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It seems to me that TQR just gets better and better. It was very late the other night when I picked up the mail but there was the latest TQR in the pile and I made the mistake of reading the cover page on SRV's amp. I was hooked. I could barely keep my eyes open, but damn it, I had to find out how the story of Meth Boy ended. Great story value!

Then, the issue before that on Walter Trout. I did not know that Walter did his undergrad work with Mayall's Bluesbreakers. I've been spinning Walter's stuff for years. In fact, some days, only Walter's searing, smokin strat leads will do.

I love the interviews that you do. Very interesting and always informative.

Thanks, yet again, for opening my eyes to another great amplifier.  I just picked up a hand-wired Vox AC30 with blue Celestion alnico speakers.  I read your article on your purchase and the subsequent upgrades you performed.  I've never had any Vox, much less an AC30, so I was intrigued.  When I plugged into this one, I was amazed at how pure, full, and just sweet, this amp sounds.  I'll probably keep it in its current state for at least a bit, and then look at possible improvements like those you mentioned in your article.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Last, I was trolling for new music the other day at CD Warehouse, a favorite haunt for used and sometimes unusual music. I picked up a copy of John Hiatt & the Goners CD titled "Beneath This Gruff Exterior". When I got home, I noticed on the back cover that one of the band members looked a lot like the Sultan of Slide, Sonny Landreth. The liner notes verified that, indeed, Sonny was playing on the cd. It made me happy. There isn't a bad track on the whole disk. Pretty funky stuff. Sonny's slide work makes it special. If you're not doing some butt-cheek dancing while listening to this cd, you're probably need to shop for a casket.

Thanks and keep 'em coming,
Randy Brei

Just letting you know how the TQR is still the one I wait for each month. I had a few brown Fender amps over the years and didn't even know they made a brown Vibrolux until last year, when your features ran in March and April, if I recall correctly. When the latest issue arrived with the Dumble on the cover, I counted myself lucky to have bought my ODS when they were still in the 4 digit range and then when I turned the page, there was another mention of the brown Vibro. That was too much. I took it as a sign that I had to do something.

When I was in LA for the Jan. NAMM show, I saw a brown Vibro at one of the booths and figured I would try to get it for a little less on Sunday. Wrong move. It was gone when I went back. On Monday, the other guys from our shop saw one at Truetone in Santa Monica . Unfortunately, I wasn't there with them. After I read you latest issue, I called Truetone and couldn't believe they still had the amp. All original except for speaker and electrolytics. Got it yesterday, installed a Tubby hemp 1E and turned it up. Great, great amp. Your raves about it are well founded. One of the best vintage amps I've bought in many, many years.

By the way, I agree whole heartedly with your assessment of the brown and black Vibroverbs being overrated. At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, I must add the narrow panel tweed Bassman to the overrated list. I've owned 2, still have one, which is very healthy, having been gone through by Cesar Diaz prior to my purchase, and frankly, I don't see the magic. It is a really good amp, but not great. My narrow panel tweed Pro kicks any tweed Bassman I've ever heard. Oh well, so much for my ranting.

I love the fact that you are free to say when something is overrated. Doesn't happen in any other publication, which is why TQR is such a valuable resource and great read.

Kimo Leong, Coconut Grove Music

I wanted you to know how much I enjoy Tone Quest and how helpful it is. I have since reading the first Tone Quest, used many of your suggestions. I now own a Callaham Strat, it took a long time but it is one of the best guitars I have ever played. Bill Callaham also brought my 66 Vibroluxe up too speed, he worked on my 1959 ES 175 and installed Tome Holmes pick-ups I bought that I learned about from reading your magazine. He installed tone tubby speakers I bought, that I learned about from Tone Quest and I decided to buy the 1995 Les Paul 58 historic from Chris Ruth after reading your August issue. I didn't search for him I just searched for a 95 to 99 re-issue and found Chris. It is a stab in the dark to trust people on e-bay or the internet, so having him mentioned in Tone Quest helped close the deal. I know you have a disclaimer about the opinions expressed but they have all been correct so far.

