STANDEL
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STANDEL
Amplifiers originally produced in Temple City, CA from 1953 to 1967 and from 1968 to 1973 in El Monte, CA. Production resumed in 1997 in Glendale, CA by Requisite Audio Engineering from 1997 to 2007. Currently, Standel amplifiers are being handcrafted in Ventura, CA.
The Standel company was founded by Bob Crooks, an electronics engineer, in 1953. Crooks learned electronics from correspondence courses and began working for Lockheed. After a while he was promoted to engineer in charge of their electronics to build amplifiers. Crooks had a radio repair business that was called Standard Electronics where they derived the name of the company from. Bob was approached by Paul Bigsby to design an amplifier for his pedal steel guitars. After many failed attempts the 25L15 was eventually perfected with the first one going to Speedy West. Within a few months, musicians Joe Maphis, Merle Travis, and Chet Atkins were all playing Standel amplifiers and continued to use them for their entire careers. The first brochure for Standel amplifiers was published in 1954.
Crooks began experimenting with semi-conductors in 1961 and within two years had developed a hybrid tube and solid-state amplifier. The company was successful in the 1960s as they beat Fender to the punch by releasing a solid-state amp by 1964. Solid-state Standels were played by Wes Montgomery, Pete Drake and Buddy Emmons. The 1970s proved to be very unlucky for Standel as they had parts and components that faulted often. This led to erosion of the Standel quality reputation. Crooks sold the company to, Gibson Guitars distributor, Chicago Musical Instruments and worked for them for two years designing the SG Systems line of amplifiers. Later Crooks worked at Barcus Berry where he designed the Sonic Maximizer, which was a unit that compensated for speaker errors by modifying the signal going into the amplifier. The product is still being produced by the BBE Sound Corporation in Long Beach, California. Bob Crooks passed away in 1999.
Stanel amplifiers are back in business producing the amplifiers that made them famous in the first place. Danny "Sage" McKinney is now the current owner and president of the company and producing amplifiers after a 25 year absence from the music industry. For more information, visit Standel's website. Source: Willie Moseley, Vintage Guitar Magazine, Deke Dickerson, and Danny McKinney.

From Blue Book Publications:


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