• My amps through the years

    • My first amp was actually a Pilot tube amp used for a record player. It only had RCA inputs, so I got a 1/4″ to RCA adapter and plugged my guitar in. The speaker was something my dad built into a cabinet, I think it was a 12″ speaker. The amp has two 6v6 tubes, so it’s similar to a Fender Deluxe reverb. I still have the amp, but the speaker is long gone !

    • Next up was a Danelectro DM 25 “piggyback”, which I think had the same tube configuration as the Pilot.  The head fit into the back of the 12″ speaker cabinet, I just saw one somewhere after many years.

    • I found a blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb in the want ads, and bought it for $75 in Tarrytown NY. Of course I wish I still had it!

    • Bought a blackface Fender Bassman amp with matching cabinet. It had JBL D120 Speakers. I had it right up until 2013.

    • Silverface Fender Bassman with matching cabinet. Pretty sure it had JBL D120 speakers also.

    • Marshall 100 watt Plexi. Bought this along with a bunch of cables and mics from the Alice Cooper Band. They were cleaning house. Awesome amp, but too loud for the little clubs we were playing. Yeah, I could use it now.

    • Mesa Boogie. Serial number 301.  Saw Santana using one, so I had to have it.

    • Marshall 4-12″ cab. Rescued it from a pile of wood in a rental house in Ithaca NY. Put a 12″ greenback in it and blocked up the other three holes. Ended up putting the other three greenbacks in it.

    • Marshall 50 watt combo with 2-12″ greenbacks and 2104 head.

    • Marshall 50 watt head (early 70’s vintage, small script logo)

    • Marshall 50 watt head (early 70’s vintage, small script logo) with matching 4-12 slant cab.

    • Lab Series L5 100 watt solid state amp.

    • Fender Red Knob “The Twin” amp. Great-sounding amp.

    • Naylor Super Drive 60 with 2-12 cab loaded with Vintage 30’s.

    • Naylor  2-12 cab loaded with Naylor speakers.

    • Naylor Super Club 38 with 1-12 100 watt Naylor speaker.

    • Sewell Custom 50 watt with 12″ Altec 417 8c.

    • Roland Cube 60 with stock 12″ speaker.

    • 1957 Fender Pro amp with 1-15 Jensen. The holy grail.

    • Kendrick K15. Very similar to the Fender Pro, and sounds amazing.

    • Naylor Super Club 38- ungraded speaker to an old EVM12S. Kicked it up a notch!

    • Black Star St. James 1-12″ combo-, Finally, a 50 watt tube amp that is light! This thing rocks and it only weighs 23 pounds.

    So, my main amp is still the Naylor, after all these years. I still have the Pilot amp, but haven’t plugged it in in years. I use the Roland as a spare, and the Tweed Pro in the studio. I haven’t used the Black Star on a gig yet, but I’m pretty confident that it will sound great.

  • Amps and Effects Q&A

    From Terry Staker in Australia:

    Hi Tony,
    Thanks for making such brilliant music.Your guitar playing really inspires me. Are you still using Naylor amps? Do you use any effects?
    Thanks for your time

    Thanks for writing. I still have my 38-watt super club 38 Naylor amp, but I’m now using Sewell Amps. Doug Sewell makes these great handmade amps in Texas. It’s a 50-watt Texaplex with a 12″ 50-watt Weber Blue Dog ceramic speaker. It’s got a solid state rectifier but you can substitute a rectifier tube at any time, as they each plug into a tube socket. I don’t use effects between the guitar and amp, but the engineer in the studio will put some delay and reverb on afterwards. You lose some of the tone when you use pedals, but most players like the different colors you get with them.
    My sound is just raw, and losing any millivolts from the guitar takes away from that. I use George L’s cables which sounded the best when I started using them 10 years ago, but there are supposedly some better ones now which I’d like to try.
    Thanks for your questions, I think I’ll add a new page on my site so others can see the answers. You’re from Australia I see from your email address. I toured there in ’97 and ’98 and I would love to get back there. I’m glad you like my music, where did you first hear it?
    Best of luck with your guitar and thanks for your questions,
    Tony Sarno

    Update 2012

    I really like both the Naylor and the Sewell, and use them equally. I had a 1972 Altec 417 8C reconed and use it in the Sewell. The Naylor still uses the original 100 watt Naylor speaker that Kyle Kurtz from Naylor made for me. As for effects on live gigs, I still use no effects between the guitar and amp, but use a Boss DL6 Digital Delay pedal after the Shure SM57 micing my amp. The SM57 goes into a Jensen “Low to High” transformer, then into the Delay; then out of the delay into a Jensen “High to Low” transformer into the PA. When I do sessions, I sometimes use an old MXR Dynacomp, General Guitar Gadgets MBB (Marshall Blues Breaker) overdrive kit, Morley power Wah Fuzz, Morley Autowah, and a Garagetone tremolo. I also use a Planet Waves Mini Headstock tuner, and it’s probably the handiest gadget I ever bought!


    Update 2016

    Got a good-sounding Liquid Tremolo from Guitarfetish.com.

  • Songbook

    From Dale Tims in Atmore AL:

    Hey Tony,
    I really like your music. I want to know if you know where I can find the “Songbook” (tablature or regular music form)..
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Do you have plans for more solo work? Or with The Screamin’ Blue Demons?
    To me the “It’s A Blues Thing ” was your best work I have heard. Who played guitar on that CD/Album?
    I sure would like to hear more……
    A huge fan,
    Dale Tims

    Thanks for writing. I don’t have an actual Songbook, but I should think about having one done. There is one song that someone has transcribed for Tab
    I played all the guitar on “It’s a blues thing”. My second album “Tony Sarno” has less blues on it, but probably my best recording so far, Jimi Hendrix’ “Voodoo Chile”. I plan to do another album and I will let you know when it’s available. Would it be OK for me to reprint your email in the “Ask Tony” page of my website?
    Tony Sarno