Sound City PA 200 PLUS

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Kreken, Jan 20, 2013.


  1. Kreken

    Kreken

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Norway
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Sandberg basses, Darkglass pedals, Nordstrand pickups
    Does anyone own one of these and use it for bass? How do they sound? WIll they work well stock, or do they need to be modded to sound good? Any info on preamp tubes?

    There's very little info on these amps floating around. It has four KT-88's in the power section, and it has six channels with volume, bass and treble and also a master volume.

    I'd appreciate any help here, as I have been offered one of these in a trade, but haven't had a chance to try it yet. Just interested to hear what people think.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    3,188
    Location:
    Ipswich UK
    Disclosures:
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    They are very good amps indeed, the expert on them round here is
    our Mr Foxen, he will set you straight.
    Although you can plug straight in, I like to use an Ampeg SVT IIP pre amp with this sort of thing, another thing that is very simple but works great is the old Yamaha NE1 mini 1 band semi parametric EQ, but loads of things like sans amp ETC should get you loads of great tone from one of these quite Hiwatt DR 201 sound alike power stages.
    The wiring is not quite as neat as a Hiwatt but Sound City 200's certainly do the business end of things sound wise.:bassist:
    The pre amp tubes are all 12ax7's stock, some people have made some amazing mods to the pre amp of these type of old PA amps in fact here is an interesting departure with a Simms PA 100 moded to a high gain guitar Amp:
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=5wrxOMWdSVA
     
  3. Kreken

    Kreken

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Norway
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Sandberg basses, Darkglass pedals, Nordstrand pickups
    Bassmec,

    thank you so much for responding! That helps a lot! I do own a Jule Monique tube preamp, which I guess might be a killer front end to the PA 200+. Do you still plug into the input of one of the channels, or do you somehow plug straight into the power section?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    3,188
    Location:
    Ipswich UK
    Disclosures:
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    You could just plug straight into a mic input or you could go straight into the power amp. With the Monique as a pre I think you will be very sorted for seriously superior all tube sound.:bassist:
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,555
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Sound City PA heads work fine for bass, kind of limited EQ, and no front end drive, but that is fine for bass, I have a SC200 PA, but I also have a Hiwatt equivalent, so it doesn't really get a look in. It will do fine, especially if you pedal it. With loads of channels, you can run effects in parallel and such, options. Chances are they'll need an overhaul, and you can have some preamp channels modded during that, cascade a couple for drive and suchlike. My SC200 PA is probably going to be converted into a dedicated bass head, not so precious about the PAs.
     
  7. Kreken

    Kreken

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Norway
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Sandberg basses, Darkglass pedals, Nordstrand pickups
    Thank you both for your help! Any idea on aprox. sales value of a decent PA 200 PLUS? How is the preamp section set up? Separate valves for each channel? I read somewhere there were eight(?) 12AX7's in there? Does it have an active EQ, such as other Mark IV SC amps?

    Mr. Foxen, care to share some of your plans for that PA-into-bass-head convertion?
     
  8. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,555
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Generally a PA200+ is worth more in parts than complete, so when they sell, its kind of unpredictable. It is 8 preamp valves, one is an 81 for the PI, might be one more in ones with reverb, EQ is not the same as the mark 4 guitar/bass heads.

    For the conversion, my plan is to tinker with other heads until I know what I want out of it, but it is entirely possible someone will pay me to have it made into a Hiwatt homage, in which case that will happen.
     
  9. Kreken

    Kreken

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Norway
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Sandberg basses, Darkglass pedals, Nordstrand pickups
    Thank you, good sir! The fellow who owns the PA 200 PLUS, also has a SC L120. Which amp sounds better stock to you, and which one has the most potential in terms of mods? Does the PA 200 PLUS beat the L120 when it comes to sheer volume?

    Thanks!
     
  10. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,555
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    L120 working right has a ton more eq, so you can eq in loads of mids, which is loads louder than the difference 80w makes. But if you have a cab than can deal, the 200 will give you more low end. Also, loads of eq means the L120 doesn't have 'a sound', it has a whole bunch of tones to be had, and some of them are bad, especially for people who eq by eye and assume all tone stacks are like the barely functional Fender/Marshall ones. Can't go as far wrong on on passive 200, but you are stuck in that limited range. Since both amps are on the same chassis, and have great transformers that can power loads of preamp valves, you can basically make either into pretty much anything, so as long as the basic output valve configuration is right, about equal potential.
     
