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Thread: Some "Music Man" History From George Fullerton.

  1. #16
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    The fact that unrecorded events become cloudy with age is easily understood. With the history George has I am sure he would miss some dates. He went to work every day.

    Same with BP. BP was about learning the trade at the time. (I think) He is going to remember way more vividly than the old hand would have. IMHO.

    Still all good stuff. From both.

    tk

  2. #17
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    I should point out that I didn't speak to George Fullerton personally as I reside in Australia. I sent the above Qs to a friend who, in turn, did the interview and asked my above Qs. The interview was transcribed and sent back to me here.

    .
    Gav.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinehost
    ruh roh
    Errrr, that you Scoob?

    BP, Gav, Bove - I really enojoy this stuff - thanks.

  4. #19
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    Yeah I read forrest whites book about f**der which includes musicman but george says different things to a few claims in the book - like BP says most of the guys have passed away so the truth will never be known

  5. #20
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    Dead men tell no tales.
    Starting to think about returning to bass playing in the very near future.

    Larry

  6. #21
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    A question and comments about this thread....
    You guys talk about the preamp and who designed it. I worked at Music Man in the 70's as Leo's and Tom's electronic technician. I worked in both the Music Man and CLF facilities. Tom designed all the amps and as far as I know - Leo designed the guitar and bass preamps. My memory of the time has faded, but Tom sent me over there to "help" Leo speed up his preamp designs for production. Leo was using an LM4250 op amp in a way it was not really intended for - but it did the job. He designed by plugging in parts and strumming the 6 strings of his test bed neck. He spend DAYS doing that, driving everyone nuts. It was an unbelievable time for me there though - I wish I could do it over again! I did the board layouts for the first amp and guitar/bass units. Later things turned strange. Tom didn't talk to me much and soon brought in a guy from MXR, Mark Wentley or something like that. I wonder what happend to him - anyone know? Anyway, he came in and redid most of the designs. I did the original distortion and phaser amp designs and he redid those. I was soon fired - accused of stealling parts - basically at the time I just about lived at Music Man - my apartment was within walking distance and I would often work and play til late at nite in my office there. I was also starting my Electronic Music Circuits book at the time and did take knobs and other parts for my prototypes. Anyway, Leo still kept me on for hourly weekend jobs doing further board layouts. I should have taken a bunch of photographs and written a book on Leo... but I did not. I did take several of the photographs for the Music Man catalog though :-) Oh, and anyone know how I could get one of those old GLF posters that showed Leo's workbench? I'd love it as it was also my workbench too.

    I'd like to know more about the business side of what happened to MM about the time I was canned. I didn't know what was happening, why things were changing so abruptly, why I was sort of cast aside. But I was very naive back then - not much better now. I could have done so much for that company if I just had more experience than I had.

    Barry

  7. #22
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    Welcome aboard Barry, be prepared for allot of questions

    Colin
    Australian Music Man Dealer Contact us
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklein
    Oh, and anyone know how I could get one of those old GLF posters that showed Leo's workbench? I'd love it as it was also my workbench too.
    Is this the bench that Jon (JonGitarz) now uses?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bovinehost View Post
    The lovely thing about the single H Bongo is it's point-and-shoot simplicity while still maintaining the ability to blow over large vehicles full of campers.

  9. #24
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    Barry I remember you but you are incorrect.... tommy did the preamps. case closed.

    Its CLF not GLF

    Its not Mark Wently Its Mark Wentling. He was employed by us for a very short time but while he was here he designed the three band preamp. He went to work for E & E instruments a export sales company founded by Uschi Eastman the former export manager of Music Man. He has since moved back to Rochester New York.

  10. #25
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    This is great stuff!!!

    One of the highlights of the open house was the history lesson BP gave on Saturday... plus the go-go dancing with BP the night before.
    Psycho Ward

    King of Lefthanzia

    "I now pronounce you KING of LEFTHANZIA...its official and no one can take it away..." -BP

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  11. #26
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    Fascinating reading!

