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Home The Insiders Amp Insider: Getting Amped with Brandon Montgomery
October 20, 2020
Amp Insider: Getting Amped with Brandon Montgomery PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 June 2008 19:31
brandon.jpgBrandon Montgomery (on right w/ Larry Carlton on left) is the owner of Bludotone Amplifiers. He custom builds amazing amplifiers for each of his customers. His commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction has created quite a buzz over the past year. His use of high quality components and communication with his clients results in just what the tone doctor ordered. Currently, there is a long waiting list for his amplifiers, but most folks say that it is well worth the wait.

GJD: How old were you when you first started playing guitar?

BM: I was about 11 years old.

GJD: Growing up, what kind of music were you into?

BM: I was into a whole bunch of different stuff. Pearl Jam, Metallica, Stanley Jordan, and even Celtic music and classical music. I also played saxophone, so I liked a lot of different sax music, and I'm ashamed to say that I use to really like Kenny G.

GJD: What was your first amp that you owned?

BM: It was a 7-watt Harmony amp.

GJD: Did you try to modify it?

BM: Actually, I sort of did. It wasn't loud enough so I took it apart to see if I could somehow make it louder. Keep in mind, I am 11 years old and know nothing about electronics. So I hooked it up to a random stereo column speaker that I had lying around. I thought this would make it louder. It didn't get louder; it just got more horrible.

GJD: So, I take it that you've always been pretty good with your hands?

BM: Yes, I have always enjoyed tinkering with just about anything since I was a little kid. I would take everything apart and was not usually able to put it back together. Taking things apart was always the fun part for me.

GJD: How did you get involved in building amps?

BM: When I was about 16, I worked in a local music store as a guitar repair tech and was exposed to a lot of electric guitar stuff. Around that time, I also bought a distortion pedal and thought it would be fun to build my own. So, I went to Radio Shack and bought a bunch of parts and started building my own pedal. You know, I've always had a sound in my head that I wanted to get from my gear. I went through a lot of amps and rigs and could never really find that sound. An old Fender Super Reverb was close but no cigar. So one day, something clicked in my head. I said to myself, "If I can't find this sound that I'm hearing in all these amps, maybe I should build my own."

GJD: So, once you decided to build your own amp, how did you cross the technical barrier?

BM: I started researching things and studied a book on basic electricity. I kept buying more books on tube amp circuits and reading them over and over. I also obtained schematics for amp design and amp modification. Then I met a local tube guru named Lord Valve. I spent a lot of time with him asking him questions and I learned a whole bunch from him.

GJD: How did you acquire components and materials to start creating your own amps?

BM: Around 2002 I started horse-trading with a bunch of different guys. Actually I was bartering my time to build amps for chassis, transformers and other components. I continued building amps for myself and taking them to jam sessions at local clubs. People started to really dig what I was doing and inquired about my services. So through word of mouth, I developed a small but loyal client base. As my client base grew, the need for more parts became evident, so I started networking to buy and sell a whole slew of parts.

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