Within a year, it became "the thing to do" to have a custom-built Standel Amplifier. Many of the top professional guitarists and bandleaders ordered Standels, including Hank Thompson (he ordered 5 for his whole band!), Grady Martin, Hank Garland, and many others. Chet Atkins couldn't order one himself because of his endorsement deal with Gretsch, but bought one from a guitar player friend and used it on thousands of recordings (If any of our readers have the Chet Atkins appearances on "Classic Country'' originally from 1957 but rebroadcast in the mid-80's on TNN, Chet's White Standel can be seen behind him on a bale of hay on about half of the performances). Gene Vincent fans take note: All of Cliff Gallup's classic solos on Gene Vincent's records were done with Cliff's Gretsch Duo-Jet played through Grady Martin's Standel! From "Be-Bop-A-Lula" to "Crusin'" to "Double Talkin' Baby"--that's the sound of a Standel you're hearing!
Bob Crooks built approximately 75 amps with the first design (knobs on top of the amp), all out of his backyard workshop at 10661 Freer Street in Temple City (this was his home address). These amps were totally custom built--each musician could not only select the model he wanted ( with a 15", 12", or 8" speaker), he could also choose the color of naugahyde (even a two-tone color scheme), and even have the amplifier tone range designed around the kind of guitar you played (usually broken up into two groups--"Treble"(Bright) or "Mellow"!!! Due to the fact that each amp was custom built on a first-come first served basis, and also the fact that the standard model sold for $295.00 in the mid Fifties (much more than Fender or Gibson's top amps), most of these first 75 amps were made for top professional guitarists.
One thing that can definately be said about Bob Crooks is that he does not like to rest on his laurels. When he saw the success his amps were having with professional musicians, he began to envision mass-marketing Standel Amplifiers and also began to make many changes in the amplifiers as well.more