Well, it's getting closer. Below is our first online newsletter sent to those who register at the Vase site.
Hello VASE Fans!
It's been a while coming, but here it is; Welcome to the first VASEmail.
Thanks for your registration and patience. Although not much has happened on our website, things have been moving forward at VASE HQ. But, before we get to that, how about a little bit of background history for the benefit of those who aren't aware of the story of VASE 2008?.
A couple of years ago, some passionate VASE owners from years gone by were discussing the virtues of these great Australian amps. Beautifully musical tones, incredible military-spec reliability and undeniably cool lines had made the Vase amplifiers legends in their time. As we moved into the third decade since original VASE designer Tony Troughton had passed on, we saw the rock solid devotion people still held to their VASE amps. Ideas were tossed around, more wine was poured, and the decision to revive these iconic Brisbane amplifiers was made that very night. Trademarks were registered and company structures were formed in the following weeks and we set forth upon our journey of creation and importantly, re-creation.
We bought as many VASE amplifiers as we could get our hands on; some 30 different models and vintages were amassed at VASE HQ and promptly dissected. It nearly made me cry the first time I disassembled a perfectly functional Trendsetter 60! The decision was made that the first re-issue would be none other than the legendary Trendsetter 60 Deluxe, with matching 3 x 12 speaker cabinet loaded with Celestion Greenback 25s.
Fast forward to November 2008. (otherwise I'll go on forever)
The Trendsetter 60 is well into prototype stage. The the first prototype has been played, beaten, kicked and punished like a Kiwi batsman. We've been ecstatic with the results and have moved forward to construct the second prototype "as production".It's been a pretty long road to get here but it's so much more than just making a one-off replica. We've sourced most of the bits to make this amp from either original manufacturers or best-equivalents. We've even sourced the original vinyl as used on our 1971 reference amp and convinced the suppliers to make it for us, even though it was a deleted catalogue item. The transformers from our reference amp were reverse-engineered by a great Australian transformer company to re-create the properties of the original Ferguson transformers, no longer available no matter how much we begged. Gary Broadhurst, an original VASE Technician, is primed and ready to start assembly of the TS60 line and it's so close we can nearly smell it. It doesn't sound like much; only two amps built, but when you walk past the pallets of speakers, the crates of transformers, the 10,000 metres of vinyl (yep, that's five 0s) some perspective of how serious we are really becomes obvious.
Of course we realised at the start that a single amp line wouldn't be enough to warrant the massive effort involved in this project. Plans are afoot for a range of amps extending beyond the TS60, including more traditional rock amps as well as a line of modern guitar amps with features the new-millennium players demand. Multiple channels, on-board effects, combos, split-rigs and ultrahigh-powered bass heads; they're all on the drawing board.
Much of the effort that has gone into the first amp will make it so much easier for us to continue towards our goal of being a world-standard manufacturer of guitar and bass amplifiers. We know how to do it and our passion is as strong as that first night we sat around discussing it.So many people have contacted us wanting other amplification products. We asked the questions of the touring musicians and the people on the street. It didn't take long to identify a need for high-power ultra-clean bass speakers that were built the way a bass speaker should be; from real timber plywood not chipboard, and with modern, high-powered Neodymium speakers that go low, go loud and overall, keep going. Enter the VASE V10 range. V210, V410, V610 and the awesome V810 bass speakers fill out the initial catalogue and will be in full production early 2009. We've already got a bunch of them at selected backline suppliers and a few endorsed players. The word on the street is that the V10 range are going to be the ones to beat. Soon to be joined by a range of V8 and V15 speaker cabinets.The VASE 412 quad boxes for guitar are also available and will be in full-scale production from March. These traditional 412 style speaker cabinets will be available with a range of Celestion speakers, including the famous Greenback 25 watt.
Earlier this year we were commissioned by our good friend and fellow VASE lover Ian Taylor to build 12 small guitar amps for one of
Australia's premier music learning facilities, Southbank TAFE, to be installed at their brand new premises and brilliant studio facilities in Brisbane. That was all the excuse we needed to develop the TT15; the TT stands for Tony Troughton and is our homage to the great designer of the original VASE amps. The TT15 is a 15 watt all-tube combo amp with the simplest of preamp circuits providing gain, volume and tone controls. Loaded with the ubiquitous Greenback 25watt 12" speaker these brilliant little amps are sure to find favour amongst those players looking for blues-smooth mids to solid rock crunch at club-friendly volumes. The TT15 will be available in different tunes, different colours and with a choice of several 12" speakers.
The website is close to going live (before Christmas we hope). What we really need now from you dedicated VASE fans is some photos of your VASE amps, interesting stories relating to your amps, or your memories of VASE if you've been around that long. Old "VASE at gigs" photos would be great if anybody has a few tucked away. Of course if you're a recent convert, stories of how you came by your VASE and what you really like about it would be great too!
That's it for VASEmail #1 folks; thanks for registering, and thanks for reading. Not long now....
The VASE team.