Danny McKinney’s association with Standel began when he was only 11 years old. He was introduced to the amplifiers through his guitar teacher Eric Dyne, who at the time, was a Standel dealer. Once a week he would go to his guitar lesson and admire the Standel amplifiers that filled the music studio from wall to wall.
Having played electric guitar since age six it was a special day when, at 13-years old, Danny purchased his first amplifier, a used 1967, Standel Custom-15 with JBL speaker, and this was with money he earned himself. “Looking back on the experience, I truly appreciate the importance of working for that amp, I believe it sparked my love for Standel and established a personal work ethic that continues to this day.”
Since early childhood, Danny experimented with electronics. As time went on, his interest and efforts were directed towards building speakers and amplifiers. At age 13, (1970) he built his first cabinet using two 10″ speakers purchased at a local flea market. He happened to have a Standel badge and as the final touch, he proudly affixed it to his new creation.
In that same year, Danny met Franklin Garlock (Standel Public Relations and Factory Sales Representative) who, 27 years later, would set the stage for Standel’s reformation in 1997.
At 15 years old, an opportunity to visit the Standel factory presented itself and it was there Danny met Standel founder, Bob Crooks for the first time. He was thrilled when Bob offered to take him on a tour of the factory. “That experience really left quite an impression on me,” Danny remembers, “Before its closing in 1973, I was fortunate enough to make several trips back to Standel.”
In 1979, Danny became interested in recording music and by 1984, was recording and producing records in his own 2-inch, 16-track Recording Studio. The studio continued to grow, having 16 & 24-track, analog formats and it eventually developed into a 48-track digital facility. The studio is still in operation today, with the primary focus of work being digital mastering for CD replication.
With so much engineering and music in his background, it was natural for Danny, in 1995, to form Requisite Audio Engineering in order to combine electronics with music as an expression of his life’s interests.
By chance one day, Danny called his friend and former Standel Representative, Franklin Garlock, to see if he could do a web site for Bob Crooks in order to document the history of Standel on the internet. With that call, Franklin (knowing of the type of product Requisite produced) asked Danny if he would like to meet with Bob Crooks and talk about that and more. The three set a date and by September 25th, 1997, Danny became the licensed owner and president of Standel.
Still, at that point, Danny had not heard one of the original 64 hand made 25L15 Amplifiers that Bob Crooks created in his garage in the early fifties. When Franklin heard that Bob Crooks was going through one of the original amplifiers for a customer, he alerted Danny to visit Bob before the customer picked up his amp. Danny followed suit, and heard his first 25L15. The owner of that amp turned out to be Standel enthusiast Richard Glick, who with his wife, Annetta Glick, are the creators of Fine Guitar Consultants. Their company handles only top end products, and are now Standel’s largest dealer worldwide.
It was a chance telephone call that led to the reformation of Standel, which for Danny, was to come full circle (27 years later) and build Standels as he had done at 13-years old when he put that Standel badge on his first speaker cabinet.