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Inspiring Conversations with Colleen Fazio of Fazio Electric

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colleen Fazio.

Hi Colleen, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My story begins in Chicago, IL. I grew up in a southern suburb called Plainfield and grew up with a deep love of music. I played in bands throughout my teenage years and always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the music industry. When I was in my early 20s, I landed a job at an audio repair shop called Deltronics in Woodridge, IL. The shop fixes all audio gear- record players, DJ equipment, amplifiers, etc. The owner of the shop, Mike Delvalle, is one of those guys who can fix anything. The more I learned about vintage audio equipment through his teachings, the more I fell in love with vintage amps. Mike eventually built a workbench for me next to his, and he became my mentor. I focused on guitar amplifiers, and Mike taught me how to diagnose, repair, and test amps. After a few years, I moved to Los Angeles. Here in LA, there are TONS of musicians, and therefore the supply of vintage amplifiers is absolutely unparalleled. I worked at an amp repair shop in West Hollywood called Revamp for a few years until he moved up to the Bay. After that, I went independent and have been working out of my home shop ever since. I am currently located in La Crescenta, where I spend my time focusing on vintage guitar amplifier repair, and I build amps too.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The biggest obstacle I have faced would be a lack of resources. There aren’t classes to teach you about old analog technology (vacuum tubes, etc), so in this line of work, you have to be self-taught or find a good mentor. I was beyond lucky to find Mike in my early days and still talk to him on a regular basis. It is very nice to have someone to contact if I have any questions. I have also connected with other audio repair technicians all over the world, so we have a pretty great community of people who are always willing to help.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Fazio Electric?
I specialize in repairing vintage tube guitar amplifiers. Primarily, I repair guitar amps from the 1940s-1980s. I also build guitar amplifiers from scratch, which are based on vintage designs. In the past decade or so, there has been a newfound adoration for vintage gear. It is an honor to be able to keep these special amplifiers alive. Nothing compares to opening up an amp that hasn’t been touched since the 50s or 60s. The oldest amp I fixed was from 1939 and was completely original and untouched when I opened it up. It is quite literally like a time capsule! I specialize in brands such as Fender, Marshall, Vox, Hiwatt, Gibson, etc. If the amp is from the time period and uses vacuum tubes, odds are I fix it.

I also have a Youtube channel where I showcase amp repairs!

What’s next?
I look forward to having a storefront or warehouse space in the future. I am eager to hold events, take on an apprentice, and maybe even teach some classes. I would also love to balance out the repair and building side of things- I am 99% focusing on repairs at the moment. My creative side really comes through when it comes to building amps, so I look forward to integrating more amp builds in my schedule.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Monika Oliver

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