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Unread 06-05-2010, 01:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Hey I got a cool story to tell that happened to me this week.

I took one of my JCM 800's to my amp tech. Hes called Jerry A. Blaha and works in Hollywood. I got chatting to him about Marshalls and told me about all the amps hes worked on. If you go to website and look at the list its pretty impressive.

Amp Crazy - Our Clients

I told him that I wanted to get tone like John Sykes and he explained to me that John uses the same amps that EVH used which were modded by Jose. He told me that Jose used to do all of Eddies amps but when DLR quit, Dave got Jose to do a whole bunch for Steve Vai. This led to a falling out between Eddie and Jose which I guess is how my amp tech Jerry got to know Eddie. Apparently John Sykes bought those Marshalls from Steve Vai and uses them to this day. Heres the cool part: Jerry worked on an original Jose modded amp a few years ago with some really unusual stickers. Last week he saw an amp at a pawn shop for $900 with the exact same stickers and after checking the serial numbers realized it was the same amp. I raced to the shop to buy but it had already sold. Someone must have got a great deal cos its easily worth $3000+

Heres the add that for the amp on craigslist
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv...772228829.html
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Unread 10-24-2010, 11:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

New guy here:
Yeah, I'm fortuneate enough to have a Jose mod, and I wouldn't sell it for anything. I love hearing Jose stories, and have a few of my own.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 11:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Hey LM, welcome to the Forum!

Lets hear a Jose story....
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Unread 10-26-2010, 12:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

I thought that it had been decided that Eddie did not use a modded amp.

Do you have hard proof that Eddie used a modded amp?

Everyone wants to say they had something to do with Eddie's amps.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 09:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

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Originally Posted by willwallner View Post
Hey I got a cool story to tell that happened to me this week.

I took one of my JCM 800's to my amp tech. Hes called Jerry A. Blaha and works in Hollywood. I got chatting to him about Marshalls and told me about all the amps hes worked on. If you go to website and look at the list its pretty impressive.

Amp Crazy - Our Clients

I told him that I wanted to get tone like John Sykes and he explained to me that John uses the same amps that EVH used which were modded by Jose. He told me that Jose used to do all of Eddies amps but when DLR quit, Dave got Jose to do a whole bunch for Steve Vai. This led to a falling out between Eddie and Jose which I guess is how my amp tech Jerry got to know Eddie. Apparently John Sykes bought those Marshalls from Steve Vai and uses them to this day. Heres the cool part: Jerry worked on an original Jose modded amp a few years ago with some really unusual stickers. Last week he saw an amp at a pawn shop for $900 with the exact same stickers and after checking the serial numbers realized it was the same amp. I raced to the shop to buy but it had already sold. Someone must have got a great deal cos its easily worth $3000+

Heres the add that for the amp on craigslist
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv...772228829.html
Not that EVH is exactly a reliable source but he has gone on record that he lied about Jose modding his amps just to throw the guy some business. So either they really were not modded, EVH had no idea what Jose did or some 3rd option...... I couldn't tell you.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 10:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

He had a lot of amps.....Why does everyone insist on a resloution to this matter. He had stock marshalls, he had some worked on by Jose with the cathode following MV with two components on the back of it to act as diodes. clip clip clip at lower volume levels but sounds killer cause of the voltages there.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 11:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

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He had a lot of amps.....Why does everyone insist on a resloution to this matter. He had stock marshalls, he had some worked on by Jose with the cathode following MV with two components on the back of it to act as diodes. clip clip clip at lower volume levels but sounds killer cause of the voltages there.
When people talk about EVH there is only one amp they are talking about. The question is which amp EVH is talking about.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 11:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

I think Amp Crazy's ad is the most honest thing Ive seen in a long time.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 01:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

My Father-in-law has a video that Eddie himself (they were really cool for a while and my father-in-law is a distant cousin to Eddie) sent him from back when Eddie went to the Marshall factory to have them work on a head for him. I saw it once about 4 years ago. Eddie just sat there while the techs tqueaked with the amp and every once in a while they'd look at him, and he'd say, "no that's not quite what I want." They'd offer to try a pedal in front of the amp and he'd say, "no I don't want to use a pedal. I shouldn't have to use a pedal to get my sound." It was 20 minutes of pure tone creating history. Now next time I'm over there I gotta see if I can find it.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 02:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

