Other Amps

That Amp that got away…


66 Fender Bassman. I know it's not the creme de la creme of Bassmans, but I'd sure like to have it now. I gave it away in 1972. Also, I had a Lafayette combo from around 1964/65, probably a Univox product. I don't know if it was a good amp but it would be fun to have now.


Had a Alamo amp when I was younger that I wish I still had. My dad bought it from the music teacher I was taking lessons from at the time. Dad wouldn't let me crank it much above 3......he wanted me playing clean clear country music.....not that distorted commie rock music. But when he wasn't around, I would crank the lil' Alamo up and it could nail that CCR Keep On Chooglin sound.


A fully functioning Rickenbacker Eko-Sound for $2500 about 10-15 years ago. For anyone not familiar, around 1960, Ray Butts sold the his Echo-Sonic design to Rickenbacker and they very briefly produced faithful copies. It's pretty much the holy grail of rockabilly amps. At the time, I coolly reasoned that it wasn't powerful enough for my gigging needs, and it seemed frivolous to spend $2500 on something that wasn't sufficiently utilitarian. Stupid. When you get a chance like that, you grab it and don't look back.


A Kendrick Bassman clone for $450. Didn’t have the scratch at the time....[sigh]


No regrets.

But now that people are mentioning Reverbrockets, I briefly owned a Superrocket. Sold it because it was just too big, too heavy and way too loud. Cool amp, impressive even but only practical if you're in a Dick Dale and Motorhead tribute band.


A Vadis 250R. I walked into my shop with guitar and plugged in... thought it sounded amazing but thought they were asking too much for an old Australian amp. Changed my mind and went back a week later it was gone :(



A blackface Deluxe Reverb (no idea what year, in the '70s we didn't care about such things). Alvino Rey put it and a blackface Vibrolux from his inventory on consignment at Henson's Music in Camarillo (Alvino's son Rob worked there), and I had my heart set on the Vibrolux because, ya know, it had TWO speakers instead of just one. But someone beat me to it. So I "settled" for the Deluxe for $275. It was pristine and sounded heavenly, but of course at the time, the Twin Reverb was what the real guitar players used, and when I found a '68 a couple years later, I sold the Deluxe to a college friend (at that time, I was in college) for $250. Really wish I could have chosen not to sell that one.


a tweed Gibson that i got to play through in the early 1970s. it was about the size of an average 1950s suitcase, and sounded exactly like the solo on "Sunshine Of Your Love." i have never successfully identified the actual model.


No regrets.

But now that people are mentioning Reverbrockets, I briefly owned a Superrocket. Sold it because it was just too big, too heavy and way too loud. Cool amp, impressive even but only practical if you're in a Dick Dale and Motorhead tribute band.

– Gerry Ratrod

The amp that DIDN'T get away: Already have a 50w Ampeg 2 x 12 Reverberrocket. Discovered the 100w SuperRockets on Reverb ranging from $600 to $1200. Its like an Ampeg Twin with tremolo and (yay) factory casters. Same cab size as RR with slightly longer chrome control panel to accomodate the trem circuit.

Got a mint one for $700.00 with the original two cable three switch foot pedal. Definitely the Big Brother of the re-issue RR. A beautiful sleeper amp in blue diamond tolex with a nice metal grill around the 4 power tubes. Side note: Gretch newer Electromatic Black Top Filtertrons were "made" for tube Ampegs both for chime and crunch, especially in-between the two. Very pick hand responsive, and a lot richer than a standard Twin. Tube distortion: no pedals needed, really!


I wish I still had my old Rickenbacker Transonic (with "Rick-O-Sonic TransTortion") so that I could sell it at current prices! It was nothing but trouble and I let it go for $250 back in the mid-80s, but they're fetching thousands these days.


A silverface Fender Bassman with 2x12 cabinet. I played my guitars (Gibson ES-125, later ES-175) and Rhodes through it, and it sounded wonderful with all three. I sold all my electric instruments in the mid-70's when I went full-immersion into Indian music, and when I came back to electric stuff a few years later I had developed different sonic preferences and used different amps for guitar and keyboards.

Nowadays there are more suitable and versatile options for both guitars and keyboards, but at the time, that was the shizznit!


The one that got away just fell into my lap.

A day after I posted the pic of a 1954 Gibson GA-40 I received an email from a fellow amp nut offering me one of the same.

So, since I was in SoCal I swung by his shop and picked it up. A little dirty and in need of some work, but it’s glorious! Everything is there, including the usually missing rear panels.


I had a small Gibson Les Paul amp that sounded great.

I got it for five bucks at a yard sale and used it for a year or two before something went on it.

They told me(at the TV repair shop) the amp was ruined and that I should throw it out.

That's just what I did.

Maybe a year later, I found an amp guy who could've fixed it.



The date codes all indicate 1953/4. The chassis is pretty dang clean for an old Gibson. This is the earliest version of the GA-40 Les Paul amp with Octal preamp tubes and a 6V6 driven trem circuit.

Billy Zoom is one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. Invited me into his shop, spent part of his afternoon hanging out talking amps, old cars, X......I wish I had come better prepared. One of the warmest guys ever. The catchphrase “Nice guy, punk legend” is SO under rated.

Cheers Mr Zoom.


In the past month I have passed on a ‘65 Reverberocket for $400 and a ‘66 Gibson GA-17 RVT for $200. Kids are expensive and I don’t have time to play enough to justify more amps. Adulting is hard.


