Show us your... amp!

1bassleft wrote:
I've generally only got rid of SS stuff, and even some of that I see around on Fleeb with barking prices and "vintage" justification. My get-rids include a SS Marshall Bass 30 of the 70s/80s in a tan vinyl. Bad sound to begin with, it would suddenly hum loudly and smell like a drowned dog. The valvers I got rid of include an old Carlsbro 60PA head, that I actually bought for vocal PA. It was rubbish at the job, but people are now buying them to mod for guitar (a friend of mine in LA can write a "how to" manual). The other was a "Linear Conchord" which was an old amp with (IIRC) phono + mic input. Really rubbish as an instrument amp but they're also selling on the Fleeb for sillyish money.

Most of my held-on stuff is oddball that needs some explaining. Things like student money, mortgages, wife and now a sprog have always got in the way of really splashing out, so I've had to be inventive or an eBore specialist. Put the coffee on, or make extensive use of the scroll-down button. My first and still fave amp (not for sentimental reasons) is my CMI 100W Lead/Bass.

I bought it in a smelly "Pulp Fiction" 2nd hand shop in 1981 for £65. I distinctly remember a HiWatt being there, a heap of Sound Cities and, I think, an Orange, that he couldn't sell with a naked Deborah Harry prostrate over them. I got the CMI because it sounded the nicest. Two years later, I had an extensive loan of an Orange head + cab and I still liked the CMI more. It turned out that CMI was one of those rebadge jobs that Jim Marshall did and this is pretty much a hybrid of the early 70s Superlead/Superbass:

Yes, that filter capacitor needs replacing. So do the Svetlanas; not because they're worn but they just don't sound as good as the Mullards did. A quad of German RFTs are earmarked for it.

Coupla years ago, I wanted a combo for light work and fancied either the Fender Musicmaster Bass or Traynor YBA2 but the occasional ones here in Blighty went for too much so I switched to a WEM Dominator MkIII:

(library pic, not my actual amp or lousy photo)

I was so excited to get one for under £100 I suddenly realized I'd arranged to collect on my wife's birthday :shock: Flower shop on the way home :oops: . Mullard ECC83s and EL84s, much better than my guitarist's amp with Sovteks. Cathode biased, so I've briefly plonked Amperex and RCA in there - very decent but I prefer the Mulls. This amp was plagiarized by Marshall to make their 18W combos which now collect fantasy money even in RI form. Gorgeous with the right glass.

Around my birthday 2004, couldn't resist this '69 Laney PA Super 100:

It slightly predates the Iommi Supergroup and the power section is identical, pretty much. What I like about the preamp is that each of the six channels has its own valve to handle the gain stage and eq before going on to the mixer and PI tubes:

Channels 5+6 are slightly modded to overdrive, and 1-4 alternate between British and US pre-tubes and increasing gain types to pick a tone I like. The EQ is a little bit out, but not so bad I urgently need to change pots/caps. I reckon the bias is too cold though. It's too quiet for a 100W and the (early) distortion is not particularly pleasant. Oh, being a PA, it has an echo (FX) loop, which is nice on an amp this old.

My weirdest, and most outrageously lucky, pickup was a coupla months ago. Goes by the name of "Fradan Echomatic 50" it was made locally in 1964 and bought then by the guy who sold it to me:

The guy who ran an electronics/musical instruments shop started making his own version of the WEM Copicat. It's a valve driven tape echo, but with a 2xEL34, 50W power amp built into it. It was meant as a "whole band" PA, and that's how the seller's band used it. There are three FX levels and rate and depth knobs. Blimmin' loud as well. It came with a pair of 2x12" cabs containing '60s Goodmans Audioms that actually sound nice (I'm not big on vintage speakers usually). Why no-one bid more than £35 for it I don't know. Still, the seller seemed happy enough that it was going to someone that'll stroke it and pat it and love it...

I've yet to receive this American "Voice of Music" that I bought on impulse for about $30:

my LA chum has ditched the box, cloth, naff speakers etc. The 7-pin valves are going, to be replaced by 12AX7 and 6V6. The idea is for a 5W single-ended Champ-style head. Looking forward to that, as old Fenders are a bit thin on the ground over here:

:shock: Blimey, apols for chunking up the bandwidth and hijacking a 'guitar' thread but get me talking amps and the verbals just flow. If anyone's interested, I could move this post and start up a "Show us your...amp" sister thread instead.


You have some absolutely incredible amps there!
My current stable is my Delta Blues,Traynor YBA-1A(modded to a hybrid Marshall Plexi/JCM 800 type)Traynor YSR-1,Ampeg SB12 Portaflex,Bogen Challenger PA head modded(uses a single ended 7868 tube output stage)and a Fender Blues JR I got in a trade.
I won't even begin to tell you what I used to have because it'll just make me crazy.

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I wish I understood half this stuff, but definitely looking at the hybrids mentioned in the Bass Forum. Always been SS up to now.

Another valve amp I've just collected yesterday after a long round trip. A Selmer PA100 MkII that I can date (without boring you; I can feel my anorak rustling) to exactly between Sept '67 and Sept '68. It was never a good-looker, but this one left behind after a house move must rate as one of the pug-ugliest I've seen:

In truth, I bought it to hack out the valuables as spares and ditch the remainder in a shallow grave. Problem is two of the screws are too rusted to pull the chassis out, and the power tubes are too used up to fetch the money I'd hoped. Also, I think the website has the facts wrong about about the valve compliment from what little I can see. So, I did something I hate to do and plugged it all up to see what happened. To my surprise, it all works with no hum and barely a scratchy from turning the odd pot.

Sounds rather good, too, in a "clean warmth" way. Not breaking up, even at (LOUD) full volume - more Hiwatt than Marshall. The eq is a bit pants for guitar and very pants for bass (it is a PA after all) but that's an easy fix or a total "so what" non-issue with an active bass.

and no, that hideous "seville orange" is not the original colour for the metal case :lol:

Do i spy a nice Quad set of Mullards next to the great leaning tower of Output-Transformer? or are my eyes decieving me? i thought i was getting four positive 'pings' on the Vintage valve radar screen. :lol:

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