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New Amp Day (Sunn Content)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bubbastain, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. bubbastain


    Oct 1, 2012
    Picked up an old Sunn 200s today. This thing sounds great with guitar or bass. Hooked it up to my Kustom 8x10 and it sounds wonderful up to 7 on the volume knob. After that the tone gets distorted in a way I personally just don't like. Some may though. Still, really nice tone up to the half way mark. I don't believe it's loud enough to jam with a loud drummer and guitarist though. Too bad because the tone is nice. Put my ODB-3 in front and it's just super cool.
  2. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    Those sound wonderful. Too bad
    you don't have a Sunn 2X15 to
    go with it.

    Happy NAD,

  3. bb5000


    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
    You could replace the rectifier tube with SS diodes and that would allow you to increase the filtering and make a stiffer power supply.
  4. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Yup but as the OP stated the amp sounds beautiful as it is within what it can do clean and building up the power supply will harden the tone, make it less naturally compressive and won't get that many more clean watts (probably less than 10), I would either keep it for studio and practice as is, or sell it to a guitarist.
    Maybe if he had more than twice the power like in the Sunn 2000s
    The OP would get his levels with an efficient 8 X 10 but of course I notice you use a Hiwatt
    DR 201 which is more than twice as powerful as a Sunn 2000s
    I think he will need more watts to use it in a band unless he just goes the coupling route to power with loads of really efficient speakers
    Like wire 4 of the original 2 X 15 cabs with the JBL K140's in series parallel.:bassist:
  5. bb5000


    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
    I also use the Weber 6S100 which is a Sunn 100S clone with the SS rectifier and increased filtering. I've used it for gigs with a single Ampeg SVT410HE, it's close to breaking up but it works.

    Anyway, I'm not sure that I would mod an original amp either, at least I would make the change 100% reversible.
  6. Although I see two new electrolytics, it appears the original multi-section cap is still in-circuit. (It's best to remove it from circuit, otherwise it still is being charged and it will still fail and leak eventually. )

    Those Black Cats and the two green caps are also suspect; despite Internet lore to the contrary, they actually are paper caps enclosed in plastic and are also likely to cause problems. This site explains more: http://antiqueradio.org/recap.htm

    Lastly, the original carbon resistors (the brown ones) on the multi-section cap ought to go, they usually start going up in resistance causing a drop in power supply voltage. (I'd change the two carbon ones in the middle of the amp as well).

    Not a huge deal to finish up the refurbishment of this amp. Get the resistors and caps replaced and you may hear a noticable improvement.
  7. vegedge


    Jul 14, 2012
    the knobs aren't the original. what year did you say it was?
    with a solid state rectifier cap you can get a bit more head room and volume. it also ups the watts a bit.

    aren't they great heads? i still am still set on saying it is to loud enough for full band and the right cab. i plug my sansamp into it. i am able to boost the volume and still remain unmuddy.
  8. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    Very Nice!
  9. bubbastain


    Oct 1, 2012
    Thanks for the info. I'll take a couple of better pictures of the guts today after I charge the battery in my camera. I'll look into everything you mentioned also. I'm a little on the fence right now with what to do with it. It was mostly a curiosity purchase. I am glad that it works and doesn't make any weird noises. The power tubes in it I believe are GE(writing is faded)6550s. They work but if i do keep it, I will probably put in a new pair(Suggestions?KT88s/6550s). One thing I noticed is that the tube sockets are pretty loose. I'll see if I can tighten those up a bit when I clean them. As far as all the caps are concerned, Would a potential buyer be more likely to buy this amp as original as possible or with a complete re-cap and even new resistors like you mentioned. I personally would like a reliable amp with fresh caps and other components that may be suspect as long as the amp wasn't butchered inside.
    Like I said, the amp sounds great. My bass amp is a Kustom DE300 head that by itself sounds good. With my VT Bass pedal in front it sounds great. In comparison, The VT bass pedal in front of the Sunn changes the tone a bit, but doesn't really improve it. I think that says a lot for the nice tone and warmth of the Sunn. I do believe that I would need it to be almost twice as loud (cleanly) to have the volume I would need. It is certainly loud enough with my 8x10 for light rock, blues or other types where nobody is yelling, screaming and the drummer isn't trying to smash his sticks through the drums.:D
  10. bubbastain