In the past month I have passed on a ‘65 Reverberocket for $400 and a ‘66 Gibson GA-17 RVT for $200. Kids are expensive and I don’t have time to play enough to justify more amps. Adulting is hard.

– Junior Q Man (Ryan M)

wow ! $200 for a GA-17RVT ? that would be a steal of a deal. of course, at that age, it probably needed some "Modernizing". I own two from that era.


A handmade 65 watt tube amp, made by Dutchman, Jon Dosman. It had two 12" speakers, that Jon had rewound the bobbins (coils) on. I bought it from Jon, while I was stationed overseas. It was an amazing sounding amp, that I stupidly sold to friend, right before I rotated back to the States, in 1984.

I had two tube amplifiers at the time, and opted to keep a Fender amp, that I had just purchased. The Fender is a 75 Watt Lead amp, that I still have. I was only 23 years old, at the time, and a Fender just had to be a better amp, than one built by some guy, in his back room..... WRONG!

I didn't realize just how good the Dosman sounded, until the honeymoon ended on the Fender amp. Man, I've never heard an amp that sounded as nice as the Dosman. Jon Dosman was an electrical engineer, and made these amps to order. Mine had a built in Fuzz circuit and a reverb pan, that were turned on and off with a footswitch. He must have really known what he was doing, because I've been chasing that tone ever since.


My early-mid '62 Tremolux,a Christmas present that year.Traded in a couple years later on a BF Concert I never really bonded with. Still got the 6122,though!


Kendrick Badassman, offered to me for $450 as a favor. Didn’t have the cash. It ended up going to Joe Walsh. Much more worthy home anyway.


"gotta love those old Gibson amps."

"The amps made during the years Gibson used redwood for the cabinets have a sound all their own."

Just keep trying different tubes in the phase inverter socket to get the sound you like.


After I traded off my tube Thomas Organ Vox Berkeley head and cab, I had HUGE seller's remorse.

Then one day I went in my local mom and pop music store (run by a horrible jack weed). Someone had just traded in a mint MINT condition one with hang tags, covers, stand, papers. WOW!! He offered it to me for $700 and I said DEAL, and went to go grab the money. (I was a young musician playing 3-5 nights a week and had disposable income) Then, when I came back, he said "Well, it's not for sale. It's going in the 'permanent collection'."

I stopped back in a few days later and he had sold it. For $700. He hated young people and I was a young guy who liked old gear.


Magnatone 213... sold it in the 90s. The studio had it all these years and when the closed... I got one day notice and by that time it was gone. Still looking for one @ reasonable price.

– DCBirdMan


Just out of interest, what did you find nice about the 213 and what do you play or do to be so inspired by them. Dont get me wrong I am not bashing it or anything like that, it is just that I found Magnatones dont resonate with me at all for any of the styles I play on guitar. I really want to find what it is that I am not getting and why magnatones dont work for me.

I have a 214 and a 261. The 214 basically have the same circuit as I can remember as the 213 other than a solid state rectifier what was apparently needed for the accordions it was built for, but I have to look again it may have been something else. I think there are 213's with and without the EF preamp tube. So there is one version of 213 that is exactly like the 214 including EF tube, except solid state bridge, and another that is all 12ax7/6v6. As there are no schematics available for the 214 that I have seen or could find, I remember comparing my 214 to one of the two 213 schematics and there were very little differences down to the Varistors.

Maybe I am seriously overlooking something, we are all different, but I dont get Magnatone/Tonemaster/etc amplifiers. The vibrato I dont really understand why people love it so much and the Magnatone sound doesnt appeal to me probably due to the severely undersized output transformers. It seems my taste is directly proportional to output transformer size as a point of "humor". Fender Vibroking to me is just sounding orders better and gets a similar vibrato-like warble which I prefer if set correctly. Maybe it is the Oxford Alnicos these come with that I dont like the sound of. Anyway, I am missing something and the fault must be on my side.

A great unexpected use I got from the 214 is as a small bass amp and why I still have it. I never thought that could be possible, but one day I plugged my fretless in and was amazed. There is just nothing like it. Totally unique sound. The sound is difficult to describe, flat but extremely interesting. I primarily use it with Fretless. Absolutely great for low volume practice, but if you mike it up you can make it sound huge, with that distinctive flat sound that no other bass amp has. Since fretless is very nasal, the trick with these amps must have something to do with that quality in playing guitar.

Never mind bass, I really want some pointers about what people find so special about them as a guitar amp and what the niche is I seemingly dont get, as it would be nice for me to get some good use out of them compared to my other amps. The 214 & 261's are primarily Accordion and Bandoneon amplifiers. I can understand the need for a nasal sound for those instruments.

You clearly know how to use them properly. I would appreciate it.


I recently sold a 1966 Tremolux and am having separation angst. But.......the money went into this recently purchased house and after all, it's just a thing. if I find a beat up head for small $$$$ I still have a 2 X 10 combo cab made just for it. Thought I'd miss the 74 DR that I sold (also to help pay for this house) but that was replaced with a pristine 1969 drip edge Vibrolux Reverb and I'm fine with that.

In the 70s I had one of those old Gibson stereo amps that wound up in a junk pile because it needed extensive work and there was no one around Nova Scotia at the time who could have restored it; young and stupid(er). The Tremolux I'll get over, but that Gibson...........

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