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NAD Garage Sale Sunn & Marlboro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikerophone, Mar 19, 2017.


  1. mikerophone

    mikerophone

    Mar 10, 2010
    Denver, CO
    I went to a garage sale this weekend and grabbed two old amps for $20. A big Sunn, and a little Marlboro. The guy just said they were power amps and wanted to get rid of them. I don't really have room to accommodate two more amps, but hey, only $20!

    The faceplate on the Sunn is all black and unmarked, and I don't know a ton about the gear they put out other than old sunn stuff is super cool to some people. Once I got it home, I compared some pics online, and the layout looks like an early Coliseum Bass amp. IMG_9438_zps0y0dw5qv.
    The all black faceplate is weird. Doesn't seem like the kind of thing someone would replace, but it also doesn't seem like something that would be made that way. The knobs look like they might not be original, but also look like they haven't be touched in a loooong time.
    IMG_9437_zpscejqzufq.
    The serial number(?) stamped on the back is 000607.
    IMG_9443_zpsyzf8btrp.
    I opened it up and found a "TESTED 6/22/71" sticker.

    The Marlboro is real simple, the only control is a volume knob on the back.
    IMG_9442_zpsnmujnvff.
    [​IMG]
    I opened it up to see if I could figure out some more details about it.
    [​IMG]
    There's not a whole lot going on, but it looks like the one pot is a CTS from 1975. The chassis kinda fell apart when I opened it up, so I might try and rehouse this guy. I've read that marlboros aren't anything to write home about, but it might be a cool project.
     
    NoiseNinja and Stumbo like this.
  2. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Yep, that's a severely messed-with Coliseum Bass(as opposed to the Coliseum Lead or Coliseum 880), an earlier one, looks like the smaller switches have reformatted(push-pull instead of the original slide). The series was first introduced in late 1970. From left to right, the controls are: volume with bright switch underneath, low bass, hi bass, mid(with frequency shift switch), treble(with frequency shift switch), polarity rocker switch, on/off rocker switch. You can expect about 120-150 watts into 8 ohms, but it can take on a 2 ohm load. The EQ controls are very interactive. Is the fan underneath still there/working? The Marlboro, I don't know, but it looks like a PA power slave amp
     
    mikerophone likes this.
  3. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    That's a damn crime what they did to that Coliseum :eek:

    For reference, here was mine before I sold it over.

    IMG_2523.
     
    Sartori, daveman50 and LeftyD like this.
  4. HOOLIGAN

    HOOLIGAN

    Dec 21, 2007
    Cowtown, USA
    NAD- Nasty Antique Doorstops
     
    eastcoasteddie and S-Bigbottom like this.
  5. Teacher

    Teacher

    May 3, 2012
    Wow. Just...wow.
     
  6. Lame Thrower

    Lame Thrower Supporting Member

    May 13, 2005
    Sacramento, CA
    I think the Sunn looks great blacked out like that. Maybe the original faceplate got chewed up and the previous owner removed it, or they just painted it black to be more :bassist:. Regardless, for $20 that's a crazy score.
     
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  7. mikerophone

    mikerophone

    Mar 10, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Yeah looks like it may have been spraypainted, for whatever reason. If it is, they did a pretty good job. Just the amount of work that it would take seems like a lot of effort for this result. o_O Gonna take it to my practice space today to see if it works!
     
  8. mikerophone

    mikerophone

    Mar 10, 2010
    Denver, CO
    It's got a 3-prong power plug, so would the polarity switch just do nothing?
     
  9. GreaserMatt

    GreaserMatt

    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    So the Coliseum heads have a fan and the Concert heads don't? Is that how you'd tell which head this was? Just curious...
     
  10. GreaserMatt

    GreaserMatt

    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    That serial number looks VERY early too... cool find... : )
     
  11. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    Different EQ setup. Look at Michadelic's post above (#2) for the layout breakdown.
    Concert heads are just bass/mid/treble and brite rocker switch (or with an additional Distortion knob depending on which Concert bass head).
     
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  12. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    The three prong plug was probably added afterwards; I'd go look at the two black'n'silver face heads that I have just to verify, but my garage is in a massive state of uproar right now, and I can't get to them.

    Coliseum heads(the original black/silver ones from the early 70's)are 30" wide, to match the cabs that were the default Marshall-esque dimensions of 30"x30"x 15". The Concert series, which first appeared around 1972 is trickle down tech, a down market rig to get the then-new solid state design into the hands of the semi-pros and garage bands; those heads are 24" wide and match the configurations of the tube heads/cabs like the 200s that proceeded it(the Coliseums replaced the 2000s, etc., that were twice the power as the 200s, and 30" wide as well). Contrary to myth, the subsequent Model T tube heads are not really derived from the 2000s/1000s, same power configuration but with solid state rectifiers to goose the wattage a bit and tighten things up, entirely different front end EQ circuits. Concert Bass heads featured a distortion circuit that the Coliseum Bass did not have(the Coli Guitar and 880 did), as noted above had a simpler EQ section, and while it was touted as 150 watts, that was into 4 ohms, so in reality it was only about 75 watts. The Coliseum EQ section was fairly unique for the time, as each knob represented a separate boost module; if you set everything to zero, you'd get very little or no sound. The details on the later red knob Concerts/Coliseums and subsequent 'black face' ones up to the early 80's I don't really know as they don't interest me that much.
     
  13. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Aaah, my bad...the Coliseum Lead had no distortion knob, but had reverb and tremolo. The 880 had the distortion circuit, but no rev/trem.
     
  14. Sartori

    Sartori Supporting Member

    Hopefully.
     
    mikerophone likes this.
  15. mikerophone

    mikerophone

    Mar 10, 2010
    Denver, CO
    The Sunn works! Sounds way cleaner than I thought it would, and more volume than I expected. I like the EQ controls a lot. I might end up actually using this thing!
     
    NoiseNinja, GreaserMatt and P-oddz like this.
  16. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    I found that to be the case with the Coliseum as well. The tone was pretty clean with a very effective EQ and a lot of power on tap. It was one of the best solid state amps I've ever played in terms of heft and body.

    I ended up selling it since it wasn't getting any play with its matching 1x18 cabs (honestly didn't really care for the tone of those speakers), but I do think that I might have missed an opportunity to pair it with something better suited to my tastes.

    I did, however, end up scoring a 200s and a 215BH cab later that sound awesome together. We'll see though, the guy I sold it to guaranteed me first dibs on buying it back in the event of him selling it, so maybe someday it'll be mine again.

    Incredible score for $20, that's for sure.
     
  17. GreaserMatt

    GreaserMatt

    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Old Sunns are great amps; I've used an old sunn concert bass live for years.
     
  18. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    Wouh, what a score! :thumbsup:

    Haven't tried any of the Sunn amps, but from what I heard they should be amazing.

    Congratulations :bassist: