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Who made padded amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jwsamuel, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. jwsamuel


    Apr 26, 2004
    When I was in high school in the '70s, a friend had a bass amp that was covered with a padding. It was covered in a black synthetic leather with padding. Does anyone remember what brand that was?

  2. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Kustom did something like that.


  3. Kustom was the predominant padded amp, their trademark was the "tuck-n-roll" cover, often it was sparkly Naugahyde such as blue or charcoal or red.

    Plush also imitated the Kustoms.
  4. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Kustom, yep.
  5. jwsamuel


    Apr 26, 2004
    Thanks guys.

    I thought it might be Kustom but could not find anything at all to show me if I was correct or not.

  6. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    They were Kustom, out of Chanute Kansas, starting around 1967. They had some of the first ducted port cabs, with bright chromed ducts. They were also amongst the first solid state amps.The power sections were clean and loud but the pre's rather primitive, more or less OK for bass, terrible for guitar compared to tube stuff.
  7. mandocaster


    Dec 24, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Even though they might be terrible, a lot a great music was made with them. It is my understanding that John Fogerty used Kustoms for all his CCR work.
  8. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Two other companies that come to mind are Plush and later on Earth. Both of these amps I remember being more desirable than kustom. Both companies also had a larger 2x15 cab than the Kustom cab. Kustom cabs (amps) also came in blue and black, the other two came in blue, black, red orange, gold, green.
  9. I think the second generation Kustoms--the K250 series--were better than the Plush or the Earth stuff, Earth had a reputation for copying other amps if I recall correctly. I remember seeing an Earth amp that was a Peavey clone IIRC. But I haven't seen much of the Plush or Earth amps around lately.

    Kustom had all of the colors, not just blue and black...see the vintage kustom site. Red, green, silver, gold, all sparkles, cool!

    I've got a black K250 from 1971, with the 2x15 cab. It's solidly built, the preamp section's a little more sophisticated than the first generation Kustoms, it's still pretty basic though. For its day, it was a great rig. I've gigged with mine regularly up until a couple of years ago when I fried the power amp mid-gig. (I've fixed it since but doubt I'll take it back out to gig.) On the bench, I measured 130 watts RMS into 4 ohms when the sine wave started clipping on the scope. My main concern is the heat sinking (or lack thereof) for the output transistors. They're on the bottom of the amp covered by the wood case...probably the only real design flaw with the amp.

    The company went out of business in the early to mid 70's but the name has been revived for a couple of recent incarnations. I dunno how the quality is compared to the early stuff, but I doubt it's as good.