Eddie Vaughn “Carina” el84

charles hidalgo

Not a nobody
I lost track of my dear friend Eddie Vaughn about 13 years ago and after several attempts over the years I could never make contact with him. We used to talk for hours weekly for years. I went though sone bug life changes back in 2006 and we lost touch just when I was going to purchase one of his Carina amps. He worked on other amps for me but this was to be special as it was his personal designed dream. I saw an obituary in 2015 for an Eddie Vaughn in Arkansas where he was from. It’s been on my mind for sone time as I recently was able to acquire an original Carina amp he had built as I always wanted one.

After many years of searching and many near misses this happened. Someone reached out to me with a Carina. I was very happy until it arrived and it was the worst packing job I have ever seem (From the UPS store mind you). The seller wasn't comfortable packing it but UPS was not the answer in this case. After going through it the last few days I have it as presentable as it's going to get. From far away it's okay but up close it's a mess on the sides and front but I am keeping it. It sounds really great so far but will get a good going through soon. That's why I put up with the shipping mishap and will be keeping it even though up close it has seen many many better days, but as it now just has another chapter to the story of me trying to track one down. It will remain here with me with all its character battle scars and all.
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charles hidalgo

Not a nobody
If that's built on a Hammond metal chassis, there isn't much the UPS store could do to make that ship without getting damaged.
Not true at all. I’ve never lost an amp or turntable in 25 years. I have much much larger amps in comparison to this (chassis back to 1932) that are twice as heavy. They lightly wrapped the amp with a single layer of bubble wrap then placed it a box twice the size of the amp with nothing else. I wrap things to where they are almost twice the original size then surround them with at least 4-6 inches of tightly packed foam and foam peanuts. The key is far as I’m concerned is you have to be able to suspend the gear to where you can shake the hell out of it to where there is zero play or movement inside. It just bounced around like a basketball with a huge oversized box and no cushion. So much so it punched holes in the box and ripped the two top flaps wide open. It was sitting at my doorstep and I thought someone had opened it already till I looked inside to see the amp and almost every bubble in the thin layer of wrapping popped and flat.
 
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charles hidalgo

Not a nobody
Just a few photos of what arrived.
 

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Redboy

Knobophobe
Gahh!! That's freakin' terrible! And all the more obnoxious when the seller seemingly tried to do the right thing by leaving the packing to "the experts"!

But what a sweet little amp! I have always loved SE EL84, and that Vaughn amp was one I've wanted to hear.
 

charles hidalgo

Not a nobody
Gahh!! That's freakin' terrible! And all the more obnoxious when the seller seemingly tried to do the right thing by leaving the packing to "the experts"!

But what a sweet little amp! I have always loved SE EL84, and that Vaughn amp was one I've wanted to hear.
Yeah the seller was great. He actually reached out to me over a year ago offering to sell it then changed his mind after his wife didn’t want him to. Then he said he felt bad and contacted me recently. 30 minutes with a soldering iron and a lot of careful cleaning it looks like new from a few feet away. More importantly it sounds just beautiful with the custom Jack Elliano trannies and Eddie’s choice of components inside. I got a bit emotional I must say when I found Eddie’s signature inside which was the first thing I was looking for when I was removing the bottom plate.04C65802-D170-4CFB-BB22-1D5A64D83CA2.jpeg
 
Great story.

I love el 84's... they are so fun to listen to.

I've been looking for something special for a while now. I'll put a Carina on the search list. The Elleiano tranny's are mui cool.
 

paulbottlehead

Active Member
That's certainly not a Hammond box. The Hammond boxes are a little thin for hefty iron and end up bending and warping from shipping. It looks like you got a lazy packer at whatever UPS store was used.
 

charles hidalgo

Not a nobody
That's certainly not a Hammond box. The Hammond boxes are a little thin for hefty iron and end up bending and warping from shipping. It looks like you got a lazy packer at whatever UPS store was used.
Yes again this is not Hammond chassis and yes the UPS store that the previous owner chose was horrible. Eddie sourced these chassis and they are very strong.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Yes again this is not Hammond chassis and yes the UPS store that the previous owner chose was horrible. Eddie sourced these chassis and they are very strong.
If you still have the wood pieces, perhaps you can get someone to recreate them (or do so yourself) which should cover up much of the metal scuffing.
 
Firstly, I'm saddened to hear that Eddie has passed. I remember his forum on the old Hawthorne forums, I think. I have some of his posts regarding component selection copied out - I refer to them sometimes.

His amps were (are) highly-regarded: certainly a piece worth sympathetically restoring. Eddie would like that, I think.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
So happy you got it, even if there were a few bumps along the way. What a truly special piece to have. I can't imagine a better situation then having wonderful music playing through a piece built by a special friend.
 

Richard Austen

Junior Member
Congrats - the main thing is that it works and you like the sound. You can always fix up the aesthetics. Perhaps repaint the thing - couldn't cost too much.

I love the EL 84 amp. Having a close connection to the owner allows him to live on in his design when you listen to music. Your post is touching.
 
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