HI !     This is Ivan Richards and I am now inroducing myself for the first time on my new BLOG.

I come from a musical family going back several generations. My great grand-parents emigrated from London, England to set up in Sydney as music and singing teachers. My dad, Jack Richards, held down some of Australia’s top pro guitar gigs during the 40’s and 50’s, co-founded Sydney’s first specialist guitar shop (Guitar City), was responsible for arguably the world’s first production pedal steel guitar (Kord King), most definitely played the first pedal-steel in Australia, and is the Godfather of Aussie pedal-steel.

My obsession with all things to do with music and audio electronics began in High School where I was exposed to the guitar music boom of the 60’s and was influenced by some slightly older pupils at that school who had become very sophisticated in the field of electronics to the extent of creating an in-house radio station. I couldn’t wait to finish school and start learning some practical hands-on stuff. I joined the then PMG Department, later known as Telecom/Telstra as a technician-in training and became part of the last generation to be trained in vacuum tube (valve) technology, which was still in widespread use. This training was to become invaluable later. I had access to cupboards full of valves, resistors & capacitors and started trying to build my own guitar amplifiers. I worked my way through the technical career structure, qualifying as a Technican (Telecommunications), then being appointed to positions including Technical Officer, Senior Technical Officer, Technical Specialist/Designer of Audio & Data Services (Analogue & Digital), Customer Project Manager. During all this time I was operating my amplifier business from home, after-hours, and building up a customer base as well as accumulating years of hands-on experience. When the opportunity arose I left Telstra and became a full-time musician and amp tech.

So that brings us up to April 2011 !  Apart from gigging professionally (guitar & vocals) based here in Gosford NSW,  I operate my own one-man workshop specialising in the repair, restoration, modification and custom design/manufacture of valve (tube) musical instrument amplification. I also design and manufacture a range of analogue guitar FX and splitter/signal routing pedals. I am pleased to say that my pedals have been purchased and are being used by the creme de la creme of the Aussie contemporary music scene.

I have been servicing valve (tube) audio equipment now for over 30 years and have worked on most brands and models from the late 50’s/early 60’s to current production. I can restore your amp to correct and original working order, removing unwanted and often dubious modifications and correcting previous servicing mistakes and poor workmanship. I also service some solid-state equipment, please contact me for details.

Quality workmanship and components will always be my first priority, with a strong emphasis on electrical safety.

I have also been playing guitar in bands and duos for over 30 years and have always designed, built and used my own amps and pedals. All this experience has given me the edge when it comes to working on your gear !!


One Response to “Introduction.”

  1. David Wilson Says:

    Wonderful blog Ivan. Had to look, and I found your personal story fascinating. I wish I could learn more about our readers, and have enjoyed becoming familiar with you via the web. Well done!

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