Hello from Kalamazoo MI

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by stratman_el84, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. stratman_el84

    stratman_el84 Member

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    Location:
    Kalamazoo MI area.
    Howdy!

    I'm a blues guitar player, 50 years old (wow, I've survived that long!?!?) and also a tube amp builder and tech from the Kalamazoo MI area. I've been playing for over 35 years, and working on tube stuff and electronics in general for nearly as long. I play actively in a regional blues band, and have recently started building tube amps for sale.

    I play a G&L Tribute Legacy Premium, and I usually play it through my Testament MK-I 20 watt 2-EL84 cathode-biased amp that I built. Here's a couple pics of my rig, minus my pedalboard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I hope I'll be able to contribute some useful info and tips, maybe help solve some problems, as well as have some interesting conversations with the quite obviously knowledgeable people I see posting here. Glad to have found you!

    :BluesBros

    Cheers!
    Strat
     
  2. eyeteeth

    eyeteeth Member

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    Welcome from Grand Rapids...

    The whole world just keeps getting smaller. :D
     
  3. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Welcome from another Grand Rapidian.

    Maybe we should all hook up at the Kalamazoo Guitar Festival this year.
     
  4. Midnight Lady

    Midnight Lady Member

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    Hi and Welcome! I'll be driving through your town tomorrow - I'll wave and say hi! :D
     
  5. RJM/rydog2223

    RJM/rydog2223 Member

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    Hey there! Awesome looking home brew amp that you have put together! I bet she sounds like a million bucks!
     
  6. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    Hello from Albuquerque, NM. My sister lives in Kalamazoo. Great town! I'll be there this summer. Maybe I'll stop in and try one of your amps, if that's okay?
     
  7. lannyhall

    lannyhall Member

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    I stopped by Kalamazoo on Good Friday around 2000. I went by the old Gibson factory, and was very disappointed to find that Heritage was closed that day. However, it ended up that a couple of guys came by the factory anyway to get some work done, and I was still there. They let me in and showed me around. It was really nice. I went out to eat with Rendal Wall, and everyone was just great.
     
  8. Ken I

    Ken I Silver Supporting Member

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    Welcome aboard!
     
  9. harvestmark

    harvestmark Member

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    Hello from Lansing, Michigan!
    Mark Miller
     
  10. Pa'ani

    Pa'ani Supporting Member

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    Hi Stratman El84,

    Welcome to The Gear Page!
     
  11. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Welcome to The Gear Page... from Ypsilanti, Michigan!
     
  12. stratman_el84

    stratman_el84 Member

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    Location:
    Kalamazoo MI area.
    Hey, thanks all for the warm welcome!

    A couple of you I recognize from other forums, like Gennation, so with fine people like you on the board, I know that I'm in the right place! :D

    Rydog, thanks for the kudos on the Testament MK-I! I'm quite proud of it. I'd been considering starting to build amps for sale for a very long time, but hadn't had the resources or time to take on a costly and time-intensive project like this until recently, when I became disabled and on SSD, and two very very good friends who knew me and my abilities and knowledge well decided to pitch in to get me up and running.

    This is the first of the MK-I's, with hopefully many more to follow. I've been told that it somewhat resembles a Dr.Z Carmen Ghia design, but louder and more aggressive with more clean headroom. It's an *extremely* loud 20 watts, and with moderately efficient speakers, is more than enough for a 4-5 piece blues or classic rock small-to-medium size club band. It's got a great clean sound, and transitions smoothly into overdrive. It's very touch-sensitive, and responds beautifully to playing dynamics and instrument volume rollbacks. It loves pedals, too.

    I'm basically boot-strapping the amp building, as in build one, sell it, build 2, sell them, build 4, etc. I hope to eventually expand the Testament line to include combos, cabs, and higher-wattage designs as things progress.

    Again, thanks to all for the warm welcome!! :)

    Cheers!

    Strat
     
  13. welcometoashley

    welcometoashley Member

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    welcome to TGP. another fellow michigander here - i was born in Jackson, MI and went to Western Michigan Univ....
     
  14. alanbass1

    alanbass1 Member

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  15. eyeteeth

    eyeteeth Member

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    Stratman actually you probably know me from that board as well... Studioguy... that just happens to be the ONE forum (apart from boards requiring real names) I've used a different screen name.

    When I first posted there I was looking for or doing something... don't remember what...years ago... and didn't want to be associated with the guys I was playing with at the time. Trying to avoid "guilt by association". It was a gig that deteriorated beyond what I should have put up with, but was still there out of responsibility. (And at the end because I couldn't get the whole group together fat one time for several months to tell them I was quitting lol) I just never switched to my normal screen name after.
     
  16. Laroosco!

    Laroosco! Member

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    Hey!!!

    From the Detroit area here
    We just played Bell's Brewery Saturday night.
     
  17. stratman_el84

    stratman_el84 Member

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    Location:
    Kalamazoo MI area.
    Studioguy! Hey man, good to cross paths again! Another helpful and very knowledgeable fellow, great to see you here also! Wow, all the Michiganders here are making me feel right at home!

    Yeah, band troubles can really haunt a person, I sympathize! Hope things are going good for you. Looking forward to learning and helping here on TGP with all you great people!

    Cheers!

    Strat
     
  18. Taylor_Nut

    Taylor_Nut Member

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    Aug 1, 2006
    Location:
    The Zoo, MI
    Hey stratman...another from Kzoo here! I have been very impressed with the quality of the playing here! I don't post much because I feel outmanned here...such talent! I am always looking at ways to improve my playing. I have been an acoustic guitar player for many years and in my mid life crisis (43) began to play electric and do some amateur recording at home. That has been a few years now as well.

    Maybe I will eventually get brave and post more!!!

    What is your regional band name? Maybe I have seen to one of your show....
     
  19. stratman_el84

    stratman_el84 Member

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    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Kalamazoo MI area.
    I agree..there are a lot of very very talented musicians in the Kalamazoo area.

    Our bands' name is Blue Heaven. We're a high-energy gospel-based blues band with a full show of all-original gospel-based blues. We appeared at the '07 Kalamazoo Blues Festival, and are on an every-other-year rotation for appearances there. We have one CD out, with another in the works. Our music appears on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster,and others worldwide.

    Physical CDs are available at:

    http://www.christianblues.net/store/Scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=69

    Here's a video montage clip we have up on YouTube from the 3-day Chopperfest '07 at Martin 131 Speedway in Martin MI (to which we've been re-booked to appear at again this year, on July 27th '08, because of popular demand! :cool: ):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KAWpjifmoQ

    Blue Heaven website:

    http://www.blueheaven4god.com/

    Cheers!

    Strat
     

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