Early Years

Michael's experience with tube amplifiers started more than 50 odd years ago. Ever since watching his older brother setup a stereo system as a kid, he had become interested in electronics. The seed was planted in the mid 60s when he started playing guitar and was curious how his guitar amplifier worked.

The '70s

He went on to study electronics at the University of Akron in Ohio, and soon after graduating began working for the city of Akron's Communications Department, earning his first-class FCC radiotelephone licence and continuing to deepen his knowledge into audio circuitry, which at the time was mostly tube based.

The '80s

By the 80s he was managing the electronic repair department of a large local music store. Having spent over 10 years working on everything from mixing boards to synthesizers and, of course, lots of guitar amps.

1964 The Tribute

In the 90s he was touring as the front of house sound engineer with the world renowned “1964 The Tribute”, a recreation of an early live Beatles show. He focused on reproducing live mixes of the original Beatles sound, and because of his deep tube amp knowledge, repaired and tweaked their amplifiers.

One of the larger problems the group faced while touring was the weight of their vintage AC30s. At the time airline weight restrictions were becoming tighter and tighter, to the point where the group could no longer fly their real AC30s. They needed an amp that looked and sounded like a authentic Vox AC30 (what the Beatles played), but weighed in at half as much.

Once again stepping in to help, Michael designed an amp that used a modified AC15 circuit with a custom lightweight clone cabinet. At half the weight of a original AC30, but with the same vintage sound, the problem was more than solved for the group.

Michael continued to design and built numerous pieces of gear for the band to help recreate The Beatles sound including tube compressors and mic preamps. After leaving the band he continued to designing and building custom audio equipment. Selling his custom designs nationwide, and giving birth to Purkhiser Electronics.


In more recent years, Michael has worked at Dr. Z Amplifiers, where he built amps for many well know artists including Brad Paisley and Joe Walsh. And after moving to Los Angles in 2014, had also worked at Matchless Amplifiers.

To this day Michael is repairing and restoring vintage tube amplifiers, and is ready to help with yours!