Tone Quest is like Methadone for guitar addicts; it keeps me in check and keeps me informed. I was a customer of John Sprung when he had a shop in Wheaton Maryland; he preached "buy up some Les Paul Junior and specials" back when they were $300-$500, I didn't know or listen. I wasn't in touch with tone. My amp was a Kustom 200 with 2x10" and 2x15" and I played a 1960 Grestch Anniversary….my ears still hurt. Even Gill Southworth gave good advice when he was on Macarthur Boulevard, he said to buy 1960-1962 Les Pauls when they where under $1000. And talked about PAF's. But it was hard to trust him and I suppose money is relative to the times, $1000 was a lot of money in 1985.

Any way thanks again for your efforts,
Philip Mudd

I recently paid for the subscription to Tonequest and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your publication. I have read every issue this past year from cover to cover, on planes, trains, and in automobiles, taking Tonequest with me on business trips to London and the Middle East.

I "discovered" Tonequest on a Google search for Joe Bonamassa, downloaded all the sample issues of Tonequest that I could find and read them all in a couple sittings, captivated by their content.

I suppose your intended audience is professional musicians. I am a 52 year old electrical engineer with more guitars and equipment than I have ability and time. I'm trying to take my guitar skills to the next level and will use the information provided in Tonequest to improve my tone and, thus, the enjoyment I get from playing & learning the guitar. I enjoy all the information and interviews each month. I will be relying on Tonequest to give me the info I need to buy a great sounding amplifier in the near future. In the meantime, I'm planning a long music-filled weekend in Clarksdale, MS. Who would have thought about relaxing for a weekend in Mississippi? Tonequest has expanded my musical world. Keep up the great work.

Randy Brei, Lake Ridge, VA

First of all, congratulations on THE BEST source of guitar & amp related info out there - bar none! I look forward greatly to receiving my copy each month. As a pro player, I appreciate the no BS approach - as we say in Oz, just fair dinkum stuff! After reading about Tone Pros hardware in TQR, I have installed their bridges & tailpieces on my '79 Les Paul Standard, '94 Les Paul Custom and '82 335 DOT. The improvement has been great. I read in your Sept. '04 article about the Firebird that you recommend raising the tailpiece off the body of the guitar for added tone & sustain. I have always screwed the tailpieces down tight, believing that this transfers more vibrations to the body. However, I am going to try your recommendation on my LP Standard for this weekend's gigs. What height do you recommend raising the tailpiece off the body?

I also read with interest your article about the blonde '82 335 DOT that you upgraded (mine is a cherry red). As I said, I have already added the Tone Pros hardware. I have actually been quite satisfied with the stock pickups (I bought the guitar new in 1982), but after reading that the ones on yours 'sucked beyond belief', I am considering purchasing a set of '57 Classics as replacements - after all these years I could be in for a pleasant surprise! Anyway, thanks again for a great publication - I keep all my issues, and they are great source of reference, information and enjoyment.

Let the Quest continue! Regards,
David Hinds
Port Macquarie, NSW 2444

I have been a subscriber since the very first issue. Since then I have relied heavily on your advice regarding all musical supplies & because of you have purchased the following: Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster, Lehle 3X1, Startouch A/B/AB, PRS (Swamp Ash) Guitar, Harmonic Design Pickup for my Strat (the one that sounds like a P90), Tone Tubby Hemp Cone Speakers, Ultimate Attenuator, Klon Centaur, Tubes from Lord Valve, as well as a few more things that I can`t think of off the top of my head.

My pride & joy is a Roccaforte Hi-Gain Custom flame amp. I read the original article you did on Doug Roccaforte & really could relate to his philosophy on amps, so much so that I entered one of his giveaways & won this fantastic amp.
All in all, everything (I repeat, EVERYTHING) that you have featured in ToneQuest that I have bought has been exactly as you stated, the best!

Thank you for having developed the Tonequest Report for all of us musicians who are striving (but will never actually attain) the ultimate tone. It brings us all so much closer than what we were.

Bill Martin

I've gotten the first few issues of my subscription and all I can say is Damn you - you're feeding my obsession to unfathomable heights - what a cool, but highly dangerous, not to mention, potentially expensive, publication. Before reading ToneQuest, I wanted for nothing - now, just a short few weeks later, I want for everything from old Marshall 20 watt pa amps (and now Marshall are reissuing 20 watt amps) to Fender tube reverb units. Damn you! And to make it worse, you've featured my genius amp guru tech Fred Taccone - now it'll take years for him to service my vintage obsessions...

