Concerning Al Nelson of Judybox Amps....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by S. Hawk Ltd., Jul 25, 2006.


  1. S. Hawk Ltd.

    S. Hawk Ltd. Member

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    I called Al tonight about an amplifier he was repairing for me...

    He has some changes happening at Judybox... Judybox is no longer a sole proprietary outfit... Al is no longer owner but, "just an employee now".... Al is the amp designer for the investors that incorporated the outfit.

    At any rate, he said that he had hired helpers at his place who are giving him a hand with amp orders for customers that has not been fulfilled. He said that he knows that he not popular here in The Gear Page so with the help he has hired that animosity may get rectified. I hope so for his sake and his customers that frequent this site...

    Al is a nice fellow. He is a physically ill person with respiratory problems. Hence the hired hands, (finally).... I met him in person when I traveled from AZ to pick up the custom amp he built for me last year. It was defective so I shipped it back and he told me tonight that it is completed and should be shipped to me soon... It would be nice to have another nice custom amp.

    Also, he mentioned that Judybox will have its own line of speakers called "Bad Betty"... Similar to Blues and Greenbacks tone... For 70 bucks...

    There is some new info on the website...

    Al, if you read this I wish you good luck.

    Gerry

    http://judybox.com/index.htm
     
  2. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

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    DT, and Matte..
    I didnt know that Al still had Matte's amp. Get in touch. I live in Austin, I will go get it.
    LK
     
  3. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

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    I have never met Al, nor have I ever ordered a Judybox amp. i have no predisposed opinions one way or the other.

    However, this topic (Judybox, etc.) is one of those "this top[ic will never go away" topics. I think I remember reading about Al, his issues, and Judybox on Harmony Central (when HC was for adults) going back to 1937. Seems like the topic has been hanging around for decades.
     
  4. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    Man, I was around HC in 1998-2000 or so, and I don't remember the Judybox issues. I guess I was all wound up in the Full-Drive/Blues Jr craze. :)
     
  5. S. Hawk Ltd.

    S. Hawk Ltd. Member

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    Thats cool DT, but for the record man; it was frustrating personally on getting the amp he built for me after he kept telling me it was completed, (one that is based on yours) and then it never being shipped. This induced me to make the drive to Austin in Sept. of '05. The amp itself was not operating properly after a couple of days in my possession, hence my shipping it back to Al. I began this project immediately after hearing your samples, so it has been a good while for me.
    In any event, I finally reached him on the phone to discuss my amp last evening. He said that it was completed. He mentioned that he needed to make good on the amp projects for folks that ordered amps. He did mention someone by the last name of (Henderson)? I didn't catch the first name... whose amp was completed as well.
    I wish Al well in his new venture... As it is very difficult and wasted energy(for ME at least) to be cursing and wishing ill will on another human being...
    At any rate per the conversation yesterday, I inferred that he wants to restore his reputation.
    I hope that his health improves and makes good on his dealings with everyone...

    Gerry
     
  6. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    Wow, the new amps are made in China. That is a big change.
     
  7. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

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    By the way, which pedal is best to get Phil-in's tone? ;)
     
  8. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the tip David; that's why I love TGP.

    :AOK
     
  9. S. Hawk Ltd.

    S. Hawk Ltd. Member

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    It is! Al gave a synopsis of what was happening. The company was sold to investors. Al is to be the amp designer as mentioned in my first post. He traveled to China with two young men (people he knows well and who he had trained in electronics skills to his satisfaction). The men in turn will "supervise" and train highly skilled workers to build the amps. Al was adamant in mentioning that there is to be NO child labor involved...
    Quality parts, ie, chassis, point to point circuit boards, componernts, etc. are to used... then shipped to Al, then distributed to dealers.... A lot happening for Al...
    He mentioned that the amps should on a par to the Dr Z type amps... and affordable.
    I wish Al would post so that he could give the accurate run down...
     
