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Holden/Wasp club

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by black_labb, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. oh, after picking up my second holden/wasp amp this week i thought i should start a holden/wasp club.

    for anyone who doesnt know, holden/wasp amps were made in australia and new zealand (actually 2 separate companies, but essentially the same product). they made valve amps for guitar and bass from the mid 60's until the late 70's or possibly early 80's.

    this club is for anyone who owns, or did own a holden/wasp amp (guitar or bass amp).

    as member #1, here are some photo's of mine.


    These are the 2 amps (on top of a homemade 1x15). the 4x12 is a holden/wasp 4x12 which has 4 plessey 12u50's in it. the top is the recently aquired VBL (vocal bass lead) and the one underneath is the XL (designed for guitar, changing a couple caps makes it sound great for bass too if you like a bit of grit).

    both of these run on 4 6550's, but i believe the VBL may be running class B giving it more output (guy i bought it from said that it could put out 307W before clipping, and inside i found a sticker which may be from the manufacturer which has a date (december '78) and also says 270W. the XL should be pushing out roughly 200w. neither amps have a master volume. [edit: after a bit of research, im pretty sure they are both 200w. 270 or 300w is quite unlikely. either way its loud]

    heres a photo showing the chassis removed. notice the difference in the transformers. the VBL (right) has a larger power tranny by far, and probably a slightly larger output tranny (taller but narrower).

    when i get some spare time i will be doing some research into the preamps and power amp circuitry.

    heres a link to a photobucket album with some more photos
    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v643/black_labb/holden wasp/

    post a photo or description of yours to be a member.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Beauty amps! Never heard of them before you brought up that auction. They're pretty much non-existent in America but I'll bet they sound great. I doubt your club will get a whole lot of members but you'll be an even more exclusive bunch than my Portaflex club!
  3. the amps do sound great, im glad to have them. just wish the lead was longer on the VBL

    dont think there will be many members either, i know slo has one though. may be a few other around.
  4. righto- I lay claim to be member #2
    Poor quality pics but will attempt to get some better ones soon.
  5. So WHO bought the one on ebay last week-AUS?? Anyone or did it NOT sell?
  6. Yeah thats mine now Rod- I did him a deal outside of ebay.
  7. Excellent stuff!!!!! CONGRATS!!!! How is the amp? condition ? sound? etc Do tell!!
  8. ok, now how do we make this a more official club? or do we just put a # in our signature?

    looks good skyblue. judging by the controls, it seems very much like the vbl. the bright control may be a differently labelled presence control. the trannies look like the ones from the xl. nice amp. if you take the amp out of the head case the preamp board probably has the model number inscribed on it. (atleast mine did). although it does have circuit board, it is all well spaced so it is easy to work on.

    what cab are you playing it through?

    enjoy the amp!!
  9. She is in very clean conditions on the inside- very little rust or other corrosion. The tolex has a few scuffs but thats to be expected for a 30y beauty. Very big bottoms and way too much power. This is the rock sound I've lusted after for a long time. I'm currently playing it via an old 2*10 Behringer cab which my kids use as an extension for their electric piano as I blew the voice coil in my 15" Wharfdale a couple of weeks ago but I'll replace the speaker this week and I think that will be much warmer that the 2*10's.
  10. My total experience with these things is about 6 months in my first band. Hooked up to a peavey mark III mixer and a PA bin as a vocal rehearsal amp.

    Might still be able to get hold of 2 or 3 of them needing a bit of work...
  11. alexbbbb


    Jul 16, 2008
    Am I allowed to join the club with a solid state model? ...
    Holden DC208. Something a bit special to use gear made locally.

  12. WOW!!! thats GREAT to hear!!!!
    Why not get one of the EV TL style 15"'s floating round- there's often 2nd hand 1x15" cabs on ebay for less than $200
    Heck- I've even got mine in a 2nd hand shop hoping for a sale!! - as I bought a Bergantino NV215-so HAVE to sell a cuppla older cabs!- But I remember my old Eminar 180w (6x6CA7{EL34} ) sounded great thru it! & a 2x10 on top!!!!:hyper:
    I'm STILL tempted to Keep my EV 1x15"- & IF it doesn't get an OK price- I probly will- as the Speaker in it I had to replace-well, a pro Spkr designer did- & he put a Mesa-Black Shadow(EV-again) 400w 8ohm driver in it!!! It ended up sounding even better!!!! Damn....just thinkin about it.......
    damn $$$$$$$$:spit:
  13. Great looking bit of gear there Alex- can you tell us a bit about her? I've never heard of that model let alone seen one!
    Mine is definately the VBL. I pulled the chassis tonight and it was printed on the board.
    Rod can I ask what Mesa Black Shadows reatil for? My Whardale bin is identical to an ol EV TL. I'm almost certain to go with a Celestion BL15 green label but always open to other options.
  14. Congrats on the score - gotta love a homegrown tube amp ;)

    I guess I'll jump in too.

    Does this make me #3 ?
    Here's my baby - I still can't believe how many comments I get from this amp at gigs......
  15. nice collection of amps

    alex bbb, no reason why ss should be excluded, you can be memebr #3, making slo #4

    its now a real club!!!
  16. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Cool stuff guys!

    I have never even heard of Holden or Wasp.
  17. alexbbbb


    Jul 16, 2008
    Here's a snippet of a discussion via email with Mike Lewis who was the Managing Director/ owner of Holden Sound Industries, back in the days, in Christchurch. That was just when I got this amp, three years ago.

  18. cool bit of info. so are you located in auz or nz alex? i believe that there were more models available in nz compared to australia.
  19. Strike me pink- hooked up a 4 ohm load to my VBL last night using my new 15 and the old 2*10s. The raw power was just jaw dropping and the tone, oh the tone. I thought I was in the 70's!