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Sunn amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by relman, Mar 26, 2001.

  1. anyone got experience with these????
  2. ANYBODY?????????????????????
  3. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I've played a 200s and a Coliseum. The 200s sounded incredible but I think it's only 60watts (it sure is a loud 60 watts if I may say so). Both those are no longer in production, what did you want to know?
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Had a Coliseum long ago and played through an old 300.

    My experience tells me -

    Vintage, ("REAL") Sunn - Very nice if it has been lovingly maintained or restored

    New, (Fender) Sunn - There's a lot better out there for the same/less money.
  5. Back in the late '70s I used to alternate playing rhythm guitar and bass in my band. I used a Rick 4001 through a Sunn Solarus head and Fender 2x12 cab and thought it sounded very good.
    I don't remember much else about the amp; I think it's actually a guitar amp as it belonged to the band's guitarist....
    We used to play bars, wedding receptions and high school gyms, and it always seemed to have adequate power.
    I don't have any experience with the newer models.
  6. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    60 watts! Was that all? I used to have a 200s Sunn with two 15" JBL D 140's. It sure was loud. played huge gymnasiums, outdoor festivals, etc. and the bass was more than adequate.
  7. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Where's that Rich B. guy? I figured he would be all over this one, he's an avid proponent for Sunn gear.

    One of my local stores just got in a 300T atop one of their 2x15 cabs. It's the first time I have seen Sunn in any of the stores near me, and there's a bunch of them(Mars, GC, Sam Ash, locals...).

    I did not have a chance to try it out because I was picking up some strings in a rush. :(
  8. fisk


    Jan 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    Same here. I just saw a sunn 2x15 cab in a music store last week for the first time. It was priced fairly reasonable, but I dont remember what it was. I was also in curious if its a decent cab. I dont know any details on it (watts, ohms....), but I wonder if it would go with my RC210?

  9. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Oh hey fisk, sup man. So you have the RC210 now?

    I remember you from the 'Carvin Amps' thread from a couple weeks ago. You posted near the end that you decided on the RC210.

    So how do you like it?

    By the way, I remember a heated debate over Sunn's stuff in the FDP(Fender Discussion Page) about a month ago. I don't know how the Sunn 215 will *sound* but there was a lot of technical evidence weighed against it in the thread from what I recall. A lot of it had to do with the dimensions and design of the cab itself rather than the drivers. Most of the people with a solid technical background in cab design were trashing the 215.

    As with most things, best to try it out yourself and see what you think. I plan on giving it a go just for the heck of it next time I visit that store.
  10. fisk


    Jan 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    Yes, I finally got my RC210 on monday morning. I had to ***cough, cough*** call in sick so i could be there to take delivery. It sounds awesome. When they say its not plug N play and to read the directions, they arent joking. All the various ways to dial in different sounds in unbelievable.

    I'll have to look into the 2x15 closer when the time comes to add another cab, but i'm leaning towards the carvin 18 or even a 4x10. Not sure yet. I'm still playing with my new toy now, and i've got at least two months before i'll have the money to buy anything anyway.

  11. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I currently own a 1200S Sunn head. It's reliable, loud, has good tone, lotsa head room. I use either 2 EA 208 cabs (400 watt cabs @ 8 ohms each) and occasionally add a 1 10 EA (250 watt/8 ohm also). It pushes any and all of these combinations or individual cabinets with ease. It's a warmer sounding head with two pre-amp tubes and 1200 watts @ 2 ohms, I haven't figured out the wattage at 4 ohms or 3.2/whatever with three cabinets attached, but in any case there's more volume than I need available.

    I tried out the 300T on a gig with SWR Goliath Jr III cabinets about 2 years ago, and, if I would have a stronger back and added a broad band graphic, it took would probably work, but that beast is a heavy muthah with tube biasing and replacement add on's which didn't make it work for me.

    I have owned both Sunn Coliseum and Concert heads in the bass and have had nothing but reliable, clean sound the whole time.

