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Digital Subscriptions > Guitar Magazine > Apr 2019 > CALIFORNIA SOUL

CALIFORNIA SOUL

From humble beginnings in a Haight apartment in 2006, Milkman Sound’s Tim Marcus has handcrafted a range of superb-sounding boutique amps – using his pedal-steel background to inform their design…
A selection of the high-quality components used in Milkman Sound products, including custom Mercury Magnetics output transformers
Milkman Sound is situated in Toland Place, South San Francisco, having started life in the city’s Haight area in 2006

South San Francisco is an area of the famed tourist-rich city that’s rarely touched upon by travel guides. That’s partly because it’s home to the city’s industrial manufacturing base, and partly due to the area’s rundown appearance. Nestling amongst warehouses and commercial buildings are all manner of businesses and suppliers, as well as a sizable homeless population living in broken-down mobile homes and makeshift encampments. However, like many industrial urban settings, South San Francisco is also historically the home to artists, musicians, recording studios and all kinds of creative companies. Most are drawn by the ample warehouse-style accommodation, as well as the affordability of one of the city’s most inaccessible neighbourhoods.

One such company is Milkman Sound. Proprietor Tim Marcus established his current base in the South San Francisco area in 2016. Since 2006, he’d worked to manufacture his extensive range of boutique amplifiers from his apartment in the Lower Haight.

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About Guitar Magazine

Are we a quarter of the way into 2019 already? It only seems like a few days ago that we were heading out to the NAMM Show in California to see what the guitar industry had in store for us during the year ahead. You can find a sparkling array of new gear from the show floor over at Guitar.com and in this month’s magazine, we put some of it through its paces. Resplendent on the cover, the headline act is Fender’s bold new hybrid, the American Acoustasonic Telecaster. With a broad palette of vivid acoustic and electric-guitar tones on offer, the Acoustasonic might open a few musical doors and allow you to get away with taking one less guitar to the gig. In this month’s reviews section you can read our in-depth review and check out even more hot new gear from the likes of Blackstar, Orange, EarthQuaker Devices, Electro-Harmonix and more. The show itself was the most positive we’ve attended in many years. Not only did Gibson return to Anaheim in force, but perhaps the biggest story of NAMM 2019 originated in Northern Ireland with the news that George Lowden has teamed up with the biggest pop star in the world right now to launch a new range of affordable acoustics. The Sheeran by Lowden instruments are set to be manufactured in Downpatrick (just like Lowden’s wonderful high-end guitars) and their development has been a real labour of love for Ed and George. Find out what they had to say about the process in this month’s mag, where they join Gibson CEO JC Curleigh and John Mayer in our round-up of conversations from the Anaheim show. While we’re in name-dropping mode, fans of Les Pauls are particularly well served this month. The Collection features jaw-dropping images of what might have been the very first Burst to arrive on UK shores back in the early 1960s, while elsewhere, Tony Bacon charts the history of Gibson’s finest solidbody with contributions from bona-fide rock legends Jimmy Page and Billy Gibbons. Enjoy the issue!