NOTE: I have combined this entry and others into a longer article about guitar tone.
I think I spoke some sort of curse when I mentioned the dependability of my friend Sebastien's Matchless guitar amplifier a couple of days ago. Today when I tried setting his amp up, the power socket, which has been wobbly for years, popped a wire off. The amp is now extremely buzzy, and rather dangerous because it isn't electrically grounded.
Fortunately, it's a problem that can be solved with a soldering iron, and a cheap replacement socket if we want to be daring. The technology behind the Matchless is decades old: it doesn't even have any circuit boards in it, just tubes and components and wires and switches and such. Rugged, and easy to repair, even for a relative un-handyman like me, just like the guitar that plugs into it. There's something to be said for keeping the ancient in some technology.