Who is this guy anyway?
I'm Ace Pepper.
I've been a professional musican all my adult life, about 30 years.
I'm a guitarist. I've also done a lot of recording, own a studio,
and have recorded and produced a lot of local CDs by folks you've
never heard of. I was on the road a lot in the 80s, produced and
engineered a songwriter's radio show in the 90's and for the last
9 years or so been hand-building tube guitar amps. I hooked up with
my 'ol lady, the lovely Jeska, about 20 years ago and we have a
son, Daniel, who is 20.
Everybody always asks "How'd you learn this stuff?"
How else... the internet!
I've always been interested in getting a better tone out of my guitar
amp, like every other guitar player. My first cool amp was a 100
watt Marshall half-stack with a master volume added. Back in '98
or so I needed a smaller amp. Everything I could afford sounded
like ass and everything I liked was really expensive. Then a freind
let me try his real, no shit, '58 Fender Tweed Deluxe. It was the
best sounding little amp I ever heard! I did a little looking on
the internet. Turned out they still make all the parts for these
things and lots of folks build 'em all the time! I got a good book
about tube amps and it all made sense. So I built a Tweed Deluxe.
It was easy, fun, and sounded great! I was hooked!
Well, one thing led to another. I built a 50 watt Marshall-style
amp next. Even made my own eyelet board. That was fun, sounded great,
and I was REALLY hooked! I met Will Dyke of Armadillo Amp Works
in Austin and was blown away by his cabinets. With guys like this
to work with, I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to do but
build guitar amps! Since then I've been eating, sleeping, and making
the best tube guitar amps I can. I love learning new stuff and I'm
always looking for a way to make a better, cooler guitar amp. I've
made some terrific friends along the way and their work inspires
me to do better.
I've been at it about 9 years now and the nature of my buisiness
has gone thru several changes as I've learned. At one time I wanted
to be a big company with dealers and production numbers, yada yada.
I've since come to the realization that this is not really practical,
or even desirable to me. From my little shop in San Marcos, Texas
I can produce about 12 or 14 amps a year. My wife Jes helps a lot
and I work with some very talented artists, but we're still bassicly
a one-man shop. This makes every amp we build a true labor of love,
individual and unique as the folks who play them. What I try to
offer that other amp companies, or even other builders can't, is
the kind of individual attention to design and detail that comes
with a hand-crafted work of art. My customers become my friends
and my amps become my childeren. You may get to keep the amps and
play them, but they're always MY amps!;-)
In the future I'm excited about pushing the boundries of what can
be done with tube amplifiers. What could they look like? How could
they sound? I'm less interested in having my stuff in Guitar Center
and more interested in having my stuff in an art gallery. I'm interested
in exploring new mediums, like metal etching or polishing. New shapes
and materials, like fiberglass and exotic woods. New electronics
too, like our Delay pedal. I'm excited about doing more pedals,
like tremelo, or overdrive. I want to approach all these things
with a passion for quality craftsmanship and beauty. I mean, what's
the point if it isn't cool, right? When you turn on one of my pieces
I want it to turn you on! That's the fun part!