Polytone mini S15B

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dave11772, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. dave11772


    Dec 14, 2006
    I just received an Polytone mini S15B. I was told they're great for accordians too :eek:

    It's seen some action, but it still packs a punch.

    Anyway, I know there's not much info on these amps on the web, but does anyone know of a site that might have the schematic or specs?

  2. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I've had a minibrute for more than 20 years and I still use it to amplify DB occasionally. It also does OK with electric on relatively quiet gigs.

    That being said, I have had a few VERY negative experiences dealing with the Polytone company. As a consequence, I accord them no credibility whatsoever; I recommend you don't trust them as far as you can spit: Caveat emptor!

  3. dave11772


    Dec 14, 2006
    Candid responses are always appreciated. Thanks.
  4. 7thbass


    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
    a really neat amp. Sounds great with jazz guitar too.

    I liked playing fretless through a minibrute IV, which had a 1x15. Projects well, easy to hear while playing, and has a clear, broad range that compliments a good bass.

    Wish I had the room and permission for one of these around the house.
  5. realdeal

    realdeal Banned

    Dec 10, 2004
    I bought a Mini-Brute III several years back.
    I purchased it because at that time, I had a regular gig playing Fender Bass in a jazz-standards trio, backing a vocalist. Musically,I tried to approach the repertoire with the tone/timbre and feel of the upright bass, the drummer used brushes; that type of feel.
    We played at an upscale restaurant with a relatively small stage, and the Ampeg gear I own, even with one cabinet, was a bit much for the project.
    The Polytones came highly recommended for use with Upright, the store I purchased from specialized in gear for Double Bass.

    The rig really did the job well- it had a very neutral tone, not agressive at all, and with my passive P-Bass, could be voiced with a tone that while lacking the acoustic resonance of an upright, did get the same presence and feel for playing standards. In that respect, it was a geat little amp, and at that time, 30-some lbs. was considerd small for an amp with that kind of quality.

    When that gig ended, I found the MiniBrute to be limited as far as other projects I was involved in- R&B, Blues, Funk, Soul,
    etc. It could cut it, but it was certainly limited in power and headroom, and the tone didn't really have the "bite" I wanted for Bass guitar to lay in the mix in those genres.
    Wasn't really supposed to, so no shortcoming on the part of the product.
    Seeing as I had got used to light-weigh load-ins, I traded the Polytone in on the GK MicroBass, wich was way louder, more modern sounding (for Bass Guitar), and when used with another 12" cab, could cut through pretty well in small/medium rooms.

    Interesting to me to see how bass gear develops over the years.

    The GK eventually became "old news" with the intro of some newer high-powered gear, starting out with Acoustic Image, and going from there.

    Now, for a dedicated rehearsal/small room rig, I use a head/speaker outfit, in my case a Neo-Pak 3.5 and a EA Wizzy M-line. Smaller actually than the Mini-Brute was, but way loud, lots of headroom, and tone that can range from hitting it hard with an R&B rhythm section to being tamed nicely for jazz and pop approaches.

    It was interesting to see Polytone's new web-site; for years they didn't have any internet presence or marketing at all.
    They just kind of got along on word-of-mouth and reputation, primarily from jazz guitarists and Upright players. Still is the case- I don't think we'll be seeing Polytone as backline at Live Earth in the near future!:D

    Their obscure little factory has been located near the Hollywood-Burbank Airport, not too far from me, for as many years as I can remember.

    Jazzdog, if it's not too personal, I'm curious as to what kind of issues you had with the Company or product. Thanks.
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I've had a couple Poly's including the mini S15B. Seems the creator played accordian and created the initial amp for one. Anyway, Carol Kaye played Poly for years and so did I. Interesting company and they've made a myriad of gear incluidng accordians, basses, pa, and lots of amps - incluidng more than one version of the Mini S15B and a even a few tubes.

    Google their site and you can bet a schematic for $20. It's only been in the last couple of years they've had a site and there's been more than one complaint about their customer service - not so much their gear. Probably the only specs you'll get are on the back of the amp.
  7. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I currently have a Polytone Pro - it has a 15" and 2x8" cabinet. It's a small biamp rig and if you don't push it too hard it sounds great. I used to have 2 of them and I'd use them both on larger gigs, but I now have an amp more suitable for rock and for the quietest jazz type gigs I'll use my Fender Champ with a single 8". The Polytone I have can get a great range of sounds, can handle the low B (and lower with an Octave pedal). My dealings with the company were all extremely positive and I talked to the engineers at Polytone who designed and built my amp several times. I haven't called them in many years though.
  8. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I used a MiniBrute II in the late 70s when it first came out. Had it for over 10 years and really beat it up. It was a backstage amp on tour, recording amp and home practice amp and even used it for jazz trio things. Never had a bit of trouble with it. One time I hooked up a 1x15 extension cabinet and played a bar gig for 2 weeks with a fairly loud country-rock group.

    Then yesterday, while cruising through the Burlington L&M store I tired a new MiniBrute IV (15" speaker) with a Fender P bass. I know this is the guitar version but essentially it's the same as the MiniBrute III but with reverb and is like the one Carol Kaye used for years before she got the first of the Sonic Bass 1x15 models.

    I don't know-I managed to get some decent sounds out of it but to me it looked flimsily built compared to my 70s MiniBrute and even though it had double the power and a 15, versus the 60 watts and 1x12 of my original, it didn't seem all that much bigger sounding. I'd bet that my Yorkville XM50C would keep up with it. The switch for the Sonic circuit wasn't centred properly and the metal gill sort of flapped in the breeze although I didn't hear it rattle. They wanted over $800 for it. Not for me. For that money I can get a GK Microbass combo and I know what that one is capable of. Maybe guitar players will like it. But it just didn't impress me the way my first Polytone did.

    I just got the latest newsletter from Henrickson Amplifiers and he has a new 120 watt combo (actually a head and cabinet that all packs up in a backpack and weighs 25 lbs) that looks pretty good. He has some interesting combos and heads and cabinets. They might be worth looking at.
  9. thesteve


    May 28, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I've got an old, tired, worn out Polytone 101 (1x15 and I think 2x6.5" or 2x8")...I pushed it hard...sometimes harder...but it worked great until one of the speakers developed a buzz (I guess that's what happens when you're running both channels at 60-75%...oops :()

    I definitely enjoyed this amp for bass and think it sounds good with guitar. I'd pick up another one for the right price.