All kidding aside - thank you for such an inspirational publication, keep up the good work,
Hal Lindes

I'm a customer of both Lou Rosano's and Eric Miller (Hands on Guitars) and more recently a customer of yours.

I'm dropping you a note to say how much I appreciated seeing the write-up on the Lou's KR12. I've been a fan of Lou's for 10 years and a customer for nearly just as long. I've picked up a few of his amps since then and while I'd be the first to admit that one piece of equipment isn't going to be right for every player, Lou's gear has always done right by me.

I used to use my '66 Super on all of my live gigging situations and decided to retire the amp due to wear from in/out of vans and clubs. I was worried that I'd be compromising my sound, and to the contrary, Lou's 4x10 (with Master Volume Feature) not only sounds better than my Super, but its the first amp I've ever used without any overdrive units. I've been going Guitar...Amp. Its actually changed the way I play. I find myself playing much more tastefully than I had when I was smoothing out my sound with pedals. Overall, I play less. The overdrive I'm getting from Lou's 4x10 feels so much more real than what I've been leaning toward using pedals. Its nice to have the discipline of having to get all the sounds from the guitar, the amp...the whole thing comes so much more from me than from gear.

Eric has been working on my guitars since my days in Boston (1990...yikes, getting old), and I just think he's the best there is. His work is so far ahead of what I've come across that I am willing to bear the cost of shipping my instruments across country to get them in his hands.

Anyway, sorry for the gushing praise, but both Eric and Lou had turned me on to your magazine and I've recently gotten a subscription and look forward to more. I really appreciate the vibe of what your doing. I don't feel like I'm being sold to, which is why I haven't really been into guitar magazines in general. So, thanks for the Great Service you provide.

Best regards and take good care,
David Kolker

I've been a subscriber to the TQR almost since the beginning. And I couldn't be happier! The articles and products reviewed are always right-on-the-money. And the pun is intended. Great equipment, and at musician friendly prices.

I have purchased probably 15 things recommended by the TQR and what's really amazing is I still have and use every one! For example, I have purchased a Roccaforte Custom 18, Lollar and CRCoils P/U's, Teese Wah, Analog Man custom efx. etc.

The best part is sharing my experiences and equipment with friends. Most of these products are not mainstream and are far superior to the average name products.

Thanks and keep 'em comin'!
Ernie Santella

First off, I would like to thank you for producing a publication that I absolutely enjoy examining from cover to cover. (You also have a confirmed addict in my 15 year old son who is the real guitarist in the family!) Thanks again for your excellent and strongly anticipated publication.

Tom Franklin

I received the strings and picks a little over a week ago and in the rush of madness that's an excuse for life these days, I forgot to express my thanks... you have a great Mag... I'm constantly learning and growing, specially with the help and advice you give each new issue and that's not including going back and discovering something new I missed the first time!

Happy Holidays,
Michael Amadio

Just wanted to say thank you for replacing my damaged back issues. Very kind of you.

Also, I want to say thanks for having Todd Sharp as part of Tone Quest Report, and for highlighting his CD. I was down in Reno over Labor Day Weekend at the Ribs and Blues Festival to see Delbert McClinton. I had seen him before in Reno, and always try to catch his shows, but never knew who was in his band. So I was very pleasantly surprised when Delbert was introducing the band, and I heard and recognized Todd Sharp's name from TQR. I perked up, got closer to the stage, and was treated to a very inspiring performance. Todd's tone was excellent, his finger-style playing was brilliant and just so good to hear.

The best part was when Todd did a number off of his new CD - Widowmaker. Oh man... so I immediately went over and bought a copy, and I have to say, this is one of the best CD's I have ever heard. What great music. It is playing as I write this.

One more time that TQR has introduced me to something that has really added a lot to my life. Gotta love it. Thanks again.

Just to let you know that Tonequest is my preferred guitar mag, so please keep up the good work. I have learned much more about guitars and tone from reading only a few issues compared to over a year's subscriptions to the popular mags, whose only interest seems to be advertising and pushing new, no-talent bands.

