Kendrick/Trainwreck Climax

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by kevmin, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. kevmin

    kevmin Supporting Member

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    Why do Climax amps get pulled off of Ebay if they are referred to as Trainwreck amps?

    Were they not designed by Ken Fisher? They say Trainwreck right on them. They were advertised as such and purchased new by folks with the understanding that they were designed and validated by Ken Fisher.

    If I would have bought one of those new and needed to sell it, I would be really ticked off they I couldn't refer to it using the word Trainwreck. I assume that Gerald Weber and Ken Fisher had some kind of disagreement, and I understand stopping production of these amps because of a problem like this. But I do not understand why this would make amps that were already built and sold to no longer be Trainwrecks.
     
  2. rockstah

    rockstah Member

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    they get pulled off?
     
  3. daneswede1

    daneswede1 Member

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    Have any of you guys ever even heard the tone from a Trainwreck. I mean what makes them worth $14,000+ dollars anyway. I realize they were hand made on a "one amp at a time" basis and each amp is customized to the spoec of the end user but cant they still be made today? I mean cant they be copied by another boutique builder? What do they do poor epoxy over the whole board?

    Just wondering.`
     
  4. kevmin

    kevmin Supporting Member

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    I used think it was all hype too, but then I heard a real Express.... There is definitely some magic there.

    Of course any amp builder could clone one and get close. It is the difference between "close" and "exact" that people are paying the premium for. I am not good enough to justify owning one. But if I were a successful full-time musician and that was the "exact" sound I was going for, I might consider $30K for an amp a worthwhile investment.
     
  5. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    As I understand it, Fischer was very unhappy w/ the way Kendrick's final product sounded and was built. Wants nothing to do w/ the Climax...
     
  6. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    Just curious, what/who are your sources to make this statement?
     
  7. kevmin

    kevmin Supporting Member

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    So are you saying that Weber put the logos on there without Ken's approval?
     
  8. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    Anybody know who made the output transformers in Trainwreck amps?
     
  9. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

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    I played through one (1x12 with Alnico Fane) at a store for a few minutes and would say the Climax is better than average. It didn't have the amount of gain I expected, but the clean channel is a nice plus. They also look a bit better in person.

    I kind of wonder whether this amp gets thrown under the bus because of business (for lack of a better word) moreso than tone.
     
  10. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Don't recall exactly - was from someone who owned and was selling one a few years back (I was considering buying it) - do a web search, perhaps. That's the reason I wrote "as I understand it" before my post, i.e, I'm not 100%.
     
  11. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    I played one of those Climaxes and thought it sounded great.
     
  12. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    That's the deal from what I can see, just a bunch of hearsay that Gerald gets the short end of for the most part. No offense rwe333, I would just like the real scoupe and the air to be cleared if this part of the Climax's "history" comes up in these places. Tonally, I think it's a very cool happening amp.

    I've got nothing but respect for Ken or Gerald. That said, I hate to see Gerald getting soiled on without factual info each time this topic arises as I'm a big Kendrick/Gerald fan(love the K60 too!). The guy has always treated me like a friend.

    If I were guessing, I would agree with Jackie in that it was probably business/money related as it's a very cool amp.
     
  13. MVrider

    MVrider Member

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    Various versions of the story have been bandied about for years. At one time, there was even a website (gone now) where Ken Fischer himself laid out some technical recommendations on how to "fix" what he considered to be "issues" with the Trainwrecks. Maybe you can get that data from a Climax owner who has saved it. If you post on the WeberVST.com bulletin board, (the speaker guy, not Gerald Weber) you might get somebody to rehash the story for you.

    Bottom line, if the amp works for you, buy it. Play it.
     
  14. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

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    I got it from "the man" himself. It was either he was not totally satisfied with the final product, or there wasn't any revenue for sales. There was a "falling out" so to speak of some kind. Can't remember the excat reason, but he was NOT happy. The revenue thing really seems to be my bet if I had a choice on my memory
    He did not go into the fine details, but was obviously not happy with the outcome if it was either truly a quality control issue or the revenues.
    That's right, got it from the horses mouth.
    I sure wish Ken would sign up here and do some posting. You know it would be great to have a least one of the "Celebrity Amp Builders"(LOL!) make themselves known here to clear some rumors/issues on these type threads.
    Please Ken, Howard...please. Feel free to hide your email address!
     
