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Dumble Amplifiers


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They were all the rage among big name players back in the 1980's. Stevie Ray Vaughn and David Lindley used them too. They were expensive - about $5,000. Howard (I think it was Howard) Dumble hand made them all on his own, and was pretty secretive about them. Gtr Player did an article / interview on him years ago. He had other models as well besides the OD Special - The Six String Singer (or was it Stringer? - something like that), and a couple of others. I don't know when they were "discontinued". Since they were the product of just one man, I imagine the only way they'd get discontinued is if he just retired, went out of business or (heaven forbid) something happened to him. And that last possibility may indeed be the case. Seems I recall hearing he had passed away. He was a pretty large man, and I don't know if there's any truth to that or not, but I remember hearing he had a heart attack or something like that. Don't quote me on that though - I do NOT know if it is true, and I don't want to spread any rumors. I'm curious as to what happend to him too, and have thought about it on occasion. In any event, they were nice amps, but I don't think there were a bunch of them made.
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[quote]Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe: [b]They were all the rage among big name players back in the 1980's. Stevie Ray Vaughn and David Lindley used them too. They were expensive - about $5,000. Howard (I think it was Howard) Dumble hand made them all on his own, and was pretty secretive about them. Gtr Player did an article / interview on him years ago. He had other models as well besides the OD Special - The Six String Singer (or was it Stringer? - something like that), and a couple of others. I don't know when they were "discontinued". Since they were the product of just one man, I imagine the only way they'd get discontinued is if he just retired, went out of business or (heaven forbid) something happened to him. And that last possibility may indeed be the case. Seems I recall hearing he had passed away. He was a pretty large man, and I don't know if there's any truth to that or not, but I remember hearing he had a heart attack or something like that. Don't quote me on that though - I do NOT know if it is true, and I don't want to spread any rumors. I'm curious as to what happend to him too, and have thought about it on occasion. In any event, they were nice amps, but I don't think there were a bunch of them made.[/b][/quote]I hope Howard (changed his name to Alexander at some point) did not pass away. Now for the bad news. He is (hopefully not was) a joke regarding business ethics. Larry Carlton is a good friend and I played through one Larry's amps. I called Howard and ordered one. At the time the price was $1500 in advance with a 6 month wait. 6 months later, he delivered but the amp needed major tweaking. He said he would do the work ond left me with an old amp of his. It was awful! What happened is he did not tweak the amp I had purchased but instead gave it to someone on his waiting list. Ubfortunately so much negitivity attached to this stroy and it took me three years to get an amp!!! When I finally did, it sounded lifeless. I sold it as quick as possible. I saw Howard a few years later at a Valley Arts party and he said, "Why did you not contact me to get the amp sounding that way you want it to?" I said the stress factor of hunting you down is a joke and could not spend more years on such a project! Howard would sell amps for three times the price if wanting delivery in 6 weeks. He simply needed cash and stalled others that paid the regular 6 month price. Over the years, I have played through others and the bottom line is they are very different. The only one I liked was Larry's. Howared catered to Larry. No sour grapes here. The amps are to varied to go on the hunt. Also, in the past years, too may other other amp choices that are happening. Later, Jay
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Another thing that sucked about the Dumble's was that he put a big blob of "goop" over the components on the circuit board, in order to obscure what parts he used. Great for him, but a major hassle for someone wanting to fix one of his amps! -GT3

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[quote]Originally posted by GT3: [b]Another thing that sucked about the Dumble's was that he put a big blob of "goop" over the components on the circuit board, in order to obscure what parts he used. Great for him, but a major hassle for someone wanting to fix one of his amps! -GT3[/b][/quote]As we know, typical for a samll amp designer. Other than the fix thing, what these guys do not get is that sharing is important for growth on all levels. It would come back to exponentionaly. Sadly, the odds are good the concept will not happen. Later, Jay
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Don Lancaster mentioned years ago he takes these epoxied boards to his dentist buddy and has them x-rayed. With his knowledge of electronics, it's not a secret for long. You can also get solvents, but they are slow and nasty.
It's OK to tempt fate. Just don't drop your drawers and moon her.
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