The Oahu Guitar Amp, Vintage Revival...
In 1996, Oliver started his first repair and custom audio shop.
The second product that he launched was his tribute to the historic "Valco manufacturing company" today better
known as "The Oahu". Loosely based upon the historic small combo amp that the Valco company built from 1945
to 1958 in various forms and sold under names such as Supro, Dobro, Tonemaster and Oahu, the first 50 units were
all hand made in Oliver's basement in Seattle.
|Classic two tone covering Black/white
In the true spirit of custom made amplifiers, all components were handmade.
The metal chassis were hand bent and made of surplus aircraft aluminum bought at the Boeing Surplus Store.
The transformers were handwound on a slightly modified Sunbeam mixer and vacuum coated with ground down shellac records.
The woodboxes were made from recycled 50 year old plywood and cedar. Since Oliver
worked in one way or another for several Seattle based bands, word spread fast and several high profile musicians stopped
by at Oliver's shop to buy an Oahu. They carried the news of this great recording amp all over the globe and soon orders
came in from all over the world. The demand for this small 15 Watt amp was so high that the young company moved into
a 4000 square foot production space and stared to build them under the "Jester Products" name.
|Modern two tone covering Gray/Black
From 1998 to 2000 approximately 300 Oahu's were made in various tube
set-ups and woodbox/covering styles. Over 50% of the amps were sold to Japan, Germany and Switzerland, but in April
of 2000 the company was closed due to the fact that it was nearly impossible to retain the handmade spirit of the first 50
units handbuilt by Oliver. Between production problems and the issues that arise when you have 25 plus people on
the payroll, Oliver and his partner Christian decided to close Jester Products. Oliver
started a new company AMI mainly with the focus on his reinterpretations of Telefunken V and U series units but
kept on building Oahu amps as well as providing service and replacement parts for the "Jester Product" units.
In mid 2005, one of the earliest Oahu amp customers,
Mr. Keith Richards (in 1996 he bought 10 amps) contacted Oliver to see if he could buy more. During the 2006 concert
in Omaha, Nebraska, a formal order was placed for 20 more of the Oahu amps. Since Mr. Richards ask for an
exclusivity on the classic B/W vinyl coving, we do not offer that style anymore.
|Keith Richards stage set up on the 2006/2007 tour
We are currently in production on the Oahu amps and you can contact one
of our dealers, or order them directly from us. Please see our Where to Buy page for more information.