In 1984, Tim Caswell, while running the tech/service department at S.I.R. (a Hollywood fixture, rehearsal and music gear rental company that served numerous prominent and local flavor rock bands of the day) along with Studio Electronics founder Val St. Regis, modified an early '70s 100-watt Marshall amplifier, known to the company as "Stock #39”. In part, Tim's modification included using #39's then-unused tremolo circuit (with its additional preamp tube) to hot-rod the amp by adding an extra preamp gain stage. Although the basic idea of using an extra 12AX7 pre-amp tube to enhance gain was not necessarily a new concept in and of itself at the time, as evidenced by the reactions of the company's most discriminating customers, Tim's particular circuit design specifications and personal tweaking brought about tonal characteristics that set #39 apart from the amps customized by the other popular mod shops of the period. #39 soon became, by far and away, the company's most exclusive, in-demand, and frequently requested amplifier, rented primarily to the company's higher-profile celebrity clientele. The amp was used on multiple professional recordings by a number of influential performers during the mid-to-late '80s - think Slash’s “Appetite for Destruction” tone alchemy. Uncover the deeper secrets of the #39 (which "very well might be one of the most influential, and mysterious, amps in rock 'n' roll history.") brotherhood by visiting: Slash's World News Site and Tim Caswell's "THE DE-STOCKING OF #39..." near apocryphal page here on this site.
Meanwhile, in 1985, Tim and now Greg St. Regis (son) expanded Studio Electronics, deciding to focus SE’s primary business attention on design and manufacturing in the analog synthesizer market. In the years to come however, even as Studio Electronics was successfully establishing itself in the Analog Synthesizer, FX Pedal, and Pro Audio Fields, Tim's design efforts and personal interests persisted in the guitar amplification domain. Tim - a guitar player himself - continued to perform his signature modification on amplifiers for the occasional guitarist, who could track him down, as well as for some personal friends of his. Additionally, Tim teamed up with Soldano Custom Amplification - a California-based amp manufacturer - to design and produce a preamp: the Soldano/Caswell X99 MIDI Motorized Preamp, featuring Tim's innovative system of real-time-controllable motorized knobs.
In 2006, after more than two decades in the making, Caswell Amplification was officially born. Through Caswell Amplification, Tim's objective is to build a premium line of guitar amps in fulfillment of his career-long vision for amplifier design: to combine the signature tone, vintage feel, and modified circuitry of the vaunted #39 with the pioneering technology, sleek functionality, and unmatched versatility of his real-time-controllable motorized morphable preamp innovation, and programmable classic amp circuits.
The waiting can be the hardest part, but in the case of the ‘09 incarnation of Caswell Amplification’s "NUMBER 39", time served has muscled-up its potent functionality, and sweetened the sound.
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