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Ampeg B200R vs Kustom Tuck and Roll - which is louder?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by maxsample, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. maxsample


    Feb 17, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    Hello all,

    I currently play bass in a soul band with two drummers, guitar and hammond organ. The band isn't particularly loud, but I have been starting to notice that my Ampeg B200R isn't loud enough for medium sized rooms. It's totally great in the jam space, and has amazing tone (as most would agree) but definitely seems too small for the gigs. I have an opportunity to buy a Kustom 200. Now I know James Jamerson played a Kustom for his larger shows, and I love the way they look! My question, for anyone that has the answer, is will the Kustom be any louder than my Ampeg? It has the 2x15 cab and the guy says it's 200 watts, although I think he might be mistaken. Truthfully, I don't know that much about the Kustoms, but if I can sound more like Jamerson and hear myself doing it, that would be ideal. Any help would be appreciated, otherwise, I'll just have to find out myself.


  2. John D

    John D Guest

    Dec 27, 2009
    The Kustom is [DEL]200[/DEL] 100 watts, and it will probably go louder, due to the two fifteens. I doubt that you will like the tone as much as the B200R. IMO. That said, there has been a lot of soul bass played through the Kustom 200.

    BTW that is a great looking Kustom. Is it yours?
  3. I used to have a Kustom like that (Tuck N' Roll 200) and I had to sell it because it was too loud, so I assume it'll be loud enough for your needs... It literally shook so stuff off of my shelves
  4. maxsample


    Feb 17, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    thanks, obviously I will still have to try it out first, but it's good to know that it's not a waste of my time. also, I believe there's an old saying: "if it's too loud, turn it down." - weezer
  5. maxsample


    Feb 17, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    oh, and no that is not my amp, just a stock photo, but it supposedly look like this one. I haven't yet seen it
  6. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    The Ampeg Rocket Bass combos sound incredible!
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Takes me back to my childhood. My high school chorus director played bass and had that exact rig in black. Sounded good at the time. Then he got a 77 Acoustic 370/301. Blew the Kustom out of the water. Then I got a 73 V4B/810 from my cousin's ex husband. Blew the Acoustic out of the water.

    What's the lesson here? Well of course it's get an SVT and an 810 ;) But really, it's that Kustom was good for a little while, and for sure some classic bands and players used it, and it will get louder than the B200R because it's two 15"s and 200w. But I'm sorry to all the old Kustom fans but I just don't think they're good sounding amps.
  8. maxsample


    Feb 17, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    fair points, I really like the svt/810 rig but it's too expensive and large for me. I like the kustom for it's size and unique appearance, but as with anything, I'll have to wait to try it later this week and either it will make a believer of me or not. thanks for the thoughts
  9. I just corrected a statement I made in a similar post from last week; it bares repeating in this thread.

    I chose Kustom, because on my side of the tracks in those days, we never heard of Acoustic, Sunn or SVT'S.

    My only experience then, was with a friend's Ampeg flip-top SB12: Instant Mo-town and JPJ tone...Guaranteed!. Great for bedroom practice but too weak to gig with.

    Of course the Kustoms loooked coolest of all..and they were modern; Solid State.

    Rear panel of mine reads: 100 Watts RMS@ 8 Ohms. The 2x15 cab is rated @ 8ohms, so it should be 100 watts, but I think it's closer to 50 watts with one cab and 100 watts with a second 2x15, which is why they are more suited to go against Fender Supers and lower wattage guitar amps; NEVER against a Marshall guitar amp of any wattage.

    Secret to mine is running a Furman PQ 3 in front..no more complaints.

    Mine has been highly reliable; always powers-up and runs. Only time I ever employed the Lifetime WARRANTY card was a problem I CAUSED during a home-made Rick-O-Sound experiment. "Lifetime WARRANTY " fully covered my mistake; no questions asked. Old Kustoms are highly reliable products.
  10. The "200 watts" is indeed an inflated number.

    I've got an old (1971) K250 with the 2x15 cab and I got an actual power output around 130 watts at clipping into a 4 ohm load, IIRC.

    Power level IMHO was adequate for a typical classic rock or soul bar gig, but I wouldn't call it loud enough to compete with metal guitarists and 4x12 stacks.

    Reliability: the "lifetime warranty" only was valid when the company was in existence up until the early 70's. The rights to the Kustom name were sold off and transferred several times since then and the new Kustom definately will not honor the old warranty; I sincerely doubt they will even attempt to service an old amp.

    While overall it was a fairly well built amp at the time (with IMHO one major flaw on the K250 at least, the output transistors are not heat-sinked to the outside but rather internally at the bottom of the amp) bear in mind that several of the small-signal transistors and IC's are quite obsolete. The amp definately will need all the electrolytic caps replaced and a grounded 3 prong power cord would be a wise retrofit.

