- A great collection of lower-wattage combo amps has found its way into the shop; from a tiny Lectrolab 1×8″, to some sweet 1×10″ Valco-made amps, all the way to a 1961 Fender Concert 4×10″
Whether you want to take cues from the greats or forge your own path, we’ve put together a list of some classic and not-so-classic match ups to ensure you’re not alone under the mistletoe this Holiday.
- This one’s pretty recognizable, an AC30 with the Burns Red Special and you can, you can rock us.
- A tried and true matchup for the twang or keeping it swampy, but done in a little more modern way. ’59 Bassman Clone w/ Spring Reverb and USA G&L ASAT.
- Here’s one for the bassists: A Blackline SVT on a half-fridge with the buttery short-scale Musicmaster. It’s like you always wanted a Fridge and P-Bass but enjoy having a lower back.
- Keeping it jazzy is this 1951 National and ’57 Gretsch Corvette, but don’t think it’s all Merlot and finger-snaps. You’ll get a surprising amount of Cartwright-esque crunch from these guys all while looking oh so good.
- Venturing back to the classics, how about a Drip-edge Reissue Twin with a “Western” Partscaster. Clean, loud, and punchy.
- Don’t think we forgot you ’80s shredders/lefties! Here’s a wild ADA Quad Tube 2×12″ and Lefty Ibanez S Series. All the gain/modulation/modeling you’d need, until Line 6 came along.
- Okay these are just meant for each other – don’t even try to fight it! 12-String Semi-hollow Bass and Kustom PA200. All the octaves!
- Do you like to play chords? Do you like to play extended chords? Do you like to hear them? Here you go: a 1968 Super Reverb and an 80s L5-S, practically made for each other, a decade apart.
- For those slightly off the beaten path, get into this ’50s Bell Sound Tube PA Head. With a pair of 6V6s and this Stingray II you can go from shimmery cleans to great indie-rocking crunch.
If you’re interested in beefing up your signal chain or you’re in search of that special tone, these pedal combos will definitely get you somewhere.
- Somewhat of an homage to Mr. Page with the Germanium Treble Boost a la Rangemaster (Pork ‘n’ Beans) and Uni-vibe, add a locally built Analog Delay (Moon Child) to the mix and you’ve got a great riffing/lead tone.
- Inspired by Gilmour, the Fish Press (LA-2A-ish) plus Special Twosome (Modern Fuzz or Classic Muff-styles) and the El Capistan will have you slow-bending and space-vibing in no time.
- This one’s great for bass players and guitar players alike, whether you’re getting psych’ed out or aiming for a J. White/D. Auerbach thing. Russian Big Muff + Octave Up? Yes, please.
- When you want results, stick with what’s worked for 30+ years. The first overdrive offering, pre-Tubescreamer, with some mellow phase and added sustain from the Forest Green, you won’t be disappointed.
- Do you hate cleans? Are you never satisfied with how mangled your tone is? If you can’t wreck something with this combo you should probably just quit.
See something you like? Give us a call (828.254.0402) or send an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve got layaway options so get in touch!
If you’ve lost faith that all the good deals are gone…that you’ll never find that old lady with a ’59 Burst in her attic…that you’ll never find a MINIMOOG at a yard sale for $20 (we actually witnessed this)….that you’ll never find a 1961 Fender Super amp at Goodwill for $20…oh wait. That just happened.
A very lucky gentleman was looked upon favorably by the Gear Gods and picked up this Fender Super Amp for $20. $20!!?! All original everything; tubes, speakers, all components. To top it off, it’s production #17 – one of the earlier Supers to be built that year.
We gave him two options: Don’t touch it and sell it right away for all the dollars, or, have us update the high voltage components and rock forever. He chose the second option. We replaced some components, added a 3-prong, A/B’d tubes (settled on the OG power tubes – there’s a touch more top end and punch with new JJ’s vs. the old RCA’s, but that’s a swap for another day). The same can be said for the speakers; a new pair could potentially have more bottom and punch but there’s just something special about those old Jensens….
It’s a little beat up cosmetically, but that doesn’t spoil it one bit. The moral of the story is: keep searching because the deals are out there and you can find them!!
We’ve ended up with a sweet selection of pairs – some identical, others are cousins – so we thought we should share before they’re adopted and split up.
We’ll get started with the more rare pairs:
Probably the least known of all these:
Can’t forget the classics:
A pair not often seen together:
Okay so these are more like cousins, but, Pre-CBS:
If you have the heart to split these guys up, or want to take the pair home together, please call us at 828.254.0402 or email email@example.com
*Editor’s Note* We’re going to go ahead and apologize for some of these pictures being a little blurry, they were taken under the influence of large amounts of coffee.
We were recently commissioned for a fun, special project and wanted to share.
A gentleman came in with his Fender Super 60 (it looked like this….)
and a funky, fuzzy, brown-70s-couch covered cabinet. He had a problem. He’s carrying the two around because it makes him feel all warm and fuzzy inside (much like the cabinet), but, he was tired of carrying the two around separately – multiple trips from the van and slowing set-up/breakdown were getting old. After some discussions with Brian, the two decided the best course of action would be to chop up the Super 60 and put it into a larger cab with the speaker from the original. And so it began….
