Born out of a love for the blues and a lifetime desire to be able to play music, I began learning blues harp. And anyone who has ever played harp knows that as a natural part of the process, you will become interested in vintage tube amps. Being an electronics tech by trade (30+ yrs exp.) and having began my electronics education by studying vacuum tube amplification in ancient times passed, I purchased some test equipment, obtained a Silvertone 1482 in disrepair, and started restoration.
I enjoyed the process so much that I began a quest to build the perfect tube amp designed specifically for blues harp. I purchased an old tube stereo chassis and built a test bed to mock-up and to test my designs. The blues harp player is unique in that he typically uses a microphone connected to a guitar amp that has too much gain for a mic, which causes feedback issues, and if that isn't bad enough the frequency response is too high. I have worked extensively to engineer a preamp that overcomes these problems and to match it to a final stage, giving the harp player the tone and range in distortion that they love.
Returning to my roots in electronics has been very rewarding. Over the last few years I have re-educated myself in the world of vacuum tubes, reading tons of technical material and designing amps as well as filtering out fact from myth. For those interested, the technical writings of Norman Crowhurst are about the best you can find, filled with facts and explanations in common sense audio amp design.
Looking for a new project and having read all of the complaints that harp players have about using guitar delay pedals, I decided to build a delay pedal designed for harp. I did my due diligence, as they say, and created the HARP DELAY®. I mentioned the delay on a forum, where Ryan Hartt expressed interest. I sent Ryan the delay, and he loved it. I then decided to try building a few and offering them to the harp community. Before I know what happened I was running a part time business in my shop.
Next came amplifiers, designing and marketing an amplifier nagged at me for a long time, I felt this was something I could and should do. I wanted the amp to be a working man's amp, an amp the looked good had a boat load of tone and was affordable. There are enough boutique amps on the market and I wanted to provide amps that sounded just as good but didn't break the bank and I think we accomplished this task with the Harp Train line of amplifiers.
We have since outgrown my shop at home and have relocated to a nice building that houses the LWBC pedal business and Pedal Parts Plus, a business that supplies finished enclosures to boutique guitar effect pedal builders. We have 7 employees and my part time business is now a full time passion.
I want to offer thanks and recognition to all of the great people on the internet who share their work and knowledge regarding blues harp and tube amplification in general. There are links throughout this website to some of the great sites whose resources I found helpful. I also acknowledge and thank Nathan Heck, who has worked with me since the beginning; Nathan, I could not have come this far without you, thank you.