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Sunn Coliseum 200W bass amp...300 bucks?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Freakin Idiot, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. I was at Guitar Center yesterday and they had just gotten in a Sunn bass amp (it's seen better days) and was wondering if 300 is a good deal for it. I'm pretty sure that it isn't and that GC is just trying to screw people as usual.

    It looks like this:

    As far as I can tell there is no fan anywhere and I read a review about heat problems.

    I'm going back for the Labor Day sale and need some feedback fast. I'm going to play on it, but for now I need some info:
    1. What years was this particular Coliseum model made. This isn't the slave or 880 version. Serial number starts with "A". I'll call them and get the number.
    2. Are these reliable amps?
    3. What is a good price for this thing?

    I'm very curious. Maybe I can put my main rig on hold for a while and pick up a cool piece of vintage gear.

    Thanks guys.
  2. Oh yeah. Now, after reading more into this amp I am wondering if it is solid state or tube. Any ideas?
    This could possibly be GAS at it's finest. Or one of the most severe cases of it that I have gotten. My last one was my M-Pulse 360.
  3. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Seventies, solid state, very reliable, I wouldn't pay more than $200. :bassist:
  4. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    With the speaker $300 would be reasonable. Without I think not.
  5. While the Sunn tube amps are very desirable, frankly I'm not impressed with their mid-70's solid state stuff. My Concert Bass amp, the little brother of the Coliseum, is not built very well IMHO.

    For example, on mine, there's about two dozen or so single wire connectors that plug into various points around the PC boards; over time, every one of these connectors has loosened up (fixed by soldering them). The main PC board is mounted on plastic clips that broke off years ago; I fixed with real standoffs. Some of the transistors are obsolete, slightly more of a problem to cross reference JFETs....The chassis isn't fully enclosed, to keep out EMI/RFI, there's screen wire stapled to the underside of the wooden top.

    So I sure wouldn't recommend $300 for a beat-up Coliseum. In fact....I hate to be negative, but unless that amp was in perfect shape and played perfectly, I wouldn't buy it at all. Even if it were in great shape, I wouldn't give more than $125 to 150 for it--for $150, I could buy a used Peavey that's built better and still has factory support.
  6. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Why do you go to GC if you think they're just screwing ppl "as usual"?
  7. Those were some great amps in their day, but were talkng a 25 or 30 year old amp here and I don't think it's worth what they're asking for it. You can get something a lot newer with similar power for $300.
  8. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    It will amplify your bass but the tone is ...nondescript. My experience with the Sunn SS amps is they are fairly rugged but that model is not worth $300 IMO.
  9. I was wondering what those things on the back of the heatsink are. There are 5 of them and the guy was like "this is a tube amp." I think GC might have paid a little too much for this thing...
  10. On my Concert, those 5 things are transistors (4 output transistors, 1 driver transistor).
  11. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Coli's are definately Solid State. They have huge transistors (at least my 300 does that could be mistaken for tubes with metal guards over them I guess.

    The older Coliseum's are alright. A drummer I used to play with liked the tone over my Sorado...so I didn't believe anything he said about tone afterwards.
  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Good for about 150 bucks at most. But hey, if it was good enough for John Entwistle... :p