Jacques stompboxes


I have always been fascinated by workshops. I have learnt millions of things just watching a specialist working in its natural environment. Pictures of amp or pedal makers in their factories are quite rare, the rare exceptions I know being in the VOX book, where the complete manufacturing process is photographed in detail, and numerous pics of the Fender factory. Just imagine a pic of old Jim and Ken Bran working of the 1st jtm45...

So, to get this trend back in fashion again, I am starting with myself, pictured here with vintage soldering iron on the fuse blower schematics. And it is the first time I show my face on my site.

I know I will be criticised: vintage soldering iron, vintage point-to-point wiring, and vintage ohm-meter. Snob they say, but honest, ain't this Hickok thing beautiful and inspiring?

Two shots of empty Jacques stompboxes awaiting for their electronics. The handwritten logos are my signature.

This is another pic of me with Steven on the right, who is in charge of Europe marketing and tube amp maintenance. He is currently working on a 6B4 power triode push-pull amp for guitar (these precious triodes are usually kept for hi-fi weirdoes) , and on his esoteric 6DQ6 powered tweed bassman rendition. Do not try to start a conversation with him on tubes, you will miss your diner. The man you can see on the left is my master yoda, whose knowledge and experience keep me amazed on an every day basis.

Here is Steven's 6DQ6 tweed bassman. This all came from a big 6DQ6 television tube stock we got for very cheap. As it could deliver the same power than a 6L6, and was built just like the 5881 by the Sylvania factory, we thought this could be a great idea to build a guitar amp around this tube. We chose something simple and good sounding and make it even simpler. Volume, bass and treble while the second switch shorten the tonality circuit to get more power. The amp is in AB2 class and has a raucous distortion of his own when cranked but deliver pure tonal lust with a telecaster (what else?) at clean level.

As you can see, Steven is a man of tradition, something you could tell by his English origins. He bent the aluminium chassis himself and is the only man I know to put his hand inside the amp to test the high voltage. Do not try this old school trick at home!

Some Jacques stompboxes awaiting to be tested. I usually use a '77 stratocaster treble pick-up for its neutral, average output, on 3 type of amps: tube Marshall, tube Fender and vintage Japanese transistor amp.

Just a closer view of Steven, me and his favourite valve. I suspect him to have given this tube a girl's name.

Here I am again with my master yoda in the storage room. I feel so good in this place, surrounded by old tubes, electronics and various obsolete meters. If you already own a Jacques stompbox, you may have noticed that all knobs are vintage. They all are at least 50 years old and are stocked just under this table. Maybe snob again, but compare their heavy bakelite with modern plastic, and tell me which is the most fuzz-friendly.