Alexander Howard Dumble RIP ?

Telekarster

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Wow man.... that was a really neat insight into the man. Thanks for uploading this! I've seen the price sheet once before but couldn't find it, so thanks for uploading that as well! Yeah.... just goes to show that, back in them days, it would've been painful for me to try to buy one of his amps.... but I would've tried, if I had known! LOL! ;)
 

Silverface

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Thanks @David Barnett for posting the price list from 1990. for those days the numbers are not at all outrageous - but high enough to do some initial screening.

And I forgot who mentioned the "castle" - it was actually just a weird-shaped house in Pasadena.

Mr Silverface. hats off... I think you understand more than most
Nah - I'm just old!😵‍💫
Hello? David Reeves?
Yeah, HiWatt could be included in that list - and so could about 2 dozen more, plus some that have been excellent but have/had limited distribution and/or are gone.

I have a collection of original blonde Fenders (except for filter and bias caps - the original GE and RCA tubes rarely wear out!) - but my primary stage (until I had to quit gigging due to chronic neuropathic pain) and jam/recording amps have been two Holland Little Jimi's - a 1x12 and 2x10, each with an adapted Fender outboard reverb circuit integrated in front of a unique preamp and a power section that takes 6V6 to 6550 tubes with just a back-panel bias adjustment. One is in Arizona with my primary recording cohort.

Holland got swallowed up in a bad business deal, and there are similar "evaporated"brands out there - not well known, used by only a few "big names" and now priced under even used amps by major manufacturers.
Once eBay created a nationwide market for buying and selling used gear, prices exploded
Thanks for adding that. I realized if I went into eBay (and now Reverb) I would have ended up writing a friggin' book!😴

And expanding on eBay - The market changed when automated sniping (esnipe was...IS...one of my best friends🤑) appeared - and again when eBay's adding of "sold items" pricing (which I'm amazed more people don't look at there and on Reverb) started to put pricing...with some exceptions... into a realistic context.
 

Telekarster

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Anyone got a copy of the Dumble "security agreement"? I read it once long ago, and remember chucklin' about it ;)
 

Telekarster

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Researching on the topic I stumbled upon this amazing website Dumble amps information archive. This Dumble amps information archive has been collected and kindly provided by Rob Livesey.

Excellent find man!!!! Thanks for posting!

EDIT: And look at the "Boarderline Special"??!??? Owned by Ry Cooder?!?!?? I've never even heard of this one! Ok.... I gotta have it. I gotta try this baby out. Who wants to build me one ;)
 
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colchar

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How many have you played through that were set up specifically for you?

If none: Do you understand that there is NO "Dumble sound"?

Random examples of players that have used amps made or modified by him (and probably never seen in recording credits):

Larry Carleton (his slightly saturated, sustained tone probably the best-documented and widely known use.
Dean Parks (on countless studio dates and as I recall with Steely Dan)
Bonnie Raitt
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Kirk Hammett
David Lindley (playing everything from Teiscos to Strats to lap steels with his
Lowell George
Sonny Landreth
Jackson Brown
Robben Ford
Joe Walsh
Drew Berlin (One of the "Burst Brothers" and Little Richard's guitarist for years.)
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Eric Johnson
John Mayer
Joe Bonamassa
Eric Clapton (both ODS and highly modified but stock looking Fenders)
Don Felder
Ben Harper
Carlos Santana
The Beach Boys (on almost all of Pet Sounds...Brian Wilson wrote him a thank you note for how they worked out) - and an all-Dumble backline at several live dates)

Those are names players I recall offhand - also, from talking to Dean and Drew there are Dumble amps or Dumble-modified amps in dozens of major studios in the US and Europe.

There is no "Dumble sound". I've played a few ODS without cranking the preamp gain and they ALL sounded like different takes on "Fender clean", but REALLY good Fender clean with no hum or hiss. And each sounds different when paired with one of Dumble's chambered/ported cabinets vs a fender 2x12 or a Marshall 4x12 - and depending on what speakers were loaded.

I've heard one head played with creamback Celestions and then EV's using the same cabinet - quite a difference!

So your statement means either you don't like hearing electric guitar or you have absolutely no idea how a guitar amp can be tweaked to fit a player's style/attack etc. - the latter something good amp techs do on a daily basis.

Dumble's amps and amp modifications were made to fit the PLAYER - whether they played with blistering gain or clean as a whistle. You can't possibly know when you're hearing one unless it's live and you SEE it.

And that would be only the sound of THAT Dumble amp - an identical looking one might sound noticeably different - i.e. a Beach Boys ODS was at an opposite end of the tonal spectrum from one made or modded for Clapton.


Did I touch a nerve? Did you have some sort of obsession with his amps?

