify with Peavey products that
were very popular during the solid-state
era, but you certainly know your way
around a vacuum tube. Put the solid-state
thing into perspective for me.
You know I’ve been seeking the Holy Grail