    If you need a higher powered head, I strongly prefer the 1200S, as it not only has the above headroom, but also has a nice graphic, hi and low compression and some other neat extras for a much lower price than SWR 900 or EDEN 800 have. I personally think that these heads honk and are no bargain at all.

    It's up to you. Be cool. The head's a good bargain if it sounds right for your style, your speakers and your axe.

  12. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    You mean this Rich? www.richbriere.com
  13. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001

    Cool man, enjoy! You can take your time getting a low end reinforcement cab, this thing will be plenty loud in the meantime, just not as deep as a 15 or 18. When you do go for one, I might caution you on a 2x15. Though it's a great way to move air in principle on the low end, a 2x15 is no joke! It's a bear, and it will make your back hurt just looking at it. This is just a suggestion, but make sure you go size one up at a local shop before you buy, or you'll be stuck with one hell of a return. :p


    lol, yeah that's the one!

    If he doesn't work for Sunn, they should hook him up. I never saw anyone push their stuff with so much enthusiasm. He took on the world over at the Fender forum a little while back.
  14. BaroqueBass


    Jul 8, 2000
    Salem, OR
    Anybody remember the PBG episode over sunn?? yikes, that was freaky.
  15. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Back in the late 70's, I had a Sunn Concert Bass amp with its matching 215 cab. It sounded loud and deep, but I had to use an external EQ to get the tone I really wanted.

    I wish I never sold it, though... :(

    As far as I remember, this amp was rated @ 200 W, but delivered only 150 W with the 215B cab. Sorry, I don't remember the accurate specs and impedences. But I wish to say it again : these were 150 LOUD watts !

    What I had is exactly what is shown on the bottom right of the picture (cab + what is called "80's head" but was actually released in the late 70's).


    Just a point about the Sunn bass amps : the early ones had one more knobs than the later ones. This knob, that has curiously been removed, was used to add some drive to the tone. It was useful, and though it couldn't beat an SVT in the tubey drive department, it sounded great with some basses that love drive, i.e. Rickenbacker. I had to use external things to recover that drive, but in the end it sounded great. Though, 2 or 3 years later, I sold the head and got a Marshall Lead 100 in replacement.

    All the best,
  16. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    The guitar player in my band who is also a bass player, let me play through his '70s Sunn Coliseum. Are they supposed to sound distorted like that? Or was his in need of some repair.. He also has an early '70 SVT. He never gets rid of any equipment.:cool:
  17. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    They should. At least, in the 70's they did ;)
    But it's more a kind of subtle drive than a Motorlica distorsion.


    All the best,
  18. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    since there was already a lengthly reply about teh 1200s that i agree with. ill just say ive owned sunn gear it was awsome.
  19. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I have an early 70's Sunn Coliseum and a mid 70's Concert. I've also got a 215B cabinet just like the one in the picture above, but I replaced the speakers with EVM 15b's a long time ago.

    The Coliseum has a bright switch and 4 band active eq with a switchable center frequency on the mids. More wattage than the Concert, but not high wattage by the current definition. As I recall, it's 300w at 2 ohms.

    The Concert has a bright switch and a passive 3 band eq. 200w at 2 ohms.

    You can tell if the eq is active or passive by turning all the tone controls to minimum - if it's active, there will be no sound. The passive eq is OK, but the active is a bit more flexible since you can shape more drastically.

    These heads do not do a hi-fi sound. Very midrange heavy, plenty of highs, not a lot of lows. A bit of an aggressive grind to them. The Coliseum cranked up through the 215B is LOUD. It sounds just like mid 70's John Entwistle (He used Sunn for quite a while). Think of "Can't You See The Real Me" on Quadrophenia. These heads are not real versatile, but they do what they do very well.

    I don't really use them anymore - I bring the Coliseum as a backup, but I'm using a more flexible and more powerful pre/power amp set up
    these days. You can't get nice thick lows out of these heads at anything close to high volume. They'll cut through like crazy, though.
  20. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France

    If one day or another you feel ready to sell your Coliseum Bass or your Concert Bass, please PM me.

    All the best,

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