Cheap Vintage Solid State Bass Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PennyroyalWe, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    My drummer and I had gotten into a discussion recently about the old solid state amps me by Teisco, Harmony, Kay, etc back in the 60's/70's and how they still sound pretty different from most modern amps and how "vintage tone" doesn't belong solely to tube amps. This got thinking about, and then looking pretty in depth for, an old solid state bass amp by these manufacturers...and I'll be damned if I can find more than 1-2, and the prices aren't great. This makes me stop and wonder: These companies made/sold basses, we see those all the time, so were they just marketed without amps? Did they just sell them guitar amps and hope for the best? Did people just buy guitars/gtr amps with greater frequency than basses that it's seemingly a 50:1 ratio? Did people more often buy higher quality gear if they were playing bass? I'd love to hear first hand recounting from anyone who was around, as well as any theories from all TB. Also if any one knows of a particular model that was/is awesome and can actually be found these days, clue me in!
  2. Edword


    Jun 23, 2005
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  3. If you are looking for vintage SS amps that can still get the job done today,
    check out the old Acoustic amps.
    They were expensive at the time, so not everyone had one.
    They were built to last and many have.
    Don't expect them to be small, light and easy to move.
    Nothing from that time, that put out much sound, was even remotely small.
    Most were happy running at 4 ohms.
    The best known are the 360 and 370.
  4. The Univox UB250 piggyback bass amplifier sounds great. They were made by Unicord between 1970 and 1978. The 18 watt RMS head powered a single 4 Ohm univox-ub-250-80512.jpg 15" speaker. They can be found on Ebay and Reverb most days. They are inexpensive, light and reliable. If you run across one with the original Eminence pro Mag speaker, you are in for a real treat.
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  5. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    The original silver-knob with leatherette applique Peavey Bass heads. Built-in FUZZ ! ! ! You could go to a junkyard and find one holding up a car where somebody took the wheel off, take it home, and it would light and be ready to gig as soon as you run the critters out of it. Be sure and get it with the chrome castered 215 BW bin.

    The Ford pickup of bass amps in its' day.
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  6. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    Early ss kit is both less easy to repair than tube and more problematic for spares, so there is going to have been a lot of attrition.
  7. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Standel made some great SS stuff back in the day. I had a 100 watt 215 that could blow down walls. +1 for Acoustic as well. Some of their gear is still in service and there’s an active club here on TB.
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  8. klejst

    klejst Guest

    Oct 5, 2010
    The older Acoustic stuff is great. I think of the older 70's/80's and 90's Peavey stuff too.
  9. Check the Thrift shops and garage sales to find old SS stuff.

    Rock was built on the SS sound - the fuzz boxes of old were all SS.
    It may be hard to find an exact match for an old transistor, but you can usually find a close match. Though it may come in a different package, you could adopt it to fit.
  10. Hundred proof

    Hundred proof

    Apr 22, 2018
    This old Acoustic gets used live on a regular basis and is my go to at home, my tech went through it says it's easy to work on, and is still hitting on all cylinders ... love the sound too

    Oh yeah got about $200 in the whole rig

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  11. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    I used an Acoustic 140 head in bars for about 15 years - probably still going somewhere!
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