I have said this before and on other forums,when i had conversations with Jose Arrendondo in the late70s early 80s Jose explained to me that when Van halen recorded van halen 1(first album)he(jose)performed no mods to Eds marshall that Ed did use a overdrive-distortion unit to achieve that type of gain-distortion, jose didnt no what type of unit it was,could have been homemade, something that Ed and rudy Leiran(eds first tech)could have built,if some of you remember some of the early 70s photos there are two boxes on the floor,Eds effect pedals,one looked like a big muff with the #1 on it and the other looked like a old marshall fuzz pedal with the #2 on it plus Eds normal pedals such as the phase 90,flanger and the echoplex,anyway after they recorded van halen 1 and out on tour for that album those pedals were not used or seen again.Jose did explain to me that when van halen finished the van halen 1 tour and the recording of van halen II jose did perform a master volume mod to Eds plexi.When you listen to Van halen 1 you can plainly hear the gain-distortion that is not on van halen II or the rest of the van halen catalog,van halen 1 is the most aggressive then any of the van halen recordings,thats why when you listen to many of van halen clips on the net they sound more like van halen II,fairwarning and so on,it is much easier to achieve the van halen II and so on sound because its more of a master volume sound then van halen 1 which sounds more like something infront of Eds amp pushing the front end,its not the mxr 6 band eq,im sure some of you will say or the echoplex,those two items cant achieve that type of gain-distortion thats on van halen 1,I have tried that in the 70s and its not it,anyway just wanted to share this.You have to understand that when it comes to Eds equipment,Ed will not be telling you the truth thats for sure........
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Last edited by pittbull; 10-26-2010 at 02:34 PM.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 02:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

yep. and why would anyone want to know exactly anyways.
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Unread 10-26-2010, 07:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

eddies's 68 plexi had a signle white knob on the rear panel, as seen from studio/tour photos from the first albums. many believe it was a single wire master volume
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Unread 10-26-2010, 08:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Last interview I read with EVH he said that he had lied for years about the VH1 tone. He said it was actuall his original, unmodded plexi with everything on 10, running at 87 volts using a variac. Wonder if he's still lying?
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Unread 10-26-2010, 10:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

mike mike those photos that your talking about are studio shots of van halen recording van halen II there are no photos of van halen when they recorded van halen 1,as for the white knob in back of Eds marshall thats a master volume that jose arrendondo installed also Bloodrock dont believe what Ed talks about in interviews when it comes to his(Eds) equipment,Ed wants it to be miss leading.
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Unread 10-27-2010, 07:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

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Originally Posted by Bloodrock View Post
Last interview I read with EVH he said that he had lied for years about the VH1 tone. He said it was actuall his original, unmodded plexi with everything on 10, running at 87 volts using a variac. Wonder if he's still lying?
Running the amp at 87 volts would be approximately 33 volts down from 120. This would mean that the heaters would be running at below 5 volts. This would turn into fast trouble with a tube amp.
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Unread 10-30-2010, 06:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Not sure if Eddie actually used JOSE mods on VH stuff, but JOSE was contracted to be Eddie's main amp guy for years.........heard that from JOSE's mouth myself. I had a transformer problem with a JOSE mod years ago, and after contacting JOSE for a proper repair, he informed me that he was unable to work on any amp ( including his own mods) due to contract lockouts preventing him from doing so. I ended up getting AL FEDERICI to repair my mod............he was an apprentice of JOSE's back in the day and was referred to me by JOSE.

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Unread 04-06-2011, 10:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

I bought my 100watt Marshall already modified by Jose in 84 or 85. It sounded bad. I got a hold of Jose in Encino. I remember a lady answered the phone and I had to talk to her in Spanish. He got on the line and said what band are you in?- No band at the moment I said ! He kind of hesitated and said well ok come over. We went in his garage and said he remembers that Amp !! He said he did a 3 way mod to it- whatever that meant. The sticker in back of the amp said " ARRCO" or something to that effect. He was real nice to me !! 3 weeks later he called me and I got the amp back. He showed me in the next room an amp he was going to market with EVH I think. It was Black with the front with brown plexiglass see through window. It was cool looking. He then pulled out a strat that eddie made and I played it through my newly tuned up amp= MY GOD I said this thing is AWESOME !! He said some one altered some part inside the amp.When I got home- I nearly died- that amp scared the **** out of me- now playing my SG in my garage. I held on to that amp until dec 09 when some **** head stole it from my storage unit in Tujunga CA. God I couldn`t sleep that night ! I`ve told this story to my Heavy Metal friends over the years- now being 51 years old -that Marshall was the one that got away !! Thanks for reading RAY
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Unread 04-11-2011, 08:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Libertymachine,is Al Fedrici still around doing amp repairs,is there a contact # for him.
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Unread 04-11-2011, 08:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Are you all sure that Ed doesn't lie because he's actually embarrassed to admit he used a Gorrilla on VH1?
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Unread 04-11-2011, 09:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

If Ed's mouth is moving, there's a lie coming out of it.
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Unread 04-11-2011, 11:08 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

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Originally Posted by MartyStrat54 View Post
Running the amp at 87 volts would be approximately 33 volts down from 120. This would mean that the heaters would be running at below 5 volts. This would turn into fast trouble with a tube amp.
Eddie smoked alot of amps..... He, and his techs have all admited to the variac use..
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Unread 04-12-2011, 07:28 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

We have worked on and serviced many different amps Jose Modded. He had several Mods and some had more gain than others as well as more control features. He did not always use diode clipping but that was used in one of his higher gain Mods. The 3-way Mod does not include or employ diode clipping (IE: all tube circuitry). There were three (3) input jacks allowing the player to use varying amounts of gain depending on what the player was looking for. The same core circuit was also done for Mick Mars (we worked on the Dr Feelgood amp). The amp presently resides with Richard Fortus of GnR. It is also the same core circuit that was done for Steve Vai (back on David Lee Roth album "Eat'em And Smile" record). You can dial in very mild overdriven tones as well as higher gain tones, very flexible circuit and lots of fun to play on (very smooth and easy to play on). Mick's amp had a transformer isolated slave output, the same that was done for Eddie. This was to slave one amp into another. Some other techs got onto using this but instead used a resistive network, which sounds and feels very different by direct comparison. The Jose Modded amp that Joe Holmes used with Ozzy was a different Mod that Jose designed.


