Category Archives: who am I

My Amps : 10 to 25 Watts

I make amplifiers for guitar or harmonica … Small, like my workbench !
Available as separate head … One can also order a combo, with a 10 or 12′ speaker.
The layout and the equipment are to be composed “custom” according to your project.

Transistor realizations feature a real power of 10 to 25W on 8 ohms.
They use a 60s germanium technology, which denies the bad reputation of transistors…
It brings especially a natural compression and a progressive transition to overdrive which have little to envy tubes, with a price also compressed!

I also realize high quality tube models, custom 5, 10 or 15W, with vintage or high-end components where it’s audible.

In both cases my aim is to offer amplifiers intended for home use or small concert venues, without technical weakness, and with a sound that will please the instruments.

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My stompboxes : DD size

I have designed some large format stompboxes (approximately 20 x 11 x 3.5cm), either because they have to contain a printed board of significant dimensions, or because they have to bring together several cards.

These configurations are often the result of custom orders by musicians with strong choices … Their requests have led me to design typical equipment, which are often associations of existing circuits.
Everyone can now benefit from these experiences, or imagine their own project!

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My amps : MicroCombos

A MicroCombo prototype on the workbench …

MicroCombos are small 1W and 3W amplifiers. (I mean real watts on 8 ohms…)
They are made in old fashioned way, which gives them a special quality both from a technological point of view and according to their design :

Discrete components, 100% germanium transistors, AB class amplification.
Branded speakers, contemporary or NOS.
Solid wood enclosure (cherrywood or european walnut).

Their clear sound is mild, and they crunch at low level without sounding harsh, with a roundness that has nothing to regret from tubes.
They are well suited for home rehearsals, and even for small parties !
They were originally designed for the guitar, but I quickly grasped the interest of working just as much for the harmonica, taking advantage of the grit of old transistors …

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Stompboxes : BB and B size

Guitarpoppa : pédales

My activity is to design and handcraft stompboxes, preamps or small amps.
It feeds on my experience as a musician and technician trained in the 60s.

Some of my pedals perpetuate the tradition, with updated means.
Others have an original design.

They are usually manufactured in autonomous boxes, most often in the 1590BB american format, approximately 12 x 9 x 3cm, or its narrow version 1590B, 12 x 6 x 3cm …
I also combine two circuits as a duo in a single larger box.

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Guitar Poppa and his guitars

I was a french teenager in the sixties. I’ve been fed on british pop and blues : sharp and toned sounds, top boosted, or fat and fuzzy… Like many young people, I went tinkering electronics : disassembling old prewar tube radios to retrieve parts, trying to transform them in guitar amps… Sound equipment was extremely expensive at that time and it’s been the best reason to learn how to build my own gear.

I went in a scientific High School. I was fast persuaded that the best way not to make my gears blow out smoking was to learn how to calculate them. Besides, I was lucky to be at the crossroads of two fundamentals technologies : the peak of tube technology and the development of the first germanium transistors. Since those early years, hot and mild sensations remained in my ears.

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The Guitar Poppa project

Guitar Poppa project is a made in France project, launched in the 2000s… I was getting bored in my job, grumbling at that all-digital civilization, and mastering my Guild. There was also current events : vintage guitar fashion, Nu Rock and so teased my ears, one more time.

I spent hours collecting historic amps and stompboxes schematics, and I reactivated my technical courses. I collected a treasure of components. Thanks to the Red Army to have accumulated such stocks of tubes, transistors and capacitors. And to Philips-Mullard, Thomson, Siemens, all these big brands which used to work well and on long term…

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Jack Mono Blues

Jack Mono Blues en Club

Jack Mono Blues is my band…
We play postwar blues standards that took balls !

It was a magical moment, towards 1945-65, when the migrants musicians from the Delta made the urban energy of Chicago definitively their own thing : they invented a rough way of feeling that was still rural, but already colored by the lights of big city. Later, as teenagers, we found out in that music gorgeous echoes of our own metamorphosis, and never recovered…

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