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Author Archives: Dave Hunter

Supro S6651

Supro S6651 Big Star
 
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Don’t we guitarists just love gear that looks like it was salvaged from our mom’s kitchen circa 1961? Give us something in high-gloss pastel, with Formica styling, gas-cooker knobs, plenty of chrome, and an emblem lifted off a fridge door and we go weak in the knees every time. When it comes to kitchen kitsch, […]

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1964 Fender Bassman

 
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1964 Fender 6G6-B Bassman Preamp tubes: four 7025 (12AX7 types) Output tubes: two 5881 (a more-rugged 6L6 type), fixed-bias Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Bass Instrument channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; Normal channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; shared: Presence Output: 50 watts RMS Utter the word “Bassman” in guitar circles, and most players’ minds rush to the tweed-covered 4×10″ […]

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Music Man HD-130 Reverb

 
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1977 Music Man HD-130 Reverb Preamp tubes: solidstate preamp circuit with 12AX7 phase-inverter tube. Output tubes: four 6CA7 (similar to EL34) Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass on “Normal” channel; Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Reverb, Intensity, Speed on “Reverb/Tremolo” channel; shared Master. Output: 65 watts or 130 watts RMS. Intended to be the masterpiece of […]

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Realistic Entertainer-34

 
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As prolific as the Radio Shack chain was in the ’60s, it’s surprising we don’t see more vintage Realistic guitar amps today. Maybe they were never valued enough to be handed down, much less hunted down. If anything, you’re likely to have stumbled on the Carnival 34, a straightforward 1×12″ combo, but even those are […]

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Premier Twin 12

 
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Sometimes it takes just the slightest aesthetic twist to get an amp nut all worked up. This 1960 Premier Twin 12 is a case in point; over the years, Premier also made these amps with a straight-edged front fascia, but somehow we’re much more excited to dive into this one, with the “widow’s peak” front […]

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The Soldano

Super Lead Overdrive
 
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One of the leaders of what we might call the second wave of high-end high-gain tube amps, Soldano has been making a big noise since 1987 – the year Michael J. Soldano released his (more…)

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Traynor YBA-2 Bass Mate

 
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Canadian amp maker Traynor gets a lot of respect in some circles for turning out solid, good-sounding tube amps that are built with quality components and, in many cases, can easily be modified toward a sonic condition more substantial than when they left the factory. It’s also frequently noted that they “blend British and American […]

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Buddy Holly’s ’58 Magnatone 280

1958 Magnatone Custom 280
 
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When guitarists talk tremolo or vibrato, you can bet the magnificent Magnatone amps will find their way into the conversation. The watery, warbling “true vibrato” that the larger Magnatones are capable of producing is never forgotten by players fortunate enough to have experienced it. In searching to expand the Magnatone legend, the subject is likely […]

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Excelsior Americana

 
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If you play any breed of twang, country, roots-rock or, well, “Americana,” could there possibly be a better amp than this? Okay, according to specs and tonal preferences, sure there could. But for sheer vintage-hip and all-out cool, you really can’t do better than dragging this 1966 Excelsior Americana to the next Gram Parsons tribute […]

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Vox Pacemaker V-3

 
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1965 Vox Pacemaker v-3 Preamp tubes: three Mullard ECC83 (12AX7) Output tubes: two Mullard EL84, cathode-biased, no negative feedback Rectifier: Mullard EZ81 Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass, Speed, Depth Speaker: gold 10″ Oxford “Vox Bulldog” Output: approximately 17 watts RMS No doubt the mere appearance of that Vox logo and the diamond (more…)

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