  10. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    I met Al (for the first time) at Summer NAMM. Seems like a nice fellow. We discussed a few circuits and various infamous amp builders etc. When I'd brought up TGP and the negative posts and perceptions of him (and other boutique builders) , he was pretty calm and straightforward about it. He'd explained his respiratory problems prevented him from inhaling even the slightest amount of saw dust or solder fumes, and that made it "very difficult" to complete the backlog. He claimed it was "4 maybe 5" amps he owed anyone for construction or repairs. Seems like a nice guy. He said he expected to clean up the backlog "by summer's end" so he could focus on the new import business.

    The amps are to be point-to-point wired Chinese made tube amps, based on Al's designs. The prototype I saw in the booth was a single 12 2 X 6L6 combo with matching ext. cabinet. It was in a sort-of 50's two tone tolex. Danny Glick was doing some serious slide on it, and it sounded really nice. It didn't have a tone of clean headroom, but it worked well for how Danny was using it. I didn't get close enough to get that much detail, as I got called back to my booth for a meeting.

    Not that it should make Matte feel any better but another legendary builder has a very famous/respected studio guitarists amp for almost 5 years for "a repair". Pretty pathetic in my book.
     
  11. big mike

    big mike Fixed Bias Moderator Staff Member

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    China hand wired amps.

    Sorry.. this bugs me.

    Hope everyone gets their situation rectified. Shame. VERY pathetic for an amp to be MIA for anyone. Let alone someone in the biz that uses it for a living.
     
  12. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    Big Mike: (and others) GET USED TO IT !

    More and more companies are moving production (entire products and/or sub assemblies) to China. Vox, Marshall, Ampeg, Crate, Hartke, Peavey, and many others for sure. It seems every time I wonder "how someone can sell something that cheap" one look on the back of the chassis shows "Made in China". sad
     
  13. big mike

    big mike Fixed Bias Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh I know Andy. I know.

    But I still hate it.
     
  14. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    A local store has a Judybox Tweed w/ 1x15", sort of a Tweed Pro - it sounds wonderful! It's at the store where Danny Click (I think it's the same guy - long blonde hair, from San Rafael CA?), who demo'd Judybox amps at Summer NAMM, works.

    I get to play Wed pm w/ Danny - that'll be fun. Great slide player, good guy.

    Anyway, I wish Al well. I'm not comfortable with PTP amps built in China, but as Andy pasted, I guess I'd better get used to it.

    Dana O.
     
  15. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    Hey Dana, say hi to Danny for me. Nice guy, great player, enjoy the gig, as I'm sure it will be a "hoot".
     
  16. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    I knew someone would eventually start building hand-wired amps in China. Given that most of high price of these amps are due to labor, it only makes sense.

    I didn't notice the Judybox booth at NAMM, but I did have a chance to play some of the Chinese-made Eastman guitars. They were very nice -- and my understanding is that they are made by luthier types as opposed to assembly-line worker types.

    There's no reason a high-quality point-to-point amp can't be made in China. Imagine a Two Rock, Carr, Bad Cat or a Bruno for $600.
     
  17. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    True enough.

    I hope it works as well in practice as it does in theory, for Al's sake.

    I'm looking forward to playing w/ Danny. I'll say "HI" for you Andy.

    Dana O.
     
  18. PLAYLOUD

    PLAYLOUD Member

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    Second here, we're becoming a country of consumers instead of producers. It will continue to further deteoriate the middle class, with most of us being left in the poor population.
     
  19. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I can't believe that amp is still there! If its the same one, I was there when it was unpacked, last year. It does sound wonderful!!

    All turnaround complications aside, Judybox Amps would be completely ignored if there wasn't some magic in the amps that finally make it out.

    - T
     
  20. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Yeah, if it works.
    I heard those $800 pedals have reliability issues...I heard it on the internet.
    ;)

    I pray for the day when we can finally decied, once and for all what really is the BEST O/D pedal.
     

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