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Niels the
Musician & Equipment Builder
Niels as Gonzo-in-Chief of the Corvallis Vacuum Tube Collective

Niels has been an electric bass player since 1970 and played in a number of working rock bands while in college and while working in high tech. During that time he also built, repaired, and customized electric guitars, basses, tube amps, and PA systems for himself and his friends. Today he constructs boutique amplifiers and unique electric and acoustic basses under the Nielsen Kill-O-Watt brand and is the founder and chief organizer of the Corvallis Vacuum Tube Collective.


Click HERE to see examples of his work, including hand-drawn schematic diagrams of his favorite amp designs.

Sometime around 2005, Niels decided to pass on his knowledge of amplifier and electric guitar design and construction by founding The Corvallis Vacuum Tube Collective. The Collective meets weekly at Niels’ laboratory where the members cut wood, solder wires, salvage old electronics, share ideas, drink, and make noise with their electric guitars and basses.


Click HERE to go the Contact page and send me a message regarding The Collective.


In recent years, Niels has travelled extensively in the American Southwest and during that time he developed an interest in western-themed art. He is entirely self-taught. His assemblage pieces are constructed entirely from found objects and recycled and repurposed materials including barbed wire, twine, denim, aluminum, pewter, horse shoes, cowboy boot leather, Mexican coins, rope, and bullet casings. 



Click HERE to see a sampling of his western art.

Niels Nielsen received his Master’s Degree in mechanical engineering and materials science from the University of California at Davis in 1979. After joining Hewlett-Packard, he became one of the founding team of four engineers assigned to investigate the commercialization of thermal inkjet technology and went on to spend 28 years working in this field at HP’s facilities in Oregon, California, and Singapore. He is named on 11 patents in this field and has written extensively on inkjet printhead physics and engineering. In 2015 he was the recipient of a Career Innovation Award for his work in inkjet printing from the UCDavis College of Engineering. Click on the links below to read more about his career.


          G-T stories about Niels and HP

           Tom Kraemer article

           UCDavis College of Engineering CIA award

           2015 Innovator: Niels Nielson You Tube 1



Niels Jacob Nielsen is a recovering ex-engineer who has maintained a homestead in Corvallis, Oregon for the last 36 years. He started playing electric bass in 1970 and since becoming a high-tech fugitive in 2007, he rebooted his life and embarked on a complete re-invention of himself as an artist, writer, musical instrument builder, and musician. Here you can sample his work in each of these areas.

Niels the
Niels the Western

Who is this guy?

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