Steel Guitar Amp Survey

This is Vic Lawson with today’s newsletter.

We thought it might be fun to have a survey and some feedback on designing a solid state amp. So we’re going to start with two basic formats and you guys can fill in the blanks such as wattage, speaker size, features such as built in effects like delay, reverb or Dobro simulator.

So here is our foundation. What would you like to see in a combo amp and then what would you like to see in just a head. In other words, if you could build your own amp, what would you like to have in it?

Remember, we’re talking a solid state amp, not a tube amp. Let us know your thoughts by replying (via email) to this newsletter. Reply to

Workshop survey. We’d also like to see who would be up for a spring clinic here at the store. Let us know what dates you think would be best and what subjects you’d like to see covered and we’ll do our best to put it together.

I recently purchased a Peavey Powerslide for my own use and I’m very pleased with it for the price, the features and I think it’s a great deal. So we decided to start stocking them in the store. If you’re in need of an inexpensive non-pedal steel, please check out the Powerslide. I think you’ll be as pleased as I am.

I look forward to hearing all your suggestions about how you would design a solid state steel guitar amp, both combo and head only.

I also wanted to include one more reply we got to the email Chris Smith wrote. Here it is.

“Hi Bob–enjoyed Chris’s rant, and without casting any aspersions on him or anyone else subscribing to the ‘country is dead’ school of thought, would like to point out (as a life-long country music listener, as well as a devoted guitarist and steel player for the past 50 years) that all music changes and evolves–it’s just natural. You can’t fight it, but you can analyze what’s going on, and even–dare I say it? –enjoy it. Country had a huge peak, to the point where, growing up in my native Maryland (barely in the South) we heard Patsy Cline, George Jones, and dozens of others spilling over from the country stations to mainstream. Wonderful! A truly golden age of country, and every song had steel guitar…until they didn’t.

Strings came in. Fiddles disappeared. Giant obnoxious unison tag lines began sprouting up all over the place, a trend that still goes on, and still makes me wince in annoyance. Really, do we need a fuzz guitar, steel, and fiddle all playing the same line because, darn it, the notes are JUST THAT GOOD? I don’t think so.

But in reality, without throwing dirt on Darius, who’s a nice guy and doing his best, just because you don’t hear what you love on the popular country channels, it doesn’t mean it’s gone–just gone underground. There are some wonderful artists out there, making superb music, with straight-from-the-heart songs, and even accompanied by steel (I know, cause I’m playing with some of them)–people like Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Sara Watkins, and even John Reilly. Hidden treasures, and maybe they’ll never have a hit, but who cares? It’ll be our little secret. What’s more, steel has found its way out of the country closet, and into mainstream music. I can’t tell you how many sessions I’ve done in Los Angeles for indie rock, folkies, or blues musicians where they MUST HAVE either dobro, pedal steel, or lap steel. It’s a bonanza! Hang in there, and be positive–look for the positive signs of the survival of true country, avoid the modern equivalent of what used be (and I’m dating myself here) The Archies , and dig for the real thing–it’s still there, in every town, waiting to be nurtured and loved. By folk like us!

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Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
(615) 822-5555
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Second and Third Saturday each Month Open 9AM – 2PM
Closed Sunday

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