Monday, May 6, 2013

It bears repeating..

Today I will start off by saying I am not a genius, no matter how much I truly wish I were. But when it comes to the Goodwill outlet store and finding the things I want to find, I seem to rank highest. Anything that has to do with video games or guitar, it seems, I know far more than anyone else there.

I repeat myself on this blog in what may seem to be a boasting, overconfident tone, which couldn't be further from reality. I simply enjoy writing here and showcasing the finds that somehow slip the grasps of the casual and hardcore outlet shoppers alike and make their way into my bedroom. I've honestly never expected to ever see half the things I've found at the outlet store, but somehow I always end up finding something that blows my mind and causes me to dig deeper, stay longer and go more often, such as what I am about to show you.

Again, my ability to identify things much quicker than others is restricted solely to items I'm interested in, I couldn't tell you what a good Hi-Fi system or stuffed animal was if it slapped me in the face. But when it comes to obscure video game items, while everyone is scrambling about for anything with a brand on it, I can almost certainly tell what an item is by its shape or whether I've seen it before online or not. Same with the very rare occasions when a guitar or amp shows up in the bins, which happened just the other day, the outcome was greatly in my favor.

What I saw appeared to be a small practice combo from the 70's, but someone had already pulled it from the bin and placed it in their cart. Carrying on about my hunting I circled back to check some other bins and noticed it sitting alone in a clothes bin, so I gave it a little closer inspection. Right on the face I saw Kalamazoo and Model 1, the name Kalamazoo made me think of Gibson as I knew they were affiliated with Gibson at one point, but my knowledge on the name brand and this amp in particular is extremely weak.

I flipped the amp over and checked the speaker paper, if the speaker was damaged it really wouldn't even be worth buying, but not only did the speaker look to be in great shape, the little Kalamazoo Model 1 is a TUBE amp! Being a solid state person I've never had the chance to try out a tube amp, let alone own one. Given the fact that this was being sold by weight there was a good chance I would be taking it home.

What limited resources there are online about this amp indicate it was built in either 1965, 66 or 67, exciting! Its a fairly simple amp with a decent tube amp tone, really exciting! But the decades of technological changes have really made this amp kind of dangerous to play and costly to repair, bummer!

With a little bit of elbow grease this amp could look great in no time, as I assume from the looks it came straight from someone's attic to the outlet store. I only paid a little over $8 for the amp and a handful of other stuff from the outlet store, so it was super cheap. Sadly for now this thing has to sit beside its big brother -Line 6 Flextone HD and Mesa 4x12- and await the day I can safely test it to see what all repairs it needs.

About 75% of the images I've found of the Kalamazoo Model 1 amps are blackface models, and only a handful of them are the wood grain. I'm really wondering if I've stumbled on to a nice pile of gold, or a stinky pile of shit. If this thing works well as-is, or with minimal upgrades, and sounds as good as the demos I've watched on youtube, this thing is surely a slice of fried gold!

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