Just wanted to pas on some comments about your great magazine. Subscribing to ToneQuest has to be the best investment I have ever made. I've already improved the tone of my rig to a substantial degree. I've installed Lollar P90s in my Les Paul, raised the tail bar and installed a new Jensen Alnico in my Deluxe Reverb. Now if I could just get rid of that pickup buzz...


Thank you for the email. I am so thoroughly enjoying my new TQR subscription! I'm glad I got all the back issues as well, because I can't seem to get enough. Who would have guessed that discussions of things like output transformers could be so riveting? I appreciate the in-depth nature of the content, as you give an interview room to roam. Much better to plumb the depths of several topics than to gloss over many more. You've found the perfect formula for you publication, and you strike the perfect tone with it. Yes, I'll be glad to complete the string survey soon.

Great job, thanks, and best wishes,
George McCausland

Your publication, which I also consider "my" publication, is good for the economy. Between me and my friends (longtime tone freaks and current Tonequest faithful), we have purchased a Gibson Firebird, a few cool pedals, multiple Callaham trem blocks, and we are on the verge of leaping into both Barden and Kinman pickups and Tone Tubbies. We have also kept Todd Sharp busy with tube amp repairs and refinements. One of my bragging points is having a complete set of TQRs, and I often revisit for advice from your experts. Love those Pyramids – you've spoiled me for life!

Dan Jarvis

I received my 2x12 hemp cone Tubbies today. They were installed as replacement speakers in my Budda SuperDrive 80.

Wow. What a difference. I have never heard a speaker with a response like this. Very smooth from clean all the way up to Duane Allman (at the Fillmore) to The Wall tone. And no cone cry at all. I could not be more happy. An amazing speaker!

Thank you so much for recommending them in ToneQuest.

Just renewed my subscription for the third time. I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy and have used your publication. Even though Tonequest pursues it's "quest" regardless of cost($), It has saved me money. I purchased a 12" and a 15" Eminence Legend Series speaker at your recommendation, and love 'em. I also own a Weber 12" speaker in my Allen Amp(great amps by the way). I Don't have the money to do "trial and error" and are grateful you folks do it for me. I also just recently Blackfaced an early 70's Pro Reverb, in part due to the info provided by Todd Sharp in the Dec 2000 article. Please thank him for me! By the way, I think Fender Silverface amps are a steal in today's market, so if you know where I could pick up some cheap ones... let me know. I am disappointed that I have not won any of the cool giveaways yet. I shared this info with Liz. I really appreciate the fact that in the past you took the time to talk with me on the phone. I've had real crappy customer service from others in this field. Thanks a million and feel free to contact me for ANY reason-I'd love to hear from you.

Greg Hradisky

I have been a subscriber for a little over a year. I enjoy the publication and have found some of the articles useful. However, a recent column by Eric Miller, Hands on Guitars in your Q&A (February) actually changed my life, gigwise.

I am a former professional musician that now only plays in a (great!) band on the weekends. At this point in my life I can afford good gear, but I tend to get attached to special pieces that deliver in a live setting. One guitar I love is a 54' Oxblood Les Paul (a Custom Shop Historic copy of the Jeff Beck Blow by Blow Les Paul). It has been with me on many gigs and is VERY resonant.

However, in the last year, the bridge PU would howl in high volume/solo situations. I had the PU potted. No good. I got a replacement from Gibson--same problem. I loved the sound of the original PU and did not want to change it, but was at my wits end. The guitar was a home-use-only for the last year--and then I read Eric's article.

I got another set of PU springs and added that for stiffness, and overfilled the PU cavity with dense foam and put her back together. The end result is I have my guitar back and it is ready for the next gig. I am very happy with the sound--it's unchanged, but no howl. His practical advice helped me realize that the PU was not really the problem; the guitar is so "alive" that I needed to isolate the PU from some of the crazy vibrations.

It sounds great and is still all original and now ready to rock LA (Lower Alabama!) once again.

I respectfully suggest more great insight from Eric Miller!

