I have to admit that I have a guilty pleasure: I love SPAM; no, not the e-mail kind, but the kind that comes in a can; the SPAM most folks who’ve never had it shun with disgust and disdain. Actually, who gives a flying f$%k about what they think? They don’t know what they’re missing. I call my love of spam a guilty pleasure, not because of the people who don’t like it, but because of health reasons, I’m not really supposed to be eating it. But once or twice a year, I get a hankering for it, and I have a couple of slices.
Who knows what actually goes into SPAM? I’m sure there’s a nutrition expert out there who can answer that, but for millions the world over, including myself, SPAM has been literally a part of their lives. Introduced in 1937 by the Hormel company, SPAM gained its original notoriety as a meat staple for US Troops fighting in World War II. It is probably from that where we get the terms “mystery meat” and the general hating of SPAM in America.
I don’t necessarily blame the troops for complaining about it. If SPAM is the only meat I’d get day in and day out, I’d probably hate it after awhile. But for many civilians at the time – especially in the Pacific Islands – SPAM became a staple that has been carried forward through the years even up to today. Ask any Filipino or Hawaiian how they cook with SPAM, and they’ll give you tons of ways they use it in their cooking. Notice I didn’t say, ask “if” they eat it… Hey! In Hawaii you can go to Macdonald’s and get Two-eggs-two-scoop-rice-and-spam! Tell me that it’s not part of their culture!
However, there are always haters who have snide and vicious things to say about it, and many of those same folks I’ve been around who call it disgusting have never even tried it! I think that irks me the most. I really have a hard time with people who have diarrhea of the mouth about something of which they have little or knowledge. Yet in many cases, these same people speak with a certain authority and conviction that compel others to take them at their word.
I see it all the time on the many and various guitar- and music-related forums to which I belong. There’s always someone who speaks as if they know something about some gear or subject, but have little to no experience with it. They come on real strong in the threads in which they participate, and thus are able to convince the hapless who haven’t had the benefit of doing their own research that something is true or not.
In one particular forum, Dumble amp discussions are rife with folks who appear to know a thing or two about the amps. But what I’ve discovered is that a lot of them have never even played or heard one in person and that their only experience with a Dumble amp is through an amp manufactured by one of the Dumble clone builders out there. Not to say that those amps don’t sound killer, but no matter how close a builder followed one of the various blueprints circulating around the ‘Net, that amp ain’t a Dumble. People may argue that those clones have similar response and dynamics to an actual Dumble, but I’ll say it again: They are NOT a Dumble.
Personally, I’ve seen, heard, and briefly played a Dumble in person. But despite that experience, I still don’t feel that my minuscule experience warrants knowing that amp and completely understand what makes it so special. What I do know, is that there is definitely a vibe going on with it, but for me to actually articulate that “vibe” is difficult. So the best I can do is say that based upon my experience, it’s not the actual sound that the amp makes (to me, the one I heard and played sounds like a vintage Fender Twin), it’s the dynamics and sensitivity of the amp that make it so special. I’ve played amps that have a similar response, like my Aracom PLX18BB, but that amp is in an entirely different ballpark, being much more of a classic rock crunch box, so the two really aren’t comparable.
In any case, that’s as far as I’ll go with sharing what I know about that amp. I know it has a “vibe” but my actual knowledge of its overall performance isn’t enough to warrant any kind of expertise on the amp. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, there are folks with even less experience with a Dumble than I have that participate in threads and spout off all sorts of seemingly “knowledgeable” rubbish.
So what’s the point to all this? Forums are great places to get information, but make sure you put on your bullshit filter because there’s A LOT of it out there! And just like with SPAM, if someone’s a hater of a particular thing, make sure they actually have experience with what they’re talking about; in other words, they need to justify their hate…