One of our friends in the industry occasionally sends out invitations to bring your favorite amp to his studio for an afternoon of sharing and cross-pollination. The “featured marque” on this outing was a nice series of tube amps from Electroplex, a long-time builder of boutique amps from Fullerton, right here in Orange County. We also had some boutique-grade rebuilds of classic Fender designs, a nice vintage Fender Deluxe, a Mesa Blue Angel, and a mid-sixties rectangular-badge Marshall head. The studio owner was agreeable to bringing in some Quilter amps so Chris Parks and I threw a nice assortment in the car and moseyed on down.
I brought along my lap steel, figuring it would add some humor to the event if nothing else. I got to plug into most of the amps over the course of the afternoon. Many of the amps had at least one good sound, but there weren’t really any that “did it all”, even setting aside modern conveniences such as reverb and tremolo. I was personally very happy to see that the Quilters held up very well in this company, and a wide variety of other players were getting some swell sounds too.
A highlight for me was plugging into the vintage Marshall, sitting on a half-stack cabinet. It just had a nice feel to it, with a solid clean tone and well-controlled entry into overdrive with no squirrely off-tones. I’ve always liked the response of the EL-34 tube and its EL siblings. The experience I had validated the tone standards I aim for with the Quilter line. I have to say that some of the other amps suffered from “6L6 rattle” that can be somewhat clashy, and the 6V6 tube, while well behaved, doesn’t really have the headroom. Of course, the speakers chosen for these various amps are yet another variable, one that is inherently more subjective, reflecting the personal taste of the designer, but most of them were reasonable and popular selections.
So a good time was had by all, culminated by a group viewing of the recent Joe Bonamassa at Red Rocks video, a blues extravaganza celebrating the work of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Overall, a pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
$1.6 Million Dollar Endowment Underwrites Construction of a New Concert Hall and the Purchase of New Musical Instruments
Costa Mesa, CA, (December 18, 2013) – Punahou alumnus and QSC Audio Products and Quilter Labs founder Patrick Quilter has agreed to make a $1.6 million donation over the next five years to his former high school, Punahou School, located in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Quilter’s generous gift will help support the building fund for a new recital hall, dubbed the Patrick H. Quilter Concert Hall, with additional funds earmarked for the purchase of fretted stringed instruments and traditional Hawaiian instruments for Punahou students.
My Punahou physics course taught me everything I needed to know to get started in electronics and laid a foundation that allowed me to begin building my first crude circuits in college,” says Quilter, who graduated from Punahou in 1964. “Punahou was the first school where I really blossomed and as a ‘science geek’ I enjoyed my science classes, particularly my physics class because it tended to be about ‘how things work’. I can still recall the many ‘aha’ moments as basic principles were explained and it was from these beginnings that I was able to forge such a long and rewarding career in professional audio.”
Music is an integral part of the K – 12 educational experience at Punahou. Through music, students develop and enhance their creativity and appreciation of the arts. The School’s music programs are recognized nationally for excellence in performance and instruction, and for their broad diversity of offerings.
“Punahou is deeply grateful for Pat Quilter’s generous leadership gift, which will benefit students for decades to come,” says Punahou School President James K. Scott. “Our vision is to be recognized as one of the finest music programs in America, one that emphasizes creativity, collaboration and a deep understanding of Hawaiian culture. This gift will help Punahou realize that goal.”
The Patrick H. Quilter Concert Hall, which is in the preliminary planning stage, will provide a new and much-needed acoustically treated performance venue for students. The state-of-the-art facility will allow Punahou to host a variety of more intimate performances such as guitar recitals, jazz ensembles, Junior School children’s choirs, and other small and mid-sized events. The gift also supports other needs of the Punahou music program, which may include student access to fretted stringed instruments and Hawaiian music.
The son of a Marine aviator, Quilter enrolled at the University of Rochester after graduating from Punahou where he studied Physics and Mechanical Engineering. After two years in New York, Quilter relocated to Southern California to be with this family, where he completed his formal studies at Cal State Long Beach. In 1968, Quilter along with business partners Barry Andrews and John Andrews formed Quilter Sound Company and began building power amplifiers and guitar amplifiers to meet the needs of local musicians and artists. Today, QSC is one of the largest and most respected manufacturers of professional audio products in the world with company headquarters located in Costa Mesa, CA and additional locations in Boulder, CO and Hong Kong and a worldwide staff of over 400 audio professionals. In 2011, Quilter returned to his passion of designing and building guitar amplifiers and founded Quilter Labs where he designs and builds guitars amplifiers for some today’s biggest artists in music.
“I was privileged to attend Punahou and I am elated to be able to give something back to an institution that had such a huge impact upon me. I am please that this contribution will support the future of music, Punahou, our industry, and my personal passion for music,” concludes Quilter.
Groundbreaking on the Patrick H. Quilter Concert Hall will commence within the next five to six years.
QSC Audio Products, LLC is a leading manufacturer of power amplifiers, loudspeakers, network audio systems and digital signal processors worldwide. www.qsc.com
About Quilter Labs
Quilter Labs, LLC is the brainchild of designer/engineer/musician and QSC founder Pat Quilter. Quilter opened for business on January 1st, 2011 designing and building a line of products to fill a need of working musicians for high quality, powerful and easily portable amplifiers that don’t compromise on tone. One of the guiding principles of the company is to leverage technology and modern manufacturing techniques to build more dependable products and deliver more value to customers. www.quilterlabs.com
Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawai‘i is the largest coeducational, independent K-12 school on a single campus in the United States. With 3,750 students, the school enrolls a student body that reflects the diversity of Hawai‘i. Punahou promotes a broad and rigorous academic program, affords wide-ranging opportunities in athletics and the arts, and advances the use of technology in the classroom. Beyond excellent scholars, the school seeks to develop engaged global citizens who can contribute to positive change in the world. www.punahou.edu