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Any opinions on the old Kustom tuck n rolls? Any good?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by spacerust, Jan 13, 2012.


  1. spacerust

    spacerust

    Feb 9, 2010
    South Texas
    There is a local guy selling a 215 Kustom tuck n roll im sparkle blue. Said he had it forever and has the head but doesnt want to sell the head. He said he had ome of the speakers reconed and that cost just as much as putting in a new speaker. Any thoughts?
     
  2. edbass

    edbass

    Nov 8, 2004
    I think they look bitchin'. I've got one loaded with JBL D140F's and it sounds pretty good, but the box is a little tight for the JBL's and you can tell.
    Whay drivers are in it? Kustom had some "premium" options in the olden days.

    DSC00010.
     
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Ed,
    Just one question, how was Kustom able to mass produce a successful solid state bass amp when companies like Ampeg and Fender failed for the most part? Any insight on this one or was Kustom just lucky.

    Ric
     
  4. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Tone, tone, tone.
     
  5. sonic 7

    sonic 7

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    As i remember the original kustom 200 heads and cabs were ok I had one in white sparkle with a 2- 15 cab. But they then redesigned the line and came out with the kustom 250 heads and an 18 reflex cab. Now that was an awesome amp not only did it look cool but it delivered also. Absolutley blew away the 200. My keyboard player had one in blue sparkle and his Farfisa through it . I lusted after that amp. It blew away my Plush 3-15. (tube head, red sparkle ) im rambling but to try to answer the original question. Back then solid state amps were seen as cool and modern and when well designed sounded punchier and more "modern" than "old fashioned " tube amps that actually had to warm up before you could actially play them. Aside from their looks the kustom 250 to my ear at the time just blew away an svt and forget about the b15 wwich were very popular because everyone used their dads. And cut a lot of lawns to buy something cool an modern that their dad didnt play through.
     
    DHD likes this.
  6. sonic 7

    sonic 7

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    Oh and i forgot , Kustoms were well marketed and distributed they were readily available just about everywhere.
     
  7. sonic 7

    sonic 7

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    One more thing, if you couldn't cut enough lawns or deliver enough newspapers you had the option of their entry level brand "Casino". Which didn't have the cool padding.
     
  8. I am original owner of a 1971 K200-B: HEAD/CAB: 2X15 CTS.
    Mine is black tuck-n-roll. Rated 8 ohms. @ 200 watts: RMS, which means half that with a single cab, BTW.


    When I made the decision to buy KUSTOM,it was an easy decision. Where I grew up; wrong side of the tracks in Atlanta, we only knew of 3 brands: Silvertone, Fender and Kustom, with Kustom being the premier grade. Kustom offered the most head/cab combinations in most colors of any brand ever. Their early catalogs were epic.

    I was overwhelmed with pride and joy with my K-200 B, until one-by-one, all of the guitarists I was working with bought Marshall stacks. i WAS NEVER HEARD AGAIN.

    Against a Fender Super or similar amp, K-200B is fine; more equal, but the heads have low headroom. When used with a single cab, any sound above half volume becomes so distorted; sounding pleasant only to Jack Bruce/ Felix Pappalardi fans. I LOVE THEM BOTH, BTW.

    Keep in mind that I was totally ignorant of upgrades: Altec or JBL as options. I had no concept of any Ampeg, other than flip top SB-12 or 15, which the K-200-B surpasses in volume. I didn't know that CTS was bottem-end. I had no knowledge of relevence of ohmage, or using a second cab, etc.

    2 years later and I was introduced to Acoustic 361 and Sunn Coliseum..and SVT's. As I consider tubes to be archaic, I focused on Solid State and later, I bought a 1974 AC 370 head, which I still own.

    Bottom line: Kustom is a solidly built highly reliable product. originally "Guranteed for Life ". I have had only one need for service, which I CAUSED..and was 100% covered..no questions asked. Excellent for low to medium volume settings. Tone could have been better if a mid-range knob was available. Cabinet is quite heavy.

    Find one -buy it; use it on low to medium venues.
     
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  9. Want one.
     
  10. I am original owner of a 1971 K200-B: HEAD/CAB: 2X15 CTS.
    Mine is black tuck-n-roll. Rated 8 ohms. @ 200 watts: RMS, which means half that with a single cab, BTW.


    When I made the decision to buy KUSTOM,it was an easy decision. Where I grew up; wrong side of the tracks in Atlanta, we only knew of 3 brands: Silvertone, Fender and Kustom, with Kustom being the premier grade. Kustom offered the most head/cab combinations in most colors of any brand ever. Their early catalogs were epic.

    I was overwhelmed with pride and joy with my K-200 B, until one-by-one, all of the guitarists I was working with bought Marshall stacks. I WAS NEVER HEARD AGAIN.

    Against a Fender Super or similar amp, K-200B is fine; more equal, but the heads have low headroom. When used with a single cab, any sound above half volume becomes so distorted; sounding pleasant only to Jack Bruce/ Felix Pappalardi fans. I LOVE THEM BOTH, BTW.

    Keep in mind that I was totally ignorant of upgrades: Altec or JBL as speaker options. I had no concept of any Ampeg, other than flip top SB-12 or 15, which the K-200-B surpasses in volume. I didn't know that CTS was bottem-end. I had no knowledge of relevence of ohmage, or using a second cab, etc.

