// The Designer
We went on to design a complete product line of amplifiers. This included a 60 watt modular amplifier, a 400 watt mono bass amp and a 400 X 2 bi-amplified bass amp. We also designed second generation models of all of these in which we improved packaging and reliability. I personally designed two complete lines of speaker cabinets for both bass and guitar. Later, working with one other engineer, I designed a rack mount series of products that included a two channel vacuum tube preamp, a two rack space 100 watt/channel power amp (to my knowledge, the only one ever) and a single rack space 100 watt/channel class A solid state power amp. A few years later, I designed the 8440 and 8450; two vacuum tube combos using EL 84 tubes.
FAVORITE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS:
The first instrument that I acquired and really liked was a ’68 Fender J-Bass. I had only played an old Gibson EBO before this point and was never satisfied with it. I was playing in an original band and the guitarist had a bass playing friend that was selling all of his possessions and moving to India (to find himself, presumably). He wanted $100 for the bass and a small practice amp. This was at the limit of my budget at the time, but I fell in love with the bass. It sounded so much better than my EBO and balanced well to boot. I eventually converted it to a fretless because the neck was like a roller coaster. I still have it 40 years later.
The next instrument is the one that became my long time workhorse. Back in the early days when we shared a building with Phil Kubicki, I used to go over and visit him on my lunch break. The first time, I noticed a Jazz bass blank on a shelf that had not yet been routed for pickups or a neck slot. A few visits later, I asked Phil about it. He said it was a reject he picked out of the trash when he used to work at Fender. I eventually convinced him to sell it to me for $25 and a great figured maple and ebony neck to go with it for another $125. I routed the body for a P-J setup, borrowed Seymour’s spray gun to paint it, bought hardware and assembled and set up the bass. This instrument became my main workhorse bass over the next 35 years, playing countless gigs, recording sessions and serving as a test bass for nearly all of the 4 string P and J-Bass pickups in the SD line-up. It got so much use, at one point I had to tear it down, rebuild the top surface where the control cavity had broken through from hundreds of pickup changes, and have the bass repainted. I had worn or chipped most of the original paint off. I still have this bass today. (Pictured under #3)