My First Solid State Amp - An 8-track Player

After I got my mind back I started playing guitar again, with a borrowed Fender Esquire (now worth a small fortune), and then on a Hagstrom. But I needed an amp, and had essentially no money.

A friend of a friend sold me an old Econoline van, and threw in the two PA bottom cabs he didn't want any more - bass bins with a 15" speaker in each. Then I found a dead 8 track player next to some trash and got to thinking...

I yanked out all the drive-related stuff, pulled the heads, and wired up jacks where the heads had been connected. I hooked one channel to each speaker, and had a stereo bass amp! For a guitar! So I rewired the Hagstrom for stereo (it had all sorts of wiring problems, anyway), plugged in, and about melted my ears down. While it was only 8 watts per channel, the guitar was over-driving the amp in a ridciulous way, so unless I turned the guitar volume almost all the way down, it was pure fuzz. Bass fuzz, because of the speakers. Even the neck pickup ha dno high end. It was a very cool sound, and I even played around with detuning the guitar a few notes (about a B or C). A musician friend, Mark Heard, played around with it some. ``Miles, that's really sick, but I kind of like it.'' This was in about 1976. We were ahead of our time.

Glynn Spivey eventually gave me his Kalamazoo Model One, which was a lot easier to control volume-wise, and a whole lot more portable. Plus, it didn't take up half a room just sitting there. So the speakers (which I still have) were put aside, and the 8 track eventually went the way of its brethern and the other dinosaurs, and is now in a landfill somewhere, hopefully decomposing into crude oil.

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Last updated: 30 January 2002

Copyright 2002 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

Miles O'Neal <> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514