Steve Hal

Thank you for the interview with Ken Parker, it was genuinely fascinating. I don't think I've read a better piece on guitars anywhere,
and seldom found an interview on any topic so interesting. This is my second visit to your site. I flirted with the idea of subscribing the
first time, but now I am convinced.

Yours with warm regards,
David Petersen

ToneQuest is kick-ass! Renew my subscription ASAP, and thanks a million. You guys rock!

Craig Olson

Great report on testing all different tubes in the Hiwatt 50! We all know that the expensive vintage and NOS stuff is supposed to sound better but we all can't afford that stuff. Since I'll never pay $225 for a pair of Mullards, it really helps to see a report of what the $20 tubes sound like. Keep up the good work!

Dale Smotherman

I am not sure who wrote the article about the Japanese reissue stratocasters but I have to say it was a HUGE help. I am an acoustic guitar player, mainly playing classical and flamenco, but recently discovered how much fun electrics can be. I got a great deal on a used Danelectro U2 reissue ($100.00) and a used Fender blues junior ($250.00). I love playing both of these together but after reading the article on the "Tone Monster" Japanese reissue strat, I just had to get one also.

I went to my local Fender dealer here in Newnan, Georgia just to try out their US reissues and fell in love with the 57's with the V necks. I didn't fall in love with the $1000.00+ price tag so I reread your article and decided to try and duplicate what you did. I got lucky my first time on Ebay and won an auction for a black Japanese reissue 54 strat made in 1997. After shipping, the grand total was $460.00. The guitar turned out to be a great deal because the seller had already replaced the stock pickups with Seymour Duncan SSL-1 vintage single coils and had professionally refretted the neck with medium jumbos. This guitar now plays better than the US 57 reissue at the music store in Newnan - I love the Japanese oval V neck on this guitar. I figure it will take another $75.00 - 100.00 to replace the pots and have a new shallow nut cut for this guitar. The aforementioned music store has a really good guitar tech who said he can do these mods fairly easily. I now have a similar guitar to yours and it is going to cost a grand total of $535.00 - $560.00 when it is finished.

Thanks again for the great article,
John Lewis, Newnan, Georgia

I am a charter subscriber to TQR and it is by far the BEST publication in the guitar PLAYER world. I hope it is a roaring success because I can't wait for every issue.

Fred Anstine, Branson, MO

I find your publication amazingly informative and the best source for insight into the technical and spiritual aspects of the guitar. Please don't stop producing such needed and enjoyable information and articles.

John A. Chapman, Yonkers, NY

TQR is the absolute best publication in the music biz. The articles on rebuilding the Japanese Strat and the Epiphone were GREAT! I'm going to try both of those recipes. Encore!

Also, thanks for shining the spotlight on some unrecognized fantastic players, especially Sonny Landreth. He's hands down The Best slide player - ever. I may be a little prejudiced being from Lafayette, LA, myself, but I've never seen anything like him.

And I'm looking forward to the upcoming interview with Terry McInturff. I was lucky enough to win a beautiful McInturff Royal at the Dallas Guitar Show in March of this year (thanks to Musicians' Hotline) and Man, is it Sweet!

Thanks again for a top notch publication,
Johnny Rachal, Lafayette, LA

Thanks for the back issues. It's great to have a publication like this where I don't have to wade through 50 pages of ads to find one page of good info. I've already used Todd Sharp and Dr. Z as resources for improving my tone, and I have a Dr. Z MAZ 18 on order.

Thanks again!
Mike Small

Thank you for putting together some of the most informative and useful information a guitarist could possibly need. I have been a subscriber since day one and have learned more about "TONE" this past year than I have in the previous 20 years of playing guitar daily. Really... I'm a huge fan!

Sincere thanks,
Paul Thornton, Covington, GA

I have enjoyed every issue of the Tone Quest Report. I know you don't have "advertisers", but the high quality of articles from your editorial board members has resulted in the following, in the Quest for Tone... I have purchased and now proudly enjoy: Victoria Deluxe, Victoria Bassman (head), Klon Centaur, Harmonic Designs Z-90 (for 78' LP), Tom Holmes HB (for Brian Moore LP copy), Lindy Fralin SC's (for strat), NOS tubes from KCA and NBS (I live in Denver), upgraded speaker from Weber VST.

