We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Malin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I build high quality guitar amplifiers, and as a musician I have always been fascinated with the old-school way of building these. As these original instruments became more and more rare I decided, given my electronics background and analytical mind, the availability of the original schematics, maybe I could reproduce one using the old=school techniques. I sourced the best parts I could find, followed the old methods of building and built my first one. The sound was amazing! After letting others try it out I realized maybe I had something that I could offer? I have a unique background as a musician and engineer, what if I put together my own company and started building and selling these things I’m so passionate about? That was really it – I sort of fell into it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve had a broad range of experience, and though many parts of my background don’t directly relate to my business, every learning experience has contributed in some way. In the 80’s I worked on NASA Space Flight hardware, soldering on projects that flew on the Space Shuttle and other parts for the Hubble Telescope and Galileo probe. Though not directly related to my business, Malin Amplification, this experience has caused me to have an eye for quality and detail. In the 90’s working for GE Healthcare writing software for anesthesia machines, again though not directly related to Malin Amplification or building vacuum tube guitar amplifiers, this experience gave me an obsessive with quality. Working for scientific instrumentation companies in the 2000’s gave me the opportunity to work with engineers, designers, scientists, etc., who’s creativity and passion in their fields inspired my passion for sound, engineering, and electronics. Gigging in my free time as a guitarist is more directly related to building guitar amps and has helped train my ear which helps in the design phase. I believe a person ends up the product of all their experiences and they all contribute to their story.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Chandler and the East Valley in general has a lot to take in. I tend to be more interested in outdoors than indoors, and when we moved here my wife and I would hike every weekend somewhere new. The Superstition Maintains are a favorite. In the winter (hiking months), the Peralta trail is an unbelievably beautify place to hike. That said, there are so many beautiful spots within driving distance. In these hot months we will take a drive up to Woods Canyon lake for a hike, or maybe to Sedona for lunch. In the cool months, biking on the canals is also something my wife and I really enjoy. When friends are in town, down-town Chandler is a nice place to visit. In recent years, the Hidden House is our favorite spot. Great food and really interesting atmosphere.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The person who deserves the most credit is my wife, Lori, for putting up with my hair-brained schemes. As for technical help in this endeavor, I’ve received a ton of encouragement from other amp tech’s, as well as various guitar amp builder forums. Forums have included Hoffman Amplifiers and The Amp Garage. Lots of resources and encouragement from experts willing to share.