Two weeks in review!

Hopefully, everyone is enjoying the holiday weekend. We’ve been keeping busy at the Hovercraft shop these past few weeks, so while we take a quick break to enjoy Mom’s classic potato salad we thought we would share the highlights!

Matamp Volume Knob Frame Caps
Knobs on bikes? Turn it up to 11.

MadeHerePDX Bike
A new motorcycles finds its way into MadeHerePDX.

MadeHerePDX Amps
New amps and cabinets arrived at MadeHerePDX.

Custom 2x12
Custom 2×12 cabinets began production.

Hovercraft Bike
The shop turns out more custom work for the new motorcycle project.

Fluzz gives the Ionostrofear Fuzz v2.5 a playthrough.

Ionostrofear Fuzz in the Tone Report: Click to see the Ionostrofear Fuzz in The Tone Report!

2 falcon 100′s up for sale. 6×12′s available locally. ionostrofears now shipping. caribou run 2 slots -5- left

check out the falcons here:

here is one of them:


the 6×12′s are a bass 900 watter and a guitar 420 watter, get either for 950


ionostrofears are now in stock for immediate shipment with free usa shipping:



DIVO VT1000 tube tester by Orange Amps – why we like it a lot.

The DIVO tube tester by Orange Amps is pretty slick.

While its not panacea for testing every darn tootin thing about tubes, and all the fiddle faddle that entails giving a tube a good hiding before putting into heavy volume use in a tube amp destined for live use, we still think the system introduced by Orange is a good idea.



  • low cost to entry
  • works with almost all popular tube types in use today
  • pretty goof proof
  • global distribution and availablility at the retail, repair and touring tech level
  • production, support and development is still continuing by Orange
  • manual is easy to read and understand
  • standardization! something that has been tried by other companies. Some are still in business, but since Orange appears at the top of their game, my take is that this system will be around for a while.
  • gives hobbyists, tube curious musicians, and electronic nerds a bit more insight into those magic glass bottles. Knowledge is a good thing.
  • creates a universally understood standard that can virtually eliminate tube related service headaches for tube vendors and tube amplifier manufacturers in case of warranty and support. We adopted the Orange standard for our amplifier production whole heartedly.

The only negative in our line of work is that the tester is slow. Running through a large batch of tubes for a multiple amp build run can take days. That said, we like ours enough that purchasing a couple more of them for this purpose makes total sense. Wider range of rectifier tube testing and larger capacity (KT120/KT150) power tube testing capabilities would also be nice to have.

So far our DIVO has tested several hundred tubes without a hiccup and caught several failed new tubes that would have gone into service with a customer’s amp. These tubes passed audio, behaved normally, tested fine in the amp in question. We consider each one of these ‘catches’ to be about $100 USD savings for us for the warranty repair/replacement tube cost/biasing labor.

When we get in vintage amps, or other weird tube driven devices, one of the first things we do is screen the tubes in the unit. I have made some surprising discoveries in tube amps that sounded “good” that the tubes inside ended up testing poorly. A replacement set of tubes definitely added to the wow factor.

Bottom line: our tester paid for itself within the first day of use, and its our first line of defense against antique technology giving us (and anyone using our amps) the finger. Since purchasing it, every one of our amplifiers has been sent out with the DIVO tube ratings written right on the amp so that the owner or a tech can just use a DIVO matched set to replace worn or damaged tubes without a trip to a repair shop. The peace of mind this has given me is also well worth the cost to purchase.

So, thank you Orange Amps VT1000 for helping me sleep better at night.