The Blue Guitar Page
featuring Guitar and Tube Amp mods for Blues tones

Presented by Steve Ahola

     The Blue Guitar is an educational site dedicated to the electronics of guitars and tube guitar amps.

     Use Google to search the Blue Guitar site!

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September 10, 2010:

    Look me up on Facebook! I kinda have a blog going on with my page there and you are all welcome to join. (Write "BlueGuitar" as a note or message so that I know it isn't just spam or someone trying to break the world record of having the most friends on FB.) I do tend to rant and rave about my left wing views on politics and economics but I always welcome a friendly discussion if you disagree. My main interests there are music and humor- I try to be an equal opportunity jokester!

    I have not been updating the links within the HTML files referenced by the Articles, Schematics and Sound Files headings. If you get a 404 File Not Found message, take note of the filename and then look in the FILES section. You might also want to paste the filename into the Google search box. If you still can't find the file you can either send me an email or make a post in the Questions section. It might look like I am not answering those questions but I am replying to all of them via email.

March 23, 2010:

    I have revised the panel on the left side of this page so that it is less confusing. "Access to all files" goes to a directory listing of all of the files on this site. As you navigate through the file structure you will find additional folders not listed on the folder tree on the left pane. Click on the word "Enter" near the top of the left pane to return to the home page.

    I have not been updating the links within the HTML files referenced by the Articles, Schematics and Sound Files headings. If you get a 404 File Not Found message, take note of the filename and then look in the FILES section. You might also want to paste the filename into the Google search box. If you still can't find the file you can either send me an email or make a post in the Questions section. It might look like I am not answering those questions but I am replying to all of them via email.

Here are the tracks from my CD "Blue Diamonds from the Blue Guitar":

Here are some live tracks I recorded in 2009 with my band The Culprits:

January 19, 2009:

    The past few months I have been converting Crate V18-112 amps to various classic and boutique amp designs. I have been posting the details of these mods (along with the annotated drawings) at The Gear Page and at

You can find the factory schematics for the Crate V-Series amps in this folder here:

... and all of the Crate mod drawings in this folder:

You can send email to me c/o


October 3, 2007:

    I haven't been maintaining the HTML portion of this site (the web pages) but I've been continually adding content which can be accessed through the FTP-style listings, which is not as frightening as it may sound. Navigate through the various folders and click on the filenames that you would like to view or download. I've been adding a lot of MP3's from various blues jams I've been playing at for the past 15 months so be sure to check them out. I'm using MegaUpload instead of RapidShare so I will be editing that link below, and maybe adding a link to PhotoBucket, which has been doing a great job of handling photos and scans. It'd probably be good to add links to the sites I have found to be very useful so watch this space! And then proceed to the FTP listings.

BTW be sure to check out TMX Web Services which has been hosting this site for several years now! Web sites from $5.99 a month...

July 8, 2002:

     Welcome to the New Millenium edition of the Blue Guitar!

    For quick and easy access to all of the files on this site click on the "FTP Site Map" link in the left window. The left window will show a site map with links to all of the folders on the site. Click "Exit" to return to the "classic" Blue Guitar interface, with links to the various index pages (Articles, Schematics/Links, Sounds).     Browse around and see what you can find in the various folders. The "modnotes" folders may include text notes and/or schematics for the various mods depending on what is available. The "text" folder contains important posts and threads that I have saved from AMPAGE and other forums.


June 28, 2002:

     [Editor's note: "What's New?" has been replaced by the "FTP Site Map" listing.] I am in the process of moving all of the Blue Guitar files into the directory listings accessible through the "What's New" link to the left. The advantage to the FTP directory style listings is that new files can be available for download immediately, without me having to first write HTML links on an index page. You might be seeing a lot of changes in the Schematics and Links page, but none of the files are gone; you can get to them all by clicking on "What's New?" and navigating through the various folders. Browse around- you never know what you might find in there!

    Here's a tip: To get back to the top-most (root) FTP directory just click on the "What's New?" link in the left window, rather than clicking "Back" in your browser or clicking on "Parent Directory" in the listings.

    I have also added links to the appropriate FTP directories from the Schematics, Articles and Sounds pages; once within the FTP directory structure you can navigate around as you wish. Enjoy!

