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A box of questions.

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Tomperi, Dec 26, 2013.


  1. Tomperi

    Tomperi

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    I just accidentally won an amp on Ebay. I payed 120€ for it, and its a "GEM Electronics Saturn B50".. Apparently.

    It seem to feature 2 channels, 4 EL84 power valves and a transistor preamp. Output is 50W(?). Born in Italy on the ninth of January 1975. And that's pretty much all I know about it. I'd really appreciate any and all information you can provide about this amp.

    I don't have a cab yet, so I have no idea how it sounds, but there is an EBS Classic 410CL 500W I've been checking out. Do you think this cab will fit this amp? Even if it turns out it sounds like a fart through a trombone, it's not that big of a loss financially.

    Here are some pictures:

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  2. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    How do you "accidentally" win an item?
     
  3. Tomperi

    Tomperi

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Well, the price was on 108€ and I bid 120€, with an hour left. I expected to get overbid because I thought it would be worth slightly more than that, but I ended up winning it..
     
  4. nashvillebill

    nashvillebill

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    It's got a solid-state preamp and tube power amp. Probably would stay fairly clean up until those EL84's run out of power, which would be around 40 to 50 watts.

    Might want to bend that chassis back so it doesn't look so goofy looking at the back :) Check the tube socket in that area to make sure it didn't get cracked, a crack might arc over and ruin lots of stuff. Also check the wires going down to the output transformer on the far right, they are rubbing against the steel chassis and might be wearing through.

    Probably could stand new electrolytic capacitors too.
     
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  6. P Town

    P Town Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Don't forget that the cabinet impedance should match the output transformer secondary rating.
     
  7. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
  8. Tomperi

    Tomperi

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Thanks for the advise!

    The seller claimed the impedance this thing can handle is 4 Ohms. Here's to hoping it won't turn into a cloud of smoke when I try it :)
     
  9. Thrillhouse

    Thrillhouse Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I actually really dig the vibe of that amp. I love weird off-brand gear (if that is an off-brand, I've never seen it before so I assume it is but I could be wrong).
     
  10. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Depends on how they are biased. With fixed bias 50W would be about the amps maximum. With cathode bias 30W would be closer.
     
  11. nashvillebill

    nashvillebill

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    I would advise having a tech check it out before plugging it in.
     
  12. 4-stringB

    4-stringB

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Location:
    Tallahassee
    At least somewhere along the line, a tech added a grounded cord.
     
  13. Pimmsley

    Pimmsley

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Are you sure they are EL34's?.. They don't look like EL34's
     
  14. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    Nope the OP said EL84s :)
     
  15. Pimmsley

    Pimmsley

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia

    Sorry my bad, I think I need glasses ;)
     
  16. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    The 8 and 3 look so much alike typed. I first miss-read 34 and double checked after seeing the pics. We just don't see a lot of 84s in MI amps unless you are a VOX fan.:cool:
     
  17. Pimmsley

    Pimmsley

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia

    Thanks B :) I have a friend who swears by them in HI-FI applications (his amps do sound stunning), have not seen or heard them in MI amps myself. Must read up on the VOX's.
     
  18. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    Check out the Jennings Vox AC15's and AC30's they are the most famous and spurred the interest (IMO) of EL84/6BQ5. :)
     
  19. Pimmsley

    Pimmsley

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia

    Cool... Will do, cheers and Merry Christmas :)
     
  20. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    And a happy new year to you as well! :)
     
  21. Chainsaw Willie

    Chainsaw Willie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Redmond, Washington
    They are not too rare today in smaller guitar amps.

    It seems like in the late '90s EL84s were used in a lot of smaller guitar amps where you would expect 6V6s. I am assuming they were cheap and more available than 6V6s then? Just guessing.

    Mesa Boogie had the Studio 22, the Blue Angel, and the Subway series amps. Fender had the Blues Junior, and Pro Junior. The Epiphone Valve Junior was popular a few years ago.

    But before the '90s the only thing I can think of them in are Vox amps and those Kalamazoo practice amps. I never saw one in any bass amp before.
     

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