  11. Kreken

    Kreken

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Norway
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Sandberg basses, Darkglass pedals, Nordstrand pickups
    Thank you once again! I'm leaning towards the PA 200 PLUS, I think. Mostly because I can plug my Jule Monique preamp into the effect return on that one. I'll report back as soon as I have tried them. Does any one of them have an advantage when it comes to getting gritty? You wrote that the PA 200+ has no front end drive. Can you get that with the L120? And what about power tube saturation?
     
  12. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,555
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    If you turn stuff up loud enough, you get power tube saturation. With high powered amps like the 120 and the 200, kin of hard to do that. You can stick an ECC83 in the PI slot to make either of them get dirty in the preamp though.
     
  13. Kirk Bryant

    Kirk Bryant

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Messages:
    886
    Location:
    Aloha, Oregon
    I think Julie said in the Monique thread that his girl can be driven into overdrive. I know I love to "overdrive" my girl every chance I get. haha
     
  14. Kreken

    Kreken

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Norway
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Sandberg basses, Darkglass pedals, Nordstrand pickups
    Great news!! :hyper: I am getting both the SC L120 and PA 200 PLUS in the trade I'm about to make. I am probably going to have to replace a lot of the valves, especially the power valves. Any recommendations on what to get? I've heard a lot of good things about Winged C, but they seem to be a bit hard to come by at the moment. Preamp valve suggestions are also welcome! Thanks!
     
  15. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,555
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Get the valves in there tested, I've had lots of sound citys come through my hands and most of the valves are OK. I use Shuguang EL34b power valves, they take high voltages in amps like Laneys that I deal with, Sound City aren't so hard on them, but there isn't a downside to them, so I use them in everything. I've got Shuguang GE KT88-98 in one amps, but am waiting to try the set of Shug GEKT88 I have sat here.

    For preamp valves, kind of a taste call, I ahve so many, but you'll probably only need to replace a few, some positions matter less than others, check the schematic, don't need fancy valves running the fx loop for example.
     
  16. Jejravage

    Jejravage

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Hi

    I have a soundcity bass Amp 200w.
    I must put a Fuse on it, but I don't know which amperage.
    If anybody can help me...?

    Thanks

    Jej (from France):hyper:
     
  17. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Messages:
    10,818
    Location:
    New Zealand
  18. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,555
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    It totally don't remember and my sound city is under tons of stuff. Should say on the back. But I looked at a schematic, 2a on the HT and 3a on the mains on 230/240v. Schem says anti surge (time delay) on the HT, more usually its the mains that has that.
     
  19. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,594
    Location:
    boston, ma
    I know this is months late, but for anyone else that ends up reading this I'm running the EHX mullard reissue EL34s in my SC L120 and really enjoy them. I have a mix of new and old production 12AX7s and a new production 12AT7 in there. I found a few new production 12AX7 would not fit comfortably into the tube slots on this amp though, the glass rubbed on the metal base of the tube shield causing noise when playing the amp. The tubes I tried that exhibited this problem were the tung-sol reissue 12AX7, EHX standard 12AX7, EHX 12AX7LPS, and the mullard reissue 12AX7. JJ tubes, svetlana (EHX manufacture, not winged C), groove tubes chinese stuff (didn't try their russian stuff since I didn't have any laying around), and a variety of NOS stuff fit in there no problem. The 120 are loud as all hell, but with the sensitivity switch down they're much more manageable and as Mr. Foxen said the EQ has an incredible range. I added grid stopper resistors at the input as well as mine picked up a ton of RF interference if I didn't use the attenuated channel.
     
  20. Jejravage

    Jejravage

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Great Mr. Foxen.
    Thanks for this answer.
     
  21. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,555
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Because there is loads of gain in the preamp circuit, even though its clean, noise and microphonics from the valves show up a low. Need to use good valves, often you get last pick of batches by buying on ebay.
     

Share This Page