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"From the beginning, the mission of CAE Sound was to help working musicians keep their gear alive. That mission is still in force today."
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Our Story

In the late 1960's Peter Miller witnessed the birth of the music synthesizer and soon became hooked on electronic music and the incredible machines that made it possible. In 1970 Peter started a small pro audio company and began working with local bands. He began doing contract repair service on Hammond organs for Sherman & Clay Co., followed by stint with Magic Music Machines, San Francisco's largest musical instrument repair company. After gaining a couple year's experience, Peter broke out on his own and founded CAE Sound.

From the beginning, the mission of CAE Sound was to help working musicians keep their gear alive. That mission is still in force today. CAE Sound is devoted to the service, repair, and restoration of new, used, and vintage musical instruments and gear. They specialize in the vacuum tube and solid-state electronics found in amplifiers, keyboards, effects, and custom accessories. For equipment used either on stage or in the recording studio, CAE Sound has provided parts and service for professional musicians around the world.

Over the years, as some manufacturers either went out of business or discontinued support for older equipment, CAE Sound stepped in to fill the gap by remanufacturing -- even fabricating -- the parts required to keep this vintage gear alive. The result is one of the most unique and comprehensive inventory of vintage equipment parts in the world -- many of which can be found nowhere else.

In addition to it's vintage equipment parts and service offerings, CAE Sound has recently been expanding into the design and manufacture of a variety of new musical gadgets. Some of these products include a replacement power amp module for the Fender Rhodes Suitcase Piano that offers lower distortion and cleaner sound, replacement sustain pedals and sustain rods for that same unit, and the "Jangletone" preamp, designed to give an electric guitar a warm acoustic character.

A Part of Rock 'n Roll History

Having gotten it's start in 1970, CAE Sound is proud to have played a modest, and mostly unseen, role in rock 'n roll history. We don't work on stage, in front of the crowds. But we were there, behind the scene, providing the technical support that helped musicians create the sounds that defined the genre.

CAE crew in a lineup for Live Sound International

In 2004 the CAE Sound crew appeared incognito in an article appearing in Live Sound International magazine. The article (pdf) told the story of the mysterious and often unseen labors of the techicians that help perfomers keep their gear in good working order.

A Special Project for Joe Walsh

Joe used the Leslie Sound Effect on his guitar in the opening of the hit song Hotel California. To get the sound he wanted, Joe came to CAE Sound for custom hardware modifications.

Joe Walsh

Influenced by the LA music scene, Joe wanted to have a Leslie fitted with a JBL 2485 16 ohm HF Driver. In June, 1994, we built a Leslie Horn adaptor out of aluminum to connect the JBL Horn Driver with a 2 inch throat to the 3/4-inch diameter Leslie Treble Horn spindle. We consulted with the engineers at JBL and concluded that for the best transfer of power and lowest distortion we would have to make the throat as long as we could. It turned out to be about 13 inches long.

This was a huge mass to support inside the Leslie Speaker box. We fabricated special support brackets to secure the Driver during shipment from gig to gig. We delivered two Leslies in custom made road cases to the Shoreline Ampitheater.

The entire project was completed in one month.

Green and Proud


CAE Sound is proud to be a California Green company. In both our product manufacturing processes and our repair activities, we attempt to recycle and reuse as much as we can. Toward that end, we recycle e-waste, cardboard, and paper products. We are currently focusing on replacing our lighting with more efficient units that shold save about 50% of our overall energy consumption.


Community Citizen


CAE is committed to supporting our community. We donate to Cal PAL, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, San Mateo County Sherrifs Department, San Mateo County Fire Department, Northern California Parks, KQED, Delancy Street Foundation, and California State Firefighters Association.


Conscientious Employer


We are an equal opportunity employer, hiring retired workers and California veterans.


CAE Sound on Social Media

Customers Served

CAE Sound has been privileged to work with some of the biggest names in the music business. Here's a list of clients we've helped get the most out of their equipment.

Artists

  • Black Crows
  • Charlie Gillingham [Hammond Leslie repairs]
  • Chiara Angelicola
  • Craig Chaquico Guitar [Amp repair]
  • Counting Crows [Repairs]
  • Dark Star Orchestra
  • Death Angel
  • Doobie Brothers [Repairs and equipment modifications]
  • Dynatones [Repairs]
  • D'cuckoo [Custom electronics, MIDI Marimba]
  • Eddie Money [Repairs]
  • Elvin Bishop [Repairs]
  • Grateful Dead [Longterm association involving repairs, custom work, and more]
  • Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
  • Gov't Mule, Warren Haynes
  • Huey Lewis [Repairs]
  • Jerry Garcia Band
  • Joe Walsh of the Eagles [Custom Electronics, see story below]
  • Journey [Repairs]
  • Kronos Quartet
  • Machine Head [Received album credits]
  • Melvin Seals JGB
  • Merl Sanders [Hammond Leslie repairs]
  • Metallica [Repairs]
  • Moon Alice
  • Neal Schon [Repairs]
  • Neil Young
  • The Other Ones [same band as Grateful Dead]
  • Phish [Repairs]
  • RatDog
  • R.E.M. [Repairs]
  • Sammy Hagar
  • Santana [Repairs]
  • Shoreline Amphitheater
  • Smashing Pumpkins
  • Starship
  • Steely Dan
  • System of A Down
  • Tom Coster [Repairs]
  • Tuck & Patti [Repairs, custom work, and more]
  • Train

Studios

  • Bedroom Recording [Repairs]
  • Club Front Studios [The Grateful Dead's private studio - repairs, custom work]
  • Gush Studios [Neal Schon's studio]
  • Marc Studios
  • Masons San Francisco
  • Masons San Rafael
  • Midnight Kitty [Bobby Weir's Studio, Grateful Dead]
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Mother's Recording [Repairs]
  • OTR Studios [Repairs, equipment rentals]
  • Secret Records [Repairs]
  • Secret Recording
  • Skywalker Ranch [Support for Grateful Dead location recording]
  • Snader & Associates
  • Sony Computer Entertainment America
  • Studio X [Grateful Dead member, Mickey Heart's Studio]
  • Tarpan Studios [Repairs]
  • The Plant [Repairs]
  • Third Ear Sound [Repairs]
  • Talking House
  • Ultra-Sound Custom Electronics

Venues

  • Masonic Auditorium SF
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Shoreline Amphitheater
  • Black Line Rentals
  • Absolute Music
  • Pro Piano
  • SIR - Studio Instrument Rentals
  • Michael Hatfield Rents