Other Amps

1960 Ampeg Mercury

1

Got this old Ampeg Mercury M-12 working pretty well and have been using it on quiet jazz gigs; not that it doesn't have lots of volume. 6V6 power tubes and 6SL7 (octal) preamp tubes; cathode biased. The bright cap has been removed which tamed the harshness of the upper mids. It is very warm and 'retro' sounding; a definite foil to the Fenders and I'm doing my best to embrace the extra midrange.

The volume and tone controls are very interactive; when I adjust the tone, the volume also changes, and when I adjust the volume, the tone is also affected. Should be fun figuring out how to take advantage of that. Channel 2 is darker than 1, and it has a stereo option. I wired a mono to stereo jack thinking that I'd use channel 2 for bass and 1 for treble like the accordian players used to do, but it didn't work very well and added noise.

3

M-12 control panel: ch. 1vol., tone, trem. speed, intensity, ch 2 vol., tone

4

I love the look of alnico speakers with the magnet can.

5

‘60s Ampeg with octal preamp is on my bucket list. They are surprisingly uncommon out here in the Pacific Northwest. eBay listings would have you believe they’re all still in New York or New Jersey.

6

That looks great.

Is that one of the Ampegs with strange tubes?

I've been warned that some of the late 50's - early 60's Ampegs have tubes that will leave you either up the creek trying to find them, or broke from buying them.

7

No compactrons in the M-12. Three 6SL7's, easy to find.

8

Cool amp! You should try a JBL D123 in there if you can find one.It might give you a little more top and bottom

9

Very nice! Which year is it? I didn’t know they had a different logo for a while. I got a 64 Reverberocket recently. It’s being serviced by member Michiel now. I’m looking forward to playing it soon!

10

These are beautiful. I have a 61 reverberocket with 6sl7 and 6V6s. It does not suit my hollow bodies though great with planks.

11

Very nice! Which year is it? I didn’t know they had a different logo for a while. I got a 64 Reverberocket recently. It’s being serviced by member Michiel now. I’m looking forward to playing it soon!

– Danman

Do post some pics when you get it back. The Mercury is a 1960 model. Here is a pic of my 1967 Reverberocket:

12

That looks great.

Is that one of the Ampegs with strange tubes?

I've been warned that some of the late 50's - early 60's Ampegs have tubes that will leave you either up the creek trying to find them, or broke from buying them.

– crowbone

As Powdog said, 6SL7s are easy to find. The new Tung Sols are very good too. My 1967 Reveberocket has a compactron (three tubes in one) but even that was easy to find; not common, but the Tube Store has them and there is always ebay.

13

That looks great.

Is that one of the Ampegs with strange tubes?

I've been warned that some of the late 50's - early 60's Ampegs have tubes that will leave you either up the creek trying to find them, or broke from buying them.

– crowbone

You're thinking of the 7591A power tubes in some of the Ampegs.I dont know much about the current 7591's but some years ago Sovtek was making them but they were just 6L6's with a repin.I had a couple of Gemini's at the time and just modded them to use 6L6.

14

Grew up 2 towns away from where Ampegs were made in the 60s. And they are more of an East coast thing. They stayed w/ octals when Fender switched over to 9 pin minis and that gave those amps a more aggresive sound that Ampeg wasn't into. We all know founder Everett Hull (I met him when I was 14) was famously anti rock and roll.

15

Do post some pics when you get it back. The Mercury is a 1960 model. Here is a pic of my 1967 Reverberocket:

– Journeyman

I’ll definitely make a post when I get it back.
Nice Reverberocket! Member Will has two of those. They sound great!

16

I had an old 60's Ampeg R15R SuperbReverb that was in beautiful condition (even had original cover in near mint condition) that I foolishly sold. Had the 7591 power tubes and the octals in the pre-amp and a 15" speaker. Back in the mid-late 90's it would have cost a fortune to re-tube it so I panicked and sold it. Wish I still had it. It's almost scary to imagine what my Power Tenny would sound like through that amp.

17

I had an old 60's Ampeg R15R SuperbReverb that was in beautiful condition (even had original cover in near mint condition) that I foolishly sold. Had the 7591 power tubes and the octals in the pre-amp and a 15" speaker. Back in the mid-late 90's it would have cost a fortune to re-tube it so I panicked and sold it. Wish I still had it. It's almost scary to imagine what my Power Tenny would sound like through that amp.

– Gretschadelphia

It would sound great! I play my Gretsch guitars through my R15R all the time and the amp plays nice with all the flavors: Dynasonic, FilterTron and HiLoTron.

18

Some music only happens at the intersection of particular guitars and amps. I found a song with the Dyna Jet plugged into the Reverberocket, and it just doesn't sound as good with other gear. It will have to be recorded that way.

I had decided to sell my 2-12 Portaflex (the guitar version), but took it to the Nashville Roundup and played one song through it. I guess it isn't going anywhere now.

Never heard a 60s Ampeg that didn't sound great - and they don't sound like anything else. Every player should seek one out and try it. If the tone tickles your ear, they're still a great value.

19

The 15" version also known as "The Big M" was also way cool.

20

You're thinking of the 7591A power tubes in some of the Ampegs.I dont know much about the current 7591's but some years ago Sovtek was making them but they were just 6L6's with a repin.I had a couple of Gemini's at the time and just modded them to use 6L6.

– stokes

I gots two 64 (?) Reverberockets with the 7591A's. Lovely amps, one of those was used on Cousin Harley's 'The Dutch Sessions'.

Electro Harmonix makes the 7591 and JJ seems to make 'm too nowadays. Not sure, but i think these are 'real' 7591's.

On the other hand, as i understand, these output-tubes can last very long in these amps. In one of my Reverberockets the original Ampeg-labeled tubes are still working fine! It even had BugleBoys as pre-amp tubes.

But i did stock up on 6U10's!

21

That looks great.

Is that one of the Ampegs with strange tubes?

I've been warned that some of the late 50's - early 60's Ampegs have tubes that will leave you either up the creek trying to find them, or broke from buying them.

– crowbone

Thing is though, when they were designed they weren't strange. Ampeg was experimenting with the latest and coolest stuff, and it was Fender that wasn't changing, using the same old stuff year in and year out.

22

You're thinking of the 7591A power tubes in some of the Ampegs.I dont know much about the current 7591's but some years ago Sovtek was making them but they were just 6L6's with a repin.I had a couple of Gemini's at the time and just modded them to use 6L6.

– stokes

A shame, as a lot of those mid-60's 7591 Ampeg Jets and Rockets were identical to the 6V6 versions, just with the tube sockets and cathode resistors rewired. Not enough drive to get a 6L6 cooking, but if you've got some NOS 6V6's....

23

It would sound great! I play my Gretsch guitars through my R15R all the time and the amp plays nice with all the flavors: Dynasonic, FilterTron and HiLoTron.

– GGJaguar

Wow...that's the one. You don't see many R15R's around. Miss that amp. Another option with 7195's is too convert them to EL84's with THD Yellow Jacket converters. The EL84's do change the character of the amp by lowering the clean headroom.


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