There are a lot of players I like whose tone I do not like when they are playing their Dumble. I like their tone with other amps, just not Dumbles. Robben Ford is a prime example.

So no, I do not like the tone of his amps that I have heard and I do not get the hype.
 

bigbean

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Thanks @David Barnett for posting the price list from 1990. for those days the numbers are not at all outrageous - but high enough to do some initial screening.

And I forgot who mentioned the "castle" - it was actually just a weird-shaped house in Pasadena.


Nah - I'm just old!😵‍💫

Yeah, HiWatt could be included in that list - and so could about 2 dozen more, plus some that have been excellent but have/had limited distribution and/or are gone.

I have a collection of original blonde Fenders (except for filter and bias caps - the original GE and RCA tubes rarely wear out!) - but my primary stage (until I had to quit gigging due to chronic neuropathic pain) and jam/recording amps have been two Holland Little Jimi's - a 1x12 and 2x10, each with an adapted Fender outboard reverb circuit integrated in front of a unique preamp and a power section that takes 6V6 to 6550 tubes with just a back-panel bias adjustment. One is in Arizona with my primary recording cohort.

Holland got swallowed up in a bad business deal, and there are similar "evaporated"brands out there - not well known, used by only a few "big names" and now priced under even used amps by major manufacturers.

Thanks for adding that. I realized if I went into eBay (and now Reverb) I would have ended up writing a friggin' book!😴

And expanding on eBay - The market changed when automated sniping (esnipe was...IS...one of my best friends🤑) appeared - and again when eBay's adding of "sold items" pricing (which I'm amazed more people don't look at there and on Reverb) started to put pricing...with some exceptions... into a realistic context.
My list of important designers is part of a tribute not a training slide. Many people wouldn't put Everett Hull or Hartley Peavey on their lists but I included them in my tribute. There are no doubt several others who belong on the list. Pat Quilter may be one. Having said that, Mr. Reeves is not a name I didn't consider when I wrote that tribute. It reflects my bias in general toward clean amps that add gain as opposed amp designed that are in my opinion, only about gain. It's personal. Everybody has preferences in tools, food, cars, mates etc. I played a Hi-Watt only once and my reaction was "not for me" and moved on. Other people had different reactions. I have a friend who made a substantial part of his reputation modifying Hi-Watts. He loved those designs. He once gave me an impassioned, lengthy and highly informed speech about the design of Hi-Watt amps. I listened politely and then changed the subject to Leslie 122s. Also my comment about about Dr. Z being the only only one who could make the same sort of artist personalization to amp design should have been modified to include the phrase "in my experience".

Thank you for your informed posts on the work of HAD.
 

Silverface

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Did I touch a nerve? Did you have some sort of obsession with his amps?

There are a lot of players I like whose tone I do not like when they are playing their Dumble. I like their tone with other amps, just not Dumbles. Robben Ford is a prime example.
Neither. I understand your comment now that you explained the basis for it. It seemed like just an all-encompassing negative; but I understand it now - I have the same kind of experience with Peavey's amps. I know there are probably some things that have been recorded with them I like, but it seems like every time I've seen one used it sounded...well, I just didn't care for the tone.

Dumble does get pigeonholed as the guy whose amps only have the Larry Carleton or Robben Ford saturated tones but they've probably been used far more for recording clean tones - like a really good Twin near the top of its headroom.
 

HoodieMcFoodie

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I must say I hadn't heard of Mr. Dumble or his amps before joining TDPRI so it was with great interest that I read the whole 6 pages of this thread (so far). What I'd really like to say is thank you to all the contributors of this thread for keeping the content polite, respectful and informed.

Well done chaps.
 

Telekarster

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HAD's passing got me to re-researching him, reading old things and posts on other forums, going out to some of the clone sites etc. etc. etc. I read where there may have actually been a practical reason for the goop - it protected the pre-amp area from vibrations at high volumes etc. and also served as an insulation to keep it from overheating? I'm not an amp tech so I have no idea of that's a plausable idea or not but, one thing that did occur to me that I don't think I ever thought of before, looking at all his amps out there:

With all the builders out there copying his work, and I don't know how HAD actually viewed it of course, but I find it rather flattering to him that so many people admire his work, his mystery, his genius, that they want to copy it. I remember an old saying that goes something like "mimic of ones work is the highest form of flattery". I know one thing, I never heard of him until I started hanging around out here but once I had heard of HAD, for some reason, I wanted to know as much as I could about him and his amps LOL! I hope he would've viewed that as a complement ;)
 

Telekarster

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And just in case any of ya'll have some spare change layin' around you don't know what to do with, here you go, And BTW - No... no affiliation at all with the seller ;)

 




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