Along with the physical conditioning, he thinks it helped him grow as a person. While he has been a whopping success and has helped countless other people, Pat's a bundle of insecurities. "I was always a bit of a scaredy cat about taking on challenges," he says. "Put me in a familiar situation, and I'm okay, but I'm not the type who sails off into the unknown. That's probably one of the reasons I've avoided relationships. They're fundamentally unnerving because you have no idea what might happen."

He finds his work and hobbies fulfilling and has enough of a social life with his friends and family. As for marrying and starting a family of his own, he says, "I think that ship has pretty much passed me by." Maybe he's right. If there's one thing women can't stand, it's a smart, tall, rich guy.

At work, Parks handles most of the marketing and interface with the public. "I like having someone else breaking the ice out front," Pat says. "Chris Parks does that here at Quilter. He's not afraid to charge ahead into the unknown territory. I wouldn't want to be that, until I'd radar-scoped the thing and figured where land mines were."

Pat Quilter
John Gilhooley
Pat Quilter
Not the Cyclops, but close
John Gilhooley
Not the Cyclops, but close

Yet Pat is the clear figurehead of the company, with his tall, silver-bearded visage as integral to the company identity as Colonel Sanders was to chicken. He's in their ads, and he's the star of a video they made in which he goes back in time to the beginning of tone. And it is his name on every product. If his new amps fail, he's the one all the I-told-you-sos will be sniggering at.

For a guy who doesn't like uncertainty, he has certainly ordered himself a jumbo portion of it. He's two years past retirement age; why not just go riding off into the sunset in one of his adorable little cars?

"What else am I going to do with myself? This is an opportunity to bring something new to the game, to give something back to the music business," he says. "Designing power amps is a pretty narrow specialty, and I happen to be expert in all three technologies: tubes, linear solid-state and Class D"—make that four types, if you count his wind-up Victrolas—"so I'm in a unique position to come up with something needed and new. I had hoped the uptake would be quicker, but it's working out in the long run."

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Great article, Pat sounds like a pretty cool cat! I have one of his Quilter Pro 200's. I also have the 2nd 12"'r  cabinet that it stacks with. The damn thing can play almost anywhere and be HEARD. I play the Harmonica by the way and you don't need to hear about tube love when it comes to those. I have had quite a few tube amps that did not have as good a sound.  Anyway I need to get down to the lab because I need to know what Pat thinks about accessories for harps to match up with the Quilter. Look'n forward to meet'n ya Pat! Jimmy Lee!


I play my Harmonicas through the Quilter Pro 200 and it really has a good sound to it. Better than a lot of tubed amps I have played through. I gotta get down to your Lab here real soon to talk about this with you guys, Just reading this artcle I feel the need to meet Mr. Quilter and rap a little. I have quite a few questions I would like to ask about possible pedals and such.


Sounds like my kind of guy.

A passing note: Raymond Carver proved some years ago he could match the sound of any tube amp on his solid state device by matching the transfer function. (If you think class D is esoteric, stay away from the transfer function.) Carver was also a pioneer in introducing class D into audio - although he put it in the power supply rather than the output stage. I'm guessing that Pat has watched Carver closely. However, most of the tone shaping circuitry is likely his own.

tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"There's plenty of cause to be cynical about nearly everything these days, especially business, with its evil, despoiling, outsourcing, crap-making, profit-maximizing corporations".

I for one would agree strongly with that because they can't seemingly create any jobs since there and estimated 26 to 29 MILLION unemployed from coast to coast in the USA. I've been out of work since November of 2012 and I'm still looking. The EDD phone lines got crashed the other day because they don't have any jobs.

RocketJ topcommenter

What a well written and informative piece, wait did I accidentally click on Arts & Letters Daily, nope still on OC Weekly, kudos to you Mr Washburn!

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