INVENTORY MAY 2022: LARGE COMBO AMPS
Bird Golden Eagle 4/25, c.1964. From the days before identikit circuits comes the Bird Golden Eagle delivering 25 watts or so through a 15" Wharfedale speaker. This is fitted with both huge swampy reverb and (temperamental) tremolo which could be combined to produce a pseudo-echo effect. It weighs a ton!
Vox AC30 - This started life as a modern Custom Classic model 2x12" combo, but has been rebuilt with vintage components (Mullard and Wima caps) to the "Heritage" type front end offering the original 1959 EF86 and 1963 Top Boost channels together with some modern output options. Fitted with Tayden Ace 25 and True Brit speakers for the best of Alnico and ceramic tones combined. Posing with my 1979 Rickenbacker 450/12.
Burns Orbit 2, c.1964. Legend has it that Jimi Hendrix recorded the first Experience album with one of these. Is that true? I don't know. This early 40 watt germanium transistor amp has two channels, one with tremolo, and a single 12" speaker. Why does the second channel only have a treble tone control? Only Burns can tell you that!
Fender Bassman, 1990 - First year of the reissued tweed Bassman combo delivering about 45 watts into four Jensen alnico 10" speakers. This has been fitted with a 12AY7 tube in the first preamp position (like the original) and a 5U4GB rectifier which give the amp less gain but a much "bluesier" sound.
Fender Super Reverb, 1977 - The true descendant of the 1959 Bassman? Debatable but it's a 4x10" combo with an output of 45 watts with added reverb and tremolo. Valve rectified for a bit of power sag when driven hard. "Blackface" modified for the classic Fender sound. Blue Alnico speakers fitted.
Hiwatt SA212, 1978 - The classic British amp of the '70s, used by everyone of note from The Who to Jimmy Page. This is the 50 watt DR504 in combo form and loaded with a pair of vintage Pulsonic-coned Fane 12" speakers. It sounds exactly how you want a Hiwatt to sound: awesome!
Trace Elliot Bonneville, 1996 - Versatile single channel 50 watt combo amp with switchable gain levels, twin master volumes and reverb. Does pretty much all the same things as it's bigger brother, the Speed Twin (see below), but in a smaller package. Currently fitted with 6L6s driving a Celestion Vintage 30 12" speaker, it will also run EL34s at the flick of a switch.
Carlsbro 50 ("Top") Combo, c.1973 - Plexi-like tone from a simple single-channel combo amp with a single (original) 12" Fane Powertone speaker. Given a special tweak to enhance this sound, it eats modern Marshall combos! Carlsbro is a much maligned brand but these early amps are now beginning to get appreciation. That's my 1964 SG Standard pictured with it.
Flame Treble & Bass Reverb, 1973 - An even rarer close cousin of the rare Selmer T&B 50R combo, made by Pat Nolan (ex-Selmer man). Imagine a blackface Bassman but with reverb and an amount of British character. About fifty watts with Bass and Normal channels and 2x12" vintage Celestion speakers. Orange covered amp with orange Tele? Yes, great colour co-ordination!
Selmer Treble & Bass Compact 50R combo, 1973. All original, even including the plastic cover. Sort of related to the Flame combo above.The "compact" name is something of a misnomer, this is bigger and heavier than that one! Anyway, it's the classic Selmer T&B head (with reverb) sharing a box with a pair of Celestion G12H greenbacks.
Laney Supergroup 2x12" combo, 1972. Notionally similar (but subtly different to) Marshalls of the same era, Laneys were the amp of choice for Tony Iommi. This one is the 60 watt version feeding two Celestion G12H speakers.
Roland JC-77, 1985 - Smaller brother of the JC-120 combo, still with the classic stereo chorus but into two 10" speakers (which some prefer) rather than 12"s. Has anyone else come up with a chorus effect to match the original? I don't think so! The ultimate clean guitar amp? Quite possibly! By merit one of only a few transistor guitar amps in the current collection. Yes, that's my rare Epiphone Al Caiola Custom getting in the way.
Polytone Mini Brute, c. 1980 - Small in stature, big on sound! Polytone amps are well regarded by jazz players but are ideal for anyone wanting a nice, clean tone (although it also has reverb and distortion). This 1x12" combo does about 80 watts in a compact and easily portable box.
HH IC100S, c.1975 - A 2x12" transistor combo, without the reverb or tremolo of the more common IC100 but generally regarded as better sounding due to a passive EQ circuit. This is the sound of British music in the seventies, from Marc Bolan, through Dr Feelgood to The Buzzcocks.
Trace Elliot Speed Twin, 1996 -
An early version of the Speed Twin 2x12" 100 watt combo. There's a story behind its lack of serial number and special livery (Ask me if curious). Two switchable channels - Fender-clean and either Marshall or Mesa- style drive - but arguably better than all three. I especially love the clean side but that's my personal taste. Also with boost, reverb, effects loop, and loads of output options. Very versatile and effective.
Ashdown ABM 300, 2000 - Compact, modern 300 watt bass combo amp with 2x10" + horn. Comprehensive EQ, tube drive section, sub-bass, DI, etc.