Naturally, and in an effort to keep up with the "sounds" we are hearing coming from our steel guitar idols these days, a lot of us have gone out and purchased a myriad of things ranging from digital signal processors to 747's! Now this is all well and good, and there is no doubt we want and need these things. The problem is, some of us have almost gotten to a point here where we need to contract a moving van and road crew just to get our equipment to the gig these days! Then once you do get there, one seems to always have this scary feeling inside saying, "Did I forget anything?" On no! Where's my patch cords? Now how am I ever going to get both of these amplifiers on that stage?! (maybe we can get rid of the drummer) hummm....
Now perhaps this doesn't apply to all of us. Many of us, (including myself) get quite frustrated at times and think.... I should just use my old Session 500. It's good enough. Besides, I like the sound of that amplifier all by itself anyway. After talking yourself into it, you get to the gig, set up in a flash and start playing. Hey... not bad you think. Sounds pretty good. Then all of a sudden, here it comes... that "guilt trip." If I only had a little delay on this... What song are we doing? Oh no! I always used the "Jeff's Chorus" setting on this song! What was that? "Look At Us"... Oh God no, not with this amplifier only! Can't we just do "All around the water tank" or something like that instead? Not gonna happen, say's the singer (in that George Bush tone,) wouldn't be prudent.
Well anyway, you start playing, and by this time you've totally convinced yourself that Buddy Emmons, John Hughey, Jimmie Crawford, and Terry Bethel are all sitting right there in front of you now, and are listening to everything you're doing. In fact, everyone in the audience have all of a sudden become steel players! Your only hopes now are for a complete power black out covering ten counties! Or maybe you'll be lucky enough to just pass out and EMS will carry you away. There's still hope though... Perhaps another double shot of Don Q and a tall Jack Daniels and then... I'll be "Buddy Emmons!" Yea... that's the ticket!
Well here we are guys, we have all that technology, all these really neat gadgets, yet somehow, we just haven't figured out a way to put all these really neat things into one neat little package. Of course, someone can do this, and we all know "who" can do it as well. So why hasn't anyone done this? I think the problem lies within all of us, and that problem is our own failure to "focus" on just what it is we "really" want! I think if we could perhaps all agree on something that we really want in a steel guitar amplifier, I think I know just the person who would listen to us and give us what we want.
With that in mind, I would like to ask each and everyone of you reading this to help me out here. Write to me. Let me know your preferences, priorities and opinions.
If you could build your very own steel guitar amplifier, what would it be like? For instance, would it have the ability to accept most rack mount processors? Would it have a single 15" speaker, or would it have two 12's so you could run stereo from one single amp? How about types of reverbs, and/or the ability to get the "old sounds" from this amp as well as the new? How about power? How many watts does thing need to have. Get the idea?
Who knows, perhaps if we could all finally agree on something that we really feel would be the ultimate "kick ass" amplifier, we might actually get someone to build it for us. Ya never know... stranger things have happened! It's been a very long time since we've seen any "new" developments in a single combo amplifier for steel guitar, and I think it's high time we did.
So get out your paper and pencils guys and girls. I would really like to know your ideas here and what you think. The sky's the limit, so let it all out and give this some serious thought. You can even write and give me a good old fashioned cussin if you want to, no matter. But please..... WRITE. I will personally answer all of your letters.
Best personal regards,
605 W. Arnold Lake Rd
Harrison, MI 48625