ToneQuest Report: March 2023 – Vol. 24, No. 5


In the March Issue of ToneQuest Report, we discuss Iggy and The Stooges, Valco Amps, National Glenwood Amps, and much more!

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What's Inside This Issue:

Punk, Loud, and Proud—James Williamson – Cue the pink mohawks, the jailhouse tattoos, put the amps on 11, and let’s stick it to the man. There are a handful of guitarists who have affected the world as we know it in ways that are completely unrelated to music. How about a guitarist from an iconic band who retired early, only to be eventually recognized for the improvements he made in many of the electronic products we use today? From the rowdy bar and big-time theater venue stages to Silicon Valley, a kid born in Texas and landing in Detroit and on, to reappear with his iconic band and be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We bring you James Williamson, original guitar force of Iggy and The Stooges, with a few wild and wooly tales along the road.

1964 National Glenwood Amplifier—The Rockabilly Tone Machine – A severe affinity for gear duly inspired by the ToneQuest, our friend and guest contributor Stephen Kimberley gives a personal take on the great tones of his 1964 National Glenwood. The tone? As Big Joe Williams sang “Like a big wheel rollin’ through the Georgia cotton fields.” Wide open and strong. Enjoy the ride with Steve as describes why the Glenwood is “a keeper” in his view of its remarkable features and quality build. See if you agree if it equals in incomparable tone when compared to many expensive boutique and increasingly dear classics from Fender and Gibson.

National Glenwood 90 By Mr. Valco – Terry Dobbs, aka Mr. Valco has the last word on National’s top of the line guitar amp. The Glenwood 90 is a fine example of Valco engineering for the discriminating artist. Learn more about this all-purpose universal amp with a detailed run-down and description of its authentic sound and overdriven tone, as we attest only Mr. Valco can perform. There are great values in tone to be found out there if you’re searching. Don’t overlook off-brand Valco amps if you don’t turn up a National or Supro branded Valco made amp. See if a high powered Valco like The Glenwood 90 could be in your future. TQ’s Mr. Valco never disappoints.

New Wave Vintage With Matthew Scott – There are some who say that the guitar is on the way out. That’s both hilarious and absurd. There will forever be future generations of creative souls who feel the call and who can’t help but spend their lives making music. We have enjoyed watching Houston, Texas born Matthew Scott find his wings along the path and appreciate the way he inspires others with his work. Almost two hundred thousand others, to be specific. Listen to the ride he has had thus far—his artistic influences, his passion for playing his original music, his success on his YouTube channel and his growing vintage gear collection. Matthew’s sincere never ending quest for cool and vintage guitars and amps, together with his genuine and down-home style keep ‘em coming back for more.

There’s Even More to Get Out Of A Stratocaster (Easily) – How about those times when you only have that Strat and yet, it sure would be nice to have those wonderful in-between sounds we get out of a Telecaster with both neck and bridge in parallel? David Boze shows us how easy it is to get those five lush tones and unique tones from your Stratocaster… the deep fat neck pickup, the “quacky” parallel in-between sounds of Neck/Middle or Middle/Bridge, the great middle pickup so wonderful for slide guitar, straight rock, and blues, and a great sounding bridge pickup…and easily! You’ll love having the versatility to add in Tele sounds without lugging around another guitar or any other gear. A fun and easy project to install and the outcome is two more great useful tones out of an already toneful instrument. Nobody does it better, or easier!

Amp Maniac — Carl Hartman – “Necessity is the mother of invention” or “the basis of invention is science and pleasurable intellectual curiosity?” We catch up with Carl Hartman to talk about how he arrived at building the Amp Maniac. Carl has been an electronics hobbyist since age ten. He is not a guitar player however, plays a restored Hammond 103 powered by a stereo amp he built from scratch and placed in his family room to rock out with the kids and grandkids singing Christmas carols. In full circle, since our original TQ interview with Carl in 2009 when the Amp Maniac was born, we revisit the trial-and-error process in nailing the Amp Maniac build. Why wouldn’t you want to make your amp happier and sonically sweeter? Just ask Joe Bonamassa who posted a picture on Facebook of his long sought after Dumble Amp with the Amp Maniac sitting on the floor next to the amp!

The Pagano Double Chocolate Deluxe Amp – An expert in guitar amp repair and restoration of vintage and modern tube amplifiers, and custom builds, Blackie Pagano shares a complete run-down of his build features of a vintage 1963 Fender 6G3 Brown Deluxe for restoration. Blackie’s love affair with this particular circuit design and a “wish list” from client and ace guitar player Tim Parnin, refine his attempt to honor Tim’s preferences and enduring design by Leo. Blackie sets his sights on achieving distinct goals—sonic integrity, refinement where possible, reliability, beauty and lasting value. The stage is the final destination for this gigging amp… the outcome? Tim Parnin declares “The tone and configurability of the amp is incredible.” We bet you’ll want one too!

Tim Parnin Chimes In For The Record – Tim Parnin not only plays in numerous bands such as Falling Stars and Sweet Apple he is also the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Vice President of Digital Technology. His music has been featured on the Jon Stewart Show, MTV, Sons of Anarchy and more. He also owns one of our all-time favorite guitar stores, Guitar Riot in Cleveland Ohio. Tim chimes in on his new Pagano Amp. “It truly is an amazing artistic and technical accomplishment. I fired it up the first time and it sounded freakin’ amazing. The guy next to me said, Geezus, it sounds like the Who!” Read more on Tim’s view of his favorite amp and how his new Blackie custom tweed crushes!