Mel Bay Instrumental Innovators: The Guitar Tone Collection 2 Set DVD
This 3-hour and 40-minute double DVD set explores the technical concepts of three masterful guitar amplification pioneers:
Hartley Peavey, Founder of Peavey Electronics James Brown, Chief Engineer at Kustom Amplification Ben Fargen, founder and CEO of Fargen Amplification, Hand-Crafted Guitar Amps
Each of these visionary technician/musicians discusses his personal involvement with music, technical background and goals and accomplishments as a music industry manufacturer. From fulfilling the needs of local rock bands to meeting the needs of musicians worldwide, each technician-musician has devoted his professional career to the design and manufacture of high-quality guitars and/or amplifiers.
The first disc in this two-disc set relates the history of Peavey Electronics in three segments:
This is Hartley Peavey, Part 1
This is Hartley Peavey, Part 2
Hartley Peavey Talks Tech
Peavey was the first to use CNC (computer numerical control) to commercially produce guitar parts with extremely close tolerances, forever changing the face of guitar manufacturing. “I’m doing what I’m doing not just for the money,” Peavey insists, “and I believe what I’m doing makes a difference… Nothing perfect will ever be made by the hand of man, but we keep getting closer, and closer, and closer.”
The second disc in the set presents the technical insights of amp designers James Brown and Ben Fargen. After serving an apprenticeship and contributing to amp design at Peavey Electronics, Brown became the Chief Engineer at Kustom Amplification. Guitarists Rob Fetters and Scotty Anderson join Brown to put 36 and 72-watt “Kustom Coupe” all-tube amps through their paces. A hybrid “Kustom HV” model combining tube and solid-state technology is also briefly visited.
Brown recounts his history as an electronic engineer and speaks of contributions he has made to the industry and his goals for the future. Guest artists Fetters and Anderson discuss the evolution of their performing careers and provide masterful rock and fingerstyle guitar examples to illustrate the capabilities of Kustom amplifiers.
A relative newcomer on the block, Ben Fargen is an accomplished blues/rock guitarist as well as an expert “boutique” tube amp designer. Fargen’s interest in tube amps arose from the need to repair his own small collection of vintage amplifiers. Through hands-on study and live performance Fargen accumulated an intimate knowledge of what kinds of guitars and amps go well together. He demonstrates his own gear from the newly-drilled circuit board to four finished amplifier/speaker cabinet combinations, all within the confines of his small manufacturing facility.
There is definitely something to be said for tube amps and you can hear most of it on this pair of DVDs! The end result is a video aid that would be useful to the novice electric guitarist in choosing an amplifier for a specific guitar style.