The Ron Apple Memorial Bass Cabinet

This is a bass cabinet I customized for a friend. I didn’t do the paint job—it was already painted when I got my mitts on it. This cab started life in the 1980’s as a Peavey 115. Typical Peavey gear, nothing fancy but it got the job done.  One 15″ driver in a vented cab.  The cab was a mix of plywood and particle board, tolexed, with one 1/4″ jack and one strap handle on top. I don’t know how many times this cab changed hands, but I do know that in the ’80’s it belonged to Ron Apple, who played bass in the Bohemians.  The Bohemians nearly comprised the… Read More »The Ron Apple Memorial Bass Cabinet

Back to work on the Pelvis Amp

After months of inaction due to creative and logistical roadblocks, I’m finally back to work on the Pelvis hi-fi amp. Which is not to say that it will be done next week or anything–it’s still fighting for time with the bathroom remodel, and Karin’s been cracking the whip there.  No rest for me until I’m done with: floor drywall tubular skylight medicine cabinet vanity/sink paint baseboards But meanwhile, I am able to embezzle a few minutes here and there, and I’ve just overcome one of the major obstacles in the way of keeping a side project going;  I’ve built a workbench!  No more soldering and computing at the same tiny… Read More »Back to work on the Pelvis Amp

Terminal Port Experiments on a 2 cu ft cab

Here’s an example of me getting too excited about a project or experiment to document the process along the way. So here are a couple’after’ photos of a recent experiment adding vents to my used-to-be-a-combo closed cab. I modeled the frequency response along the way with WinISD, working backward: tweaking the tuning frequency until the length of vents matched the thickness of the baffle for a given number & diameter of ports. The results were not good. As soon as I started making ports, the cab got louder, but the treble became obnoxious. Adding more ports increased bass response, but did nothing about the harsh treble. By the time I… Read More »Terminal Port Experiments on a 2 cu ft cab

Masco CM20

So I go to the lumber yard today to pick up a used 2×6 from the Away Station.  Carrie, who runs the place, is writing up my tag for the wood and asks if there’s anything else I’m looking for.  I tell her I’m always looking for old tube gear and she has me write down my number, says she’ll put me on the “want” list.  I walk away assuming nothing will come of it–most likely the scrap of paper with my number on it will wind up blown into a corner of the shed. Half an hour later Carrie’s on my answering machine.  Some dude on his way to… Read More »Masco CM20

Unrecognizable Whitey

Or, how to ensure that you are thoroughly searched by the TSA. I recently traveled to Boston for an outrageously large shindig celebrating my mom’s 80th.  We have a huge extended family there, mostly around Malden and Everett.  I stayed with my cousin Allison and her husband Gary.  I got to blathering to Gary about my amp hobby, and offered me Gary Jr’s old amp since no one was using it and it was just sitting out on the porch.   I was intrigued and immediately wanted it, though I had my doubts about getting it home on the plane. The amp comes by its nickname honestly.  The faceplate has… Read More »Unrecognizable Whitey

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

FILLING 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup maple syrup 2 1/2 tbsp bourbon 2 tbsp butter 2 tbsp flour 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 3 large eggs 1 cup toasted pecans Toast the pecans in a skillet over medium-high heat. Be careful, keep ’em moving. Once they reach a certain temperature they go from toasted to burnt right quick. Everything else, throw in a blender and blend. Toss the pecans and blended mixture in a bowl and mix, then pour into prepared crust. Bake at 400 for 5 minutes, then 350 for about 30 minutes.

The Green Manalishi nears completion

New photos of the Green Manalishi showing the faceplate, etc. Still need to take some video to show the magic eye and tremolo in action. Here are some photos of the process of creating the patina for the faceplate. I basically started with a sheet of weldable steel, rusted the hell out of it with salt water, rubbed of most of the orange oxide, rubbed on some instant gun blue…allowing for drying in between stages. Then a final coat of penetrating oil with teflon.

1948 Farnsworth radio phonograph


This is a recent acquisition from the Away Station. I like it so much I’m considering keeping it a radio. It was built in 1948, and I bet if I just replace 1 tube and the electrolytic capacitors, it’ll work just fine. Philo Farnsworth was famous for inventing television, but his company made radios and such as well. There’s a statue of him outside the building where I work. George is a fan of technical innovators.

The donut has landed.

Antek AS-2T350 toroidal power transformer for the current hi-fi project.  Weird looking.  Never used one before, but they come well recommended, and cheap.