Not sure how accurate the reports are regarding his death… but, in case they are true…
RIP, Mr. Dumble. Thank you for showing us all just how wonderful an amp can sound when used by the best guitarists on Earth. You did things your way, because you were talented enough and single- minded enough to know why you were here, and that you didn’t want to be compromised by other people’s so-called “needs”, or their egos. It was good to have you with us. Sorry it wasn’t for a longer time.
We are hearing very sad news that one of the undisputed kings of tone, Howard Dumble has passed away. Our love to his friends and family, his work touched many lives x #dumble Dumble is a guitar amplifier manufacturer in Los Angeles, California. One-man operation, Alexander “Howard” Dumble...
It will be interesting to discover if he left any documentation somewhere in his hoard of gear (besides his amplifier work he amassed a huge collection of vintage gear). Each amp he built, modified or serviced was unique and tweaked to the needs of each player.
"Dumble Overdrive Special" is like saying "Chevrolet" - more a brand name than a specific amp, and one made for (as examples) Robben Ford will not have the same touch response or tone as one made for Jackson Browne. I've played through several ODS and each one was very different in its breakup point, touch sensitivity and overall harmonic emphasis.
Some techs have removed the epoxy he "gooped" his preamp circuits with (except for early ones not really representative of his best-known work), but very few parts were readable after "de-gooping" and the removal process made LCR meter readings unreliable. *IF* he left records and *IF* they are made available to anyone - even at premium prices - my guess is there will be a mad scramble for schematics of ones owned by the most famous players.
One of my goals in life was to make enough money in the music biz to buy a Dumble. Well no plan survives first contact with the enemy, and while that will never happen, his amps are magic.
What a genius.