Miscellaneous Rumbles

Bud Ross


I found out over the weekend that a fella from my Elks Lodge passed. That wasn't a huge shock, as there's been a lot of that going around, and Elks Lodges, with their aging memberships, certainly aren't immune.

But I was shocked to find out that this was Bud Ross, creator and founder of Kustom amps.

I never got a chance to talk with him about any of that. I never knew. Take every chance you can get to get to know people. Who knows what fascinating stories they may have.

There's also some Kustom/Gretsch connection, but it's a little hazy. At the end of the 70s or early 80s, Gretsch came to be headquartered in Chanute, Kansas with Custom.

So, here's to Bud Ross. Rest in peace, Bud, and I'm sorry I didn't get to know you better.


Sorry for your loss.

I know a lot of people that are kinda famous but also anonymous which is pretty great. I think most of them like to just be who they are for what they are.


Very sorry to hear this, my condolences on your loss Bax. Way too much sadness going on right now


I can't say I knew him. I'd seen him around, but never really got around to talking to him. That's my loss, and I'm going to try to do better about getting to hear peoples stories. You just never know what amazing things they may have done.


Thanks for the cool gear, Bud!


Geez Bax. Bud Ross. No kidding. I don’t know when I learned it, but at some point I read up on Kustom history. Seems like I’ve always known about Bud Ross. There’s a connection there with the Wurlitzer guitar too. Kansas gear manufacturing royalty there.

I’m a sucker for klassic era Kustom gear. I wonder if more sparkle vinyl and padding went into Kustom amps or Stingray banana bicycle seats. Woulda been cool to hear his stories.

Bud must’ve had a strong value/quality ethic. Those cabs were built to last, and the amps presented a strong clean-decibel-for-the-buck proposition.

And after Kustom, you know, Ross effects. An early player in the game during the era when MXR and EHX were dominant. Ross had a complete line, but really hit the main vein with their gray 3-knob Compressor which greatly improved on the Dyna Comp, and has served as the cloned-and-modded model for better than half of the stomp compressors ever made. Robert Keeley literally got his start when his frustrated quest for a used Ross comp led him to build the clone that was the foundation of his business.

Bud Ross. There goes another architect of our musical heritage. I hope they put him in a red sparkle tuck-and-roll casket, lined with black vinyl weave cloth. With big chrome-fendered ball casters to wheel him away.

My blue sparkle 2-15 cab does duty most of the time as a tall cornerpiece and bedside stand in my bedroom. Makes me happy to look at it. Sometimes I reach out and pet the plump folds of nauga.

Good ol’ Bud.

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