    2 years later and I was introduced to Acoustic 361 and Sunn Coliseum..and SVT's. As I consider tubes to be archaic, I focused on Solid State and later, I bought a 1974 AC 370 head, which I still own.

    Bottom line: Kustom is a solidly built highly reliable product. originally "Guranteed for Life ". I have had only one need for service, which I CAUSED..and was 100% covered..no questions asked. Excellent for low to medium volume settings. Tone could have been better if a mid-range knob was available. Cabinet is quite heavy.

    Find one -buy it; use it on low to medium venues.
     
  11. edbass

    edbass

    Nov 8, 2004
    A good product at a reasonable pricepoint? Maybe, but truthfully I think it was mostly the tuck n’ roll novelty - Right Place, Right Time.
    I know for a fact that when I first saw the Kustom rigs live at school dances when I was about 12 or so, I thought they were absolutely the coolest looking thing I had ever seen.
    I still remember seeing a “grown up” (he was probably a junior in High School) with long hair and bell bottoms (illegal yet coveted things in my household) playing an EBO through a coil cord into a Kustom rig like the one I NOW have, and thinking how absolutely bitchin’ that sight was on so many levels.

    Well, since you went there here’s another example of tone being in the ear of the beholder.
    Several years after the above described event, I got my first chance to play through a big Kustom rig. They seemed to fade from the “hip scene” rather quickly in the early-mid 70’s, by then I was in my mid teens and gigging through a few years old Acoustic 361, just before my SVT stint.
    Even then the big Sunns were too expensive for my station in life...
    Anyway, compared to the Acoustic I thought the Kustom sounded like a toy, and wasn’t at all impressed.
    When I bought the one I pictured about 10 years ago, it was for nostalgia purposes, not the pursuit of tone; and to get the Altec 421’s that were supposed to be in the cabinet (It turned out that the Altecs were actually EV’s).

    In about ’05 I started playing in a Motown/R&B revue band and thought “I wish that old Kustom rig didn’t sound like ass, it would look uber cool with my P with covers and a coil cord onstage with the R&B act”; and then it hit me…

    I loaded the cab with the D140’s, and ran a jumper from one of the inputs to one of the speaker out jacks in the Kustom head. I plugged the coil cord into the Kustom, ran a cable from the “pass through” jumper to a hidden 2000S head and ran the output from the big Sunn into the JBL loaded Kustom cab.
    Voilà!

    Anyway, back towards topic. Last year I took a few of my rigs to a GTG, and actually had a “nostalgia” request for the Kustom from a fellow (but much better…) bass player. I had the Kustom head put back to stock and totally gone through for the event; new filter caps, cleaned pots, replaced a couple of drifted components, etc.
    I still though it sounded “marginal” (wouldn’t gig it), BUT…
    When stacked up against a couple of my other lower power rigs at the GTG, a few of the people (bass players mind you, this was a TB GTG) actually tonally liked it as well or even better than the vintage B15 or the ancient split chassis Sunn. All of the amps were electrically in A+ shape; up to OEM spec, fresh caps and such.

    DSC00110.

    So, to wind up this long winded dissertation; AFAIK just more proof that tone is indeed a personal thing.
     
  12. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    They were good cabs compared to their contemporaries, but won't compare to a good modern 2x15.
     
  13. Tuck and roll baby! My first real bass amp. As Bill says, compared to horrible back then, they were good. Compared to most of the stuff today, not so much.

    Still, funky as heck. I think Fogerty is STILL playing guitar through one!
     
  14. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Just so damn cool looking regardless of tone.
     
  15. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    I ran one for over a month straight once years ago on loan while my stuff was down for repair. It was a 200watt model with the 215 cab all in blue tuck-n-roll.

    A. It was the coolest looking bass rig I've ever had the pleasure of playing.

    B. In hindsight, I fully suspect there was a problem with this specific rig but it sounded like a 747 coming in on final approach. I really couldn't give an opinion of one that was tuned up and working properly but I still sometimes toy with the idea of building a modern bass rig into a unit that looks like that.
     
  16. I have a Kustom 150 combo, 75 watts with a 15" speaker in black T+R. It may be because it has a blown speaker (I'm not really sure the speaker is blown, but it certainly sounds bad) but I'm in the ball park of "looks cool, sounds horrible". Heavy mofo, too. Not a really useful amp. At this point, the only reason I'm keeping it is for the nostalgic cool factor.
     
  17. pjmuck

    pjmuck

    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    My first bass amp consisted of that very same cabinet/finish powered through an Oliver bass head. Can't believe I used to haul that rig to local bars, LOL. I did have a fat farty distorted sound, but truthfully I knew nothing about nothing back then.
     
  18. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    +1

    My main bass rival in High School (1967) blew me away with his 215 200 watt model (silver). I had a Dual Showman with D140F JBL drivers, BTW. The Kustom was way louder/cleaner/darker for bass.

    These ported babies really could produce a very intense low-mid punch. Loud for their day, they were only bested later for "relatively clean" volume by the SVT 810/1610, assorted Acoustic folded horns, and Sunn 2000s 215. All IMHO. :ninja:
     
  19. spacerust

    spacerust

    Feb 9, 2010
    South Texas
    I have an Ampeg svt3 pro head. I was thinking of picking up the Kustom for the cool factor but if the sound isn't there swapping out the speakers. If I went that route, what speakers would you recommend?
     
  20. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    That's part of the problem, the cab was made to work with 60s drivers, not those of 50 years later.