My name is Michael Knauf. I am the founder, creator, engineer, builder, and user of all my amps – I am a one man band so to say… I am a Mechanical Engineer by day and an Amplifier Technician/Engineer by night – I also play music as well. I graduated with highest honors from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007 with my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Here is a little about me and how I got into this hobby turned obsession.
I’ve loved guitar ever since I can remember –who hasn’t? Well I suppose some people could do without but I always wanted to play but never got the chance until I was around 16 yrs old. It was around then I received my first electric guitar and amplifier and all hell broke loose… I don’t remember much of that year in my life except that I spent a lot of time with the guitar… A LOT! I didn’t pay much attention to amps back then; I was more into just learning to play stuff. The next pivotal part in this story was my first tube amp – it happened to be an amp I had played many times before, a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. That amp served me well for a while but I then got the itch for something better – I got into Mesa Boogies… but not for long. Soon I was frustrated with the Mesa Boogies and was looking for a better, more organic sound.
This is when I decided I would start building my own amps. Another Mechanical Engineer I work with was also into tube amplifiers… he showed me the ropes and got me hooked. We have worked on many designs together and I think I contributed to making his amps better by playing them, recording them, and giving him feedback about what I truly thought. When I had learned enough to know what made an amp sound what like I wanted it to sound like it was much easier to convey to him what should be changed or what was acceptable, and what was really special. I always keep track of what was unacceptable and what was special – acceptable is NOT something I shoot for with my designs and builds. Each amp is designed to be unique and have a character of its own.