May 12, 1945 – Dec. 23, 2006
“I want an amp to be fast and dynamic.
I want to hear the note with
multiple layers of harmonic complexity,
giving a fat, euphonic, and lyrical tone.
I like an amp to have an awesome clean sound,
yet rock my world when I dig in.”
“My goal is to make amps that make the soundtrack to people’s lives.”
Some other excerpts from a letter Ken wrote on 7/17/2006:
TRAINWRECK was started in 1981 as amplifier repair and modification service in Colonia, New Jersey. By 1982 I had a request by an Atlantic recording artist to build him a custom amplifier. While I had built myself amps before, this was to become the start of building amps of my own design for other guitarists.
At that point I decided to come up with a blueprint of the goals for what an ultimate amp would be to suit my personal tastes. There were so many styles of amps already out there, I wanted to try to break through the limits of those designs. I knew that one channel was the way I’d go. When you had the typical two or three channel amp of the sixties, I found that the mixing circuits caused a compromise in the sound, response, and general feel of the amp. Also I noticed many amps were slow to respond to pick attack and lacked a proper response to changes in touch. I also found that master volume circuits did not give the response of power tubes. Master volumes are fine for some. There are styles of music that require them. I dislike spring reverb myself. For me
it’s a cover-up for an amp that’s flat and dry sounding.
The good news is that many players, including several in the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame, tell me my amps are among their favorites.
The bad news is for 19 years so far, I’ve been suffering with chronic illnesses that have made me very frail…