  15. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    Hey Wreck, appreciate the info.

    I too wish more manufacturers participated on TGP. Of course I can't blame those who don't participate here as some that do are disrespected--mostly by newbies with excessive internet balls.
     
  16. dirtyguitar

    dirtyguitar Supporting Member

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    I was actually talking to KF a lot back then - just seeking advise - not as friends or even serious contacts, I just had the poor guys' number ;) But... When he first told me about the deal with GW, he spoke about it glowingly.

    I think the issue was that the royalty contract didn't come together as he thought it should. At the time GW was earning a reputation as "a little on the edge" in some inside circles. I have no idea if he deserved the rap, I just nioticed that he had it.

    IN the end Ken went on about losing control of the design and blah, blah , blah. I smelled sour grapes - but I also didn't completely dismiss it.

    I was on the original list to buy one at 3500. Got off the list due to the uncertainy of the deal and went another direction. HOWEVER - I just scored one on ebay for a rediculously low price - so I'll give my .02 after a while.

    I figure that, regardless of the issues, KF is a killer designer and GW is a great builder - when they are both on their game. I figure there is a ton of upside and, if it sucks, there is a plethora of great builders out there who could tweek it.

    ps - no time to proof - sorry bout the typos
     
  17. 58gasman

    58gasman Member

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    There is a climax 2-10 at Real Guitars in S.F. The person selling it owned 2, the other being a 1-12 which sold very quickly. I briefly heard it played but did not play it myself.

    Actually I thought it sounded really nice.
     
  18. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I owned one for a couple of years and it's one amp I'd definitely consider buying back if the occaision presented. The ones with Fanes and canarywood cabs are ungodly loud-even biased hot they stay clean well past where my Pro Reverb has given up, and get close to V4 territory. The "american side" is OK, the reverb is nice-not up to Bruno levels but better than Fender, but the "british" side is the magic. Even completely clean, notes bloom and morph to sweet harmonics. With an attenuator and cranked, it's very sweet.

    I've never had the chance to play a real 'Wreck, although I have a very nice clone (thanks Dr. Rico and Paul) but I don't think the Climax is very Express sounding.

    They guy I bought mine from (guitar tech for "Asleep at the Wheel") was friends with the Kendrick guys and with Ken and we talked about the deal a lot before I bought the amp (particularily as there's some scathing reviews at Harmony Central-not like my experience at all). Apparently Ken didn't sign off on the final design and didn't get paid. OTOH, Gerald probably ate a lot of development costs, since they sold WAY less than the original plan of 100 units (you can still buy the left over parts as the "Joyzee" amp kit), so everyone lost. Sad...
     
  19. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    That's the one I tried out. I liked the Marshall side better than the Fender, but then I'm partial to British sounds, even when clean.
     
  20. chuby galoso

    chuby galoso Member

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    twoheadedboy. origianly they were stancore 3801's for us older guys who know that was a transformer that stancore made for many years and you could buy them right over the counter. that was the good old days and that was a killer sounding transformer. but they stopped making it and stancore changed to keep up with the times. that trany became very hard to get so we all had to find other sorces for a good ot. ken went through alot of tranformer companys and used pacific back when they made good stuff. they used to do some trick wind's if you wanted them. but no two ot's sound the same, ken used to tune each amp to get the tone he wanted. he tossed alot of transormers in the trash can if they would not cut it. i have tossed alot of them over the years myself. ken loved his work, he did not just build an amp and then fire it up and send it on. he would spend like a week on it after it settled in depending on his mood at the time and or the player who was getting it. back then no one was in a big rush to finnish a custom amp because there was not a bunch of players beating down the door to pay a grand for an amp. ken was very schooled in elect theory. most of every thing webber knows was learned from ken. ken is probably most responsable for opening the doors for all the builders out there today, even the ones who cant design a thing and just copy and clone other amps. even guys who sel tubes over the years like the big one out here in la can thank ken for kicking down the doors.
     

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