History of Guitar Poppa

Guitar Poppa and his guitars

It’s the story of a teenager from the sixties, nourished by pop music and the english blues boom : nervous and colored sounds, top boosted, or fat and hairy. Like many people at the time, I started tinkering with electronics: dismantling tube radios to recover parts, and trying to transform them into guitar amps…

Sound equipment was very expansive then, and that was a good reason to learn how to build my own. To avoid making my things smoke, I had to learn how to calculate them, and my scientific studies helped me a lot. It was also a good time: the high spot of tubes, and the democratization of the first germanium transistors. All that left me sweet sensations in the ear and some fundamental equations.

Get your own sound !

As a design professor, I had to consider on the reasons that determine a good product. It protected me from fetishism. If some brands had become benchmarks, it was by associating essential sonic intuitions and basic circuits, testing all that lively with musicians…

At the end of the sixties, we tweaked the sound following two opposite trends: treble boosters for sharp sounds lovers, and fuzz for hairy sound lovers… In both cases, systems were simple and easy to realize, and ideal for learning …

At the end of the 70s, a lot of new materials came available. English creators have been somewhat masked on the marketing level by the Americans, and especially by the Japanese. Japanese pedals were small, practical and sexy. They seduced for a few weeks after purchase, but apart from some “cult” models, they often smelled like pharmacy. Conversely, the American pedals from Electro Harmonix, although less neat, had some nice flaws, and were musically more cultured.

In the eighties and nineties, a conflict set in: clean and synthetic sounds on the one hand, organic and dirty sounds on the other. It was beyond the guitar-synth quarrel: technologically as well as musically, two sonic sensitivities were clashing. I continued to love the chiseled sounds, but found they they could be as well full curvy.

There was also the recording revolution of the end of the XXth century: Through the multiplication of LPs and CDs compilations, then on the net, we could easily (re)find everything and gorge ourselves with juicy sounds: the reissues of classic rock n ‘roll, blues and soul, the remastering of jazz recordings from the 30s and 50s brought back sounds that were  extraordinarily taken and mixed in spite of summary material.

Sounds both bally and elegant, amps that reacts like a living body to the fingers and lips of musicians …
I re-learned to work in this organic and sensual process.

Welcome to Guitarpoppa.com

But my professional job took up all my time, and while I have well progressed in guitar and electronics, it’s been slower than I would have liked … I have finally been on retreatl an But my professional job took up all my time, and while I did well progress in guitar and electronics, it’s been slower than I would have liked … I have finally been on retreat an looked with appetite at my stock of patiently acquired vintage components …

I decided in 2016 to open the GuitarPoppa.com website:
Create and sell well thought out, handmade stuffs,
to give pleasure to guitars… — and to harps!

I am now 71 years old, and I work at my own pace.
But still so passionately :
I would be happy to make something that sounds to you !

Bandeau fin gris moyen - L15



To be continued : Le projet Guitar Poppa

Contacter Guitar Poppa

La page FB de Guitar Poppa

Other links

Rétro-forum, for French-speaking enthusiasts of antique electronics.

Diystompboxes, the reference site in the USA..

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