June 15, 2002:

     The Blue Guitar site has added a "What's New?" section which is a raw directory listing of new files which have not been added to any of the index pages yet. "What's New?" includes drawings that have been emailed to me or downloaded by me from other sites, along with BBS threads I have been saving on various issues. I haven't done much editing to them so send me an email if you would like me to correct or remove your email address. Enjoy!

September 19, 2000:

     The Blue Guitar has its own domain name! Be sure to update your bookmarks and links:

October 23, 1999:

     Be sure to read the Important Notice at the top of the Schematics page. In downloading files from that page you are agreeing to follow the conditions set forth in that notice. The schematics and articles posted on this site are for educational purposes only. If you intend to use any of the information posted on this site for commercial applications it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate parties for whatever licensing arrangements are required by law.

August 14, 1999:

     I've added Questions and Comments sections to this site courtesy of tboy from AMPAGE. When you submit an item, a copy of it is e-mailed to me automatically. I may reply to you directly through e-mail in which case the reply will not be posted here. One note: when you click on the "Exit" button on the Q&A or Comments pages you are returned to this page, not the page you had just been at. To return to that page, click on the "Back" button in your browser.

August 1, 1999:

     I've reorganized this site so that all of the articles, schematics and other reference material are listed in HTML tables on the three main index pages (Articles, Schematics/Links, Sound Files). Click on the appropriate index page in the left frame and then scroll through the listings to find the file you wish to view or download. For HTML, GIF, JPG and PDF files, if you Left-Click on the link the file will be loaded into the appropriate viewer within your browser. To download any of these files to your local hard drive, Right-Click on the link to bring up a menu and select the option labeled "Save Link As..." Some of the larger schematics will not load properly in many browsers so you are encouraged to download them and view them off-line using a program such as ACDSee. Note: if you download an HTML file it will NOT include any GIF or JPG image files referenced by the HTML file; to download the image files you will need to browse through the HTML file and save them individually by right-clicking on them as described above. As long as you keep the image files in the same directory or folder as the HTML file, they should be displayed properly off-line. (PDF files generally contain all of the referenced image files so that they can be downloaded with a single click without having to deal with all of that BS.)

     Well, I decided to add "frames" to make it easier to navigate through this site. To navigate from one of the main index pages to another just click on the link in the left frame. For the benefit of those people using a browser that doesn't support frames, I have included links at the bottom of the main index pages to return to the home page: "Return to Home Page (No-Framers Only!") If you click on this link in the "Frames" version of the site, you may end up with a second frameset inside the main frameset. The work-around for this is very easy: just don't click on the link! Note: if you are viewing this page in your full browser window, click on the link at the bottom of this page to return to the frameset version of this site (with the index frame on the left).
     There are
STILL no fancy HTML tricks, eye-blinding graphics, or streaming audio to slow down the load times. I basically just wanted to post some of the guitar wiring schematics and tube amp mods I've developed. I also like to rant and ramble on about my favorite blues tunes, albums, and shows; the Blues Reviews page will be in the format of a date-stamped log, with the new entries at the top. I haven't added in navigation or command buttons, so you may need to use the toolbar in your browser to back out of a page, and the menus to print out a page. To save a page or image to your hard drive, right click on it and select the appropriate option from the menu. If you have any suggestions or comments, send e-mail to me by clicking on the link below.

November 17, 1998:

     I'm in the process of converting many of the longer documents on this site to the Adobe Acrobat PDF format. If you don't have Acrobat Reader and the Acrobat plug-ins for your browser, click on the link below to Adobe to download the FREE software.

     The PDF format offers many advantages over HTML, such as smaller file sizes and shorter download times. The Acrobat Reader will allow you to view the documents on-line and off-line with your choice of zoom levels, and it has much better print features than a typical browser. I have also added table of contents frames when appropriate to improve navigation within the documents. When following links within a PDF document, if you need to backtrack, just right-click anywhere and select "Go Back". Hopefully, future versions of Acrobat will include a "Back" button (and a more functional Zoom feature that uses the right button to zoom out!).

     You can left-click on PDF files to load them into your browser if you have the appropriate Acrobat plug-in installed; you can right-click on them for a menu that will allow you to save them to disk to be viewed and printed off-line using the Acrobat Reader. One other tip: if you want the PDF file to open in a full-sized window in your browser (rather than just inside this frame), right-click and then select "Open in New Window". When done viewing the PDF file, close the new window to return to the framed view of my site. (This tip works for NetScape; Internet Explorer may use different commands.)