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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dbase, May 20, 2020.
I've never seen amps/cabs like those. But I sure do like the band! I think maybe they are the Sputniks, not Spotnicks.
Nope, definitely the Spotnicks:
The Spotnicks - Wikipedia
They look like an early version of Devo. And I love their music, thanks for posting.
The huge cabs could be organ 'tone cabinets'. The amp 'head' looks like it could be a monaural hi-fi amp. Sharp act...I really dig the precision choreography. Even more than the uniforms. Like I say...sharp!
OMG! According to the Wiki, " They have released 42 albums, selling more than 18 million records, and still tour...."
Gotta see these guys! Dang virus!!
Edit: Oops...nevermind. The band leader who kept this thing going died on May 3rd of this year. Missed my chance... double dang!
I know back in those days, as I was there to testify, we thought the bigger the box the louder and deeper the bass tone. We were young then and could lift those monsters. These look like homemade cabs with tube amps. I couldn't see lugging these around to gigs. I was listening to Apache by the Shadows and tripped upon this group. Blast from the Past.
Homemade was my first thought, but there is distinct 'V' cut in the side of the upper stage-right cab you can see as the turntable "reveal" happens...that seems like quite a heavy stylistic flourish for a homemade cab.
I must say, this was a well-equipped act for the era... the Beatles were playing Hofners and Hagstroms at this exact point in time. Maybe Sweden had better distribution for Fender and Gibson instruments than the UK...or maybe they weren't as protectionist.
Jeez...you were gigging in '63? I thought I was old! And, generally speaking, in those days, bigger kinda WAS better. If those are organ cabs like I suspect, they would be full of lots and lots of smaller, crummy drivers.
Actually 1965 was my 1st band.... still gigging at 74
Cool. Bigguns for sure! Probably 3/4" hardwood too.
IIRC the band had a hit with Telstar. Correction: That was the Tornadoes.
I've seen them use futuristic looking anps that had an oval speaker section and an amp on a bracket above. Memory says Selmer but I could be way off with that. Maybe even VOX?
Their official website says that the lead guitarist, Bo Winberg, built their own equipment out of necessity. It's very possible that the same is true for the bass rig.
The Spotnicks Web Site
Photos in the 60's gallery show what appear to be Fender Bassman amps.
Their website says this:
It all started with self-made equipment. Amplifiers, speakers and other equipment were something out of the ordinary at that time.
Bo Winberg was also a pioneer in playing on a wireless electric guitar which was a personal invention.
Gleaned from their web site. In the second pic, you can see that the Strat player's amp has that stylized shape where the side is cut away to reveal the side of the grill frame. Vaguely reminiscent of the JBL 4420 studio monitors that came out about 5 years later. That seems like too much of a manufacturer-type design flair for those particular cabs to be homemade. People did build their own gear back in the this era: a rival band in my home town had all their amps and cabs built by one or two of their dads. The cabs weren't unlike these, in that they were huge, and they used kit-built hi-fi or PA amps (Knight? Allied?) for 'heads'. That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the video.
These guys clearly are well-financed--I can't imagine what that costuming cost, not to mention the price of those American guitars over in Sweden. There are some other great pics on their site...I mostly just picked this one because of... well, you know.
Edit: "Everyone straighten up your antennae for the pics now!"
From a web site, translated....
Initially, all the musicians were connected to a common amplifier with a bass speaker of 30 "from Electrovoice. It was a sound system designed for cinemas. In addition, there were 6 speakers of 12" for the other audio range. Both the preamplifier and the output amplifier were with vacuum tubes.
The special guitar sound was produced by using the buttons on the amplifiers and guitars along with reverb and a homemade echo system. Nowadays, Bo Winberg also uses a digital compressor for his Fender Stratocaster, which is connected to an Ampeg amplifier. Bo and Bob also use a hand built tube amplifier called Signature Bo Winberg.
A 2010 Bo Winberg signature amp.
Higher power one
Bo Winberg's Signature amplifier and echo
Bo Winberg's present equipment
PA-system from the early '60s
Engraving machine, a part of the original studio equipment
The famous Tandberg tape recorder
At first I want to put the myth of Fender guitars in common - and particulary the Stratocaster - to death;
According to some so called experts are all Fenders, made later than 1965, only rubbish. I do not agree!
Once I had a Strata, built in 1961, and that one was really bad. Nomatter if I changes the strings, it was totally dead.
I sold it to a Mexican musician.
In my opinion there are only two types of guitars - good and bad ones - and it has nothing to do with year of production or which manufacture it comes from.
You should have a good guitar that suits you - never mind the maker - get your own style, play the songs you like and then try to not plagiarize.
I am playing on a Fender Stratocaster, made in 1965, which I bought in Hollywood, California, USA.
The original color was Sunburst but I didn't like it so I burnt it off and replaced it with ten layers of varnish.
After twenty years I replaced the pegs to new ones from Yamaha because the quality of the originals was not the best.
The microphones became rather tired by the time, besides they also recorded a lot of noice from such old lightning systems which are still used on many stages, as a result of being single coil type.
It looks rather silly to turn your back towards the audience (to awoid the noice) so I changed to Kinmann HX-SC instead two years ago.
The new ones are completely free from noice and sounds more Strata than the originals.
I have built my own tube amplifier with an output effect of 135 Watts (270 Watts music effect).
I growed out from galoping echomachines like Binson - squeak and sway - Echolette and Dynachord - distorsion and noice - and all trouble with tape breaks etc.
Today I have an echo and delay made by Alesis with 99 different programs.
I only use three of them but I would not tell the settings...
The loudspeakers are two 15 inches JBL D 130 E, a type which is hard to find these days.
There have actally been some improvements made on the electronics since the 50's and 60's.
Anyone who wish can buy digital equipment nowadays which copies noice, distorsion and sway of the old machines.
It's rather strange and a bit sick to believe that everything have to remain as it once started.
I use to ask some freaks if they still are driving around in a car from the early 60's...
Gothenburg in February 2007
As a curiosity I put the original of the first part of the song, which is a famous Spanish pasodobles.
I'm not a big fan of traditional Spanish music, but with some songs like these, it gives me goose bumps
Why do I feel like they were a polka band before they got the costumes?
The last two guys who were doing this schtick died earlier this year. From the Wiki entry, it sounded like they milked this old beast right up until 2014, when they announced their "final tour"...I'm not sure how I could have missed what must have been a big media flurry around that news. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to see them. Or the Beatles.
Just for the record, I've worked with several acts that had a similar provenance--they HAD been a band, a million years ago, and now there's still one or two guys--the ones who own the name--who are riding the old broke-down nag some 30 or 40 years later. Or in this case, 50 years after their 'hit' era. And they maintained a loyal following in Japan; it's funny, the Texas fusion-jazz bands I worked with in the '70's have a loyal following over there, too. Their self-released LP's from the '70's sell for up to $1K, even after a German label re-released their stuff on CD. Weird.