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Pls help.. Old Kustom Tuck and Roll - worth it???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DanBass, Feb 10, 2003.


  1. DanBass

    DanBass

    Jan 27, 2003
    Bucks County, PA
    I was in a local small store near me and was looking for an inexpensive amp. The guy steered me towards a used amp he had in the corner. It was a vintage Kustom 250 Tuck and Roll amp. You know, the padded cabinet ones? It is the head and a cabinet with 2 15" speakers. It was from the late 60's. It was in really nice shape. He said I could have it for $400. Now, it sounded nice, however I am having reservations. Firstly, it is OLD, and the parts (from what I have read) are becoming harder to come by. Secondly, I have spoken with a few people, and the reviews were not all that glowing.

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated, as even though it is only $400 - my funds are limited, and I don't want to get something I will regret.

    HELP! Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. sleazylenny

    sleazylenny

    Jun 20, 2002
    Mpls, MN
    well, yer not gonna get that "hi-fi" sound prized by so many modern bassists. The Kustoms tone is old school. Did you play through it? Did you like the sound? It's never going to be a moner tone machine with lots of power and head room, but there is a certain charm it's sound.

    As for repairs and replacing vintage parts, I know some guys who use the stuff exclusively ( they're a very visual band and I suspect the choice to use these amps has to do as much with the show as the sound.)

    Anyhoo, they manage to keep their stuff up and running. I imagine you could , too
     
  3. DanBass

    DanBass

    Jan 27, 2003
    Bucks County, PA
    Truth be told, I played through it and did like it. It was very smooth and seemed to bring out the wood of the bass IMHO. I used to play an old Ampeg 2 15" and it actually reminded me of that. They had a larger Peavey too, but the guy at the store seemed to convey that the Kustom was a better value for the dollar. I have some money down on it now, (didn't have my truck with me) I would imagine I could play the Peavey too and see which one I like better.

    Thanks for the insight, I appreciate it.

    As far as musical style, it would be straight forward rock, and both seem as though they would fit the bill.
     
  4. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    There's an old Kustom head at my rehearsal space that I use occasionally when I can't or don't want to haul my rig. On the one hand, it sounded better than I thought it would. On the other hand, that's not saying a whole lot. :)

    Bear in mind that I'm an SWR clean tone hi fi kinda guy (ooo, that rhymed, sorta), so it's not going to be my cup of tea, but might be for others... like I said, it sounded better than I thought it would.
     
  5. DanBass

    DanBass

    Jan 27, 2003
    Bucks County, PA
    Thanks for the insight... In addition to the Kustom, I was messing around with a big Peavey there too, and I think I may grab that instead. A little newer, sound was nice, and I have a familiarity with them from the past.....
     
  6. I have an old Kustom Cabinet with 2 15's in it powered with an old acoustic 360 head. I love the sound, but very few share my opinion. I play both passive and active basses and both sound fine on it. I do wish I had a few more options in terms of my tone, but I think the tone I get is something you cant get off any other amp. If you get it and already like the tone, youll probably grow to love it. One problem mine had was that the glue used in sealing and holding the wood together within the cabinet was so old that the cabinet would sometimes get some terrible fuzz tone to it at high volumes. I took it apart and reglued it and it came out perfect. So, just check it out at high volumes and if you can try playing a low B through it and see how it sounds.
     
  7. I'll just chime in here and say $400 is about twice what it's worth. Offer him $200, and if you really love it, go as high as $300, including tax. Start hemming and hawing and tell him it'll need new power supply capacitors, new potentiometers, etc. Take cash with you, and pull out a stack of (10) $20 bills. He'll probably sell it to you for that.

    I don't have any Kustom stuff, but I love the old thuddy sound. Most people don't like it, but then again most people are idiots who sound like crap in the mix. The old style sound mixes well and sounds good, even though it is not impressive by itself. To put it in elementary school teacher comments, "It plays well with others." :D The newer sound is real impressive by itself, but doesn't mesh with a band as good as the old fat sound does.

    Chris
     
  8. I have a Kustom K250 head with matching 2x15 cab. This rig dates from around 1972, prior to that they were the K200. Mine originally had JBL D140's in it.

    The 250 actually puts out about 125 watts into 4 ohms. The sound is clean, enough power for 60's rock and country, but not enough for metal or hard rock.

    Yes it may need new filter capacitors. Yes parts are impossible to find. There is a web site, www.vintagekustom.com that can help you out.

    The amp looks neat, so does the cab (mine's black with chrome ports). But the wood in the cab is starting to get too old, and I've had to reinforce/glue it back together. I did gig with mine fairly regularly until the power amp fried (literally) in the middle of a gig six months ago. Nothing like a light and smoke show coming from inside your amp!!

    I can and might fix this amp (myself). Would I recommend one to somebody else? Well, if they're an amp collector, yes, or maybe if they're an electronics hobbyist like myself. I've thought long and hard about it though, and the bottom line is this amp is too underpowered and too unreliable to put a lot of time and money into it. :meh: It's a real shame, though, these amps were top of the line for solid state rigs back in their day. They are indeed classics. I just can't recommend it as a daily gigger.
     
  9. Professor X

    Professor X Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2002
    On The Prairie
    I have a Kustom sitting in the Closet in my apartment (too loud to crank up)... Personally I LOVE the sound of it. I got it by trading a Trace Elliot 4x10 combo for it... The guy thought he was ripping me off but I fell in love with the kustom the first time I played it. It sounds great and despite the fact that the wattage isn't rated very high, it's the loudest amp I've ever played through. On mine one channel is completely dead and there is a wierd ground loop problem (I get shocked when singing into a mic and playing through the amp at the same time--OUCH) But other then that it's Awesome... but then again I think Jazz basses sound best with dead flatwound strings on them. Ironically I also have a "Hi-FI" rig (summit pre, halfer power amp, and a euphonic VL210) Much Much smaller then the kustom... (way easier to get around) To be honest if I had "people" to move my stuff for me I'd use the kustom and nothing else. Well I'll stop rambleing now... If i were you I'd buy it... But again i know that my taste in sound is different from most people.
     
  10. AMEN, BROTHA!!!


    I play a modern amp with it set to fit into the mix. I've found that bass that is "on top" of the mix is obtrusive in most cases...and so have the bandleaders and producers i've worked with (which is part of the reason i was fortunate to work with them)

    YMMV, of course.