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help! sunn concert bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by thepostagexera, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. hey! i've gotten the oppurtunity to pick up a sunn concert bass for relatively cheap. i would like to know what you guys think of them? is it gonna be loud enough to power 4x12"s? is it gonna be able to turn up loud without clipping and sounding like crap? and does it just sound good? i have heard they are VERY loud too, is that true? any input is helpful!

    please help me out with this, as i would like to buy this head if it is any good, otherwise i will have to find something else cheap/good/reliable before we leave for tour, any suggestions? thanks a lot guys!
  2. I remember using one of them about 20 yrs ago. I recall it was a SS unit with very basic controls. I powered a 2x15 EV cab and it was plenty loud. I'd say it probably put out about 200 watts into 4 ohms. It really comes down to speaker efficiency.
  3. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    If memory serves, they started making them about 1970; 4-band passive EQ, about 150w at 4 ohms I think. They were pretty popular in their day and well built. The last one I heard was a little noisy by modern standards. As long as you don't pay over $200 you should do OK.

    In 1970, that was a pretty big head (it's big brother, the Colesium Bass, made about 300w), and it usually sold on top of a 2x15 or 3x12 I think. It's hard to say if it is loud enough for whatever you might want to do.
  4. do you think 250 shipped is a little steep for it? i have an mxr noise gate, so im not worried about it being to noisy. i just want it to be loud enough and sound good.
  5. I've played a Sunn Concert Bass amp for 20 plus years. I like it a lot. It provides a good basic bass sound. I use it with either a BFI 1-18 or a Bag End 1-15 cabinet with a 70's Fender P with flatwounds or an Essex P with rounds as backup. The Sunn does the trick in my present oldies band or in previous oldies and 80's new wave bands. I've never played it through 4-10's.

    It's shortcomings are that it can be underpowered. It sounds unpleasant when the volume's turned up to about 6 or 7. I usually play it just over 5 for bar volume. So, it's always bordering on the "unpleasant" sound. There isn't much lattitude here. If you are playing in a loud rock band, you might find yourself wishing for more power for those situations when you want to turn up and still play clean.

    Also, I like the solid "thump" it provides. But if you're looking for more variety of tones, the Sunn falls a little short. It has a bright switch, but it sounds kind of harsh to me.

    $250 sounds about right for this amp. It's a good, dependable amp. I've always thought of it as the perfect amp if you're playing with guitarists who use twin-reverbs but underpowered for use with half-stacks.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    $250 shipped would be top dollar in my opinion.

    Old Sunn Concerts and Coliseums are nice finds when you get them for $100-150 or so. Some Concerts have onboard distortion :cool:

    Keep in mind for that same $250 you can easily find a used GK 400RB, which is smaller,lighter, easier to get serviced, etc. Since the 400RB is so widely available used and a well proven pro-grade unit, I tend to benchmark prices of other used amps against it.
  7. I played a Concert bass for a few years. Mine was the newer 200W version with the black face. Earlier ones had a wide white stripe on the front panel. I've got schematics if you are interested. It's a three band EQ - bass, mid, treble, with somewhat of a suckout in the upper mids. I liked the sound of it through a 1x15 I used, and it was loud. Depending on the efficiency of your cabs You should be OK (but I don't like ear-splitting volumes) It's a four ohm minimum amp, and I've heard that the power section is a little on the wimpy side and is somewhat prone to trouble. That being said mine was never any trouble at all. (until I tried to "fix"it - another long story)

    I bought mine for $100 in 1993, and sold a few years later on ebay for $185, and they are heavy so shipping isn't insignificant. Try to get it to go Fedex, they are cheaper and more reliable in my experience than UPS. $250 sounds high to me.

    Stay Low,

  8. $250 is more than I would consider paying. More like $150 would be reasonable.
  9. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    I had a Sunn Concert Bass with the 2x15 cab, both purchased as new in summer 1977. It was a great amp, able to deliver a deep fat tone. The only thing was the lack of drive, essentially due to the fact that it was an SS technology. I sold it in 1979 for a vintage Marshall Lead head, then I had enough drive :)

    As far as I remember, this Sunn head delivered 200 W @ 4 ohms and 150 W @ 8 ohms.

    Hope this helps,
  10. thank you so very very much to everyone who replied! you all helped me so much in my descision!

    the conclusion? i just bought a gallien krueger 400b on ebay for the same price! i think i will be a lot happier with this amp, from what i have heard. now it's time for an avatar 2x12" and 2x10" :D

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