    So, when is the official Ernie Ball book due? I remember reading the story behind EB on the website, but I'd personally like a bit of an extended read on the subject, preferrably with a lot of pics of one off basses as well as interviews with Sterling and long time emplyees, the MarkBass people and some of the amazing EB players.
    That would be something for the coffee table
    bovinehost: Yes, I do agree with that, but if there's nothing wrong then there's nothing wrong.
    Beth: I would compare Bongo to Tommy Lee Jones. Bad a$$ and just hot in a weird way...
    cheezewiz: They should take their lace thongs off and play bass.

    HEINZ

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by strummer
    Fascinating reading!

    So, when is the official Ernie Ball book due? I remember reading the story behind EB on the website, but I'd personally like a bit of an extended read on the subject, preferrably with a lot of pics of one off basses as well as interviews with Sterling and long time emplyees, the MarkBass people and some of the amazing EB players.
    That would be something for the coffee table
    +1!! I've often wondered if there was some kind of Music Man history book out there. I love reading books about my hobbies & interests.
    '95 Music Man Stingray honeyburst/white/rosewood
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  13. #28
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    +2 -> My coffee table awaits!
    It's all about the bass!

    My Stuff:
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  14. #29
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    If there isn't a book in the pipe line, I would suggest we do something about that. I would be willing to chip in to make something like that happen
    bovinehost: Yes, I do agree with that, but if there's nothing wrong then there's nothing wrong.
    Beth: I would compare Bongo to Tommy Lee Jones. Bad a$$ and just hot in a weird way...
    cheezewiz: They should take their lace thongs off and play bass.

    HEINZ

  15. #30
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    Dear Big Poppa,
    Been a long time since we last talked.
    I can't believe you (and Mark) played at my wedding. :-)
    Man you were good. Well, that marriage failed, next one failed, and now maybe there will be new one if my girlfriend has her way.... Wanna play?

    I guess you will have to fill in a bit of history details before I started at Music Man, in March 1976. It was never portrayed to me that Tom did the original preamp designs - but it would make sense as I could not believe Leo was designing with an op amp. But I suspect that Tom designed the ORIGINAL preamp, whatever THAT was(!) as since I started Leo was the one messing with guitar/bass preamps - not Tom. The use of the LM4250 for that preamp was kind of mindblowing too - everyone thought it was junk and not worthy of an instrument preamp. And God - he was using tantalum capacitors in the audio circuit! :-)
    Leo knew that circuit better than anyone, knew what component did what and tweaked that damn circuit until both Tom and I just about went nuts. Tom sent me over there to work with Leo to try and finalize a design one time. I tried to suggest a totally different circuit. He didn't like it much. Leo didn't hear too well (after years of playing "ding dong ding" full blast in his closed lab) and he boosted treble to really high levels. Ughh. I wasn't a musician, and didn't understand how that cut through a mix or whatever.

    So Mark and Uschi went together... She was a pistol eh?

    Do you know whatever happened to the yellow telecaster that I used in the lab?
    Wish I could have kept that.

    I still have the guitar Leo gave me. My kids have dinged it up a bit. Leo was also into Nikon 35mm photography and gave me a Nikon AF, which I have but never use much.

    Sorry to read here that Tom has died. He was pretty good to me. Remember him driving that gold Cadillac? Really slow driver. I remember one time I was behind him and cussed him out for driving so slow before I recognized it was him.... ooops. Luckily he never heard me. I always wanted to talk with him again and get a better understanding of just what was going on towards the end there. He used to really interact with me and discuss design trends etc. and then sort of shut me out and hired a bunch of new people. And then there was the struggle with the necks and Forrest etc. - which I was pretty oblivious to.

    What was the reason the amp side of MusicMan did not succeed? Was it because of the op amp distortion circuit replacing the 12AX7? Given all the 12AX7's in effects, keyboards, and even computers nowadays it seems that was a serious error in judgement. The driven cathode circuit was unique and a tribute to Tom's understanding of tube design. Or perhaps it was due to the quality and lack of reliable supply of output tubes back then? I remember he was seeing a few issues with them and looking at doing a solidstate output bass amp.

    I look back at those years and feel really lucky to have spent the time with you, Tom, Leo, and the others. I hope my son can sometime live a dream like that.

    Barry

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