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Unread 04-12-2011, 05:36 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

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We have worked on and serviced many different amps Jose Modded. He had several Mods and some had more gain than others as well as more control features. He did not always use diode clipping but that was used in one of his higher gain Mods. The 3-way Mod does not include or employ diode clipping (IE: all tube circuitry). There were three (3) input jacks allowing the player to use varying amounts of gain depending on what the player was looking for. The same core circuit was also done for Mick Mars (we worked on the Dr Feelgood amp). The amp presently resides with Richard Fortus of GnR. It is also the same core circuit that was done for Steve Vai (back on David Lee Roth album "Eat'em And Smile" record). You can dial in very mild overdriven tones as well as higher gain tones, very flexible circuit and lots of fun to play on (very smooth and easy to play on). Mick's amp had a transformer isolated slave output, the same that was done for Eddie. This was to slave one amp into another. Some other techs got onto using this but instead used a resistive network, which sounds and feels very different by direct comparison. The Jose Modded amp that Joe Holmes used with Ozzy was a different Mod that Jose designed.


Have a great day guys!
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Thanks for the input Trace!
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Unread 04-18-2011, 04:05 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

pittbull.....did ya get my pm? Trying to locate AL for over 15 years now.
Anybody else know this dude? Please forward info if so. He's a killer amp tech etc.....
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Unread 04-18-2011, 06:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

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pittbull.....did ya get my pm? Trying to locate AL for over 15 years now.
Anybody else know this dude? Please forward info if so. He's a killer amp tech etc.....
Maybe it's time for a new tech.


I completely gutted a Jerry Blaha-modded JCM800 a while back and restored it back to its stock circuit. It didn't even remotely resemble a Marshall circuit and had INCREDIBLY harsh top end. The owner is much happier with it now. I'll record some clips of it in the next week or two when I get it back in for periodic service.
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Unread 04-18-2011, 07:25 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Yeah, def looks like I'll have to find a new tech.....Al apprenticed with Jose and dialed this amp in perfectly.I figured that he might even click around these AMP forums from time to time. I read somewhere that the caps tend to start leaking after 10 -15 years and since I'm about ready for a retube, thought I'd have it checked top to bottom by a tech that was familiar with this type of mod.
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Unread 04-18-2011, 07:34 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

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Yeah, def looks like I'll have to find a new tech.....Al apprenticed with Jose and dialed this amp in perfectly.I figured that he might even click around these AMP forums from time to time. I read somewhere that the caps tend to start leaking after 10 -15 years and since I'm about ready for a retube, thought I'd have it checked top to bottom by a tech that was familiar with this type of mod.
Well I sincerely doubt the mod is some kind of otherworldly concept that most technicians wouldn't be able to understand. In fact, it has probably been replicated quite a few times by others and they just haven't gotten (or desired) the notoriety for it. That's not to take the wind out of your sails or anything, that's just the reality of it. There is only so much that can be done to a valve amp circuit without straying into what most consider less than ideal tonal territory. Component values and circuit topography are not unlimited in scope and possibility. That's not to say new things can't be done, but they aren't many, and 20+ year old mods aren't bound to be alien concepts.

Long story short, there are plenty of good techs in LA, and I'm sure at least one of them will be just what you're looking for.
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Unread 04-18-2011, 07:48 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Sounds like you might be a good tech yourself..................too bad you're up north.
I'm not really concerned about anybody copying this mod etc.......I'd just like to find someone familiar with this type of mod & not get it back sounding like a different amp.
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Unread 04-18-2011, 07:54 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Libertymachine I did get your pm,Thanks,it would be nice to try and find Al.
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Unread 04-18-2011, 08:03 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Jose Arredondo Mod / EVH amp

Well thanks for the vote of confidence. I care very strongly about what I do. I treat my clients' amps better than my own.

If the amp hasn't been serviced in a while, you can expect some difference in tone with valve replacement and recap, but I highly doubt the change would be negative. If anything, I'd say it would be an improvement. Valves and power supply caps can lose their operating efficiency very gradually, to the extent that you get used to it as it progresses and you don't actively notice any difference until a recap or a retube and you go "Holy shit, I thought the lowend was already tight, but listen to it NOW!"

With recap on an amp with 10-15 year old capacitors (or older), you can typically expect an increase and tightening in low end response. With replacement of old power tubes, you can typically expect an increase in top end clarity, touch responsiveness and improvement of detail, or, for lack of better description "harmonic complexity" depending on the valves you use to replace the old ones.

But neither of these procedures will re-voice your amp, which is what it sounds like you are fearing here.

EDIT: How's this for luck, I was in LA all this past week. I made the 9 hour trip back up here Friday.
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