    Oct 1, 2012
    I don't know what year. Seller said 1969 but how can I confirm? The knobs are just some Fender barrel knobs I had laying around. Originals are long gone. It also does not have the back panel for the head shell. The sound is nice and warm and clean up to 5 max, then.......I don't like it. Sounds best to my ears between 3 and 4. Should I be able to go higher without it distorting?
  11. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I'm pretty sure that's a '67. There is usually an inspection sticker with a date on vintage Sunns, but a lot of the pre '69 models just had a date written somewhere on the chassis with grease pencil. Serial numbers are no help when dating old Sunns.
    If that one has neither, well suffice to say I'd wager it was built in '67 if the actual date is important; the amps are the same from '67 - '72, except '67 was the only year for that head cabinet with a numbered panel rather than numbered knobs.

    My 60 watt Sunns with healthy tube rectified power supplies don't get any real "hair" on then until about 7-8 on the volume knob, and don't go "Pappalardi" until 9ish or so. I would call 5 "warm sounding" for the most part.
    If your amp is getting real loose at 5 odds are it needs some attention; as has been mentioned the first place to look is the filter caps, notably the can cap.
  12. bubbastain


    Oct 1, 2012
    Thanks for the info. I'll see if I can make a video and mic'ed up recording later today.
  13. EvilJekyll


    Dec 23, 2011
    It shouldn't be breaking up at 5, more like around 7+. I'd try replacing the caps as stated above first.

    Mine has KT88s in it and sounds golden, but I have no experience with the 6550s as I just got the amp a few months ago.

    Edit: Also make sure nobody flips that polarity switch. Mine had a three prong setup as well but the switch wasn't disconnected, so I got a bit of a shock one time because it was flipped.
  14. vegedge


    Jul 14, 2012
    those fender knobs look better than the stock ones!
    mine breaks up and gets to muddy for my taste at about 7. i use 2 6550's and a ss rect. mine does need to be worked on as well though.

    anyone who has a 200s. what settings are you using? i am always interested in what tones other people are getting.
    i use :
    imput 1
    low boost: off
    high boost: on
    volume: to taste. 5-6
    treble: 3.5
    bass: 4.5

    nice and gritty but rounded
  15. bubbastain


    Oct 1, 2012
    I'm using an active P and J style bass(Epiphone EBM4) and using my Kustom Groove Bass 8x10 cab. As far as setting go, I think it sounds best with the bass boost on, treble boost on or off, treble knob between 5 and 6 and bass knob at least on 7. With the volume under 5, it sounds warm, fat and punchy. I would like to be able to go up to 7 ish and stay clean though.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If your active bass is louder than most, then naturally the dial number where it starts breaking up will be lower. I'd go have it checked out, too, though, just for peace of mind.
  17. bubbastain


    Oct 1, 2012
    I played with the eq today. I can get it up to 7 and before it goes downhill. I just had to bring the bass level down to about 6 or 7. Still sounds best to me at just under 5. I'm fairly confident everything is working fine. I will still most likely gather some more info and update what might be some weak links.
  18. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    This is your bet bet for Sunn info;


    Lots of experienced, knowledgable and generally friendly Sunn-o-philes there. If you go there and perform a search you will find a ton of good info about what you are experiencing with your amp.

    Good Luck!
  19. EvilJekyll


    Dec 23, 2011
    I use :
    imput 1
    low boost: off
    high boost: off
    volume: As needed, usually 5-6.
    treble: 5
    bass: 6

    Bassy but somewhat balanced. Running through a Sunn 215B with K140s.
  20. vegedge


    Jul 14, 2012
    mine says 1973 in marker on the inside under the wires. but looks exactly like the OP's. only with a SS rect. has the numbers on the amp and black knobs with an arrow.

    i am thinking his is the same year or around as mine.