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Polytone Amps - What in world is up with this company ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by alienstarguest, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Saw Joe Pass @ 12 th and Porter years ago playing one . Almost bought a used one for $400 a couple years back but worried about reliability and repair issues . It played and sounded good at the time though .
  2. OUCH! Nevermind.....
  3. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I played through plenty of Polytones, they were a staple in CA high school and college programs in the 80's. They were typically reliable and "warm" sounding for bass, guitar and even vibes. The red distortion knobs were off limits.
    Garret Graves and Winoman like this.
  4. Winoman


    May 15, 2005
    Vienna, VA
    I still have a Minibrute for club-dates, that I got in the early 80s, but it crapped out a couple of years ago, and it's just sitting. I replaced it with a GK MBS-III (1x12).

    I used to also have a Maxi-Brute IV (4x10, 250W, IIRC) for bigger gigs, and used that until the mid-90s, but I traded it in on a bigger rig. Both amps sounded sweet in their prime. I'm sad to hear that the company is circling the drain.
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Yes, they were quite popular with the Jazz scene but unfortunately were very unreliable too. They faded away with the introduction of good competing product from a variety of manufacturers. The concept was good, they filled a niche, and might have lasted if they were more stable. Not all that uncommon for gear from that era though.

    I used to service them many years ago, a frustrating experience as they weren't all that easy to work on, failed a lot, and some parts were discontinued by the original manufacturer/vendor. Because of this, I ordered an end of production buy on the power amp's high voltage driver IC's (they were discontinued by National Semiconductor maybe 15 years ago) for continuing repairs and still have plenty if any techs still servicing these can't find them. PM me.
    Garret Graves likes this.

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