Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Oliver B120

Ok. I stole this photo. It's not mine. I neglected to shoot this amp when I had the chance.

These are uncommon. Very good studio bass amp. About 50 watts with 2 6EU7 tubes and a pair of 6L6 tubes. It was noisy and weak. Solution was change the power tubes which were shot, re-bias it and replace the main filter can which had burst. I replaced it with 2x 220@350V caps in series for a total of 110uf @ 700v. Added bleeder resistors across them as well.

Also grounded it and removed the 'death cap'. My customer doesn't enjoy getting shocked and nor should she!!!

This one belongs to 75 dollar bill as well! Do check them out! One of my favorite bands in Brooklyn, or this world for that matter! I love me a band that can get a big sound with little tube amps. They are that band. Hypnotic, dreamy, driving, wild and never too freaking loud that you can't sail with them!
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Thank you! JB

1974 Marshall 100 watt Super Lead (model 1959S)

Oh yes. The ticket to hell, or heaven depending on your point of view. This came to me with complaints of noise and poor volume. The owner runs it with only 2 of the 6550 tubes at 50 watts. He was certain it was dead tubes. These are big amps and I can make good dough on a tube sale for them. Caps too...

But the filters were all new and it's a good job too! And the tubes all tested great. Amp was only drawing about 6ma per output tube. So just a good cleaning and re-biasing is all it needed to get going. Also replaced the 100k cathode resistor in the cathode bias tone stack. It had drifted to 130k and this is common. Check that one if you have spits and crackles!

This particular one was modded to behave like a JCM800. Good job too. Nice, creamy and nasty distortion at any volume!

I was a 100 watt Marshall player for years. This is one of the last really attractive ones with the 60's styling. After that they went the way of the cheap looking President Ford/Carter suit. Boxy, ugly and ready for the CBGBs punk Los Angeles heavy metal era. Part of the early Marshall amplifiers appeal is it's beauty. They are some of the best looking amps on the planet. Notice how well it goes with my Persian carpet? Yes. Psychedelic all the way.


Magnatone Varsity

Not much to say about this little amp, I believe it to be made in the 40's, probably before it was called "Varsity". These are one of my all time favorite recording and yes, performing amps. I have a later mother of red toilet seat ones. Just lovely sounding. Not super gainy tweed Champ nasty, just a good sweet overdrive.

This one arrived DOA. Belongs to my friends in 75 Dollar Bill: (click invisible link below!)

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They love these little amps and so do I.

Probably about 4 watts max. They have the classic 3 tube setup: 5Y3 rectifier, 6V6 power tube and a nice 6SJ7 pentode for the preamp.

The problem? Just dead caps. This amp is close to 70 years old. Caps die. Tubes were all NOS, I sold them to the band a few months ago and now this little amp simply rips. Has a new Jensen alnico speaker with barely enough room in the cabinet for the tubes to fit! But it works so.... And it sounds great. Not usually a fan of those new Jensens but in a darker sounding amp like one of these, they work really well.

Go try one, maybe buy one! These are a bargain. Not a "Champ Killer" or anything like that, they have their own thing going on. Perfect bedroom amp!