What Do You Think Of This Amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 60bass, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. 60bass

    60bass Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    North Carolina
    Hey fellow TB'ers

    I just scored this today! What do you think? It's VGC and all original. Pots are in need of cleaning but the cab sounds sweet. My estimate is that it's early to mid 80's. Silkscreens say made in USA and has the Tualatin address. I had one of these heads once back in the late 80's and it was always rock solid. The price was so right, I couldn't pass it up.

    Don't get me wrong I love my GBE 1200 and my Ampeg cabs, but sometimes that vintage growl of 15's just can't be beat. Who says you can never go back :)
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
  3. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    Very cool -- I love 2x15s! I owned a Yamaha 2x15 that had that same side-porting construction for years and years and it was one of the best sounding cabinets I've ever heard. Something about it made those big speakers really cut through the band.

    I hope this one works out just as well.

  4. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    But then so did Chris Squiers of Yes and that's one of my heroes.
    Might need a few caps to get it right back tip top after all these years.:bassist:
  5. 60bass

    60bass Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    North Carolina
    I've owned a few Sunns over the years and they were always good amps. The head is pretty dusty inside. I'm going to get inside this weekend and blow it out and have a look around and make sure the caps aren't leaking or swelled. The pots need cleaned for sure.

    The seller (who bought it new) told me the amp has not seen much use over the years. It really does look great in person. Only one tolex tear on the cab (his cat munched it) and the power cord looks like it was also cat munched somewhat (think National Lampoon Christmas Vacation)! All the handles, corners and glides are in perfect shape.

  6. I had that same head w/a Peavey 2x15 for several years. A great boomy monster- my old Thumb BO-4 sounded wonderful through it. A VERY strong 300 SS watts, IIRC.
  7. 60bass

    60bass Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    North Carolina
    I ran the one I used to have through a Peavey 1820 cab where I used a concert bass head along with it in a bi-amp mode. The Coliseum powered the lows through the 18 and the Concert running the 2-10's. If I remember right I crossed ot over around 1000hz the Peavey 10's really did sound fairly decent. The Concert bass head had the preamp board gutted out and I just used the power amp section. It was a compact setup and sounded big with my P-bass.
  8. 60bass

    60bass Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    North Carolina
    I took a look over at the Sunn pages at ampage and found out that the SPL cabs had cast frame speakers that look like they might have been Altec's. It seems there's no one who can recone these anymore (voice coils not available), so if I decide to use the cab the speakers are coming out for sure. Maybe I'll toss in a couple of Black Widow 15's. I always liked the sound of those.

  9. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    those speakers look like electrovoice 15L's to me, only with the aluminum dust cap like on the Fender EV15F. they are very rugged, effiecient, sound great and will last along time. if they are EV's, there's no need to replace them as IMO, they are as good or better than anything made today.
  10. paganjack


    Dec 25, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    wow... jealous
  11. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Sunnnnn! Vintage stuff is cool! Great find.

  12. 60bass

    60bass Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    North Carolina
    Yea, I thought they looked like EV's too. My guess was Altec as I know Sunn used to use some Altec drivers in their radial PA horns. I had a pair of the small radials for years and they had 30 watt Altec drivers in them that were painted purple and said Sunn on them. I abused those on the road for 10 years and never had a diaphram failure.

    I copied this post By Don T. dated June 18, 05 off of the Sunn pages over at ampage where he talks about the SPL speakers.

    <<<< start copy >>>>
    That cabinet has SUNN SPL 15's in it. Those are the coolest of the cool SPL line. I designed PA cabinets (in 84) around them that really rock.

    SPL = 3"VC, aluminum frame, 12lb vented magnet assy. We tested these by plugging the speaker into a 120v ac outlet and walking away. 60hz @400 watts all day long. Then we put 400 watts of white noise through them and left them on the shipping dock overnight (too damn loud inside the building). They held up fine, no thermal or mechanical breakdown. The only problem with them now is repair parts. Waldom said they would wind voice coils but we would have to buy 100 of them @ $32.00 each. I still have some cones, spyders, dust caps, gaskets and HD silver cotton tinsel leads.
    <<<< end copy >>>>

    He goes on to say in another post that the SPL's replaced the Sunn Magna speakers and that was around 81 - 82. That would jive with the original owners statement that he bought the amp new in the 80's.

    Here's another shot from that post at ampage. From the front, they DO look like an EV. Maybe EV made them to Sunn specs as I don't remember any EV's with 3" voice coils? Most I've seen were 2.5's. If I remember even the SRO's were
  13. 60bass

    60bass Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    North Carolina

    I got one of those so-called deals of the century. An older retired player who for health reasons was forced to stop. He knew it was worth way more than he was asking but I think he just wanted it gone. We talked Sunn for awhile over the phone before I went to see the amp. I told him I had been a long time Sunn user back in the day, same as him. I think he liked the fact that the amp was going to somebody who was a longtime player and knew what a Sunn bass amp was.

    On the way home, I started thinking "I'm gettin up there in years myself and this could be me in another 10 years"!

    ARGHHHH - that was a real buzz kill so when I got home, I had to shake it off by cranking up loud through the GBE 1200 and my 410HLF for about 30 minutes just to see if my neighbor would call the cops. Heh Heh Heh! You know, just like I did over 30 years ago when I first started to play bass! The best thing is that it doesn't bother me anymore, my ears are fried from playing through Sunn and Acoustic folded 18's for many years.