Gretsch Amps

What was Magic Echo on the Gretsch Safari amp

1

Well I am liking my little Gadabout amp a lot more now w/ new speaker. So the Safari is the bigger one ... w/ twin 8s, more power I am sure, a tone control, but then this jack labeled "magic echo"

Dang I almost want to get one to find out.

2

Good Question. I assumed it was reverb or trem, but it's not. If you go to the '68 catalog and check out the ss amps, they are listed as having reverb, trem and Magic Echo. The catalog alludes to a variable contol; maybe some kind of delay?

3

What is weird is that most of these 2 solid state amps are referred to as 1965, and the speakers totally are -- but they could have been old stock . Please someone take the free-for shipping Jensen 8 out of this one, New Celestion is much better.

Also there was some discussion if Valco even made these since their earliest solid state attempts were thought to be later than 65 and they were toast by 69.

If something sells I might get this Safari here

https://reverb.com/item/353...

4

I had a '68 Gretsch 7154 Nashville amp with the tri-console footswitch. I'm thinking "Magic Echo" was basically vibrato.

5

I went on the hunt for the answer. i couldn't find any demos, but i did find an explanation on a podcast from one of the members of Blue Man Group who owns one and uses it for shows. he says that the Magic Echo "sounds a lot like the on/off vibrato heard on Pink Floyd's 'Money.'"

Link

6

I'm going to take a wild guess & say Tel-Ray oil can. Gibson, Fender, & Rickenbacker were all using them at the time.

7

I'm going to take a wild guess & say Tel-Ray oil can. Gibson, Fender, & Rickenbacker were all using them at the time.

– Billy Zoom

I had the same thought. No proof, tho it makes a modicum of sense.

8

There are a ton of pics of the inside of the amp on the net. Nothing that looks like an oil can to me.

10

No oil can, no spring, not even one of the Valco car radio reverbs. I have no idea.

11

Is there a model number for that amp?

12

Can you still get those batteries? Can you get rechargeable versions? Those are like 8 D cells each, and I haven't seen them in years. I'm at a loss on the "echo" myself.

13

Dang all kinda new info since I posted. If anything sells I am going shopping for one. Be only GDP w/ Gadabout and Safari. but dudes I gotta say it sound better w/ modern Celestion 8 than original Jensen 8.

@BZ -- dang never knew those mainstream companies had the oil can scene happening

14

Those are lantern batteries, they are 6 volt. I still have a sealed beam lantern with a flashing red light on the back end. They are still available, might have to look a bit though.

15

Those are lantern batteries, they are 6 volt. I still have a sealed beam lantern with a flashing red light on the back end. They are still available, might have to look a bit though.

– farmerbrown

Easier to find than the high voltage batteries that old tube type portable radios took.

16

FWIW, I wouldn't be surprised if the "magic echo" is similar to the repeat percussion in Vox Super Beatle amps or the "chop" effect (for lack of a better term) on mid 60s Ampegs - the amp's tremolo circuit has the ability to create a square wave effect that maybe sort-a sounds like an echo.

17

FWIW, I'm 95% certain the SS amps were not made by Valco. The name rattling around in my head is GSM, but I'm not sure that means anything (and I'm not sure I'd count on my brain much, either).

18

Sound Projects Company (Lectrolab) made Harmony tube amps, I think. Someone gave me a Harmony bass amp which was very similar to my Gretsch Pro Bass. I wonder if they did solid state as well?

19

Why does it have batteries?

Is that a fuse or a spring on the very right side of the chassis?

20

Batteries made it portable (party at the beach).

That’s a fuse block at the end of the chassis.

21

I also have a recollection of "premier" being involved. It's pretty murky. Something about "fine women of somewhere Wisconsin". I'm really shaking some old info out of my brain here.

23

It's tied into the tremolo circuit, so I would guess it might be something like Ampeg's "Afterbeat" or Vox's "Repeat Percussion".


Register Sign in to join the conversation