In 1964 I was using tube amplifiers and an electro-mechinical reed/transducer based Wurlitzer electric piano. I didn't know much about those technologies nor was I even curious until a couple years ago. Finding an early 70's Fender Rhodes electric piano for $5 at a garage sale inspired my current obsession with these now "vintage" technologies. When I took the Rhodes apart I was let down when I could find no electronics. Although I had played them before, I had never realized that these instruments were basically 88 note guitars...having a single wound electro-magnetic transducer that responds to the vibration of each "hammered" rod. After experimenting with the building of my own transducer pickups, I bought a couple old and broken guitars to play with. As a sound-sculptor, I found both the aesthetics of the electro-mechanical system of the electric guitar and the design elements of the genre equally amazing. Consequently, the most outrageous and bold designs seemed to come from the 60's Japanese guitars made for department and catalog stores like Sears, Montgomery Wards, etc. I used Ebay as a reference source and collected images of hundreds of fairly radical 60's guitars from Japanese manufacturers like Teisco Del Rey, Decca, Kawai, etc....and I also purchased a few that were cheap and abused so I could re-construct them.
Once you have a 60's electric guitar to play with, the necessity of playing it through an old tube amp becomes clear. Naturally, I bought a couple of old tube p.a.amps to take apart and rebuild and modify into guitar amps. Then of course it became clear that one needed old alnico paper cone speakers for appropriate output so I bought a couple of old organs mostly for the speakers (inexpensive because people don't want these big old monsters anymore). The story continues along these lines...I keep finding more stuff I need to know and need to have in order to satisfy this obsession that is currently without much context. As always, I am confident that this research will direct itself to an eventual tangible "project" but right now, there's just not enough time to look ahead as the doing takes priority.
Projects involving tube metronomes, inventing condensor mic systems for 50's electric air organs (reed), or nose flute preamplifiers and effects systems have also evolved.