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Bill Kirchen amp and mods, anyone?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by bananafist, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. bananafist

    bananafist Tele-Meister

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    I've seen Bill three times here in the UK, and the first time he was using the small signature amp (the name escapes me,) some years back. More recently I think he used a Twin and possibly an SF DR. I've also seen the SFDR in vids.
    I use a Moyer modded custom Vibrolux mainly, but have a old SFDR I haven't used for a while, and was wondering if anyone knows what mods he had done to his SFDR, if any? I'd appreciate any info available. Also any other amps he uses.
    Just had an email from him saying he hopes to be in the UK next Feb/March, which is great news!
    Thanks
     
  2. burtwangcaster

    burtwangcaster Tele-Holic

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    Saw Bill about three week ago near Grand Rapids Michigan here' a pic.
     

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  3. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

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    If you're in touch with him by Email, can't you just ask him?

    I'd be very suprised if he brings his personal amps over with him when he plays in the UK so the sound you heard live may well have been from stock amps.
     
  4. Tle4

    Tle4 Tele-Afflicted

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    I saw Bill around my way once. He was playing a tweed deluxe. I asked if it was stock and he said pretty much just that it had a beefier output transformer in it. I don't think Bill mods stuff to get his sound. I think he just picks the right size amp to get the tone he likes. He gets a lot of different tones from how he picks the strings, switching pickups and working the volume and tone on the guitar.

    One mod he likes to do on his telecasters is flip the control plate to get the switch out of the way and make the volume and tone controls closer
     
  5. bananafist

    bananafist Tele-Meister

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    Mr Twang- I just contacted him via his website, re future gigs in the UK, and he replied from on the road, so I don't feel I can ask him a load of technical stuff really.
    Tie4- Yes, I know about and use the reversed plate. I agree its the man not the gear, and that he probably uses loaner amps while over here, as he no longer seems to use the first one I saw him with - (still can't remember the name, dammit!) However I read he uses a much modded SFDR Stateside, as the photo above (thanks for that,) and as I have one sitting unused, I was curious to know what he'd done to increase headroom, etc.
    I'm not trying to sound exactly like the man, just interested in the gear he uses.
     
  6. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

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    You might be suprised - there's a lot of time to kill on the road and with just about everyone connected to their Email via their phone you might catch him sitting around at an airport or a soundcheck, or in the back of a bus, bored.

    The one time I met him, he was very approachable and keen to talk about gear and music (he was touring with just a piano player and he invited my band to play a set with them cos he fancied playing some stuff with a full band but that's another story).
     
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  7. Crusty Harp

    Crusty Harp TDPRI Member

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  8. akukulich

    akukulich Tele-Meister

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    I've seen Bill three times in the last year and a half or so and each time he's used the same Silverface Deluxe Reverb. He did say that he uses a heavier duty OT to get more power from it, but didn't get into any details further than that.
     
  9. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Good interview Crusty Harp. Bill's a great guy.
     
  10. TeleToTheRain

    TeleToTheRain Tele-Holic

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    Great interview, he really just sounds like one of the guys and happy to be doing what he loves everyday, what a class act!

    Now let's all turn our control plates around and get some swells goin!!!
     
  11. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Have seen Bill play a few times and got to meet and talk with him in Belair Maryland 4 years ago. What an incredible modest gentleman.
    I walked up and introduced myself and shared how much of a fan I was. Within minutes he had learned that my oldest daughter was leaving for college. He asked how I was dealing with it. I admitted I wasn't feeling that great. Bill then changed into Bill the father and for 5 minutes mentored on letting the kids grow up sharing stories of he and his daughter.
    I'd walk across hot coals for that man.
     
  12. burtwangcaster

    burtwangcaster Tele-Holic

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    bananafist, I would put a real good 12" speaker, if needed, a real good set of tubes, re-cap if anything looks leaky and call it good. You have a great amp !:cool:

    Bill would probably want to borrow it for the gig !!!!
     
  13. bananafist

    bananafist Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the input guys. Burtwangcaster-Its been gone through and recapped, re-tubed with NOS tubes, and currently has an EMI RWB speaker which I find way too bright and edgy. Also tried a C Rex-too dark. New reverb tank and re-covered cab as original tolex in shreds. Original trannys and choke. Original speaker MIA, when I got it it had an old 100watt Fane speaker which sounded good but now needs a re-cone, (Fane in the UK blanked me when I enquired!?). Any suggestions for a speaker (obtainable in the UK, not in USA, please.)
     
  14. Tle4

    Tle4 Tele-Afflicted

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    Celestion G12-65's sound good in Fender amps
     
  15. dr.chevalier

    dr.chevalier Tele-Holic

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    found this while checking out redd volkaert on youtube

     
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  16. bananafist

    bananafist Tele-Meister

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    Yes, thanks, I saw that vid too. Don't think he's bought one though!
    Just remembered, the small amp I saw him use first in the UK was a Talos. Don't know if they're still made.
     
  17. newrider1969

    newrider1969 Tele-Holic

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    The DR has been reconfigured for 6l6 tubes as well.
     
  18. bananafist

    bananafist Tele-Meister

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    I'd heard that, plus new iron for the output tranny to suit = more headroom.
    SS rectification too?
     
  19. old goat

    old goat Tele-Holic

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    Confirming what others have said here--SFDR with bigger OT and 6L6 tubes. I've also seen him play a Talos. He was a rep for them for a while. Googling Talos looks they may be out of business. Two very different amps, but he sounded pretty much the same. Every time I've seen him--about five--he's had different pedals--usually just a few--some kind of OD, echo/delay, and a tuner. He has the perfect tone IMO--full, fat twang, if that makes sense.
     
  20. Billy M

    Billy M TDPRI Member

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    I was in his class at Davis and Elkins U in West Va early part of July. Bill was useing a Fender Princeton with a 12in speaker. I don't know what else He had changed .

    Billy M
     
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