Other Amps

Klose enough for Kustom work

1

Head and cab, together again like they never were.

Attentive readers (and those without lives, but you don't have to admit it here, even to yourself) may remember that Frank Giffen picked up a blue Kustom head for an unnamed GDPeer from a Craigslist seller in a parking lot in California a few weeks ago.

If it wasn't transparently obvious, I am the unnamed. Frank saw the Craigslist ad many weeks ago, and thoughtfully remembered (because that's the kind of guy he is) that I've been casually looking for a head to sit atop my blue sparkle 2-15 cabinet - and offered to pick it up for me and ship it.

After my negotiations with the seller, that's just what happened. (And a fine packing job, Frank.)

I was concerned about color match, as in the seller's ad, from some angles the blue sparkle seemed a bit aqua - but not nearly as turquoise as that other color Kustom once had, the name of which I can't remember. (Except it wasn't Mermaid.)

And it turns out it's not quite perfect - but it's close enough.

The amp sounds very Kustomy; that is, there's a good 40dB of white noise before you even get started, but I knew that going in. The "High" input channel doesn't really work, and the reverb is mostly ground hum (probably a simple enough fix) - but I don't need those things for this amp (which will mostly service bass), and the price was very right.

The service was even better!

2

Beautiful...

By the way, the "other" color that you're thinking of is called "Cascade".

3

I'd forgotten the jaunty forward jut of the head. (Or is that just on this one?)

From this angle, we can see that the blues really do match closely - but not perfectly. I imagine Kustom had trouble getting perfect consistency from their rolls of naugahyde. Them critters has some natural variation. In fact, it was the reddish ones mating with other reddish ones, the blu-ish with blu-ish, lighter with lighter, golder with golder, etc, that led over eons of natural selection to the relatively homogenous color groupings Kustom was able to exploit.

I guess pretty much killing off the indigenous population of naugas, shooting them from International Harvester pickup trucks from the roads of Kansas, is what ended the amp line.

4

40dB of White Noise...and folks wish to complain about the CVR.

Everybody loved the Kustom look back in the day...

Good for You!

5

Cascade! So it was. And I don't recall any other blues between BLUE blue and Cascade, do you?

6

Here we begin to suspect something chromatically amiss with the bottom strip of naugahyde. It pretty clearly isn't BLUE blue.

7

The white noise could be a likely filter cap issue..

8

Does the tremolo circuit work? With bass it would be perfect for 13th Floor Elevator tunes!

9

Well, would you look at that! Is that an after-factory repair, with clearly not-so-well-matching hyde (and is that the fabled Cascade?) - or did it escape the factory that way?

I confess I don't remember if Kustom used staples in that way to cover amp bottoms. It looks a little suspect.

But it all serves the purpose - as bedside decor reminding me that boyhood dreams can eventually come true - and that maybe I should have aimed higher. On the other hand, I still get a viscercal aesthetic charge out of the whole package. I'm sure that's a retrograde and adolescent reaction that reveals my fundamental inner boyhood - and lack of evolution in taste - but that's OK with me. Adulthood is way overrated.

Thanks again, Frank.

10

The trem does work!

For what I paid, I can spend a little with an amp guy. Filter caps, whatever's going on with the High input, reverb. It's just that if I have to SHIP it to an amp guy, it gets pricey.

But hey! I can maybe drop it off at Uncle Albert's in Indy before I go to the airport for a journey at the end of the month, and he'll have it done when I get back. Idea.

11

I thought that was you! Congrats, Tim.

12

Even if the same roll of Naugahyde was used on both head and speakers, if one was exposed to a lot more direct sunlight than the other over its lifetime, there could be a difference in color now due to inconsistent UV fading between the two.

Them's shore purty, though!

13

That's an excellent point.

That bottom strip has to be a transplant, though.

14

I hope you'll play at least a few John Fogerty riffs through that rig!

15

Already did Suzie Q and Wollin' on the Wiver.

16

I love the look of those old Kustoms.

17

Very cool, Tim and Frank ! I've always dug the look of the old Kustom amps/ cabinets. Fun!

18

Head and cab, together again like they never were.

Attentive readers (and those without lives, but you don't have to admit it here, even to yourself) may remember that Frank Giffen picked up a blue Kustom head for an unnamed GDPeer from a Craigslist seller in a parking lot in California a few weeks ago.

If it wasn't transparently obvious, I am the unnamed. Frank saw the Craigslist ad many weeks ago, and thoughtfully remembered (because that's the kind of guy he is) that I've been casually looking for a head to sit atop my blue sparkle 2-15 cabinet - and offered to pick it up for me and ship it.

After my negotiations with the seller, that's just what happened. (And a fine packing job, Frank.)

I was concerned about color match, as in the seller's ad, from some angles the blue sparkle seemed a bit aqua - but not nearly as turquoise as that other color Kustom once had, the name of which I can't remember. (Except it wasn't Mermaid.)

And it turns out it's not quite perfect - but it's close enough.

The amp sounds very Kustomy; that is, there's a good 40dB of white noise before you even get started, but I knew that going in. The "High" input channel doesn't really work, and the reverb is mostly ground hum (probably a simple enough fix) - but I don't need those things for this amp (which will mostly service bass), and the price was very right.

The service was even better!

– Proteus

Righteous score there, Proteus! Last time I saw one of those was a red one, about 1969, '70, maybe '71. It belonged to the guitarist of my vocalist's brother in-law's band. I always thought those were some cool amps, and they sure stood out on stage. And just think, nowadays we could have an activist group to save the naugas. Maybe start some nauga sanctuaries where they could breed and repopulate and always have a surplus for making amps. As for adulthood, I still haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up-but I suspect it has something to do with guitars. Now that I'm retired, I spend a lot more time playing and playing with my guitars. Driving the wife crazy!

19

Please don't hide that nauga!

Do you think it will fit in the transport to Nashville?

20

I'm just trying to get to retahrment myself, Synchro.


Crow, indubitably. The cab has made the last two Roundups, providing bass via a Bandmaster head (Zoomed with a Bassman transformer). The intention is that the Kustom head sign up now for duty in the future.

21

WHere are the chrome ports? Are those real JBLs?

22

Kevin/Uncle Albert will have that fixed right up. Nice score!

BZ, not every Kustom had the chrome ring ports.

If you think this is a beast to move, I know where a Kustom keyboard is---4X15" all in one massive cabinet.

23

The white noise could be a likely filter cap issue..

– Tartan Phantom

Could be. But I doubt it. Mine does that, too. I have an earlier model.

24

BZ, I haven't opened it up. I kinda don't want to know. I should want to know, though, shouldn't I? Maybe I'll look. But I have my doubts.

I wish it had chrome ports too, they're cooler.

Slim it's not hard at all to move. Kustom had KILLER ball casters, as I'm sure you remember. It just gliiiides. You have to tip into and out of the vehicle, protecting the down side as you slide it. Oh, and it doesn't do stairs. Elevators are fine. Plan ahead.

25

I had that exact amp in Black. You usually see the cabs with 4x12's and sometimes with chrome ports, but the one with 2X`15's and the silver speaker covers aren't exactly run of the mill. If I remember, it was more about looks than actual tone, but like said, they were popular at the time they were made.


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