ToneQuest Report: June 2023 – Vol. 24, No. 8


Discover the Vibrovox Connection with Rich Lasner, Vice President of Development for Vox. Explore the fascinating history behind the ’64 Vibrolux and delve into stories of guitar legends like Eddie Van Halen, John Scofield, and Steve Vai. Unleash your rig’s potential with the Goodwood Function Junction, innovative junction boxes from Goodwood Audio that eliminate cable issues and tone suck. Experience the profound influence of Ken Fischer, aka Mr. Trainwreck, on the guitar world, as shared by Jason Arthur, JCA Circuits. Meet Clancey Compton, a skilled repairman and luthier with a passion for supreme tone. Join Jay Jay on a thrilling journey through Twisted Sister’s explosive performances and unforgettable fan encounters. Discover the versatility of the Hudson Electronics Broadcast, a pedal that combines overdrive, boost, and fuzz tones. Explore these captivating stories and unleash your musical potential.

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What's Inside This Issue:

The Vibrovox Connection With Rich Lasner – So very often the person at the other end of a guitar or amplifier transaction is anonymous. As many of us seek out vintage instruments, we are curious as to the entire story and history of the piece, which can add to the allure and appeal. With the ’64 Vibrolux that we found, looking rather clean and original on Reverb last fall, we were lucky that Rich Lasner was the seller. It turns out that Rich is the Vice President of Development for Vox and has spent his entire life around the guitar. Our chat went into a variety of amazing directions. Around one corner we’d find hang time with the Zappas, the early days with Larry DiMarzio, and guitar lessons with Ted Greene. What do firsthand experiences with Eddie Van Halen, John Scofield, Paul Gilbert, Modulus, Ibanez, Steve Vai, Prince, and Flea have in common? Crack a coldy with your feet up as we take this wild ride…

The Goodwood Function Junction – It doesn’t always have to be inspiring tones and sounds from guitars, amps or pedals that fuel our drive to play and perform better. It can be simple, well-thought-out hardware that make our rigs, both dependable and flexible. Enter Goodwood Audio’s Interfacer and Underfacer junction boxes. These ingenious designs make perfect sense for your smaller board, where perhaps a switcher like the GigRig or others on the market may take up too much real estate and do more than we need. Grant Klassen, Goodwood Audio’s owner, was very helpful when we had numerous questions about his junction boxes before becoming a customer. Depending on your gig, the venue, what would it mean if you could set up and tear down in just a few minutes? Discover how you can just play the guitar and not worry about crackling cables, ground loop hum, tone suck, and a variety of other things that get in the way of the music.

The Ken Fischer Friendship Freight Train – We’ve often heard “Our dear friends may have left the building, but they continue to live on through our experiences, memories, and what we have to say and think about them.” Jason Arthur, JCA Circuits, shares his experiences and conversations from past years with the late and legendary Ken Fischer, aka Mr. Trainwreck. Warren Haynes, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Mark Knopfler, and Billy Gibbons are known to have used Trainwreck amplifiers in the studio and on the stage for clean tone, dynamic touch response and harmonically rich overdrive. The first conversation with Ken was an education about the 5E3 circuits clipping, distortion symmetry and sag characteristics, and an explanation of the theory behind the power supply characteristics, as well as the infamous interactive volume/tone controls following gain stages—incredibly heavy. These discussions of concepts and ideas about audio electronics engineering and design continued along with a variety of topics for hundreds of hours. Ken’s legacy remains with an indelible influence on the guitar world and all of us tone hounds.

Clancey Compton, The Life of A Repairman And Luthier – Clancey’s path to becoming a guitar repairman is a fun ride and meant to be. From the same school Jason Lollar went to, and back to Texas. He has saved the day for us and our projects many times, by building the Oklahoma Barncaster, soldering endless pickup swaps and harnesses, setups, neck adjustments, and hang times over pizza and beers at our place. At first, he thought we were out of our minds with all the obsessions over supreme tone, but now he gets it. He’s a bluegrass player, wants to build guitars and to have his own repair company. He was more than happy to sit down and tell us his story.

Jay Jay’s Tales from The Twisted Road Part Three – The history of Twisted Sister, moreover, has been molded by the thousands of performances in the first ten years of our existence which ran concurrently with the greatest explosion of playing opportunities in history in the tri-state, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut club circuit. We averaged 250 playing nights a year for 10 years and averaged 3.5 shows per night. How then, does one night stand out from another? Was it a connection with a girl in the audience, something crazy like a bar fight, record breaking attendance or something a fan may have done which created a moment of indescribable insanity? This story is about one of those crazy fan nights that neither of us has ever forgotten.

The Hudson Electronics Broadcast – There are thousands of overdrives, distortions, preamps, and boost pedals, not to mention the endless varieties of fuzz circuits in existence. More are being designed and brought to market on what seems like a daily basis. Does the guitar world need more? Ariel Posen, who works diligently at his craft pumping stellar tones from his Mule Resophonic through a Two-Rock Traditional Clean, and having spent time in a band with Joey Landreth knows tone. Ariel’s collaboration with Mike Hudson, Hudson Electronics, resulted in the signature Hudson Broadcast AP. The Broadcast tones can be sculpted and tweaked to your heart’s content. As you should. The Broadcast just might replace a combination of your overdrive/boost and fuzz pedals in favor of only needing the space for one pedal on your board. The party never ends.