After listening to Sonny Landreth CD South of I 15 I am considering a Demeter Amp.

I will discuss with my guitar tech the merits of a different Tremolo block for the strat.

FYI, I owned a used Vibro King for 30 days, anyway, there is a very overdriven, power amp distortion sound within the VK that your readers might find interesting. Turn volume to 10 BUT turn all tone knobs to maybe just half of 1, barely on. This sound will not make your ears bleed from volume. Experiment and enjoy.

Suggestion for future article... Rick Hamel, S.I.B. St. Louis, MO. makes some excellent tube pedals. I have his Varidrive(overdrive) and Echodrive (analog tube delay) both are awesome. I have NO stake, interest what so ever in his business.

Randy Eisen, Sedalia, CO

I have checked out your site a few times and think it's great. It is also long overdue. It's great to have an advisory board made up of players, amp techs, builders and others who have first hand knowledge of guitar tone. I am looking forward to when it's completely finished. Too many people waste money buying equipment trying to get the tone they want by listening to manufactures HYPE. Now hopefully they can get honest advise from people who have used products and know what they are talking about. I personally know a few of persons on the advisory board and can back up their integrity and honest opinions. Keep up the good work.

Big Bill in Michigan

David, Thanks so much for tracking down the '69 pickups for me. I called immediately and was able to get them from the store you had called! I'm really looking forward to the new (old) tone!

You rule!
Melvin McGee

I am one of your current subscribers. I am really enjoying the monthly read, and I can see my approach to gear changing because of the information you are putting out. I have not gotten your particular slant on gear out of any other mags, for sure. Last weekend, I went to the Dallas Vintage Guitar Show. I really appreciate the Stevie Ray exhibit you sponsored. It brought back lots of good memories of seeing him in Austin when he was practically a kid.

Phillip G. Irby, Kaufman, TX

Just wanted to let you know that I am done working on my Strat. I took all Rene's recommendations, as well as getting Schaller F stye machineheads (to replace worn out Grovers from a previous owner) and a vintage bridge assembly from John Sprung. I filed the nut a bit to accommodate the heavier strings, carefully did the setup and now the guitar stays in amazingly good tune, even after tremolo dive bombing! Plus with three springs instead of four my tremolo is much less stiff and easy to use. I'm amazed and very very pleased. Thanks immensely for your help, I have a difficult time putting the guitar down now!

Barrett McDevitt

Thank you guys very much for the TQR. I was sold on it after I received one of the best tips ever from you for free. It was the tube substitution guide. I put 12AT's in my midi tube pre amp and It took the gnarly edge off it's sound. It also gave it more headroom and enabled me to crank the pre drives up to get sustain rather than just dirt.

I have a quick question. I have a chance to get my hands on a Fender 65 Tremolux. Is that amp essentially the same as a Tremoverb and will it except the mods mentioned in the "Under 40 watts of whoopass!!"article. Once again, thanks and you have a friend and subscriber on this end for life!

Mark A. Humphrey

My girlfriend recently got me a subscription to the ToneQuest Report as well as the back issues for a birthday present. I wanted to write an let you know I'm really enjoying reading them ! As a relatively new guitar player ( I switched from bass which I played in college about 15 years ago ) I'm getting lots of great information that is only touched on in most of the guitar magazines.
Keep the good stuff coming !

Maurice Bastian

Congratulations on being so busy, a tell tale sign of success. I really appreciate you taking the time to personally answer my distress call. I also received correspondence from David Boze who opened up tonal possibilities that I had not even thought about. Thanx for the everything and you will be receiving subscription request from me later in the week. You guys have what takes to make this a better sounding world


Great site, helpful, informative and fun to read. I e-mailed Dave Boze twice with questions and he was EXTREMELY helpful, I just bought a SF Super Reverb and I'm finally on the doorstep of Tone Heaven...Thanks!

Just a little note telling you that I am impressed with your gift subscription letter. I have ordered many magazines through the years and dealing with you has been a pleasure. Not only is the letter nice but the person handling this for me is very competent, in as much as everything was done as I asked.

Thank you very much,
Dragan Milovanovic