About Texas Tone Amps

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Bruce Blumentritt has been a tinkerer for as long as he can remember. He learned car and home repair from his step-dad who grew up on a farm. As a young teen, he modified his slot cars to make them faster and better handling. In high school, he studied auto mechanics, learning circuit diagnosis and troubleshooting techniques that have stood the test of time. After spending several years as a professional auto mechanic, he went to work for an RCA distributor, learnng about capacitors, resistors, and those lovely little bottles we call "tubes". Later yet, he sold maintenance harware, specializing in the right tool for the job.

In the midst of all this, and after childhood piano lessons from the esteemed Harolyn Brient, he took additional music lessons from Bruce Bozarth, studying scales, chords and playing guitar in a house band, along with his brother the bass player. Not having much money for amps, his brother Will found an old used Bogen 50 Watt PA tube amp. This, along with the family's Hi-Fi speaker cabinet, was our guitar and bass amp. Will eventually built a couple of speaker cabinets. As years went by, Bruce played guiitar in a variety of bands, going through numerous tube and solid state amps trying to find one that had that elusive "tone", which proved to be an almost endless quest. There was this one time - playing a Fender® Stratocaster® through a tweed 1958 Fender Champ amp, getting wonderful tone while backing a singer-songwriter.

Blumentritt Amplification came about because of that search for a guitar amp that captured the dynamic, touch-sensitivite tweed amp vibe without resorting to either finding a good '50s or '60s vintage amp or building a pre-packaged kit. Using first a mid-1970s Fender Princeton, and then a blonde USA made Crate Palomino V16 with The Basement Tapes, he got a great sound, but it wasn't that elusive creamy, compressed distortion, touch-sensitive tone, that those great historic amps were known for.

The other guitarist in The Basement Tapes had an Champ-style kit that someone had built and it didn't work, so that became the start. After looking at the schematic, the build instructions, and the amp itself, Bruce was able to determine several mechanical and electrical issues, repaired it, and now it sounds the way a silver-faced Champ should sound. The die was cast and the appetite was whet.

Drawing inspriation from that Champ and studying a resortation of a 1950s Gibson amp and various schematics and circuits, he drew up what was to become the original Texas Tone® 12, getting a bit of engineering assistance from Daniel Blumentritt, the electrical engineering math whiz. The Texas Tone® 12 has some of that tweed amp essence, although it's not a copy of any actual amp. The tremolo was the crowning achievement. After three attempts, we hit on just the right magic. It's been dubbed the "Hypnotic Slam Effect", "the sound of Austin, Texas", and "a dynamic, pulsating tremolo, unlike anything I've heard before".

We called that amp Texas Tone® for a couple of reasons. It has that Texas blues kind of tone that only seems to come from a good tweed style amp, and it has tremolo, an essential ingredient for certain blues, Gospel, twang, and swamp sounds.

The Texas Tone® tradition continues with a full line of dynamic and distinctly different tube guitar amplifiers. Get yours today.

Your Tone Matters!

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