Magazine article Guitar Player

Live from the Distortion Trenches

Magazine article Guitar Player

Live from the Distortion Trenches

Article excerpt

I read with great interest the October issue on Distortion. Few readers realize that almost 13 years earlier, I introduced the first version of my Tube Driver, which appeared on page 92 of your Nov. 79 issue. In order to correct some unintentional inaccuracies in Art Thompson's Vintage Fuzz story, I offer the following clarifications: Audio Matrix was founded by myself and Warren Flarity. I was the electrical designer of the Mini Boogee and all of the products that AM eventually produced. It really never occurred to us that MESA/Boogie would object to the name; we were young and just trying to make a living. Eventually the name of the unit was changed to Mini Matrix at Randy Smith's request.

Randy and I remain friends to this day. He is one of the few designers I truly respect, because we share a philosophy of making original products--not copying the work of others. Audio Matrix was dissolved because I was busy designing the Dean Markley amp line in 1982. Chandler was a distributor of Audio Matrix, and starting in 1985 they marketed my reissued Tube Driver. They should not be confused with the person who designed and produced this product: me. And I personally handbuilt the Eric Johnson Tube Driver units. Thanks to GP for a great job with this issue.


President, Tube Works

Denver, CO

There are a few good reasons why a product would receive a less-than-great review. Take, for example, the review of the PowerValve in your Distortion issue. When I first got the call to participate in the Shootout, the PowerValve Pedals were only a few weeks into existence. …

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