If you’ve never picked up a Super 60 it’s not the lightest thing – the transformers don’t help but there’s a lot of excess metal plating that really adds up.
Here’s a shot pulling out the PCB from the body:
And it’s out! Look at all that extra space – it’ll come in handy later.
Always use the right tool for the job. Or what you have.
So after some time, it starts to shape up….
See? Look at all that extra room
And now it’s starting to come together
*There’s a few steps that got skipped here towards the end, but you can just use your imagination.*
You’re missing the baffle construction, grill cloth-ing, and installation. And some filing, and some drilling, and more filing, and more drilling. And then troubleshooting because “…it totally worked a second ago before I put this in here, so what just broke…”
Then Brian waved his hands over the amp, blessing it with his magic, and determined it to be finished. And so it was.
And it looks so, so fresh.
We’re going to be hanging out in Knoxville next weekend at GEAR for EARS during the BIG EARS FESTIVAL. It’s a FREE guitar show INSIDE the Pilot Light Club!! There’s gonna be all kinds of cool stuff and it’s just a FIVE MINUTE walk from downtown! If you’d like to arrange to display gear, call 865-789-8679. Visit www.thepilotlight.com for more club info.
*** Come check out some of the coolest musical gear in Knoxville during the Big Ears festival. FREE ADMISSION! Buy, sell, trade and demo guitars, amps, boutique effects pedals, synths, and more. Also, check in with one of the premier electronic techs (Moog authorized) in the Southeast. Presented by Knoxville’s The Pilot Light, Music Room Guitars, and Hot Horse. Also featuring area collectors, dealers, and musicians, and the public is welcome to bring their musical gear for sale or trade. For more info or to arrange to display gear, call 865-789-8679.
*** BIG EARS FESTIVAL musicians and attendees are welcome to take a 5 minute walk from downtown venues and hotels, to Knoxville’s Old City shops, clubs and restaurants for GEAR for EARS.
The event will be held at the Pilot Light Club, 106 E. Jackson, Knoxville, TN 37915 on Friday and Saturday, March 28-29 from 11-4:30 each day. Performances and film showing afterwards each evening. Visit www.thepilotlight.com for more club info.
As moody and high-maintenance as they can be, we looove tube amps, old and new. We’ve gotten in 60 year old amps whose original tubes still sound great (if you like a little crackle with your drive), and like-new amps whose tubes already need replacement. A bit of it is just luck– some are going to hold up better than others– but if you wish to maintain your beautiful tones, a little bit of attention and maintenance can take you a long way. Treat it like a small animal! No feeding or clean-up required. Here are some tips from our techs:
- Don’t leave it in a car, whether it’s hot or cold out. (Also a proactive theft preventative.)
- Don’t leave it next to your radiator. Or in your fridge?
- Don’t take it directly into the heat from your ice cold house, condensation can occur. And even though you melted everyone’s face off, it’s not the best idea to take it right outside into a blizzard either – make it the last thing you take off the stage to give the tubes a chance to cool down.
- If you’re blowing tubes continuously, replacing them is not necessarily the answer– there is likely a deeper problem that needs to be addressed.
- Much like a puppy, try to avoid dropping your precious vintage tube amp. And not just off tall buildings– don’t drop it from two inches high, either. Please.
- And on that note: wheels on a combo amp are a dangerous convenience. Unless you’re wheeling your pride and joy on only the smoothest of freshy-Zambonied ice rinks, the slight ripples in the floor result in major quaking (and possible damage) in the upper components.
Don’t get overwhelmed– you and your tube amp can have a long, loving relationship without too much trouble. And once you find that tone you really love, how could you not strive to maintain it?
Any questions? Give us a call! We’re here to help.
We new have brand new, boxed, Caroline Guitar Company pedals in shop, and, my, do they look fine in our glass case. Mmmmmhmmmm.
See how high you can fly before melting your face with their Icarus boost– we have the last few in this gorgeous gold finish. More words and demo here.
If you crave more fuzz than your momma will allow in the house, you’ve got to get on this Olympia. Clean, simple, fuzzzzzzzzzy. More words and demo here.
And if you’re feeling a little unhinged today and you just wanna get totally wild, the Wave Cannon is for you. Its an overdrive/distortion with four controls and one loose cannon: the Havoc Switch. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. More words and demo here.
Come demo them in store anytime!
And he wants you to experience the incredible tone of his old 1962 Fender Pro Amp.
That’s right, we have it, and we have the paperwork to prove it.
But as cool as that is, collector-wise, let’s get down to brass tacks: how does it sound?
Ridiculous. This amp has deep, reverberating, warmth, a very interesting tremolo that shifts the tone, and a loud, loud, voice to fill the room. It can get crunchy when you want it and the tone is super moldable.
Check it out in the shop before it flies away, or get more specs here. We leave you with this great picture of “The Killer” doing what he does best (killin’ it).