    Now don't get me wrong, the old Kustoms exude this kinda cool vibe to them and they sound smooth. Personally though I would not buy another Kustom rig.
  11. Bill,
    No great issue, but I did my home-made rick-o sound experiment around 1983-1984; resulting in blowing a fuse and welding it in on my '74 Acoustic 370 amp and killing the "bright"-side of my Kustom. I called around for authorized repairman for my amps, as both had a "Lifetime Warranty". [ I have no idea when the original warranty became obsolete , but it was after the mid 80's]. I made an appointment and went in to see Roger in Chamblee; just north of Atlanta..
    The repairman, Roger, thoroughly tested both amps and replaced any and every component needed in both amps..while I watched and waited. He documented repairs; sent paperwork to both Acoustic and Kustom and sent me away with NO CHARGE repair bill. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

    Although both warranties are now totally obsolete, if anyone knows whereabouts of "Roger", he is a great bench repairman; Quiet, professional and thorough.

    As for my Kustom; It still has the original cord with 2-prong plug. I have never had any issues with it; however I acknowledge my risk ....and when... if ever, I put the old K200 in for repaisr..I willl have the plug replaced. Until then..."If it ain't broke..don't fix it".
  12. With the greatest of respect: until the amp has a three core power cable it certainly IS broke! Don't find out the hard way just how broke it is!!!!
  13. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    I liked the tone of my Kustom 250 head going into my Kustom 215, but I agree, its kinda lacking in headroom for the listed output.

    BUT... When I plug my GK 800RB into the Kustom 215 cab, that monster rocks. Better than several other 215 cabs I've tried. You just "feel" the bass more with the Kustom cab. So try using the Kustom cab with another more powerful head if you want a bit more oomph.
  14. Paul : No offense taken and no shocking surprises in 41 years, although at my age.maybe a shock wouldn't be so bad?...LOL..

    cchorney: I agree. As I was forced to buy a more powerful amp, as most guitarists were using Marshalls by 1974. I bought my Acoustic 370 head and used it atop my Kustom cabinet for years. Looked odd? YES. Sounded great, too.

    In late 1979, I bought my used Sunn 1-18 vh folded horn
    [ horn loaded variant ] cab...I never heard such beautiful sounds from my bass until that moment. Kind of like pairing a Chevy engine with a Ford transmission but frankly, I favor the Sunn over the "correct" Acoustic 301 "W-Horn". I used my Kustom set for low volume gigs and practices and used the Acoustic/ Sunn for louder gigs.

    A couple of years ago, my wife bought me a 1980's Marshall 1550; 1x15 Celestion bass cab. The Kustom head atop the little Marshall sounds beter than the Kustom/Kustom set-up. At least to my ears. And yes...looks even stanger than the Acoustic atop the T&R Kustom cab.

    I also have a GC Acoustic B200 combo which is much smaller and much louder than the Kustom 200 [ AC B200: 200 watts RMS @ 4 ohms through a single 15" 4-ohm speaker]

    Now all of it collects dust, as I have no gigs. I practice through head phones and either Line 6 or Pandora PBX 4-B.
  15. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    The Kustom will be louder due to the two 15's.

    Never liked the B200R as much as the B100R or the B50R for tone.
  16. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    the old tuck and roll K200's are rated at 100Watts RMS (200 watts peak).

    to get everything out of it that you can, back then you were supposed to run two of their 8 ohm 2x15 cabs (each of their cabs had two 16 ohm fifteens), and prefereably with the more efficient JBL D140 option. IME, a K200 with four JBL is loud enough for just about any gig, and also IMO, they had great tone too.
  17. 4-stringB


    Jun 10, 2010
    It looks, to me, like you have a KB200A-1, 100 watts ,like the previous poster noted. The amps with the "200" on the faceplate should be a mid 70's model. Look up John Fogerty( forgot the link ), but has a lot of good info...Cheers..PS, Ive just bought a KB200A-2, with reverb, tremolo, and vibrato, that all works. It's the same color (Cascade) as your pic. It's not as loud as I remember them in the early 70's, but maybe I'm spoiled by todays gear...
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Never knew that. Always thought they were 200w RMS. That'll learn me to believe the model name ;)
  19. brocco


    Feb 27, 2010
    I can use mine for softer jobs ,but I always take my Mesa WA or BX 500 heads for louder jobs with Altec's they sound great :)

    Attached Files:

  20. maxsample


    Feb 17, 2011
    Vancouver BC
    good to know, thank you everyone. I still don't actually own the amp, although I'm supposed to go look at it today. I play in a soul band, so loud guitarists aren't an issue, he is playing through a 30 watt 1x12 ampeg GU12, but there's a chopped hammond organ going through a twin, and a drummer on either side of me, plus the bass really drives the songs, as it should in a soul band! I'm playing the B200R now, and it's plenty loud enough at rehearsal, just doesn't cut it on a stage. I figure that with 2x15s it will push twice as much air and hopefully some of that will reach my ears, plus it'll almost always be going through the pa. I will update later if I end up buying it, thanks again to everyone.

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